EVER since I was a youngster I’ve always questioned why I should give my unquestioning allegiance to the monarchy. The British royal family are only nominal heads of state and have no real power and therefore have no direct influence in my life. They are essentially famous for being famous. So it was with considerable doubt/disgust that I steeled myself to watch Charles III: The Coronation Year.

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Predictably, the documentary featured snivelling apologists such as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Anne the Princess Royal, Rishi Sunak and Queen Camilla’s sister. Somewhat theatrically, Charles made an attempt to tug at the heartstrings of his minions by referencing the late Queen when he said "may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. Maybe that that remark should have remained private. There were other cloying remarks made by others, such as “Camilla has a twinkle” and “an endearing quality”. The Prince of Wales kissing the king was described as “priceless”. Predictably, there was no attempt to put things into context by mentioning the rise in support for the republican movement. Charles may be king of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms but his coronation was met with indifference in both Canada and Australia.

Of more concern for the future of the monarchy, in May 2021 a YouGov poll showed reduced support for the royal family. There was a particularly high rise in republican views and an overall plurality for its replacement with an elected head of state in the 18-24 age group. This flies in the face of the fact that throughout the year that the royal family appears on the front page of newspapers and magazines. Furthermore there are unctuous cup-bearers: members of the establishment, newspaper and media correspondents lavishly bestowing their praise on the royal family.

One member of the “we are not worthy brigade”, Nicholas Witchell, is about to retire. He must have run out of superlatives in describing the monarchy. The depth of his obeisance was revealed when the then prince Charles said of him: “I can’t stand that man”. That remark did not deter Witchell, who continued to bestow praise on Charles.

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We are inculcated by the British media to adhere to the feudal notion that the royal family have an inherited superiority. This is utter nonsense when it has become patently clear in the last few years that the royal family is dysfunctional, with all the failings of ordinary human beings.

The British public no longer have the deference towards the royal family of decades ago. In these times of Dickensian personal hardship, the rise in the cost of living and people having to choose between heating and eating contrasts sharply with the royals living in baroque magnificence and privilege.

With every year that passes, the monarchy becomes more and more an anachronistic institution that has no place in 21st-century Britain.

Sandy Gordon

TONY Blair’s plan to send asylum seekers to holding camps on the island of Mull anticipated the thoughts of Tory deputy chair Lee Anderson who in November 2023 suggested that asylum seekers be sent to the Orkney Islands should the Rwanda deal fail.

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I wonder if these episodes betray a colonialist arrogance, whereby the UK Government shows a cavalier disregard for Scotland when it comes to decisions which might incur the wrath of English voters.

How convenient it was, for example, to base the UK’s nuclear submarines at Faslane, a little more than 30 miles from Glasgow, rather than somewhere in the Thames Estuary or in the Bristol Channel.

Alastair McLeish