For years I've been told the monarchy has "no real power" and that I'm "unpatriotic" for being a republican and that they should make me "Proud to be British". So when I see the BBC report that told of Prince Charles trying to influence government policy with his push for grammar schools and homeopathy and John Major admitting that the queen has influenced him on policy, it reaffirms my stance. The simple fact is the monarchy has power but no accountability.
I hear you say what about big business and charities that lobby the government on policy all the time? And yeah I would agree that does need more control. But considering the Queen meets the Prime Minister on a weekly basis to discuss Government policy and minutes of these meetings aren't published, she clearly has the most access to the government and can have a direct influence so it is not the same. No member of the public or pressure group has that amount of influence or access to the government.
Also the one other way whereby the royals are so unaccountable is that the letters that Prince Charles writes to government ministers have been blocked from being publicly available by the Attorney General because releasing the letters would "undermine the principle of the heir being politically neutral". This is yet another reason why we shouldn't have a monarchy and have a head of state who is elected and can be held accountable by the public.
When you get that plus past government ministers like Blunkett saying that he didn't mind Charles trying to influence government policy and Michael Meacher saying that together him and Charles tried to ensure that "we increased our influence within government" to "persuade Tony Blair to change course" , it really shows if we are going to abolish the monarchy that we have to do it by grassroots level. That means supporting pressure groups such as Republic and as a Green Party member I believe we as a party should be more vocal about our policy of abolishing the monarchy when issues like this come up. But I suppose that is an internal party debate that can be had at another time. So yeah to sum up:
Vive la République !