Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Thief of Rage - Privilege, The Monarchy, the Catholic Church and more.

Privilege. What is it? In the accepted sense of social inequality we know precisely what it is. It is for the few rather than the many. It seeks not to participate in mutual benefit but in exclusivity.  It is self-centred protectionism for those in positions of power. This is not only reprehensible but intolerable. There is no room for such a system in the twenty first century. As a long term Progressive Democrat I cannot hold with privilege as privilege begs inequality.

“How is it possible, in the 21st century, that we allow individuals to enjoy greater power over others through accident of birth? We remain vulnerable to the use or abuse of such provisions as declarations of war and peace, the summoning and dissolution of parliament and royal assent to bills, in the hands of wholly unelected and unaccountable incumbents or their successors.

“We bear no grudges towards specific individuals born into such patronage. We are simply saying the entrenchment of privilege and the inequality which it fosters should play no role in a fair and meritocratic society." - Dr Shahrar Ali

There are those who simply by being who they are receive privileges the majority of us never get. Not just the security of having sufficient money in the bank but of having a name, or belonging to a family whose pedigree, as seen by those keen to have hierarchical divisions within society, allows them favours the rest of us do not, cannot enjoy.  

A variety of names spring to mind when thinking of privilege. From Russian oligarch's to Arabic Sheikhs; from Multi-Billionaire industrialists with their global empires to the Monarchy. Before we look at the monarchy we need to understand what it is wrong with it. Does it differ from other's with privilege? If the monarchy is undemocratic then so are those others.

There are a select few who need little excuse to unleash their hatred onto the rest of us. All they need is a focal point. The British Monarchy admirably provides that. The monarchy feeds that need. It provides an established ideal that represents a perfect target for those seeking not to remove privilege but to be seen and heard as doing so by attacking what is in fact an easy target. By doing this they fail in dealing with privilege but also fail to deal with a far bigger, far worse abuser of privilege than the British Monarchy - The Catholic Church. 

The British Monarchy, much like the other 44 sovereign states that have monarchs are constitutional monarchies, that is they are figureheads with little or limited power.  In my view little or limited is a little too much and not limited enough. Those exaggerated privileges should be paired back. They, the Monarchy, should have equal power to every other man-Jack alive in Britain. The privacy laws extended to the Royal Family differ to those of the other inhabitants of Great Britain and are wrong. This inequality should be addressed. One law for all with no privileges for the few is how true democracy works and they, the Royal Family, are not democratically elected.

The Royal Family should be taxed in the same manner any other citizen is. Again there should be no application of preference for one historical family over any other. In all aspects of living and working in, of owning property or business so the same laws that govern the people should also govern the monarchy. In short, they are a family whose history binds them to the fabric of our nations. That does not mean that they receive preferential treatment but nonetheless should receive the same respect and courtesy any other citizen of Britain is due. 

The Royal Family cannot be exempt no matter their history. Writing letters to members of parliament should be treated in the same fashion if a future King or an angry man off the street were to write them. Going naked on a beach in plain sight or a public area should not entitle those without their clothes on to grow outraged when photos are printed in the media even if it is questionable why said media would want to take photos of people naked. Protection of Royal babies from the eyes of the media is a matter for the buying public to decide on. Royal children should be treated with the same respect afforded other children, no more, no less. Being Royal no longer means being excluded or protected from society but being part of it. Their wealth is their's and their's alone. Being Royal is no different than being famous for acting, singing, playing a musical instrument, playing a sport or running a global business. However. human courtesy to all should be applied.

All the European monarchies  are the same with the exception of the Vatican City. The Pope rules supreme in this nation city state. He has in fact absolute power in executive, legislative and judicial policies. The Pope is the only absolute monarch in Europe. The Catholic Church is the modern equivalent of the Roman Empire. It's power extends beyond the nation city state of the Vatican City to every corner of the globe. It has wealth beyond measure even though it claims that  "excessive accumulation of wealth by a few" to be a sin. And even though the population of Vatican City is less the nine hundred the power, corruption and influence it has is far greater than that of the British Monarchy. In fact it is very much like those other empires - corporate's.

Please note I said ' the Catholic Church' not those of the Catholic faith. As I have said before, everyone has every right to believe in whatever it is they so choose as long as it doesn't inflict pain, harm or put pressure on others. The Catholic Church has privileges far greater than those of the British Monarchy. The Catholic Church has inflicted more abuse on far more people, in and out of the United Kingdom, than any monarch. The Catholic Churches wealth exceed's that of the British Monarchy by billions. This is privilege made large.

It will be said that the Catholic Church plays a very minor role within British society. It hasn't been the national religion since Elizabeth I replaced it with Anglicanism. It could also be stated, rightly so too, that religion is on the way out in the UK with a fifty per cent split between those who follower a particular religion and those who are either atheist or agnostic. Yet still it, its Pope and its priests have privileges few others do. 

If we are to deal with the unfair state of privilege in the UK then we also must deal with the Catholic Church and in the same manner we should with the monarchy - fairly, justly and without condemnation or fear of reprisals. We should also deal with those whose companies avoid paying taxes. There are one thousand rich people living in Britain, and when I say rich I mean wealth of a staggering magnitude. Somewhere in the region of  £600 to £700 billion. There should be no tax relief for these people. They should pay more. When the financial collapse came in 2008 it was the working man whose hard earned wages paid the taxes that the government used to bail out the banks. 

In today's society, and by that I mean the western global community, democracy is little more than a sham. We may elect those we chose at the ballot box to represent us but once in power that which they have been elected to do is overlooked as they then use the votes cast in their favour to pursue those issues they dislike claiming they have a mandate given them by the people. That is not democracy. That is authority usurping democracy, hiding behind a thin veil of democracy whilst those in power promote of demote those matters which appeal most to them as of having benefit for the system they support.

The almost democracy we have have is fudge of what real democracy should be. For example, who elects the head's of corporate businesses? Who put into place heads of banks, of financial institutions for them to take their empires to the brink of bankruptcy only for them to come begging to the people for help, for a bail out?

The financial crisis we all faced in 2008 was not the fault of the electorate or, if it was, then it was by default. That default being to continually vote for the same old tired politics that constantly informs us we haven't sufficient funds in the kitty to share around before taking those apparently insufficient funds out of said coffers to finance another war. Usually one not of defense but offence. And too often with corporate motivations rather than moral.

There are obvious occasions when real democracy can be compromised. When, for example, an aggressive nation seeks war with a non aggressive nation. It would take too long, far too long in fact, to wait for a vote or referendum on whether the electorate want to defend their nation state or not. The elected government would simply have to react in a manner befitting the circumstance. That said, the government itself could, in fact should be of a far better defined form of democracy than is currently in place.

What has privilege to do with democracy? Everything. What has the monarchy to do with either? Everything. Having a monarchy does not mean ceding them privilege. The monarchy are not elected therefore they can have no power. They must be brought in line with all other families within Britain. They are our equals and as such should be treated with the same courtesy but expect the same lack of privileges we all have to face.  Those conglomerate magnates and their associates are the modern equivalents of the Catholic Church and the monarchy. They have privileges beyond our wildest imaging's. They too, in theory at least, are subject to the laws all have to live by. But of course they don't.

We can, with firmly applied, just laws, reduce the monarchy to fit modern society so that they are little more than a family through whom a collective history resides. We can within a democratic, humanist society prevent the abuses still perpetrated by organised religion. We must address the issue of privilege and start taxing those who earn the most to pay the most taxes. Currently they don't.

But of course we don't have a true democracy. We have instead the servile state where we are manipulated by monetary concerns into slavishly working to feed the machine that operates so the ruling classes can grow richer. All we can  hope for is as the wealth of those who control corporate empires grows so the 'trickle down' will give us sufficient to get by. This is a disgusting concept. It is undemocratic. It is privilege made massive.

Having a monarchy that has privileges in a democratic society is undoubtedly wrong but then again we don't have a true democracy. Even if we did the vast majority in the UK still want a Royal Family. This point is the hardest to accept.

To end privilege of any kind we have to engage true democracy rather than accept the failed, second rate version we currently have.  What is in place now is little better than what was there in the dark ages.

A Revolt - Digital Anarchy's photo. 

Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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