Thursday, 5 January 2012

How to be a Welsh Republican.

It is interesting that much has been made of Leanne Woods Republicanism though t least Simon Thomas has expressed such views in the past .

Leanne's case however is her habit of s boycotting the  ceremonial opening of the  Assembly, anr therfore has been  accused of snubbing the Queen. and questions have been asked if giving the circumstances of her becoming first Minister in a Plaid Assembly Government  or  a Minister in a coalition government would she could she make this stance.

Franlkly its up to her. Bit it does raise a issue . In a recent Blog Miserable Old Fart commented that.

"Republicanism is a British obsession. An independent Wales will have no royal family! Republicanism is not a Welsh Nationalist issue!"
 I'm  sorry  Alwyn  I can't agree unless an Independent Wales is an avowedly Republic  then there is no rerason why it woulld not be on the same level as Canada, Australia , amd New Zealand  with the King or Queen of England as head of State represented by a governor general appointed  on the advice of a Welsh Prine Minister.

There is nothing I beleive in Plaid's Constitution that rules this out and it seems that a Independent Scotland would openly accept the reigning English Monarch as head of State.

But actually the current problem is not a future Wales but of Democracy.

Already Leanne has virtually no choice in order to take her seat. the Oath being...

I... swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me Go
Or she may affirm  a solemn affirmation under the terms of the Oaths Act 1978:

I... do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.
I would have no problem to my mind  swearing an Oath accepting Elisabeth Windsor as Head of State  for the period of the Assembly that is sitting .Which is different than recognising her as such.

But I could not accept being bound to accepting it in perpetuity and the idea that such an Oath would bind me to her successors is an affront  to Democracy .

So whats my advice to Leanne if she was placed in a position of being First Minister  and meeting the English Monarch.

I would accept the role as Head of State in the current unwritten constitution and therefore  welcome her to the Assembly  in the same way a Australian Prime Minister who proposed his or her Nation should  become a republic would, whilst making it clear that I was aiming to remove her from that position on the implementation of an Independent Wales.

But as first Minister I would also insure that the Oath of alligence is changed that  it read  something on the lines of ...one proposed by Tony Benn fir the House of Commons in 1197
   I... swear by Almighty God  that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the responsibilities required of me by virtue of my membership of the Welsh Assembly s and faithfully serve those whom I represent here.
Or
I ...do solemnly Declare and Affirm that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the responsibilities required of me by virtue of my membership of the Welsh Assembly s and faithfully serve those whom I represent here.

Simple and Democratic and democracy should always be a Welsh Obsession.

2 comments:

  1. I would say strategically speaking it would be wise to make the question of the monarchy and independence distinct, a la the SNP. The monarchy can be the subject of a future referendum. Pending that, an independent Wales could be a de-facto republic with a constitution removing any role for the monarchy in the political process. The constitution would enshrine popular sovereignty with executive authority deriving from the people rather than the crown, monarchial oaths of alleigence would be abolished and most de-facto functions of the head of state could excercised by the Llywydd of the Senedd.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think this is a question of strategy but honesty.
    I think any person seeking to lead Wales to Independence and who is also a Republican should be open about it.
    I think its time that all rebublicans in every party should announce thier position.


    Even on the UK level and if you didn't support independence For too long we have been a substantial Minority whose voice have been muted.Because politicians have been afraid to stand up for their republican beliefs.

    How can a Welsh Nationalist Party not endorse this?

    ReplyDelete