Saturday, 31 August 2019

Those who support a Republic should refuse to take Oath of Allegiance.

This Blog has often called for an end to the Oath of Allegiance and the recent events that Mrs Windsor agreed to Boris Johnson's "request" that she prorogue parliament to my mind means that she has broken the contract that she has with the people.

It is true that Prime Minister Johnson has laced her in this position even if she refused, but she has agreed to close our elected and unelected(HOL) legislatures at Westminster a move not taken since her predecessor Charles 1 prompted a Civil War by doing so albeit for a longer period.

By doing so she has has arguably removed any obstacle to MPs refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

If we take the low estimate that 20% of the population were republicans then even if you were to remove all the Tories and their DUP allies then at least 60-70 current MPs are republicans and lie when they swear

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 God.

Members who object to swearing the oath are permitted to make 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.

Imagine if a large number of candidates standing in the next election announced that if elected they would refuse to swear allegiance to the current Head of State but even more so her heirs and successors.

If they were honest then maybe 60- 100 could do so and be not allowed to take their seats.

There is a sort of precedent . The National Secular Society, founded in 1866 by politician Charles Bradlaugh, spearheaded the advocacy for freeing citizens from absolute government requirements involving religious observances; the Leicester Secular Society was founded in 1851. Bradlaugh's 1880 election to Parliament brought on a decade-long dispute over the demanded right to affirm declarations of office rather than swear oaths, as he was denied his seat for five years by a ruling that he had no right to affirm and resolutions preventing him from swearing an oath. When Bradlaugh was ultimately admitted in 1886, he took up the issue and saw the Oaths Act 1888 passed, which confirmed the right to optionally affirm declarations for inaugurations to office and offering testimony to government bodies.[

If this was to be repeated with a large number of avowed republicans refusing to take the oath of allegiance , then surely it would be braking the Human Rights Act ?

One note of caution.

Advocacy of the replacement of the monarchy with a republic has been an imprisonable offence in law. The Treason Felony Act 1848 prohibits the advocacy of a republic in print. The penalty for such advocacy, even if the republic is to be set up by peaceful means, is lifetime imprisonment. This Act remains in force in the United Kingdom.[27] However, under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Law Lords have held that although the Treason Felony Act remains on the statute books it must be interpreted so as to be compatible with the Human Rights Act, and therefore no longer prohibits peaceful republican activity.

In part some supporters of Brexit would like to do away with the Human Rights Act and it , and it is that fraction who are in power in Westminster and it would come as no surprise if they would seek to abolish or replace it.

Indeed  this could be the last chance National Left has to advocate republic, before he is thrown in the tower . I wonder who would join me/

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