Martin Kirby Column; Republicans, A Closer Look and Taking Tablets
MONARCHY IS OUR CROWNING GLORY
There have always been people who would prefer this country as a republic, so I wasn't surprised to see a scattering of them at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration.
Holding placards saying such things as 'Citizen not subject', 'Power to the people' and 'Democracy not monarchy', they tried to disrupt the proceedings but were soon drowned-out by her Majesty's supporters.
Let's be clear, republicans have a right to their view and to express it legally through peaceful protest. I've looked at the website www.republic.org.uk and although I don't agree with them, the organisation's aims are put over in a calm, sensible way.
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But would Britain really be better without the Royal family? We tried it once, when Oliver Cromwell ruled as Lord Protector and after eleven years, the monarchy was restored by public demand.
If Buckingham Palace were occupied by a President, would tourists come from all over the world to be photographed outside its gates, spending their money with British businesses in the process? Do those Republicans who held banners asking; '900 nurses or one Queen?' really believe that any money saved by dumping the Monarchy would go into the NHS?
Much more likely it would go into prolonging the death-throes of the monster that is the European Union.
Present day Republicans insist that 'hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle'. But Oliver Cromwell's son succeeded him, which - by my reckoning, made the office of Lord Protector hereditary.
Republicans want the monarchy to be replaced by an elected head of state and "a new democratic constitution that really puts power in the hands of voters". Wasn't that what Communism was supposed to have done for Russia?
At least with our current political system, republicans have the freedom to shout "Lizzie out" when the mood takes them. Zimbabwe is a republic, but I wouldn't advise anyone to wander the streets of its capital, Harare, shouting; "Mugabe out".
KEEP TAKING THE TABLETS
Why anyone would object to councillors being issued with tablet computers is beyond me. If we expect them to do the job properly, they need to keep up with the latest technology.
If they still did everything by handwriting and postage, they'd be laughed at in the streets. Apparently six city councillors are currently trialling two different models, which no doubt means both manufacturers have supplied them free in the hope of getting the contract, so at the moment there's probably no cost to the taxpayer. If I were a councillor, I wouldn't be keen to have one anyway. They already have mobile phones and laptops. With tablets as well, there'll be no escape from angry residents.
I find it a bit worrying that the DVLA's website offers step-by-step instructions on how to increase the text size when you're applying for your tax online. Should anyone who needs such large text be driving?