Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Public Anger

The public are rightly outraged and angry over the subject of MP’s expenses and perhaps we could do with some more anger.

If only the public would show more anger then perhaps we might get some worthwhile changes. Like anger over our young soldiers dying in a futile invasion of Afghanistan; like wasting billions on nuclear weapons, submarines and aircraft carriers; like billions more on ID cards and intercepting all our ‘phone calls and emails. Like refusing to allow the imposition of Unitary Authorities when the people, on the rare occasions they have even been asked, give a resounding no. Let’s get angry about the unaccountable House of Lords and yes, let’s get angry about that bastion of anti-democracy, the Royal family.

If this current anger over expenses helps to make voters take note of politics and realise that power really does lie with the people but that we have to fight to keep it, every inch of the way, or risk losing it altogether, then it will turn out to have been a good thing.

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4 thoughts on “Public Anger

  1. Simon Showler on said:

    Yes we could all get angry over the the billions being wasted on nuclear weapons and on ID cards or indeed on our brave soldiers being killed and I would agree with those but surely if nothing else it proves that just by electing everybody doesn’t automatically make it a better system and so whilst the royal family have it’s faults they also bring a lot more to this country than they take out.

  2. Agreed that by electing all our representatives doesn’t automatically make it a better system but it does mean that if we don’t approve of them or what they do we can vote them out of office.

    Can you tell me what evidence you have for saying that the Royal family, with all it’s faults, bring more into the country than they take out? In case you are thinking of tourism may I say that more people visit Lego Land in Windsor than the castle and the Republic of France far outweighs us in tourist numbers.

    The true cost of the royals is hidden from us but reliable estimates put it at around £150million. The other cost is that while they exist as an institution we are not a fully democratic nation.

  3. Simon Showler on said:

    I have no idea of the true cost but would take £150 million as a fair estimate and as such it is a fraction of the billions being wasted on ID cards and nuclear weapons to name but 2! As regards tourism I can’t give an accurate figure but with a tourism industry worth £76 Billion in 2004 according to Government figures and the fact that the Crown paid £179.3 Million to the Crown that year in revenues from entrance fees (more than we pay them a year) and this doesn’t include any revenues that are generated in hotels, entertainment, food etc whilst those visitors are here, I feel absolutely confident that they are a net contributor to the economy. I do however agree that whilst they exist as an institution we are not a fully democratic nation but as their influence is entirely ceremonial now does that really matter? Especially as we don’t live in a truly democratic country anyway when we are taken to war on a lie and the Government of the day can go to the country telling it that the head of the party would be there for the next term of government and then change it within a year even though we haven’t voted for him!!!

  4. Thanks for contribution, debate is good!

    I think you may be confusing £179.3m from the ‘Crown Estates’ which is not the same thing as this income arises from properties/events managed by them in exchange for the ‘Civil List’and visitors would surely spend money where ever they were? Remember also that any land owned by the Crown was originally stolen from the people.

    They are not as you suggest purely ceremonial either and you mentioned taking us to war in Iraq on a lie. Blair took us to war using the ‘Royal Perogative’ i.e. powers of the sovereign gifted to the Prime Minister. Parliament did not vote to go to war and only rubber stamped what had happened after the event having little choice but to do so.

    I have requested under the Freedom of Information Act the cost of all the royal visits to Cornwall for the past year. I’ll let you know via this blog when I have the info. Perhaps you would like to do the same for your area?

    Last little point. We do not ever vote for a prime minister, we vote for a political party. We cannot vote for the head of state, he/she is appointed for us from one family.

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