“Four of the top ten areas polling least support for the royals in the United Kingdom are based in Scotland.”
This article appeared in the print edition of the Evening Telegraph: 25/11/2019 Available: https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/ewan-gurr-its-time-to-ditch-the-royal-family/ [Accessed: 2019, Nov 26]
The royals have not crowned themselves in glory in recent months. The decision to permit Prince Andrew to discuss an alleged relationship with an underage girl, linked to a paedophile engaged in trafficking, could yet be equivalent to a re-enactment of his father’s car crash at the beginning of this year. I draw this analogy because recent polling by UnHerd reveals an accelerating rate of antipathy in Scotland to the royals that could lead to a collision, and the eventual write-off, of their monarchical reign.
This follows the recent interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex concerning their life of hardship while on a royal tour of impoverished nations. Anyone who has been in the position of a newly married couple with a new born son knows it is tough. What I cannot imagine is doing that while the paparazzi camp out in the bin in your back garden. However, the airtime for those struggles is not in front of a documentary camera while touring some of the most deprived parts of Africa.
Also, while in London last week, I spotted an Evening Standard emblazoned with a new campaign to tackle the crisis of homelessness in the capital. There are 9,000 rough sleepers in London, a figure inflated by its editor George Osborne, but it struck me that the Queen has 774 spare rooms at Buckingham Palace. She could cut numbers by 9% just by opening her doors. She claims to follow a homeless man at church on a Sunday so why not help his brothers and sisters out the rest of the week?
Scotland has a tribal history of delineating between the royalist and the republican, the protestant and the catholic and, more recently, the nationalist and the unionist but things in Scotland are no longer as binary. The polarisation between prosperity and austerity is, I believe, one part of what has widened the growing chasm. I think the other relates to the political awakening of 2014, which questioned everything, and this scrutiny has been rightly applied to an institution shrouded in secrecy and insulated by privilege.
It is revealing, but unsurprising, that four of the top ten areas polling least support for the royals in the United Kingdom are based in Scotland. The second least royalist part of the country is Glasgow Central, in fifth place Edinburgh East, Aberdeen North is ninth and in tenth place you have Glasgow North. The commonalities between the communities of Shettleston, Niddrie, Seaton and Maryhill, for me, relate to the fact I had the marvellous misfortune of opening foodbanks in each of these communities.
It is time to do away with institutions that allow a small section of society to take what they want when they want without a shred of accountability and, instead, develop a new standard of statehood that places values like integrity front and centre.