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Rallying for a Republic

The speakers for our rally

This weekend Charles Windsor will be crowned. This is not the same as becoming King, something that happened automatically last year. This is instead a £250 million special day entirely for Charles himself to show off his gold-trimmed pomp extravagance to a public struggling with a cost of living crisis… at their expense.

Entitlement runs deep with the Royals, with Charles’ brother Edward being gifted the Duke of Edinburgh title as a birthday present without thinking to ask the people of Edinburgh what they might think of the title or who should hold it. His other brother Andrew clings on to the title of Earl of Inverness, another birthday present, despite the disgust expressed by locals at being associated with him.

Scotland deserves better, and there is a better future available to us. One where our Head of State is elected with a democratic mandate and accountable to the people. One where they are subject to the same laws as all of us, not exempt from taxes and the human rights of tenants living in their sprawling empire of property. One where they pledge allegiance to the people they represent instead of demanding those people pledge allegiance to them.

On Saturday on Calton Hill from 3pm we will be rallying to present that vision. Joined by representatives from across Scottish republicanism, from our politics, communities, and arts, from all across the country, we will show that Scotland will not just quietly accept this new claimant to lifelong unaccountable power.

We know the people of Scotland are turning our backs on the Monarchy, and Our Republic intends to ensure they are heard even whilst Royalists insist on an image of universal adoration and submission to a man who believes he is entitled to it.

This phenomenal line-up shows that republicanism is no longer a fringe concern in our politics. On Saturday we hope you will join us and see the beginnings of a new era, where as Charles takes to the throne he will one day be known as Charles the Last.

You can find our event on Facebook:

Our Republic is a membership led organisation campaigning for an elected Head of State for Scotland – Our Republic – We are the campaign for a Scottish Republic

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Republicanism Enters the SNP Leadership Debate

By Tristan Gray – Convenor

Full article here:

This week Kate Forbes, Ash Regan, and Humza Yousaf were asked where they stand on the Monarchy during an SNP leadership hustings.

These were their overall responses:
Forbes – “I’m pretty relaxed about it. It’s not important to people.”
Regan – “I’m a republican. Backing the Monarchy was the right position for the time, but now let’s go back to conference and have a debate.”
Yousaf – “I’m a republican. We’d keep the Monarchy for a period of time before transitioning after independence.”

Two of the candidates clearly believe in a future for Scotland with an elected head of state. One does not believe it is an issue worth taking a stance on.

We believe the time is now for starting to have the discussion about this topic because we know Charles is significantly less popular than the Queen was. We don’t think his coronation full of wealth and pomp is going to help during a cost of living crisis.

We’re really grateful to the SNP member who brought it up because it is important to know the perspective of the new first minister coming in because it’s not really a debate that’s happened at the top of the party so far.

There is a clear impact on people’s lives from Charles actively putting himself into the middle of the political arena as we saw last week when he intervened on the Brexit negotiations on behalf of Rishi Sunak.

In the past we’ve seen the monarchy’s impact has been to some extent to reinforce the status quo, we saw that with the independence referendum, but never has it been quite so blatant as a monarch actively intervening in negotiations on foreign affairs on behalf of the prime minister.

Not only do we have that, where the monarchy intervenes in the best interests of the Conservative Party, but for their own interests too when they meddle with our laws to ensure they don’t have to abide by the same laws as everyone else.

We also have the less direct impact of the monarchy, which is the underlying impact they have on what a society thinks is the right way society should work. The underlying belief that nepotism is okay, that the system of nods and handshakes between wealthy men is actually all right and proper.

Why should people be able to criticise Boris Johnson for giving his father a knighthood when we know that’s exactly how the monarchy works as an institution and the monarchy is raised up as the pinnacle of our society?

We have contacted all three candidates and asked if they would support the points that are made in our petition – to make the communication between the Scottish Parliament and the monarchy transparent, to remove exemptions to our laws that have been made for the benefit of the monarchy and its estates, and to ensure no further exemptions will be made in future.

We think that’s all common sense stuff that even monarchists should support if they believe that the founding principle of how our country should work, that everyone is equal under law, should also apply to the monarchy.

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Andrew – Earl of Inverness

A new poll has revealed that 72% of Scots believe Prince Andrew should be stripped of his Scottish title as the Earl of Inverness.

There aren’t many things that you can get everyone to agree on, but Prince Andrew has managed to nail down one.

After being gifted Inverness as a wedding present from his mum he has united the people of Inverness against him as he stained the reputation of the city by association.

After all he has done it is probably too much to expect him to do the right thing and abandon his titles.

But we should be able to expect his family to have some respect for the people they claim to lead by stripping him of them, and prevent the stain marring their communities any longer. Inverness deserves to be free of him.

Cities are made by their people, and those people have a right to decide who represents them. Never again should the privilege of that station be traded between a fading aristocracy as gifts.

Read our op-ed at the National –

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An Involuntary Union of Nations

The Supreme Court

Following referring an independence referendum bill to the Supreme Court, the Scottish Government has its answer – It does not have the power to organise a referendum on independence. The people of Scotland will be denied that vote on their future, regardless of who they elect to the Scottish Parliament or Westminster, unless the Government of the United Kingdom grants them one.

A significant part of the Supreme Court’s argument for rejecting the bid came from the idea of the threat a vote to become independent would have on the democratic legitimacy of the Parliament in Westminster:

A clear outcome, whichever way the question was answered, would possess the authority, in a constitution and political culture founded upon democracy, of a democratic expression of the view of the Scottish electorate.
The clear expression of its wish either to remain within the United Kingdom or to pursue secession would strengthen or weaken the democratic legitimacy of the Union, depending on which view prevailed, and support or undermine the democratic credentials of the independence movement. It would consequently have important political consequences relating to the Union and the United Kingdom Parliament.

Judgement of the Supreme Court

The basis for the decision is made clear here. Any independence referendum with any real legitimacy, such as organised through a Scottish Parliament that has the power and mandate to organise it, would have the authority of democratic expression of the Scottish People behind it. As such a vote to become independent would weaken the democratic legitimacy of the Union.

This, it seems, would be obvious. A Union held together despite a vote against it by one of its constituent nations would absolutely lack democratic legitimacy.

But does a Union held together by denying those nations the choice have any more legitimacy? Can such a Union claim to be one of voluntary consent if its members are denied the choice of whether to remain a part of it. Can it have democratic legitimacy if, after voting for a majority in favour of such a vote to their own Parliament, that chance to have their democratic will registered is denied?

Our Republic believes in an elected Head of State for Scotland precisely because we believe democratic legitimacy, mandate, and accountability for our state institutions is vital. We believe that without such legitimacy or accountability those institutions will stagnate and corrupt our society by embedding this contempt for democratic will and equality under law throughout our society.

This is true for the Union as well. Whatever your position on whether Scotland should be an Independent state – It is vital for that status to be supported by a democratic mandate and for there to be a democratic procedure by which the Scottish people can choose to end it.

Without that this Union cannot claim to be a voluntary contract by equal parties. It cannot claim to continue with the consent of its people. Can it claim to be a “Union” at all if you cannot choose to leave? Its continued existence will be forever seen as coercive, the iron grip of an institution that’s future is maintained through its power alone, not its legitimacy.

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Respect By Force

Charles sat on a throne of gold

By Tristan Gray – Convenor of Our Republic

As the news of the passing of Elizabeth Windsor filtered out the initial response was relatively subdued. The BBC, as expected, silenced its programming and various organisations and leaders expressed their condolences. We did as well, we’re aware that many were deeply shaken by her loss and wished them peace. 

But then came the rush to cancel life as we knew it for everyone in Britain. Football and rugby games were cancelled en masse, not cancelled by players or clubs but imposed upon them by their unions. The Trade Union Congress cancelled their conference at the last minute, leaving hundreds of delegates who had already booked leave, travel, and accommodation adrift. Both the Scottish Parliament and Westminster shut their doors, cancelling parliamentary business for weeks after only just having returned from their recess. 

All this as we have only just begun returning to some semblance of normality after years under the restrictions of a raging pandemic. 

But one institution seemed free to continue as the rest of the nation was frozen. The Monarchy itself. Within hours Charles had issued statements to the country under the title of King. Within days new titles were bestowed and every city in the country was expected to announce his ascension. His staff in his previous office of Prince of Wales were sacked and his brother, Andrew, announced as one of the four Counsellors of the State who may represent the nation in his stead when he is unable to do so – a staggering and unacceptable decision that debased the institution and the country it claims to represent.

Our lives could wait. His claim to power could not.

What is this all for? As a cost of living crisis bites and those most vulnerable cry out for aid, politicians are prevented from carrying out the vital work necessary to deliver them support and hold the government to account to provide that support. As crisis crashes towards us our representatives are frozen, unable to do their vital work to prepare for the winter ahead. 

Whilst those on the breadline struggle to hold on, hundreds of them on zero hour contracts saw those hours disappear as employers scrambled to cancel events in deference to a nationally imposed period of mourning. 

Our lives could wait. His claim to power could not.

All this in the name of “respect”. 

At the proclamation event for the new Monarch we called on republicans to make their objections heard, and heard they were. Their protests were captured in recordings and widely reported by the media, a brief glimpse of resistance to the media barrage of implicit consent by omission of dissenting views. 

The response? Our members, and those of the Radical Independence Campaign alongside us, were immediately detained by police. One protester who had a placard reading “F*ck imperialism – abolish the Monarchy” (which for those with experience of protesting will know is fairly mild) had the placard confiscated and then was arrested for “breach of the peace” and held into the evening by Scottish Police.

“Respect” wasn’t just to be expected as part of a period of enforced mourning for Elizabeth. It was also to be enforced, using the force of public order if necessary, to silence dissent to the new Monarch being imposed upon us, and the institution he represents. Only 45% of Scots support the Monarchy? Tough, your feelings are not relevant. Your betters have decided how you must feel on your behalf. It has decided how you must express your mandated mourning on your behalf. This period of mourning is being weaponised to ensure that no one questions the idea that Charles has our consent. His ascension was deliberately tied to the period of mourning for his predecessor to stifle resistance to his claim.

Politicians across Scotland have expressed their fears at what we’re seeing. Carol Mochan, Scottish Labour MSP, said “everyone has the right to express their opinions peacefully, this sets a dangerous precedent” Amy Callaghan, SNP MP, said “republican views are as valid as any other. No one should be arrested for just expressing that.” Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman called it “deeply concerning” and reminded us that “free speech underpins any Democracy. Peaceful protest must be protected.” Even David Davis, Conservative MP, wrote to the police saying “I hope that members of the public will remain free to share their opinions and protest in regard to issues about which they feel strongly.”

Is this all a true mark of respect to Elizabeth Windsor? A woman in part defined by a work ethic that had her refusing to ever take time away unless absolutely necessary. Who gave mere days between the death of her beloved husband of decades of marriage and returning to her public duties. That dedication to carrying on regardless was widely respected, even by some of those who rejected the institution she represented. 

Our establishment, rather than respecting that legacy, demands everyone do what she never would have done, downing tools and putting their duties on pause. A clear attempt to enforce a national mood of adoration and subservience to her deeply unpopular successor in a desperate attempt to shore up a crumbling institution. 

An institution that will be supported by the use of force if necessary.


Note: Mariángela, the protester with the placard, has now been charged and will be brought to the Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 30th September. They have issued a statement – We have a protest in solidarity planned.

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A Corrupt and Future King

By Tristan Gray – Convenor of Our Republic

It is the frequent defence of the institution of the Monarchy that it does not do any harm. It simply exists, powerless and inert, at the top of the British state, waving cheerily at a grateful public and claimed millions of desperate tourists.

But that isn’t the reality of our Monarchy. It does hold power. It does have influence. It hoards extraordinary wealth. It uses that, far from with a fixation on the country’s best interests, entirely to the benefit of the ambitions and interests of the members of its powerful and self-indulgent clan.

This could not be more clearly demonstrated by the Monarchy’s rally to the defence of Andrew against his sordid connections to Jeffrey Epstein and accusations of sexual abuse of a minor – Funding his legal defences, continuing to give him pride of place alongside his parents, and only making empty gestures at censure by stripping a few of his many titles and honours when it became clear that the contagion of his horrifying actions might stain his extended family in the public eye.

It could be said that was all a little late.

But at least the public have the comfort that it is not Andrew next in line to the throne. Eight others would have to exit this mortal coil before he’d be considered. No, instead we have the disliked but relatively harmless Charles. He is harmless, at least, right?

That would be what the Monarchy would like you to think.

Charles’ status as heir his entire life is exactly what makes him utterly incompatible with the station of Head of State

In just the past few months we have seen the following revealed of this would-be-King:

Some will argue that due to the limited power of the Monarchy all of this is tangential, our focus should be elsewhere, on other political reforms and on other forms of corruption.

But in Britain the Monarchy are the figureheads our entire society and political edifice is meant to be built below. They set the standards by which our elites measure themselves. Their corruption is, itself, corruptive. As long as the Monarchy remains, such brazen corruption as the Prime Minister’s resignation honours – the moment in which an ousted leader can reward all their cronies and bribes with unaccountable power for life in the House of Lords – remains the status quo of our politics.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and is there any such power more absolute than that completely free of accountability to the people? Charles is not a single rotten apple spoiling the barrel, he is simply the most fortunate among a family whose hereditary and deep-seated entitlement to power and freedom from accountability renders them utterly unfit to lead. This is not a problem with individuals, but with the entire institution. No one would be the perfect person able to rule as a benevolent dictator free of checks and balances.

They are all contaminated by the very thing that they claim gives them the divine right to rule. Rule by birthright is the problem. Succession by bloodline is the point of failure. Charles’ status as heir his entire life is exactly what makes him utterly incompatible with the station of Head of State. Charles Mountbatten-Windsor will inevitably rule as he lived, the rotting head of the withering remains of the British Empire.

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Rekindling the Debate

Image of Charles Mountbatten-Windsor with text "Is he what you want? Demand Better"

On Saturday 4th June we were joined by 100 other people from across Scotland and from as far as Nottingham to call for a Republic in Scotland. To say this exceeded our expectations would be an understatement. During a weekend where natural republicans understandably looked to get away and shut off the media barrage of Monarchist PR it was phenomenal to share the land in front of the National Monument with so many calling for change.

We heard from MP Tommy Sheppard, new Edinburgh Councillors and New Scots Yule Bandel and Martha Mattos Coelho. Activists and representatives from the SNP, Scottish Greens, Scottish Labour, Scottish Socialists, the Radical Independence Campaign, and the Republican Socialist Platform took up the mic to say their piece on their vision of a Scotland without the Monarchy. We are a democratic movement and that was made clear by everyone having a chance to stand before everyone and have their say.

From across the political spectrum came the same call – For an elected head of state for Scotland and an end to the hereditary Monarchy.

That’s healthy. That is what democracy should look like.

Beyond that not everyone agreed. There were speakers following one another who fundamentally disagreed in the political future of Scotland, and made that clear. Our audience challenged speakers when they disagreed and cheered their approval at words that called to them.

That’s healthy. That is what democracy should look like.

It is also an important step in the right direction. It’s taking the debate beyond our obvious shared platform and on to the important debates of what the specifics of our future should look like past the Monarchy we all know has to go. It’s the rekindling of the debate over the form our democracy should take and our relationship to other democracies around us.

We live in an era of “unprecedented” politics. Every year seems to bring another wave of norm-breaking events, political decisions, and international developments. It is only a matter of time before the next unprecedented event is the succession crisis of Charles Mountbatten-Windsor and the wave of republicanism that will come with it. We intend to be ready for that time. By making the arguments now, by restarting the debate, we can ensure we are ready to take on that crisis and win the argument for an alternative to succession by birthright.

We know the opinion of the Scottish public is swinging with us. Already only a minority still support the Monarchy and that proportion shrinks rapidly every year. So our role is not just to promote that journey but also to advertise and discuss the alternatives.

You can expect more of that from us going forwards. The debate that began at the Rally for a Republic will continue and we hope you’ll all be involved.

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Rally for a Republic

As support for the Monarchy falls to an all time low in the run up to the Platinum Jubilee, with only a minority of Scots supporting the retention of the Monarchy, we are hoping to provoke a long overdue discussion about the future of Scotland. A future without the Monarchy to become a republic.

On the 4th of June, Our Republic are organising a ‘Rally for a Republic’ on Calton Hill from 15:00. The rally aims to hear from speakers from across the political spectrum to demand and discuss a more democratic future for Scotland.

All power in Scotland should be founded on democratic principles. The monarchy is a corruptive influence on our society and culture, creating the impression that unaccountable power, being above the law, is a natural state for people with enough wealth and with the right families.

We want to offer an alternative vision of Scotland. A modern, forward thinking republic with a written constitution. Over the last five years, we have seen how undemocratic Britain has become. From proroguing parliament, political norms abandoned by the government, and high profile members of the royal family entitled to their status in line to rule our country being indicted in criminality. None of these things should be possible in a modern country.

“It is the right of people of Scotland to choose the governance that best represents them and remove that which they no longer consider just”

There is cross-party support for the principle that it is the right of people of Scotland to choose the governance that best represents them and remove that which they no longer consider just. A principle set out by the Claim of Right, signed by members of multiple political parties and community representatives from churches to trade unions. As the Monarchy loses majority support of the Scottish public it is time to reconsider whether their status is the will of the people of Scotland. It is time to re-open the debate and decide whether the successor to Elizabeth Windsor ought to be a man entitled by birth right or someone decided by and accountable to all of us.

We hope that Scotland will follow in the footsteps of many other commonwealth countries who are beginning to question the Monarchy. Barbados removed the Queen as head of state in November 2021, while Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis have all indicated they intend to follow suit. Similarly, the question has been raised recently in Canada where 60% of Canadians said the Queen and the Royal Family should have no formal role in Canadian society. We intend to make the case that our future lies with them, not with clinging to undemocratic institutions of our past.

Event page:

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This Annual Charade

Charles sits on a gold throne for the Queen's Speech

By Tristan Gray – Convenor of Our Republic

Is there any more ludicrous display which shows just how out of touch our political system is? A Prince sat in obsolete uniform, on a throne of gold surrounded by riches, flanked by family who have done nothing to earn their place, reading laws he has no choice but to sign.

This flagrant display of obscene wealth, of unearned and unaccountable power, by a Prince who feels entitled to rule by birth right, reading laws that require his signature to exist.

The searching of the cellars

This annual farce, this anachronistic pantomime, heralded by people in century-old suits searching the cellars just in case another Catholic has decided to stow barrels of gunpowder down there to massacre our Parliamentarians. What did the BBC note of this absurd ceremony? Only that it was a woman, for the first time, leading the profession of old men into the cellars.

It’s 2022. It has been 400 years since the Gunpowder Plot and it has taken this long to involve one woman in the proceedings. This isn’t a notable improvement, it’s pathetic, and our national media should have the nerve to say it.

For a marginally shorter 350 years an MP, elected by the people to represent them, is held hostage in Buckingham Palace for the duration of the speech. Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick explained that during his 2014 time being the designated hostage it was made clear to him that the military would literally immediately murder him if the Monarch came to any harm.

The MPs then ceremoniously slam the doors of parliament in the face of the Queen’s representative to signify their independence. That famous independence that requires that laws they vote for require the Monarch’s sign-off before they can become law. They then follow the representative as they’ve been instructed, in a fairly on-the-nose representation of how wafer-thin this independence truly is.

Is this who we are? Let alone who we want to be? This isn’t a play, some entertaining historic re-enactment you can go to to see how things used to be in our archaic past where the Monarchy ruled with entitled pomp and arrogance. This is a state proceeding our representatives are forced to undergo as if to rub their faces in how flawed and antiquated our democracy truly is.

We can do so much better than this charade. It’s time to drag ourselves into the present. It is time for change.

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The National – “Scottish republicans wish Jamaica ‘best of luck’ in abolishing monarchy”

Our comment was featured in the National in the wake of the visit of William and Kate to Jamaica this week:

“As a party to the exploitation and profiteering of the slave trade we in Scotland cannot compare our experience to that of the people of Jamaica, who suffered under the very same system that built much of Scotland’s modern prosperity. In the early 19th century Scots owned a third of slaves in Jamaica, and that is a legacy we must confront ourselves. Jamaica’s relationship with the British Empire, and the Monarchy that still marks their rule over that Empire as a point of pride, is necessary different from our own. This week we have seen demands for an apology from the Monarchy by protesters and dozens of pollical leaders in Jamaica for their part in the slave trade ahead of the visit of William Mountbatten-Windsor. It is right that the Monarchy, an institution that still continues to benefit from the wealth and power they gained from the horrors of the slavery, apologises for their part in that trade and the people of Jamaica have every right to demand that apology. For William to avoid it it is to deny his family’s direct profit from it, a denial which made from palaces and golden thrones is completely untenable.

Though our relationship to the legacy of the British Empire may be different, the nature of inherited, unaccountable and undemocratic power does not change, and nor does the right for a people to freely determine their own government and future. The people of Jamaica must be free to choose their own course and to choose who represents them, as should the people of Scotland. The only way to check this consent to rule is through democratic elections and an elected Head of State.

We wish the people of Jamaica the best of luck on their journey to implementing full democracy free from Britain’s Monarchy.

It is an example we should follow.”