Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

“Monarchy is steeped in the crimes of British colonialism and imperialism” – Statement Issued by PBP Belfast Councillor Matt Collins

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Vincent Doherty reports :

Hear,hear comrades. I remember being at the front of a banned march in Derry in 1977 to mark the Queens visit. Some of those who organised and took part in the march are the same people in Stormont now fawing over the late monarch. Shame on them, shame, shame, shame!

Vincent Doherty


Today, Belfast City Council will meet for a special meeting to pay tribute to the Queen and welcome the coronation of a new King.

People Before Profit will not participate in these tributes. As a socialist organisation, we view celebration of the monarchy as an inherently political act.

There is no lack of sympathy on our part for any individual who dies, and we are not without respect for those who wish to mourn at this time.

However the succession of a new king into a role of social and economic entitlement, is not something we can celebrate or pay tribute to. We view the monarchy as a relic of the past, and an institution whose time is up.

During a cost of living crisis, when more and more people are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table, it is obscene that millions will be spent on a lavish cornation ceremony for a future monarch.

Furthermore, the history of the monarchy is steeped in the crimes of British colonialism and imperialism.

People Before Profit respects those who wish to mourn at this time but we are disappointed by some of the mainstream political parties here, who fawn uncritically over the monarchy, and fail to point out the role it has played in spearheading British imperialism and colonalism over the centuries, as well as copperfastening the kind of inequality we witness across society today.

Those parties who wish to pay tribute to the monarch today may do so, but People Before Profit respectfully decline to participate.

We redouble our efforts to fight for a socialist society, one free from the archaic institutions of the monarchy, and ultimately one free of the class inequalities the monarchy has become emblematic of upholding.

Paul McCarthy, in this letter published in the Irish Times (September 15 2022), tells it like it is :

Attitudes to British royalty

Sir, – There has been much praise in your paper over the last few days for the recently deceased British head of state Queen Elizabeth. Much of this praise focuses on her sense of duty and her preservation of the British monarchy.

One wonders how praiseworthy it is to preserve an institution which is characterised by obscene unearned wealth, massive privilege, special tax breaks, nauseating deference, silly titles and even sillier uniforms.

All for a small group of people chosen simply by virtue of their birth who are all now rotated upwards in a self-perpetuating process. Like bald men fighting over a comb, they dispute the minutiae of titles and hierarchy.

Their sense of values are best illustrated by the importance to them of their very young children acquiring titles such as prince and princess.

Much is made of their sense of “duty” but then there are many people in the world who would be more than happy to perform the same “duties” for a minuscule amount of the attendant lifestyle.

One wonders how a modern European state could accept this feudal anachronism. Queen Elizabeth’s supreme achievement over 70 years was to get so many people in Britain and around the world, and even here in Ireland, to buy into this Ruritanian pantomime. – Yours, etc,



Irish Times, September 15 2022

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  1. […] “Monarchy is steeped in the crimes of British colonialism and imperialism” – Statement Issued … […]

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