Opinion: We should all be born equal

Royal familyOf course the birth of a baby is a joyous occasion and only the most cold-hearted of person would fail to wish any new parents and their newborn well.

But, that having been said, today’s sycophantic media coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge’s going into labour has shown, yet again, that all too many journalists appear to lose their critical faculties when it comes to anything Royal.

They seem to forget that polls consistently show that a sizeable percentage of the population support a democratic alternative to the Monarchy, a Republic.

I feel for the baby itself; let’s remember that, before it’s even been born, its most basic choices have been stripped away from it.

This child won’t have freedom of choice or freedom of conscience.

They will have to be in the CofE, whether or not they have any particular religious belief at all, and more than likely will be forced to join the Armed Forces, regardless of their personal opinions of defence matters, of peace and war, and so on.

That’s but two of the areas over which this new human being will not be able to exercise the most basic of fundamental human rights.

So I, and my colleagues in Lib Dems For A Republic, argue what we do not only because we believe in having a democratic head of state, but also because we believe in freeing up the members of the current Royal Family, so they can become private citizens and can have the choices which have been so cruelly taken away from them by the institution into which they were born.
Indeed, if they then wanted to stand for public office it’d be their choice, not a consequence of the accident of birth.

So, I wish this baby a long and happy life, but I hope it’s freed from the shackles of Monarchy and is, instead, able to live a full life, full of all the choices and, yes, possible mistakes, the rest of us take for granted.

We should all be Born Equal.

* Mathew Hulbert is a parish Councillor in Leicestershire.

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  • Eddie Sammon 22nd Jul '13 - 5:12pm

    I’m a big fan of Republic and getting rid of the monarchy. However I would only advocate it as Lib Dem policy when the public are in favour of it. In the meantime I think it is good that we keep up such campaigns to sway public opinion.

  • Stephen are you smoking something? None of us can become head of state so we are clearly not born equal and we are not born before god as there is no evidence supporting god’s existence.

  • Good article btw.

  • Irrelevant to the vast majority of population. Move on.

  • Cllr Mathew Hulbert 22nd Jul '13 - 7:43pm

    Thanks Lucas. Appreciate your feedback. Are you signed up to Lib Dems For A Republic?

  • Graham Martin-Royle 22nd Jul '13 - 9:26pm

    Apparently some woman called Kate has given birth to a baby boy. Yawn!

  • Andrew Martin 22nd Jul '13 - 10:16pm

    “They seem to forget that polls consistently show that a sizeable percentage of the population support a democratic alternative to the Monarchy, a Republic.”

    Is this your way of spinning poll figures that go massively the other way?

    For example, . Yougov found 73 to 16 in favour last year: http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ir6eqjwsex/YG-Archives-Life-RoyalFamily-YouGovQs-300512.pdf

  • Stuart Mitchell 22nd Jul '13 - 10:26pm

    “We should all be Born Equal.”

    I share the sentiment, but abolishing Royalty would be an empty gesture that would go no way to bringing about equality of opportunity. At least the Royals have the virtue of providing escapist entertainment to millions of people. Anybody serious about people being “born equal” would be more concerned about things like abolishing private education, banning inheritance of wealth, and so on.

  • @Stephen W

    We are not all born equal. My niece was born last November. Her chances of being a future head of state should be negligible. In fact, without a change on the system, they are zero even if she grows up to aspire to that position and regardless of how well she would do the job. That’s not equality.

  • We are all born with, and through our lives acquire, duties and responsibilities. Some of those duties and responsibilities we choose; others we do not, whether they be looking after a disabled child or taking care of an ailing parent.

    This baby, like all of us, will have some responsibilities and duties to choose, and others that are not chosen but must nevertheless be fulfilled.

    Monarchy is the ultimate throw of the dice, the ultimate random factor. Any of us might have been born with the duty to wear the crown; if you think it’s that much of an imposition, why don’t you simply be glad that the duty did not fall to you, rather than carping about the system?

  • My answer to this question is that – Personally, I could do without the monarchy. As a politician, however, I wouldn’t seek to abolish it as things stand, because so many people want it to continue. However, I do think they should pay their fair share of tax, and I really don’t think Prince Charles has any business writing private letters to Government and telling them what to do. It’s not the way a future King should behave.

    I suppose that’s a kind of softly-softly approach, which might or might not gradually undermine the monarchy. It’s actually, I think, more likely to do that than a full-on republican attack. If it doesn’t – well, personally I’m sincere. We can’t scrap it, much as we might like to, if the majority don’t want it scrapped.

    Mind you, what happens when the Queen eventually drops down dead aged 100+? Charles takes over? Or William? Or panic and confusion? Who knows?!

  • William Summers 23rd Jul '13 - 12:10am

    Hear hear Matthew.

    I’m not sure how some people (including above) can justify such sycophantic one-sided media coverage of the monarchy and royal baby when at least 1 in 5 (i.e. millions!!) want a different system. It shouldn’t be dismissed so casually, like it’s some kind of radical minority. If you need a reality check on it, compare it to the lib dem vote share / no. of MPs / opinion polls… I can’t imagine many lib dems would accept the party being excluded from media coverage because it only polls 12%.

  • Stephen W

    And all this Royal rubbish is interesting?

    I think we should be very careful on this high approval rating for the monarchy. Remember that the status quo has a passive support. Brenda has been on the throne 60 years and most people do not remember a time without her – this has to be taken into consideration when discussing monarchy – it is only as popular as the individual on the throne.

    The passive support for the monarchy is also a ‘soft’ support as was seen in 97 and can quickly swap over. This may be the case when Charlie becomes King and we have a situation where the heir is more popular then the monarch – how many calls will there be for Charles to be overlooked in favour of William (obviously not possible under the current law). The 20% is pretty solid even considering the positive media spin and I can see it only increasing as we see a change of monarch and as we move through the generations.

    The Crown is far too embedded in our constitution to envisage a radical change quickly but it may be that we are seeing the best of it for the monarchy and the future may not be so bright.

  • NukedOnTheAve 23rd Jul '13 - 8:07pm

    We are all born [almost] equal give or take 4 lbs and a feet or so. Its when a person grows up that his or her attention span, focus of mind, differentiation of absolute and side matters and ambitions to particular career that sets them apart. Any disregard to such differences makes any real attempt to permeate engagements to any extent within the society, unrealistic thus the irony of the ‘realist’ unrealistic rejecting surreal achievements of each and individual being. The Monarchy when successful to fulfill her unspoken role, provides continuity and stability to his/her nation. Hence such countries would have lesser risk to internal conflicts or civil wars. Particularly when his/expenditures are linked to IR you see a tendency to be fair and comprehensive in its just system. Its only when they depart from their duties and ideal values of societies that criticsms should rise and the options made available for them to understand better their duties. The fact that people are able to voice their concerns and thus interrelate with each other on a satisfactory level is an initial indicator to a functioning nation. You should be able to gauge where you are going with your argumentations so that people are actually able and capable to be a decent human being. Otherwise, you would be happy transferring other achievements to call your own and blaming other countries when your house gets blown down. Really, do you mind [nkopwrr]?

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Jul '13 - 8:38am

    Another distraction. The monarchy is a rather silly bit of tradition, but many people enjoy it.

    Anyone who is REALLY fighting for equality should be fighting against ALL inherited privilege. Why go on and on about this particular baby, but say nothing about the many other babies born to extremely wealthy families who will also lead immensely privileged lives and have a huge advantage in life to move on and maintain their privilege for the next generation? Or the many babies born to poor families whose life will always be a struggle because of that and whose chances of getting anywhere are very much reduced?

    Republicans in the UK remind me of Republicans (and Democrats) in the USA. They think because their country has no monarchy or aristocratic titles, it is a very equal country. In fact it is one of the most unequal countries on the earth in terms of wealth and life chances. It is inherited wealth that’s the issue, not silly things like historical titles.

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