ON 30 January 1649, King Charles I was beheaded outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall as a man of blood, and an enemy of the people and of parliament.
After his execution, a Republic was proclaimed. The House of Lords was abolished and the new ruling class, led by Oliver Cromwell, proceeded to lay the basis for the industrial revolution and the rise of British capitalism.
Cromwell had sought a compromise with Charles but the latter could not change the habits and beliefs of a lifetime and of feudal society, that he was the ‘Lord’s annointed’, ruled by divine right and had therefore no need for parliaments, except for taxation purposes.
The UK ruling class has always been embarrassed by the fact that it beheaded the monarch of the day and established a republic through a civil war in order to take political power and run Britain. They definitely do not want the working people of the UK to follow their example on how to deal with would-be usurpers.
So ever since the Restoration, they have sought to use the monarchy to keep the support of the middle class, and also to maintain the support of the army, which was seen as vital after their experiences with the New Model Army of Cromwell.
The current Royal Family plays that role, with its sons all part of the military establishment, and posing from time to time as ‘ordinary people’ to titillate the middle class. The current Prince Charles has even proven to be adept at using this weakness of the bourgeoisie to get the better of parliamentary politicians to get his way. The would-be Charles III is a chip off the old block.
His great friends are the Saudi autocrats who are also convinced that they rule through God’s will. As far as parliament is concerned, the latest Freedom of Information revelations, which took years to expose, show that Charles considers his role to be to police and overview the parliament, which he incessantly lobbies over its proposals, debates and decisions.
The campaign group Republic, after years of trying, has been able to reveal that Prince Charles now routinely has sent to him highly confidential Cabinet papers which ‘ordinary ministers’ don’t see, in contravention of the government’s own rules.
Using the papers, Prince Charles targets those ministers that he wants to influence and direct. Republic points out that Charles is a major landowner and holds the Duchy of Cornwall, also that the Royal family holds the properties of the Duchy of Lancaster, and many others, thus Charles could even benefit from first sight of market-sensitive information without any need to disclose his financial interests. He is privileged.
The revelations came from the Cabinet Office ‘Precedent Book’, released to Republic’s researchers under a Freedom of Information request. The research is part of a new Royal Secrets report to be launched this week.
Graham Smith, Republic’s CEO, said today: ‘The disclosure of cabinet papers to Prince Charles is quite extraordinary and completely unacceptable. Not only because they would contain highly classified information but because it gives him considerable advantage in pressing his own agenda when lobbying ministers.
‘Charles is essentially a minister not attending cabinet. He gets the paperwork and has private meetings with ministers about policy. Charles has no legitimate need to see Cabinet papers at all. His political and private interests and the high degree of secrecy surrounding his lobbying mean there is a real danger this information can be abused without any possibility of accountability.’
In the letter to David Cameron, Republic has said: ‘The fact that, in addition to his right to secretly lobby ministers, Charles has privileged access to Cabinet papers is a further cause for concern as it means he is able to lobby ministers in secret at every stage of policy development process.’
The issue is clear. Charles is part of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in the UK, and plays an active part in its rule, seeing secret papers even before ministers get to them. The way forward for workers in the UK is clear. It must be a socialist revolution to go forward to a Workers Republic with both its bosses and its Royal Family consigned to Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors.