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"We shouldn't have to swear allegance to the Queen."

YOU don't have to, because no one is holding a gun to your head to hold public office.

"I believe in a Republic, and why shouldn't we be allowed to say so?"

No one is denying you the right to advocate your political views. But when you say you "believe" in a republic, are you saying a republic would be a good thing, or that you believe your country IS a republic? Because that is the effective significance of altering the oath.

In the immortal words of the late, great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, everyone's entitled to their own opinion: no one's entitled to their own facts. The fact is that is that the UK is a monarchy and the present Queen is its head of state. To refuse to swear allegiance to the Crown is to refuse to pledge loyalty to the rule of law, to the principle of governing by constitutional rather than extraconstitutional means.

Nothing about swearing such an oath prevents anyone from advocating republicanism in good conscience: as has been previously been noted repeatedly, the oath contains the phrase "heirs and successors according to law." That is an acknowledgment of Parliamentary sovereignty: that any MP who swears that oath is equally bound not only to the present monarch but to whomever the law (enacted by Parliament) may in the future make that person's successor, which could include the head of state of a republic--to whom by their same oath monarchist MP's would also then equally be bound.

Well said Dave J. Sums it up perfectly.

This could well be an excellent move. By swearing to act in the interests of the constituents and the Nation, the job of the Whips could be made nearly impossible on contentious issues, like 42 days. The MP would be honour-bound to carry out the wishes of the constituency as presented by the Associations, giving a real boost to the democratic process. This is exactly why the idea is dead in the water.

Of course an MP shouldn't have to swear allegiance to an unelected head of state, who could quite possibly be mad or stupid. Plenty of them have been. Monarchy dilutes patriotism and the country and its citizens are quite capable of being worth swearing allegiance to on their own without being complicated by the unaccountable, unelected, unneeded Windsor family.

Again, Phillip, you're missing the point in arguing for a republic: the point is that the UK currently is a monarchy, and MP's are members of the monarch's parliament. To deny that isn't to advocate something: it's to deny legal reality, to pretend that the country already IS a republic. Ask yourself if the situation were reversed, whether you'd have a problem with monarchist MP's in a British Republic swearing an oath to the deposed monarch. If conversely Peter Bottomley wanted to swear an oath of loyalty to Franz of Bavaria as the Jacobite Pretender, the senior heir of the House of Stuart, that'd be his prerogative, but doing so would properly exclude him from taking a seat in the House of Commons.

To say an MP can swear an oath to "the country" or "the public" ignores the fact that the country IS presently a monarchy, whether one likes that or not. And I ask again, as I have before without answer, if this is OK for MP's, would it be OK for military personnel or for judges, whose oath secures their independence from the government of the day?

To refuse to swear allegiance to the Crown is to refuse to pledge loyalty to the rule of law.

Dave J, I hope you’re not offended by a bit of quaint British swearing but that’s utter bollocks. The oath doesn’t demand allegiance to the Crown, i.e. a symbol of the nation; a notional figurehead. It’s an oath of allegiance to a specific person: "I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth."

I would no more swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth than I would to George W or Mickey Mouse. I will not be bound to unthinkingly follow any person – and that’s what the oath requires. Am I somehow morally inferior for standing by my convictions on this? Perhaps you would rather that Parliament be full of people who are prepared to make expedient oaths?

YOU don't have to, because no one is holding a gun to your head to hold public office.

What sort of government prevents democratic election of non-conformists? For an American you have some surprisingly communist ideas.

I think that Peter Bottomley makes some sensible comments.

Careful George Hinton! He might enjoy that... ;-)

I find it somewhat amusing that when the dreaded word "Republic" is mentioned, all sorts of weird people start howling "Treason." They obviously fear their personal totem; i.e.the Monarchy, is under threat.
Surely the position of monarch is dependent on the will of the people? And it is the will of the people that should be paramount at all times. It is therefore logical that the people have the right to decide whether or not they desire a to live in either a monarchy or a republic.
The origin of a monarchy goes back to when gangs rather like modern Mafias, operated. The gangs offered the population the choice of violence or protection. The most dangerous thug eventually became "King" and his lesser henchmen ended up as the 'aristocracy'.
Until the Norman invasion, the English Witan elected their king. It was the evil William of Normandy who first introduced the rule of primogeniture, which subsequently resulted in so much suffering and brutality throughout British history.
As far as the crime of treason is concerned, it has mostly been used to protect the interests of whoever is seated on the Throne of England at the time. For example: The lunatic King Henry Vlll to protect his ill-gotten wealth stolen from the chuches, even decreed that it was treason to be a Roman Catholic, or even to only THINK negatively about the King.
So in the end and despite the hysterical howls from the royalists, I believe Mr. Bottomley is perfectly reasonable in what he suggests.

The Queen is the legitimate Head of State, and if MP's are not prepared to recognise this in an oath of allegiance, then they should not be MP's. However we are a democracy, and the monarchy is inherently undemocratic. It is right that, having sworn an oath of allegiance to our existing Head of State, our elected representatives should be able to work towards a change in our unwritten constitution to ensure that future Heads of State are elected.
There is no incompatibility between being a Conservative and being a republican.

What a sick and sorry lot all these grovelling royalists are. Mr. Bottomley has nowhere in his statement advocated the Republican cause. Yet despite this obvious fact, there have been hysterical responses accusing him of treason or worse.
It's about time all these so-called 'royalists' and other Flat Earth believers, shut their mouths and begin to listened to what the British public in general are saying.

Robert Brown
"..begin to listened to what the British public in general are saying."

Can't say I've noticed any clamouring on the streets or in the pub one way or t'other on the subject.

If there is to be consideration of a changed constitutional arrangement, then let it be comprehensive and above board. These piecemeal nibbles are an unwarranted diversion from other somewhat more pressing issues.

What is the intention? To nudge us unthinkingly into something else over a period of time, a la EU?

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