s someone who believes that the head of state should be elected, I will be politely declining King Charles’ invitation to swear an oath of ‘true allegiance’ to him on 6th May.
It’s not that I don’t like the man.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I have a deep respect and admiration for his commitment to the many environmental causes that he has used his position to champion and promote over several decades, long before it was considered fashionable to do so, or contentious not to.
I don’t have an issue with his choice of partner, as some do, nor do I sit in judgment on the way in which other members of his family have chosen to behave, either publicly or privately.
I also refuse to hold it against him that he will always be overshadowed by the example of committed public service set by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
I simply believe that if we must have a new King, he should be swearing allegiance to the people of this country and not the other way round.
While the Coronation weekend provides a welcome opportunity to spend time with family, friends, neighbours and others within our communities, it is also a political event. As such, it should provide the British people with a chance to reflect on how well our political institutions are really serving us.
What still remains
When the gazebos and bunting have all been folded away, we will still be in the middle of a cost of living crisis. There will still be growing wealth and social inequality, the NHS will still be in need of intensive care.
We will still be dangerously unprepared for the climate crisis. A feudal display of deference to an unelected head of state changes none of these things. Rather it legitimises the persistent failure of our political institutions to govern in the interests of the majority, and masks the reality that we really need to talk about modernising our democracy.
Pat Osborne, North Dorset Labour Party