It has been reported over the past week that Anti-Monarchy campaigners are pushing for a legal challenge to the Oath of loyalty that MP’s swear to Her Majesty the Queen. I take issue with this for a number of reasons. At the most basic level, as most of you who read this blog regularly will be acutely aware, I am a staunch Royalist however my issues with this proposition are far deeper than mere ‘Royalist rambling’. I see this, as one Conservative MP has already acknowledged, as an assault on the state and the institution of monarchy which is as integral to the state as the House of Commons.
22 MP’s have signed a Commons motion put forward by the Lib Dem MP Norman Baker calling for a changing of the oath whilst the pressure group Republic has hired Human rights lawyer Louise Christian to represent them in their High Court challenge to the current oath. The argument has been put forward that the current oath is a violation of their Human Rights and they should be free to refuse to swear loyalty to the Queen if it stands in direct contradiction to their belief or faith.
Correct me if I am wrong but surely by becoming an MP you are entering an arena which is supposed to put the national interest above your own? If you chose to become a servant of the state I believe you should put your own personal predjudices aside and serve in the interests of the citizens and institutions of this land and not your own. Instead these MP’s have decided to act out in a most undignified and most importantly unjusitifed manner and attack an oath that symbolises nothing more than loyalty to the state.
These MPs’ do not represent a majority of the House of Commons or indeed public opinion. In total 22 MP’s out of 649 have signed this petition. Most frankly would see no reason to change the current situation or oath because in no way does it impact on their ability to represent their constitutents. If it did I would actively support the removal of the oath but it doesn’t so I don’t. These individuals are obviously anti-royal, they are obviously acting out of individual interest rather than in the interests of their constituents which as far as I am concerned flies in the face of everything the House of Commons stands for.
For now at least the Queen is the Head of State and as such she deserves a degree of deference and respect. If you as an individual actively chose to enter the political fray you are first and foremost a representative of the people yes, but you are also an employee of the state, a state headed by the Queen and you must be respectful of the fact that the instituion of monarchy is, for now at least, an integral institution of the state you claim to want to serve. The oath is a requirement of the job you agree to take on.
These MP’s justify their campaign on the grounds that they want to swear allegience to their constituents rather than the Queen. Forgive me but this shows just how little they understand the oath and its implications. By swearing an oath of allegiance to the Head of State MP’s are by implication swearing allegiance to the State itself. This means under the current oath they are already swearing allegiance to the state and all its citizens so there justification is completely bankrupt.
The remarkable thing about our head of state is she has no opinion, at least not officially. This means we can all rally around her in times of national triumph or tragedy without a deep personal or political qualm. Her wisdom and her longevity are her strengths whilst her impartiality is what makes her truly unique. Whilst she serves with the consent of the majority of the people, which is currently the case, then our MP’s have a duty to respect her as the Head of State.
I find it disguisting that these self serving individuals can claim it is a violation of their human rights to swear an oath to the Head of State of the nation and the people they claim to want to represent. Perhaps they should go to Zimbabwe or Sudan and find out what real Human Rights violations are. My advice to them would be get on with your job, serve your constituents and not yourself. If all you have to do with your time is launch an assault on the oath of allegience then you clearly aren’t doing your job.