At qwghlm, Chris dissects the ‘myth of 62p’, the amount that the Royals cost each UK resident, each year. He rightly points out that the figure is derived from the civil list, and does not include those associated costs such as security for royal visits and weddings. I might also add that the 62p figure is derived by dividing the total cost (£37.4m) by the population of the UK (approximately 60m), whereas it should be divided by the number of taxpayers, which would yield a significantly higher figure.
While I understand the nature of Chris’ argument, I fear it will fall on deaf ears. Debates over cost will always be futile, because – as he points out, in fact – many monarchists will declare 62p to be good value for money, and would be glad to pay more.
The argument over the monarchy is an argument over the very system of politics, not value judgements over the allocation of our shared wealth and resources. The debate cannot therefore be about value-for-money, or economics. The monarchy institutionalises privilege at the very centre of our political system. It would still be immoral even if it were free. In fact, it would still be immoral if the Queen paid us to be Head of State. Cutting down the civil list, and persuading the Royals to pay tax, are mere fudges designed to give the impression of progress, where in fact none is being made. It would be more honest if Her Majesty had kept her Royal Yacht, her private jets, and locked the tourists out of Buckingham Palace. We would then look upon her as she truly is: Not some kind of A list celebrity, but as the hereditary ruler of these islands, with dominon over us all, her subjects.