At last – a Tony Benn article that doesn’t make me cringe.
MPs have to swear allegiance to the Queen before they can take their seats, while those joining the privy council – a requirement for all cabinet ministers – have to do so in person, on bended knee, before the Queen herself.
As an MP, my true allegiance was to my party, my constituents and, above all, my conscience. Therefore, in order to serve in the Commons and the cabinet, I had to tell 18 lies under oath, which I found deeply offensive.
Above all, the existence of a hereditary monarchy helps to prop up all the privilege and patronage that corrupts our society; that is why the crown is seen as being of such importance to those who run the country – or enjoy the privileges it affords.
On the media coverage of the Royal story David Aaronovitch is spot-on about the feeding frenzy.