THE Jubilee will be an opportunity to enjoy a holiday and to look back on the last 60 years. But it must also be an opportunity to look forwards to how people in Britain want their country to be governed in the coming decades.
The Queen must be congratulated on having done her job for so long, but what future for the monarchy after the end of her reign?
Is a hereditary head of state compatible with a modern democracy?
Do we want a head of state of great wealth and privilege but without any experience of lives that ordinary people live?
Should we not question a monarch who celebrates her anniversary by lunching with the King of Bahrain and others guilty of appalling human rights abuses?
And should we tolerate the lavish expenditure of her family when many are suffering from cuts in public services?
The Queen has a right and a duty, as her own website states, to comment on the affairs of government in her weekly meetings with the Prime Minister.
But from what experience of people’s concerns does she comment, and why are we not allowed to know at least what topics are discussed?
No-one wants a Blair or Cameron as head of state, but many other countries have elected presidents, better able to speak for the nation and with a well-defined constitutional roles.
Celebrate The Jubilee, but when it’s over let’s start the debate on what sort of head of state would best serve our national interests.
Dr Ken Ritchie
The Reform Foundation