Nothing is more obvious to humankind than the absurdity of monarchy; it is an affront to human dignity. And when a society lets itself be abused for centuries, it leaves disaster in its wake.
As with so many of the problems of the world, we are responsible for their creation in the first place.David Cameron, 2011
There’s a lot wrong with imperialism. A lot of the problems we are having to deal with now are a consequence of our colonial past. India, Pakistan – we made some quite serious mistakes. We were complacent about what happened in Kashmir, the boundaries weren’t published until two days after independence. Bad story for us, the consequences are still there. Afghanistan – where we played a less than glorious role over a century and a half .. The odd lines for Iraq’s borders were drawn by Brits. The Balfour declaration and the contradictory assurances which were being given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being given to Israelis – again, an interesting history for us but not an entirely honourable one.Jack Straw, New Statesman, November 18, 2002
There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776