July 23, 2013 3 Comments
A new baby is a moment of joy. However you view how we got here, it is a miraculous event. I can recall the wonder at holding something I had been instrumental in creating. A real sense of responsibility coursed through me, as well as a sense of bewilderment.
The birth of a child to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will bring much pleasure to them and their families. I congratulate and celebrate in much the same way as I would for every birth, for all children matter, everywhere.
This new Windsor already enjoys fame, and one day could become Head of State. By my reckoning this new life is already third in line; they could be Head of Sate tomorrow if disaster were to befall the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge.
I am a Republican. This means that I wish for a democratically elected Head of State for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. No-one knows how this child will turn out, but its suitability for the job is a mixture of fluke of birth and its indoctrination to come. My wish for an end to this medieval practise will fall on deaf ears, and to be honest it is very low on my list of priorities – I am not about to foment revolution. I wish the Royal Family no harm at all, and am as fascinated by anyone by the pomp and history. I signed the Queen Mother’s Memorial Book in the run-up to her funeral, and as I was working in London even saw a bit of the funeral procession. (By accident I saw her coffin come to London from Windsor whilst on one of lunchtime walks – I was working in South Kensington at the time.) I expect change will come slowly and gradually.
This child is born into a Britain where a third of children live in poverty. Its wealthy surroundings are at odds with the reality facing four million children. So, while we celebrate with the Cambridges let’s also ponder how a 21st Century Britain can address the issue of child poverty (and perhaps think about creating a more democratic country as well).