Royalism is no excuse for inequality

Wanganui Chronicle editor Mark Dawson thinks having an unelected British head of state in New Zealand is probably a good thing because it is "slightly bizarre" and "defies logic". This is a common argument used by royalists to justify the fact that we live in a democracy but we are not allowed to choose our head of state. Dawson is at least up front about his allegiances and even if his arguments are weak (and his poll unscientific) he is expressing some of the contradictory beliefs underlying the current system. There is a strong need by many in New Zealand to insist that British culture remain in a position of privilege. It is part of our colonial history and is at the core of all colonial thinking - the idea that one culture is better or more worthy than all others and that inequality can be ignored so long as you are personally benefiting from it. Of course there are just as many New Zealanders with British heritage who celebrate fair play and democracy and who want Kiwis to have a proper, democratic head of state. Becoming a republic is not a rejection of British values. It is a rejection of royalism and inequality.

Long term we can't expect everyone to stop being enamoured by royality. There will always be people who think its somehow glamourous or noble or exciting. The palace will always have PR teams promoting the royal family as laudable and relevant but royalists can't expect to keep getting their own way for ever. New Zealanders have a right to choose their head of state and only New Zealanders can be eligible for role. It is time for Royalists to understand that their fascination with royalty is no excuse to keep the contradictions in place. We live in a democracy and a democratic head of state who lives and works here is far better for New Zealand.