We're continually told that the Queen has done a good job, that she has "never put a foot wrong". But does her record really live up to these claims? How does she measure up against elected leaders? Could Britain have done better? The republican cause is about the rights of all citizens to challenge and hold to account, as well as elect, our public servants.  That includes our current head of state.  To go along with the mythology of the faultless Queen or to accept the praise heaped upon her without challenge would be to abandon that fundamental right. To unquestioningly agree with monarchists that the Queen has never made a mistake would undermine the case for an elected head of state and our own credibility. It simply isn't believable that anyone can hold office without making mistakes, while an assessment of the Queen's career raises a number of serious questions. In a new pamphlet coming out this week Republic will argue that Elizabeth Windsor's record is one of failure and resistance to change.  In seeking to break the taboo about criticising the Queen 60 Inglorious Years will provoke a more honest and intelligent debate about the kinds of head of state we could aspire to have. The rose-tinted view that Elizabeth Windsor is fautless implies that while intellectual objection to the hereditary system is OK, criticism of 'her majesty' is one heresy too far. Attack the institution, criticise the offspring if you will, but we must all go along with the view that our apparently divinely-appointed monarch is the best head of state we could ask for. We completely reject that idea.  It is both the right and the responsibility of citizens in a democracy to openly and vocally question the track record of our head of state. Those who hold public office must be subjected to scrutiny, challenge and criticism. The Queen is no exception. Elected heads of state can be openly challenged and they must also compete for their position.  That is a real strength and a reason why democracy can provide us with people who are able to represent and inspire us, speaking for the nation at times of crisis and celebration in a way the Queen has never done. This isn't simply a matter of personal criticism, although Elizabeth Windsor has to be responsible for her record.  It is about making the case that the monarchy produces a certain kind of head of state, one incapable of doing the job properly, while denying us opportunities to elect real leaders to the post.

60 Inglorious Years will be published this week when it will be available to order from our online shop.