Why we protest

This great country of ours is full of creativity, potential and possibility. The problems we face can mostly be traced back to our flawed political system, one that puts too much power in the hands of too few.

The campaign for a republic is about democratic reform, democratic principles and ridding the country of an institution that serves itself and those in power - the few, not the many.

Most people in the UK believe in democratic values and the importance of democracy in creating a prosperous and fair society. These principles and values matter. So our national institutions should reflect and celebrate those values, and live up to the highest standards of openness and accountability.

The monarchy stands firmly against these principles, instead representing exclusion, elitism and hereditary power and privilege at the expense of everyone else. It forces us to compromise our commitment to democracy to make room for this feudal institution. On a point of principle alone the monarchy should be abolished.

There are no good reasons for keeping the monarchy. Claims that it delivers stability or economic benefits are wrong. Yet the monarchy fails us in so many ways. Not least, it is a corrupt institution. The royals spend public money - your money - on their own travel, palatial homes and luxurious lifestyles every day of the year. The institution costs us at least £345m a year, money that should be spent on public services.

The monarchy is secretive and they demand - and get - exemptions from hundreds of laws, including environmental protection regulations and race discrimination laws.

The case against the monarchy is much more than an argument against the royals. The monarchy stops us having an effective, independent head of state. The monarch will always do what he's told by the government. The Crown puts enormous power into the hands of the government, at the expense of parliament and the people.

What we want is simple: a more democratic Britain. A political system where we elect our head of state and all our parliamentarians - so no Lords! - and where everyone's interests can be championed by people with real power. That means shifting power from government to parliament and parliament to people, having a written constitution that sets out what those powers will be and an independent head of state to ensure the rules are followed.

In other words, we want to take what we have and make it better, more democratic, top to bottom with no room for hereditary titles and positions.

A parliamentary republic is a successful and tested model. Just look at places like Ireland, Iceland, Germany and many other countries around Europe. And so often they get to choose great heads of state, like Michael D Higgins in Ireland.

Britain is an amazing place, full of talent and promise. We're being let down by our political system. We should be more ambitious about the reform we need.


Next: Abolishing the monarchy