Alex O’Connor, also known as Cosmic Skeptic, shares his thoughts about the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III
A recent poll suggests 78% of young people don’t care about the monarchy and that 40% would prefer an elected head of state. Alex O’Connor recently appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored to discuss these results in light of the upcoming coronation of King Charles III. The below article is an adaptation of some of his comments on the show, but you can watch the whole encounter on Alex’s YouTube channel here.
Speaking to Piers Morgan, Alex said: “You describe this poll as shocking and said that some people would even prefer an elected head of state as if that was some kind of radical idea for this country. I don’t think it’s a surprise that young people in this country are quite mystified by this bizarre relic of our constitution that still relies on the notion that hereditary political office is legitimate.”
Piers Morgan suggested that the King’s coronation will provide the “whole world” with an opportunity to “see our country at its best doing what very few places can do. The pomp, the pageantry, the military procession, and it’ll make us all feel proud”. He then asked: “What’s wrong with that?”
Alex responded: “There is nothing wrong with the country celebrating, but don’t do it on my dime. The coronation is being funded by the taxpayer. If it were true that this ceremony is essentially going to pay for itself, then why is it that the Government and the King felt it necessary to say this would be a service that had value for the taxpayer? Why are the taxpayers even involved at all?”
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After a discussion about the value of the royal family, Alex shared some of his thoughts:
“We’re often told that we don’t really have a good alternative to the monarchy in this country. But I feel like we’re already living it: I’m told, on the one hand, when I complain about the illegitimate influence that the monarchy has over the politics of this country, that they don’t really have any power at all, they don’t really do anything – they cut a few ribbons here and there, except for the legal and tax exemptions that they have, the influence over the Prime Minister, perhaps this is true, maybe they really don’t have the power. But, on the same token, if I suggest we should get rid of them altogether, people say they are integral to the upkeep of the political system. Royalists seem to want to have their Victoria Sponge cake and eat it too!”
He continued: “There are plenty of ways to engender national spirit and buttress the economy that don’t involve subscription to a controversial hereditary dynasty, whose right to rule is still officially legitimised by the authority of an Anglican God that doesn’t exist. I’m sorry, I just can’t take this seriously. I understand why they have to keep up with the crowns and the capes. Without these, who are these people?”
Taking something of an exception to Alex’s comments, Piers Morgan retorted: “Who are you, an atheist anti-monarchist, to tell me how this country should be run?”
Alex responded by saying: “The only qualification a person needs to criticise the head of state is citizenship within that state. The moment somebody claims the right to rule over me by birth, I think I automatically adopt the right to criticise them too. I would rather have an elected head of state.”
This article is an adaptation of some of Alex O’Connor’s comments on Piers Morgan Uncensored. Watch the whole encounter on Alex’s YouTube channel here.
Alex O’Connor, also known as Cosmic Skeptic, is host of the Within Reason podcast.
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