Above The Law, Beyond Control

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The Guardian newspaper has revealed that British citizens cannot take racial or sex discrimination cases against the hereditary head of state. The police cannot enter his properties, including his commercial premises, to investigate crime without his permission. He is exempt from laws on the rights of workers, pensions and heath and safety at work.

Windsor is also immune to parliamentary control. According to the handbook of parliamentary procedure the representatives of the people may not do anything to “bring the name of the sovereign or influence of the crown directly before parliament”.

In all 160 laws passed since 1967 have been written to give Windsor what the Guardian called “sweeping immunity from swathes of British law”. Many give his special protection for his property interests. These immunities are in addition to those Windsor benefits from as head of state.

Windsor is exempt from payment of taxes, including those on land purchases. And he is exempt from providing information to tax collectors. He is also exempt in part from duties on air travel. his properties are exempt from compulsory purchase.

The police and water bailiffs are not allowed to make environmental inspections nor make enforcement visits to his properties without his permission. The Scottish government was made to give Windsor’s private solicitors a copy of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) proposed legislation for review before the Scottish parliament could pass it into law. This was because the new law might affect the Windsor’ salmon fishing business.

The arrogant monarchist establishment, as ever, puts the privileges of the monarchy before the law and before the interests of citizens. Government officials refused to talk to the Guardian about the process by which the exemptions from the law had been obtained, adding contempt for democratic accountability to contempt for the law.

The Guardian was told by Thomas Adams, an associate professor of law at Oxford University, that the exemptions from the law “relate largely to the economic interests” of Windsor.

However, they also served the purpose of stopping the institution of monarchy coming into disrepute. These exemption make legal for Windsor what might otherwise be illegal. So he cannot be accused of breaking the law when he does things that would be illegal for the rest of us. Thus the monarchists hope to protect the feudal institution from exposure to another cause for condemnation.

These legal privileges do confirm beyond doubt that there is no equality before the law while there is monarchy. And no limit to the monarchists’ arrogance and contempt for the people.

Guardian report –