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At some point today (around 5.30pm according to the Telegraph), Elizabeth Windsor will become the longest reigning monarch in British history. The Scottish Young Greens heard that she’d be in Edinburgh to open the new Borders Railway, so we decided that we’d throw her a retirement party!

Unfortunately, despite the party taking place right outside her house at Holyrood Palace, it appears she’s too busy to attend herself.

Here’s why we did it:

1. The future we want is a future without feudal relics.

Only two thirds of those aged 18-34 believe that Britain should continue to be a monarchy, compared with 89% of those over 55. That may still be a majority, but for many young people the monarchy as an institution should have gone the way of the fax machine.

The Scottish Young Greens hold the apparently controversial belief that kings and queens have no place in any contemporary democracy. Whilst the current Queen has been careful to keep her opinions private, Prince Charles has shown a willingness to hold more influence over government decisions, and we’d rather people in such positions of influence were elected.

2. She lives in enormous palaces; our housing has never been more precarious.

Between Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace, Kensington Palace, Holyrood Palace, Hillsborough Castle, Clarence House, Sandringham House, Balmoral Castle, and god knows how many other homes, Mrs Windsor could probably choose to sleep in a different bedroom every night of the year if she wanted to.

Meanwhile, young people’s housing is in crisis. With social housing decimated, and buying a house just a distant dream, we are forced into the private rented sector to deal with sky-high rent, exploitative landlords and letting agents, poor quality, and no stability.

3. It might be the only retirement party we ever get.

Changes in demography over the past few decades have made retirement benefits more difficult for governments to afford. The solution has been to raise the retirement age for those retiring in the future, meaning that today’s young workers might be working well into their 70’s.

In some of the poorest parts of Scotland, the raised retirement age is higher than life expectancy, which unsurprisingly is increasing much more quickly amongst the rich than amongst the poor. We reckon the money we spend on the monarchy would be better spent preventing a few of those people working themselves to an early grave.

Mike Williamson

About Mike Williamson

Mike has served various roles in the Scottish Green Party. In Edinburgh he campaigns on cuts and housing, and was closely involved in the Radical Independence Campaign.