Queen Elizabeth in a Royal Carriage

The Green Party of England and Wales has a longstanding position in opposition to the monarchy. Its policy currently states that the party supports a position where ‘no person shall acquire the right to any office of government by inheritance,’ ‘the monarchy shall cease to be an office of government’, and ‘peers and members of the royal family shall have the same civil rights and fiscal obligations as other citizens’.

Despite the Green Party’s republican stance, its official social media channels have posted to ‘thank’ the Queen for 70 years on the throne, coinciding with the jubilee weekend.

These posts have gone down badly with party activists and supporters. At the time of writing, the Tweet above has over 270 comments and more than 100 quote retweets, almost wholly negative. On Instagram, the same post has over 250 comments – again overwhelmingly negative. On Facebook there are over 100 comments, almost exclusively negative.

Many of these comments have come from members who hold or have held significant positions within the party.

Matthew Hull, chair of the Green Party Trade Union Group suggested this messaging – seemingly contradicting the party’s policies and values – would “demoralise our own activists”. Former deputy leader of the Wales Green Party Benjamin Smith said, “70 years of consistently undermining democracy at home and abroad is nothing to celebrate.” The former co-chair of Green Party Women Kathryn Bristow said, “We don’t have anything to thank her for, the very least she can do is abolish herself and pay reparations”.

Some members went further. Symon Hill, a member who is also a Campaigns Manager at the Peace Pledge Union, expressed disappointment at the party engaging in “royalist grovelling”.

Others took a more sarcastic tone. Ruthi Brandt, a former Councillor for the Greens in Oxford asked, “Who hacked @TheGreenParty’s Twitter account?” And Alexi Dimond, a Green Councillor in Sheffield tweeted, “Service to hierarchy, tax avoidance, imperialism and unearned hereditary privilege? It’s the 21st century. The Monarchy is an anachronism preventing equality, fairness and justice.”

Meanwhile, former Bristol City Councillor Rob Bryher put it simply – “Delete this tweet”. As did openDemocracy editor Adam Ramsay – ‘this is embarrassing.’

Despite the Green Party’s social media channels seemingly being unaware of the mood in the party, the Young Greens appear to have judged the tone a little better.

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Image credit: Michael Garnett – Creative Commons