Readers' letters: The Royal Family is not above politics

Alexander McKay (Letters, September 14) suggests a constitutional monarchy is above politics. Is that so?

Can he explain why Charles III should be exempt from paying the 40 per cent inheritance tax on his late mother’s private fortune? The rest of us plebs get no such break.

The Queen regularly invoked Queen’s Consent, which gives the monarch advance sight of legislation, to avoid taxes and used offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands to invest her money.

Here in Scotland, the Queen’s lawyers secretly lobbied Scottish ministers to exempt her from a draft law that would require cuts in carbon emissions on her land, making her the only person in the UK not required to accommodate the construction of pipelines to heat buildings with renewable energy.

The House of Windsor represents hereditary rule, inherited wealth and privilege, and keeps the poor and working class in their place. It’s why the UK remains a 21st century feudal society.

An independent Scotland may choose to retain the monarchy. But not one that elevates itself above the people and the law.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Let Scotland choose

Alastair Murray, (Letters, 12 September), completely misses the point. Yes, Denmark signed a ‘joint statement’ with Rwanda, like the UK; no migrants have yet been sent and many Danes are unhappy about the deal, as are many Scots with the UK deal.

The Scottish Government's first white paper on independence quite rightly point out the many positive policies and circumstances in Denmark and several other similar sized countries that an independent Scotland may look to adopt, such as a strong democratic tradition, a written constitution, a healthier and socially fairer society, a world leading green industry and a strong economy.

The crucial point that was missed is that staying in the UK, Scotland cannot choose which of the policies, from these or any countries, it wants to adopt (or not).

Only independence will give Scotland the power to choose its own path.

Peter Glissov, Edinburgh.

Award error

Your report (12 September) mentions that Prof Sir Geoff Palmer has been given the 2022 “Edinburgh Award” by Edinburgh Council.

He doesn’t seem to fit the criteria. According to the Council the first criterion for the recipient is the “individual was born in Edinburgh or has lived in the city for the past 12 months”.

Evidence points to him being born in Jamaca and living in Penicuik, Midlothian. If the criteria are to be ignored, other deserving individuals could have been considered.

Whether you agree with the praise from the Lord Provost “he has conducted himself with absolute distinction” depends on your views following his reported outburst when he disagreed with eminent historians regarding some interpretations of slavery.

Part of the award involves the individual have their handprints kept in concrete at the City Chambers.

If it is too late to cancel this, a plaque should be erected pointing out the award was a mistake.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

Lying in state

Three Scottish kings lie in Holyrood Abbey (David II, James II, James V), as well as some of their spouses and children, the last king's funeral through Edinburgh being in 1542. Their remains were desecrated in the riots and looting of 1688, only to be rehoused in the reign of Victoria (so they rest in pieces as well as in peace).

It is sobering to think that four Scottish monarchs lay at Holyrood on Sunday.

Hamish Allan, Edinburgh.

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