Royal debate over media coverage

The media coverage of the Queen Mother's death has prompted a national debate - has there been too much or too little respect shown to the Royal Family? Today two people with opposite views debate the issue.

By Debbie Watson

IPSWICH Borough Councillor Gordon Terry is a staunch believer in the need to pay tribute to the late Queen Mother.

He said: "I personally feel that the Queen Mother deserves the utmost respect at this time. Her position, and her great place in history mean that she is owed our deepest respect.

"In fact, I believe that the people who are going on about the reaction being 'over the top' are obviously just lacking any historical perspective – and that is a terrible shame.

"She was an absolute inspiration during the war years, and what we ought to be asking ourselves, as we reflect on her life, is the question of just what might have happened if she had fled the country like other Royal families had chosen to do.

"Instead, she stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Britain. She was there for us – and we became successful."

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Gordon, who is also one of the deputy chairman of the Ipswich Conservative Association, added: "Hers was a truly remarkable career and she was a tremendous example of how the younger members of the Royal family ought to be.

"It is that which makes her deserve such considerable respect at this time, and why the younger generation should be watching these events and learning about this great woman.

"In these last few days an entire industry has built up about whether or not the reaction is right or wrong, and I personally think it comes down to just one thing.

"It comes down to the fact the Queen Mother was a very important representative of our country's history.

"If people don't understand their own history, then how can they possibly know where they are in the world today."

PETER Leech is a member of the Socialist Alliance, and insists that the only way for our country to go forward, is for it to abolish the very idea of monarchy.

He said: "Nowadays, I think people basically have an indifference to the royal family, and to the whole concept of monarchy.

"I find it laughable that so much of the country is essentially republican, and yet we are being bombarded with coverage about the royals."

Talking about the outcry over the BBC's particular coverage, Peter said he could not comprehend why it has been made into such a big deal.

"I hardly think it matters that Peter Sissons wasn't wearing a black tie for the broadcast, and I just feel that the whole thing has been blown up.

"This is the same BBC that use to make broadcasters wear dinner jackets to read the news – but thank goodness we've got away from that. We're meant to a modern nation."

Referring to the country's immediate showing of grief, he said:

"It looks to me as if, truthfully, the turn-out for taking flowers to Clarence House has been very very thin.

"Most of the people visiting having been tourists – so what does that say about the way we feel as a country?

"To be completely honest, I laugh at the idea of the Queen Mother being called 'the nation's favourite grandmother' – I don't think anybody really sees her as that at all."

Peter's own views on the monarchy are abundantly clear, and he is no less willing to voice them at this sensitive time.

"I think royalty is completely wrong and we really have to forget this nonsense if we want to be a democracy. The two simply don't go together."

He said: "I see the whole principle of the monarchy as a con. It is a hangover from the past.

"People say 'how would we get by without royalty?', but hundreds of other countries have managed and they are still keeping things together.

"The upcoming generation are not interested, and while we boast about being a democracy, we're certainly not going to achieve that kind of situation until we put royalty aside."