A PANEL discussion on the future of Scotland as a republic will aim to “move the debate on” and map out how society could be healthier with an elected head of state.

Our Republic has organised the event on November 12 in Edinburgh, with a number of speakers lined up to map out what Scotland could look like if it did away with the royal family.

Equalities minister and SNP MSP Emma Roddick, SNP councillor Fatima Joji, Iain Ramsay from the Celtic League and Suzanne McLaughlin from Women for Independence are set to partake in the debate at Augustine United Church, with one more panellist still to be confirmed.

Tristan Gray, convener of Our Republic, said: “We’re seeing this as a chance to move the debate on.

“We know we’re already winning the argument over the future of the monarchy and its limitations. Support for a Scottish republic is about 50/50 but there’s a growing portion backing an elected head of state and with that in mind, we also need to start talking about what that looks like in a future Scotland, how that impacts our society in wider ways.

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“The idea is to hear from figures of the republican movement and hear a range of views on how that shapes society.”

The panel is set to discuss not only the benefits of getting rid of the monarchy but what Scotland could look like after that happens. For example, how it might elect its own head of state and what powers they would have, as well as how the concept of an institution like the monarchy has seeped into other areas of society and how a republican system could do better.

Gray said he was particularly keen to talk about what other institutions in the UK which are also unaccountable and based on nepotism.

He told The National: “I’m keen to have a look at what other institutions have the same kind of malaise the royals do.

“The obvious example is the House of Lords in that it’s a crony set-up of whoever are the pet favourites of the prime minister at the time being given permanent, unaccountable say over our laws for their lifespan. But what other ways are there in which our society is set-up around these unaccountable institutions?

The National:

“We saw Camilla being granted new honours a few months ago as if she had been a long-term champion of the British people, really devaluing the honours other people have been given. So I think that discussion of how the monarchy has seeped into other aspects of our society and how republican system could do better is something we will look at.”

During the coronation and royal events and engagements surrounding it, anti-monarchy protests were in the spotlight, especially as a group were faced with the threat of being prosecuted for demonstrations on the day of the crowning itself.

Gray said since live news has quietened down around the royals it has been more challenging for republican campaigning to gain attention.

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However, he insists there are a variety of ways to ensure voices continue to be heard.

He said: “I think part of the gift of the royal family is that they need to stay in the public eye all of the time. They feel the need to always be part of the live conversation and representing the UK in the way they see fit.

“So we have consistent opportunities to highlight that and the limitations on the public on holding them to account.

“We need to keep taking those opportunities as they present themselves and that can take the form of rallies or just being that alternate voice, but also laying the groundwork – like we will do in this event – for what the other options are.

“We need to show what we can accomplish once we are a republic. I don’t think it’s enough to say ‘the monarchy is about X, Y and Z’, we need to say ‘this is how we can be better’ by listening to really clever people from across the republican movement.”

Earlier this week campaign group Republic accused the Metropolitan Police and Houses of Parliament of “suppressing peaceful protest” after objecting to a planned protest set to take place during the State Opening of Parliament on November 7.

The group said emails from Westminster City Council show three objections were submitted against a peaceful protest against the monarchy, by the Met Police, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Gray said he hoped Republic could fight off the attempt to suppress their voices.

He added: “We’ve spoken out before about the assault on human rights of the new protest rules that apply to England and Wales.

“We wish Republic and the other English and Welsh groups the best in fighting against this and hope that in the near future we see those excessive powers rolled back.”

Republic confirmed the protest will go ahead, but has been moved to the pavement on the corner of Parliament Street, near Westminster station.

To find out more about the Our Republic event, click here.