The ever popular HBO series 'Game of Thrones' - Based on the epic books by R.R Martin, is set in a wonderful fantasy world which has gripped the imagination of both readers and viewers over the past decade.
Westeros - a fantastical and outlandish land, full of battles, knights on horseback, dragons and magic - Isn't a real place (however many of us would like it to be) - But that doesn't mean it's all false. The lore behind the series is massively influenced by Medieval England, and Europe as a whole.
The accents, armour, clothing, motif's, way of life, weapons etc. all mirror 13th century England. The show also uses the feudal system and the idea of aristocracy in order to form Westeros's system of Government.
The houses; Lannister - Greyjoy - Stark - They all mirror the famous family lineages that held incredible sway and power during the middle ages (before and after). These families were made Lords, Viscounts and Barons - hereditary titles passed down through families.
Under the feudal system, the nobles of the aristocracy all served the monarch, with the 'regular' people living under that Lord in the Lord's lands, belonging to him as property, tilling his land and being gifted by him to the monarch when requested to fight the nation's enemies.
Now you might be thinking that in modern day, 2014, Britain, we've forgotten this feudal nonsense from the middle-ages! We've moved on Into a prosperous, egalitarian secularist society which rewards people based on merit!?
Well we haven't!
I am at this very moment a subject of the system you see in Game of Thrones - Hereditary nobles sitting under an un-elected monarch.
This isn't a fantasy show, this is real.
I am a young man living in a civilised Western country (apparently sporting representative democracy) who is not a citizen, but a subject. I am a subject to Elizabeth Windsor. I am a second class member of society at a fundamental level, under that of the aristocracy and the monarchy.
It's simple: Hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle. It is WRONG.
The royal family is not appointed or anointed by a deity, they are not special, and they do not have magical blood. They are exactly the same as me and you.
It is PERSONALLY OFFENSIVE (or at least it should be for anyone with half a mind) that these people have a position of power, wealth, influence and privilege over us. You, reading this now, are less of a human being in the eyes of our state and society, codified in law, simply because of who you were born as.
Now where else do we see terrible prejudice endured because of who we happen to be born as?
Racism, sexism, homophobia are all being fought in our society. All discrimination based on who we are born as is being seen as wrong and fought tooth and nail. However we're missing the elephant in the room, the ultimate discrimination ... hereditary monarchy and peerage - which gives ultimate power.
And the Windsor's certainly do have power. The power to sign international treaties and deploy British troops abroad. These are "royal prerogative powers" exercised by government, but that in itself is a serious problem. These powers have been transferred directly from the monarch to the prime minister and don't need the approval of parliament, effectively shutting out the British people from important decisions. It also means that these actions are taken not in our name, but in the monarchs.
Also, the queen and prince Charles have the power to veto bills that affect their private interests. They have the power of wealth, of security, of advanced medicine, of servants, of stately homes.
The French got rid of their scrounging royals and aristocrats a few hundred years ago, and they've done pretty well since with ELECTED head of states. It's time for us to follow suit. But wait, what's that you say, we don't visit the Eiffel tower and France has no tourist industry because it has no royal family? Oh no wait, that's total bollocks.
The pressure group Republic are campaigning to end the Monarchy, and there is a real alternative. Please have a look at their website. Or ..... vote for the Green party this year and let's send the queen to a council house.
My name is Joshua Marshall and I'm a citizen of Great Britain. I will not, do not, and shall never accept myself as a subject under Mrs. Elizabeth Windsor, who is my equal.
In the lands of Westeros I pledge my allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen, but in the land of Britain ... I have no queen.