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Saturday, 2 June 2012

England's Dreaming. Still

It might be cliched to post this but it's still a thrilling blast of punk rock.

I went out for a few pints the other night with some of the Year 4 Dads. The jubilee came up in conversation and the opinions offered by me left some of them taken aback and speechless and the opinions offered by them left me taken aback and a bit speechless. We didn't fall out or anything but there was a spot of throat clearing and a small bundle of tumbleweed rolled past.

Nine of us were present, seven or eight appeared to be fully in favour of the monarchy. This gasted my flabber. I wouldn't have put support for the royal family at that kind of level in this (admittedly unscientific) sample size. I think we need to get shot of the royals, abolish the monarchy and have an elected head of state. It's not anything against the Queen personally, it's what she and they represent. Now I realise that we probably can't lead the royal family down some cellar steps and do for them as the Soviets did but when the Queen shuffles off (presumably sometime fairly soon), we should abolish the office of monarch, pension the main ones off and the rest of them can go and get jobs/sit around reflecting on the old days. There's been a lot of talk in the media recently about social mobility, lack of opportunities for state school educated people, the prevalence of Oxbridge graduates at the top levels of society. We as a country will never begin to approach anything like a more equal society while we still have a class at the very top who get their wealth and privilege given to them by us due to accident of birth. The very existence of a monarchy and everything associated with it actively promotes social inequality and a lack of social mobility. They are a relic of a past where we doff our caps and tug our forelocks. And this particular royal family aren't even that much of a relic, they haven't really been around very long.

Then there's Charles. Some of the Year 4 Dads actually expressed like for him. I get that he's spent 60 years waiting around for something to happen and that must cause some frustrations for him, but we've paid for him to spend 60 years waiting around for a job, while he demonstrates he doesn't really understand the position of constitutional monarch, putting forth his opinions on all sorts of subjects that are really none of his business to express publically. His charity work- fine. His opinions on other things- not fine.

'They attract a lot of tourism'. There have to be better arguments for paying for a monarchy than this.

When Kim Jung Il died the other month we marvelled and shook our heads at the outpouring of grief from the North Korean people and their joy at their new leader. But watching some of the news footage recently there are people here behaving the same in the way, ecstatic from seeing the Queen walk past them, having flown half way round the world to do it.

Blah, blah, blah. My self righteousness is boring me now. Enjoy the weekend, and stay away from those street parties.


h said...

Great post!
viva la republic. Cant believe people don't question what the Jubilee is really about. I am a citizen not a subject

Con said...

The fact that she actually believes in the Devine right of kings (and queens) is amazing. She is an anachronism.

Anonymous said...

How refereshing. I thought all of UK were monarchists. Personally i dont want a queen for australia. if i was in the uk - then i'd be thinking they need to privatise the monarchy if they want to keep it. Let them earn their own keep. If the demand is there, then they shold pay for themselves both as an institution and a tourist attraction. AngloDisney if you will! As for Charles - republican or not i do feel for him. He's trained all his life and he'll probably not make it past the interview. oh well, maybe that weather presenter job will get him by.

bossman said...

Totally agree with you. I have never been a royalist and my 3 years living in the UK reinforced my view. I will always remember seeing Buckingham Palace for the first time and then seeing a woman with a baby begging in a tube station...that summed up to me what was wrong with the monarchy.
Up against the wall with the lot of em...

dickvandyke said...


Annoying peasant.

I order you to be quiet

Adrian said...

What's the alternative then? Every country has its priviliged few and elitism. To me, what we have at least is a known evil! You can rattle your sabre for equality for all, but short of the Tsars in the cellar approach (and then you just leave a vacuum for another class to grab the heights), the elite will always be there, no matter how much one legislates and everyone dresses in black.

So what is the alternative then? Laugh at them, along with everyone else, and stick to one's knitting. As Billy says, mixing pop and politics, they ask me what the use is? I offer them embarrassment and the usual excuses.

Swiss Adam said...

Its what they represent I take issue with Adrian and getting rid would be an important cultural step forward. There will always be rich people but we give them their wealth and they don't automatically desert it.

DVD- ha. Good point and well made.

Swiss Adam said...

Deserve it. Obvs.

ally. said...

i'm not doing anything this weekend if you need a hand sorting out a handy republic. venceremos