I don’t understand the Brits. I never have. Although I’m from Scotland and, technically, I suppose, that makes me a Brit, I just don’t get the national psyche.
They’ll rage furiously at the thought of a hard-working Polish plumber grafting his arse off because he’s “stealing our jobs” yet fawn, grovel, bow and scrape at a collection of German-Greek immigrant benefit-scroungers bleeding the country dry. As long, of course, as they’re wearing crowns while they do so.
Despite all of Cromwell’s efforts, the British remain a people in love with the Monarchy and their fascination with the interminable minutiae of the Royals’ pampered lives remains a source of endless fascination. They’ll tell you better Mrs Windsor than Mr Blair as head of state, any day of the week. Quite how and why Tony Blair would be the mandatory head of state if we didn’t have a monarchy is something only they know. Why they feel we need a head of state at all, in fact, is a topic you’ll debate at the risk of your sanity.
They seem to think, also, that the Windsors are to be thanked for generating every single pound of tourist revenue and that that justifies their existence. In fact, to the British, it seems as if the Windsors are the constitutional equivalent of the bloody Beatles; every single thing of any merit is to be laid at their door, irrespective of any evidence to the contrary. It’s a nonsense argument, of course. Like all the arguments from toadying monarchists are nonsense. It presupposes that somehow, someway, were we to rid ourselves of this decaying, corrupt, anti-democratic, feudal hangover, people would suddenly cease to visit our septic isle. People come to see the sights, the palaces, the artefacts, and the visible reminders of centuries of history. It’s not as if the Queen, or one of her dysfunctional offspring, pop out onto the lawn at Buck House to pose for photos with Japanese tourists, is it?
But let’s talk about the money for a moment. Those crazy Brits have spent the last 18 months or so bitterly complaining that because those of them in the private sector have had their pensions looted so public sector workers should shut up moaning and take it too. Frankly, this absolutely mystifies me; this spiteful, resentful ignorance that drives so much British political opinion. Yet it’s woefully inconsistent, isn’t it? Perish the thought nurses, doctors, cleaners, firemen and teachers should manage to hang on to their derisory pensions, which average out at a miserable £5K a year, by the way, but they’ll smile vapidly and cheer moronically while waving a plastic union flag at just one family raking in somewhere in the region of £340 million a year of public money. That doesn’t even include the indirect payments for security, travel, maintenance and those sumptuous dinner parties where the Queen entertains despots, torturers, dictators and murdering tyrants from the Middle East and Africa.
The nauseating Jubilee jamboree added a few extra zeros to the nation’s outgoings column as well. Oh, and the wedding the year before and soon another Royal mouth to feed (despite the Tories saying benefit claimants should have no further children). As if all that weren’t enough to challenge even the most resilient sycophantic ignorance, the Queen, with breathtaking gall, had the effrontery to ask for a further contribution from the government’s cold weather pot, set up to help poverty-stricken pensioners with rising fuel costs, to help heat her bloody palaces! God forbid this fantastically wealthy scrounger should actually pay for these things herself. Her personal fortune, including stocks, shares, property, art and so on is estimated at somewhere in the region of £3 billion.
All this at a time when public services, public sector jobs, wages, terms and conditions are being slashed in the most savage round of austerity measures yet seen in modern times. We can’t afford them, you see. We all need to do our bit and make sacrifices because “we’re all in it together”, remember.
We throw billions of tax pounds at crooked and incompetent bankers, while allowing them to continue enjoying six and seven-figure salaries, bonuses and stock options and then we have these publicly-funded bean-fests of gluttonous and hideously expensive proportions as well. But we can’t afford to let nurses draw the pension they were promised, as part of their legally agreed terms and conditions of employment. Go figure, as the Crown's former colonial subjects might say.
Meanwhile, just a few miles across the English Channel the French shake their heads in disbelief. The average Brit sneers at the French while they riot, strike and rebel at every injustice and outrage. The average Brit, on the other hand, prefers instead to whine, bitch and sulk that someone may be slightly less badly-off than he is and when someone finally does take action, he condemns those people for doing that which he lacks the guts and integrity to do himself.
He prefers, instead, to fawn, grovel and scrape at the feet of a corrupt, anti-democratic collective of glorified social security spongers, parasites that the French had the guts to excise centuries ago.
But it’s not even the money, the inequality, the nauseating display of riches, power and privilege we continue to fund simply due to accidents of birth. It’s the affront to democracy that represents the biggest sin. The Queen and her fellow ermine-clad panhandlers aren’t just some quaint, loveable, eccentric legacy from medieval times. They aren’t powerless and they aren’t harmless. As fellow Saboteur, Nick Margerrison, has noted, they represent and also wield considerable powers, which can be utilised in times of national crisis (for crisis read rebellion, protest, civil disturbance and an uppity peasantry). Via the Royal Prerogative a panoply of special powers exist which can be wheeled out to suspend parliament, implement martial law and snuff out any forces deemed to threaten the existing order. Please don’t delude yourself these powers are merely symbolic; just ask Gough Whitlam…
Oh, and get this; the Monarch is exempt from prosecution for any offence at all. Ever. Outrageous, disgraceful and absolutely impossible to justify.
A constitutional, hereditary monarchy, along with an unelected upper chamber which can overrule decisions made by those whom the public has elected, has no place in any country claiming to be a democracy. No place at all; into the dustbin of history with these reactionary worthies and their entire apparatus of class-privilege, patronage and inequality.
As the Coalition’s vicious ‘Bedroom Tax’ starts to bite, merely another salvo in their ongoing class offensive against the nation’s poorest, will we see the Windsors forced to cough up the extra cash for their unused rooms in their opulent palaces and houses? I’m afraid there’s more chance of waking up tomorrow and discovering unicorns urinating rainbows on your front lawn.
Apart from anything else, what the hell is wrong with a people who individually and collectively have such little self-respect they’ll happily debase themselves before a collection of maladjusted misfits who only occupy the position they do thanks to centuries of incest, tyranny, murder, thievery and bloodshed?
And so you can do one of two things; you can continue to be a party to the triumphalist orgy of sickening, sycophantic fawning that celebrates the anti-democratic concept of inherited, unelected, wealth, privilege and power, paid for by us.
Or you could fight for a future where no one dies alone, cold, starving and homeless on our streets, while a single family of leeches is subsidized to the tune of hundreds of millions, maybe even billions, of pounds every year. A world where the poor are not booted from their homes for the crime of having a spare room and the real benefit scroungers are targeted with the same gleeful spite and callousness as that experienced by the most desperate among us.
Here's to a better, more humane, more egalitarian, world. A brighter, monarchy-free, future.
Vive la republique.