Carry On Clowning; Sorry, Crowning
Posted on May 4th, 2023
by Rab Bruce’s Spider
A lot has been written and said about the farce of the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, so I thought I might as well get in on the act.
One interesting poll suggested that a majority of Scots view the monarchy as very much an English institution, and the reaction to the event in Scotland certainly suggests that there is little interest in it. I dare say a lot of people will watch out of curiosity or simply because it is, allegedly, a historic occasion, but I’ll certainly find something else to do with my time.
I’ve heard some claims that the cost of this day will now be in the region of £250 million, which is a disgrace when so many of the new King’s subjects are living in dire poverty. I’d have a lot more respect for him if he met the cost from his own immense wealth and even donated some of the cash he’ll never find enough things to spend his money on, to helping the poor. But he won’t. The monarchy is an institution at the very heart of UK society because it establishes the social class system. Adulation of the royal family is encouraged by the bulk of the media, and the King’s subjects are even taught to celebrate their inferiority by singing a national anthem which, unique in the world as far as I know, celebrates the personage of a single person whom we are supposed to treat with reverence. Perhaps North Korea has a similar national anthem, but I doubt many other countries celebrate their subservience the way UK subjects are taught to do.
As for the ludicrous attempt to persuade people to speak an oath of allegiance while watching on TV, I really don’t know where to start with that. It is so medieval that it has been rightly mocked. Sadly, I know at least one person who will probably dutifully recite it while standing to attention in his living room. Such is the power of indoctrination, although I’m thankful that it doesn’t seem to have affected most of my friends and family, all of whom expressed disgust at the very idea of stating their allegiance to an English king.
The other aspect which is gaining some publicity is the prospect of protests. Apparently, known members of republican organisations have been warned that they will be targeted by the Police. Now, I can understand that the authorities must be concerned about the prospect of some idiot with a home-made bomb making an attack, but peaceful protest used to be one of the British values we hear so much about. But even that is too much for the Tories who are almost on the verge of passing Thought Crime laws. If you even look as if you might be considering joining a protest, you could find yourself with a criminal record. Any resemblance to 1930s Germany seems to be quite deliberate.
There is no way I am going to London to watch this ludicrous spectacle, but I do think that a way of protesting which would have an international impact would be for people to join the crowd of spectators lining the route, but to turn their backs as soon as the royal carriage puts in an appearance. There would be no need for banners, shouted slogans or anything else, just the sight of hundreds of people turning their backs. I doubt that will happen, but it’s nice to dream.
The bizarre thing is that people living outwith the UK seem to have a far greater fascination with our royal family and this ridiculous pageant. Of course, they don’t need to live in a society which is directly impacted by having such a wealthy family lording it over them. Or maybe those citizens who are fortunate enough to live elsewhere and not be subjects are simply laughing at the pomposity of it all. For those of us living in the UK, the effect is quite different in that the existence and enormous wealth of the royal family is used as a media tool to maintain the vast social inequalities in our society. It is, quite frankly, disgraceful, and it is noticeable that, while other European countries have royalty, none of them pursue this constant adulation of monarchy the way the UK does. It’s as if they need to keep reminding us to know our place. Sadly, it works, although probably not on as many people as it used to.
As far as I am concerned, there really is no defence for maintaining a monarchy. Some people claim that the royals do so much for us, but what, exactly, do they do? Very little that is of any use. And even that old claim that they bring tourists is nonsense. Tourists come to visit interesting historical sites, but the presence of actual royals has nothing to do with that, as the Tower Of London and the Palace of Versailles constantly prove. And, of course, Brexit is putting many tourists off visiting a place which is portrayed in the international media as cruel and unfriendly, a far more influential factor than the presence of a royal family.
I only wish the Scottish Government would find some route to turning us into a normal, self-governing country sooner rather than later. Then we could take the sensible step of becoming a Republic.