by Rab Bruce’s Spider

I’ve never been a monarchist, and the deeds and words of the Royal family went largely ignored for most of my life. I honestly never felt that the Royals held any relevance to everyday life. Equally, I never really thought about adopting an ardent Republican stance because, although I did feel this was morally the approach I ought to take, I realised at an early age that adoration of the monarchy is so deeply ingrained in the British psyche that it was, and remains, unthinkable that the UK could ever become a Republic.

Of course, things changed with the dramatic rise in support for Scotland becoming a normal country with the advent of the 2014 IndyRef. This provided, for the first time I can recall, the first potential opportunity for Scotland to turn away from the farcical quasi-democracy of the UK and become a modern, normal country which would have the opportunity to become a Republic.

In all honesty, though, I don’t think an independent Scotland would be founded as a Republic. The monarchical system is so deeply embedded in UK society, I think the SNP’s current stance of retaining the monarchy is actually the sensible approach in the short term because, as 2014 amply demonstrated, there are still an awful lot of Scots who fear, or actively oppose, change. Switching to republicanism immediately may just be a step too far for some people who might vote Yes if they could be reassured that their comfort blanket of the monarchy would be retained. It’s rather sad, but I fear that is the reality of the current situation.

However, if the current media frenzy over the Jubilee has done nothing else, it must surely have raised some doubts in the minds of questioning people as to why we are encouraged to adore the monarchy quite so much. The Queen is one of the largest landowners in the world, one of the wealthiest women in the world, yet she does nothing to assist her subjects, many of whom now face destitution thanks to the policies of her Government. Is that really the reaction of a caring monarch?

And while we are on the topic of subjects, why do the people of other nations get to be called citizens, but we in the UK are treated with such contempt that we must constantly be reminded of our status as lesser beings than the exalted Royals? Even worse, why do so many people revel in this status? It is absolutely cringeworthy.

Naturally, the media has been highlighting some individuals who portray all the right attributes of loyal subjects, assuring us how much they love a queen they have never met and are never likely to meet, and how much she does for the country. Quite what the things she does are is never actually explained except that she brings in lots of tourist money. This is a fallacy since the most popular tourist visitor site in the UK is the Tower of London where no Royals have lived for centuries. It is the history and the buildings which bring the tourists, not the existence of a Royal family who do as much as they can to avoid contact with the public except in carefully stage-managed appearances.

I’ve taken care not to pay too much attention to the media this weekend, and I can’t say there have been many signs locally of street parties or celebrations in my neighbourhood. Unless they were very quiet parties, of course. But it seems that the number of Scots who did join in the fawning and sycophantic celebrations was relatively low. Perhaps Scotland should re-visit the idea of becoming a Republic after all.