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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Some thoughts on the Royal Wedding

Well, just a few hours to go now. There’ll be some readers who I'm sure will be thinking ‘what a total bore’. Others no doubt will be quite looking forward to it.

As for me- I won’t be going up to London to line the streets, but neither will I be going there to protest.

My view on the monarchy is this: if we were starting entirely from scratch- then we wouldn’t need a monarchy. But we’re not starting from scratch. Abolishing the monarchy would take an awful lot of time and effort- and it’d hardly be a vote winner either. There are simply far more important things for progressives and socialists to concern themselves with, such as countering the power of international capital, defending the NHS, and campaigning for the re-nationalisation of our public transport and the utilities.

It wasn't the House of Windsor that led us into the Iraq war. And it‘s not the House of Windsor that lobbied to have our railways privatised. International capital is the big foe- not the Royal family.

And as two human beings about to get married, I wish William Windsor and Kate Middleton all the very best in their future life together.

Anyway- what do you think?


ematejoca said...

I think exactly like you!!!

Vladimir Gagic said...

I wish there was no English monarchy for the simple reason I am sick of watching news stories about their pending marriage, and I was not the least bit interested in Princess Diana or her life, but the news was full of details of her life and death.

I can't imagine there was a duller, less interesting person who ever lived than Diana, other than possibly her son and his soon to be princess.

olching said...

Ordinarily I would be inclined to agree with you. But this royal wedding has been political and has therefore radicalised my thoughts on this.

It starts with the petty thing of not inviting Brown and Blair (bizarre that this arsehole becomes an important piece of argument in this). This is a political move to exclude Labour voters (and associated groups) from Britishness.

Then, the very rational that underwrites it (legal social immobility and discrimination) is not something that anyone on the left can adhere to.

Then we have the cuts. Just at the moment when these highly ideological cuts are kicking in, we have the greatest benefits scroungers getting more money for what should be ostensibly a private thing. It's a huge 'fuck you' in the face of ordinary Brits (along with the exclusion of Labour from this whole thing).

Then we have the dictators who have been invited.

And the whole system underwrites the undemocratic nature of our system.

So I did go to protest...

Gregor said...

Largely agree. I think the Royals should be subject to progressive taxation (as should all rich people), but aside from that I've no problems with constitutional monarchy and hope the best for the young couple.

Anonymous said...

While I don't believe that monarchy is necessarily suitable for every country, I can see how the institution can be construed as anti-capitalist. Monarchs don’t owe their positions to success in the competitive realm of the market nor are they the products of academic or professional competition. Monarchs are just lucky to have been born into the right family.

Generally, I think some parts of the Left make too much of meritocracy. Even if a perfect meritocracy were possible, (and I am not sure it is), the people at the top of the meritocratic pyramid would likely be even more overbearing and arrogant than traditional aristocrats who were sometimes socially conscious.

If everyone truly deserves their station in life, why help the poor? This kind of thinking abounds in the U.S., where many people think we have a market meritocracy and the ideology of Social Darwinism is still powerful.

And besides, as already mentioned here, why get mad at the royal couple? They aren’t responsible for all the bad policies of the government, the politicians are.

Anonymous said...

one of the most sensible comments if not the most sensible on the topic of the royal wedding

Czarny Kot said...


Anonymous said...

You didn'y mention the financing of the Royals.

Last year the Queen negotiated an important change in the way the Royals are financed.

Until then the Civil List was negotiayed with Parliament. From now on it will no longer be negotiated with anyone; the Queen will now get 15% of the income from the Crown Estate (a Royal estate in the UK, the profits of which went to the government).

For strange historic reasons, the Crown Estate also owns more than half the shoreline around the UK. Until now this has not earned the Crown Estate a penny, but with the growth of off-shore wind turbines, this property has tremendous value.

Over the next couple of years the income the Crown Estate will earn from wind farms will quickly double, then triple the Queen's income. Over the next 10-20 years the Royal income might increase tenfold.

Quite a canny move by Her Majesty.

If we consider that wind farms are only profitable because of the subsidy the government pays the developers (this is added to our electricity bills), then it becomes clear that while ordinary Britons are told to tighten their belts and to forget higher education and an eary or comfortable retirement, very different rules apply for the Royals.

Prince William and his bew wife are going to enjoy a very comfotable life at our expense.

David Lindsay said...

The confirmation that Ed Miliband would attend the Royal Wedding in a morning suit, such as trade union leaders used to wear to Royal Ascot in the days when they were always justly and often technically known as barons, confirmed that he was True Labour rather than New Labour, as surely as David Cameron's vacillation on the subject confirmed his desire to be the Heir to Blair. Stuart Reid's always excellent Catholic Herald column last week pointed out that anti-monarchism was a Thatcherite cause back in the day, spearheaded by the Murdoch papers, and posited that as the explanation for middle-class mean spirits towards the Royal Wedding. He was, of course, quite right.

Thatcher scorned the Commonwealth, social cohesion, historical continuity and public Christianity. She called the Queen "the sort of person who votes for the SDP". She arrogated to herself the properly monarchical and royal role on the national and international stages, using her most popular supporting newspaper to vilify the Royal Family. She legislated to abolish the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to legislate for individual Australian states, to end the British Government's consultative role in Australian state-level affairs, and to deprive the Queen's Australian subjects of their right of appeal to Her Majesty in Council. And she legislated to pre-empt the courts on both sides of the Atlantic by renouncing the British Parliament's role in the amendment of the Canadian Constitution.

That last points to the fact that efforts to cut constitutional ties to Britain have been a white supremacist, and an anti-Catholic, cause ever since Thomas Jefferson. Which is to say, ever since Dr Johnson asked, "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?" That wretched tradition has continued down through the foundation of Irish Republicanism by those who regarded their own Protestant and "Saxon" nation as the only true one on the Irish island, through anti-monarchist attitudes to Australian Aborigines from the Victorian Period to the present day, through Hendrik Verwoerd and Ian Smith, through attempts to abrogate the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand, and through the patriation of the Canadian Constitution against the wishes, both of the Aboriginal peoples to whom the Crown had numerous treaty obligations, and of the government of Quebec.

The BNP wants to abolish the monarchy, the Queen being descended, via the "Negroid" Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, from the part-black Royal House of Portugal, and, via Elizabeth of York and her Moorish ancestors, from Muhammad. She has little of the "English blood" favoured by the likes of the EDL, and her children have almost none. If born of his marriage to Mr and Mrs Middleton's daughter, the successor of Lady Diana Spencer's son will be the first ethnically English monarch for almost, if almost, exactly one thousand years, since 1066. And even he will have plenty of other things in him, as all ethnically English people have had ever since that year, if not even earlier.

Only a movement of morning-suited Labourites, steeped in royal, parliamentary and municipal pageantry and charity, could preserve and celebrate the pageantry and charity of the City of London while ending its status as a tax haven and as a state within the State, Europe's last great Medieval republican oligarchy, right where the United Kingdom ought to be. The liberties of the City were granted to a city properly so called, with a full social range of inhabitants and workers. The Crown should explicitly guarantee the hereditary economic and cultural rights of, for example, the Billingsgate fish porters in the same way as it guaranteed or guarantees the economic and cultural rights of Aboriginal peoples elsewhere in the Empire and the Commonwealth.