Polo. Magazine shoots of people playing polo.
It makes us all into sycophants, drooling over these ridiculous people as we are witnessing from every pore of the media today.
Prince Charles and his spider-letters prove that they are interfering, political and a wee bit bonkers. They are supposed to be purely symbolic. They are nothing of the sort.
Senior royals now enjoy total exemption from the Freedom of Information Act.
They area bunch of lazy bastards. Seriously we had to contend with the idea that Prince William is taking it easy now but when he takes up ‘Royal duties’ he’ll really get going. So he’s kind of doing nothing right now but soon he’ll be, er, opening supermarkets and stuff like that?
They’re not very good at it. Prince Philip is a racist old bastard who has spent 50 years going round the world being horrendous to people. Can you imagine what it would be like if you actually had decent people acting on your behalf? Like an actual person who could speak?
Michael Gove. If there’s a problem apparently he steps in. Seriously: “In fact, if the Queen becomes incapacitated in some way, a procedure already exists. Framed in 1937 legislation but originally formulated in the Regency Act, after George III finally went mad in 1811, it allows for the lord chancellor – currently Michael Gove – the Speaker of the Commons, the lord chief justice and the master of the rolls to step in if “by reason of infirmity of mind or body the Sovereign is incapable for the time being of performing the royal functions”.
It distorts the media. By constantly covering the most banal actions of these people – who by definition are never supposed to do anything really very interesting – we set a sort of template for normal news coverage that is just bizarre. Why does Kate Middleton’s dress sense trump striking workers or the latest poverty report?
Balmoral. The Royal Family function as an in-built symbol of privilege and landed-power. Any serious attempt at dismantling the concentrated pattern of private landownership in Scotland will get nowhere if it does not face up to the fact that the Queen’s ownership of Balmoral is a central part of the problem. It remains an totemic obstacle to radical land reform since it’s continued existence legitimises large-scale private landownership. Balmoral Buyout.
This is 2016.
It’s all part of Parody Britain, where people dress up in tights in our parliament and there are swords and bugles and … I don’t want to live in some Ruritarian backwater.
The Queen’s just been given a castle.
Prince Charles and his Bloody Biscuits.
It distorts English identity. As Tom Nairn wrote in 2011:
“Nearly all commentators perceive Great Britain continuing to decline, as ex-imperial status turns into increasingly unavoidable marginality, screened by Special Relationships, the Commonwealth, and other old club subscriptions. This has so far striven to keep up appearances, via a kind of half-honourable decline: unwilling negotiations with retreat, rather than outright defeat, a piecemeal and staged withdrawal rather than mere eviction from the historical stage. However, the climate of accelerating decline brings other changes in its wake. I see now how at the end of the eighties I failed to focus sufficiently on one key motive for the successful working of ‘enchantment’: what one could call ‘surrogacy’, in the sense of an English identity-diversion from standard-issue nationalism to the symbolic supra-nationality of a Royal Crown and Family.
The unusual intensity and emotion of the latter has come from certain peculiarities of the former: as if a communal feeling unable to find appropriate modern expression has been compelled to find compensatory voice in another way, or upon a different (though related) level. Such deeper emotion contains a usually unacknowledged advantage. It absolves the majority English nationality from the customary ‘-ism’ of recent history. No
Anglo-nationalism is felt necessary in the standard 19th-20th century form. Of course it manifests itself in sub-standard form, round the edges, as panic over immigration, and distrust of ‘outsiders’ and multi-culturalism. Yet its political expression has been very limited, in a ‘British’ National Party tied to extinct racism as well as to state decline. Today’s problems are the by-product of longer-range historical location. As Liah Greenfeld points out in her classic Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity, England was ‘God’s First-born’ in the formation of the Nation-state world: but this very priority meant that the English would not themselves become just another state, a national polity like all the rest. Naturally the English had to adapt themselves to the world they had set in motion and fostered, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
But they did so in two main ways, both of which have now lost most of their sense. One was simply expansion: the ‘greater England’ represented by colonization and the emigration of one generation after another over the era of empire. The other was a ‘little England’ of rurality and imagined roots, supposed to have both preceded imperialism and in some ways persisted through it ― an enduring sub-stratum of earlier culture. During the later 19th and early 20th centuries the prime mover naturally sought to at least resemble the rest of the ‘nation-state’ normality it had fostered. Contrived timelessness was the answer. Thus the over-blown came to be counter-posed to an under-estimated essence, a fictive inheritance variously interpreted as genetic or socio-historical.” More here.
They keep breeding. It’s endless. Next up is King Charles III, who will be the oldest person ever to be crowned. Then King William V, then King George VII, and on and on and on.
It breeds an endless deference culture where people like Murdo Fraser talking about there ‘Queen’s Eleven” and writing tweets like this:
Happy Birthday Your Majesty! #GSTQ
— Murdo Fraser (@murdo_fraser) April 21, 2016
It’s really not good for tourism. Republic writes: “Chester Zoo, Stonehenge and the Roman Baths are all more successful tourist attractions than Windsor Castle, which is the only occupied royal residence to attract visitors in large numbers. If Windsor Castle was included in the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) list of top attractions it would come in at number 24.
Research shows that tourists come here for our world-class museums, beautiful scenery, fantastic shopping and captivating history – not because they might catch a glimpse of Prince Andrew. In a republic, royal properties such as Buckingham Palace would be open all year round, so visitors that do want to explore our royal heritage would have even more opportunity to do so. But, even if the claim were true, do we really want the whims of visiting tourists to determine what kind of political system we have?”
Old Horse-Face at the Rugby.
They’re part of some weird hunting class. Animal Aid has estimated that the number of animals killed on the Windsor Estate included:
- 3901 pigeons
- 1161 rabbits
- 772 jackdaws
- 325 squirrels
- 191 crows
- 159 foxes
- 145 rats
- 127 muntjac
- 118 parakeets
- 70 magpies
- 56 roe deer
- 55 rooks
- 28 hares
- 9 jays
- 9 moles
- 3 mink
Charities would benefit without them. It’s counter intuitive but true, as Republic puts it: “It is true that most royals are “patrons” of a string of charities, but very often this is only on paper – their name may appear on the letterhead, but they are not an active ambassador for that cause. Some royals certainly do help to raise the profile of certain charities they care about, but so do many actors, singers and sportspeople. And what about the millions of ordinary Britons who make donations and give up their free time to volunteer for good causes? They do so without any of the glory – or luxury trappings – that the royals receive. It’s also worth noting that when a member of the royal family visits a charity, it can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds – often vastly exceeding any increase in donations. The royals gain more in PR than the charities do in support. But, as with the tourism argument, the amount of charity work the royals do or don’t do has no bearing on the question of whether we should have a monarchy. And of course, the Windsors would be free to continue their charitable activities as free citizens in a republic.”
We are told to ignore them (‘Gawd bless ma’am’) but doing so is dangerous. Seamus Milne writes: “… ignoring it leaves a festering anti-democratic dynasticism at the heart of our political system. As things now stand, Britain (along with 15 other former island colonies and white settler states) has now chosen its next three heads of state – or rather, they have been selected by accident of aristocratic birth. The descendants of warlords, robber barons, invaders and German princelings – so long as they aren’t Catholics – have automatic pride of place at the pinnacle of Britain’s constitution.
Far from uniting the country, the monarchy’s role is seen as illegitimate and offensive by millions of its citizens, and entrenches hereditary privilege at the heart of public life. While British governments preach democracy around the world, they preside over an undemocratic system at home with an unelected head of state and an appointed second chamber at the core of it. Meanwhile celebrity culture and a relentless public relations machine have given a new lease of life to a dysfunctional family institution, as the X Factor meets the pre-modern. But instead of rising above class as a symbol of the nation, as its champions protest, the monarchy embodies social inequality at birth and fosters a phonily apolitical conservatism.”
Julie Burchill writing a load of absolute shite about Diana as a Republican: “Diana was once again the commoner she had always really so radiantly been. And like other commoner heroes, she made it clear that loving one’s country and loving the sorry bunch of dysfunctional Graeco-Germans stuck on as an afterthought at the prow were two entirely different – and sometimes actually contradictory – things.
In the soft-focus shampoo commercials being churned out in such indecent haste, no glimpse of the other Diana has yet been seen. We have seen Diana the Good, Diana the Stylish, Diana the Dutiful. These were, of course, real and valid Dianas . But we have not yet seen the other great Diana – Diana the Destroyer. And destroyer she has been, gloriously so, with bells on the greatest force for republicanism since Oliver Cromwell.”
It’s like something out of Made in Chelsea. While the media moans on and on about the Queen’s great service and how she works so hard, a lot of the time it’s just one big piss-up. The press is full of “Ten haunts where you might spot Harry (and friends) when he’s home on leave” type shit with the Mail boasting: “Whenever people have been worried, they’ve always wanted to party,’ says Piers Adam, the man behind Mahiki, The Rose Club, The Brompton Club and now Bodo’s Schloss, which conveniently opened next to Kensington Palace last month. ‘During the war, The Windmill and the Café de Paris were open and packed every night. When there’s an element of fear – even economic fear – people want to party. ‘And in London there are socialites with huge wealth who still want to show that off .’