It’s a Long way from the Blitz

Britain is built on obscene deference. It’s in its DNA. It’s part of the story that allows us to endure semi-feudal remnants rather than a contemporary democracy. It stops us being citizens and fuels a superiority complex and rank exceptionalism. But this week saw a little of that crack as attitudes to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour showed barely concealed anger from the general public. ‘Kate and Wills’ (as the tabloids have them) arrived in Edinburgh for a series of pointless photo opportunities replete with tartan scarves and ridiculous posturing. They are the very definition of “non essential workers’, but the fact that their stupid tour has gone down like a pint of cold sick should give us some cheer.

The edifice of Old Broken Britain cracks as being first to roll out a vaccine is presented as some kind of gritty Brexit victory and Matt Hancock appears on GMB to cry crocodile tears about how wonderful Britain is.

Meanwhile, back in reality:

“Britain’s descent into a ‘rump Trumpocracy‘ continued apace at the weekend when the Government’s Environment Secretary George Eustice refused to condemn Millwall Football Club supporters who booed their own players for ‘taking the knee’ – a globally-recognised symbol of opposition to racism. Eustice instead used an interview with Sky News to denounce Black Lives Matter as a “political movement” – a complaint frequently used by those who simply oppose its campaign for racial equality. As Eustice sided with the Millwall mob, the nation’s canines no doubt let out a collective howl, as they heard a not-so-subtle dog-whistle.”

It’s not just that living in this living Pantomime is degrading, it’s that we have to view it though the prism of these charades and media tropes from this disheveled farce of a regime.


Comments (24)

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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    As I suggested elsewhere. one wonders whether Wullie & Kate came off their own volition or were they sent and if so why.

    1. Chas Gallagher says:

      Dougie, probably one of Bojo’s ideas to love bomb us, instead they are ‘super-spreaders’.

  2. Mary McCabe says:

    Symbolic contrast between the Herald’s headline on p 5 “Thank You! Royal Couple bring festive cheer in Scotland visit” and the front page headline on the National: “Fury after Scots Ban on Travel Flouted by Royals”.

    Newspapers from the same stable, produced in next-door offices, created to manipulate Scotland’s constitutional divide.

    1. David McCann says:

      Good post Mike!
      It just shows how useful it is having a foot in both camps keeps the natives happy
      With independence polling at 56% is it not time the Herald decided which camp they support?

    2. Derek Thomson says:

      “Festive cheer”?? Pass the sick bag. I believe they were deliberately sent here to show Jockestan that they can’t go around imposing their own rules – it’s up to the English (deliberate) to decide that. Sickening parasites, thick as two short planks too, like the rest of their clan.

      1. Derek Thomson says:

        And another thing – Sarah Vain in the Daily Mail (Gove’s wife -ugh, I was going to say “picture that” but it would gar ye boak) says that the reason Nicola Sturgeon (naebody else like, just Nicola Sturgeon) was upset about it was that the joyous sight of the happy couple would remind everyone of the joyousness of royalty, and deal a blow to independence. What planet do these people live on?

  3. James Mills says:

    Were they not taking a lead from Dad/in-law , who scampered up to a remote Highland hide-away when the ‘plague’ threatened his well-being in London ?
    It’s a family ‘tradition’ to meet the peasants and spread ‘festive cheer’ – and a killer virus ?
    Anyway , they didn’t have much else to do , did they ?

  4. SleepingDog says:

    For some reason I thought both of the movie Snowpiercer and the radios reportedly nicked from one of Vladimir Putin’s fly-above-the-nuclear-holocaust planes. Those planes apparently have no passenger windows (to stop its human cargo being blinded by atomic explosions). I had a vision of the armoured royal nuclear bunker-train skirling blindly in nonstop lockdown round the Fife Circle through post-apocalyptic rad zones until its reactor cooled (or its subaltern gremlins clawed their way into the front compartments to have a little chat about the royal prerogative on waging aggressive war). Pushing the button is one job we might hope Kate and Wills might publicly decide never to undertake. But, better safe than sorry. I mean, if our twitchy nuclear sub commanders are really primed to launch if Radio 4 goes off air (signalling the demise of the British Empire, apparently)…

  5. Josef Ó Luain says:

    Who paid the piper in the pic? That’s the extent of my interest. The Welsh Health Sec. had the last word in the whole nonsense, in my opinion.

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      The Rt. Hon. Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, the SNP’s very own Frank Ross, paid her. Louise is Frank’s current personal piper.

      Incidentally, the wifie in the red coat is my auld compadre, Sandra Cumming, fi Pilton. She’s a director of Stepping Stones, a voluntary organisation that provides support services to young parent families and pregnant women living in the North Edinburgh area, and one of his Deputy Lord Lieutenants. I don’t think she gets paid to carry out her civic duties, but she will be able to claim out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. the bus fare down to Waverley).

      1. I’m sure this visit will have been a great boost to the people of Pilton

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Did the folk in Pilton know about it? Do they read Bella?

          The visit was a non-event, a bit of fluff, barely worth remarking.

  6. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    Must say, I didn’t even know they were in Scotland until I read it here. Why make such a song and dance about a royal visit?

    I remember the Morning Star alluded to Princess Anne’s wedding only indirectly, in a small news item, on page 6, I think, which reported that there had been traffic disruption on some streets in central London, and in which the wedding wasn’t even mentioned. Enough said!

    I guess the Royal Family still serves a valuable function for ‘grudge and grievance’ merchants that keeps them newsworthy. What would we do without them?

    1. Derek Thomson says:

      How about because there’s a ban on travel between Scotland and England? Does that work for ye?

      1. John Mooney says:

        Derek it is pointless to reply to the pub bore Andrew who now spouts merde under the alias “foghorn leghorn” just let him go on his sad onanist journey,as for the “Royal” parasites, roll on a Scottish republic.

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Roll on a Scottish republic, indeed! Then we’ll have Presidents and their wives rolling into town, and I hear they’re more expensive (by some reckoning).

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Foghorn Leghorn, “Presidents and their wives”?! Wow, a comment from last century. The idea that you replace royalty with presidents is profoundly unimaginative, and in any case adherence to a monarchical executive atop a militaristic hierarchy is only required these days if you need the command and control system for weapons of mass destruction (with first strike capability).

            Political objections to the system of hereditary monarchy have generally nothing to do with ‘grudge and grievance’, but a spectrum of other criticisms that may include: royalty in the UK being the capstone of official secrecy; royal prerogatives lead to concentration of unaccountable power (and there is no UK quasi-constitutional way of removing them without monarch’s consent); royal cloaking of British history not just under official secrecy but by treating state documents as ‘private family records’; the corrupt royal award system atop celebritisation culture; the stifling of political debate under archaic treason laws; the royal command of the armed forces which can be turned against designated enemies at home and abroad; expense and waste; enshrinement of nepotism (and its larger cousin dynasticism) as the premier British values; royal appointments of military (including the Queen making her cousin a Field Marshall) and diplomatic posts etc.; the cosiness of UK royals with despotic royals and dictators around the world; the control and ownership of imperial and neo-imperial territories and governances; the onslaught of pro-royalist propaganda; the potential and common destabilisation of the country during succession crises; the suppression of reforming legislation due to Queen’s Consent powers (not Royal Assent, which happens after); the infantilisation of subject-culture as a block to civic maturity; the bypassing of Parliament via the royal Privy Council; the ability of the Monarch to launch nuclear strikes via direct appointment of a willing Minister; the various undemocratic royal prerogatives that allow, for example, the dissolving of Parliament and choosing a Prime Minister during hung Parliaments; the concentration of powers, prestige and influence over vast numbers of official state and other organisations not least the established Anglican Church; the monarch being above the law, and the royals being exempt from certain social norms and obligations; the poisonous climate of court culture; the suppression of the press and media; the power of the monarch to enter into secret conspiracies (as the current one did when she arranged to invade Egypt in collusion with two ministers, France and Israel); their promotion of bloodsports while hypocritically taking animal protection posts (remember it was the Tudor War on Nature that primarily led to the UK being a European nature-desert), indeed they help keep hypocrisy and cant up there with the top recognisable British values; the secretive interference with ministerial policy; royal upbringings create some very perverse people; and so on, and on. I don’t really follow the campaign, but there is some of this on Republic:

            The royals are the mafia family which won through against (or consolidated by marriage with) their rivals. They have committed enormous moral crimes (some of which we know about, like King Leopold II’s Congo atrocities; some of which are covered up). There was even the prospect that by appointing blundering royals to command posts we risked losing key conflicts during WW2, and of course there were the millions of dead after Lord Mountbatten’s Indian partition that his autocratic approach may have had something to do with. UK royal wealth is based on looting, slavery, tax avoidance, corruption and centuries of imperial crimes on a global scale, brazenly displayed in the Crown Jewels and other tasteless symbols of malign abuses of power. They embody everything holding back improvement, accurate reflection, objective evaluation, a rational and ethical approach to government. They are poison in the bloodstream of political life.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            True! I think I might have been influenced by the gender identities of the Royal visitors.

            As for what we’d call our head of state in a future republic, does it really matter? His or her job would be to execute the general will, as determined by the agorá (‘marketplace’) through the free and equal deliberation of citizens’ assemblies and their subsidiaries. ‘Chief Executive Officer’ has a nice ring to it.

      2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        The exception that one may travel for work or to provide voluntary or charitable services might cover it. There’s always a loophole.

        But wouldn’t it have been something, had Sandra wrestled them to the ground and made a citizen’s arrest. (Are you still allowed to do that under current social distancing rules in Edinburgh?) I’d have paid money to see that.

  7. Arboreal Agenda says:

    What’s the latest SNP position on the monarchy? Keeping it post-independence was a theme in 2014 . . .

    Regarding poverty and especially lack of social mobility in society (see other article), one excellent study that looked at families in east London that can be traced back to the 19th century, showed a remarkable lack of mobility and enduring poverty (though typically, the Tory press tended to highlight one exceptional case from the study of an individual making good as a princess, or something). The general conclusion of the researcher was that the two things preventing change was the public school system perpetuating power elites and vested interests, and the transference of wealth through generation after generation of the same families (and these two things are often linked obviously). The money never gets re-distributed century through century, and often this is big money, proper ‘old’ money, and has been in the same echelons in some cases since the middle ages. One could even argue that the middle classes begin to pull up the same monetary drawbridge over time.

    If we are really serious about reducing the power and wealth gap then abolishing public schools and especially severely capping the amount of money you can pass onto your children is the only way things will change. The latter is the most controversial and people need to ask themselves would they be happy for this to happen in the case of their own families? This actually happens in Scandinavia with little controversy and in fact, they (Denmark or Sweden, I forget) recently abolished inheritance tax since it was no longer necessary. The problem is so much deeper here though.

    Therefore I cannot help but think the focus on the monarchy is a bit of a side show to the real issue – yes you could argue they are the pinnacle of that elite hierarchy but somehow their role and influence on the problem does not seem the same to me, and abolishing them would not solve it.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Arboreal Agenda, how many Earths would we need if everyone lived like a member of the UK royal family? The examples we need are those of living within a fair ecological footprint. Examples of pinnacle excess should be the ones eliminated everywhere first. In a rational world, anyway, where we cared about life on Earth.

    2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Current SNP policy is to retain the UK monarchy in an independent Scotland; I don’t think it’s ever been a republican party.

      This is in keeping with its strategy in wooing Middle Scotland by reassuring it that nothing much will change in Scotland sans Westminster, except that things will be in some unspecified way ‘better’, our suppressed natural genius having been unleashed.

      1. Derek Thomson says:

        Let me give you one example of how things will be “better” – we won’t be ruled by Tories that we don’t vote for.

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          But I’ll still be ruled by Nationalists I didn’t vote for.

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