Clown Dolls

Celebrating the longevity of institutionalised inequality as mass poverty sweeps across British society is a mesmerising coup for the state. You have to hand it to them, to have people waving flags and celebrating this state at this time is an extraordinary feat of long-term propaganda.

Why be so negative? Why react to other people enjoying something that you can’t comprehend? Because it’s a celebration of deference and a confirmation of perpetual defeat. The jubilee is a festival to celebrate British oligarchy, and, as James Connolly put it: “A people mentally poisoned by adulation of royalty can never attain to that spirit of self-reliant democracy.”

As the flags flutter and the Union Jack oozes out of every orifice of the media, it’s difficult to get a perspective on the mania. As the Ruritanian shitshow spools across your timeline it’s important to remember that this requires vast resources to maintain, project, curate and impose. This impression of universal fealty is a chimera. This is a very carefully stage-managed event infused with totemic imagery of the military, the family, booze and crowds of the demented genuflecting to camera.

Yet the impression of universal monarchism is a deception, it is not at all evenly distributed as recent research has shown (Scottish support for monarchy falls to 45%, poll reveals): “fewer than half of people in Scotland say they support retaining the monarchy, according to a major new poll that reveals the cultural divides emerging within the union, and  with 36% saying the end of the Queen’s reign would be the right moment to move to a republic.”

Glasgow City Council received just two requests for permission to host parties to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Glasgow is not hosting any official events to mark the Queen’s 70-year reign.

The dogma isn’t uniform.

As we enter a period of enforced deference and the embarrassing sycophancy of late-stage British nationalism, this from the Irish Times sums up the mood across the water:

But the Irish mood isn’t unique. Outside of Balmoral, lumpen neighbourhoods of Glasgow and a handful of bougie suburbs most mentally-balanced people in Scotland will be grinding their teeth and hiding from the grotesque phenomenon. But it is more than just an irritant, it is more than just a numinous assault on society, it is rubbing our faces in it, it is, by definition, a humiliation. As the writer Neil Mackay has put it: “Britain – or rather England – has a strange sickness of the soul and the name for that illness is Nostalgia Jubilee fever is a symptom of the UK’s relentless, obsessive fetishisation of Empire and a long dead past. It is a country at war with the future.”

We are in 1952. We’ve been dragged backwards, out of Europe and out of reality into a new fantasy world in which the past 70 years is airbrushed out of existence. While other countries celebrate their evolution and a notion of progress – ‘we’ celebrate stuckism and the fact that Britain is stalled as a semi-feudal authoritarian backwater governed by a caste system and reigned over by a fabulously rich monarch.

As the author and investigative journalist Kevin Cahill has pointed out, her wealth is about land: “The world’s primary feudal landowner is Queen Elizabeth II. She is Queen of 32 countries, head of a Commonwealth of 54 countries in which a quarter of the world’s population lives, and legal owner of about 6.6 billion acres of land, one-sixth of the earth’s land surface. Her position is a relic of the last and largest land empire in history, rumours of whose demise would appear to be somewhat premature based on her position and possessions.”

But it’s not just about clutching to the past in desperation, it’s about re-imagining it and re-writing it. That’s why the Queen pops-up at Stonehenge and that’s why a landfill of merchandising is spewed out.

This is Fairy Tale as society disintegrates. That’s it’s point, that’s it’s purpose.

While this projection of immense power feels overwhelming, it doesn’t need to be. The state broadcaster and the surround-sound of propaganda suggests you are immersed in deference and approval. It’s worth remembering this is a reflection of brokenness not strength. The Union, which has the monarch as its most cherished symbol is having its flag-day. But when she dies, so will it.

You can’t keep a country together with holy oil and bunting alone.

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Comments (26)

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  1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    That 45% of people in Scotland support the monarchy is astounding in this day and age.

      1. Wullie says:

        Aye but once she goes?

        1. 220602 says:

          I was just thinking that myself: the Queen is one of the last remaining living links to modern (‘post-War’) Britain; her demise could see that whole milieu falling out of contemporary memory and subsequently let go. If so, it will be interesting to see how it mutates over the coming years decades.

    1. Axel+P+Kulit says:

      We will never know how many of that 45% are no voters only till the queen dies. Assuming even 20% changes the probability of a YES vote.

  2. Tom Ultuous says:

    Love that quote from the Irish Times.

    There was a good article in the Record the other day slagging them off.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Tom Ultuous, hah! hah, ah. Too true. Declassified UK has another royal story too. Queen loves dictators:

  3. Squigglypen says:


  4. SleepingDog says:

    Nepotism! Conquest! Loot! Arson! Torture! Theocracy! Slavery! Colonialism! Corporal Punishment! Capital Punishment! Dynastic marriages! Assassination! Invasion! Institutional child sexual abuse! Land grabs! Resource grabs! Puppet governments! Friends with dictators! Death to democracy! Militarism! Serfdom! Patriarchy! Backwardness! Awards and Honours! Corruption! Megadeath! Culturecide! Ecocide! Animal cruelty! Hunting and Shooting! Secret wars! Punitive Expeditions! Opium Wars! Ignorance! Pomp! Servant Abuse! Poisonous amounts of Riches! Drunken Decisions! More Nepotism! Secret Crimes! Incompetence! Inbreeding! Winning Organized Crime Family! Hypocrisy! Cant! Spreading Hate! Protecting Criminals! Famine! Avarice! Obsequience! Kakistocracy! Official Secrecy! Historical Lies Forever! Hagiography! Tax Havens! Tax Avoidance! Unwelcome Migrations! Empire!

    Just a few suggestions for royalists wanting some text supplement ideas for placards to wave besides those flags.

    As for the greatest hits, would you start with the conspiracy for the Invasion of Egypt in 1956, or the crushing of democracy in British Guiana in 1953? What is worst than the ‘worst of crimes’, according to Robert H Jackson? A *conspiracy* to “start or wage an aggressive war” and premeditatedly *blame it on others* must be even worse. But then appearing to grant independence while secretly crushing the leading independence party must also rank similarly vilely.

    1. Charlie Main says:

      Brilliant article, Mike
      Sums up my own feelings exactly

  5. Jim Sansbury says:

    The Douglas Ross Tango.
    “Ye pit yier le-ter in,
    Ye tak yier let-ter oot,
    In, oot , in, oot,
    Shak it a’ aboot,
    Ye dae the loonie yoonie,
    And ye tak anither toot,
    Thats fit its a’ aboot.”

    “Whoooar the loonie yoonie,
    Whooooar the loonie yoonie
    And when the war is over,
    Ill pit it in again,
    Thats fit its a’ aboot.”

  6. Duncan Manson says:

    Kim Jong-un, North Korean equivalent off Queeny apparently sent his congratulations. Absolute pish the lot of it. Another first class article sir.

  7. MacGilleRuadh says:

    Local community council got £2500 here from a windfarm fund for a jubilee ‘celebration’. I was the only one to object to this waste of money. Some love the idea of Britain and Britishness and the Queen epitomises this for them. Quite a few others go along with it as an excuse to ‘bring the community together’. I have not heard any dissent, those with republican sympathies seem to keep their heids weel doon!

    1. 220603 says:

      A community knees-up is never a waste of money, whatever the excuse.

      1. MacGilleRuadh says:

        Respectfully disagree, these royal shindigs are a not so subtle state tool of indoctrination designed to help maintain the status quo and the establishment.

        1. 220604 says:

          But it’s not a royal shin-dig; it’s a community knees-up and £2,500 well spent.

          1. MacGilleRuadh says:

            dear 220604, the point I’m trying to put to you is that your perception of this jamboree as a nice wee community get-together shows that the purpose of the royalty and class fetishisation effort by the British establishment and media works effectively. Your attitude however sincerely held betrays a susceptibility to such propaganda.

          2. 220604 says:

            You’re right: I fail to see the conspiracy behind yesterday’s knees-up in Minnigaff park (‘Minnigaff’: from the auld Brittonic for ‘Smithy Hill’), where I spent an hour or so on my road back from Kirkcudbright while I waited for my connection; I saw only a field full of music, food, drink, entertainment, and – most of all – folk having FUN!!

            What is this hidden nefarious purpose you ascribe to the organisers and I’m allegedly missing? I saw no purpose other than that of having a good time, with the special public holiday providing only a pretext.

          3. MacGilleRuadh says:

            Hi 220604, I think your reply rather answers its own question. Not sure what the relevance of your reference to the supposed etymology of Minnigaff is but again your certainty is touching. The leading expert on Brittonic place-names in the ‘Old North’, Alan James has stated ‘ It is rarely possible to be sure that a place-name in the North has mönïδ rather than Gaelic monadh.

          4. 220605 says:

            ‘It is rarely possible to be sure that a place-name in the North has mönïδ rather than Gaelic monadh.’

            Or, indeed, vice versa.

            And I still don’t see the conspiracy behind Kirkcudbright’s Big Jubilee Celebrations . Is this absence of evidence supposed to be evidence that there is one?

  8. Barbara Sharp says:

    As one of those you describe as ‘grinding their teeth’ (and mostly hiding in my garden to avoid all media this weekend), thank you Mike for this oasis of sanity.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Barbara Sharp, I have just been down the High Street in my nook of Scotland. The only signs of royalism I could detect were: two old folks’ homes had RW&B bunting or flags on the *outside*, (at least three did not); an outside market stall was decorated with small union pendants; and someone at a cash machine was wearing a union hat. I make that a total of one spontaneous display of support. There were no anti-royalist displays, and no apparent need.

      Early days. Once the royalist soma starts flowing… Or have we entered a period where covert symbols of support for royalty are now the preference? What would they choose? The mushroom, with its double significance as support for the world’s longest-reigning nuclear terrorist, and a preference for being kept in the dark about politics and fed on a media diet of royal propaganda? Possibly a toadstool…

      1. 220603 says:

        The Jubilee’s gaein lik a fair in the neuk where I bide.

        For example, I was down in Kirkcudbright this morning (for a swatch o the Galloway Hoard) and discovered that the toun’s folk will be shutting St Cuthbert’s Street tomorrow for ‘a day full of music, food, drink, entertainment, and most of all – FUN!!’ It’ll be the first big community gathering for two years. If it wasn’t such a b*gg*r to get to on the bus, I’d go down again tomorrow and get p*sh*d.

        Bah! Humbug! Eh?

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, careful, you’ll be deposed from office at pub and village.

  9. J Galt says:

    Amid all this English fetichizing of monarchy it is indeed ironic to note that they wasted very little time in getting rid of the Stuarts, who actually thought they had a divine right to rule, and replaced them with a series of (preferably thick as mince) Dutch and German nonentities as mere figureheads with little real power.

    1. Niemand says:

      Unelected heads of state shouldn’t have any political power – surely that is the whole point?

      What is missing from all this stuff about the current Royals is any serious discussion about political systems. Assuming people accept you need a head of state, then what should they be responsible for and how do they get there?

      I see nothing wrong with a non-elected person as long as they do not have political power as one of their roles is to create stability and represent the country for a long time period as part of that. Changing them very regularly and, arguably electing them, undermines one of their chief purposes. This does not need to be a ‘royal family’ but personally I do not see an elected president *with* great political power as somehow intrinsically better.

      The problem we have is that we mix all this up with the notions of huge privilege, wealth, class, empire etc since that is how the monarchy in the UK has evolved from the original idea of divine right. We thus get blinded to consideration of anything other than the idea of a republic with politicised head of state, something in France that is now called ‘presidentialism’, and not in a good way.

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