Kitsch Colonialism and Continuity Britain

I don’t feel bereaved. I don’t feel sad. If you do, that’s fine and I won’t disrespect that. But the really grinding thing about it all is the presumptions, the forced and mandatory nature of the whole phenomenon. As I write we’re nearing the end of the first day after the death of the Queen and it’s all getting a bit ridiculous. The Queen was ‘the best Queen we’ll ever have’, she was a comedian with the common touch, she was a rock, a great christian, a master with horses, a beacon for the whole world … it goes on and on and on describing her as if she was a deity rather than a human being. It’s all so over the top, so false, so unmeasured. At times like this Britain just feels like a farce of a place, dripping in deference and servility, a media and wider society completely unhinged by the experience, as if her passing has unbottled some mania, some unresolved deep well of weird un-nameable delirium.

It’s a difficult balancing act for the monarchy and the state media to navigate through. They have to simultaneously manage the resurrection of Camilla, highlight Prince William and Kate (but not too much), while really milking the ‘Scottish connection’/Balmoral angle, which they have been doing ad nauseam.

For a perspective on the anglo-normative lens that the whole ahistorical Balmoral kitsch is viewed read Michael Newton here – in which he argues that the description of Braemar and Balmoral as a sort of contextless ‘holiday home’ surrounded by simple folk is itself a colonial act.

He points out that: “The estate of Balmoral was occupied by the chieftains of the Clan Farquharson for generations. The Farquharsons of Balmoral were Jacobites, and with the failure of the Jacobite Risings, the British government forfeited their estate. It then went through several different owners until it ended up barely a century later as one of the properties of Queen Victoria. This is by no means some kind of natural or inevitable or uncontested story of ownership.”

He adds:

“It is hard to pierce the veneer and conceits of civilisation that empires build. They are skilled at building artifices that celebrate and legitimate their power and authority. Those who live in the wreckage of what was destroyed in the process of creating their dominion know better, and as long as such monuments of memory can linger in our consciousness, another world and another set of possibilities remain alive.”

British Propaganda

If Balmoral is whitewashed and re-presented other stories are being told.

Perhaps most difficult they have to pretend that the Monarchy (and by extension Britain) can change and is evolving, even while we see manifested the most ancient and feudal aspects of the country with its endless titles and grotesque Ruritarian performances.

Just as Liz Truss is being packaged as a ‘fresh start’ after twelve long years of Tory rule, the seventy-three-year-old Charles is being presented as a bright young thing. The media slavishly reproduced the idea that filming the accession ceremony was his idea (he’s got the hang of this new fangled ‘television’) – echoing the propaganda of Prince Philip as an innovator with the coronation (yawn). So we have it: Prince Philip was a great conservationist; Elizabeth was a proto-feminist and Prince Philip is Swampy.

They are unlikely to judge the public mood, such is the mania of the official mourning. Everything must stop. This will go on for weeks not days, services, laying in rest, moving her body about, going to Holyrood, going to St Giles, going to London by train with helicopter footage, more laying in rest, more crowds, more mourning, more hyperbole, then a funeral, then a coronation and on and on.

There’s two very difficult questions hanging in the air, unspoken as the Tone Police parade social media and the realm of public discourse.

The first is: does the goodwill and respect for the individual person Elizabeth transfer across to her successor? How much of the trust and faith she has adheres to her as an individual – or to what extent does it come from the role and the position? My feeling is that much of it (rightly or wrongly) is about her and the mythology around her than it is in the institution. This presents Charles III and his court with a problem. All of the mythology and stories around the Queen has gone. The young princess emerging out of post-war Britain, the new-tv phenomenon – the silent still and calm presence who avoided the carnage of most of her children’s marriages.

Instead we have an elderly King with an unpopular wife emerging from a dysfunctional family. This scenario, this story has a very different energy to work with.

The second is that the strikes have been called off for now, but the Britain that Charles the Third reigns over is one in deep social crisis more bitterly divided than anyone can remember. This doesn’t just go away as we parade endlessly in forced mourning and mandatory deference. It will still be there when the bunting goes away. It’s unlikely that the state media and the surround-sound media will take this on board. But there’s a risk that this completely over-the-top coverage will backfire as people realise that all of our own problems remain. None of it has been resolved by Liz Truss’s offensive ‘solutions’ to protect the profiteering energy companies at the expense of ordinary people.

So when the sycophancy eventually subsides and the official mourning period ends, we can look around Britain 2022 and see a country wracked with deep institutional poverty, disfigured with inequality and with millions and millions of people facing eviction, debt, fuel poverty and destitution.

Much has been written about how the Queen was a lifeline, a tangible link to the past, and in particular to the Second World War, a totemic historical event for British people to be proud of. And this is true, she was. But you can’t just live in the past. If the only story a country can tell itself is about past glories and wonders of eighty years ago it is lost.

The ridiculous solemnity and forced grieving is so over the top it will not end well. While people have room for some remembrance and some shock at a loss of continuity they will get sick of it. A woman who lived a supremely privileged life lived to a grand old age. There is very little sad about that. Few senior editors or producers will have the nous to sense an of this such is the level of hysteria we are in. For someone to take a stand and suggest a change of tone or some diversity or an iota of critical thinking would risk their career.

But the reason for this hysteria is obvious. If the Queen was routinely held up as the ‘glue of the nation’ and a ‘unifying force in a nation that is visibly pulling itself apart’ – she has gone and it’s highly unlikely that Charles can play the same function. One of the myths of Britain is that it’s a place that evolves that changes and adapts. But the replacement of a Queen by a King and of Johnson by Truss says otherwise. It’s a broken Union in which millions of ordinary people can’t meet their basic most basic needs, a reality that is met with a shrug from their government.

They’re scared. The Queen was a powerful unifying force and the slightly hysterical coverage of her passing is not going to be capable of papering over the cracks. A more confident union of nations might have appropriate remembrance and marking of this significant event, but might also allow some critical thought, some different voices, some room for reflection on what the role of the monarchy might be and how might want to organise ourselves. None of that is possible in a country where a form of celebrity feudalism holds sway and mandatory reverence and fealty is considered normal.

Many commentators have made play of the fact that she came to the throne at a time when their was still rationing in place. It’s a neat but unrecognised symmetry that there will be rationing again this winter in many households.

Comments (89)

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  1. Micheal MacGilleRuadh says:

    The delirium has even got to the stage where Andrew Bailey has postponed the Bank of England’s rate setting committee meeting due next week in a King Cnut style response to the markets.

    1. 220911 says:

      I suspect this indicates that the financial ’emergency’ is less urgent that the establishment’s scaremongers would have us believe. Maybe the sky isn’t falling and the threat that it will do if we don’t do as we’re told is nothing but an act of terrorism.

  2. Alasdair Macdonald says:


  3. kath bateman says:

    Absolutely spot on observations about the monarch and our current state of affairs. Great article.

  4. Alice says:

    She was one of the richest women in the world with children in her domain living in poverty…..basically it still really does matter what bed you are born in . Unsure if the establishment forces have too much to worry about in terms of peasants revolts. Their controls seem intact and overwhelming … is going to take some peasant energy and direction to challenge this situation. There is always hope .

  5. John Wood says:

    Thanks for this, and also thanks for this quote which resonates strongly with me:
    “…as long as such monuments of memory can linger in our consciousness, another world and another set of possibilities remain alive.”
    I arrived in Scotland at the start of 1994 to take up the new post of Highland Regional Archaeologist (I was previously course tutor for the BSc(Hons) Heritage Conservation degree at Bournemouth University). Nearly 30 years living and researching the highlands have been life-changing, but I have been a supporter of self-determination for Scotland since the 1970s. I idenify myself as a ‘cockney by birth, a teuchter by adoption’.
    Incidentally, soon after I took up the post the then Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments told me my job was really unnecessary as he was already ‘Scotland’s County Archaeologist’. Fortunately there were people within the Highland Region who thought otherwise.

  6. David says:

    Superb piece.

  7. Squigglypen says:

    Your article is as ever.. clear sighted and a warning…but who’s listening.( probably the gang who look after ‘the FIRM’….so be careful.)
    Our nation appears to be suffering from mass hypnosis…and a fear of saying anything controversial about the saintly liz(ard.)
    While I watch Poirot and Miss Marple avoiding the mesmerism on most channels….I am hoping for an unusually bitterly, cold winter, food shortages and deaths of ‘subjects’ in poverty that might pull the skin off our eyes and bring back some semblance of sanity to the Scottish nation.
    What legacy has this saintly ruler left behind?… Poverty/starvation/frostbite in her subjects….An evergrowing family of royal tics… cash for honours …paedophilia…to name but a few..But I have high hopes for Harry and sidekick..they might just rain on the FIRM’S parade!( Hope springs eternal)
    As Tiny Tim said..God help us everyone!( cos Charlie the Chimp won’t.)

  8. Fionnghal NicPhàdraig says:

    Thank you, Mike 🙂 A good reflection of my own feelings and that of very many others I suspect. The whole thing is totally over the top especially in relation to the very real hungry and poverty ridden UK families that are growing in number daily. and we’ll get no peace from it for weeks. :/

  9. David Wilson says:

    The sycophantic response by the BBC was always expected following the template used on Diana’s death, the Queen mother and Prince Phillips just a few months ago. There is no doubt the Queen’s passing is an historic global event. Her funeral will most likely be the largest and grandest of all time with Presidents, Royalty and world leaders gathering in London for the world to see. The Government will use this as a propaganda tool to enhance Britain’s place on the world stage- the remnants of Empire.
    The fawning endless moronic hyperbole spouted by the BBC (and other broadcasters) has equalled the levels we see in totalitarian states like North Korea and which we rightly mock. The elevation of Queen Elizabeth to “Elizabeth the Great”, a saint like figure and the very obvious attempts to elevate the new King Charles III as Charles “The Wise” as the latest Superhero of the Marvel Universe, is cringeworthy.
    Of course the worst aspect is the complete focus of 24 hr rolling news to just one news story- at the exclusion of all else happening in the UK and the world. Surely the News Channels and print media have the time and space to continue to inform the public of important events that continue to unfold during the days of official mourning? This is a major fault of all news outlets whenever a major event occurs but when it’s a royal event the hype is pumped up on steroids x100.
    There is no doubt the British Establishment, UK Government and the BBC in particular are using the Queens’ death to skewer Nationalism and the Independence movement in Scotland. The Queen’s death at Balmoral has played into the hands of Unionists as it has placed Scotland at the centre of events for a significant part of the ceremonies unfolding in the coming days- Scotland is an important part of the United Kingdom. The new King has quickly thrown his soft power behind this movement by inviting the UK Prime Minister on his forthcoming tour of the “Home Nations”.
    Politics propaganda and dirty tricks are at play.

    1. JP58 says:

      I think Charles has made an error in allowing Liz Truss to muscle in on his visits to devolved nations. He is not particularly popular in these nations and in Scotland majority are not royalist sycophants. He is essentially throwing away goodwill that may have accrued from death of his mother.

      1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

        Did Ms Truss ‘muscle in’ or was she invited as part of the establishment campaign to prevent independence?

        Mr David Cameron made clear that the late Queen’s intervention in 2014 was planned and, as he reported later in an overheard conversation, that she was”purring down the line”, when he phoned to tell her the referendum outcome.

        So, I think there is a fair chance that Chico invited the PM, to emphasise to the Jocks, Paddies and Taffies, where the power lies.

  10. SleepingDog says:

    Among Shakespeare’s plays, displaying a sustained fascination for revolutions in political contests, Julius Caesar is exemplary of the ability of the monarchy-continuity candidate’s faction to propagandise and bribe the populace, through Mark Antony’s performance at Caesar’s funeral, where he gives a rabble-rousing speech and presents Caesar’s will. The will has enormous significance, not only because of the private and public bribes on offer, but because it suggests that Caesar had at least some fond regards for his subjects.

    Previously, republican co-conspirator and regicide Brutus has made his temporarily-effective speech, which seems to have won the crowd around, but he is not the demagogue that Antony is.

    Yet Antony will not let the crowd go without revealing (if his reveal is indeed genuine) the contents of Caesar’s will. Mere words themselves will not linger in the popular imagination the same way as promises of private gold and public facilities.

    Today, though. The Times apparently believes that Elizabeth Windsor’s will will be sealed as per the modern royal tradition, in defiance of English law. That is a can of wriggling, writhing, politic worms indeed.

    1. 220911 says:

      Aye, The Treasury Memorandum of Understanding on Royal Taxation, written in 2013, states: “The reasons for not taxing assets passing to the next sovereign are that private assets such as Sandringham and Balmoral have official as well as private use and that the monarchy as an institution needs sufficient private resources to enable it to continue to perform its traditional role in national life, and to have a degree of financial independence from the government of the day.”

      Also, for technical legal reasons – because the monarch is the source of legal authority rather than a private individual – her/his will does not have to be published like others.

      Further, much of the monarchy’s wealth (its palaces, jewellery, and other artworks) are held in trust by that institution for the nation(s) and does not fall under the category of private property. It’s what’s called in the legal trade an ‘inalienable asset’.

      However, many of the sources of her wealth – the palaces, the Crown Jewels and the works of art – do not fall in the category of her private property but are held in trust for future generations and will simply pass over to the King.

      According to the news on the wireless, the monarchy (in the person of Charles III) reaffirmed the current constitutional arrangement whereby it surrenders all revenues from the Crown Estate (the wealth generated by its inalienable assets) to the nation, in return for a ‘sovereign grant’ from parliament to cover its costs. As monarchists never tire of pointing out, the former far exceed the latter.

      Your error (a common one among both fans and carpers) lies in believing the monarch to be a ‘bourgeois’ or ‘private individual’. It’s not; it’s an institution of which the incumbent is the current personification, just like the president of a republic or the pope. This erroneous belief is sometimes referred to as the ‘cult of personality’ or ‘moral fallacy’, whereby the person is mistaken for the substance of the institution, which is a structural rather than a moral phenomenon.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, as a drooling royalist, and someone who has not really excelled in empathising with the republican worldview in your comments, it might not have occurred to you that your beloved Queen was the head of a criminal imperial organisation which counts amongst its ‘private property’ the loot of ages, cultures and continents. This was, of course, the motive behind the Queen refusing to abide by recent legislation allowing properties to be searched for stolen artefacts, which British royals used to be a tad more brazen about:
        “Queen Victoria went so far as to have a purpose-built exhibit made for such objects stolen in violent dethronements of rival monarchs. On Friday 18 June 1897, the 10-day ‘Queen’s week’ celebration of Victoria’s diamond jubilee commenced with the opening of a new permanent display of stolen artefacts.”

        As Norman Baker shows in his critical book on the British monarchy, the royals have employed deceitful modern lawyering to try and have their stolen cake and eat, applying categories of ‘private’ and ‘public’ to the same properties at different times to avoid tax and gain immunities. Apparently anyone familiar with them know they’re as tight-fisted as duck. And the Queen gladly accepted gifts from the most horrendous regimes around the world, wining and dining the world’s worse, and propping up similarly vile monarchies with appalling records, typically dynasties her imperial regime put in place by force.

        ‘held in trust’?! Your tendency towards extreme pro-evil comments hint at some awful dark triad personality traits, only softened by your evident cognitive impairment.

        1. Paddy Farrington says:

          Thank you SD for the very interesting link. The pillage of royal objects from various parts of the world makes for depressing reading; as is the euphemism used to cover it up (“the complex ways British monarchs have interacted with peoples across the world”). It’s high time all this loot was returned. But don’t hold your breath…

        2. 220911 says:

          You (and Professor Hicks) are still conflating the institution of the Crown and the person who lately personified it. The Royal Collection isn’t private property; it’s held in trust for the nation and has been since 1993.

          The reference to the 2017 Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act is also a bit of a red herring. The legislation isn’t retrospective; it only applies to cultural property imported into the UK on or after 12 December 2017. So, even if the Royal Collection does contain artefacts that have been unlawfully exported to the UK (and, granted, the Collection’s curators should check this), this would only be an offence under the Act if those artefacts were purchased by or donated or lent to the Collection after that date.

          But, I agree; all artefacts held by British institutions that have been unlawfully exported to the UK, including those held by the Royal Collection, should be returned to their rightful owners.

          1. 220911 says:

            Cailean Gallagher’s allusion to Ernst Kantorowicz’s classic study, The King’s Two Bodies, is apposite here. Kantorowicz’s masterpiece traces the evolution of the ‘the king’ in our culture as both a mortal individual and an institution that transcends time and made a major contribution to how we nowadays distinguish the authority and charisma vested in a single individual (the populist cult of personality I mentioned previously) and the transpersonal realm or state such individuals personify. As Cailean indicates, this book remains a classic in its field among history undergraduates.

          2. Paddy Farrington says:

            I’m not conflating anything: I’m just saying the loot should be returned. It’s a very simple point. Good for SD and Prof Hicks to bring it to our attention.

          3. 220912 says:

            Never said you were, Paddy. It’s SD and Dan Hicks who were doing the conflating.

            I agree; all artefacts held by British institutions that have been unlawfully exported to the UK, including those held by the Royal Collection, should be returned to their rightful owners.

  11. Cameron Fraser says:

    Good article, filled with many home truths that the British establishment and the Vichy Scots won’t like but oh so necessary for people to hear and take note.

    1. John Learmonth says:

      The ‘Vichy Scots?’
      Are you really comparing the majority of Scots who wish to remain in the UK with Nazi collaborators?
      Shame on you.
      The Queen was head of state but not a politician, she was head of the armed forces but not a general and she was head of the state religion but not a priest.
      Therein lies this country’s strength.

      1. dave says:

        Actually she is the head of political England and by default all of the U.K. She is also the head of the ENGLISH ANGLICAN CHURCH.

        1. John Learmonth says:

          You’ve obviously not been to your local Presbyterian church/kirk for some time where the oath of allegiance is made to the Monarch of the United Kingdom.
          Just out of interest do you also conflate Scots who wish to remain part of the UK with Nazi collaborators?

          1. DAVE says:

            I don’t go to any church as I do not believe in any Jewish religion whether Catholic or Protestant. As a Scot I believe in Peter Pan written by a Scot as it is just as plausible as any other fairy tale. Many of my relatives were killed in the 2nd world war so that answers your Nazi question.
            Your queen’s politics: There are many documentaries, English made, featuring Ted Heath and Margret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth the first of Scotland ‘discussing’ POLOTICS. A good and educational watch.

        2. John Learmonth says:


          As you appear not to like Jews (or at least ‘their religion’)which side were your relations fighting for in WW2?

          1. DAVE says:

            You seem to have problem with Jewish people. Your singling out of them seems to indicate that. Could you be a closet NazI ?
            OWER an OOT.

          2. 220911 says:

            As far as I can tell, Dave’s bigotry doesn’t extend to the Jews, but only to the English.

          3. dave says:

            220911 plus all the other numbered posts and now John Learmonth are of course from ONE person just one. It appears that you are using a bot.

            OWER an OOT tae aw o ye(s).

          4. John Wood says:

            Come now, John Learmonth, that was completely unacceptable.

            Reference to Nazis reminds me that there is a growing (neo) fascism in UK politics – whether the blatant corruption if the Tories, the ‘national socialism’ of the ‘Labour’ party, or for that matter the enthusiastic support for the ‘Great Reset’ by the new king. The royal family are by their very nature political. It is simply ridiculous to claim otherwise.

            And let’s have no more appeals to ‘British’ nationalism. I recall the racism and violence of successive British governments; the utter betrayal of the Palestinian people following the Balfour Declaration; the creation of Saudi Arabia; the ‘special relationship’ with racist America while the Nazi rallies of the 1930s were paid for by Henry Ford; the fact that two of Prince Philip’s brothers were in the German High Command in World War II; and that proportionately far more Scots than ‘English’ died in that war, shamefully treated.

          5. 220912 says:

            That two of Prince Philip’s brothers were in the German High Command in World War II is hardly a fact. Prince Philip didn’t have any brothers.

          6. John Wood says:

            Thanks 220912 for the correction: I should have said brothers-in-law. 3 of Prince Philip’s sisters were associated with Nazism.

          7. 220912 says:

            And that reflects badly on him why?

  12. Cathie Lloyd says:

    The interactions of Charles 3 and Truss with the Scottish and Welsh governments will be illuminating and misseps will be closely scrutinised. And the news media are guaranteeing oversaturation. I imagine that many people here will have had enough by Tuesday and will be ready to move on. There seems to be a polite withdrawal which suggests a deep seated reservation about all this. This will have political consequences beyond those of us who are convinced republicans.

  13. nartin walker says:

    I accept the truth of much of what you write – except that what you are writing and what I’m reading does undermine your overheated suggestion that we don’t ”allow some critical thought, some different voices, some room for reflection on what the role of the monarchy might be and how might want to organise ourselves. None of that is possible in a country where a form of celebrity feudalism holds sway.”

  14. Colin Glasgow says:

    “The estate of Balmoral was occupied by the chieftains of the Clan Farquharson for generations. The Farquharsons of Balmoral were Jacobites, and with the failure of the Jacobite Risings, the British government forfeited their estate.”

    The Jacobites who believed in the divine right of kings. James VII who dissolved the Scottish parliament and ruled by personal decree.

    Who’s side are we on, here?

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      You are wilfully missing the point being made by the writer to make a rather petty jibe. The writer was not sympathising with the Jacobites but pointing out that Balmoral does not fit into the myth of ‘continuity’ which the monarchy is punted as embodying.

      Your attempt at using a false dichotomy to divide and rule has failed.

      1. Colin Glasgow says:

        But surely if there is any “continuity”, myth or otherwise, it only started after the Jacobite defeat. The whole point of the bloodless revolution which replaced James with Mary & William is that the monarch was removed by parliament and swapped for a substitute. Hardly an example of “continuity”.

        Everybody knows that the monarchy was originally established prior to that time through centuries of brutal feudal warfare – it was a process of constant interruption, not continuity. However, by the time of the Jacobite defeat when Balmoral was forfeited to the British government, that contest was essentially over. The relationship between parliament and monarch had been established: sovereign parliament had demonstrated that it could replace any monarch who displayed dictatorial ambitions.

        The confiscation of the Balmoral estate is a terrible example because it occurred too long ago to be relevant.

        1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

          Twisting things to suit yourself, again. The ‘bloodless revolution’ was anything but as the thousands of deaths in Ireland, continuing into the 21st Century testify.

          Myth making was going on long before the Jacobites. Kings employed bards and minstrels to provide them for them. Shakespeare did a fair bit of myth making to suit the monarchy (and, probably to keep his head, having seen what happened to Marlowe.)

          John of Gaunt’s dying speech in Richard II has become such a myth.

          The point of the Balmoral reference was to demythologise the flummery which was being spun around the fact that Elizabeth Windsor died there – ‘her beloved Baloral’ – and that this was part of the long history of the monarchy, with a Caledonian emphasis, but as part of a greater Britannia. And this, in turn, gave Chico Windsor leave to dress in tartan, and every press photograph of the Queen’s flag-draped coffin just happened to focus on the lion rampart part.

          We are being exposed to propaganda big time, particularly of the ‘know your place, serfs’ type.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Alasdair Macdonald, if you think Shakespeare created myths for the monarchy, as opposed to critically exposing each such myth, you have not understood the plays. I have not read the epic poem The Rape of Lucrece, but the essence of that story is also anti-monarchical (a princely sex crime leads to the Romans expelling kingship and becoming a republic). If you think Shakespeare was pro-monarchy, who is his ‘best’ monarch? Is it scheming war criminal Henry V who avoids the toxic court by seeking the more virtuous company of armed robbers, who terrorises his claimed subjects of Harfleur with immediate atrocities, kills his prisoners in despite of the customs of war, and significantly fails to convince his own soldiers of the rightfulness of his cause? If you have only seen the Laurence Olivier version, it cuts some of those bits out.

            There is, of course, an echo of Henry V’s concocted imperial pretext for invading France in Elizabeth II’s conspiracy to invade Egypt and blame the Egyptians.

            And a generation after Shakespeare’s death, after his works were collected, published and became better known, England did have its revolution, and a faction of the winners of the civil war tried and executed its king. Pre-revolutionary art, should be a course on it.

          2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

            I have read a great number of Shakespeare’s plays and seen various productions of them on stage and film over the years, and discussed interpretations of them. Throughout the centuries, playwrights, poets, novelists have ‘spoken truth to power’ and many suffered severely for it. Others, like Shakespeare and his co-writers were very skilful in presenting situations in ways which were open to different interpretations, and, for many this is the reason they survived – although Christopher Marlowe probably overstepped the mark.

            The fictitious character, ‘Banquo’ in ‘Macbeth’, can be seen as seeking to provide historic legitimacy to the Stuart line (James I had recently assumed the English throne) – ‘thou shalt get kings, though thou be none’.

            My post was in response to assertions being made in a previous post.

            PS I have read ‘The Rape of Lucrece’. It and ‘The Rape of the Lock’ were in ‘The English Parnassus’, which was one of the texts we used when preparing for our Higher Grade English exam in 1965. Being hormone driven adolescents, we were irresistibly drawn to them – and disappointed that the latter involved snipping a curl of hair!

          3. SleepingDog says:

            @Alasdair Macdonald, some elements in drama are a whole lot less ambiguous than others, though. I checked with Janet Clare’s book ‘Art Made Tongue-tied by Authority’: Elizabethan and Jacobean Dramatic Censorship, and apparently the later folio version of Henry V includes what look like passages previously censored in the quarto version.
            p72 “The brevity of the 1600 quarto does indeed suggest Tilney’s interference. Passages which are omitted include all the lines of the Chorus, Act I scene i, which expound the devious reasons for the Church’s support of the war, several of the French scenes, Henry’s rousing speech before Harfleur and the introduction of the Irish captain MacMorris in Act III scene ii.”
            Clare says that the Irish character could have been omitted since it was punishable by death to discuss Irish affairs by Elizabethan decree (so much for England being the cradle of free speech… some way to deprive a cause of the oxygen of publicity).
            p73 “The quarto omits the first scene of the play depicting the conspiracy between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely, in which they propose to support Henry in the French war in the hope of deflecting him from his purpose of stripping the Church of various lands bequeathed to it.”
            Clare says that censorship could be uneven, and draconian measures a knee-jerk reaction to current perceived threats, riots and insurrections. Old, revived plays and verses once considered innocuous could take on new significances through associations with current affairs. Too much references to previous rebellions and grievances also found the disfavour of censors like Tilney, Master of Revels.
            And satirists had been singled out by the Bishops’ Ban of 1599 primarily for social satire rather than obscenity or lewdness, targeting “religious hypocrisy and opportunism, courtly sycophancy and the devious operation of the law… enclosures… economic hardship… factional rivalry” p62

            I think the Banquo interpretation is a bit of a stretch. Censors were clearly looking for patterns that could challenge the state. My training was more in political philosophy than literature, and I am familiar with some of Shakespeare’s likely sources. I agree with Clare that Shakespeare’s plays, which form a project of projects, are less contained sedition-wise than some commenters have argued. But of course they can still be butchered in production/performance by what Germaine Greer called ‘judicious barbering’. We can guess Henry V’s motivation in invading France by what his father Henry IV advised him in the previous play, since his nobles might rebel and usurp him, and his crusade plans have fallen through:
            “Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
            With foreign quarrels;”
            These evergreen insights are not state propaganda.

            By the way, do you agree that Lucrece is indisputably an anti-royalist work? I can’t see any reasonable way to wrangle it otherwise. It is basically the foundation myth of the Roman Republic, and used to partly explain why republican Romans held kingship as anathema.

          4. Alasdair Macdonald says:

            Thanks for the very interesting post. I have not read Ms Clare’s book. I will have a look.

            Yes, I agree with your interpretation of The Rape of Lucrece.

    2. My point wasn’t in favour of the Jacobites so much as to look at the prism through which Scotland and the Highlands specifically is being presented in this phenomenon and some of the problems with it.

      1. dave says:

        The Highland Clearances comes to mind. This despicable programme of Earl Gower an ENGLISH politician, diplomat and land owner. George Granville Leveson-Gower was the wealthiest man in England at that time. There is a statue to this criminal in SCOTLAND. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

    3. 220911 says:

      The Balmoral estate was forfeited by the Farquharsons of Inverey in 1746, but was immediately passed by the Crown to another branch of the same family, the Farquharsons of Auchendryne. Prince Albert bought the estate from the Farqhuarson family in 1852.

  15. Ann Rayner says:

    Trying to ve fair to Charles, he dud alpare tly express his support for the Claim of Right during the Acession Cerenony, thiugb I did not watch it Uf he did so, we in Scitland should sei, e tbe moment, and express our pleasure at this Royal accptance of a document which underlines the concept of the Sovereignty of the peopke of Scotland over whatever kings or queens may be in place, or indeed, wbat government. Charlez may be ignorant if the implications if what he said but he cannot unsay whst he said so publicly so must be held to his promise. I see this, assuming it is true, as of important Constitutional significance and so it must be recognised as such.

  16. MBC says:

    I think Britain has lost its way, long, long ago, and is anxiously searching for a soul amongst the tinsel.

    There is none there.

  17. Lorraine Fannin says:

    There are a great many very good points made in this and in yesterday’s article. What strikes me particularly is the excellent discussion forum they have opened up: about our apparent ‘subservience’ to the UK media institutions and the patronising tones we have heard on full display today; about the attempts to forge a narrative that is self-contradictory in its attempts to stress both continuity and tradition, at the same time trying to show an ability to change and evolve; and especially about Scotland’s need to think clearly and radically for the long term, but at the same time be mindful of the need to get a starting point – actual independence. And to do this we need to persuade about a million people that it is actually a good thing to have, because they are yet to be convinced, for whatever reason. My own pragmatism tells me that a reasonably moderate approach may be the answer, however much it tries the patience.
    That said, among all the jarring notes of these events and reports, two have struck me with particular force, bringing forth much inner wrath.
    The first was the report that Prince William, the new Duke of Cornwall would inherit an estate worth £ billions, (acquired in mediaeval times) and which would produce for him an income of around £20 million a year. At a time when families and especially children are in poverty, echoing those mediaeval days, this is obscene.
    The second was political. Another wave of rage came when I heard that Liz Truss, Prime Minister for a few days, would accompany the new King on his rounds of the devolved nations. How dare she. She who said she would ignore the First Minister of Scotland and deplored the First Minister of Wales. How dare the King let her go along. He has not judged that well, and the fact that he hasn’t taken the mood in the political sphere does rather hint at poor omens for his future.

    1. dave says:

      You must remember Lorraine that F.M. Sturgeon herself claims to be British. She will accept humbly any decisions made by our colonial masters as she always has. Take the last 8 years.

  18. Kieran says:

    It’s going to be hard for anti-Monarchists to speak out without being seen as ‘traitors’. You are not a ‘traitor’ to any cause if you care about humanity.

    It is sickening, to the pit of one’s stomach seeing a platform being given to the likes of ‘Prince’ Andrew. Who paid for his ‘settlement’? The British people? The Queen?

    The sycophants are in their orgasmic element and actually add to the anger and frustration of so many.

    The death of any human being is sad and should be respected, as should the family at this time.

    However, failure to see their flaws shies away from the fact that these people are as deeply flawed as the rest of us.

    Demanding deference and blind loyalty deserves to be placed firmly on the past.

    It’s genuinely sad to see the OTT coverage on National TV etc.

  19. Mr E says:

    I’m agnostic about the whole thing and can’t be bothered reading all the way through a Spart hate-fest. I’m not sure if the author has liked anything since Corbyn.

    It was interesting to hear that Balmoral was appropreated by the Protestant State from a Catholic Jacobin (warmongering traitor?). I wonder if the tribal leader was executed, or if they let him off?

    1. 220912 says:

      He was pardoned. His Balmoral estate was forfeited to another branch of the same family, the Farquharsons of Auchendryne. It was never appropriated by the state. Prince Albert bought the estate from the Farquharson family in 1852, since it reminded him of the landscape of his native Thuringia, and it remains a private residence of his descendants. James Farquharson of Inverey, ‘the Bold Balmoral’ of Jacobite lore, died of natural causes in 1753.

  20. Judith Marie Brennan says:

    Thank you, ed. for a fine article.
    I have learned so much from the article and the comments, that you must excuse me if this is unduly derivative.
    First the country is in mourning, but is it for an individual or representative (symbol, too) of an institution, and can we conflate the two? The death of any individual is sad, regardless of their age, but usually only a source of grief to those who knew them personally. To grieve for a person we did not know, is to grieve for a symbol of some loss connected only indirectly with the dead. My grandfather died as a member of the Russian Relief Force shortly after my mother’s birth, but I knew him only through the pity I felt for my grandmother and the effect it had on her. My grandfather was not the RRF, and his death doesn’t represent the expedition to me, but the political dishonesty that gave rise to it, and the resultant deaths. I do not identify my grandfather with the RRF.
    The person of the monarch and the institution are conflated in ways which are mutually reinforcing. First, we are expected to mourn a 96 year-old lady we have never if ever met, but who through her virtues, is supposed to represent all that is good. Those virtues are then claimed by the institution of which she formed a significant part. The second form of conflation is more personal. I may associate the monarch with events in my own life – in my case seeing a miniature silvery coach on a tiny television screen – and expected to grieve for that punctuation mark in my history. Many people, it appears, can do that. I can’t. There’s just too much punctuation in my life for me to grieve for it all.
    There is another interesting aspect of this public mourning. According to the OED, ‘to mourn’ can mean ‘to exhibit the conventional signs of grief for a period’. So, shops remain shut, blinds drawn, flags flown at half-mast, black worn, all without the accompaniment of any personal feelings of grief; they are symbols of official or institutional loss. These signs have now been overlaid by the conventions of ‘social’ media, one of which is to give us a pretended intimacy with celebrity. We are now ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ of wealthy people in power. As friends we bear the responsibility for expressions of grief – if not we are unfeeling.

    1. 220912 says:

      I don’t think people are grieving for the late Queen as they might for a person they knew or for the institution she personified (which lives on, after all, in the person of King Charles). I think they’re grieving, rather, for the passing of their own lives. Her reign was (for better or for worse) coterminous with almost everyone’s life and provides that life with one of the very few narrative threads that run unbroken through it. The loss of such a narrative thread can be a devastating experience, a very real bereavement, a ‘rupture’ in the procession of one’s own life.

      The psychology involved our various responses to the Queen’s death is fascinating, and very different from that which played out on the death of Princess Diana, say. It’s also fascinating how much and how deeply it exercises emotions even on fora such as Bella Caledonia, where its also the topical story. No doubt books will be written about that psychology in the near future.

  21. Alvin Vertigo says:

    Great to have your voice of reason amongst the clamour of insanity. Great to have someone voicing the feeling of millions of us. Thanks, Mike.

    1. 220912 says:


      1. Kieran says:

        Yes, quite literally, millions!

        1. 220912 says:

          How do you know what millions of us feel?

          It’s a literally meaningless claim.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, and yet you claim to have some mystical mental link to the millions in your ‘Middle Scotland’ and love to tell us what they really think about current affairs (not a great deal, apparently, since despite living in a polity they somehow manage to be ‘apolitical’). The Problem of Other Minds only exists when it’s convenient for a given comment, eh? Of course, it’s the death of the General Will if it cannot be expressed.

          2. 220912 says:

            I’ve no idea – and never claimed to know – what the constituents of ‘Middle Scotland’ feel. But I do have a good idea of how they tend to vote, as do all the major political parties in Scotland, which is why they pitch their centrist sales patter to that particular audience. All the statistical evidence shows that middle-class, middle-income, middle-brow voters, which constitute a majority of electorate in Scotland, tend to vote for moderate, middle-of-the-road party programmes.

            Kieran, on the other hand, claims to know what ‘millions of us feel’. I’d just like to know the evidence on which he bases that claim.

          3. Kieran says:

            There are millions, quite literally millions, of people who don’t give a damn about the Monarchy.

            If you believe otherwise I suggest you stay away from Twitter etc.

            Just keep watching the BBC …

          4. 220913 says:

            ‘There are millions, quite literally millions, of people who don’t give a damn about the Monarchy.’

            Yes; so you say. But where’s your evidence for such a claim. Or for your earlier claim that Mike’s ‘voicing the feeling of millions of us’ in his article?

            PS I don’t have a Twitter account; although I admire the ephemerality that all such media enable. All those disparate voices crying ‘Me, me, me!’ in the digital wilderness… It must drive their users to despair.

          5. Kieran says:

            Cluckbait merchant, of that I’ve no doubt. Let’s play along for another while, shall we?

            Your whole argument is based on a poll which, I believe to be outdated, as well as including 45% of Scots, is that correct?

            Can you prove to that the remaining 55% are all committed to the Monarchy and the result would remain similar.

            I don’t even think you understand what an ‘opinion piece’ is!

          6. 220916 says:

            But I haven’t made an argument, Kieran. I’ve called into question your claim that Mike voices the feeling of millions of us in relation to the monarchy, that feeling being one of indifference. In the absence of any evidence from your part in support of your claim, I quoted a recent ‘poll of polls’ (an aggregate of all the extant polls on the matter) that would suggest that, contrary to your assertion, less that million voters in Scotland share Mike’s alleged indifference to the monarchy, that folk are generally for or against it. If you’ve any evidence that would validate your claim, then just present it and my doubt will be assuaged.

          7. I don’t remember ever arguing that I voice the feeling of millions and that feeling being indifference, but apparently its true …

            “The official viewing figures for the funeral are now out for the UK. 26million watched at least part of the funeral across the UK, slightly less than watched the marriage of Charles and Diana. The UK population is 67 million so while about 39% in the UK watched, most people did something else”

          8. John Wood says:

            All the people viewing the TV coverage, queuing to see the royal coffin, etc – I think a lot of them just wanted to witness a bit of history. I doubt if many really cared that much about Elizabeth Windsor or still less about the monarchy. Remember the recent Jubilee?
            A bit of a damp squib really, especially in Scotland.
            It’s all just a circus, a distraction from the sheer awfulness of a world ruled by organised crime. Now it’s over and we can all get on with wondering how we are going to survive the winter.

          9. SleepingDog says:

            @Editor, royal coverage tops and tails the latest edition of Al Jazeera’s media analysis programme The Listening Post, where they make some reasonable points:
            Protocol and pageantry: Reporting the death of the queen
            “The queen’s death sets in motion a massive media operation – but is it reflecting public sentiment, or shaping it?”
            I randomly sampled the proceedings twice for a few seconds: of hideous trumpetty fanfare, and a snatch of Dimbleby-speak, which is interesting since I recently commented on his views that the BBC was afraid of the Palace and followed its wishes subserviently, so presumably I count in those ‘watcher’ statistics.

            The ‘where were you’ question is something I wonder if royalists are generally truthfully enough to answer. Thanks to the smartphone revolution and access to a comfortable toilet, like millions I was having a shit when I first read about the Queen’s death. I was left to ponder how many of today’s royalists would really relish dying for King and Country. After all, the queues for the recruiting offices appear to be relying on some of the poorest would-be child soldiers in the world, not a demographic especially noted for royalist tendencies.

      1. Kieran says:

        Are you, in all seriousness, doubting that there are millions of people who just couldn’t care less? Some care so much they want it abolished completely.

        45% of Scots voted for independence, that’s quite a number. I reckon we could assume that at least 2m of them are not bothered by or actively dislike the Monarchy.

        If not, let’s add in a City like Liverpool where so many class themselves as ‘Scouse’, not even English.

        Look at the rise in Welsh Nationalism. The dragon, Michael Sheen, speaks eloquently of a Welsh nation with no voice and handed back his OBE.

        “Who was it who told us who we could worship, destroyed our chapels … ”

        In the North of Ireland, there are hundreds of thousands of Nationalists who see Charles as Head of the Parachute regiment responsible for Bloody Sunday.

        Take into account the Asian-British. Think about people of all colour and creed who view the treatment of Megan as the true face of British royalty.

        Think of the abused as they watch Andrew wallow in entitled self-pity as they struggle with their mental reaction to that farce.

        If you don’t believe there are millions – no need for a poll in my eyes – then you are quite entitled to believe so.

        It is, allegedly, a free country.

        Recent police actions would strongly suggest otherwise.

        1. Hi Kieran, you write: “Are you, in all seriousness, doubting that there are millions of people who just couldn’t care less? Some care so much they want it abolished completely.”

          I’m not sure what you mean, sorry. Can you explain? Thanks

          1. Kieran says:


            It was a reply to 220913 who questioned my belief there are millions of people who don’t care about the Monarchy.

        2. 220913 says:

          I’ve found some evidence that would pertain to your latter claim that millions of people couldn’t care less/give a damn about the monarchy. A poll conducted by the British Future think tank earlier this year found that 19% of the electorate in Scotland couldn’t give a damn. That would be about 910,000 voters. 45% cared enough/gave enough of a damn to want to see it abolished, while 36% cared enough/gave enough of a damn to want to see it retained.

          Still haven’t found any evidence that would pertain to your earlier claim that Mike voices the feeling of millions of us.

          1. Kieran says:

            I think you are now being deliberately ridiculous.

            If you believe that 2m +1 people in Britain are not supporters of the Monarchy then, as I stated, you have every right to say so.

            Personally, I believe it is much, much higher.

            If you believe my statement is ill-informed then so be it.

            I doubt either of us shall lose any sleep over the others opinion.

            When people are freezing to death and starving this winter they can wrap themselves up in their Union Jack’s and leave their King Charles lll enameled plates empty.

            That’ll fill them full of pride!

          2. Kieran says:

            Also, you’ve found quite a large number in relation to Scotland.

            Maybe you could dig a bit deeper?

          3. Kieran says:

            Just a wee article, from lifelong Rangers supporter, 220913.

            By now you will all know that Yestival has been postponed until 8th October. Apparently the police are unable to guarantee public order. They should, of course, be embarrassed however it seems this police force and this Chief Constable are incapable of being embarrassed.

            Earlier today a good reliable source sent me this private message on Twitter.

            “Roddy, underground scuttlebutt – Union Bears and BNP & EDL being bussed in to cause unrest at Yes Event in George Sq. Apparently Polis have refused to supply additional cover for Alex…. Be Careful out there just in case it turns out not to be rumour.”

            It turns out the police intelligence picked up the same gossip about these extreme right wing British Unionist extremist thugs. These are the same vile people that on September 19th, 2014, ran amok in Glasgow City centre assaulting and beating anyone they saw with a saltire.

            Who can ever forget the two lovely sisters surrounded by a baying mob of Brits while proudly holding their Saltire?

            This early evening I received a message from Tommy Sheridan to inform me that the police had withdrawn their permission for Yestival to go ahead this weekend. They cited a fear of public disorder if this annual family event went ahead. We know that the YES Movement for over ten years has held countless public meetings, marches and gatherings. Literally millions of YES people have taken part in towns and cities throughout Scotland. After the marches they even clear up their own litter. In all that time there has not been a single arrest. There is no drunkenness. There is no urinating in the street. There is no standing outside places of worship singing and chanting inflammatory sectarian or racist insults. There are never any fixed penalty notices.

            If only it were so when the British Nationalists take to the street!

            This British rabble with their union flags and sectarian chants always cause unrest mayhem and public disorder. Wherever they go trouble abd violence follows. Their British Orange Order Marches are hate filled, drunken violent orgies on every occassion. In 2014 while we were singing Hope Over Fear and peaceably promoting the cause of independence the British Nationalists and their Orange hordes were bottling a child in Glasgow.


            In 2019 when 250,000 independence supporters marched in Edinburgh without a single incident. The Brits were in Glasgow with their union flags, drums and flutes spitting and assaulting a Roman Catholic priest in Glasgow’s East end.


            In July this year the British Orange Order were up to their usual civil disorder.

            SEVEN people were arrested yesterday during the Orange Order walks in Glasgow.

            Officers made the arrests on July 2 while thousands gathered to march in celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

            They also issued 12 fixed penalty notices.

            Cops confirmed that the offences were for breaching the peace and anti-social behaviour. For anti-social behaviour read pissing and vomiting on the streets!


            These are only a few incidents picked at random. You literally could fill pages with this sort of disorder carried out by British Nationalist thugs. What you will never hear is any of the British Nationalist Political Parties or their politicians speaking out condemning this type of violent disorder

            We have a police force and Local Authorities that allow these marches in their hundreds every year They never have a problem that forces them to cancel these open sewers of British Nationalism bigotry and thuggery. The Police do not talk of being unable to guarantee public order when it is the British thugs on the street..

            However, a Movement that has never had a single arrest or a single fixed penalty notice ever is stopped from holding an annual family type gathering because Police Scotland cannot guarantee the safety of the law abiding citizens. Are we really meant to believe this? They are unable to contain these British right-wing thugs?

            This act of political cowardice is yet another strike against this incompetent and badly led police force. Led by Sir Ian Livingston who has made it clear he wants out of the role. A role that seems beyond his capabilities. He allows British thuggery on our streets and instead of tackling it head on he prevents the law abiding citizens from gathering.

            Recently he said he wanted to review policing of the YES Movement because some English Tories were upset at being heckled and someone allegedly threw an egg! No such review of policing for British thuggery!

            The same police force that cannot find out who from the First Minister’s Office leaked a sensitive document to the hack at the Daily Record, David Clegg a very very close friend of Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of staff Liz Lloyd. A clear criminal act that the Scottish Police are unable to solve! No suspects, nobody interviewed under caution no arrests!


            The police force that cannot tell if £ 600k of money missing from the SNP accounts has been embezzled, stolen, lost or placed in an offshore bank.

            Our police force seem more interested in catching anyone that puts a sticker on a lampost or refers to a biological male in a frock as a male than keeping British neds and thugs in order.

            So many of us have lost total faith in our police, our judicial system and the politicians that are supposed to watch over them.

            This latest act of our keystone cops tells us that those of us that remain lawful are discriminated against. We now know that as long as you have a union flag you are above the law. We no longer have law and order. We have corruption and incompetence. The bullies and lawbreakers own the streets and our police it seems are unable to police them.

            To Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, Alex Cole-Hamilton and Alistair Jack I say this, it is time you reined in your British Nationalist thugs. It is time for the British Politicians and establishment to accept responsibility for their thugs and law breakers! To Sir Ian I say, go find that new position soon. You have been a complete disaster in the role you now inherit. You make Inspector Jacques Clouseau seem like Sherlock Holmes!

          4. 220913 says:

            Yes, well clearly the number of people who don’t give a sh*t one way or the other abut the monarchy will be much bigger for whole of Britain. I rashly assumed you were talking about Scotland just; you didn’t specify the area over which your alleged ‘millions’ were spread. In June, a UK ‘poll of polls’ indicated that 16% of the UK electorate couldn’t care less/give a damn about the monarchy, which would represents about 6.4 million of us.

            I still can’t find any figures (for either Scotland or Britain as a whole) that would pertain to the original matter of the ‘millions’ whose feelings Mike voices.

          5. Kieran says:

            You didn’t rashly come to any conclusion about Scotland, at all, I’m assuming.

            You ignored the points about differing ethnicities. You ignored those who, quite literally you’ll agree I hope, despise Andrew and the fact his mother paid or helped to pay his settlement.

            How many more lost respect for the Queen then?

            You ignored Irish Nationalists whose country you partitioned in the most naked and blatant act of sectarian bigotry and then the British did the exact same thing in India etc.

            You ignored those who despise racism and see the Royals as being guilty of it.

            Irrespective of the survey you have quoted; I have no doubt whatsoever that over 2m in Scotland couldn’t give a damn about the Monarchy.

            I wish you well! Best wishes and good luck.

          6. 220914 says:

            But our respective ethnicities, our opinions about the moral character of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, our colonialism, and the partition of Ireland have nothing to do with whether or not Mike speaks for ‘millions of us’ or with whether or not ‘millions of us’ are indifferent to the monarchy. All that’s relevant are the numbers involved, and the numbers show that 6 million of us across Britain (0.9 million in Scotland alone) are indifferent to the monarchy. There are, as far as I can find, no numbers to show how many of us Mike speaks for.

          7. Kieran says:

            As I have stated now, on too many occasions to care anymore, you’re continuous usage of one poll are woefully inadequate and, in my opinion, outdated already

            I would like to point out, further, that the monotonous ‘Mournfest’ has become so sycophantic that the mood of the nation is, albeit slowly, become one of tedium.

            Do you know that the BBC actually posted the family tree of her corgis? There is something seriously wrong with that particular organisation.

            As I said, ad nauseum, I believe what I believe … as does Mike.

            Would you like to shut us up? Would you prefer we joined in this charade, lie about how we feel and refrain from sharing our opinion.

            The British Monarchy is, hopefully, coming to and end. It won’t happen overnight but this farce, being played out now, shall run its course and, eventuality, help seal its fate.

            My opinion, Mike’s opinion as well as those of so many others won’t be silenced by a poll I believe to be worthless today.

            I’m not replying to you again as this has become as boring as the BBC. It’s akin to arguing with a member of the DUP – POINTLESS!

            Best wishes,


          8. 220914 says:

            No one’s trying to silence you or Mike. I’m just calling into question your claim that Mike voices the feeling of millions of us, a claim for which you can provide no evidence.

            You’re perfectly entitled to your opinions and to express them, but you’re not entitled to inflate them by groundlessly ascribing them to ‘millions’ of others also.

          9. I think its highly likely that I voice the feelings of millions of people 220914 but evidence? In this moment people just say anything they like, we’ve now had days of the media just spouting absolute shite about ERII and now all of sudden you need evidence?!?

          10. SleepingDog says:

            I have yet to see any evidence that the past Queen and present King were chosen for office by God, but there is conclusive evidence that the past Queen was a war criminal on the government’s own websites. If you consider Japan’s Emperor Hirohito to have been a war criminal, you have to accept the Queen was too, on a consistent set of criteria.

            The problem in the UK is that, like in the USA, a desire/desperation to keep to a falsified version of national history leads to a more isolated political mainstream, doctoring of education systems to produce mass ignorance, and of course culture wars, but significantly a break with evidence-based world history, international culture and global science. The UK was becoming isolated and infantilised in this manner long before the Queen’s death. I have heard European visitors say they are a little shocked at how backward UK society appears to them. Great sectors of politics are off-limits to democratic influence here. It would be interesting to see research on how different audience demographics view royalty as depicted in fantasy these days.

            Of course you cannot reliably take professed beliefs at face value. British culture has long elevated hypocrisy and cant, public virtue and private vice. Peer pressure, normalisation and cueing will play its part in public reactions to current events. But the demographic trend appears quite clear and uncontested: there is minority support in the UK for hereditary monarchy as expressed by the youngest cohorts to pollsters, in line with dwindling church attendance. I don’t put a lot of weight into polling, but church attendance seems a more reliable measure of a falling away of old deferences and beliefs. If you want a link, here’s one from 2021, but as I say, there are always numerous caveats with polls:

          11. 220914 says:

            ‘…we’ve now had days of the media just spouting absolute shite about ERII…’

            Aye, so I’ve been hearing, though I’ve not been following the story myself. In fact, from what I have been hearing, the sh*t*n*ss of the narratives that have been forthcoming through the print and broadcast media has become itself a narrative, which is satisfyingly neat. As always, you pays your money, you takes your choice when it comes to the information you consume.

            Evidence is important. As you say, people just say whatever they like to say, and evidence helps us to sift the wheat from the chaff of what everyone’s saying. If audiences assumed much greater incredulity towards what reporters and commentators tell them and took more trouble to sift through the information with which they’re presented in the cacophony of our postmodern culture, rather than just trust to the authority of their tribal leaders and truth-arbiters, we’d all get on so much better.

  22. dave says:

    Now 220914 is ‘responding’ to 220913 WHICH IS HIMSELF or HERSELF. Well we can aw hae a guid lach. 220913 will now respond to 220914.
    Haud on a’body.

    1. 220914 says:

      Are you sure, Dave? I thought s/he was ‘responding’ to Mike.

      How’s your Anglophobia? Any improvement?

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