Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Tribute

No fools like Royal fools in these days of Coalition austerity

THIS is a Festival of Fools – and it seems we the British public are most foolish for this Royal Wedding as we gawp in idiotic delight at the spectacle of sickening subservience to symbolic serfdom.

After all, is not Kate Middleton a Commoner (yes, I believe with a capital C), in such terms was William's mother – Lady – Diana Spencer termed. If so, what are we then to make of our status as citizens… sorry, as subjects on this Sceptered Isle? By effective declaration, and indeed inference, we are of the lowliest status: among the livestock, chattel let out of our pens for a day to wave the flags, praise our Lords, and raise a loyal cheer to our future Liege.

And so prepares Britain for this parade of naked privilege, for the 'Emperor's' son is to wed, and his vassals rejoice, but where is the lonely voice to pierce the cheer? Well, the police have apparently been rather busy with pre-emptive arrests ahead of the big day, so perhaps they whisked the proverbial lad away.

So, here instead are my words. My humble dissent from the wilderness. And to Hell with this pompous pageantry, I say: I for one shall not be toasting the 'happy couple'. There shall be no utterances of "Gawd bless yer Sir and Ma'am" from my lips. No gaudy flags shall adorn my fists, no bunting draped, and no cheering ululations of adoration for this state-sponsored, damn-near Government decreed spectacle of hollow patriotism.

For this is the age of austerity, where the grim spectre of spending cuts and job losses stalk the streets and where the chill winds of recession blow harsh and fearful, where our Westminster masters have not finished their grandiose project to transform British society to our detriment and their reward. On the contrary, they have barely begun on a mission that will – if unchecked – create a country very much fit for the Princes and Princesses of this world, for the Lords and the Ladies, and the fatcat City bankers who trashed the economy with their feckless gambling and spiv-u-like antics, not to mention their chavish disregard for social responsibility.

Behind the mass marketing glitz wrapped around this Royal Wedding gala like syrup-coated bunting, there wait the cold, grey streets of austerity Britain; a grim place for the many, where the weak and the vulnerable will be abandoned, and 'devil-take-the-hindmost' will prevail its tyranny upon the rest. For the rich, for the pampered Williams and Kates, as for the Camerons and the Cleggs, their hangers on and plutocratic chums living in their "palaces and purpled ease", it will surely be not a bad place to live.

Faced with uncertain prospects and grim times ahead, no wonder, then, the British public has turned sucker for this Royalist claptrap – old Cromwell must be turning in his grave – anything to take the mind from the uncertain futures made for us by the rich and powerful, the plutocrats and politicians. Yes, a bit of knees up and an excuse for a party. Plenty of time to worry about the real stuff later. Fair enough, one might think, but why embrace such an odious form of temporary escapism? This is a display that binds us to our woes, ties us up in that very bunting, and emasculates our presence as people on the political scene.

But isn't that the point? We're not supposed to be actors on the stage of circumstance, still less the script-writers, but an audience ushered and corralled in the cheap seats of our passivity and deference. The Camerons and Cleggs of this world are stage-managing an event intended most surely to put us firmly – but subtly all the same – back in our place within the tired old pecking order of Britain.

The Royal Wedding is bread and circus for the proles combined with the hideous phenomenon that is the cult of vacuous celebrity. It is a spectacle of branded marketing intended to sell us the lavish vision of High Society and the common folk bound in union – yes, as the man says, "we're all in this together". One big happy nation indeed, all together now, sing it loud and proud – yes you at the back there, come on put some gumption into it: "Always look on the bright side of life!"

There. That's better, isn't it? And how lovely Kate looks. And Wills. Every bit the King in waiting, don't you think? Come on, it's only a bit of fun.

Frankly, the whole affair is a tragedy. It is an expression of pitiable self-flagellation, an exercise in unspoken declaration that we are unworthy before our betters. It is a gaudy eye-catching display so convenient for the political magicians to distract our eye so they can play their sleight-of-hand, catching us unawares to steal our ever-thinner slice of cake and slip it on silver plate for their wealthy and privileged chums.

But we are fools for it; fools for a spectacle that makes fools of us all. And as we lap it up, and laugh it loud, there among the Great and the Good lurks George Osborne, with his Eton smirk, and the smug Bullingdon Boy demeanour of a man who knows he can trash the restaurant and get away Scot-free. There he stands, waiting in the wings like an undertaker ready to bury our hopes and dreams that our children will know a prosperous and secure future.

No such uncertainties are scripted for the darlings of the day, as they walk the aisle towards Fairy Tale romance and wedded bliss, blessed by the British public one and all, until frankly, the sucrose crust leaves you feeling sick. Our future King has chosen his future Queen, the womb that will bear his successor, and in time he will plant his pampered arse on the throne, as in turn will his firstborn. Simply by being spawned of his loins. Privileged from birth, by birth, down the generations and onwards to the future, "yea, even unto the Middle Ages" (as the sinister civil service mandarin said in the movie A Very British Coup). And what of us, the Common folk, what is to be our birthright?

Britain is supposedly a modern democratic nation, not some feudal fiefdom, but in the Government's reforming drive to subordinate the country to 'King Market[1]' they are hell-bent on making of this country a sweatshop for the many and a resort of luxuriant leisure for the few.

Meanwhile, we're gazing starry-eyed as Wills and Kate tie the knot. They are the sugar and spice for these grim days, an opiate for the masses, a dose of rohypnol to make us easy meat for Tories eager to have their wicked way with our future.

No. I shall not salute our future King as he walks the aisle to wed his Princess bride. But I shall utter a toast all the same. What is my toast on this day of fools?

Long live the Republic. Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: And last but not least: workers of the world unite – you have nothing to lose but your chains.

Mark Cantrell,
29 April 2011

Copyright © April 2011. All Rights Reserved.

[1] I'll add here, 'King Market' is very much of the constitutional monarchy type: no free reign but bound and gagged by ministers and courtiers who hold and exercise the real power in the King's name. The 'free' market ain't as free as we're led to believe.

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