I’m A Citizen Not A Subject

Today saw the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to be brutally honest, I don’t see what all of the fuss is about.

As a Republican, I’ve always believed that the very idea of royalty is anachronistic and detracts from the development of a truly classless society. I have no objection to the existence of the Royal Family, but I don’t see the justification of the Royal List; the list of expenses that the British tax payer meets. There are those who argue that the benefits of increased tourism and trade more than compensate for the expense, but it has been my experience that tourists who visit Britain come for the history of our nation, not the Royals.

It should also be pointed out that the vast majority of people I know spent most of the last few months looking forward to an extra day off work, not the wedding itself; that was just the reason for a long weekend in the pub.

Historian David Starkey has just appeared on Channel 4 news saying that he’d just heard from an American friend who said of the crowds, “I’ve never seen such a white group of people.”

That’s a valid point as the majority of the people in the crowds were white, middle class people mainly from the southeast of the country, a longtime traditional Royalist support base.

As you go further north though, the number of applications for street parties and other celebrations drops off remarkably to the point that in Scotland there was only one party.

I wish the couple all the best of course. We live in an increasingly violent, polarized and frankly shitty world and for two people to have found love is an amazing thing. I sincerely hope that William and Kate enjoy many decades of happy marriage, but I just don’t see why I have to stump up a fair bit of my tax money to pay for it; after all the Royals aren’t exactly paupers. Prince Charles alone has earned a fair few million with his farm business and the Queen is known to be an investor in the oil industry.

What really exasperates me is the overwhelming media coverage of the minutiae of the event, from the weather on the day to the seating arrangement to an entire 5 minute piece on the bloody wedding dress!

Honestly folks, who cares? We have nothing in common with these people and there is no possible way any member of the Royal Family can relate to the modern British experience.

And now I’m having to endure another 5 minute piece on the fashions being worn by the invited guests, among whose number we can include Royalty from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who are currently engaged in some of the worst civil liberties violations and crack downs in recent history.

Fuck me, I despair at times. The country’s broke, we’ll be paying off the bank bailout for the next ten years, we’re still up to our necks in Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Foreign Office will be rushed off their feet undoing the damage done by Blairite policy in the Middle East for the next 50 years and yet the lead item on one of Britains’ most respectable news programmes is the wedding of two people, who supposedly represent the future of Britain and yet are completely divorced from everyday British life, and the “beautiful people” who came to bag a free bit of self promotion.

Just how shallow are we?

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