Fool, Britannia

So, did you go? Did you see it? Wasn’t it amazing?! Such a grand and special occasion; a celebration to bring everyone together; black, white, rich, poor, we were all, for a brief moment, joined in patriotic and emotional unity as the whole world shared the most important day in the ever unfolding drama of the greatest love story of our time. The ceremony, the dress, the spectacle, the beauty … the bullshit …

If you enjoyed the royal wedding, and you’re not an 8-year old girl with a pink dress and a fairytale princess fixation, you are categorically and unequivocally wrong. Children are more than entitled to find great joy in the idea that a storybook is coming to life right before their eyes, and that they are lucky enough to be around to delight in those final few pages before the “Happy Ever After” … but once you’ve emerged from under the protective veil of youthful innocence, you don’t get to stand in zombified reverence before the TV with a flag in your hand and lump in your throat without rightfully being described as a credulous, simpering fucktard.

For too long, monarchies around the world (but especially here in the UK) have been treated with such criminally undeserved levels of respect and adoration that the average union jack-clad idiot in the street is so blinded by the pageantry and tradition that they can’t see the awful truth staring them in the face. Centuries of bowing and scraping and kneeling and fawning have prevented them from realising that these people have absolutely no fucking right whatsoever to be where they are today.

Ask a monarchist, in all seriousness, why we have a royal family in Britain and I guarantee you will get every justification under the sun as to why we should keep them (invariably this will include mentions of both tradition and tourism). But, at no point will their rambling attempt at constructing a valid, or even logical, argument ever actually succeed because, ultimately, there is an explanation but it’s one they can’t possibly defend. The only reason we have a royal family is because their ancestors pointed sharp objects at our ancestors and said that they were in charge now and, if they didn’t like it, they could all have their heads cut off. Oh, and everyone would have to pay taxes to keep them in the manner to which they were accustomed.

Take even the briefest look at the history of the monarchies of any nation and you will find a succession of people who simply declared themselves in charge and backed it up with a combination of bullshit claims of an alleged “divine right”, and the threat of torture or murder for anyone who objected. Our own royal family, for example, are descended from a largely unpleasant dynasty of German robber barons (which has always made me wonder how the ardent royalists who are also supporters of the England football team avoid crippling cognitive dissonance whilst hurling abuse at the Germans in international matches). For many centuries, we have acquiesced to the tyranny of a wealthy, well-armed minority, and we’ve learned to keep our mouths shut while we toiled in their fields, paid their taxes, and passively accepted the lowly place in life they marked out for us.

While I am happy to concede the point any monarchists reading will be desperate to make that “things aren’t really like that any more” (in that beheadings for seditious speech are a rarity these days), it would require a somewhat charming, yet dangerous, level of naivety to write the royal family off as a twee, harmless anachronism (you know, the kind of thing that’s nice to have around to placate both the elderly and the manufacturers of mugs, tea towels, and limited edition celebration biscuit assortments). These people are not just obscenely wealthy, they have an immense amount of power and influence over our lives, whether they wield it as frequently as their ancestors or not, and it’s made so much worse by the fact that none of it is based on merit; they’re entirely born to it.

You could argue there’s nothing wrong with that because it’s tradition … but then so was incest, jailing children, and murdering foxes for sport (all, as it turns out, popular activities with monarchies past). Just because something endures through the ages and remains popular it doesn’t mean it’s worthy. I mean, how many crap ideas have stood the test of time precisely because gullible dickheads keep perpetuating them? (astrology, religion, The X-Factor, pick your favourite). The point is that traditions are ever-changing; new ones are formed, and old ones are lost – some are simply forgotten, others are abandoned for a reason. When your doctor tells you that the stomach pains you’ve been having for the last 20 years are caused by a gastrointestinal parasite, you don’t say that you want to keep it because your daily, hour-long session on the bog every morning has become something of a tradition (and yes, the parasite metaphor is entirely deliberate).

Some often argue that the royals bring in a lot of tourists, but that’s probably the flimsiest justification of them all. People don’t spend their hard-earned cash to come to Britain just because we’ve got some over-priced, inbred, borderline-retarded family living here … if that was true, surely Wayne Rooney and his kin would be an adequate replacement? Tourists don’t get to meet the royals, or even so much as get a glimpse of them unless they’ve organised their holiday around a dreary public appearance, like Princess Anne opening the new toilet block at a dreadfully grey high-school in Worcestershire. Visitors come here every year for the same reason they go anywhere else; it’s the buildings they want to see. They want to walk around these people’s houses and see where they live(d); they want to see the treasures they accumulated through centuries of imperialistic theft, and they want to see the galleries filled with portraits of their ancestors.

And, after that, they’ll go to the London Dungeon, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, the theatres of the West End, and any one of the thousands of other places (and that’s just in London) that owe fuck all to royalty. Are there really people who would stop coming to Wales to hike the mountains of Snowdonia if we didn’t have a Queen? Is there a contingent of monarchy-loving foreigners who would refuse to ride on Nemesis at Alton Towers if we put Charles and Camilla in a home? And if there were, would we really want tourist money from people that fucking mental? Have a look at what the top holiday destinations in the world are for any given year and ask yourself how many of them have monarchies. The tourism argument is bullshit, and we all know it – it’s just a way of deflecting from the issue of how these people are living off of our money.

Think of how much that wedding cost. Think of the cost of shutting down London for a day to make it happen. Consider how much was spent on the security, the thousands of extra police on the streets, armed response units, and helicopter surveillance covering every rooftop for miles. Think of how much good that money could have done if it had been spent on something other than a lavish, gaudy, disgustingly ostentatious display of how these people are so staggeringly fucking wealthy that they are able to marshal together all of that just so that one of their over-privileged cunt children can sign a single legal document in front of the nation he’s going to inherit from ancestors who stole it in the first place. Think of how much that wedding cost and remember that we are footing the bill … that’s right, we’re all paying for it, and we didn’t even get invited.

But, never mind, eh? We shouldn’t grumble, I guess, because we all got a free day off work! Isn’t that fantastic? A free day off work! Except that it wasn’t free because, sooner or later, we’re going to end up, somehow, paying for that too. Most businesses will have had to continue paying their employees despite losing a day’s trade, and those that did stay open will have had to pay their staff extra for working a bank holiday. If you think that your employer isn’t going to find some way of recouping that lost day from you then either you’ve got a decent employer or you’re a bigger moron than I give you credit for. And besides, isn’t our country in a massive recession? Don’t we need business to be booming right now, not taking a fucking day off? The whole thing only makes sense when you see a free day off and a royal wedding for exactly what it is; a distraction. A bribe.

“Look chaps, what are going to do? The peasants got upset with us because we crashed the economy when we let our banking chums lend money to people who couldn’t afford it. Then, they got really annoyed when we gave all their money to the banks who promptly awarded themselves massive bonuses, and now they’re seriously pissed that there’s no jobs, no public services, and we’re still spending a fortune getting our war on in the Middle East. We are royally fucked! Wait a moment … royalty?! Quick, someone call Buck House and tell William to hitch the bitch!”

And before you take umbrage with my use of the word “bitch” in that hypothetical conversation there and start waxing lyrical about how she’s “a really sweet girl from humble beginnings”, don’t bother … she may very well be a lovely person, but I’ve had enough of the disingenuous horse-shit trotted out by our lazy media about how she’s a “commoner”, so you can fuck right off. This is not a blissful union between two disparate worlds, as apologists would have us believe, far from it. Okay, so the Middletons aren’t exactly the proper blue-blood, horsey, hyphenated surname types the royals usually marry, but commoners? Bollocks. If your parents run their own business, and it’s successful enough to put you through a half-decent private school and pay for your university education, one of the words that you are NOT allowed to have on the list of adjectives with which you can honestly describe yourself is “commoner”.

Fortunately, it seems, that I’m not alone in my abject scorn for this grotesquely awful event; with each successive royal wedding that has taken place during my lifetime, not to mention the ever-increasing irrelevance of this genetic and social cul-de-sac of an extended family, I’ve seen a marked increase in the level of apathy and contempt the people of this country have for such an objectionable bunch of parasitic cunts. And if you have a problem with my having used that word for a second time, then kindly tell me what word you would use to describe a family who regularly hosts enormous banquets for kings, presidents, and ambassadors of despicable nations who torture and murder their subjects, or think nothing of punishing homosexuals with the death penalty?

Celebrate if you wish; wave your flag, doff your cap, bow, show reverence and respect, and defend them to your very last breath. These people don’t really give a fuck about you, and all the pusillanimous, simpering, nauseating subservience you show them only betrays your own best interests and that of the country. We don’t need them … we’re better, as a people, without them and, whatever reasons you think there are for keeping these bastards around, you’re wrong.

Stop fooling yourselves …

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On August 10, 2011 The Doubter says:

Was hoping that the royal wedding may have helped sterling strengthen and eased the interest payments on the UK govt. loans, simply from the markets responding to a feel good factor….but alas this has not happened….maybe the Olympics will have a more positive impact on the economy….though I hope Boris isn’t mortgaging the London council up to the gills to pay for it!! The recession is biting hard and the investment bankers are still getting their bonuses with the bloke in the street scraping by……the paradox of the rich making more money in a down market by having ready cash/liquidity to buy up assets cheap is the downside of a capitalist society!!
Yes, the royals….where to begin, similar to religion if you question the validity of this cultural entity you seem by default to be labelled as a cynic or killjoy. The truth as you have rightly pointed out, is that royalty is purely historical and built on wars and alliances. If we polled the UK populous as to the lineage of the incumbent royals I suspect that less than half would know that Windsor is a made up name and World War I was all about cousins saying my army is bigger than yours!!
Few again understand the legal significance of the Queen and how religion is very much intertwined with our everyday law making process through the legislative procedures that are exercised through our parliament. Black rod banging on the door and the queens speeches are probably all people consciously recognise, House of Lords, silly clothes and church representation as always…..can’t wait for the first Sharia Lord!!!
Yes……the wedding, a media spectacle which no doubt was cleverly orchestrated to win maximum public support. I think ‘our Will & Kate’ (as we are subliminally told to refer to them…..more spin there) will appeal to a broader audience….but in reality very little everyday relevance to the average person……more ‘Queen of Hearts bullshit’ for the gullible. Quite strange the role models we have nowadays, celebs., young royals, footballers that can’t read/write…….and wall to wall five minute wonders produced from the Simon Cowell machine!!!
Nothing against the individual royals…..simply never met them and obviously don’t believe the media… really can’t form any opinion on them. Though certainly privileged. Think UK would be better to become a republic……also the concept of the elitist commonwealth is an irrelevant out dated concept, time to move on!!!
🙂 Sean

On August 10, 2011 Kris King says:

Unfortunately, the “feel-good” factor is often massively over-sold by governments desperate to put a positive spin on the catastrophic. “Don’t worry that the economy’s in the toilet, the sale of Will & Kate mugs and tea-towels will sort out the national debt!” I’m being facetious, I know, but the influx of money for something like a royal wedding is not only incredibly short-lived, but it seldom compares to the cost of having the event in the first place. Real figures are hard to come by, but reasonable estimates put the cost at around £300m (that’s to stage and police it, and the cost of lost business from the extra day’s holiday). Even if the boost to the tourist trade by such an event was half-decent, it still has to go some way to dig the public purse out of the septic tank. As for the Olympics, forget it; statistics show that every country that’s staged the games over the last 50 years (possibly longer) has ultimately made a loss on it. The investment is almost never returned.

Most people don’t even realise that they’re paying for the royal family, and those that do (and are okay with it) mistakenly think they’re getting something out of it (usually the bogus “tourism” defence on how they help bring money into the country). The wedding was a massive diversion from the fact that the shit was still hitting the fan week after week for most people in this country, and the cloying, mawkish attempts to make links with Charles and Diana’s wedding were vomit-inducing. “Look, he’s given her his mother’s ring!” So what? “His mother would be so proud!” Who gives a shit? No wonder so many young girls (and boys) are growing up with an unshakeable sense of entitlement if wealthy royals, celebrities, footballers, vapid karaoke muppets, and all other forms of organ-theft are held up as the ideal (despite contributing nothing but short-term, temporary entertainment)!

On October 02, 2011 kholdom0790 says:

The cycle of me loving everything you write continues. Fuck I was so fucking annoyed by all the fucking BS that went on around this stupid fucking wedding!! Ahh. I watched a news story that interviewed an middle-aged *American* woman who literally burst into tears whenever you mentioned the words “Kate” “Will” or “wedding”. Can you say off her fucking rocker!?

*Aussie POV*

I’m not sure if Australians are generally still sold on the idea of royalty. It’s certain that there is no solid justification for all the byproducts of British heritage still laying around here – our defence forces are still “Royal”, by and large; our head of state is still technically the Queen, and of course her stupid head continues to grace our currency. But the best argument anyone can defend this bullshittery with is “It’s not broken, so don’t fix it”.

Seriously, Australia? Seriously, old church ladies who still have portraits of Victoria hanging over their doily cabinets? Why do you still need to push your imperialist, traditionist bullshit on people who would actually like to have a go at creating a bonafide Australian identity? I sincerely believe that my country’s hangups about identity and “what it means to be Australian” would be much better resolved were we to let go of the outdated “appeal to the Mother Country” mentality. And you know, I can actually answer the question I asked above: Australians still feel the need to push imperialist sentiment because they are insecure – they are afraid that this will end white supremacy in this country. Bring it on, I say as an annoyed white person.

Wow, that feels better.

On October 02, 2011 Kris King says:

As you probably guessed, a complete intolerance for the bullshit this expensive waste of money on a couple of expensive wastes of skin is something we share, and I did as best I could to avoid the coverage at ALL costs. The only problem was, I was part of a local campaign to get a yes vote on the AV referendum (due to take place the week after) and we had planned to take advantage of the wedding.

Our city centre has a massive screen on which they broadcast big events (Wimbledon etc.) for people who are incapable of enjoying anything without being surrounded by random strangers and burger vans. Knowing hundreds of people would be gathered to watch the wedding, we put on our suits and mingled, handing out leaflets persuading people to exercise a bit of democracy (ultimately to no avail). I did my best to block out the awfulness on the screen, but wasn’t entirely successful sadly.

It’s nice to get the point of view of someone in a commonwealth country – I’ve often wondered when Australia, Canada, and others would eventually turn round and say “fuck the monarchy” and, every few years when the subject gets attention again, I get slightly hopeful (always disappointed though – maybe one day :)). There really isn’t a single good reason why the head of ONE wealthy, land-owning family should be running our country, let alone yours … these days though, it’s not so much the countries themselves perpetuating this crap, it’s the older generation of voters, and no politican wants to risk pissing off a reasonably large section of the people who can get them slung out of office by saying we need to ditch the people they, as you say, have cherished portraits of.

National identity is important, and I think you’re right in suggesting that Australia’s drive for establishing a unique one of its own is being hampered by the people who insist on hanging on to outdated imperialist symbols. Here, it’s the reverse; national identity is used as a reason to keep the monarchy, and anything else old that no longer serves a purpose (this is a British disease – if it’s old, it must be good, and we should keep it).

I’m glad you feel better … it’s good to vent every now and again, isn’t it? 🙂