Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Royal Wedding and Boring Posturing.

It's understandable that many in Britain are going to be somewhat indifferent to the Royal Wedding, if only because they are tired of the media hype. Yet the sheer scale of the resentment demonstrated by some anti-monarchical leftists, however, presumably lies in their hatred of the symbolism.

The fact that the British monarchy is held to embody the class system that prevails in Britain. However, if the Royal wedding was not hyped up to such proportions and if the monarchy became more low key as in the Netherlands and Denmark or Sweden, then far fewer would have problems with it.

But a key difference is the mulish legacy of bitterness in Britain that it has not become a more equitable society. Plus the cultural tendency towards a doltish kind of cynicism of the sort demonstrated by the pseudo-proley pose of Paul Heaton on why Hull would not celebrate the Royal Wedding.

The pop star, who had a few mediocre songs to his credit a few decades ago, wrote bluntly in The Guardian with contrived Yorkshire bluntness ( Hull is no king's town, 20 March 2011 )
... I heard that Hull's was the only council in the country that hadn't had a single application for a street party for the royal wedding. Nearby East Riding of Yorkshire council has received 12. Lots of my old friends sent me texts that day: "Good ol' Hull. Fuck the royals!"....Personally, I will only celebrate anything to do with royalty when one of them dies.
If certain cultural critics see the existing veneration for the Royal Family as a symptom that it cannot grow up, the same is true of those leaping on an annoyingly over hyped occasion to vent the same sentiments I had when I gave away a Royal Wedding Sugar Spoon to a class mate in 1981.

I was 6. My mother was not very pleased and looking at her disappointment on her face, I retrieved the thing and gave it to her. Ever since this wilful act of rebellion against conformity, I've never had a particular animus against the Royal Family itself. As my mother said, just reduce the hangers on. Scale it down.


  1. Jung would suggest that if there's no certainty in the "extra-mundane" (a higher power), the people will invent that certainty in the material world. If not the royalty, then what other shadows might rise up from the deep?

  2. Your blog has so many great posts, and then posts like this that are just plain wrong, that I'm trying hard not to comment all over the place as I retrospectively read through it as it feels like vandalism. I can't not voice disagreement here though.
    When I was six I did a montage of that years Royal Wedding due to a childish interest in fairy tale Princesses. The same year I regret I swapped my USSR tank commander goggles for a penkife - we led opposite lifes!
    I'm supposed to be just like my mother's father but he was an active anti-monarchist. When the rest of his town was waving union flags at passing royalty he alone chased their carriage, shouting and swearing at them until he was arrested and beaten up. Posturing? More like strong commitment against willing serfdom. The key point is that Britain has become a far less equitable country than in my youth.
    Okay, you are too young to appreciate Paul Heaton's music in it's context, your loss. I wasn't a huge fan either, but to write his work off as 'a few mediocre songs' just demeans yourself. You'd have liked them if you were old enough at the time, you'd have appreciated how much shallow abuse they took from more self-righteously left-wing bands like the Redskins for selling out by playing 'Top of the Pops'.
    As evidence I present the lyrics of 'Flag Day', a critique of apathetic charity over political acts at the height of Thatcherism, with a sly dig at the 'inbred Fuckingham Palace Scum'. It's not genius but it's far from mediocre.

    Too many Florence Nightingales
    Not enough Robin Hoods
    Too many halos, not enough heroes
    Coming up with the goods
    So you though youd like to change the world
    Decided to stage a jumble sale
    For the poor, for the poor

    It's a waste of time if you know what they mean
    Try shaking a box in front of the Queen
    'cause her purse is fat and bursting at the seams
    It's a waste of time if you know what they mean

    Too many hands in too many pockets
    Not enough hands on hearts
    Too many ready to call it a day
    Before the day starts

    So you thought you'd like to see them healed
    Got Blue Peter to stage an appeal
    For the poor, for the poor

    It's a waste of time if you know what they mean
    Try shaking a box in front of the Queen
    'cause her purse is fat and bursting at the seams
    It's a waste of time if you know what they mean

    Flag day, flag day, flag day