I’ve been trying to remain ambivalent to The Royal Wedding, rather than allowing myself to descend into seething rage about it. After all isn’t it maybe a little juvenile to object to the royal family? It’d be like getting angry because politicians lie. Or feeling genuinely sad that children starve to death in african countries from which we import out-of-season fruit. You know, a bit passé…
But then I can’t help but think about the privilege bestowed on a man whose ancestors murdered their way to power hundreds of years ago – at a time when things are bad, and only going to get worse, for the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
This man will one day technically rule over me and you (by pricking holes in bits of goats skin once a year), because our country is too wuffle-nut-mouthed with tradition and deference to actually draft a proper constitution which makes us citizens rather than subjects. His whose sole qualification to hold this position is that half of his genetic material originated in the testicles of our current ruler’s eldest son.
His father, in turn, being a man whose greatest achievements in his 60-odd years on this earth are:
1) establishing a biscuit company
2) promoting batshit medicines
3) using his name to influence architectural contracts
Let’s get this cleared up. The Royal Family do not ‘work hard’ by any reasonable definition of the term. Are they masters of their own destiny? No – but then neither is a child born in the UK’s poorest council estates, into a community where there aren’t any jobs and haven’t been for generations. Can they stay in bed for a lie-in on Sunday and have a three-album wankathon instead of putting on their nice hat to open the latest proletarian wibblemart? No. Is Prince William probably a perfectly nice human being when you get to know him? Yes, I imagine he probably is.
The point is the Royal Family infantilise the whole country, they teach us that power flows from an arbitray source, and that some people are just born better than others. No one who supports them can come up with anything more pragmatic than ‘they’re good for tourism’ – so is a Sea Life Centre. Anything else boils down to ‘it’s tradition’ which is no kind of argument for anything.
The only reason I’d stop short of calling for them to be demolished (or whatever the word is) is that I know how complex it would be to basically have to re-write our country’s laws from scratch. That would barely be worth the effort, and there are worse problems to fix. Plus on some level I enjoy the absurdity of one old lady having 100% of the say in everything that happens, but having to exercise that will by doing ludicrous things to bits of dead goat.
The timing of the wedding is, at the very least, inconsiderate. The country has still not quite sunk to its lowest ebb economically – thanks to callous cuts imposed by a blinkered government whose members mostly come from the same tradition of hereditary power as the House of Windsor. Two weeks before a much needed opportunity to reform our parliament and at least ensure that right governments are likely to always be tempered by a more moderate, compassionate partner, we suddenly have the distraction of this nonsense.
The coverage has overshadowed any chance of actually ensuring people understand what’s happening on May 5th. Thus allowing the only arguments which get coverage, between CGI mockups of Kate’s dress, to be the attention grabbing ones – i.e. the stupid, simplistic ones. ‘AV will mean the BNP get more votes’, ‘AV will mean everyone has to pay £50 to vote’, ‘AV will mean anyone who votes Liberal Democrat will be allowed to vote as many times as they want’ etc etc. I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy (I’m really not), but it does kind of suck.
You have to stoop pretty low to make a system as straightforward as AV seem complex, shady, and inaccessible. But that’s what its opponents have done with staggering intellectual dishonesty – apart from Baroness Warsi, of course, who’s so thick she probably believes everything she says. Yet once again the media has chosen glitter and trivia over providing information which might actually empower people. They have filled this week with blather about an event which I today saw laughably referred to as ‘a private wedding’, rather than make sure people are able to make an informed decision about something which will affect their lives in the long term.
Ah well, there goes my ambivalence.
In fairness this not really WillNKate’s fault. I’m sure they’re in larve and I hope they have a very nice time tomorrow. The dress will doubtless be very pretty. If you’re comfortable knowing that their first child will one day rule over your children and your children’s children, regardless of whether he/she is a lovely human being, or a witless, corrupt despot, then by all means tune in.