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God Save Us

Submitted by on July 24, 2013 – 8:49 amNo Comment
From the previous Jubilee - nowt changes...

From the previous Jubilee – nowt changes…

This was written following the most recent Jubilee and featured in issue 10 of A Fine Lung. After this week’s events, it rings very true:

“We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not combined. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.

“And should European statesmen address us in the words which were used of old – ‘Shall I speak for thee to the King or the Lord of the Host?’ – we should reply with the words of the Shunamite woman: ‘Nay sir, for we dwell among our own people’.”

So said Winston Churchill on the thorny subject of Britain’s independence in 1950. Now if you happen to be one of those jingoistic ‘look at me, I’m going to help some heroes and tell people about it with a car sticker’ types, such a quote will get that patriotic blood of yours pumping and leave you with a pant-protruding, nationalistic semi.

You’ll be the sort of person who sees a picture of Terry Butcher in a blood stained England shirt and struggle to make it out clearly, as your salty tears of British pride blur your vision. You’ll be overly fond of the phrase ‘Our brave boys’.

If you’re a fully paid up member of the Anglophile love club then you’re not alone. The alarming rise of UKIP would seemingly back this up, while the concept of Britain as the great freedom fighter in the face of oppression is a popular one, especially on its own shores. 

It’s well known that if Johnny Foreigner wants to get his dirty, alien hands on this sceptred isle then he’d better prepare for a good old thrashing, because by jove, he’s going to bally well get one! And who’d dare argue?

This, after all, is the country that proclaims the Bulldog to be its canine representative; the squat legged, squashy faced dog that, for what it lacks in grace and style, makes up for with sheer aggression, as it growls at ‘Wops’ and cocks its leg up at ‘Dagos’, ‘Spics’ and all the rest.

In a nutshell of patriotic/xenophobic fervour, that pretty much is the British for you. Despite the second world war ending nearly 68 years ago, a large number of the populace still views itself as an island of tribalistic warriors, a people that will face up to any foe and let no enemy enslave them. Which, my friends, also happens to be a big pile of old bollocks.

If the foe happens to be foreign, then let’s view these non-nationals with nothing but suspicion and disdain. But if the foe happens to be a vastly wealthy family of power (an un-elected, vastly wealthy family of power), privileged beyond compare while their subjects struggle just to get by, then let’s bow down before them and celebrate their very being.

For we are mere serfs and they are our betters. They are the monarchy.  All this talk of being a proud nation means absolute nish, because the true national psyche is one of servitude, with a vast majority of the population not only accepting the royal family, but celebrating their existence, and in doing so, supporting that very un-democratic concept of hereditary public office.

And what of our Queen and the rest of her kin? The classic argument thrown in your face like a scalding hot towel of bollocky nonsense is that their existence is vital to the economy. Without busloads of tourists being shipped into London each year we’re told, the economy would be in tatters and the nation would be skint.

But as we all know, that’s not the case at all, is it? Is it? What’s that you say? Ah. The notion the Queen’s role is purely a ceremonial one is also a moot point.
A recent freedom of information request has given a disturbing insight into how far the royal power of veto actually extends.

At least 39 bills have been subject to the royals’ little-known power to consent to or block new laws, including the Queen completely vetoing the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, a private member’s bill that sought to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarchy to parliament.

So my fellow serfs, here we have a family that are placed in a position of power and wealth, not through any hard graft but through privilege and good old fashioned accident of birth.

The summer of 2012 presented the people of Britain with the perfect opportunity to voice their displeasure at this injustice though, with the very public royal jubilee cringe-fest of a monarchy love in. And in what way did this rebellion manifest itself?

Through street parties, commemorative shit on every shelf in every supermarket and fucking bunting. Miles and miles of fucking bunting. How can a country classify itself as rebellious when it falls at the feet of its royal family in utter thrall so readily? Revolutionary it ain’t.

And that’s the problem. The monarchy is so deeply entrenched in the culture and the history of Great Britain, that without a complete overhaul of the nation’s attitudes nothing will change. The national anthem is ‘God save the Queen’ for crying out loud (because she really needs saving. In fact, maybe we should keep the hashtag #pray4liz prepared in case she has an accident on the throne and needs Twitter to save her).

In what way is it acceptable for us to musically plead to God to save her? And don’t even get me started on the gallingly hypocritical notion that a country that defends its own independence so fiercely revels in its imperial past, and happily continues its occupation of Ireland. But that’s another rant for another day.

So fuck Liz, fuck Charles, fuck that racist buffoon Phillip, fuck Buckingham Palace, fuck their Corgi obsession, fuck fawning BBC royal correspondents, fuck the royal veto, and fuck fucking bunting.

But perhaps a more eloquent way to round this up would be to finish like I started, with a quote, this time from Tony Benn: “In Royalist Britain we are expected to confine our loyalty to someone at the top, rather than express it in solidarity with our fellow men and women.

“This is the basis of the feudal class system with which our ‘duty’ is to those above us, to know our place and to keep to it”.

And as long as this system is allowed to continue, fellow citizens, not a thing will change.

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