Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Three days to go...

I'm not a doctrinaire monarchist. It's not a system of government that I could honestly recommend to any new nation. 

In the case of my own nation however, I do appreciate how it forms a sort of glue holding the entire rickety contraption together.

And I'm with Aussie singer-songwriter Nick Cave when he says he's on board for the strangeness, driven by an 'inexplicable emotional attachment' to the royals and the show, ceremonial, shit etc., which goes on around them. 

Having a family as the head of state has certain functional advantages for the UK over an appointed or elected one. Come Saturday, when the most personal and irrational aspects of the constitution are on display, we may be tempted to forget how it is the impersonal nature of the system, the way that it transcends transient public officials and their partisan gripes, which characterises this form of 'rule'. 

Speaking of gripes, those made here by a GB News gribbly repeat some familiar Republican misdirections. The monarchy is not fundamentally a failing scheme for bringing in the tourists funded by taxpayers. 

The Crown is an wealthy institution managed by the state, which collects the income and pays a salary to working members of the royal family. Most of the value of that work occurs not in the tourism sector, but around the services and the voluntary sector and involves genuine effort. Princess Anne participated in 214 separate events last year. 

Coronation-pooper here is typical of a certain sort of Tory voter who disagrees with state hand-outs in principle, be they to the hard-up or the occupants of palaces, for their worldview is essentially selfish and invisible-handy, and the voluntary sector is not something that keeps them up at night. 

The irony here is that the notion that membership of the Royal Family entails a premium luxury, instagrammable lifestyle paid for by the dumb British proles was exactly what led to the Meghan problem. Yet the moment it dawned on the Duchess of Sussex that things were in reality a tad more complex (and potentially onerous - the dumb proles actually expected something in return), she hot-footed it back to California.


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