Tuesday 23 July 2013

Unto Us A Child Is Born

Many moons ago, I used to think that a good argument against the monarchy and the associated hangers on was that they were the rich, whose lives had nothing in common with the masses of ordinary people, and they were the gilded edge of privilege and class oppression. True, that was not exactly a Leninist polemic, but I thought then that it might have some resonance. Among the people with whom I conversed on this topic, in the bottom 0-40% of the income/wealth distribution, the answer, however, was that the Queen (and the Queen Mother) was not like the rest, and that they, at least, stood for the country (in some undefined fashion). They represented ‘us’. This idea was widespread, even among children.

I see little to challenge the validity of that observation today. Things are, if anything, worse. While the notion that Britain awaited the latest Royal Birth is media hyperbole that echoed in an empty, ‘awaiting’ street peopled by summer news-starved journalists, not the adoring masses, it is a sure bet that the birth will be welcomed by masses of people. There is simply no political class antagonism in Britain to offset a natural empathy with a new mother and baby, still less anything that sees a clash between the national foundation of the extended royals and popular interests. Newspaper front pages today are not a conspiracy to deceive; they reflect a political reality. In case you have doubts, search for any news of dissenting voices. If there are such, then millions will trample the treachery to the national psyche. At least we had the Sex Pistols in 1977.

Tony Norfield, 23 July 2013