I don’t understand the continuing cap doffing fascination,generation after generation,with the British royal family, or any royal family of any country for that matter.
Right off, I’ll confess here and now that I am a republican, although I’ve nothing against the Windsor family who inhabit the modest wee single end at the bottom of the Mall in the city state which the rest of the UK is supposed to revolve around.
These people are simply human beings like the rest of us who due to a fortuitous birth are born into a highly privileged and extremely fortunate existence. An existence created originally by dodgy ancestors of theirs in less civilised times killing or imprisoning other competing tyrants whilst seeking to gain advantage and possessions from those weaker than themselves, then seizing and controlling power, and treating everyone else as slaves, or commodities to be traded.
I have no problem with them individually as fellow humans, I’m not a hateful, jealous or spiteful person. I’m sure several of them are probably quite nice once you get behind the pomp, Pimms and parades. If they live to ripe old ages good luck to them. Expert health care on tap, and boundless wealth will do that for you, and as my much loved and long departed grandmother used to say “Aye but they’ve never had tae scrub a front step.”
However they have very little relevance in the twenty first century, particularly in such times where the gap between the haves and the have nots is widening even further, as the headline from the last State Opening of Parliament demonstrated. “Woman in million pound hat lectures on austerity.”
One of the more cringeworthy aspects of the bowing and scraping cult is the continuing preoccupation of those in search of gongs with naming everything new and shiny that appears after Queen Elizabeth. It appears that there are local worthies all over the UK and its previous colonies falling over themselves still to call a building, a bridge, a hospital, a goldfish,anything at all, after her or one of her family. This fawning has been going on for hundreds of years and it ain’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
They are even at it here, 9000 miles away from the UK. Recently Perth has had a new riverside leisure development opened on the CBD side of the Swan River called “Elizabeth Quay.”The locals,with their customary easy humour, have already unofficially renamed it Betty’s Jetty, however there was surely an opportunity missed to name the new complex after an eminent Australian, an outstanding medical specialist perhaps, someone who deserves to be honoured.
I’m shaking my head reading this morning the news,via a social media post from Stirling SNP (they are bad by the way) Councillor Alycia Hayes, that the Labour/Tory coalition in control of Stirling Council are considering renaming one of its most historic streets, Corn Exchange Road, as “Queen Elizabeth Road” as a 90th Birthday present for HRH. A building I worked in for a few years, the Municipal Building, with its fine ‘B’ listed architecture, sits impressively on the hill of that street. Leave it alone please, It’s perfectly fine the way it is thanks.
This follows on from the farce which surrounded the naming of the recently built super-hospital in Glasgow which was ratified by the region’s NHS board as being named the South Glasgow University Hospital until up pops the woman in the sparkly hat and quick as a flash and with very little prior warning or explanation it’s now the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital! This sudden burst of patriotic forelock tugging cost the tax payers of Glasgow around a hundred thousand pounds to change the signage and put up plaques, well worth it though say the career local politicians and heads of services who see the letters O. B. and E. cropping up in their future, they hope!
This campaign in the UK ‘Clean For the Queen” geared at gathering volunteers to clean up rubbish for the Queen’s birthday weekend is an embarrassment too, and is so far out of touch with reality that it is akin to the Hans Christian Andersen fable the Emperor’s New Clothes.
I’m sure there are many hundreds of thousands of people on either side of the Tweed who are only too willing to do their bit to help their local environment but linking good works to this cause is surely a PR faux pas.