What can be said about the Royal Family that hasn’t been said before? Not much, Prince Charles’ love for Albatross’ aside. Perhaps then, we should recap what needs to be said.
There are 3 standard arguments either way
Often, the argument for the Royals is one of national pride, benefits to the tourism trade and tradition. The arguments against typically revolve around undemocratic practice, cost to the taxpayer and progressive attitudes towards the State. As a Libertarian Socialist, it should come as no surprise which camp I fall into.
So, why my stinky attitude towards Old Liz et al?
Let’s begin with the arguments provided above, starting with national pride. What kind of country do we live in where we find pride in an unelected family siphoning off desperately needed money because they say it’s how it should be? Where their family crest is splattered about the place. The Tax, the recently privatised mail, the prisons, the military and the Police force. They own a majority of the land in this country and indeed the commonwealth. It’s worth noting that they aren’t merely figureheads of a democratic government, they are the heads of state in a constitutional monarchy. In fact her power to veto a government makes it anything but democratic. All parliaments must be ratified and can be challenged by said head of state. An unelected head of state with ultimate, end-of-the-line, power is a dictator by any other name. The government are merely office workers for an anti democratic institution.
So, what of the cost/gain dichotomy. The anti-monarchy group Republic put the cost to the taxpayer at around £200 million, where the gain through Tourism is close to £500 million. They bring in more than they take out, granted. However, is money all that’s really important to us? Do we see no further than the potential financial gains, some of which will return straight back into their hands? The U.S. has no monarchy, neither does Italy, Germany, France or China, all of which attract more Tourism than the UK. They are Republics which are more than able to generate tourism without the need for a Royal Family.
The main driver behind monarchism appears, to me at least, to be a love of tradition. Something this country is constantly struggling with. A nostalgia for easier times creating tensions with a need to progress. Arguably, what makes a British person really British, is Tradition. Acceptance of outdated, outmoded, anachronistic ideals and rules. Tradition tears people apart. The laws, culture and values of this country are based on tradition. Constantly being told to look backwards, while those in control plan our futures. If you demolish the force-fed love of tradition that grips this rose-tinted isle, we can create a much more open society, less proselytizing or dogmatic about enforcing a false identity. Without tradition, we allow progression.
We are in love with our Captors
Honestly, the obsession bred into the British public about the Royal Windsor family, originally the Saxe-Coburg-Goethe’s, (they had to change it so people forgot that their relatives were on the side of the Nazis) is beyond pathetic. It’s STOCKHOLM SYNDROME on a national level. They are an archaic, anachronistic (like a Casio watch in a film about Romans), embarrassing, undemocratic, extremely conservative and symbolically dangerous institution. We should know better. We deserve better. It’s not right. It’s not good enough.
Whilst they’re untouched, passively accepted and idolised; pre-war diseases are on the rise, people are starving, food bank usage rockets, homelessness is rising, CHILD homelessness is rising and people are overworked and underpaid. We accept these things because extremely rich men in an expensive abbey tell us it’s the way it has to be and the Royals have the power to stop this. But they don’t, because they are at the top of the pyramid. They are defended culturally, physically and via legislation. The people fawn at a baby like any other, born into aristocracy, simply because he was born into aristocracy. We’re keeping calm and carrying on, accepting our fate at the bottom of the pile and fantasising about people who don’t care about us. Their entire lifestyle is based upon the exploitation of the people of this country. Our labor pays our wages, our wages pay our taxes and our taxes pay for their lifestyle.
We have repeatedly been told to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.
It is an extremely effective piece of near-ubiquitous propaganda, complete with Crown. It seems almost Zen, has a quaint nostalgia and everyone seems to enjoy it. But it is a tacit invitation to accept your fate and allow the status quo to continue. The pyramid, of course, needs a sturdy base.
So shut up and put up.
If you suffer, it’s your fault.
If you’re unhappy, you have a bad attitude.
If you’re vulnerable, toughen up.
Keep Calm and Carry On, for God’s sake.
Your making a scene, long live the Queen.