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A Royal Wedding? Thought we were skint?

April 13, 2011

‘Suns out, we’ve got a double bank holiday…and a Royal wedding’… well sod it then let’s all get down to Morrisons, get the party food in, a few beers and forget that millions are out of work, more job losses are in the pipeline, that there are unprecedented cuts to education and other public services, that two thirds of universities are announcing they will be hiking their fees up to the ‘maximum’ (for how long) £9,000 and that the NHS is about to be sold off for pieces!…but whatever you do DONT FORGET THE QUICHE!

So the day is nearly here, the day that the whole nation is to bring out their dining furniture into the street, bake some cakes stick some British flags up and have a good old fashioned street party in order to celebrate the marriage of two work shy tax dodgers. However I somehow find it difficult to imagine that this idyllic Tory campaign poster with the whole of Britain being all ‘in it together’ and singing ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ in the street will come to fruition. At a time when ordinary people are facing difficulties that have not been seen in decades, due to members of their family being unemployed or facing that prospect in the near future and due to rising inflation and VAT whilst pay freezing has become all too common, how are people to find any joy in an event that is costing the tax payer tens of millions with estimations ranging from £20-£100 million plus the increasingly rising figure of security. Especially when that event, is the marriage of a couple for whom the groom’s family hold an unimaginable personal wealth of billions. During a time of austerity (an unjust, ideological and unnecessary austerity), how does a ceremonial Royal Family who have no real place in modern times see it fitting that they should not only grandly display their wealth in the streets of London but also do it at the expense of a tax payer whose daily struggle to keep his/her family afloat is being burdened with the debt of such wealthy people.

‘But at least we get a day off’, brilliant I love days off who doesn’t and in an increasingly technological world were the burden of production can be taken by machines we should be getting more days off. But what is all this austerity about then? In giving the nation a bank holiday, the cost to the economy is estimated at around £5billion. £5billion? That is £2billion more than what it would cost to fund Universities and return fees back to the £3000 mark, and I would expect the extra £2billion would see to it that they are free. Now I know that this £5billion is only one years worth and would not pay for education beyond that, however it does seem curious that a government who says we should all be ‘tightening our belt’ and that there ‘simply isn’t any money’ is prepared to lose £5billion to the economy in a one day publicity stunt, which takes away the focus from their cuts. How can we afford this? I thought there was no money? Because the government lies! Just like there is money to pay for the wedding, the economic costs of having a bank holiday and to fund illegal wars abroad, there is money to pay for the public sector, NHS and to keep people in work.

It would be dangerous to view the Royal Family however as a passive entity in all of this, as some kind of spectator of the liberal politics that is destroying all that working people have fought for and that they have somehow become caught up in an argument of which they are no part of, this would be dangerous because they play a very central role. The royal family are amongst the richest in this country and wreak the same benefits from the system as the bankers and multinational companies do, in the form of tax breaks, loosening of labour laws and immunity from criminality of their actions. The old arguments of ‘they bring in so much money from tourists’ and ‘they do so much for charity’, simply do not stand any longer (if they ever did). How many times have you met a tourist who said they seen/met a Royal today? Tourists do not come to this country to SEE the Royal Family, they come to see the buildings and get a feel for the tradition and History of Britain as a whole. The Royals play a small part in this industry, the small amount of times they perform public Royal engagements surely shows that. The issue of the Royal Family and tourism pails in insignificance when it comes to the issue of charity and the Royals, as there would be little need for theirs or any others charity if people like the Royal Family paid their fair share of tax, as the contributions from their immense wealth would be able to provide this country with a world class public service.

How is it that Britain is one of the only western countries that still functions with a head of state whose system of rule died out hundreds of years ago across Europe? And how is it, that regardless of the immense personal wealth that this ‘Royal’ family possesses (on the back of years of corruption & tax avoidance) do we still continue to foot the bill in order to indulge their need to display their wealth and illusion of importance? We are fed the lies by our Neo-Liberal media constantly about how the Royal family is a modern Royal family and that the new generations of Royals are in touch with the public. If that was true then this Royal wedding would have taken place at their own expense and been a much more modest affair, being carried out in privacy with no need for added security, with their well-wishers being greeted by the couple on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. But instead they chose to indulge in a costly public wedding, which will include the biggest and most expensive security operation this country has ever seen at a time when people have little!

I started this piece in  what could be argued as a down beat sarcastic manner, in my description of having a Royal wedding street party and I don’t want you to feel I am the sort of person who doesn’t like a party. I do, and I may still yet get myself down to Morrisons get the party food and beers in, however any party that I will be attending I feel will produce a very different image to that of the Tory Party/Loyalist British flag waving extravaganza that Cameron was hoping for when he said this week ‎’Im the Prime minister and I am telling you, if you want to have a street party you go ahead and have one’. Any Party I will be attending will have a more anti-cuts/Republican feel to it, and I encourage others to attend/organize your own!


(this piece of writing does not endorse any particular supermarket or grocery store, beers and party food are also available from other retailers) 🙂


From → Politics, UK

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