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The Queen's Jubilee: A Cause for Celebration or Concern?

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The bunting is prepped, the flags unfurled, but it has to be asked: in these increasingly impoverished times, do we really have reason to celebrate? With ruthless austerity cuts and London sitting eerily under the shadow of a police state Olympics, there are many who'd rather spend the jubilee fashioning a guillotine in their garden shed than flag-waving Ma'am and Co.

Greece, Spain and Ireland are collapsing, suicide rates increasing, but never mind eh old chap, let's crack out the Pimms and have a jolly old knees up in favour of a democratically unelected, divine-right-to-rule leader.

Over the 2-5 June duration we will see her Madj' buoyantly floating down the Thames on a flotilla of historical ships from across the Commonwealth, a Jubilee concert at The Mall (which the Beeb have declined to confirm spending on this modest summer fete) and oh, let's not forget the guest list: there's that nice man, Hamad Al-Khalifa, the tyrannical Bahranian ruler who controversially dined with Ms W earlier today.

As much as we'll all enjoy the bonus bank holiday piss-up, it's presence will dramatically impact the economy with an estimated £1.2 billion loss on the economy. The entire jubilee celebrations are costing an eyewatering £1.3 billion, over £9.5 million of which is funded by the taxpayer.

Whilst thankfully the taxpayer portion remains minimal in the all-round royal circle-jerk's expenditure, it begs the question: how can any of the public and private spending be justified when so many are suffering and having their means and quality of life eroded?

"Councils up and down the country and wasting public money on these celebrations whilst simultaneously cutting jobs which is hard to justify" fumes Graham Smith, CEO of Republic. "All of this pageantry will come at a huge cost to the public for no return and it will have a negative impact on the economy. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of our supporters will be going down to the banks by the Tower of London to protest against the pageant."

Smith has a marked point and it seems you don't have to be a staunch republican to acknowledge the cost to local authorities. Manchester City Council spent £40,000 on a jubilee banquet and garden yet only two weeks before the HRH's visit the council approved its 2012/13 budget and second year of its £170 million spending cuts programme. A total of 2,000 job losses at the council were confirmed as it announced the details of the first year of its cuts plan in 2011.

A glance around at public opinion illustrates people are no longer the forelock tugging, cap doffing subjects we're expected to be. Woking Council were branded 'mad' back in February as they announced their plan to spunk £27,000 on gifting each child in the borough a life-enriching, welfare-nourishing, ahem, commemorative mug.

And let's not forget how quickly Michael Gove's hair-brained proposal of the taxpayer funding a £60 million relaunch of Britannia sank like the proverbial doomed vessel it was.

One could argue the spectacle is a beacon of fun and hope amid all the doom-and-gloom but surely not when so much better-spent money is being haemorrhaged into the - fundamentally meaningless - proceedings? The nation is surrounding itself in pageantry, patriotic imagery and misty-eyed sentimentality - but it's all an amorphous, nebulous carnival serving as a hypnotic distraction from harsh reality and a reminder to remember our place in serfdom.

Billing itself as the "biggest and boldest anti-monarchy protest in modern times" Republic are staging an anti-monarchy protest at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. "We must question and reject the idea that we should all be brow-beaten into a fawning view of 'our marvellous monarch'. And we must put into practice our view that those who hold public office should be open to challenge and scrutiny" states their manifesto.

There's no denying Ma'am has shaken many a hand, snipped many a ribbon and does indeed believe the entire world smells of fresh paint but it appears we're slowly dissenting against the cultural indoctrination of venerating pomp and circumstance and ceremony. Especially when the world is falling apart at its seams economically, socially and environmentally.

Whether monarchist, anarchist, worshiper or agitator the GBP could do well to use the Jubilee as pause for thought, turning its back-slapping Imperialist introspection outwardly and seeing the greater issues both home and away.