"We all have fond memories of 60 years of our Queen," Dermot Murnaghan smarms through my TV screen inaccurately. After retrieving whichever inanimate object now lies below the screen having found itself being hurled along with a range of colourful language towards the inane news man's grinning bonce, I reflect on what has been an annoying few months for me and millions of other Britons.
You see, we don't all have fond memories, some of us don't have fond memories at all. Depending on which poll you read anywhere between 20 and 40% of the British public are republican, for many of those people the residing memory of 60 years of the Queen is basically that for 60 years we've had an unelected Head of State
I mean, in what other than 'the top job' would you select the ideal candidate for no other reason than being the first born in a certain family who didn't happen to have any brothers and whose actually proper Nazi uncle just happened to fancy a woman who had been married before?
Putting aside the clear absurdity of our system, my main problem with monarchy is that it is a symbol, nay the very apex of the unfairness that blights our society. When discussing this recently a friend chided that it's "not a symbol of anything, it's just a party for a nice old woman". However the whole point of monarchy is its symbols, the crown, the thrown, referring to what is just a human being as 'her majesty', genuflecting, throwing a massive expensive party that will slow our economy even further, all of these things are of course important symbols. So if symbols can be used to signify monarchy's place in society then surely monarchy is a symbol in itself.
The hereditary principle blights our nation. Kids lucky enough to be born into wealthy families don't just get the best jobs, the best chances, but they also on average live longer. For me the Queen is a symbol of this unfairness, yes she's lasted 60 years in her job but how many millions of her subjects have literally worked themselves to death because what they do is actually hard work? This is why when we live in hard times I find it so frustrating that people will happily chomp into their cake without Lizzie even having to say "let them eat" it.
The principle of monarchy is inherently wrong, unfair and absurd and this is why I won't be partying this weekend, I'm sure many will call it being obtuse, I'd probably more charitably call it principled (well I would). I'll also suggest that for a figure of "x people showed their support" will be used by monarchists to show support for years. However what galls me most isn't the jubilee, the mindless bloody flag waving, the people happily debasing themselves or even the monarchy itself, it's those who complain about republicans, like we're not putting up with enough already.
Put yourself in my shoes. The reason I abhor racism, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia and well, pretty much any prejudice going is because I believe with all of my heart that all are born equal. Whether you agree with me or not, to me this Jubilee is a party that celebrates and condones the fact that we are not all born equal, a party that celebrates saying that this tiny group of people are better than us. Well monarchy, whilst perhaps not as dangerous practically, is as ridiculous and offensive as any other prejudice and if you value the right to form an opinion, to have ideals, then surely you can understand and accept the feelings this jubilee engenders and support the right of republicans to express themselves and for a group that comprises millions of Britons to be catered for by the British media.
Even for the most staunchly monarchist amongst you, surely you can accept that no institution or human being is above criticism, yet can you point to a single television programme, amongst the blanket coverage across all channels, that has been even the remotest bit critical of the Queen or indeed or the principle of monarchy itself? Whilst the BBC may have broadcast Andrew Marr's masterpiece of royal proctological hygiene, a programme so massively sycophantic they're facing legal action, has there been one critical show? Has there even been a balanced one showing good and bad things that have happened during 60 years in the job? Are we expected to believe Liz is perfect? Well Abdul 'Michael X' Malik may not agree. For a while back there neither indeed would Anthony Eden or supporters of Rab Butler and indeed the Spencer family haven't always been massive fans. No, no human is perfect and Liz is only human.
And here's the thing, the thing that is making it so difficult is that whilst I detest the idea of monarchy, whilst I don't want to celebrate the jubilee, it's entirely unavoidable. For those of my friends who have patiently sat through my complaints I can only assure them I've had to sit through hundreds more hours and reams upon reams of unabashed sycophancy. I can't just hide away, it's impossible and even if I could, why should I have to? Then to add insult to injury, republicans are told that unless they go along with it all entire towns are out of bounds to them and indeed, we can't even have a joke at the Queen's expense to let off a bit of steam without censorship, just ask Cassette Boy who had one of their brilliant splice edit creations taken down on YouTube as the topic was Liz.
So no, I won't be partying this weekend. That's not to say I'm a party pooper as some who believe the Queen is magic have labelled republicans, or that I'm some dowdy Roundhead as the BBC would have you believe, my challenge to those people is to keep up with me on an evening out and then call me a party pooper. Neither is it to say there aren't some elements of patriotism which I think can be quite healthy. However, if I'm going to be patriotic at all I'd like it to be about you lot, the British people, the hotch-potch bunch that manages to do such great things and is, by and large a liberal and accepting lot.
I don't need to big up a billionaire to feel British and I'm pretty sure someone who pays someone to soften up her shoes doesn't need me to big her up either. If anything Ms. Windsor's a distraction from what we should be patriotic about, great British people and great British institutions. I'd happily throw street parties for many great Britons such as Alan Turing or someone like the Pankhursts, and how's about this, the NHS is 65 next year, let's throw it, and those millions of people who have saved and improved countless lives, a massive celebration in 2013?
However in the meantime, it's bad enough putting up with this jubilee without being told to we're bloody killjoys as well. It's bad enough not wanting to eat Antionettian cake without being told to shut our cake-holes too. So please, I implore you, if you see a republican looking grumpy over the weekend don't hate them or berate them, they do after all think you're just as good as your Queen, just give them a hug*, value a Britain that's supposed to hold many different beliefs and political views dear, then tell them this horrible time will all be over soon.
(*ask permission before hugging, I'm quite discerning regarding who I hug)Suggest a correction