So, we're in a recession, we have high unemployment, our neighbours in Europe are in a crisis that seemingly has no end, in Syria men, women and children are being raped and murdered, so what our parliamentarians need to spend their time doing is renaming the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster.
What a joke. Whilst the British public are sick with worry over their jobs, a higher cost of living and whether they can keep a roof over their heads our elected representatives are busying themselves organising in order to rename the tower. Of course, this won't just be a renaming of the tower as apparently this Jubilee weekend isn't enough to sate Ms. Windor's appetite for fawning blind sycophancy. No, there'll have to be another ceremony and another celebration to go with it.
However, being a massive waste of time (and let's not even think about the costs involved) is not the reason I am livid at this forelock tugging stupidity. Nor is it that this has been announced without a debate or a vote. The reason this is so galling is because it is a genuine affront to the principle of democracy.
Why this tower? Why not something else like Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, another bloody part of the Palace of Westminster.
The clock tower, sometimes named St. Stephen's tower, or by those a little less up on their London knowledge, Big Ben ("that's the bell, that's the bloody bell", I can hear you shout) is a global symbol of democracy. Renaming this strong, much-loved, memorable, easily identifiable and globally famous emblem of democracy after an institution that is anti-democratic is an affront. It's a good job that the statue of Cromwell isn't facing the tower. As someone with Irish roots I know he was far from perfect, but give the man his due, he had the right idea about monarchy.
I'm not alone in this belief. Though apparently this has been decided, it hasn't been debated in the house, there has been no vote in the house, merely some MPs have signed a letter. Perhaps those MPs should pay a bit more attention to the wishes of those who put them there than she they are forced to swear an oath of allegiance to. Nationally 44% of those polled are against the idea (with only 30% in favour), in London this increases to 53% against - there just is not the will nor the support of the public to do this. Source:
What could be less democratic than changing the name of a global-brand for democracy without a debate or a vote when it wasn't in any manifesto and it's against the will of the public? They may as well defecate on the magna carta and give black rod a massive snog when he drifts up and be done with it.
And whilst it's galling that MPs should sign up for this assault on the fundamental point of their jobs, and even more distressing that Ed Miliband, who leads a party whose mission is to build a "community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few" should hop on board quicker than one can say "did we get the right brother".
Ms. Windsor herself actually has a responsibility to decline this offer. Her role is 'defender of the faith' and as such it would be both immoral and direct opposition to this role for Liz to usurp St. Stephen, whom to many has lent this tower its name.
However, regardless, haven't we done enough? Each year she and her ragtag bunch of various incompetents and hangers on are paid millions, they've recently been given a new deal which will see them receiving much higher income, she's waited on hand and foot, people are expected to bow to her and call her ma'am and we're currently in the middle of a party in her honour so costly that it will slow down our economy, no doubt leading to many more of her subjects finding themselves on the dole queue.
What more does she need? Isn't it about time she started showing a bit more gratitude back than this constant drone of one-way sycophancy? Will she be naming wings of the palaces we pay for after great parliamentarians like Attlee or Churchill or even just great Britons like the Pankhursts or Darwin?
What else are we expected to do? Build a structure depicting her visage so large it's visible from space so any visiting aliens can see just how grateful 60 million plebs are that someone's managed to shake a few hands (with her gloves on) whilst having people kneel or bow before her and happily spunk millions, nay billions of quids keeping her in the lap of luxury for 60 WHOLE YEARS?!
Imagine, 60 years of wandering around a few civic centres a week - poor love deserves every ounce of gratitude and then some. Maybe renaming this symbol of democracy (which let's face it, democracy is an insult to her abilities as a leader we may as well do away with it) isn't enough, maybe we need to change the name of our country. All stand for the national anthem of Elizaland!
Sounds crazy doesn't it? Well so is renaming that tower, that tower that houses Big Ben, it is ours, it's a symbol of British democracy and it must not be renamed for Elizabeth or anything else that is a direct challenge to the concept to democracy, an ideal so powerful our forebears fought and died for it. This madness must end here.