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The Diamond Jubilee - Even the North Koreans Were Cringing by the End

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Wow, what a fun packed weekend of festivities that was. We had some boats, in the loose sense of the word, a big Buckingham knees up organised by soon to be Lord our saviour Gary of Barlow and a little service at her local place of worship St Pauls.

If standing around in the cold freezing your googlies off wasn't your bag then you had the pleasure of wall to wall coverage from the Beeb and any other network that couldn't be bothered to string an alternative schedule together.

Come to think of it why any other channel even bothers transmitting during these royal events is beyond me, its ingrained at birth that you must watch a great state occasion on the state broadcaster and if you couldn't give two hoots you just whack on a box set of (Insert current trendy HBO series). Unfortunately for the viewer I think the executives at the BBC understand this all to well hence the decision to turn the Thames Pageant into an extended version of The One Show.

Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of the Queen, I think she carries out her constitutional duties marvellously and she hasn't put a foot wrong in 60 years. I was even on her side when she was copping all that flack over staying in Balmoral when Diana died. The mass hysteria that erupted was just plain weird and the subsequent anger directed at the Queen was reminiscent of Italy after they get knocked out a major tournament.

Anyway I digress but my point is she's a perfect head of state and if we had a vote tomorrow I'd put a cross next to her without a moment's hesitation because let's be honest anyone mad enough to think they and only them should be the leader of a nation of 60 million people basically disqualifies them self on grounds of hubris and delusions of grandeur. The fact she didn't have a choice in the matter is a plus point in our system of government.

This is a fairly rock solid principle of mine that hasn't altered despite my other political convictions changing from one episode of Question Time to the next. Despite this though I felt the birth pangs of Republicanism building up inside me every time a saw a news bulletin or newspaper lecturing me on how I must stop and marvel at the extraordinary accomplishments of our great leader.

Maybe I haven't fully matured but I still have this teenage urge to resist and fight against anything that I'm told repeatedly is brilliant and therefore I must be thankful for. The people of this country appreciate the value of the Queen, they may love her for different reasons but even ardent Republicans like Billy Bragg aren't afraid to voice their admiration for her.

What we don't need is commentators and journalists ramming the point down our throats and please what the hell was that rag tag armada of dinghy's and canoes suppose to encapsulate. If it was meant to engender a mass of patriotic fervour then it spectacularly failed on me. All I was reminded of is how pathetic our Royal Navy must now be, I'm assuming we've sent our only decent ship down to the Falklands to protect a few farmers and a load of penguins from a nonexistent Argentinean threat.

Admittedly it was difficult to make out the different types of vessels through the haze of lashing rain but seriously there are Amazonian tribesman who would laugh at the primitive nature of some of the 'ships' on show. At times it looked like a scrapheap challenge amphibious special, I was half expecting the bbc to cut away to Robert Llewellyn interviewing some 16 stone Cornishman on his home made raft as one of the oil drums keeping him afloat starts to break away.

If the pageant had a touch of the North Korean to it then the giant picture of the Royals during the Silver Jubilee really took the rice cake. I mean that thing was ridiculous, even Kim Jong whatever his name is would blush at the sheer scale of it. It was almost Orwellian in its symbolism and magnitude.

Now I'll admit the gig on Buckingham Palace's driveway had some good moments and I'll never miss a chance to see Macca singing Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da but seriously how is Lenny Henry still getting gigs. I'm assuming he must have been funny once but I'm 25 and have been watching too much television since the mid nineties and have never seen him utter a single humorous line. I laughed harder when Charlie boy called the Queen mummy, even his little quip about the comedians was worth a chuckle. Seriously, Len should make enquiries as to who writes Charles's stuff because otherwise he should stick to advertising low quality motels.

I won't mention anything about the service at St Paul's as I'll be honest I'd given up watching by then along with most of the country I suspect. I'm sure it was very dignified and probably one of the more enjoyable parts of the weekend for the Queen. I do wonder if the Queen actually wanted all this hullabaloo, I always get the feeling she's sitting there working out how much the electricity bill will come to and practicing her interested face for when she has to schmooze backstage with JLS.

Yes the Queen is a great symbol of continuity and stability in an ever changing world but surely there are far more unobtrusive ways to celebrate her longevity. One might say a more understated celebration would have been more British rather than the almost American levels of razzmatazz that were on show.