The English do not do revolutions, but they do revolts. And they do it in style. That's Shakespeare's legacy. Bloody coups and mob uprisings against absolute authority, but never a change in ideology.
And so in the last two weeks we have seen the mauling of King Murdoch, brought down to his knees and forced to face the executioners. Bleeding and exiled possibly, but not decapitated yet. The English lost their appetite for 'off with their heads' some time ago. He still lives, waiting for someone else to do the dirty deed of beheading.
The English need their monarchs, the real ones, not the constitutional one they have installed as living museum in show case castles. The House of Windsor was neutered long ago and then cruelly maintained perpetually in a cocoon of pomp, heritage and grandeur. Like Barbie dolls, they can only speak and act what the commoners have choreographed for them. When the heir apparent, Prince Charles started thinking aloud, his mouth was quickly sewn. The English constitutional Monarch has all the pretence of an absolute ruler, but lacks even the power to order his/her servants to kneel - let alone be beheaded for subordination. It is a strange English fixation. A dainty Monarchy as the Americans say.
But the English live for real Monarchs. This is a Shakespearian nation. There are no ideological revolutions or republics in Shakespeare's vision of the world. And with true Shakespearian theatre the subjects also need to gorge the monarch, drag him through the streets and pelt him with eggs every few decades. The mob then enthrones a new sucker.
Real Monarchs are dictators. They thrive on fear. They survive on absolute authority. They destroy lives and they grant privileges. In the 1970s the rulers were the British Trade Unions who would drive any tough minded capitalist to an early grave with their strikes and bullying. Thatcher arose from the bosom of the commons to lead the gentry and the mobs against them, decimating the Trade Unions to winging creaky wooden horses. Eventually their ideological Emperor, the Soviet, bled to death. But Thatcher was not the new Monarch. She was the charge brigade.
The backroom coup was staged by Lord Murdoch of Ozland. From farway land he had sensed the English appetite to be ruled, to be oppressed, to be treated as commoners. He saw great profit in the loot. News of the World, the Sun, the Times and BskyB. But he went on to rule quite a bit of the world, creating an Empire in the wake. London is still the spring board to create great Empires even though it lost its own, just as Rome continued to be for Christianity long after the Roman Empire became septic ash.
Murdoch swept into the vacuum after the bonfire of Trade Unions. Immediately he went about controlling the nation's mind and soul. For a long time he was the messiah who understood the common mind. Partly because he fashioned the common mind. He led the crusades against devil incarnates and weaker upstarts. Like any wise Monarch, he had an intricate web of informers, drawing secrets from phones, bank accounts and medical records, the modern man's cherished hinterlands. This was capitalist version of CIA.
Like all successful Monarchs he ruled with cruelty, making example of hapless politicians, ordinary mortal Vicars and randy stars. They were hung dry in the press, mocked in public and mentally tortured to seek comfort in Prozacland. He ruled with fear. Politicians and Bishops, Superstars and socialists, all dreaded seeing their skeletons swinging in the public air. He commanded and they obeyed. Some challengers like Kinnocks went out like fused bulbs.
Exercising real power is what real Monarchs live for. Murdoch decided the political agenda. He appointed the Chief courtier, the Prime Minister, and went about polluting the English minds with his version of the Murdoch creed - ruthless capitalism. Britain became Murdochistan in all but name. The Scots and the Welsh often defied his command. But then neither the Scots nor the Welsh are passionate monarchists.
But the English are not compliant subjects. History tells us, they like revolting and love coups. Parliament is designed for a permanent state of revolt by an opposition against the ruling order. And every five years there is a minor coup with a freshened Prime Minister. But the real bloody revolt is against the dictator Monarch.
Once the English see weakness, they unite as a mob to dethrone the King. It is a cultural need. They need to escape their own self inflicted oppression and wound the King with verbal stones.
So its Murdoch's turn now. He failed to see the rebels plotting treason under his draconian nose. It was the usually harmless benign Guardian, mocked for its idealism, that fired the booming cannons. The mobs have followed with new found strength, with the sudden adrenalin that follows the lifting of fear. The Business Secretary Vince Cable speaks for all parliament when he says a dictatorship has been lifted. The fratricidal British Parliament, suspended its hormone filled teenage mudslinging to join hands and maul the Monarch in Unison. Their time has come.
Murdoch is groping in the dark. Wounded, confused but still believing he has power. Where once he summoned British Prime Ministers to his wooden towers in Ozland, he has been reduced to sit in humility in front of the lowest order of political class, the toothless backbencher committee. The King is being tried by the footmen. Power has shifted.
Yet the English will not decapitate him. The English haven't had the stomach for a long time and now they don't have the power. The French still like beheadings and are busy reviving the Guillotine habit in Libya. Murdoch's decapitation will be left to the new King, perhaps more ruthless and dictatorial than Murdoch.
While the English rattle their swords and daggers for a few days in disorderly way, order will soon be restored as the throne is captured by another more powerful and more self deluded pretender. It depends who beheads Murdoch. All signs are that, while the English have reduced King Murdoch to a mere mortal, its the United States that will chop his head.
The throne will pass over to the Americans. Americanisation has already been creeping in UK. The long prophesised 52nd state will become a reality as Washington begins to adorn the English crown. Why America? There are many reasons juggling for another article. It will revive the American Empire but also lead it to its final demise because no one does revolts with the tenacity and style as the English, But that is a few decades down the line. All Shakespeare really.