Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Did They Expect Us To Treat Them With Any Respect?

Got re-reading an excellent book by John O'Farrell today, An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, it's a satirical look at the past 70-odd years, with the inevitable left-leanings. Early 50s, new arse sits on the throne, and apparently, it was the dawn of some sort of "New Elizabethan" era. Which got me thinking.

In 500 years, or something like that, when future historians look back (if they actually exist, and human society has managed to carve out another half-millennium) on this time, and wonder why the hell people actually willingly spent money on iPhones, what term will they give it?

It's easy enough for us to split by decades right now, we actually exist at the moment, it's a practical way to split up things when there's so much info. Not practical when there are 5,000 separate decades. There hasn't been a period defining event for a while, in the same sort of way that the Second World War was, so what do we use for now? Such times tend to get named, as above for the monarch.


Let's be honest, hereditary rule was one of the stupider ideas we've had, even more so than the likes of reality TV or McDonalds. There's no disputing what it is - ignoring all the best possible rulers, people who actually have some sort of leadership ability, in favour of the last boss's kid. Who knew he was getting the job all along, and so has never had to do any preparation for it. Clever.

And yes, I know that, practically, Bessie's just a figurehead, a face with no influence, other than the millions of kids who grew up scratching every picture of her on every 50p coin in the desperate hope of getting infinite amounts of ice-cream.

But you tell that to 70s Australia, where the governor - i.e. the Queen's representative - actually used the powers she has, but most people are willing to ignore. I can't remember the exact details, to be honest, I can't be arsed to look them up, but it essentially came down to the monarchy changing the government without any sort of, er, what are they called again? Oh yeah, democratic elections. This is not an opportunity to go "oh, but it's not a real democracy," or anything like that; as interesting an argument that is, not the focus for now, maybe tomorrow, if I can remember.

Anyway, this woman, whose only claim to any sort of power is that she was lucky enough to have been shat out of the right hole before anyone else got shat out of it, is able to change governments at a whim, and can essentially impose her own will on anything - pretty much everything that parliament does has to go by her.

And, yes, I know, she's not going to refuse anything, because, if nothing else, she's still actually human, and like the rest of us, probably couldn't be arsed with the constitutional crisis that would follow.

And yes, I know that this whole post is rendered obsolete by the fact that concepts such as "parliament" or "government," or "royalty," for that matter, don't actually exist in any real form, with the possible exception of our over-active imaginations. Let's just ignore all of that, it's all very well saying that they don't exist, but in practical terms, its easier to just by into the myths and enjoy yourself, as opposed to spending the rest of your life in some Parisian corner cafe.

But the fact is, no matter how we vote (and admittedly, we, as a collective electorate, really fucked that up last time. Thanks, Nick. For the record, I voted Plaid.), there will always be this dynastic leader at the top. That's a really encouraging thing to tell little kids, with boundless ambition: "no, Jim, you can't be boss here, because your parents weren't important enough."

The Royal Family: Oppressing little kids since 1066. (Not to be confused with paedophiles.)

Say what you like about the big, nasty country over the pond, but their system is better. Not perfect, but better. Its a system where, ignoring everything else, like social situations, background, and of course, the destroyer or worlds, the American dollar, anyone, theoretically, can get to be in charge. Not that everyone is perfectly suited to be in charge, this just means that those most suited to the job can actually come to the forefront. They aren't necessarily blocked by the easiest prejudice going - your family background. Doesn't work at all in practice, of course, but it sounds nice. Though while we're here might as well make the point that Bessie's family background is hardly exemplary. I'm looking at you Edward VIII, Kaiser Wilhelm, Victoria - you get the picture, all the way back to the Norse gods. Odin, you twat, look what you've done!

I'm probably not getting through to any loyalists here, so I think I'll try a different tack. Stop me if you've heard it before...

Due to the reasons above, no matter how much Dumbo wants to get involved, the Royal family are, justly so, considering their enormous power that they just happen to have, not allowed to et involved in politics. Or the close family, at least, extend that, and we'd be able to wipe out the Tories once and for all. If only...

Anyway, the upshot is that there is a group of people who, say what you like about them, have done absolutely nothing wrong - apart from be born to the wrong people (and I'll make the point here that I have no animosity to them as people, just towards the system), and yet they are not allowed to be involved in any real way in, what I would argue, is one of the most important areas of society. Put simply: the Queen may have been the one who first saw Cameron become PM, but she wasn't allowed to call him a Tory cunt.

Is that fair? Regardless of what their opinions are, they are still entitled to express them. They are people, aren't they? I know how I would feel if I were in their situation. Pretty pissed off. These people are trapped, no better than gorillas in zoos! It's time for that to stop.

By abolishing the monarchy, and the hereditary system that controls this island, we can save these people from their political exile. We can let them have an opinion! Oh, and send the island catapulting to a fairer, more equal society, where the people with the power are the ones with a mandate.

Or something like that. Let's just get rid of them, and be done with it. Of course, technically, Im committing treason by saying all of this.

I'm quite glad about that.

And yes, I'm well aware that Waters isn't referring exclusively to Royalty with the line in the title, and I'm fairly sure I've used it already, but I can't be arsed to check, and I was struggling to think of anything better. If I do, I'll change it, but for now: deal with it.