Apathy In The UK

Pall Mall yesterday

Is it safe to come out yet? Don’t get me wrong, I’m as sick of moaning about the innate bias of the British media as the next armchair Stalinist but hiding from the ‘jubilee celebrations’ was virtually impossible. Now I realise that the state propagandists have a job to do and that their coverage was a total success if you regard the Nuremburg rallies as the kind of public spectacle to be proud of.  I couldn’t even get angry about it, just tried avoiding this cynical fiasco altogether Yes, cynical. People think I’m cynical but I’m no two- bob Diogenes, no it’s the people who send young working class kids to die in the desert ‘for queen and country’ as a cover for protecting the economic interests of the super rich who are the real cynics.

That’s the queen’s real constitutional role, not as the propagandists would have us believe to ‘act as a focal point for national unity’  but to act as the city’s ho. For 60 years she’s been pimped out to glad hand torturers, murderers, tyrants and despots to grease lucrative contracts and in her name wars have been fought in Suez, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan to protect those interests. Not that this blasphemous opinion would ever get voiced or even token, mild republicanism in the lead up to and during the four day Queenfest.

No, even the few times I caught the telly or heard the news on 6music any heretical opinions were sidelined in favour of the type of sycophantic, unquestioning, hagiographies that would shame the Chinese or North Koreans. Even when they did mention the small counter demonstration organized by Republic, they then interviewed some monarchy ‘expert’ denouncing Republic’s ‘killjoy tactics. ’  In the good old days Channel 4 may have found a home for dissenters and refuseniks but no, those days are long gone as every broadcaster scrapes about for crucial public interest funding and tows the party line.

6music, as with the royal wedding last year, attempted a kind or ironic detachment and Lauren Lavern’s show featured ‘pop royalty’ who’d reached that magical 60 year age marker, y’know people like David Byrne.  There just had to be some kind of tenuous link, however strained and even though the ‘deejays’ tried to be a tad tongue in cheek, they were obviously all under orders not to be openly hostile.

Even good old Johnny Rotten attempted to distance himself from his anti-jubilee anthem of 77, God Save The Queen, claiming that it wasn’t really aimed at Liz herself. Anger is an energy and irony is a form of lethargy. Never trust an old punk, especially one who’s lived in LA for the past three decades.

The Gary Barlow organized ‘jubilee concert’ sounded exactly as unoriginal and ‘diverse’ as past jubilee concerts, something for everyone, young and old, black and white, the terminally dull and lazily conformist.  People who like watching shit pop concerts for nish in fact. Black people were part of the ‘party’ too of course and the media went overboard on showing just how much those patriotic black and asian communities were and how much they all loved the queen just as much as white folks.

In fact every single person in the entire world united in gratitude for the queen’s services to mankind, like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Bob Geldof, The Woman Off Countdown and Lady Gaga all rolled into one ultimate brilliant human being. Even God was amongst those singing the Queen’s praises, as is only right as He actually selected her out of all the people on earth to be His representative and chief priest.

Yet despite the media’s relentless onslaught, I didn’t see any evidence of the jubilee frenzy where I lived. There were estimated to have been 5000 street parties across the UK but there are as many streets as that in my town. In my own street, out of 60 houses, there were two with bunting (I didn’t even know what bunting was till last year) and one with a tatty union jack hanging from the bedroom window. I think that was probably an accurate representation of the level of interest and enthusiasm amongst most people.

Yes, I know there are millions of monarchists out there who love this stuff and the parades of coerced schoolkids given the day off, pensioners, tourists  and royalty cranks who lined the Mall and other jubilee events are entitled to wave their plazzy flags and buy into the concept of hereditary entitlement and it’s just a great, big party and the Windsors are essentially harmless and all the rest but what about those of us who either didn’t give a flying fuck or were anti-monarchy? Where was our representation on the BBC, don’t our licence fees count too? Diversity of opinion only applies within a context of editorial control and BBC editors know what side their bread is buttered.

On Granada Reports yesterday there was a special report from a street party in Prestwich that seemed to have been selected because it was of the few taking place in the region and when a reporter went to a deserted pier head to cover the lighting of jubilee beacons, it was stated that this event was ‘unpublicised’ as no doubt the lack of street celebrations will be put down to overcast skies.  Never mind, each and every programme had some tedious jubilee theme. Countryside? The queen loves the countryside (she ‘owns’ half of it after all). Horse racing? The queen adores horses. Water? The queen absolutely loves travelling down the Thames in the rain with a thousand boat flotilla. Jessie J? The queen is all over that beeyatch!

But it doesn’t end there, no chance. Today, it was all about the ‘Iron Duke’ (the media’s new term for Prince Philip, perhaps the most obnoxious royal of the past century) who jibbed the day with a ‘bladder infection.’ Poor Eddie got sent to visit him in hozzy, after all no-one would miss him, not when the Kate Show was in town. The ‘future queen’ angle is now being pushed relentlessly by the monarchy PR machine, as they realise Charles and Camilla are tainted and a more compliant, photogenic couple can keep the whole disgusting whorefest on the road.  There are contracts at stake after all.


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