Saturday 4 June 2022

Packing up the bunting


As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of the medals and titles which the ruling establishment dish out to a carefully selected sub-set of the population a few times a year. But surely, the person who selected the reading to be delivered by a certain B. Johnson at the Jubilee service yesterday deserves some sort of public recognition. Obliging a man whose moral compass was terminally mislaid decades ago, and who sits in the middle of a growing pile of corruption, dishonesty and cronyism, to read out loud to the assembled members of the great and the good, as well as anyone watching in their homes up and down the land, an injunction to think about "Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable” is pure class. It’s astounding that the congregation didn’t dissolve into a giggling mass, especially since they all knew that the man doing the reading was the person present least likely to think about or understand the words he uttered.

There was something more than a little Ruritanian about the whole event. It sometimes seems as though the amount of bling being sported by the male members of the monarch’s family is increasing in inverse proportion to the size of the remaining Empire, although that could just be a personal impression. There’s certainly something very quaint about the way the date was selected, given that yesterday was actually the 69th anniversary of the coronation. The 70th anniversary of the accession passed largely unmarked back in February. None of that matters much to those who enjoyed the day. It’s far from unreasonable to suppose that whether they knew or cared about what event they were actually celebrating is largely beside the point. Give it another day or two and the red, white and blue bunting will all be packed away again to wait for the next suitable occasion. Or sent to landfill.

It would be a mistake to read too much political significance into the event. Those who think that all those flags and all that deference are in some way representative of a great coming together of the people of the UK around what is probably it’s most outdated institution and all the (officially-approved version of) history surrounding it are likely to be proved as wrong as those of a more republican bent who see it as an attempt to impose an identity and mindset. Not only was the grass roots participation in the revelry rather less common than the media would have us believe, but also much of it was just seizing an excuse for a party. The lasting political impact is likely to be close to zero. The good news is that those who would drag us back to the past will probably see it as a huge success and carry on in the same doomed-to-failure vein. For most of us, though, we can recognise what they don’t – which is that nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be.


dafis said...

Particularly sick making was the BBC coverage of Thursday's Trooping and the antics before and after. Banal commentary helped along by fetching on a steady stream of on-side celebs who trotted out the usual mix of sycophantic bilge and an occasional feed from a sentimental Joe or Jane Public. This dumbing down continues apace as the "herding" strategy continues. Shocking to see that so many had actually travelled long distances to be part of the circus.

CapM said...

Hundreds of bears killed to make those ridiculous hats for the Guards regiments and that quisling Paddington sits down to tea with the commander in chief.

Anonymous said...

The Romanov's celebrated the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Russian empire in February 1913. Very similar to the last few days with an extravaganza of pageantry and propaganda.

The London Times reported that, 'no hope seems too confident or too bright', regarding the Romanov's future in a special edition covering the jubilee.

More astute commentators suggested it was a retreat 'to the past, hoping it would save them from the future'.