Jeremy Hardy thinks… about the jubilee

'Do we really want the bother of an elected president? Isn’t a Windsor a familiar and convenient alternative?'

May 30, 2012 · 2 min read

Having read ‘Royal Babylon’, a phenomenal piece of writing by Heathcote Williams, on the website of the International Times, I am reminded that we have every reason to loathe the monarchy and yet have become inured to its existence. This is in part because of the way it has humanised itself.

Gone are the Germanic strangulated vowels and clipped consonants, to be replaced with the public-school cockney favoured by Tony Blair and Peaches Geldof. Prince William can kick a football about, with no apparent urge to pick it up and run for the touchline. Black people are glad-handed as often as possible, and even picked up if small and sick enough.

The royals seem pretty much like any other celebrities, and other celebrities relate to them as such. Is that Christopher Biggins or Princess Michael of Kent in the audience? Either way, they can take a joke, so long as it’s delivered in a spirit of ingratiating bonhomie.

And it’s all for charity. If Prince Charles can’t reach out to disenfranchised youths, raised on vast estates, surrounded by guns and having no hope of worthwhile employment, who can? And look at all those teenagers getting Iron Crosses as part of the Duke of Windsor’s award scheme.

Do we really want the bother of an elected president? Isn’t a Windsor a familiar and convenient alternative? In the same way, I’d rather my funeral were moderated by a vicar than have my corpse exploited by the humanists. However irrational religion might be, I prefer the diffident mumbling of a cleric to the outpourings of people so unrelentingly pleased with themselves. I’m serious about that.

Perhaps abolition of the monarchy isn’t a priority right now. We could get round to it when we get round to abolishing capitalism. Which reminds me…


Momentum

Forward Momentum: democracy isn’t a distraction

Democracy isn’t a distraction, says Deborah Hermanns - it’s the only way to transform Momentum and the Labour Party and effectively build power in our communities.

Economic democracy: a moral enterprise

The key struggle of this century is for economic democracy, writes Marjorie Kelly

The Labour manifesto launch in 2019

Seven ways Momentum can help Labour become resistant to sabotage

The leaked Labour report tells us a lot about how the party needs to change. Momentum can lead the way, argues Johnbosco Nwogbo


Zarah Sultana on austerity, solidarity and strategy

Speaking to Red Pepper in January, the new MP for Coventry South revealed her first-term priorities and her commitment to structural change

Labour’s way forward: the only way is (bottom) up

A democratic revolution within Labour must be matched by building participatory economic alternatives at a local grassroots level, writes Glenn Jenkins

XR: the case for deliberative democracy

Climate Assembly UK begins this weekend. It's a good start, says Alex Bradbury, but does not meet XR's third demand for a Government-commissioned Citizens’ Assembly