Sunday, 24 April 2011

Windsor and Moth-Eaten Central

Grateful though I am for another public holiday, the prospect of the royal wedding does not make for mass enthusiasm.  The saturation media coverage, the idea that this is in some way a national opportunity for bonding being peddled by the Tories and the extent to which past experience does not encourage anything other than healthy cynicism and a desire to hide until it's all over.

You don't have to be a republican to note the symbolism of all this.  The marriage is that of the second-in-line to a throne of a semi-constitutional monarchy.  The disruption and the costs will, mostly, be borne by the taxpayer, and the resources devoted by the Windsor family themselves are hardly generated from spotless entrepreneurial endeavour.  However, it keeps people in their properly-deferential place and stops us from asking the question about the difference between citizenship and feudal tutelage.

The spoutings of the semi-feral, semi-literate right-wingers who suggest that an outdated constitutional settlement is in some way promoting "heritage" should be ignored.  The modernisation of the UK constitution may have proceeded piecemeal, but that does not excuse a reactionary hankering after jus primae noctis and the ability to keep the uppity proles in order.  Reformed government needs the separation of the legislature, the judiciary and what's left (after outsourcing) of the executive, along with a democratic revising chamber and the removal of the Crown as a substitute for the collective will of citizens.

I used to be unpersuaded that this was a matter that required republicanism, but now I am firmly of the view that the only way to eliminate the illogicality, sentimentality and skewed debate about citizenship is for the citizenry to be sovereign.

Friday will be fun...

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