Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Waiting for the tumbrils

Nobody would wish personal ills on the Duchess of Cambridge, unless they have a total lack of humanity and proportion.  However, there is a sense of desperation around the sycophantic scribbling and monarchical maunderings that is an encouraging omen for those of us who are sceptical about not merely the role of the Windsors but the bread and circuses that we are fed as a substitute for rational thought.

Where does this new-found optimism spring from?  There appears to have been much less acceptance that the travails of the second- and putative-third in line to the tainted throne are as important as the incompetence of the Government, the traumas of the wider world or any of the myriad news events that have been edged out by news media exercising their forelock-tugging "discretion".  I discount the mid-market rightist drool-rags on the basis that they will never reform themselves, nor will they ever underestimate the necessity of maintaining their readers' lack of any brain-stem activity, or indeed aerobic respiration.

At the end of a Jubilee year, with a gold medal in cant and hypocrisy with Cameron and Johnson wrapping themselves up in Livingstone's Olympic folly, there is a limit to the credulousness that can be assumed.  The interest in the personal doings of a bunch of social-climbing chancers and the flotsam of former absolutist monarchies is neither healthy nor necessary - and a declining prurience.  If it does not achieve newspaper sales, website hits or audience ratings it will become even less manifest.

That is a necessary precondition for adult debate on constitutional governance.  Whether or not this convinces more people that a republican option is desirable, downplaying personal voyeurism and the ad hominem fixation on the charade may actually allow some progress to be made out of the 17th century.

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