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Saturday 20 October 2007

The Royal Family from Spain [Am]

At present in Spain the monarchy is currently coming under sustained attack, particularly from people with regionalist interests to secure. However it is more than that - a wider debate with protests and gatherings happening throughout the country and pictures of the king being burnt in public by students. The quintessential question is, of course, ‘why do we have a monarchy’ and it’s got so bad that the king has actually gone public with a defense of why he matters:,8599,1668731,00.html

I have to say that I am in sympathy with the sentiment. I am, without reserve or apology a committed anti-royalist, not based predominantly on the people who occupy the slot in the tiny irrelevant time-slice we call our existence (although I will have no problem with pointing out why they illustrate precisely what is wrong with the ‘institution’) but with the institution as a whole.In England, the origins of Kings of states (with the lowest ‘s’ possible being quite deliberate) were of course regional factionalism and straight forward fighty-fighty behaviour over utterly random aggregations of territory which bore closest resemblance, sort of, to our current counties. The King of This or the King of That or all the alternative titles, of course, now mean nothing to us at all these days. Whether they were regional barons, earls, dukes or kings of whatever bit of the country they declared ‘theirs’ and expanded and lost over centuries in a serial fashion it is now just irrelevant other than as a bookmark in history.

So back then, kings or queens were simply the highest title of the most powerful leaders of the time, particularly in a military sense because without an army of blokes who could slap the other king / earl / duke / whatever down, there was little chance that you were going to be the king / earl / duke / whatever of even your own privvy next week.In other words the origin of monarchy is simply territorial one-upmanship which related to beating the shit out of people. In the UK’s case, the origins of the current monarchy are even more bizarre than a straight intra-country series of twat-punchery. We have no straight line which explains A begat B begat C within the UK without seeing multiple countries get in on the rumble as well. Our history is littered with interventions and invitations to foreign monarchs coming over and ‘assuming’ the role of monarchy and –natch as our yank brethren would say- the subsequent fighting over regional territories.

If you would like to spell it out, the history of the monarchy (even in some sort of consolidated sense) is a bunch of people from Wessex, then the Danes who invaded, the Western Saxons who restored shit, the Normans from france who shot arrows in peoples eyes and stuff, the Plantagenets who were also French, a weird bit of fucking around with the Irish (we’re up to about 1141 now), people from Lancaster who had been pooning people from Yorkshire, then the people from Yorkshire who pooned the Lancastrians who had previously been pooning them, a short intervention by people who were distinctly Scottish, a brief period of sanity for 11 years with no King, more Scots, the fucking *dutch* or Hanovers since that was different sort of but not much, a marriage to a german in the name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Victoria in case you’re lost) and then a rebranding of the royal’s surname from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor because it was a place, like, during a time the germans were fucking us over briefly – and lets face it the germans knew how to pick a losing fight in the 20th century – during WWI.So….. total fucking farce….right?

No continuity other than the precedent of the last bunch had overthrown the previous bunch. Now of course, despite this, it was astonishing what could be accepted as ‘right’ to rule, not least the inestimable fear brought about by total utter religious belief and the concept of the ‘divine right’ of kings. No matter that the lot in your irrelevantly brief time slot of existence hadn’t been in place that long, the ‘divine right’ of kings made them of a god-like status. There are fantastic versions of how the populace couldn’t even look towards a king even in the 1700’s out of the sheer awe for their status.

These days, when your future king is on audio record as wanting to the tampon (no seriously I’ll link it if you have forgotten) of his mistress while he was cuckolding his pretty but incredibly dim and messed up wife, I simply don’t know why we have them at all. As I’ve established, there’s no coherent sense of history as to why they are here and I frankly find it incredibly intellectually embarrassing that a nation of largely decent people go and prostrate themselves before a bunch of no-chins in front of the world. I don’t buy tourism (republics like the US and France get tourists), I don’t buy any rational (we’ll do irrational in a sec) argument to tradition either (what tradition - it’s a bunch of disconnect peons twatting each other) and I despair of what it says about us as a nation that people swear allegiance to the queen instead of their country on getting a passport. And I despair that we put this current lot of sloane-rangers on a pedestal and pay for their incredibly privileged lifestyle. There is some sense of tradition there, considering all the flag wavers of the Queen’s double jubilee but that would be so much better re-directed at pride in the country, not pride in a bunch of over privileged and distinctly, evidentially not very bright people who, imho, might (some of them) give good service to a country (hey I bet a lot of people could do a fuck load better given that comfortable cushion and service behind them tho) but have no logical basis in being there at all.

Thirty years ago the Sex Pistols sung possibly the most ironically held lyric ever in ‘God Save the Queen’. The BBC banned it so as not to ‘spoil’ the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Such petty, unthinking, slavish devotion was unbecoming then (I mean they said ‘God save the Queen, she ain’t no human bein’ – how fucking *radical* was that) but today the general basis is even more unexplicable. Whatever they are protesting in the streets of Spain today, I hope we get our own version too......


  1. There is actually a limited use for royalty, we kinda need them in the western world to see just how fucked up things can be. And, it keeps the most retarded fucks at bay at the same time. Those sheep pretending to be human can worship some powerless inbred tards instead of a president. It actually works out fine.

    And then one gets some stuff with it thats actually really good: Over here (sweden) they keep old historical buildings up with more of a duty interest rather than some tourist and/or lets save cash attitude, and thats kinda nice. Finally, after that tsunami hit thailand Tha King D00d just did everything right. Separated from a huge political fuckup he just calmed everything (hysterical women) down, with no status or political agenda he could just show up on tv, talk shit and become that supercool central daddyfigure sheep need to have to keep functioning in a time of crisis.

    So from a basic human instinct kinda view i think there might be a use for em, just because they aint voted in and just because they sure as fuck dont deserve it. Its like a nations old grandfather kinda deal, a solid point removed from political battles and popularity.


  2. I suppose in general I'm an anti-monarchist in principal but in the case of the UK, I see no reason why it should be swept aside. Well okay, I acknowledge a heck of a lot of what Am says here regarding the history and that keeping the British monarchy as some sort of nod to the past is ill-conceived. But that's not really what it's there for is it. It's there because some people like to look up to someone, someone who represents some kind of ideal, or the devotion to which is seen as a form of patriotic spirit. A symbol of the country if you will, which I think is fairly important given how few other symbols we have.

    You say you don't buy the monarchy on the basis of tourism. I call hogwash. Sure the US and France has tourism but, you know, they have a few things on their side. The US has the most powerful worldwide marketing campaign in the history of the world, Hollywood. And it has, you know, a massive country of sights and sounds. France has a clear identity, culture and quite a nice bit of touristy warmer country as well. What does this country really have for tourism? Not a whole heck of a lot.

    That said, we don't *need* the monarchy to hold on to it necessarily, we just need all the buildings and the traditional rituals and so on. But it definately helps.

    Now as an Australian, I can tell you this scenario is much more curious in Australia because as I'm sure you're aware, the Queen is actually the Queen of Australia as well. Many politicians have stood up and lambasted how absurd this is in the modern age and that Australia can and should stand on it's own two feed as a republic. It's gone to referendum. The referendum was lost and there's been much analysis but really it boils down to the fact that no one saw the monarchy actually cause any harm and in fact it was view rather fondly.

    Amusingly it's about the only thing about Australia that Americans appear to know, constantly showing up in American popular drama - hell the sniper in TF2 says God save the Queen! That's a bit of a shame but you know, fuck them.

    The bottom line is you look at what you're proposing, an absolution of the monarchy. It'll have to go to a referendum because you're monkeying with the most basic laws of the land. It's going to cost a lot. It's going to cause a lot of bad feeling. It's going to distract from countless real issues. And in the end what will you have gained? You've basically binned a figurehead for the country, pretty much the only one, all on some idealistic whim.

    And ironically you want to abolish the monarchy because it represents the ways of the past. Yet doesn't the fact it exists today inspire so many more people world-wide to learn about the history? If it's not there any more then it all becomes some sort of text book history, something guides whisper about as they show people around crumbling palaces. And surely any lessons that can actually be learned end up being so much the weaker.

    You look at the republics in the world today. You can't tell me they're any better run. I'd say what we have shows that you can gradually alter for the better. It's interesting, don't you think, that most republics end up having a presidential figure, one who actually wields monarch-like power. Where the government of this country is uniquely democractically balanced.

    I'd say to you, most simply of all, don't fix what aint broke.