Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A Prince is born, nay a republican in sight

As I sat down for my dinner tonight Sky News was fixated on the wait for the Royal couple to appear from St Mary's hospital with their new baby, who despite not yet being named is now third in line for the throne of the United Kingdom, or Great Britain as many, many people still call it.

There had been many royalists camped outside the hospital for days, well in advance of the paparazzi who finally turned up in force over the last couple of days. Whilst their "devotion" may seem a wee bit extreme, it does illustrate the continued popularity of the Royal Family.

We have a "constitutional monarchy" in this country and though its had its' ups and downs the Queen has managed to retain the loyalty of the vast bulk of her "subjects", even in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis.

There are numerous reasons for this. Most people, no matter what their class, have a certain patriotism of which the the Monarchy forms a central part. The reaction to the Jubilee and the celebrations surrounding it demonstrated that both the Queen and her immediate family remain part of the identity of our nation.  Certainly the young couple whose child was at the centre of everyones attention this evening have captured the public imagination.

One thing is for certain, there is no sign that any kind of "Republican" movement on the horizon.

A sign of the impotence of republicanism in the UK is shown by the banal headline in the latest issue of the Socialist Worker: "It's a Scrounger" their headline screams. Besides the fact the Socialist Worker types have no credibility themselves after recent events, it shows how out of touch the comrades are.

Even more entertaining was a comment on the Socialist Unity website where a certain Mark Anthony Francis (isn't using three names a bit bourgeois comrade) swallows a dictionary to explain to explain the meaning of Churl in order to try and present himself as a modern day peasant (you have nothing to lose but your hoes) concludes with this comment:

In England the time is long overdue for the emergence of a explicitly Republican Party that has as its goal the final break up of the Union and the destruction of the United Kingdom.
Time for an English Republican Socialist Party?

Not likely it would seem, a fellow Marxist oik helpfully provides with the e-mail address of one that already exists -  The Republican Socialist Party and no, despite being an inveterate "Trot spotter" I've never heard of it. They don't seem to write much either. Their blog hasn't been updated since August 2011, though a notice exists for something advertised as a revival of "The Putney Debates" to discuss "democracy in the New Model Army", that's back in Cromwell's era in case anyone's forgotten.

Its not far from where I live but I think I'll give it a miss. Their main speaker is the outdated and out of touch John McDonnell MP who seems to be trying to fill the vacuum where Tony Benn used to tread. Except he just doesn't have the same pull or charisma to be honest.

Phil BC over at A Very Public Sociologist makes a valiant call to end the Monarchy. He concludes:

So, as far as I'm concerned, let the Royalists and the press have their jamboree. Let them make fools of themselves as they slap themselves on the back to cries of "a king is born!" But let us republicans stop whingeing and moaning and do something to ensure that the British monarchy, the values, and the entrenched system of privilege it represents is consigned permanently to the pages of history.

Except it just isn't going to happen.

The Monarchy is here to stay for the foreseeable future, so the republicans will actually have to continue whingeing and moaning I'm afraid.

As for me? I'll raise a glass for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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