Granny, get your chequebook out

On May 19th of this year, the [happy] Prince Harry got married. We all saw the boy in his Saville-Row-Dege-&-Skinner-tailored-frockcoat-of-the-Blues & Royals, soldierly, bold & brave— pride of Britain. He looked so charming— & his wife Meghan in something that looked recycled, it was according to Elle or something, but nevertheless sparkling, elegant, belle of the ball.

It was a day for doleful Brits to dote on their traditions, a day for fantasizing, to remark how fairytale Britain continues to be, how magic still spouts from the root of ritual, where princes marry, turning successful, rich, Hollywood actresses into princesses. Britain, having its very own, live action rom-com. Even the weather behaved. God? Buddha? Jehovah? Allah? All in agreement for the afternoon? A fantasy the royal family have become exceptional at curating. I half expected headlines to rhyme Markle with sparkle; I wouldn’t know, I didn’t bother to read them.

There is no room for criticism, no attention given to the unpatriotic in the run-up & especially during such events, all such killjoys are rebuked.
An old school friend of mine posted on Facebook, something along the lines of: why are people complaining about Harry’s wedding, can’t people just let people be happy. I know I should have held my tongue, but I kindly commented that it may probably be something to do with the cost to the taxpayer. Within minutes an obviously copied & pasted list, to Harry’s defense, ready prepared for someone like me, was plastered beneath my criticism, it read (I copy & pasted it to retain it in its original Helvetica & Inherit fonts & truncated ellipsis or double period):

•Volunteered for 2 tours of Afghanistan.
•Set up Invictus games helping wounded service personal.
° Numerous unpaid charity volunteer appointments all over the world.
•Family brings in 400 million a year in private revenue that under the “ sovereign act 2011” the government keeps £360 million of.
•Family brings in £1.8 billion per year in tourism.
•Country better off by £2.1 billion a year.
Remind me how the wedding is waste of tax payers money ?
° The wedding is paid for by the Royal heritage and private funding not the tax payer and that includes her dress!
° The tax payer will pay for the public security not private security. The same way the tax payer pays for public security at football matches etc.

Dont [sic] be a zombie and believe everything you see and read on the Internet, do a little research before sharing propaganda. Like it or not, the Royal family is a British tradition and icon.
Let’s not forget that most the twats complain about spending tax payers money are the ones who sit and sign for that money every Wednesday or daft liberals who haven’t got a clue about reality.

Shared from another source..

Not wanting to play the bull at a barn door routine, without the facts to memory & knowing if I simply made the “Afghanistan was a pointless war” speech, I’d get nowhere, I kept my gob buttoned.
This whole list plays the patriot card, which is every card in the deck of a patriot. If you don’t just agree, you are suspected of hating your country. I admit, I (sort of) hate my country, because England is a joke democracy, because of our, not only tolerance, but love & admiration of our monarchy, who utilize public spectacles, with public money, to garner public support; Joe Public is expected to lap it up like a good subject. It’s an embarrassment. I sound so puerile, but it’s just so bloody obvious.

After a handful of Google searches, on just the first point, there is enough to charge Harry with wasting tax payer’s money & maybe even for getting his granny to get her chequebook out. The wedding was estimated at about 40 odd million, Lizzie could cover that with the wave of a silk-gloved hand.

Of course the above list explains (in detail?) how the cost of this lavish propaganda event, had already been covered— ah but…
What about Harry’s service in Afghanistan? Well this is quite revealing, if you’ve any moral scruples to gauge the pressures of war on the innocent, which the red-faced, gammon-like supporters of the protectors-of-the-realm, don’t have. The implication from the list is that he did something noble by serving, by protecting his country from the big bad Taliban. What people forget is that we were never attacked by the Taliban until we invaded their country, America was, yes, our ally, but never Britain.
Invading Afghanistan brought about all terror attacks in England, since. Just let that breathe a moment…This is common sense. The July 7th attacks in 2015 when 53 were killed & 700 plus injured; Lee Rigby’s murder; & of course last year, the Westminster Bridge attack, leaving 6 dead & 49 injured; The Manchester Arena bombing, leaving 22 dead & 129 injured & finally the London Bridge & Borough Market attacks, leaving 11 dead & 48 injured.
We can assume on firm grounds that Harry felt it right to go to war with a country that had never threatened us directly, a country that the main attacker of our ally, Osama bin Laden wasn’t even a citizen of. Happy Prince Harry did 2 tours after all & ended the first one only because an Australian newspaper got wind of him fighting there . I don’t know the inner mechanics of Harry’s thinking, but he seems to have quite enjoyed being one of the boys in uniform. He went back. I suppose he ain’t got much else on. Charity? Yes, that’s easy when you don’t have to make a living, when you are more symbol than cog in the machine. When the money comes to you, you never have to move in its direction.
I didn’t want to bring his mother into this, I perhaps it is bad form, but she would surely have been ashamed of him for fighting in such a fruitless war, after all the good work she did & the humanity she displayed in her short life.

Well, if the human price isn’t enough (& for many it isn’t—collateral damage; inevitable consequence of war. Just plain humanity!) if it isn’t enough that a royal, an emblem, a supposed symbol of UK identity, felt it correct to fight in a war that exacerbated, no, instigated a concerted effort to attack the innocent people of Britain, then we can tally the cost.
There isn’t any concrete, irrefutable data on this, but plenty to rouse suspicions. In 2013 the Guardian published an article, quoting a book by Frank Ledwidge called Investment in Blood, that “on a conservative estimate” it was costing 15m a day & up to that time was at 37 billion . How many royal weddings would that pay for? The war has continued since then & continues now, no doubt at roughly 10s of millions by the day. The Queen & her family don’t pay taxes, so they haven’t footed a single penny for the cost of that war. They just sent their brave prince.
So not only has Harry condoned a foolish, ugly war that brings fear to UK streets, but moreover condoned & taken part in a war that has turned swathes of the Muslim population against British citizens, Muslims who were born & raised in the UK, some even sneaking off to join ISIS. He has condoned & taken part in a war that, because of the void caused by destabilizing the political & economic structure of Afghanistan, enabled the rise of ISIS. He has condoned & taken part in a war that may have paid for everybody in Britain to have a wedding at their local church & a damn good buffet reception afterwards, to have helped stabilize the budget of the NHS, housed the homeless, put a little extra in the pay checks of working people who visit food banks every week.

But what I have failed to mention so far is that the people who defend Harry aren’t really defending Harry as such; they are really defending their interest in something that gives them a sense of identity; they are wooed by the flash & bang of a ceremony. An excuse to watch famous people swan about in fancy clothes. It exposes how reliant people are on small talk round the water cooler. Something to lighten the fatigue of Monday morning. Little do they realize how muddy the facts become? The likes of Harry & his guests have nothing, or at least little in common with Wendy & Bill, blue collar workers, scraping a living out the skid marks of society.
The list quotes 400 million in private revenue, money the royals bring in through tourism; as if tourism exists only because the queen might be sat on her throne in Buckingham Palace. According to the UNWTO Tourism Highlights of 2017, France, Spain & Italy all topped the UK for International tourist arrivals. France & Italy have no monarchy. What could the pull be? Actually culture: art, architecture, food, atmosphere? When was the last time you heard someone say they are visiting Spain to maybe catch a glimpse of King Felipe VI? Who knows the name of a monarch in Europe? A monarchy is not what people necessarily visit a country for. Were there no monarchy, then tourists would still visit London, only we wouldn’t have our laughable democracy; we would actually be a democracy.
Because of the UK monarchy, people associate British people with royalty, they have this skewed idea of what British people are like. Having lived in Korea for nearly 10 years, I have come toe expect, when people first meet me & discover I’m English, to mention royalty & gentlemen. I dislike that my identity is tied up with a bunch of potentially inter-bred, aristocratic, millionaires, who have little will to improve the quality of life for the poorest in the UK & gentlemen.

There isn’t a slid figure, only estimates, as to the royal’s wealth. “Forbes reports Queen Elizabeth has an estimated private wealth of $530 million.” So we can assume Charles & his cohort of cousins & what-not are in that ball park, making the royals worth billions of untaxable revenue. Most of their wealth comes from inherited, private lands . When the Paradise Papers were released it was found the Queen had been keeping millions in off shore accounts .

It is moreover, a myth that the royals don’t interfere with government. The Guardian, after a 10 year battle & a personal cost to the paper of 10s of thousands of pounds, revealed that Prince Charles had been writing to various people in government, including then Prime Minister Blair, on a range of topics he has no authority meddling in. Here is a sample, just one very damaging & worrying paragraph from a large cache:

Dear Prime Minister,
It was very good to see you again the other day and, as usual, I much enjoyed the opportunity to talk about a number of issues. You kindly suggested that it would be helpful if I put them in writing — despite the Freedom of Information Act!

This sort of influence goes above what a royal, other than the Queen perhaps, in her weekly meet up with the PM, is expected to push. In fact, it is generally understood by most people that the monarchy shouldn’t attempt to press a matter at all, they merely stand as an identifying symbol of Britishness, a tourist magnet; they shouldn’t be writing personal letters, in order influence policies in a direction favourable to their opinion, which is clearly what Charles does in the ominously titled Black Spider Letters.

No irony wasted in returning to the fallible list’s conclusion, to hold the mirror up (except I’ll switch the font):

“Dont be a zombie and believe everything you see and read on the Internet, do a little research before sharing propaganda. Like it or not, the Royal family is a British tradition and icon.
Let’s not forget that most the twats complain about spending tax payers money are the ones who sit and sign for that money every Wednesday or daft liberals who haven’t got a clue about reality.”

Posted by:DPM

DPM is an idea-logue (sic) and object-oriented speculative realist, attempting to be response-able in an irresponse-able society.

10 thoughts on “Granny, get your chequebook out

  1. “the people who defend Harry aren’t really defending Harry as such; they are really defending their interest in something that gives them a sense of identity” – I think that’s it.

    1. The reality of British identity is still Victorian. We still have a fantasy about our influence in a world that just thinks we’re stupid. I met a Moroccan from London in Seoul a couple months back & he said I had given him some hope that all Englishmen aren’t conpletely stupid, naive, racists. He lives in London. What hope?
      What the royals do is make us pay for a spectacle, create a fairytale & we buy it every time in the name of tradition. It is the 21st C!

      1. The American identity is full of mythological bullshit – the rugged individual, lifting oneself by the bootstraps, fighters of oppression – with no mention of the damage inflicted in the names of those.

      2. O I know too well, enough Brits have nostalgia for cowboy movies.
        We have Empire, the gent & what-not, with never a mention of the cruelty these inflicted in subjected peoples with older cultures that were civilized with the written word & cities long before us.

  2. For governments (US & UK, especially) concerned about the budget, the cost of these wars are an embarrassment.

    Good insights into the pomp and circumstance of Britain’s woes!

    1. It is. A million people marched againstthe Iraq War, Blair didn’t bat an eyelid. I hope he hears the screams of Iraqi & Afghani children in his dreams & sleeps light.

  3. Ouch….you would have been crucified if you published this on 20th May! I watched the ‘carriage through the Windsor’ show and wondered if I was in fact in the same country or in a parallel universe?

    1. If I had all this information then I’d have reacted like this, but all I had was the Afghan war stuff & Harry fighting there.
      I don’t mind being unpopular in the eyes of the majority, I dislike traditions & especially the royal family, which is a lucrative business of those appointed by god, give me a break.

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