Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bizarre spectacle of Queen’s speech reflects broken system & out of touch government

Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivers her speech to the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, during the State Opening of Parliament, in London, Britain, May 27, 2015. (Reuters/Alastair Grant)

So, last week the Conservative government’s plans were officially rolled out, rubber stamped, by way of the Queen’s customary speech, following the formation of David Cameron’s government.

Thousands of people are expected to attend numerous protests in the capital on Saturday to demonstrate against further planned cuts to welfare and the scrapping of the Human Rights Act.

The sobering reality of David Cameron’s plan only feels compounded, like a slap in the face, by the surreal and insane spectacle, of watching the actual head of state (the Queen), articulate the other so-called head of state’s (the prime minister) pre-election promises, which are to be continued for another five years. Five more years of cuts and slashes to public services that is, with ever increasing powers of surveillance for the state and its agencies. Great news!

A relatively low number of the UK electorate turned out at the general election a few weeks back, still securing the Conservatives a majority. Low voter turnout, producing the first Conservative led majority for some 20 odd years – no wonder the Conservatives do not want electoral reform – and this is the backdrop the Queen’s latest address.

The Queen’s speech, the policies evoked in it, and all the hype surrounding the lead up to it, absolutely reflect the distance between the ruling elite and ordinary people.

The Queen sitting amid jewels and relics, stolen and pillaged from civilisations and lands far from our shores, outlining the government’s plan to further marginalize the poor and clamp down on freedom, is a bitter pill to swallow. It’s a bizarre and cruel twist, however, to see the symbolic head of an empire, historically and to the present day, carrying out the same function as ever, manufacturing consent for the sake of control. It’s almost as if after all these years, the silly ceremonies and pomp are still all that’s needed to keep the masses in their place before an advancing police state with more and more powers. The ones subjected to the function of the monarchy (fittingly called subjects) often seem the least aware of its function, believing they are being patriotic and loyal to their country by worshipping the royal family when in reality they are simply consenting to be ruled, consenting to be governed.

People submit to the already existing order, whipped up and fuelled by a toxic brand of nationalism, convinced of an ever present existential enemy, the source of all the problems in society-the ‘others’syndrome. Blame foreigners, blame Muslims, benefit fraudsters, the ‘urban’ underclass, for society’s ills- anyone in fact, except those doing the looting at the top, a narrative to which the MSM at least, wilfully complies.

Rather than observing royal ceremonies as part of the problem, an archaic hangover to a nonetheless very real empire, people swear allegiance to a power structure that is indifferent to their own lives in Britain, and which continues to leave a trail of destruction around the world.

When we think about the legacy of the British Empire and the role of the monarchy, perhaps Thomas Jefferson was right: “Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism.”