by Martin Odoni

Today is my birthday. I do not like birthdays, and especially not this one. Partly for reasons of identity theft I have spent all day fighting, which I will not go into, but partly also because of the confounded ‘ Platinum Jubilee’. I am not a Royalist, never will be, and I will never be persuaded to celebrate the ongoing existence of any member of the Royal Family, be it the Queen, Andrew ‘the Nonce of Fails,’ or one of the ‘celeb’ trophy wives the current Princes of the Realm have ‘honoured’ with their nuptial possession.

Therefore, my ever-deepening disgust at Keir Starmer in his risible performance as Labour leader has taken another nosedive. He had the real pomposity to argue this week that we all have a ‘patriotic duty’ to celebrate the Queen’s profound achievement of… um… not dying yet. Starmer is so scared of the ‘flag-shagging’ right wing that he makes statements to appeal to the least questioning Britons.

The Queen is just Big Brother with jewels

There is so much wrong with what Starmer is saying. It is quite awful enough that Starmer explicitly conflates ‘The Monarchy’ with the country; he tells us that the Queen is the country and the country is the Queen. That idea is so obsolete and Medieval that the British fought a complicated and devastating series of wars to put an end to it three centuries before almost any of us were born.

But worse is the Orwellian notion of forced ‘love’ of the national figurehead; –

“It is not enough to obey Big Brother. You must love him too.”

– Nineteen Eighty-Four

Patriotism is only a positive when it is the individual’s instinct, when they feel a genuine innate love of their home and desire the best for it – all without a hatred or disrespect for other people’s homelands. The Monarchy does not represent the good of the country, while the right wing of Britain – certainly of England – are weighed down in hatred and disrespect for the ‘other’. The Monarchy represents the subjection and exploitation of enormous numbers of people, in order to elevate a tiny elite above the masses.

Royals will let you pay for them, but never dare ask them to tolerate your proximity.

That is not the best for the British people. And commanding them to adore and celebrate it is therefore obscene.

Britain is sliding into authoritarianism

Dictatorships always demand ‘patriotic displays’ from the people in order to give the illusion of consent. The implication that the public would be ‘failing’ if they did not celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee has a sinister, almost threatening edge. “Either give the Establishment your consent, as is your duty, or the Establishment will extract the consent from you.” Patriotic displays by force to make ugly coercion look like attractive consent is just putting lipstick on fascism.

In this light, Starmer’s resemblance to Boris Johnson is becoming ever more disturbing. Both of them are pushing the country towards authoritarian Government, both are allergic to accountability, and both are therefore agreeable to the powered interests of the UK.

Starmer – as insensitive as arrogant

What makes Starmer’s words doubly confounding is that he is telling people, at the time of a cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation, that we should all blow a small fortune we objectively do not have, on food, drink, and decorations to celebrate the survival of an old woman who has lived off our taxes for almost a century. The Queen and her family get forty million pounds per year out of the country, and own countless billions in accumulated assets and non-monetary wealth.

We should be holding street parties to raise funds for the National Health Service, and let the Monarchy live off of charitable contributions only.

If the pro-Royal Establishment dislike that idea, if they want a party to mark seventy years of reading speeches to open Parliament, and they want the country to join in, they can bloody well pay for parties up and down the country themselves, and give a large number of people struggling just to feed their kids a day or two of relief.

What none of them can do, be they aristocrats or politicians, is tell us to arrange such parties ourselves – and especially not command us to enjoy them.

‘M*ck-baiting’ is back in fashion

One last detail; I was truly shocked this evening while watching a video clip from the BBC’s coverage of the tedious soldiering displays that always dominate these dreary occasions. The commentary between presenter Huw Edwards and some soldier from mainland Britain who had served long years in Northern Ireland descended into a bewildering, archaic and thoroughly insensitive defence of the use of the ethnic slur, ‘Micks,’ to refer to Irishmen.

The fact it was the Jubilee celebrations for the head of a former slave Empire – one that has oppressed Ireland among many other colonised lands for centuries – can hardly be a coincidence. Its implication of “British is best” seems to give licence to the worst of British ethnic feeling, to the extent that the national broadcaster can actually say a derogatory name like that is perfectly acceptable.

The BBC should put Edwards out to pasture. And Jubilee celebrations should retire with him.