Home | News | Officers | Issues | Election results | Meetings and Events | Photo Gallery
Media centre | What have Greens done? | Comment | Video/Audio | Newsletters | Join | Links

Comment - Miscellaneous

Do we need the Royals? by Jean Robertson-Molloy.

Well, it's all over now - the Jubilee, the Olympics, the frantic flag waving, the Queen with starring role, culminating in a trompe l'oeil paraglide into the stadium itself.

But I'm left asking: How much has all this pageantry cost us? We'll never be told. But we already know that it was a failure for the shops.

And how much was the whole thing being manipulated by the government to divert attention from less happy events around us?

Like Mrs. Thatcher's cynical use of the Falklands war? And what about the media? Are they too, glad of the diversion, after all their scandals?

So what is the power of the Royals? Perhaps it's something almost sacred. The Queen is Head of the established Church of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The title 'Defender of the Faith' has been passed on from Henry the Eighth, to every succeeding monarch.

Scotland of course has its own established Presbyterian church, but the 'King and Head' is said to be Jesus Christ. Interestingly however, even in Scotland, royalty fever seems to pervade quite a number of bosoms among the so-called dour Scots. At the Jubilee, many Scots braved cold and wet for hours to cheer Her Majesty. And it should be noted that the Nationalists have now quietly forgotten their earlier declarations of republican sympathies. One popular argument for retaining the Royals is "Well, who would we have instead?" These defenders of the Royal role can see no substitute as viable.

There have of course been suggestions that after this monarch, things may change. Yet a recent BBC poll claimed that 55% of people thought that the monarchy 'would last forever'.

And then there's leadership. People may be ambivalent about leaders but at the same time there does seem to be a primitive need for a leader, even if only a figurehead. No sailing ship in the old days ever felt safe to sail without one.

And perhaps this issue of safety comes near to the centre of the conundrum. We like things the way they've always been. Change is seen as dangerous, especially in difficult times. And ironically, it may be that the more unpopular this present government becomes, the more we cling to some sort of magical substitute - if not God, then at least God's representative on earth.

First published in the EGP members newsletter, October 2012

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ