Britain at its worst

5 May 2011

It couldn’t have been a more extraordinary bank holiday for news and spectacle.
But now the fuss is beginning to die down it’s possible to compare and contrast the hysteria that greeted the Royal Wedding and the death of Osama bin Laden. There has been a certain amount
of squeamishness about the “frat boy” reaction to the death of the al-Qaeda leader. But I have to say I find the celebrations at the death of the 21st century’s most notorious
mass murderer far easier to comprehend than the astonishing outpouring of feudal deference for the heir to the heir to the throne.

The most nauseating image of all (and there were many) was the final arrogant flourish of Prince William driving his new wife from Buckingham Palace to Clarence House in a vintage Aston Martin. As
the sycophantic TV commentary informed us, this was Prince Charles’s car, lent to the young marrieds for the occasion. As a celebration of the unearned benefits of privilege and class it was
hard to beat. It was the defining moment of the whole event and a massive “up yours” from these two representatives of the undeserving rich.


At the Orwell Prize shorlisting debate last week the Fabians’ Sunder Katwala joined forces with the Mail on Sunday’s Peter Hitchens to argue for the constitutional monarchy. His
shoulder-shrugging argument was persuasive. Sunder, as a recovering republican, argued that there was no good reason to believe that we would be better off without a monarchy and, in any case,
there was no popular consensus for change. I was almost convinced, but that was before the wedding.

William and Kate turned out to be the prince and princess of cheese, choosing to surround themselves with the representatives of international despots, right-wing politicians and ageing pop stars.
At a time of national austerity, the House of Windsor chose to parade its moral bankruptcy. This was Britain at its very worst.

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  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.

  • rndtechnologies786

    View is good.

  • Giles Game

    The appearance of articles such as this in The Spectator is the reason I cancelled my subscription some years ago.

  • Anne Wotana Kaye 1

    Shame, poor lad! Didn’t they want you on the “Guardian”?

  • D Short

    Spot on, Ricky. They even had that Polly Toynbee in the mag once; the Speccie is a place you go to avoid such dim, overprivileged columnists.

    As for people’s outrage, they are far more angered by overpaid BBC idiots and council bosses, of which ‘Bright’ no doubt approves.

  • Demetrios Hadjinicolaou

    The Royal Wedding was one of the numerous reasons why any insipid republic pales in comparison with a Kingdom. Stew in your own juice, miserable, envious republicans, and keep thinking like Martin B L ight!

  • Fergus Pickering

    Hallo Blott. I can’t be bothered looking up the thread but it is anti-muslim, is it not. Not anti-gay. The muslims are anti-gay, isn’t that right? I have had many comments removed because they are ‘bigoted’ i.e. anti-muslim. But that is not what you were talking about. As for slimebag Mandelson, his homosexuality is quite incidental. Surely even you see that. For all I know the great Mr Wilders is homosexual, as Pym Fortun certainly was. I never thought to ask. Other political homosexuals I MUCH approve of are Prime Ministers, Pitt the Younger and Canning, King Billy and Julius Caesar. But I don’t really think in those terms. Oh, and in the world of Art the list just goes on and on. W.H. Auden will do for all of them.

  • Matthew Blott

    @ Fergus Pickering

    I can’t find the Peter Manelson comment but given your past form for bigotry I don’t think people will find a charge of homophobia stretches credibility. I didn’t have to go far to find this thread where Pete Hoskin had to remove your bigoted comments because they were so shocking …

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