Dave – the editor
These were our initial thoughts on the situation we’re in with the passing of the Queen and the swift, rubber stamped accession of Charles to the throne: What next? 11.9.22. As with any post that is based on initial thoughts, aspects of what we’re going through will inevitably not be covered in the way they should. This is only to be expected in a situation that for the majority of the population, is unique. We’ve been doing more thinking and observing and what follows are some tentative conclusions of that process.
The second part of the title of this piece is in essence, asking a fundamental question about the level of self confidence within the British establishment. Bear in mind that the establishment does not exist in isolation – you only have to consider the close links King Charles III has with the likes of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to realise that: Charles’ empire: the royal reset riddle 15.4.22 (updated 9.9.22). However, just because the newly appointed King has links with the likes of global set ups such as the WEF, it doesn’t protect him from what’s a growing undercurrent of discontent in the (dis)United Kingdom.
The best way to describe what we’re currently living through is a state of manufactured consent. If it feels like everything is being manipulated in order to try and persuade you to think one way, and one way only, about the current situation, that’s exactly what’s happening! From the initial wiping clean of TV and radio schedules (now temporarily reversed until the day of the Queen’s funeral) to feature sombre content and music through to the wall to wall coverage in all forms of media from print to digital, it feels as though our senses are under a relentless assault. Yes this is a historical moment and yes, that should be reflected in the media. The point is that there’s a world of difference between a mature discussion about the future of the monarchy and the blatant, unquestioning pro-monarchist propaganda we’re being subjected to.
Then there’s the switching of a lot of street and public transport advertising infrastructure over to showing portraits of the late Queen. It has been noted by a fair few people that this is something you’d expect in a totalitarian regime such as North Korea. The protesters who have made their anti-monarchist sentiments heard over recent days have found themselves being swiftly nicked by the numerous cops that have been deployed to make sure the public stick to the script. Interestingly, even some pro-monarchist commentators have expressed concern at the suppression of any peaceful dissent, realising that dissent is part of the tradition in this country. These commentators are savvy enough to realise that if a message is pushed too hard, there will be a push back against it.
Are people buying this? Having been out and about over the last few days, the one thing that has struck us is that most people are just trying to get on with their lives as normally as possible in these weird times. The area set aside for floral tributes in our local park is not exactly overflowing with bunches of flowers. We reckon that’s down to people wanting to mark their respect choosing to make a donation to a charity that will actually help people rather than spend the money on a bunch of flowers that will just wither and die. The impression we’re getting is that people are compartmentalising what’s going on, trying to get on with their lives as normal while setting aside the day of the Queen’s funeral to mark their respects, if they so choose.
Like us, we suspect many anti-monarchists are keeping their heads down and simply biding their time until the new King has had enough time on the throne to show what he really is, and start to piss off a growing number of people in the process. Having said this, there is discontent about the impact of the Queen’s funeral on Monday 19th September which has now been declared a bank holiday.
Declaring the day a bank holiday means that a fair number of workers who would have been available to facilitate funerals are not going to be available, resulting in a large number of funerals having to be postponed: Funerals cancelled on Monday as the nation comes to standstill to honour the Queen 13.9.22. We’ve been through the process of organising funerals for family members and trust us, it takes a mental toll on you. To find out as short notice that the arrangements you’ve made for the send off of a loved one are going to have to be altered is traumatic and understandably, people are going to be angry about that.
The same logic applies to the National Health Service (NHS). Because the day of the funeral has been declared a bank holiday, staff who would normally have been available on the day won’t be. The consequence of that is cancelled operations, procedures and appointments: Hospital appointments cancelled because of Queen’s funeral 12.9.22. For those who have been waiting ages for an emaciated NHS to respond to their needs, these last minute cancellations are going to lead to more anxiety and stress.
People are understandably getting angry about the impact of the period of compulsory and particularly the day of the funeral. There’s an arrogant tone deafness towards us mere mortals who have our own life issues to attend to and deal with. While people may want to pay their respects to the late Queen, the establishment is arrogantly assuming that this respect will also be paid to the new King and the rest of the Royal Family. What they don’t seem to get is the fact that a fair few people who, while they respected the late Queen, see her passing as the end of an era and that it is legitimate to ask questions about the future of the monarchy. There’s a lot more nuance out there than a tone deaf establishment recognises.
What are we to make of a tone deaf establishment and a largely compliant media who are pushing the narrative about the succession down our throats? From our decades of experience as political activists, it’s always seemed to us that the more noise someone makes, the less secure they are. Given how loud the establishment and their mates in the media are shouting while trying to force an agenda upon us, we can only conclude that underneath all of the hype, they’re starting to feel very insecure.
All of this is coming on top of a cost of living crisis where energy and food prices are rising to the point where a growing number of people feel they’ll be forced into having to choose between eating or heating. It’s coming at a time when the health service we have to rely upon has been decimated by the Covid lockdowns and restrictions. It’s coming at a time when public transport is becoming ever more dysfunctional. It’s coming at a time when profiteering, rip off utilities are fobbing us off with an increasingly crap service. It’s coming at a time of housing crisis. It’s coming at a time of increasing precarity at work. There’s only so much people can take before something gives.
Something will give, that’s inevitable. The coming winter could well be a crunch point. That will be before the King’s coronation which is unlikely to take place until next year. This explains why we’ve been subjected to what feels like an intense propaganda blitz from an establishment that can see the cracks appearing and is starting to get rattled. The more cracks they can see, the harder they’ll drive their narrative. Their problem is that slowly but surely, a growing number of people are starting to see through it. We have everything to play for, they have everything to lose. Bring it on!