An Alternative View
For over a week I’ve been in excruciating pain with a trapped nerve in my neck and shoulder – something I suffer from, from time to time. The chiropractor usually sorts it after a few visits but I couldn’t get an appointment until after the royal funeral so I’ve been unable to do much apart from writhe around.
Meanwhile, a hospital procedure my husband needed was cancelled, due to the same royal funeral, though I suppose we should feel grateful that he finally had it done at a local health centre.
Compared to the many who have had their own treatments deferred, I really should feel grateful but I don’t. Instead, I feel anger on behalf of those who are still waiting and mystified that anyone should be willing to accept this situation—let alone the unrelenting claptrap that’s been shoved down our nation’s collective throat for over a week by our establishment-run media. I have watched, appalled, as television presenters actively encouraged people—many of whom appeared to be quite vulnerable—to finish work and then queue for up to 20 hours—often with very young children—so they could be filmed or interviewed, bowing and curtseying, in front of a lead-lined coffin with a flag draped over it.
I could possibly have ignored all this indoctrination but for the fact that there’s has been little else on TV since the Queen died—and I’m hardly up to much while on painkillers. I may need an extra dose to properly absorb the news that the Queen’s funeral, including the necessary changes to stamps and passports, is estimated at a cost of £6bn to the taxpayer.
You may have gathered I am not a royalist, but neither is anyone else I know well. A good friend with a company wrote the following a week ago on his social media page:-
Blimey, businesses are even posting condolences, now… OK, wouldn’t want to be left out so here’s mine: “We wish to show respect to our beloved monarch who passed peacefully yesterday surrounded by a loving family of freeloaders, de facto arms dealers, paedophile companions and assorted thickos who would hardly be able to cut it in the real world. She will be greatly missed. “.
That pretty much summed up my own sentiments at the time and little has changed since, apart from my growing conviction that if only people would get up off their knees and find sufficient self-respect to stop bowing and scraping before those who help to keep them in poverty and servitude, things might just change for the better—for all of us.
Hereditary monarchy is an outdated system based and perpetuated on inequality and unearned privilege. As such, for me—and many others—it’s far more than just a pain in the neck.
My personal response to the royal funeral follows below. It’s not as “alternative” as you might think.
#NotMyKing A new queue formed today. It fails to file obediently Before the remains of a dead queen, But carves its own way Beyond what has been. Concealed by the false mystique of monarchy, A shroud of fading power cannot hide The gleaming guilt of stolen gems Mounted in a monarch's crown. A casket hauled through history in a deathly cavalcade. Tamed horses pacing amongst bear skin and white swan's feather; Uniforms of anonymity. The precious breath of young soldiers Lost while piping the past. We march to a different drum, One that keeps time with hearts that cannot grieve For a life well-lived, Not in our service, But served by us. Why cry "Long Live the King" For a king who cannot live long; An old man, burdened by new duty, Aggrieved by his own life Leaking away like ink from The pen in his bloated hand, Commanding a crowded desk to be cleared So he might yet write his name on a page of history? Too late. The body buried will not rise again. A new queue snakes its way into the future, Allowing us to become What we have always known ourselves to be; Unrecognised by those who would reign over us. No longer subjects. But citizens.
Julie Wassmer is a Whitstable-based author, TV writer and environmental campaigner.
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