Thursday, April 28, 2011

Britain: Royal Wedding Exposes Deep Class Divisions

Written by Alan Woods
Thursday, 28 April 2011

The happy couple. Photo: UK_repsome

On Friday 29 April the people of Britain will be invited to participate in the joyful celebration of the marriage of Mr. William Windsor and Ms. Katherine Middleton. At the same time that the government is cutting billions from unnecessary extravagances such as hospitals, schools, teachers, nurses, the old and the sick, the unemployed and single parents, the Coalition has had the good sense to spend a lot of money on something as essential to the Public Good as the nuptials of Willy and Kate.

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Ross Wolfe said...

Why can't Britain just get with the times and behead the royal family already? Then its wealth and assets can be distributed amongst the population.

SecondComingOfBast said...

The royal family is an asset. They bring in tourist money. Now that the Empire is gone, what else is there? Besides, Charles is as loony a lefty as any of you guys. He's an environmentalist wacko. He never met a Muslim he didn't love. What the fuck are you complaining about?

Ross Wolfe said...

That doesn't mean that he doesn't deserve the guillotine, like all other monarchs.

Speedy G said...

While we're taking care of "class enemies", let's behead the Communists, too!

Ross Wolfe said...

Speedy G: No, next on the chopping block would be the reactionaries, the conservatives and the liberals. But I don't advocate mass executions (or any executions, necessarily). Only social transformation, an unprecedented revolution.

In any case, a secular representative democracy is preferable to a constitutional monarchy where the monarchy is useless, expensive, and irrelevant. There's a good reason we dumped the king back in 1776.

SecondComingOfBast said...

We didn't just dump the King, we dumped the entire British system, or rather our place in it. It was not for us. But the monarchy has served the British well. Why should they dump it, especially for the kind of system that you advocate, which according to historical evidence would naturally acquire a more tyrannical nature than the more totalitarian of any English monarch?

The British royal family cost the British people a little north of one hundred million dollars a year. They get that back several times over in money from tourism.

As much as this wedding will cost them the same principle holds true. They've doubtless made their money back several times over.

There's a word for that. It's called "Profit". I know that's a dirty word to you, but it, like "fuck", will be a strong motivating factor in human history until the end of time. One you will never do away with.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: Cromwell's Revolt unfortunately ended in stalemate, and the monarchy still exists.

I'm not against tourism, where visitors see historic relics, that ended up in the dustbin of history.

Speedy G: I noticed how you changed Ross's words, from "royal family," to class enemies. You're pro-royalist?

Ross: Hitchens called on Katherine Middleton to denounce the monarchy. He has become so trite.

Ross Wolfe said...

Hitchens had his day when he wasn't such a celebrity, and when he was actually taking on reactionary elements within the British Labour party. He pulled some hilarious stunts then, but his schtick has gotten tired and predictable. Diluted, even though it's louder.

By the way, speaking of architectural history and criticism over at my blog, I am finally getting around to writing that piece on early Bolshevik avant-garde architecture for the IMT. I think it’s going to be in three parts: an introduction that provides the Marxist theoretical framework of my interpretation, a first part which describes the various modernist architectural movements in Russia and internationally, and finally a second part which traces their convergence in Moscow in the early 1930s as part of the massive planning projects of the Soviet Union. A brief epilogue might be appended explaining the ultimate collapse of the modernist dream in Russia following the Stalinist betrayal, and the effective degeneration of modernist architecture in general for the rest of the century. From that point on the avant-garde lost its vision of global social transformation and instead settled for private and corporate commissions that embraced the modernist chic, as architects succumbed to opportunism and fame.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I've just read Ross Wolfe's last comments about architecture, modernist chic, avante-garde re social transformation, etc. etc., and it's finally hit me, after all this time.

You guys brains are just wired differently. That's got to be it. At last, the fog has lifted, and the mystery is solved.

The Sentinel said...


“You guys brains are just wired differently”

I think you might find these interesting:


The Sentinel said...


The Sentinel said...

This is also very interesting:


(Had to post them in 3 hits as there is a link issue)

Joe Conservative said...

You're pro-royalist?

No. I'm anti-killing members of your own society just because they don't buy into your political program and want a better life. If you can't figure out a way for us all to co-exist independently, then you need to go f_ck yourself and shove your political pogrom where the sun don't shine.

Frank Partisan said...

Ross: Hitchens loved Tony Blair. He allied with New Labour.

Alan Woods will really like what you're writing. He also speaks Russian.

Sentinel: Really interesting. It is not saying genetics is the only factor.

Joe C: Are you Speedy G as well?

Pagan: You might be right.

-FJ said...

More than just speedy.

Kawanio che keekeru!

"Song for St. Tamminy s Day." - The Old Song.

Of Andrew, of Patrick, of David, & George,
What mighty achievements we hear!
While no one relates great Tammany's feats,
Although more heroic by far, my brave boys,
Although more heroic by far.

These heroes fought only as fancy inspired,
As by their own stories we find;
Whilst Tammany, he fought only to free,
From cruel oppression mankind, my brave boys,
From cruel oppression mankind.

"When our country was young and our numbers were few
To our fathers his friendship was shown,
(For he e'er would oppose whom he took for his foes),
And made our misfortunes his own, my brave boys,
And he made our misfortunes his own.
"At length growing old and quite worn out with years,
As history doth truly proclaim,
His wigwam was fired, he nobly expired,
And flew to the skies in a flame, my brave boys,
And flew to the skies in a flame.

Ross Wolfe said...

Ren, I'd like you to take a look at the beginnings of the theoretical introduction to my history of modernism in the early Soviet Union to make sure it's not too dense or overlong. I haven't gotten to the part that indicates exactly how these socioeconomic factors affected the two architectural ideologies that emerged out of the late nineteenth century: eclecticism and modernism. So it might not be 100% clear yet how it is connected to architecture. But I just want to know from your end if it's way too theoretically involved or anything.

Frank Partisan said...

Farmer: Thank you.

Really interesting history with that song.

Ross: I'll look at it.

J.M. patienceandperseverance said...

Pagan Temple wrote.
That the British Royals cost the British people north of a $100million, but they get that back several times over from tourism.

Pagan I've got news for you.

The British Bourgeois make money off the Royals when they go traipsing round the world selling British industrial products, and of course, they get the profits from tourism.

However, when it comes to the Worker's share: that is a big zero.
I'm 73 years old, and I am still waiting for my share of the tourism profits.

So, for the mass of the British people - the working class - the royalty is an irrelevance, if the truth were to be told.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Okay James, but what about all the jobs they create? What about the tourism jobs, to say nothing of the jobs making those industrial products the royals go "traipsing round the world selling"? If you think back through your life, perhaps you yourself have benefited in either a direct or an indirect manner.

And none of that is touching on the aspect of pride in your cultural heritage. If I were a Brit, I would be very loathe to let go of perhaps the one thing left of what is on balance a proud and admirable history.

The Sentinel said...


“So, for the mass of the British people - the working class - the royalty is an irrelevance, if the truth were to be told”

Not so, as the vast majority of the army is made up of the working class who have / do take the Queens shilling and who swear the oath of allegiance to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors.”

As do the police, again mostly working class people – both combined represent huge numbers of the working class in totality over the years - as do other organisations in the UK that also serve the Queen directly.

At 73 James, you would have been liable for National Service yourself, and may well have come under this banner.

The UK is governed under a constitutional monarchy and the Queen is integral to the very fabric of the nation.

I have my own issues with some aspects of it, but lets be clear that they are in no way an “an irrelevance.”

Bob said...

the Queen is integral to the very fabric of the nation.


She makes no contribution of her own to your society, your foreign policy, or your law making.

As figure heads go, she could be replaced with a smoking rhesus monkey and no one would notice the difference.

People would still gather in large crowds and wear ugly hats to stare at the spectacle but at least then they would see a smoking monkey.

J.M. patienceandperseverance said...

Pagan, I'm sticking with the opinion I expressed in my original post. But I think that you are looking at Britain and its "proud cultural heritage and history," through rose tinted glasses, because your view of the Brits and Britain is poles apart from this Brits lifetime experience of a wage labourer.

J.M. patienceandperseverance said...

The Sentinel, Yes I did National Service, and got the Queen's shilling, but then I was just a daft laddie, and didn't know any better, but I hasten to add I was conscripted: I certainly didn't volunteer.

The Sentinel said...


“She makes no contribution of her own to your society, your foreign policy, or your law making"

That’s the constitutional part (though she has received more heads of state then anyone else on the planet, and can pretty much convene them at will) – but UK governments are formed by her and serve at her pleasure.

As do the real levers of power: The Army and the police.

Those with the force.

“As figure heads go, she could be replaced with a smoking rhesus monkey and no one would notice the difference”

Entirely facile. Even you can’t really believe that.

Besides, the Queen has a very real bond with her forces.


“but I hasten to add I was conscripted: I certainly didn't volunteer”

Then why didn’t you refuse? Did you swear the oath? If so, does you word mean nothing?

Largely before 1939 and certainly after 1960, all squaddies were / are volunteers and do / have served their country willingly – many millions. All have willingly sworn the oath.

SecondComingOfBast said...


Isn't it also true that the monarch wields emergency powers in the event of some kind of catastrophic collapse or failure of government?

Frank Partisan said...

I vote with James and Bob.

The wedding celebration according to the post, required government giving incentives to celebrate.

Why are so many libertarians from the right, so pro-monarchy?

I think UK offers more to see as a tourist, than the monarchy. It has The Beatles.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Ren, do you know what an old fuddy-duddy is? Well, that's what you are, an old fuddy-duddy who likes the Beatles, who broke up more than forty years ago, and two of whom are dead.

The Sentinel said...


Yes that is true.

It is also true that they can dissolve governments and refuse the formation of new ones. The Queen could also issue Royal Prerogatives – akin to a Presidential order.

They haven’t done it for quite some time, but constitutionally, they still could.

Renegade Eye:

“Why are so many libertarians from the right, so pro-monarchy?”

Well as I said, I do have some issues with aspects of it, but by and large it is a tried and tested system.

I willingly served my country and swore allegiance to the Queen, and an oath is a bond and a man is only as good as his word.

Like I said, the Queen still commands enormous respect amongst the services. I actually ‘met’ her once, some years ago when I was a young soldier, and she took the time to speak to me and some others when there was no PR gain in it. She was genuinely interested.

Now if Charles were King, things might have been / will be different …

SecondComingOfBast said...

Charles is an ass. Somebody needs to gently take him by the hand, and lead him off to someplace where he can be looked after and cared for adequately. Give one of his sons the crown. Charles would and probably will be a disaster. That in fact is the only flaw I can see with the system, the idea that someone unfit for the crown might prove difficult to remove.

Frank Partisan said...

Sentinel: Your support for the monarchy is sentimental, but not political.

In this day and age, monarchy is obsolete. Parliamentary democracy works well too.

Monarchy is a left over from feudalism. The Cromwell Revolution didn't finish.

Pagan: The music scene in the UK is an attraction, that has its own royalty.

Histories dustbins make good tourism.

SecondComingOfBast said...

You just don't get it Ren, there's not much need in debating with you about it. I'll just repeat, on a practical level, the monarch wields emergency powers for situations where the government might fail or be incapable of acting. No one in Parliament has that kind of emergency powers, nor does any single party by virtue of the nature of Parliamentary Democracy. Its a fail safe mechanism in the event of national catastrophe. Plus, whether you believe it or not, nobody is going to go to England to see Ringo Starr.

Stanley Kowalski said...

Its a fail safe mechanism in the event of national catastrophe.

Which proves that Ren DOES get it. THAT is why he hates and seeks to abolish the monarchy. It's an existential threat to his pogrom. Ren doesn't give a cr*p about the UK. He only cares about gaining power OVER the UK.

SecondComingOfBast said...

If Ren had had his way about it years ago, Lennon would have been stuck in some artsy-fartsy commie art school where he would have become a mediocre artist at best producing commie art "for the masses" who would forget his name within then years, assuming they ever learned it to begin with. McCartney would probably be a music teacher, teaching droves of bored and boring music students to tow the commie artistic musical line. Harrison would have been a mechanic. Starkey would have been a milkman or some kind of delivery driver or something. If they'd tried to start a rock and roll band the way they did in the fifties and sixties, they would have been put in some kind of juvenile detention center that specializes in the re-education of "problem" children.

Yet Ren has the gall to bring the Beatles into this conversation.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye:

“Your support for the monarchy is sentimental, but not political”

Not so. I had sworn the oath long before I ‘encountered’ the Queen.

As I explained, the institution itself is integral to the constitutional fabric of the UK and is separate from partisan politics, something that is needed in an emergency.

The prospect of a President Blair, a President Brown or a President Cameron is revolting.

The Queen was long aware of the prospect of the monarchy running its course at the end of her reign, and I strongly suspect that Charles was paired with Diana in order to inject ‘new blood’ and especially a more aesthetically ‘acceptable’ face of royalty. William has been allowed to be far closer to ordinary people in the UK then any other royal, and is genuinely popular with all but the usual bitter malcontents.

The Queen has kept Charles away from the throne because I suspect she knows he would be a disaster and most likely the end of the line.

We’ll see what happens, but I doubt Charles will ever take the throne. I strongly suspect that job has always been for William – before he was even born.