Friday, 8 June 2012

Royalists and Republicans can drive one up the fence

Last weekend’s Jubilee celebrations enabled many committed to having/not having a monarchy to vent their feelings, particularly on Twitter. My own view is that they’re probably more use than many think but that some sort of publicly elected committee should review them every now and again and cut out any that are misbehaving. Half-way to a democratic situation and possibly a more practical solution than choosing new ones through a TV talent show as in The Royal Factor! But I would urge you to buy it anyway just make sure…
But honestly! The arguments people make could make one swing both ways (not bisexually of course). Some Republicans were comparing the crowds attending the Jubilee celebrations to the adulation of Kim Jong Il.  I didn’t attend although I live nearby, no-one tried to make me go and my career has not suffered for my non-attendance. And the fact that these people could compare the situation so unfavourably with that in North Korea, you would have thought, would be a good indicator that a Kim Jong Il situation really does not exist.
But then you get the Royalists. I don’t think Queen Elizabeth is so bad but I am not going to go overboard on compliments. However, the extreme sycophancy from some Royalists really gave their cause a bad name. One tweeter, who poses as some sort of Royal information service, responded to the Queen’s statement that she’d been humbled by the celebrations by saying: “No, Your Majesty, we are humbled by you!” I cringed a fair bit and thought I might give the Republican thing another go.
Then the big row about the unpaid and unlooked-after stewards erupted. This was a shocking situation, which says so much about society and the business world that now exists. Allegedly, a number of unemployed people were bussed in, made to sleep under bridges and then steward the pageant in return for some boots and hi-viz vests. This abuse of people must be stopped. But several tweeters started to comparing this to Nazi forced labour. One said that the motto Arbeit Macht Frei would be a likely strap-line for the company involved.
I was interested in this approach and asked the person how this would help ensure this situation did not occur again. I asked if they were aware of the other purpose of the camps bearing the motto Arbeit Macht Frei? I suggested that this hysterical comparison of corporate misbehaviour with death camps would actually smokescreen what was going on – as well as being quite insulting to relatives of the millions exterminated. Of course, the replies suggested that my criticism indicated my support for the steward situation(!) and justified this approach by saying that the tweeter was aware of what death camps were about through ‘word of mouth’. So I went a little bit Royalist again, right back to where I started.