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Royalty and Gormlessness PDF Print E-mail
Written by nuncio   
Friday, 29 April 2011 09:21

A certain teacher I know mentioned to me that she had brought up the subject of the UK royal wedding with her class yesterday. Some were quite excited, although they didn't appear to know why. What interested me was that one child asked "How does the Queen get chosen?". How indeed? When the teacher went on to explain that the male child would always become monarch, no matter how many smart and able female siblings preceded him, the children immediately concluded that this was "unfair".

I just looked up the dictionary definition of the word 'gormless'. It reads "Lacking intelligence and vitality; dull". Well nobody could accuse these kids of gormlessness. Their young, and still open, minds have the questioning curiosity that many of us say we would love to be able to retain through to adulthood. They ask incisive and relevant questions about subjects which they do not understand. Healthy, yes?

And yet today, as two unjustly-elevated ape descendants pronounce their love for each other, we find ourselves hit by a tsunami of gormlessness. To understand the unfairness of monarchy is child's play. There are no morally justifiable reasons for supporting the idea of monarchy.

The UK is a horribly class-ridden country. Inequality is rampant here. A private school educated elite of wealthy, well-connected, nepotistic individuals run the country. An mean-spirited, ageing woman of vast wealth heads the 'state', using her ancient privileges to engineer a continued wealthy and powerful future for her offspring. All, including the poorest 'subjects', must by law contribute to increasing the wealth of this woman and her family.

But the mean-spiritedness and avarice of the royal family are not the real issue here. The individuals are not important but the symbolism is. The institution of monarchy screams out to every person in this land that they are unequal by birth; that power and privilege are things you are born into; that receipt of vast power doesn't require democracy; that the future will be the same as the past - a grinding slog of lost potential and obsequious, cowed obedience by the masses so that the few can retain their baubles.

You simply can't be a futurehead while believing in the institution of monarchy. The two mindsets are incompatible. Any kind of future society we would aspire to live in would not stand for such rampant inequality.

I suppose I have implied here that those who enthusiastically watch the marriage of "Wills and Kate" today are uniformly gormless. That's not my intention but, if you find that this flummery appeals to your sensibilities, maybe it's time to look inside yourself and wonder if you have even the measure of healthy, questioning curiosity that a child displays.

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