Canada Day with the royals (1): We are not ‘smitten’ nor ‘smote’ nor amused

Protesters wait for the arrival of Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in Montreal, November 10, 2009. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi (CANADA ROYALS CONFLICT)

Part one of a two part series by TONY SEED, Part two is here.

HALIFAX (July 1, 2011, revised July 4) – THE July 1st headline of the Halifax Chronicle Herald leaps into never-never land with its banner of another royal tour: “Canadians smitten [1] with royal newlyweds.” The entire front page of the second section is also given over to fawning coverage of the alleged affair. Then you read more carefully. “A small crowd … at the government airport.” A “walk-about” amongst tourists to the nation’s capital with nothing else to do but touch the elephant! 

But what there is, according to CBC, is “an army of reporters.” The question arises: Is the “small crowd” and the “army of reporters” one and the same?

This “army” (mainly staffed by British reporters) is bombarding Canadians with round-the-clock images. The sheer amount one hears and reads boggles the mind. I am not counting, but the number of articles produced and serialized in the media across Canada is now in the thousands. This assault is not trivial tabloid journalism having nothing more important to report than “a full-on, no-holds-barred display of puppy love for the newlyweds – an infatuation with a couple of starry-eyed kids from England – that Buckingham Palace is keen to see transformed into a lasting relationship with the British Commonwealth” (Canadian Press, “Canadians revel in a royal celebration,” July 1, 2011).

The “couple of starry-eyed kids from England” have been made into celebrity cult status overnight.

Questions arise: Who are these people? What have they ever done? What have they ever done for you or anyone for that matter? Why this emphasis? What contribution have they made in the sphere of culture or politics or to society as a whole?

Meanwhile, the millions of Canadian taxdollars being spent by the Harper government to parade a celebrating prince and his wife, representatives of a feudal monarchy, around Canada is carefully kept in the shade. They make appearances here, they exhibit themselves there, and they talk about this and that. The media oozes about the fashion of the Duchess. It is hinted that her accession to the ranks of the royals shows that the feudal monarchy is embracing social mobility! But what role do they play, and what is their theme? Do they have any value, and if so, what? What is the essence of the “lasting relationship” they have been sent from England to perpetuate? These things are never discussed.

A royal, according to this media, is a person about whose contribution we are ignorant – the only thing which we definitely know is that they are royal! 

A royal, according to this media, is a person about whose contribution we are ignorant – the only thing which we definitely know is that they are royal!

According to the media, everything unfolds spontaneously – there is no plan, outlook, organization; the media only generates what the “smitten” public emotionally expresses about the “royal newlyweds.”

Take the spectacle of that April 29th wedding in England of the “starry-eyed kids.”

It was one of obscene wealth. It glorified the waste of public funds – close to $130 million – under the hoax of security and the decadence of the feudal monarchy. More than $16 million squandered just for the celebrations alone – a portion of the wealth that workers produce, at the same time that governments are cutting staff from the public sector and privatizing services in the name of the “free market economy”, leving user pay fees, and demanding people “tighten their belts” to eliminate deficits and pay for so-called austerity measures.

This is the fundamental hypocrisy that underlies royal life; those princes whose mother, Princess Diana, at one time decried poverty, always fail to note that their parasitic lives of excess, luxury and privilege are derived from the conditions which perpetuate it.

The “lasting relationship”

Furthermore, the media barrage on Canada Day is a crude reminder to the Canadian people that after 144 years of seeming independence they are still subjects of a foreign monarch, who states openly that it aims for “a lasting relationship.”

If Canadians, hypothetically, were indeed sovereign and living in a democratic republic, such a visit would have been given the attention it deserves: indifference, silence, contempt.

While it is claimed that the authority of the Queen of England is nominal and purely symbolic, she is actually responsible for numerous decision making. Canada and Australia’s military involvement in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as well Britain’s refusal to join a treaty banning cluster bombs were among the decisions approved by the Queen of England. This is one role to be carried out by her heirs – including the “starry-eyed kids.”

The “lasting relationship” they aim to perpetuate is the strengthening of the Anglo-American alliance, the leadership of which is now in the hands of the United States, within and outside NATO, for the defence of neo-liberalism, global intervention and war. This is now characterized as an “essential” as well as “special” and “lasting” relationship between the three countries. Implicitly or explicitly, every effort is being made to royally stress that what unites the governments of Canada and Britain are their shared Eurocentric values and a commitment to the global defence and imposition of these values on humanity, if necessary by military might.

This from a government which is more and more acting like a monarchy itself.

The English monarchy is synonymous with military might – as were the Canada Day celebrations which gave pride of place to the Canadian Forces in Ottawa and Occupied Afghanistan. Special TV coverage was arranged of Harper’s two military ministers, Peter MacKay and Julian Fantino, together with Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, Gen. Walt Natynczyk, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn and his general manager, Brian Burke and assorted personalities in a triumphal festival at Kandahar Airfield proclaiming, “you are Canada’s team.” This from a government which is more and more acting like a monarchy itself. Prince Peter, whose troops are not leaving Afghanistan but becoming “trainers” of the colonial army, then announced the largest-ever warfare exercises for the Arctic, another front for “Canada’s team” along with Libya, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and opening military bases abroad in the new imperial mission throughout the Commonwealth and other countries from Jamaica and Haiti in the Caribbean to Somalia and Kenya in Africa. Perhaps they aim to set up princes of their own making!

The grotesque festival was reportedly graced with a scripted “thank you” message to the Canadian Forces, read out simultaneously in Ottawa and Kandahar, from the “starry-eyed kid” of a feudal and medieval English monarchy already defeated by the resistance of the Afghan people, a brave and independent people, in three previous wars since its first ignominious rout in 1838-1842.

Maybe a royal is someone who can keep embarrassing historical fact in the background and, like King Canute, call on the waves to recede!

What is this “thank you”? This “appreciation“ goes beyond hypocrisy at a time when the government of which they are the titular representatives pursues a policy of armed aggression in the name of “British values” against sovereign peoples and countries condemned as “feudal”, of assassination and plunder, every bit as barbaric as the worst excesses of its colonial past. Maybe a royal is someone who can keep embarrassing historical fact in the background and, like King Canute, call on the waves to recede!

The transporting of the feudals from Ottawa to Montreal by the Harper government aboard the HMCS Montreal along the St. Lawrence River constituted nothing less than “a full-on, no-holds-barred display” of militarized might and a deliberate provocation against the nation and people of Quebec no less bizarre than the spectacle of completely empty streets lined by police.

The warship was deployed all the way up that river from Maritime Command in Halifax, some 1,000 miles one way.

The media, which was counting every penny and every customer “lost” by Canada Post, had nothing to say about using the armed forces as a political tool of Harper’s wrecking agenda or the logistics and funds squandered by these parasites and their government in deploying a warship to enter Quebec in this offensive manner. The Quebecois were right to condemn this provocation with all the contempt it deserved.

Maybe a royal becomes defined by the absence of any concern for the consequences of their actions…

No only does war and the House of Windsor go together, so does the blackest reaction as the the photo reproduced on this website of Prince Harry in Nazi attire shows. Maybe a royal becomes defined by the absence of any concern for the consequences of their actions, a synonym for someone who is doing, promoting and even celebrating something wrong and backward in society, whether in England or abroad.

Meanwhile, the spectacle, the staging and the hyperbole diverts attention from the fact that in the third millenium Canada’s democratic institutions are not based on the consent of the governed but on the Royal Prerogative. Similarly, the Canadian Constitution 1982, which modernized the British North America Act, 1867, an act of a foreign parliament, is not based on the voluntary union of the nation of Quebec, the First Nations and the people of Canada but on exploitation, conquest and subjugation.

That is the grim reality we definitely know a lot about.

I double checked the editorial page. Yep, after 144 years the Halifax Chronicle Herald still flies the imperialist Union Jack flag on its masthead.

Part one of a two-part series.


1 Websters defines smite as

verb /smīt/
smites, 3rd person singular present; smiting, present participle; smitten, past participle; smote, past tense

  • Strike with a firm blow
    • – he smites the water with his sword
  • Defeat or conquer (a people or land)
    • – he may smite our enemies
  • (esp. of disease) Attack or affect severely
    • – various people had been smitten with untimely summer flu
  • Be strongly attracted to someone or something
    • – she was so smitten with the boy
It gives three web definitions
  • inflict a heavy blow on, with the hand, a tool, or a weapon
  • affect suddenly with deep feeling; “He was smitten with love for this young girl”
  • afflict: cause physical pain or suffering in; “afflict with the plague”

* * *


For your information: British royal wedding

Constitutional Monarchy – Remnant of medievalism and colonialism that should be abolished – not celebrated!

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Filed under Media, Journalism & Disinformation, No Harbour for War (Halifax)

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