For your information: British royal wedding II

Front page of The Sun newspaper on January 13, 2005 shows a photograph of Britain’s Prince Harry wearing a red and black swastika armband and an army shirt with Nazi regalia at a friend’s fancy dress party, which he attended on January 8, 2005 – two weeks before Queen Elizabeth was due to lead Britain’s holocaust memorial events. He later apologized.

Once again, the media has been carrying wall-to-wall coverage fawning over yet another royal wedding held on May 19 of the Victoria Day weekend formerly celebrated by imperial decree of 1904 throughout the British Empire as Imperial Day to honour Queen Victoria’s birthday. Every hook is being used to catch one’s attention: a “Canadian connection”; a multimillionaire “American princess”; the war pilot and Invictus Games of “wounded warriors”; a dysfunctional family; “expectations” of the new African-American member of “the family”; the royal bling, etc. The BBC intoned, “The royal wedding was a celebrity-studded spectacle of love, tradition and colourful sermons.” In London, 10 national newspapers devoted 282 pages to the topic.  CBC and CTV deployed a brigade of their correspondents, interviewed the royal experts, and unearthed a Canadian couple blessed to be in the crowd of spectators invited to watch outside the chapel in Windsor Castle, “many of them involved in charity work.” Six hundred guests were invited, bringing with them a combined estimated personal wealth of $16-21 billion. The wedding alone cost an estimated £32 million, of which £30 million was funded by the British taxpayer.

CTV aired a made-for-TV, seemingly romantic movie with a decidedly political and ideological message. The saccharine script of the “fairy-tale” has one scene wherein the prince brings his African-American girl friend to a royal party. He self-righteously objects to an old English dowager aristocrat, who is flaunting a racist icon on her dress which she calls The Moor. He commands her to remove it and lectures her that “this is a time when we should be apologizing.” She refuses the command and argues, whereupon the father of the prince (yet another princeling), intervenes, suggesting diplomatically she has had to much to drink and should go home. “Harry the Nazi” of 2005, sixth in line to the throne, rhas been transformed by 2018 to represent a progressive departure for British social and political life. Here we have the new humanitarian imperialism and “White Man’s Burden” embraced not just by the liberals but now even by the House of Windsor, the longtime imperial supporters of fascism and the crimes the Anglo-American imperialists have committed on the world scale since the Second World War, at a time when once again the world’s people face new and grave dangers. 

One may choose to ignore the hype as I tried to do, but it is rather like turning the other cheek. As Canadians there are serious issues behind this that we need to face up to. From my travels in other countries, I have found that people are simply astonished to learn that the head of state of Canada is a feudal British queen or that the commander-in-chief of the Canadian Forces is the U.S. president by virtue of the NORAD pact. Further, Canada is the only country that commemorates Queen Victoria with an official holiday. One Filipino commented to me sagely, “you are big capitalist country but you are a third world country too.” It is a reality that does no honour to us as a people.

For your information, I am republishing an article we posted in July, 2011 on the wedding of Prince William that raises the political issues that are involved.

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For your information: British royal wedding

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

THE monopoly media are bombarding Canadians with images of a royal wedding. This is not innocent or detached tabloid journalism having a bit of fun. It is an offensive spectacle of obscene wealth and decadence and a crude reminder to Canadians that they are subjects of a foreign monarch. All the while, it diverts attention from the fact that Canada’s democratic institutions are not based on the consent of the governed but on the Royal Prerogative.

What is “symbolic” about the monarchy?

The monopoly media are serious in their mission to promote the British monarchy as a romantic institution which is not of much relevance. In this vein, the people are constantly fed the fiction that the “constitutional monarch has no power” and that the Queen of England is just a “titular head of state.” Decision-making really lies in Canada, not in England and not with the Queen we are told, notwithstanding the several recent examples of the powers of the monarch’s representative in Canada, the Governor-General, and the tyranny which is established through the prerogative powers of the Prime Minister who acts as a king above even Parliament’s control. In fact, this nostrum of a “symbolic sovereign” diverts from the issue of where sovereignty – the decision-making power – actually lies which is in the financial oligarchy, not in the people.

Rights: From hereditary to natural to human

The historic striving of the people for empowerment opposed the conception of hereditary rights accorded by the kings who laid claim to “divine right” and all the arbitrariness that went with it. As capitalism came into being, the property owners demanded a guarantee for property rights and gave rise to the conception of “natural right.” This was used to establish a civil society based on a notion of equality which provided property rights with guarantees. The rule of the propertied classes was carried out in the name of “the people.” The “people” were represented in a “House of Commons” which evolved in a manner intended to keep the Royal Prerogative in check. On this basis, the democratic institutions based on a constitutional monarchy were born. In Canada this morphed into a system of self-government and a representative democracy in which the Queen of England remained Canada’s Head of State. In neither Britain nor Canada did this system do away with power based on privileges conferred to the property holders. The society said to defend the public good continued to be divided between exploiters and exploited in which those who were the possessors of wealth lay claim to an allegedly natural right to rule. The rule is said to be merit-based but it is de facto a system which deprives the people of the decision-making power.

Today, the more wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the more political power is also concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The “Commons” no longer play their role to curtail the use of the Royal Prerogative. On the contrary, what is called the House of Commons is now an anachronistic institution which protects the Royal Prerogative, the rule of arbitrariness and tyranny against the rule of law.

The British monarch and her heirs embody both the conception of hereditary right from medievalism and the “natural” right of the capitalist property owners. The monarchy combines hereditary privilege, land, money and social property with the “natural” right to seize vast fortunes from investments inside Britain, Canada and throughout the world.

The merged hereditary right and natural right of money, power and privilege together now stand for monopoly right to dominate the people and suppress public right. This obstructs the striving of the people for empowerment expressed in the demand for the working class to constitute itself the nation and vest sovereignty in the people, for an end to all forms of privilege and power resulting from wealth and status, and recognition that all individuals have rights by virtue of being human.

The spectacle of the royal wedding

The flaunting of the royal wedding in the midst of an election stands as a symbol of the conflict between the striving of the Canadian people for empowerment and the determination of the ruling circles to preserve archaic and anachronistic institutions that deprive the people of power. And all of this is presented as harmless! If it is so harmless then why is so much money and attention spent on it?

Behind the “fairy-tale” wedding lies the ugly glorification of monopoly right to suppress public right. It forms one of the many blocks to the march of the working class, seniors and youth towards new arrangements that are in harmony with the present objective conditions. The diversion from the issue of where sovereignty resides is meant to block the coming into being of a modern constitution and political system consistent with the demands of the times. The political, economic and social realities of contemporary Canada and the world requires guaranteeing the human rights of the people instead of the property right of the monopolies as is presently the case. The right of the Quebec nation to self-determination and the hereditary rights of the Aboriginal First Nations must also be recognized.

Elevating the “royals” to cult celebrity status seeks to divert attention from the disastrous direction in which society is headed under the rule of the rich whose appetite for more and more wealth and pleasure-seeking is insatiable. It also hides what is required to change the situation to one which favours the people. Behind the smiling faces are representatives of the world’s depraved obsolescent forces, a brutal world where medieval obscurantism serves to push the neoliberal anti-social offensive.

In this regard, the Windsor family is one of the most powerful and wealthy in the world. The so-called inherited rights of its members bring with them enormous possibilities to influence investments, raise capital and manipulate the state. The money from land and other holdings, and the annual stipends the family members receive from the state can be parlayed into even greater fortunes.

The fawning coverage of the royal marriage also exposes the Canadian monopoly media as undemocratic and opposed to the sovereignty of Canada and a modern democracy which should confer rights by virtue of being human, and recognize the national rights of Quebec and the hereditary rights of the Aboriginal First Nations. As a remnant of feudal right, the constitutional monarchy stands in direct contradiction with democratic renewal and public right and it should be abolished immediately.

TML Daily, April 29, 2011 – No. 71

Related reading on this blog

British Royal Family (House of Windsor)

 

 

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One response to “For your information: British royal wedding II

  1. Pingback: Prince William in Israel: The British royal family’s ‘complicated history’ with Nazi Germany | Tony Seed's Weblog

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