I’m a republican, a citizen not a subject. I believe that the concept of monarchy, where power is passed on by an accident of birth, is an anachronism and an insult to democracy.
You can imagine then, that this is an interesting, difficult, and conflicting time for me. The country seems to be swept up in a wave of jubilee euphoria. It’s enough to make my stomach churn.
I’m not alone though. According to a recent survey 54% of the population have no interest in the jubilee. It seems the country is as divided on this issue as any other. I’m sure though that most of them/us will just be keeping our heads down during this period of enforced and faux patriotism and flag shagging.
Before I go on I must admit to admiring the marketing prowess of the royal oragnisation. They could teach us all a thing or two about branding. It reminds me of another national organisation from the past.
I reckon that people are falling into four camps. Firstly the royalists who firmly support the monarchy and are going to go to town. As I write this the house opposite is putting up bunting but fortunately a bush is hiding a flag with the queen’s face on it. They see this weekend as a reinforcement of everything that is great about Britain, with the queen bee at its centre.
The second group is the republicans or anti-monarchists, who would like to see political change and the opportunity to choose our own head of state, however poor that choice may be.
The third group is those that don’t care and will be doing their own thing, carrying on as if nothing is happening.
The fourth group however, is the most interesting. I have no evidence to back my assumption but suspect that there are a lot of people who have no real opinion on the monarchy but are going along with it for the fun, the days off from work, the colourful pageantry and the chance to go and have a drink with their friends (there are some really cheap beer offers around).
I’m going back to muttering under my breath. Tell me when it’s over.
¡Vive la republica!