Tuesday 23 November 2010


When I heard that Wills and Kate were to marry so soon after the coalition took power, I was reminded that Charles and Di did just the same thing the last time that the Tories were doing nasty things to us.

It is, as it was 30 years ago, a way of distracting attention; it’s a way of promoting the ‘feel good’ factor among vast numbers of the population. And of course, for those of us that don’t give stuff about weddings of rich kids with mediaeval titles, there is the advantage of a bank holiday, which according to the BBC reporter was announced in ‘Britain and Wales and Northern Ireland’. (That may just give us an insight into the thinking of the BBC.)

(Public Holidays in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Government in conjunction with the Queen, and the Government’s proposals to the Scottish Parliament are expected shortly.)

But in choosing the week before the Scotland’s General Election, and of course the UK wide referendum, is William being used by the Prime Minister to divert attention away from an extremely important decision on the future of voting in the UK and of course the choosing of the government of our country.

It is widely reported that William and Kate have made all the decision themselves and they haven’t allowed anyone to interfere, but we all know that that is simply not true.

These events have to be coordinated by the Government, the Palace, the Church, the Commonwealth, the Security Services. The invitations have to be at least vetted by the Foreign Office. No one of importance must be left out. Pecking orders, seating in the abbey and at table, where people will be billeting. All has to be co-ordinated by the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshall of England and the Marquess of Cholmondley, the Lord Great Chamberlain and their thousands of staff.

In any case they are protesting far too loudly that it’s all been the couple’s decision.

Blanket tv and newspaper coverage from now until the event will mean that there will only be days left for politicians to get their message across the UK for the referendum... and of course our own General Election campaigning will doubtless be relegated to the bottom of page 17 in what passes for newspapers in Scotland.

Events such as royal weddings have the effect, at least on some people, of encouraging a flag waving national pride. A contentment with the good old ways; the fine old traditions of fair play and first past the post... maybe... uh Dave?

The Scottish General Election (and indeed the Welsh and Irish elections) will be demoted to an event of secondary importance, which of course to the Tories, not expecting to win them, they are. Local elections in England, where it is possible the Tories and their little helpers will suffer large losses, will be quietly forgotten while the papers report on tales from the honeymoon.

The Respect Agenda takes yet another dive out of the window... and David Cameron has stuck it to Nick Clegg, yet again.

But never mind Nick. AV wasn’t worth having anyway (you said so yourself), because it’s not PR, and in any case you still have your title and the car. Enjoy them while you can.


  1. They could of delayed their marriage until 2012 and then held the whole shebang in the olympic stadium as the opening ceremony a win win all round. No foresight whatever.

  2. Yes, we're a cynical lot aren't we? Unfortunately we've been given good reason over the years.

    There's no way this date was decided by the couple alone, absolutely not - you only have to see the rigmarole organising an FCO drinks/canapes do to know that it wouldn't be possible on such a scale.

    As for this referendum on AV, I'm still laughing at the cheek of it. Some folk are too easily satisfied.

  3. Aye, that would have shown the Chinese a thing or two about an opening ceremony.

    I would have said they could have had the divorce as the closing ceremony, but it seems that you get suspended (not by the neck though) if you say something nasty about them, so I suppose I'd best not.

  4. GV. Unfortunately that is true. The trouble with this lot is that they don't really make much effort to hide it from us.

    Maybe it's because they are not terribly bright; maybe it's because they think we are not terribly bright.

    As you say, it will take many people...a cast of thousands, from now until the day, working full time, to get this thing on the road. And we're supposed to fondly imagine that Willy and Katie are sitting on the settee deciding which invitation card to send to Auntie Alexandra... Yeah right. And our heads zip up the back.

    Yes, I suspect the fragrent Nick must have wanted very badly to be Deputy Prime Minister.

    It's a pity he didn't want to be very badly Deputy Prime Minister.... He's managing that very nicely.

  5. Hum... yes, maybe not the best date to choose

    They are right. It's just as well we are doing all these people out of their proper increases in pension (war widows and what have you, and protecting the investors with the reduced minimum private pension increases).

    Just as well VAT is going up. Ireland has to be bailed, and the security for the wedding will cost more than a year in Afghanistan... although we are not allowed to know how much.

    It's a bit rich when old ladies are scared to go out after dark, that they can spend all that on one man's wedding in London.

    Cut the police though.

    And after the holiday costs six billion I expect prices will have to go up again...


  6. Tris,
    I had assumed that the royals, in this time of deficits and austerity, might make some attempt to tone down the big royal bash. No way Jose! It's Westminster Abbey and the whole ball of wax. (I suppose the Abbey has the advantage of NOT being St. Paul's, which worked out so well for mommy and daddy.) But swear to God! These people don't have a clue. And it seems that William will ultimately be no different than all the rest. It would have hurt him to take a slightly different path?

    Here in the states, there's a lot of blather about how the British need a big celebration in these difficult times. Do people in the 21st century really get worked up about these big royal shows? All this for a marriage that the Bishop of Willesden estimates will be of seven years duration. (But he seems to have lost his job for that one, and the Bishop of London has apologized to the Palace.) It's all a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. And even the hard nosed media seem to buy into it!

    You guys really do need to dump the royals. I can't in good conscience recommend a lot about American culture and government to you. But to our credit, we had the royals figured out 234 years ago. And we took the necessary action. ;-)

  7. Historical PS: Your Andrew Carnegie had the right idea back in the 19th century. When he would leave his steel mills in Pennsylvania to return to his native Scotland for holiday, he would advocate for abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a British Republic.

  8. PPS: Of course I realize that in a blog called Munguin's REPUBLIC, I'm sort of preaching to the choir here. :-)

  9. Yes Danny... it's kind of a given that we'd like to see the institution disappeared.

    You guys have always been ahead of us on most stuff, but sheesh... 234 years... now that IS embarrassing!

  10. PS Danny... you should read this guy... not just on this subject, but on much more. He and I agree on everything, he just has a deal more eloquence in his writing.


  11. Oooops, what a long link:

    Here's his blog and the particular article was "Just one day...."


    But as I say the rest of his stuff is awesome.