Scotland versus the Royal family

 

The royal family, should more accurately be called The London Royal Family. They never really leave their palaces in the exclusive parts of  London.

The (very dubious)  argument that they Are Good For Tourism should really read The Are Good For Tourism in Very Wealthy Parts of London.

There are however,  transparently patronising attempts to win favour with the ‘regions’ of their kingdom….

The Prince of Wales ( lives  in London )

The Duke of Edinburgh ( lives in London )

The Duchess of York ( lives in London )

not to mention the newly anointed…

Earl and Duchess of Dumbarton ( 175 Dumbarton Main Street – NAW !…only kidding. London. )

It’s a feeble distraction tactic by those who hold power. Could Duchess Meghan tell you a single fact about daily life in Dumbarton ?

But it is Scotland that’s most proving difficult for the PR spinners of the royal family. Because –  despite being forced to stump up £35m a year  – most Scots are not enchanted by the forelock tugging crap any more.

Rebellious Scots to Crush ( this is the 6th verse of God Save the Queen)

Some of our pals in England may wonder if Anti-Royal sentiment in Scotland is a symptom of a wider Anti-English feeling ?  Nope, not the case – for most Independently minded Scots, the idea of Independence is motivated by democratic self respect ( is Scotland a country? Yes it is. Should the people of a country have the right to elect their own government ? Yes they should. See ? ), and to mischaracterise it as Anti-English is like Gammon Gavin the golf club moron braying that Feminism Is Just An Excuse to HATE MEN.

People in Scotland (including many of the English people who live here)  want independence as a means to change society for the better.

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That week in the marines where Edward won all those medals. And his kilt.

And whilst the SNP leadership characterise an Independent Scotland as retaining the Monarchy, it’s fig leaf-  essentially trying to keep an older, more shortbread strain of Scottish electorate on board. Even campaigners for Scottish Independence don’t want to make Monarchy a foreground issue, because, why frighten off the hesitant pensioners and Sunday Post readers ?

But there’s very little love for the royal family in Scotland.

 

There was just ONE party in the entire country for Harry & Meghan’s wedding. There was no bunting for any of the royal weddings recently.  When a brand new edfd3e6a2ffb48b690140ed589e16280--scottish-independence-princeGlasgow Hospital was named after the queen, over 16,000 people signed a petition to object ( wrote about it here  ). The Scotland fans sang ‘Oh I’d rather have a Panda Than A Prince.” Only 41% of Scots are supportive.

So what can the Royal Family do ? Prince Charles regularly dreary’s himself up in a kilt and writes crappy tales about Lochnigar, but the effect is patronising, rather than ingratiating. It reminds Scots of The Laird, the Hunting Shooting and Fishing class who own Scotland with the result that  the landscape  is deserted so that they can gammon together and shoot things.

Central to all this is Balmoral. The Aberdeenshire castle has always been a key part of the Royals Love Scotland narrative.  When the royals stay at Balmoral, a piper plays outside every morning to wake them. So you know, they’re in touch with what life is like for people in Glasgow. In fact, the very romanticised, pantomime image of Scotland that Queen Victoria confected -has held Scotland back for years. We bought the Balmoralification of our culture, but not any more.

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Enchanting picture of the Queen at learning Bal-morality as a kid

The Firm also have an oncoming generational problem – do we really think that Harry and William will want to spend every wet September in rural Aberdeenshire ? I very much doubt it. An attempt to win favour was made by sending Prince William to St Andrews – and this is emphasised on every occasion – but St Andrews is hardly typical of Scottish life. Anyway, he didn’t like it.

And most significantly of all, the Queen politically interfered in the most important democratic event in Scotland’s modern history. The one rule of being a ceremonial monarch is don’t abuse your position.

She abused her position. Remember that.

None of this is tangible in the Relentless Grovel Fest that passes for royal journalism, but it’s happening on the ground. We’re on the road to a Scottish Republic ! ( but shhh…don’t tell anyone )

Everyone, across the UK, is welcome to my 2025 Balmoral Scotland Republic Party ( hopefully in the next 5 years ). We’ll put on Prince Charles’s old kilts and drink malt whisky and rifle through the attic searching for Seig Heil pictures.

Everyday is Royal Propaganda Day in the Media. But NOW you’re gonna RT this or Facebookise it or be Luke Skywalker engaging with The Force for the first time.

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Glasgow versus the Queen

In Scotland, there’s a bit of a smart thing going on.

1277678_608923449148847_770556601_oDuring the referendum Scotland started questioning everything, trying to figure out, from scratch What’s Important For A (Reborn) Country. And even though, in the end,  Scots opted to stay in the UK, the country had got the hang of the idea of interrogating the assumptions of the powerful.

This year, the Scottish Government completed a new hospital in Glasgow, the header_nsghc_wide_01biggest in the country. The entire £842m cost was  financed by the Scottish taxpayer, built on time, and without some lame brain PFI malarky. Glasgow, and Scotland is proud of it.

Then a rich old aristocratic woman shows up, who is doesn’t use the NHS, who sits on her arse eating swans in palace 345 miles from Glasgow… she stays for about 45 minutes, says nothing of interest, then pisses off and…..they Name The NHS Hospital After Her.

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Glasgwegian. RAGING WITH QUEEN.

Glasgow has an appalling health record, mostly as a result of poverty and vast inequality. But now,  as the stricken from Drumchapel, Castlemilk and Govan  gasp for help, they will be obliged to say take me to….The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

It’s like a sick joke. But, as airport bombers found out, Glasgow likes to put up a fight.

About a mile from the hospital, is Sunny Govan Community Radio, and  one if its broadcasters, John Beattie – who worked in the NHS for 10 years – felt annoyed enough to started a petition saying that “we the people oppose the new South Glasgow University Hospital being named after a monarch“, hoping for a few thousand signatures.

So far, over 13,500 people have signed the petition. ( please sign here)

Purple faced and pathetic,  NHS Glasgow Glasgow Health board hit back, claiming it was ‘an honour’ for staff & patients to meet the queen and have the hospital named after her.

Lets ask the staff then….. A senior Dr Keith McKillop wrote to the Glasgow Herald saying….

“Queen Elizabeth is the most potent symbol of the glaring inequalities in our society, a vivid representation of the growing gulf between rich and poor. The name of the new hospital is not unimportant. One of my other bits of paper is an honours degree in theology, so I’m qualified to know that symbols carry meaning, power and influence. I am reluctantly obliged to reinforce the illusion that our hospital, and therefore our health, is the charitable gift of a benevolent monarch to her less fortunate subjects.”

Dr McKillop goes on to say that the general feeling amongst staff  is far from being ‘honoured’ they are either indifferent or object to the name.

Contrary to recieved wisdom, some Doctors can write very clearly…he goes on…

79-140R0131T9523“The association of royalty with healing is a medieval superstition with no place in the 21st century NHS. How can I realistically encourage the people of Glasgow to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing, for self-improvement, when the renamed hospital perpetuates the ideal of an inflexible social order? It suggests they should take life as it comes and accept their subsidiary position. It quite literally subjugates its patients.

Bravo Dr McKillop !

So who made this crass offensive decision ?

Such was the controversy that Andrew Robertson ( OBE ! Ha ! ), the chairman of Greater Glasgow Health Board wrote to the Glasgow Herald, “explaining” that they couldn’t consider a range of different names for the hospital as it would result in disappointment for those who’s preferred names weren’t chosen (this is establishment patronising speak for It’ll End In Tears…).

He claimed that Senior staff and senior nurses ‘considered’ the royal name ( and, it is implied, approved). But when the Herald made a request to see the minutes of the meetings, it turns out they didn’t exist.

Inviting this uneducated privately treated woman to Daimler up to Scotland to name  the hospital after herself cost over £100,000 ( this was only revealed after a Wings Over Scotland submitted a FoI request).

It looks unlikely that the hospital will be renamed. Naming a hospital after a royal is a risible idea, and I hope members of the Scottish government are squirming with embarrassment,

But at least Glasgow didn’t roll over and fawn. And that’s a start.

( despite the fact that -for once – this IS an interesting royal news story, it got very little attention, so please share on Facebook and Twitter and spray on the walls of royal palaces. Ta.)

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UPDATE: 12 November 2015 – having gathered over 16,000 names, the petition is now closed.

They never interfere with democracy. Until they do.

Of all the laughable falsehoods about The Windsors, the idea that they are apolitical is the most mendacious.

Apolitical ? In a Land Owning-Fox-Hunting-Posh Worshipping-Class-Structure-Entrenching-Public School Promoting-Army-Lovin-Aristocrat-justifying-Red-white-and-blue-patriotism type way? Apolitical in the way that reinforces the idea of a class system where those at the top deserve their status because they DO RIGHT? Remind you of any political outlook?

Their very existence is a deterrent to progressive social change, they are a mascot for the 1%, always have been, always will be, no matter how many faux matey Harry’s Just One o’ The Lads type photo-bullshit they do in The Sun.

So, they’re a massive icon of traditional right wing establishment thinking, seeding the idea that Things Cannot Be Any Other Way.  That is bad enough….

But the dim Windsor family ( go on, count those A-levels… ) interfere politically behind close doors, and occasionally, in the open.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 20.33.10Prince Charles, of course, famously interferes, championing a whole host of -mostly moronic -causes. Even when he’s on the right track, he has no right to interfere. That’s the deal. So whilst I agree with Chazza about the environment, as a Windsor he has no right to voice an opinion. More on the Republican’s Great Hope another time.

Instead, lets look at Betty Windsor’s meddling in  last years Scottish Independence Referendum – an absolute straight down the line abuse of power. It’s an outrage, but of course, the sycophantic scribblers just cheered louder.

With the polls tight, and 4 days to go in the most exciting democratic event in UK politics, which could enable radical change….Betty went to church in Aberdeenshire.

PAY-Queen-and-the-Duke-of-Edinburgh

For the first time in 12 years, the press are invited – fancy that ! Betty comes out – and highly unusually –  fancy that ! she goes for a walkabout outside the church. The Police then “invited press to observe exchanges” ( this is almost completely verboten – fancy that ! ),  and queeny “warns” an onlooker – who prefers not to be named  ( fancy that ! )- that Scots should “think very carefully about the future”.

Of course, it wasn’t a spontaneous remark ( the fact that there’s wriggle room suggests it’s been written with spin doctors ) but with the BBC & tabs in full British Unionist Cry she didn’t need to spell it out.

So there you have it. Regardless what you think of the referendum, the queen deliberately and consciously interfered. She tried to sway the most important vote in UK politics for years. The establishment was threatened, and she intervened on the side of the establishment.

There as almost no criticism. No journalists was bold enough to ask her if she’d interfered.

Most of the people who voted No, were older, and richer.

David Cameron phoned her with the result, and she “purred” down the line.

Boak.

Boak Boak Boak Boak Boak.

They don’t interfere in politics. Except when they do.