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Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee. Photo: ulian Calder for Governor-General of New Zealand / Wikimedia Commons / edited from original / CC BY 4.0, license linked below article

70 years of an unelected head of state is not exactly the basis for fireworks, writes Reuben Bard-Rosenberg

The thing about the Platinum Jubilee is that nobody quite knows what we’re celebrating. We can read a calendar well enough to see that it’s been 70 years since the Queen became the Queen. But what exactly is the basis for fireworks?

Holding down the same job for a long time is impressive if it's the kind of thing where you can get sacked for poor performance. However, that would rather defeat the point of having a hereditary Royal Family, especially this one.

Alternatively, at footballers' testimonial matches we often celebrate the fact that the player could have gone elsewhere but chose to stay loyal. But again, that's not how being the queen works. Efforts to liberalise the market for Royal labour in the 1980s had to be abandoned after Prince Andrew arranged a somewhat embarrassing interview with a bunch of beardie pirates who claimed to be the appointments committee of Never Land.

Perhaps we are celebrating the longevity of a practical joke played on Elizabeth herself. Since she was a kid, Liz has been told that God chose her to reign over Britain. And every morning for the last 70 years the Queen has been brought red boxes full of government business, and convinced that the vital interests of the country depend on her assimilating their contents into her simple horse-filled mind. From this perspective, we're about to witness the climax of a really shit version of The Truman Show.

Whatever the reason, a fair few people are going to be celebrating, with festivities planned in many towns and village. I have no doubt that these occasions will generate an avalanche of bad reviews. Not just because they will be quite shit but also because of the kind of people who will be going. There's clearly a strong crossover between the Union Jack bunting brigade and the kind of people who leave bad reviews on Tripadvisor. We're talking here about the sort of people who wash their cars every Sunday and have opinions on whether other people are dressed smartly enough, and who are at their happiest when expressing grievance or disappointment. They clearly love the Queen in wildly disproportionate numbers. So if you're organising a crappy Jubilee street party this weekend, then try not to take the post-event online griping to heart.

As for me, I was originally planning to mark the occasion by declaring Haringey an independent republic. But then I came to the conclusion that I couldn't be bothered, so instead I will be reacquainting myself with the Royal Family's best moments, specifically the publication of those Harry photos on TMZ.

However you're choosing to dispose of this extra little bit of freedom we're getting from the tyranny of work, I hope you have an excellent time, unless of course you're going to a Jubilee Street Party.

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Tagged under: Monarchy
Reuben Bard-Rosenberg

Reuben Bard-Rosenberg

Reuben Bard-Rosenberg is a socialist activist and radical folk music promoter.

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