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The Queen and Her Legacy: 21st Century Britain Has Never Looked So Medieval
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Anyone in the UK who imagined they lived in a representative democracy – one in which leaders are elected and accountable to the people – will be in for a rude awakening over the next days and weeks.

TV schedules have been swept aside. Presenters must wear black and talk in hushed tones. Front pages are uniformly somber. Britain’s media speak with a single, respectful voice about the Queen and her unimpeachable legacy.

Westminster, meanwhile, has been stripped of left and right. The Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties have set aside politics to grieve as one. Even the Scottish nationalists – supposedly trying to rid themselves of the yoke of centuries of an English rule presided over by the monarch – appear to be in effusive mourning.

The world’s urgent problems – from war in Europe to a looming climate catastrophe – are no longer of interest or relevance. They can wait till Britons emerge from a more pressing national trauma.

Domestically, the BBC has told those facing a long winter in which they will not be able to afford to heat their homes that their suffering is “insignificant” compared to that of the family of a 96-year-old woman who died peacefully in the lap of luxury. They can wait too.

In this moment there is no public room for ambivalence or indifference, for reticence, for critical thinking – and most certainly not for Republicanism, even if nearly a third of the public, mostly the young, desire the monarchy’s abolition. The British establishment expects every man, woman and child to do their duty by lowering their head.

Twenty first-century Britain never felt so medieval.

Wall-to-wall eulogies

There are reasons a critical gaze is needed right now, as the British public is corralled into reverential mourning.

The wall-to-wall eulogies are intended to fill our nostrils with the perfume of nostalgia to cover the stench of a rotting institution, one at the heart of the very establishment doing the eulogising.

The demand is that everyone show respect for the Queen and her family, and that now is not the time for criticism or even analysis.

Indeed, the Royal Family have every right to be left in peace to grieve. But privacy is not what they, or the establishment they belong to, crave.

The Royals’ loss is public in every sense. There will be a lavish state funeral, paid for by the taxpayer. There will be an equally lavish coronation of her son, Charles, also paid for by the taxpayer.

And in the meantime, the British public will be force-fed the same official messages by every TV channel – not neutrally, impartially or objectively, but as state propaganda – paid for, once again, by the British taxpayer.

Reverence and veneration are the only type of coverage of the Queen and her family that is now allowed.

But there is a deeper sense in which the Royals are public figures – more so even than those thrust into the spotlight by their celebrity or talent for accumulating money.

The British public has entirely footed the bill for the Royals’ lives of privilege and pampered luxury. Like the kings of old, they have given themselves the right to enclose vast tracts of the British isles as their private dominion. The Queen’s death, for example, means the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just added the whole of Cornwall to their estate.

If anyone is public property, it is the British Royals. They have no right to claim an exemption from scrutiny just when scrutiny is most needed – as the anti-democratic privileges of monarchy pass from one set of hands to another.

The demand for silence is not a politically neutral act. It is a demand that we collude in a corrupt system of establishment rule and hierarchical privilege.

The establishment has a vested interest in enforcing silence and obedience until the public’s attention has moved on to other matters. Anyone who complies leaves the terrain open over the coming weeks for the establishment to reinforce and deepen the public’s deference to elite privilege.

Continuity of rule

Undoubtedly, the Queen carried out her duties supremely well during her 70 years on the throne. As BBC pundits keep telling us, she helped maintain social “stability” and ensured “continuity” of rule.

The start of her reign in 1952 coincided with her government ordering the suppression of the Mau Mau independence uprising in Kenya. Much of the population were put in concentration camps and used as slave labour – if they weren’t murdered by British soldiers.

At the height of her rule, 20 years later, British troops were given a green light to massacre 14 civilians in Northern Ireland on a protest march against Britain’s policy of jailing Catholics without trial. Those shot and killed were fleeing or tending the wounded. The British establishment oversaw cover-up inquiries into what became known as “Bloody Sunday”.

And in the twilight years of her rule, her government rode roughshod over international law, invading Iraq on the pretext of destroying non-existent weapons of mass destruction. During the long years of a joint British and US occupation, it is likely that more than a million Iraqis died and millions more were driven from their homes.

The Queen, of course, was not personally responsible for any of those events – nor the many others that occurred while she maintained a dignified silence.

But she did provide regal cover for those crimes – in life, just as she is now being recruited to do in death.

It was her Royal Armed Forces that killed Johnny Foreigner.

It was her Commonwealth that repackaged the jackbooted British empire as a new, more media-savvy form of colonialism.


It was the Union Jack, Beefeaters, black cabs, bowler hats – the ludicrous paraphernalia somehow associated with the Royals in the rest of the world’s mind – that the new power across the Atlantic regularly relied on from its sidekick to add a veneer of supposed civility to its ugly imperial designs.

Paradoxically, given US history, the special-ness of the special relationship hinged on having a much-beloved, esteemed Queen providing “continuity” as the British and US governments went about tearing up the rulebook on the laws of war in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Teflon Queen

And therein lies the rub. The Queen is dead. Long live the King!

But King Charles III is not Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen had the advantage of ascending to the throne in a very different era, when the media avoided Royal scandals unless they were entirely unavoidable, such as when Edward VIII caused a constitutional crisis in 1936 by announcing his plan to marry an American “commoner”.

With the arrival of 24-hour rolling news in the 1980s, and the later advent of digital media, the Royals became just another celebrity family like the Kardashians. They were fair game for the paparazzi. Their scandals sold newspapers. Their indiscretions and feuds chimed with the period’s ever more salacious and incendiary soap opera plots on TV.

But none of that dirt stuck to the Queen, even when recently it was revealed – to no consequence – that her officials had secretly and regularly rigged legislation to exempt her from the rules that applied to everyone else, under a principle known as Queen’s Consent. An apartheid system benefiting the Royal Family alone.

By remaining above the fray, she offered “continuity”. Even the recent revelation that her son Prince Andrew consorted with young girls alongside the late Jeffrey Epstein, and kept up the friendship even after Epstein was convicted of paedophilia, did nothing to harm the Teflon Monarch.

Charles III, by contrast, is best remembered – at least by the older half of the population – for screwing up his marriage to a fairy-tale princess, Diana, killed in tragic circumstances. In preferring Camilla, Charles traded Cinderella for the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine.

If the monarch is the narrative glue holding society and empire together, Charles could represent the moment when that project starts to come unstuck.

Which is why the black suits, hushed tones and air of reverence are needed so desperately right now. The establishment are in frantic holding mode as they prepare to begin the difficult task of reinventing Charles and Camilla in the public imagination. Charles must now do the heavy-lifting for the establishment that the Queen managed for so long, even as she grew increasingly frail physically.

The outlines of that plan have been visible for a while. Charles will be rechristened the King of the Green New Deal. He will symbolise Britain’s global leadership against the climate crisis.

If the Queen’s job was to rebrand empire as Commonwealth, transmuting the Mau Mau massacre into gold medals for Kenyan long-distance runners, Charles’ job will be to rebrand as a Green Renewal the death march led by transnational corporations.

Which is why now is no time for silence or obedience. Now is precisely the moment – as the mask slips, as the establishment needs time to refortify its claim to deference – to go on the attack.

(Republished from Jonathan Cook by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Culture/Society, History • Tags: Britain, Monarchy 
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  1. The Queen is dead short live the King.

  2. I don’t know when TUR published this fantastically well-written article (it has a 9-9 date), but it isn’t highlighted in gold as NEW! It’s a pity that it only has one comment before mine. I was tempted to skip it as I don’t often read Mr. Cook.

    With the death of do-nothing Queen E, my hope is that insufferable Charles III, he of the Great Reset, will have a very short reign, perhaps ending with the storming of Buckingham Palace, his abdication from the throne, and the death of the monarchy. I wonder what is worse: a ceremonial monarch with no power, or one who still has residual power, like Queen E, but refuses use it for the benefit her “subjects,” notably the diminishing white British natives who, thru relentless propaganda, remain her loyal supporters.

    I loved Cook’s sentence about Charles second wife. “In preferring Camilla, Charles traded Cinderella for the evil step-mother, Lady Tremaine.” Notice he didn’t say step-sister. Indeed, homely Camilla was look old enough to be Diana’s mother, just about as old-looking as the Queen.

    • Agree: Robert Dolan
    • Troll: mulga mumblebrain
  3. It would be fitting if Charles wife got raped by a crew of Pakis from Rotherham.

    Wait….what am I thinking? The Pakis wouldn’t wanna do that old hag…..they only want young white virgins to defile.

    • Replies: @James Charles
  4. Franz says:

    Charles could represent the moment when that project starts to come unstuck.

    I think Charles III will be fairly slick. He’s had, uh… lots of time to practice his game.

    About Diana. The shine went off her halo long time ago. Fairy Tale princess, maybe, but there’s plenty of twaddle from her about multiculturalism that we probably won’t get from Camilla. In all, Diana was bad news. That Chuck starts is reign without her is the best omen we’re getting from this.

  5. Lets cheer up the citizens of the UK with some suitable songs.

    The sex Pistols rousing patriotic anthem. Now sadly out of date.

    And the Smiths meditating on the suffering of the people.

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  6. @Robert Dolan

    “A number of studies have indicated an over-representation of Asian and Black offenders in group-based CSE. Most of the same studies show that the majority of offenders are White.”

    • Replies: @Dave Bowman
    , @Anymike
  7. Kali says:

    There’s one (or two, or three) glaring omition(s) from this article, and that is the relationship between the royal familiy, especially Charlie, and “Sir” Jimmy Saville – the most prolific paedophile and necrophile known, honoured by the queen with a knighthood for his services to the establishment.

    Additionally, the “unlawful killing” (per the coronors report) of Princess Diana has still not been investigated.

    Together, these two items could bring down the “Rothschild-Winsor” cabal once and for all!

    Best wishes,

    • Agree: mulga mumblebrain
    • Replies: @MIha
  8. @James Charles

    … the majority of offenders are White

    Yes, of course they are.

    Please leave. You are lowering the average IQ of this site.

    • Replies: @James Charles
  9. FKA Max says: • Website

    But there is a deeper sense in which the Royals are public figures – more so even than those thrust into the spotlight by their celebrity or talent for accumulating money.

    The British public has entirely footed the bill for the Royals’ lives of privilege and pampered luxury.

    The British Royal Family has been generating Billions of Pounds each year in tourism, etc. revenues for the U.K. alone (see below), and is considered to be one of the most valuable, global (corporate) brands. The British Monarchy with its Pomp and Circumstance is a huge asset to the British People and State, and is the envy of the world. You are correct though, that the passing of Queen Elizabeth II is a critical point and test in time for the British Royal Family & Monarchy & State, that could prove challenging. However, today’s challenges pale in comparison to those challenges the British, Protestant Monarchy faced in centuries past:

    FACT CHECK: Does the monarchy really pay its way? or

    U.K. royal family pumps billions into the economy. The queen’s death may change that or

    The British monarchy — its actual assets plus intangible impacts on the economy — was valued at £67.5 billion that year, or roughly CAD\$112.4 billion in 2017 dollars.

    For a rough value comparison, putting the royal family’s impact up to a similar list of major corporate brands prepared that same year by Brand Finance would rank the monarchy fourth in the world, behind just Google, Apple and Amazon.

    While the average annual cost for U.K. taxpayers to upkeep the royals comes in around £500 million a year (CAD \$700-\$750M), Brand Finance estimates the monarchy’s brand contributes £2.5 billion (CAD\$3.7B) to the British economy each year.

    Alexander Waugh: Edward de Vere & Marlowe, Lyly, Kyd. ‘BAND OF BROTHERS 1580’ ZOOM Webinar. 12 Dec, 2020

    • Agree: René Fries, René Fries
  10. MIha says:

    Every single road accident that ever occurred was unlawful.

  11. (…) the Royals became just another celebrity family like the Kardashians. They were fair game for the paparazzi.

    The Grand-Ducal family of my home country Luxembourg never became such. How comes?

    • Replies: @24th Alabama
  12. dimples says:

    As always the leftard Cook has it the wrong way around. If Britain is going medieval it’s because it is becoming a third world dystopia run by the dregs of the universe. But if the Queen had complained about any of this she would have been sacked for ‘racism’.

  13. I would not be a stander-by to hear
    My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
    My present vengeance taken; ‘shrew my heart,
    You never spoke what did become you less
    Than this

    Shakespeare would certainly recognize those he termed in Cymbeline “hovering temporizers” of recent days, jealous little insects crawling out from under their rocks to snipe at their betters. In my lifetime, I’ve lived to witness that the seemingly generous impulse to see the social order as unjust and in need of repair has merely enabled a worse tyranny.

    • Troll: mulga mumblebrain
  14. Skeptikal says:

    I thought the Duchy of Cornwall belonged to Charles, not Elizabeth.

    Or, does Charles have to give it up to the Prince of Wales on becoming king?

    • Replies: @CCG
  15. Since Britain became an American colony the pomp has been accentuated while circumstance
    has deteriorated.The saving grace of “Our Grace” is that few nations have survived without the unifying force of common traditions.

    Unfortunately for the middle and working classes their love of the Monarchy has not been requited since their rulers have a strange affinity for the Palace Jews and assorted darker riff raff from the collapsed Empire.

    Speaking of strange affinities Jonathan,what is going on with you and E. Michael Jones both using
    the Queen’s death as an occasion to praise bloodthirsty savages,the Mau Mau?Americans elected
    a Mau Mau lite as president a few a few years ago and it worked out badly for us.

  16. This was a very fine essay.

    Thank you.

  17. @René Fries

    Good comparison,Rene’!
    Some years ago a wealthy business man in Alaska who was bankrupted by bankers said to them:
    “I am truly sorry that I referred to you as worse than a bunch of whores because now I must apologize to the girls.”

    • Agree: René Fries
  18. martin_2 says:

    The Queen and the Royal Family are not that big a deal politically to justify the several columns and associated comments (many of which are stupid) on this website that have been written about them since the Queen’s demise.

  19. Closed casket. Don’t really even know if the old bird is gone.

  20. The Authorities in the UK are riding the death of the Queen into the ground.

    Insufficiently serious cinematic releases like Ticket to Paradise, the new George Clooney and Julia Roberts vehicle, are being delayed. You can go to the cinema to watch the queen’s funeral, but you may only drink water and eat nothing, in case your hot dog meets with the displeasure of the dead queen.
    Hospital appointments on the day of the queen’s funeral are cancelled. Food banks are closed. Normal people’s funerals are also cancelled. On the day the queen died, Liz Truss, our new prime minister, quietly lifted the ban on fracking in this country and also announced a plan to relieve Britons of crippling energy bills this winter without explaining where that money is going to come from.

    A Chill Over the United Kingdom
    The absurd—and sometimes sinister—spectacle of mourning Queen Elizabeth.

  21. CCG says:

    The Duchy of Cornwall passes on to the new Prince of Wales, the new King gets his income from the Duchy of Lancaster.

  22. Dutch Boy says:

    The main problem with the royals is that they put a monarchical face on what is actually a radical republic run for the benefit of the economic oligarchs (as does Britain’s republican offspring, the USA). They put a romantic, fairy tale gloss on a rotten system.

  23. @Dave Bowman

    What is it that you don’t understand about the word ‘majority’? The size of your IQ?

    ” . . . Most of the same studies show that the majority of offenders are White.”

  24. Anymike says:
    @James Charles

    Darn. If I knew what “CSE” meant, I’d probably agree with you.

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