La de da – the royal wedding; why it isn’t important and the myths that some will use it to try to r
In less time than you can think, the news is everywhere and has covered the BBC News website and is all over BBC News 24, David Cameron has called it “a great day for the country” and I can smell the kilns as a million commemorative plates go into production.
I’ve got nothing against two people in love wanting to get married; I’m 2 months into my own marriage and in my incredibly biased view, my wife is deserving of much more attention from BBC News than she currently gets but those are the breaks it seems (sorry darling).
The problem for me personally right from the start is the level of media coverage is beyond excessive and will be right up to the day. It’s pretty much a certainty that both BBC and ITV will cover the event and it will start taking over the news, the print media and be everywhere and start to swamp other ultimately more important things.
On 16th November when the engagement was announced, the BBC News website had links to 9 stories related to either William or Kate or both of them including a link to watch BBC News 24 live as the story unfurled. The second story was payouts for those wrongly imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, the third was about the release of The Beatles back catalogue onto iTunes.
Also on the front page if you scrolled down was a link to a slideshow with attached audio telling the story of a young girl of 12 who was a carer for her mother left blind by a brain tumour who had to be fed by injections into her stomach. It was linked to a BBC study that there could be up to 4 times as many child carers in Britain as previously published.
Reportedly now there could be as many as 700,000 children caring for their parents and yet for some reason, the top story of the day was apparently a wedding. I just doesn't sit that well with me.
The other sense of false importance regarding this event will be the same reason that never fails to get my goat whenever a discussion regarding the monarchy or anything associated comes up. It's the age old argument of tourism and the economy and that for the money the monarchy bring in compared to their cost, the Windsors are value for money.
Firstly the big myth people trumpet is that the monarchy costs between £35-38 million is something we need to throw out right away. The accounts published are not properly scrutinised in the same way as other places that take public money and don't include any security costs for the Windsors either in London or on visits around the country which are taken up by the local council of wherever they happen to be that day.
Now that's dealt with, my question to you regarding the tourism issue. People will come to see it, people spend money. People like pomp and pageantry, I accept that but I don't think it's particularly important in the grand scheme of things. Tourism is a big part of the British economy but the question I pose to you is simple; which is of more importance; our economy or our democracy?
Now I realise there are some who will say the economy. They are entitled to that opinion, whatever I may think of it. For me personally, democracy and the rights of the population should come before the economy. People are more important than money and whilst I realise that's a really emotive stance to take, it is an honest one. You dear reader are more important to me than the £10 note in my wallet or the billions of pounds needed to bail out the banks or the millions this wedding will cost us, the rights we deserve as free people as well.
The system of constitutional monarchy we have is safe and warm for us and people give us the old adage of “if it's not broken, don't fix it.” Sadly the issue is that the system is broken. A democracy is, by definition a system where the people govern themselves which with a monarchy you don't have whether you think the monarchy is a good idea or you like/don't like the voting system for the house of commons. What we have is a system of privilege where the most important job in our country, the figurehead of it can not, at the moment be either you or me. Now I reckon I am not qualified but you may well be. Why should you not have your chance? Some of you think that William might be the right leader of the nation, that's fair enough. If he is so good at it then like all of us, he should be made to put his case to the nation and we should decide.
Now I was a bit young for the last big royal wedding as I wasn't born in 1982 but the memories live on in the form of commemorative plates, mugs, teatowels, thimbles and a thousand and one other trinkets besides. Now people make the point that this will bring much needed jobs into the economy and give the country a bit of a lift in these dark economic times.
With all due respect to people who enjoy this sort of thing, the later is utterly subjective and the former is purely a time limited enterprise. After the date of the wedding, what then? Will the demand for Will and Kate teapots be so insatiable that the market goes on so as to bring money into the economy? It's a short term solution that will not tackle the longer term problem.
Now I realise some of the flack I will get for this. I will be called unpatriotic and say I'm dishonouring someone or suchlike. That's not my intention nor is the definition of patriotism so limited.
From an objective viewpoint it is important to voice both sides of the debate. From a subjective viewpoint if I am going to have the supposedly impartial BBC News ram this down my throat till it happens then take over the television with it, I have the right of reply.
When it comes down to it, my wedding was the most important day of my life so far as Will and Kate's should be for them and all the best to them. However, I'd argue that all my wedding did was book out a hotel's conference room. This wedding will be used for propaganda of an institution that we neither need nor deserve thrust upon us. If we can't ask the questions now, then when?
Disclaimer; just my thoughts, I'm happy to answer any and all questions you have but I will respond to honest debate not mindless abuse.