The world we live in is strange at the moment. I don’t remember there ever being such a divide between people, between the right and the left. There’s very little ground remaining in the centre. It seems as though the lines have been drawn and battle is near, with numbers fairly equal on either side.
The unfortunate problem is that one side has bigger guns. Or at least, they did.
The political catastrophe that was the 2017 snap election showed the true colours of the UK media. What can only be described as a strategic and tactical attempted assassination on the character of Jeremy Corbyn was unleashed, with the leader of the opposition being subjected to a barrage of tabloid headlines focusing on everything from his inability to lead a country to his links to the IRA.
Never in my memory have I seen someone so totally vilified by the media. It was a seemingly never-ending onslaught, a diatribe coming from almost all news outlets, including, I hasten to add, the supposedly impartial and independent BBC.
But do you know what?
It didn’t work.
They got found out.
Whatever you may believe his past holds, a past that is perpetuated by an evidently impartial media, you must admit that the last three months have shown one particular characteristic of Corbyn. He is a man of principle. He believes in equality, in peace and, yes, he believes in republicanism.
A 2015 YouGov poll showed that a sizeable majority of Brits are favourable towards the royal family. I guess my question in response to this is why?
Say you leave school and go to college or university, then move into the workforce. You work hard for a couple of years and then get a promotion. You work for another few years and get another promotion, and so on and so forth. In essence, your ability and willingness to work enables you to reap rewards, at least in theory. Your earnings and status are based on merit. Even if you choose to go down the self-employed path, the amount of work you receive will be based on reputation, cost or both. You will obtain contracts or jobs through your business’ merit.
The flipside is the royal family. An elite class which has by no means merited the wealth that it receives. While I will agree that the royal family has provided services for the UK over the years, such endeavours are subsidised by the taxpayer. Sure, you can argue that the monarchy funds many costs attributed to itself through private investments, but where did the initial revenue required for such investments come from?
Whether it’s Royal travel, property maintenance or even Prince George’s £18k Wendy house, it sticks in my throat that money is being spent on an elite when it could go to the people. So, I guess, I’m a republican too.
Republic is often deemed a dirty word. Whether associated with the Irish Republican Army and its various forms or the Democratic Republic of Congo and the atrocities the country has seen for decades, it seems never to be included in discussion unless in a negative context. Yet the majority of the worlds’ most successful economies, such as the USA, Germany and France, exist in this very form.
All republic means is that power is held by elected representatives of the people with no monarchy presence. This begs the question as to whether or not a monarchy really is necessary for the prosperity of the country. Possibly not.
So we come to today, where Jeremy Corbyn, the republican, is once again being lambasted for a lack of respect for his decision not to bow to the Queen. The media, pouncing quickly, slammed the Labour chief for his actions, despite it being protocol for only the Speaker and Black Rod to bow on behalf of the whole Commons.
As with the election, the mass media has descended like vultures on what they presumed to be an easy target.
As with the election, the mass media has been found wanting.
But let’s be honest.
Even if he were expected to bow and didn’t, so f**king what?