The Queen’s legacy is a land of food banks, child poverty and Rishi Sunak.
I did not know the Queen. I never met the Queen. My feelings about the Queen’s death at 96 was the same as my feelings about the death of anyone who has had the good fortune to live to be 96 and had died without a long illness comfortably in her own bed – in the Queen’s case, in one of her eleven palaces.
What the Queen left behind was her fortune of many billions of pounds intact and Prince Charles elevated to the throne with Camilla Parker-Bowles allowed to drop the undignified appellation ‘consort’ to be known simply as the Queen. Of course, the people hated Camilla 25 years ago after the death of their beloved Diana who had told TV viewers that there were three people in her crowded marriage. Princes will be Princes, as Andrew must have told his mum. The tabloid press has done a superb job rehabilitating Charles and Camilla. They’re good for tourism, they say.
The Royal Family is the capstone of the wealth pyramid. It is in the best interests of the press barons, billionaires, bankers and corporate bosses who own the country to convince the poor the Royal Family ‘belong’ to them, which they do not, while they are part of the system that pushes publicly-owned capital up the pyramid with the alternative truth first coined by Margaret Thatcher that wealth trickles down. It does not. It trickles off surreptitiously to off-shore trusts in Panama, for example, where David Cameron’s lot stashed their loot.
Britain post-Brexit has the highest inflation, the highest energy prices, the highest train fares – on trains owned in large part by Nationalised French and Dutch Railways who leach out profits to pay high pensions at home in France and Holland. British pensions are among the lowest in Europe – while the cost of child care is the highest with the exception of Switzerland. That is what the Queen leaves behind.
The Queen’s Legacy Symbol
Ah, but she is only a figurehead, I hear voices off.
The Queen and Charles, who will take on all the ceremonies, rituals and protocols as Head of State, have never to my knowledge said publicly that they were ashamed of the rise in poverty, hunger, deprivation and food banks. They listened, as we have listened, to Boris Johnson’s non-stop boast of the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe without the mainstream press ever adding the caveat that it came with the highest number of deaths from Covid in Europe.
What the people of Britain continue to mourn isn’t the Queen, it is a symbol like a statue lost in an earthquake, a piece of our own past gone forever, a time when Britain may truly have been great when now it is nothing more than a small unimportant group of islands separated from the vast wealth of the biggest, most important marketplace in the world.
We mourn our broken education system – Britain is ranked 13th in the world behind our major European competitors. The NHS, once the envy of the world, does not even figure in the top ten. It is behind, in order of the best: France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Spain, Oman, Austria, Japan. Why? Because 40% of our NHS has been sold off to private companies who suck out profits that should be going back into our NHS.
The Queen’s legacy is Rishi Sunak and his war on the European Convention on Human Rights, people in rubber boats and those qualities of fair play and common human decency of which the nation was once deservedly proud and no longer exists.
The Labour Party! What hope is there?
The right-wing press and mindless, ceaseless Royal Family TV and newspaper coverage has convinced the broken people that the Royal Family is their family. They stick pictures of Kate Middleton and her sneering children in their family albums. The Royal Family in a broken world is a touchstone, the one thing to hang on to, the one thing Brits have and foreigners don’t – well, some do, but no one thinks they’re as good as ours.
The Queen’s legacy is more of the same, more poverty, longer lists for hospital admissions, education slipping down the world rankings, depressed wages, zero-hour contracts and a terrified, inadequate Labour Party unable or unwilling to speak out on these issues in a land ruled by Rishi Sunak in league with the Daily Mail – owned by the 4th Viscount Rothermere, who has non-domicile (non-dom) tax status and controls his media businesses through a complex structure of offshore holdings and trusts. That is the Queen’s legacy.
Hardly a popular point of view but what brings tears can rarely be popular.
1. The caption is in Symbol font and renders in cod-Greek characters (didn’t this happen before?).
2. In so far as stats for deaths attributable to the CV19 pan…ic are reliable or meaningful*, these European countries all have a higher deaths/1M value at https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#main_table than the UK (descending order):
Bulgaria (5508, twice the UK value)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
San Marino (the one with the great health service)
Italy (the other one with the great health service)
Also Armenia and Georgia if they’re European today.
For lock-down-free Sweden, the figure is about 70% of the UK’s 2753, and they still had more money “left” in case there should be a real crisis, say a major war and fuel price shock, having spent about 60% per person of the UK amount. Another country full of fat old sick people (USA) was up with Latvia and Slovenia.
* Since the base CV19 case fatality rate varies with age by orders of magnitude, only statistics by age cohort are at all useful. Then you have to distinguish “dying” people who happened to test positive for CV19 from people from people who were killed by CV19 symptoms, which the UK stats didn’t seem to do well. Etc.
3. Surely most of the listed countries have private healthcare systems with public health insurance (no, I didn’t look them all up)? If so, ought we to “sell off” all the NHS, should there be takers?
4. If we want to employ a cut-rate board-level public servant who is required to live away from home (only PM and Chancellor get tied London accommodation), it’s only reasonable to reimburse her additional costs.
5. We don’t hear nearly enough about how the late Queen conspired in the rushed abandonment of the Empire, leading to terrible conditions for the liberated peoples who fell under new tyrants. Of course the Partition organised by her father’s Labour government, dancing to the tune of Jinnah and Nehru, was difficult to beat; I think one of her other relatives was closely involved, poor bugger.
Thankyou for an informed analysis of the social, and political legacy of Elizabeth 11
I fear It’s depressingly similar to the 1600’s when Elizabeth 1 departed for the pearly gates after plundering Latin America while her subjects lived in poverty and ignorance.
The true scale of the inequality and ignorance in 2022 in the sixth richest country in the world is seismic.
Thankyou for a brilliant article.