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The Diamond Jubilee

by MICHAEL DICKINSON

“Ring out the bells and shout loud with glee

To celebrate the year of the Diamond Jubilee!

Raise your voices and proclaim the story

Of Her Majesty’s enduring  glory!

 

Let there be bunting and firework displays,

Pageants, fanfares, concerts, thanksgiving and praise.

Beacons lit, new coins and medals minted –

Royal Gala costs by no means to be stinted.

 

And as she’s ferried upriver for all to be seen

Let the people wave their flags and cry  – “God Save the Queen!”

 

“ Yeah, 60 years on the throne for Good Queen Liz –

But who exactly do you think she is?”

 

“Who she is?  What do you mean?

Everyone knows she’s Great Britain’s Queen!

Monarch of the people.  Ruler of the land.

Defender of the Faith.  Don’t you understand?”

 

“I’m trying to brother, I really am –

But it all comes over as a great big sham.

Explain please precisely just why and how

To a fellow human being I’m obliged to kowtow.”

 

“Bow in respect, you idiot, to one by God appointed,

With consecrated oil at her coronation annointed.

Of the Anglican Church she’s the Governor Superior

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s an ecclesiast inferior.

 

MP’s swear faith and allegiance to her in solemn holy oath

As do judges, soldiers and policemen in Wales and England both.

The Sovereign is Head of the British Armed Forces

She’s a lover of corgies and a breeder of horses.

 

The fountain of Honour, High Majesty and Boundless Might,

Elizabeth Alexander Mary Windsor – Queen by Divine Right!”

 

“Divine Right, my ass!  It’s all about elitism, privilege and class.

 

Church and Crown  pull the wool over ignorant people’s eyes

Dazzling them with ceremonies and fabulous lies.

Tracing Old Testament roots, patriarchal and tribal,

The Queen says “the jubilee is rooted in the Bible.’

 

At the St Paul’s Thanksgiving Service, read out loud by a pastor

A new prayer calls Jesus her ‘servant’ not her ‘master’.

A camel passing through a needle’s eye might seem an idea fantastically odd

But it’s more likely seen than a very rich queen entering into the Kingdom of God.

Elizabeth is Head of the Church, of the State and of the Army,

Contemplation of her powers is enough to drive you barmy.

As Commander in Chief of the Forces she can start and end a war,

But God forbid the latter – the top brass and she want more.

 

Of the world’s top military spenders, Great Britain is the third

That’s 63 billion dollars a year, in case you hadn’t heard.

There’s always Money for weapons to defend the Windsor realm

Big profits for the arms manufacturers with Elizabeth at the helm.

 

Trillions are fed to the greedy warmonger,

A trickle, a drip, to relieve need and hunger.

 

And by the way, it’s Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.  That’s the queen’s real dynastic name.

Granddad George changed it in the First World War to avoid anti-German blame.

Elizabeth is of Germanic blood, traced back to the royal House of Wettin

‘Windsor’ was chosen for its English tone, at least that’s what I’m betting.

 

Through inbreeding she’s related to fellow rulers who reign,

In Holland and Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

Other countries have suffered the Wettin brood, but now they are no more

Since their subjects opted for republics and kicked them out the door.”

 

“Her Majesty is sovereign over nations sixteen,

Canada, Australia and New Zealand hail her as Queen.

In Jamaica, Malta, Antigua and Belize

Her Commonwealth subjects bend their loyal knees.”

 

“Only sixteen countries left in the club?  What happened to the others?

They decided being kingless might make them better brothers.

More than 800 millon members of the so-called Common Wealth

Survive on less than a dollar a day and suffer from bad health.

 

Instead of relieving poverty with useful jobs and education

The natives endure near-slavery and capitalist exploitation.

Meanwhile the Queen and her crony courtiers are pampered billionaires

Who enjoy tax-free unearned income and hand it on to their heirs.”

 

“She’s only worth about 500 million according to the Forbes report.

That’s peanuts compared to the King of Brunei and the Royal Saudi court.”

 

“Poor old queen!  But far from lowly-o!

She has plenty more in her secret portfolio.

Exempt from freedom of information laws

She counts untold wealth behind closed doors.

 

Private investments increase her stash of money

While she sits in the parlour eating bread and honey.

As well as stocks and shares there are the vast royal estates

Which reap high rents for Elizabeth and her entitled mates.

 

And as for those despots of the Far and Middle East

She invites them to the palace to chat and to feast.

Entertains brutal tyrants who suppress human rights,

Sharing jokes and small talk between nibbles and bites.

 

And while these unelected rulers sit cozy on their butts

The British people suffer unemployment, crises and cuts,

Benefits  stopped, services scrapped, a state of dire recession

While the fawning press focus adoring eyes on the Jubilee Procession.

 

Press barons and media moguls choose what the people might see.

Controlled by such oligarchs we will never be free.

A monarch rules a country described as a democracy

Feudalism live on – an absolute hypocrisy!”

 

“Oh, come now!  The people of England have freedom of speech

They can say what they like and can write it and preach.

And if they want to protest, it’s by the law allowed

To belong to such a country I think you should be proud.”

 

“Thousands of armed police and stewards will marshal the Jubilee crowd.

Good luck to any protestors who raise their voice aloud!

God forbid the Queen’s bouquet should contain irritating nettles

Any protestors will be rounded up, surrounded in police kettles.”

 

“The Jubilee Concert at Buck Palace should be quite a party

Gary Barlow’s appearing there along with Paul McCartney.

Elton John, Cliff Richard too, each one a Pop Star Sir

Knighted by the Queen’s fair hand, subjects loyal to her.”

 

“Would John Lennon turn in his grave to see old mate Sir Paul

At his royal masters’ feet, on the beck and on the crawl?

Or would he, if living, have abandoned the role of imaginary dreamer

And become like many showbiz folk, a greedy selfish schemer?

 

“Count yourself lucky you can criticize your ruler.

If you did it in Thailand you’d be locked up in the cooler.

In some countries it’s an offense to insult or berate

The reigning sovereign or leader of state.”

 

“‘Violating Majesty’s dignity’ is the law’s proscribed reason,

Just a little less serious than the higher crime of ‘treason’.

In Britain to “compass or imagine” the death of the  Queen

Is a treasonous act, disloyal and obscene.

 

But one can’t help imagine – as up the Thames the royal flotilla passes

Carrying the Queen and her cohorts to be ogled by the masses,

Accompanied by politicians, rich tycoons and persons of rank –

Wouldn’t it be funny if the whole lot sank?

 

And when they’d all sunk and were lost without a trace

No others would be allowed to aspire to take their place.

We’d build a new democratic system without a Head of State

Where everyone was equal – now wouldn’t that be great?!

 

As it is, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will go down to posterity

As a breathtaking display of pomp and waste in an era of austerity.”

 

Cease your jeremiad!  These disloyal babblings begin to annoy.

Rule Brittania! Long live the Queen! You anarchistic killjoy!”

Confound your politics!  Frustrate your knavish tricks!

On Her our hopes we fix!

God Save the Queen!”

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at his website.

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at michaelyabanji@gmail.com.

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CounterPunch Magazine

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