FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Duke of Hazard: Crashing Ukania

As children, many Brits are taught this age-old song:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down

The song alludes clearly to the bouts of inanity which have plagued Ukania’s aristocracy since times lost in the mists of history.

Ukania, along with Trumplandia, is one of the world’s major-league laughing stocks— for reasons which don’t need recounting.

A metaphor for Ukania’s car-crash Brexit history was provided by the queen’s husband, the 97-year-old Duke of Edinburgh (aka Prince Philip), who still drives unaccompanied, this time on the public roads near the royal family’s estate in Sandringham, Norfolk.

A few days ago, driving his Range Rover outside the royal estate, the long-time racist and anti-immigrant Philip (though he himself is in essence a Greek immigrant) rammed a car carrying two adults and a 9-month-old baby.

The grand old duke’s Range Rover Freelander ended up on its side.

Luckily, only no one was seriously injured, though an adult in the car broadsided by the grand old duke had a broken wrist.

The ancient duke was pulled-out of his vehicle “shaken” but uninjured.

While the crash was still being investigated, the grand old duke was photographed less than 48 hours later driving a brand-new Range Rover on a public road, still unaccompanied and without his seat-belt on. Obviously, he didn’t need to wrangle with his insurance company before getting a new vehicle in 24 hours or perhaps less.

Those of us who have dealt with insurance companies in the UK (and the US, by the way) can only marvel at the ease and alacrity with which the old coot found a way to get back on the road so quickly with a sparkling new vehicle.

UK insurance rates for drivers aged 90 and over are astronomical, so it’s clear that the wealthy Philip (1) has been paying these hefty sums just to stay on the road; and (2) he could buy a new vehicle in the blink of an eye without needing to submit a claim for his damaged vehicle before acquiring an equally expensive replacement.

Philip defended himself with a seeming untruth, maintaining that he had been blinded by the sun, when the same eyewitnesses who saw the crash said it was cloudy at the time.

The investigation of what seems like a relatively simple accident is proceeding at a snail’s pace. The driver of the car rammed by Philip said she had still to be interviewed by the police 4 days after the crash. There is still no indication that this interview has taken place.

There may be somewhat benign reasons for this foot-dragging– apparently the grand old duke could avoid prosecution in some kind of deal with the prosecuting authorities if he agreed to relinquish his car keys, and discussions regarding this possible outcome may be underway.

The passenger with the broken wrist has said to the media that she wants Philip to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Her opinion, alas, counts for nothing.

She did not receive an apology from the duke until 10 days after the crash, though a day after the crash she received a message from a police family liaison officer that said: “The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you.”

This ducal silence elicited considerable media criticism, which no doubt stirred the duke’s PR team to prod him out of his 10-day sloth.

The typical gesture of a US Republican politician when a gun massacre occurs— “my thoughts and prayers”—is an obvious template for Ukania’s royal family.

The royal family is accorded endless deference (to state the completely obvious), and it is they who will decide if the queen’s husband should be allowed to drive on public roads until he kills himself and/or someone else.

That a 21stcentury nation, purporting to be a “democracy”, puts up with this kind of obsequiousness and flummery, is almost beyond belief.

But then the Brexit goings-on are also beyond belief.

Also straining the bounds of reasonable belief is a recent poll which indicated that 1 in 20 Brits does not believe the Holocaust took place.  I’m willing to bet that most of these Holocaust deniers are right-wing and ardent royalists.

More articles by:

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
Tracey Aikman
President Trump, I’m One of the Workers You Lied To
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
September 19, 2019
Richard Falk
Burning Amazonia, Denying Climate Change, Devastating Syria, Starving Yemen, and Ignoring Kashmir
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail