Friday, 10 December 2010

The revolution begins here?

Well, if you read the Daily Mail and its allies. Some protestors damaged Prince Charles's Rolls-Royce after it drove into a protest area.

Let's not forget that the King and Queen were booed and jeered when they did their famous tour of the East End during the Blitz (an annoying little story which subverts the standard narrative of everyone being in it together), and Victoria was in serious danger of popular revolt until everybody went all soppy towards the end of her life - 7 assassination attempts. Before that, of course, the royal family were the butt of some outrageous satire.

Here's a Gillray drawing of the Royal Family, entitled 'The Monstrous Craw', in which the Prince of Wales - feckless, stupid, greedy and corrupt - is fed cash by his equally awful parents during a brief period of amity between them:

Is this treatment of Charles and Camilla worse than the cops yanking a man out of his wheelchair?

So let's all calm down. I assume that Wills and Kate - despite having degrees - weren't protesting, so it's about time the royals got a glimpse of life outside the bubble they're forced to live in. It's not all polo and Duchy Originals Organic Oatcakes. Melbourne, Victoria's Prime Minister tried to keep her from reading Charles Dickens because the novels feature 'paupers, criminals and other unpleasant subjects': do we want your rulers to be similarly shielded from real life?

I'm just desperately sad. I had a great free education and the chance to pursue my interests at postgraduate level. I struggled financially, but I don't have massive debts hanging over me, nor did anyone (except family and friends) question the value of my chosen degrees. The new generation will be forced into worse conditions, degrees and jobs they don't enjoy, and a lifetime of financial bondage - or they can skip university and take their chances in the low-wage 'flexible' economy.

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