Republican territory! How I am marking HRH’s 60 years as unelected head of a murderous plutocracy.

The "republican territory" sign in my garden - my preparations for the diamond jubilee celebrations.
The “republican territory” sign in my garden – my preparations for the diamond jubilee celebrations. While I have nothing against her as a human being (indeed, I think hereditary monarchies amount to the abuse of the human rights of these effectively forced into the role), HRH represents a brutal and grossly unequal plutocratic regime with very low social mobility, responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world.
People at the royalist Stockbridge Street Party.

People at the royalist Stockbridge Colonies Street Party. How much education we have to do!

A pipe band plays - brainwashed dupes of the plutocracy?

A pipe band plays – brainwashed dupes of the establishment?

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About biowrite

I am a writer specialising in non-fiction, particularly in assisting people with their biographies.
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18 Responses to Republican territory! How I am marking HRH’s 60 years as unelected head of a murderous plutocracy.

  1. Annoyed and disgusted says:

    Neither me or my family are royalists, but we attended not to celebrate the jubilee, but to take the opportunity to get together as a community and have some fun. If you didnt want to celebrate the jubilee, you didnt have too, it’s about community spirit and getting involved. How many times do we get the chance to come together as a community, forget about the daily problems and just have some fun and I applaud all the people who took the time and effort to arrange the event. I would aniticipate that due to the large success, this will not be the last street party, but think that you should have a rethink in future before displaying offensive material in your garden/bloggs for all to see.

    • biowrite says:

      Thank you for commenting. I displayed the “offensive material” in my garden (no insulting or pejorative language was used), whereas red, white and blue bunting was displayed in a public area. I am all for community get-togethers and street parties, but being aware of the hundreds of thousands of deaths directly or indirectly caused by the UK and its brutal ally, the USA (see, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORB_survey_of_Iraq_War_casualties and http://www.thewe.cc/weplanet/news/americas/us/war_crimes_fallujah.html ), and the queen’s role as head of state (approving of “her” government’s actions), my conscience compelled me to put up some indication that not everyone approves. Furthermore, I also believe it is cruel to effectively indoctrinate children from birth into taking on the mantle of royalty. Common sense would surely dictate that this is so.

      I believe it is healthy for all children to grow up knowing that there is a range of opinion on this issue. If even one child was curious about my sign and asked a question it will have been worthwhile.

      Finally, may I say that I believe the highest form of patriotism is having the courage to criticise one’s country when it does something wrong? True community cannot be built on smothering one’s conscience.

      Yours in peace

      Eric
      P.S. You may find John Pilger’s website and the Medialens site of interest if you are unfamiliar with non-mainstream opinion.

  2. kate says:

    Well said Mr Swanepoel. My street had a large party also which I did not attend. I never thought to put a sign up. It would have been more appropriate if those communities who would celebrate the reign of a rich old lady and her pampered family could have some community get togethers regarding the inequalities in this country. Not least, get together to force our government to stop murdering innocent folks throughout the world and make some reparation to those countries that we have damaged so badly.

    Your comment. ‘True community cannot be built on smothering one’s conscience’ Fine wording for your sign at the next royal celebration.

  3. evie love says:

    I am so glad you have taken this stance here Eric. I have found the support for this event to be rather isolating affair, mostly everyone around me has followed on as duty expects without question. I have many reasons why I do not support this event and I really question why others do. Do people even read, perhaps your point about what people read is a crucial point actually. We live in a time when even UK diplomats have left office due to their own cripploing shame for the gross negligence of the UK government policy on the Iraq war. A recommended read from me would be Carne Ross ‘The Leaderless Revolution’, how ordinary people will take power and change politics in the 21st century.

    The book details a very illuminating murky world of UK diplomacy, as a diplomat Carn sites his own conduct in aggressive pursuit of UK policy ‘the oil for food sanctions’ placed on Iraq resulted in the deaths of half a million children who starved through the sanctions. Astonishingly, at the time he knew that it was based on inaccurate and wrong information, that it was unlikely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but that the sanctions were because of a failure to answer UK questions.

    Eric, I see you as the ordinary person who is standing up in a country that is blinded. The raising of very important concerns about how the UK government and Her Majesty sit in London so detached from the impact they have on ordinary people. The majority of content here is on Iraq and the impact there, if I had more time I could explore the impact they are having at home, I haven’t the time right now but might come back to that subject later.

  4. evie love says:

    I also agree with Kate your comment ‘True community cannot be built on smothering one’s conscience’ is very apt indeed.

  5. The social catalyst says:

    As an organiser of the party, neighbour and friend of Eric I feel that I have to back up Annoyed and Disgusted comments. This was NEVER advertised as a jubilee party but as a community street party with the purpose of bringing everyone together. The extended bank holiday made the date appealing. We fully appreciate that there are mixed views and we wanted to be inclusive of everyone. Some groups choose to celebrate the party for the Jubilee as is their right, and others didn’t. The colour of bunting is irrelevant – it did not have the union jack on it – deliberately! It is likely that we will have more of these parties to come as it was a great success and everyone that took part enjoyed being amongst their neighbours, friends and family. The bunting will probably be used again then too.

    • biowrite says:

      Thanks for commenting. I understand your point of view and appreciate your desire to build the community. Somehow the fact that it was not a royalist event passed me by. I also believe in building communities, as it happens, and am involved with other community-building initiatives. I feel we shall have to agree to disagree, but at least I would like to know that you understand my perspective too, and do not bear any ill feelings towards me, as I certainly do not towards you.

      We live in a grossly unequal society with a political and economic system that is widening this inequality, bringing environmental catastrophe and breaking down communities the world over (ref. the concept of psychosocial dislocation as referred to by Bruce K. Alexander). Street parties on the day in question were portrayed by the mainstream media as evidence of support for the status quo. Rightly or wrongly, I also saw them that way and, aware of the way that the royal family are integral to the establishment and its hugely destructive effect on people and the environment, felt compelled to raise my head about the parapet slightly and show that not everyone was a loyal subject. Yes, I understand now that that was not how you saw the party and, yes, it may seem a bit strange to be supportive of communities but choose not to participate in a community event, but I was looking at it from a different point of view.

      I see this blog as potentially making some people aware of things they were possibly not aware of before, and in that hope I shall not remove this blog entry. If it attracts some readers who discover some aspect of the injustices perpetrated by our present socio-economic order, and take some action to make things better then it will have been worthwhile! (…And, you, by organising the party and therefore giving me a platform for raising a small voice of dissent, will have helped!)

      It would be terrific if people found at least something on one of these pages interesting or inspiring:

      BBC must allow the truth a voice: social mobility can only come from greater equality

      occupy free radicals
      Empowering people in fun ways to make the world better!

      Of love, litter, ordure and Occupy (oh, and Bob Dylan’s alleged plagiarism) – Valentine’s Day musing

      I am a citizen, not a consumer.

      http://tiny.cc/scotmidbank

      http://tiny.cc/moneynonsense

  6. Ryan Aitken says:

    Where to start… Infact i wont go into it much. People come to this country of ours for the opertunitys it can provide and they are all welcom. Maybe all the bitter, single minded senseless people should return to there own countrys or one where the vast majority think alike, get in a position to rule millions upon millions of people. Keep 100% of they people happy then come to our small island and give us some pointers. Untill then maybe keep your opions to yourself when we celebrate the history of the country we are proud to call ours.

    • biowrite says:

      I am a UK citizen, born here. (In fact I spent the first four years of my life a few minutes’ walk away from where I now live.) I feel it is one’s duty as a citizen to try to make one’s country better. I feel that most people who live here are unaware of the hugely negative impact of the UK on the rest of the world (specifically the multinationals based here – not least, the banks – to which our establishment is subservient) and it is a grossly unequal country itself, with a dangerous tendency towards scapegoating foreigners for problems (a tactic perfected by the likes of Rupert Murdoch, who ironically is not a citizen himself…).

      “Patriotism” is exploited by the super-rich for their own ends (and this blog entry of mine might interest you – please follow-up on the links). My conscience compels me to raise awareness of such issues. I do hope you will at least have an open-minded look at John Pilger’s site and/or Medialens.

      I care deeply about the state of the world, and I refuse to turn a blind eye to injustice.

  7. michael says:

    Ryan, I entirely support Eric’s position. Born and lived in Scotland all my life. What a nasty, bitter and unpleasant post you’ve produced yourself and quite funny really that you’re moaning about immigrants when the person whose jubilee is being celebrated is from a German family and her husband is Greek. Oh well, none so blind as those that will not see.

  8. Ian Whitehead says:

    Eric, I was interested to read your blog and can appreciate the arguments of both sides in this discussion regarding the importance of both bringing the community together in celebration of a common cause (something all too often lacking in our society of obsessive individualism today) verses the somewhat negative values that the monarchy is percieved to represent to many people within Scotland (though others might disagree on this).

    I think it is great that people take the effort ot organise community events which can build social cohension and break down barriers in a fragmented society. These people should be applauded; it can often be a thankless task and usually the people who do complain are the ones who are not prepared to actively participate within their own local community (bah..humbug !). Should it not then be entirely appropriate that you get actively involved in the organisation of the next local event (presumably with a less controversial political theme) and work with some of the good spirited local residents (even though they might not share your political views) ? e.g a local clean up day or environmental improvement project followed by a BBQ and street ceildh to boost social cohension.

    Playing the Devil’s advocate again I would suggest that (as a Scot now living in another EU country) that there is a huge (largely positive) interest in the British monarchy internationally as part of the make up of and identity of the UK. If nothing else (and being quite hard nosed about it) this must generate a huge amount of revenue in terms of tourism which would no doubt go a substantial way to balancing the costs to UK taxpayers of supporting the institution (though admittedly this money might not go to some of the people who might benefit most from it). How many tourists for example come to Berlin to see former President Wolfs residence ? (not many I supsect). Perhaps it would be interesting to see some actually and accurate figures highlighting economic and social beneifts of the Monarchy to the UK (and Scotland) verses support costs.

    Without wanting to sound too critical we do need to be careful to avoid the “holier than thou” mentality which suggests that some people might know better than others (or are more equal than others in the case of Napoleon from George Orwell’s Animal Farm). One of the crucial indicators of a democratic and mature society is that it can accept differences in oppinion – this needs to be the case on both sides of the argument.

    Finally and being somewhat flippant – picking up on the theme of manipulation by vested interests – on your blog (half way down) I find an interative add for “Sizzling Hot Gametwist” which appears to be promoting and endorsing online gambling (presumably others may see some different advertising depending on location). Inevitably anybody using digital media will, most likely and unintentionally, end up promoting commercial services which they don’t fully endorse; especially in the day’s when social networking sites are floated on the stockmarket.

    • biowrite says:

      Thanks, Ian! Not aware of the ad – must be a capitalist plot! 😉 (Probably malicious software. Could it be on your computer? I discovered that my laptop had malware on it that put links on the words of various sites as I browsed them.)

      Of course I understand your point of view, and I used to share it. However, there is no evidence that economic growth (contributed to, you argue, by the royal family) has benefited the poorest in society and there is a huge body of opinion that maintains that unequal distribution of land is a major source of inequality. Much of this land is owned by those who have inherited it and/or wealth in other forms, and much of the land was originally taken from the people who lived there in the course of the clearances (Scotland) and enclosures (England). (I suggest you look at the writing of Lesley Riddoch, Andy Wightman or Antonia Swinson in this regard.) The extended royal family still own much of this land.

      As to getting involved in community projects, I am a mite offended that you assume I am not involved in such things! (We have known each other long enough!) Of course, the question is, ‘What do you class as a community?’ If you are restricting me to my immediate neighbours (a relatively well-to-do middle-class area) then I am probably not involved, but that does not mean I am unwilling or unfriendly. If you widen it a bit, then, yes, I am involved in several projects. Two of these are overlapping (Community Crops in Pots and another nascent food-growing/food co-operative group based a few minutes’ cycle away).

      If you spent any time looking at items on my blog you would also see that I put huge time and energy into campaigning for a better society and against the very powerful community-destroying forces of the banks etc. (One of my projects is the Scottish Synergy Salon, designed to bring together creative thinkers from various backgrounds.) You cannot be unaware of my books? My novel is an attempt to tackle the issues at the root of societal problems, and Disruptive led to me joining the Cross-Party Group on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. The sexual abuse of children is a huge destroyer of lives and communities (indeed, many prisoners are survivors of childhood sexual abuse) and, through supporting Angela and others, I would like to think that I am contributing to combating it. Disruptive formed the basis for a civil case against Nottinghamshire County Council and we shall soon be announcing the amount Angela Bayley is suing them for. (They have already made an offer to settle.) We are hoping that the ensuing publicity will bring the book to the attention of many people touched by the issue and that it will be of considerable help to them. (It has been praised by various experts.)

      In summary, I feel I am doing what I can to defend, build and promote community. I don’t think a ‘Republican territory’ sign in my garden caused significant damage to the local community and I hope that this blog may actually open some eyes to the underlying societal problems that we ignore at our peril (and certainly the next generation’s). I am dismayed by your apparent implication that I am wrong to try to raise awareness of underlying problems. I can only assume that this is not what you meant. We shall have to agree to differ on the overall impact of the royal family on UK society. I think it is stultifying at best and certainly cruel to the individuals involved.

      Finally, yes of course I applaud the community-building intentions and efforts of the organisers. I thought I had made this clear elsewhere, but if not let me make it clear now. I have also stated that it wasn’t apparent to me that it wasn’t an explicitly royalist event. (Actually I am rather pleased that I did not know this because the outcome of my sign has been, I hope, an opportunity to raise and debate important issues.)

    • michael says:

      Ian, you’re not being hard nosed at all since you merely make assertions which conveniently support your own arguments. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some hard evidence rather than these weak anecdotes and fanciful claims. My own experience of living in another EU country was that most people there considered the UK royal family to be an enormous joke.

      • Ian Whitehead says:

        Michael; did I make these assertions ? (did I not start with the phrase “playing the devils advocate” ?) I merely said that it would be good to see some statistics on this though I do suspect there is a strong relationship here (prove me wrong if you have the time to do so !). Yes, the royal family isn’t always taken seriously; however, like a good TV soap (I don’t watch tend to watch them myself), it dosen’t mean to say they aren’t of considerable importance and interest to the lives of many everyday people – it is therefore wrong to dismiss or underestimate this groundswell of interest particularly (though not exclusively) from the older generations who grew up in a Europe where the political map was radically different from today. Also how I view the Royal Family personally isn’t really relevant to this discussion (I haven’t told you my views on that anyway though you make assumptions !)

        Eric – Off course I know about all your good works and postive contributions to society. Also as a former director of the Community Woodland Association I am also well aware of the injustices over the distribution of land holdings in Scotland and the commentators you mention. My main point is about learning to accept the views of others and to work constructively with people even when you don’t necessarily agree with them on certain issues (e.g. look what several decades of conflict and entrenched views did for Northern Ireland with neither side able to understand or empathise with the other – then look at what happened when they started to work constructively together).

        Why not get involved in a project with your neighbours though Eric ? That’s how real local resiliance can be nutured at a community level (not through emphasising divisions but through focusing on areas of common interest). You must accept that you won’t change the views of certain people (the debate on the monarchy has been going on for the last 1000 years or so with ni clear conclusion !) Why not find the common ground in the community and channel it into something positive (e.g. transition town model) where everyone can contribute according to their skills – middle class,educated (like yourself) professionals or not.

        Regretably perhaps it’s usually the middle class communities who have the skills, contacts and confidence to get things done – though you’ll be quick to point out that this isn’t necessarily always the case (I know this through 2 decades of facilitating community projects – in all types of communities).

        Enough; I won’t change your views either most likely and should accept the differences !

      • biowrite says:

        Thank you for your further response, Ian. I thought I had made it clear that I am not averse to participating in community stuff in my immediate neighbourhood. However, I am already heavily committed to various other projects, including one which is very much about empowering a non-middle-class community. There is a limit to how much I can do and I have to prioritise. Perhaps I should have realised what was happening with the street party and got involved earlier to make sure that it could not be portrayed as a royalist event, but I wish I could convey to you how passionate I am about the various other things I do and how much I put into them.

        I believe we are at a crucial point in history and my conscience tells me it is my duty to alert people to the various things I refer to in my blog. It’s not easy finding the right path to tread between being agreeable and potentially causing offence by calling a spade a spade. What is most effective and what does my conscience permit? I am sorry if I appear arrogant but I think the UK-US military industrial complex has killed millions for the sake of profit and we, as a society duped and drugged by the mainstream media, are sleepwalking into further horror, including global environmental catastrophe.

        On this subject, I have just watched this powerful DVD: http://www.johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-you-dont-see-trailer

        Any neighbour reading this who wants to borrow it is welcome to do so. I think most intelligent and open-minded people with a humanitarian outlook who support the actions of the UK and US military and who believe we have an effective free press will revise their opinions after having seen it.

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