The last few days have highlighted a stark contrast in British society. Amidst the pomp and pageantry, and solemn displays of remembrance, comes the inescapable fact that the divide between the haves and have nots has never been greater. There is an image going around, of a display stand showing a message of remembrance of the Queen, and lying against it is a homeless person.
It is said that the state funeral will cost taxpayers millions, yet the Royal Family has a reported wealth of £24 billion. The average person pays inheritance tax (of 40%), yet the Royals are exempt. During a time of austerity, a crippling cost of living crisis, and record use of foodbanks, is that right?
I do understand that the Royal Family performs a number of duties, and that the Queen herself held duty and responsibility in high regard. However, much of what the Royals do is ceremonial. If the monarchy were abolished tomorrow, the absence of these duties would have no notable impact on the function of the country.
What all this serves to remind us of, is that this country is still built upon the idea that some people are better, by virtue of birth. Former PM Boris Johnson certainly believes this, despite his chronic failures. Fellow Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg believes this. In fact, I’m willing to bet most of the Tories believe this. Sometimes this also relates to money and power. A lot of Tories also believe their wealth and political influence makes them better than others. They have a snobbish attitude towards the working class, for a variety of reasons. You need only look at Kwasi Kwarteng’s desire to lift a cap on bankers and their bonuses, at a time when everyone else is effectively earning less, for a demonstration of this. The Tories are looking out for the rich, and powerful, and so it’s no wonder that they embrace the near-worship of the Royal Family, and all the trappings of luxury and influence they represent.
This isn’t a situation unique to Britain. People like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, have made huge sums of money off the backs of hard-working employees, and now lord it over their workforces like quasi-royalty themselves. Inherited (read, unearned) wealth forms of the backbone of several powerful US dynasties. I know that certain small-minded, dishonest idiots will whine that I want to see a communist-style redistribution of wealth, because I have suggested paying people a fair, living wage, but as I have said before, it is entirely possible for these rich and powerful people to continue to be rich and powerful, and pay people enough to overcome the cost of living crisis. There doesn’t need to be a cost of living crisis. It exists because of unchecked greed. Unfortunately, some people are so horribly brainwashed by it all, that they cannot respond to arguments actually raised, so they resort to lies and deceit in their responses. It’s that, or they’re too afraid of me to respond to the arguments I’ve actually made.