On Saturday 8 May 2023, the United Kingdom government spent upwards of
£100 million on the coronation of a king.
A king who, by conservative estimates, is worth upwards of £1.5 billion. Some of that wealth, around £500 million, was accumulated on the death of the queen who left huge swathes of property, estates, jewels, art and investments to the king.
Ordinary citizens have to pay inheritance tax is such situations, but not the king, who managed to avoid giving 40% of that money to the UK Treasury as he is, by virtue of his birth, exempt. So, around £200 million which could have been used to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis for families in the UK is now nestling in the king’s pockets.
In order to save on the king’s shoe leather during the coronation, a golden state carriage was used to transport him and his new, former divorcee queen back and forth. The carriage is worth £3.5 million and spends most of its time locked away in a garage gathering dust. Gold dust, I imagine.
The cost-of-living crisis is often mistakenly reported as only affecting those families who are not in work. Nothing could be further from the truth. Real terms wages are falling faster than ever before while inflation, and particularly food inflation, is going through the roof. People in work are now regularly accessing food banks.
The cost of energy is also spiralling, despite the major energy companies raking in their highest ever profits. People in the UK, hard-working, honest, decent people are struggling to make ends meet, often having to choose between heat and food.
This leads to severe physical and mental health problems, and with a UK government intent on running the NHS and its staff into the ground, the prospect of receiving the early and necessary treatment which people have paid for, is disappearing into the distance, and people are left to cope on their own.
What does all this say about “us” as a nation? Why are some people compelled to camp out in the streets for days on end to watch an unelected buffoon drive by in a gilded carriage waving like a moron, while there are people who actually have to live on the streets because they have been broken by a society that doesn’t appear to care?
Why are some people in thrall to one of the most dysfunctional families on the planet? A family who have accumulated vast amounts of wealth through a series of accidents of birth, murder, pillage and slavery, while decent ordinary families throughout the country can’t afford to eat? It’s beyond belief. It’s 2023 for fucks’ sake.
On Saturday 8 May 2023, people throughout the country were asked to join in a mass pledge of allegiance to the king. It was called “A Homage of the People.” The Archbishop of Canterbury (don’t get me started) called on “all persons of goodwill in the UK and Northern Ireland, and of the other realms and the territories to make their homage, in heart and voice, to their undoubted king, defender of all”.
Pardon me for asking, but isn’t the archbishop’s undoubted ‘king’ that bloke whose death gave rise to Easter eggs? And who, in their right mind would swear allegiance to these over privileged non-entities when they do absolutely nothing to alleviate the misery and upheaval currently being heaped upon the citizens of the country? That’s right, only the deluded and pitiful folk wearing commemorative tea cosies on their heads in an effort to keep themselves warm.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a republican. I can’t for the life of me understand why we continue to put up and pay for these anachronistic and useless bunch of spongers while the country slides further down the toilet every day.
Okay, I accept that getting rid of them wouldn’t solve every ill that we currently face, but it would be a start and a massive step in the right direction towards achieving the kind of society that I suspect most of us would want to live in.
Where everyone has access to the food, heat, and shelter that they need, and our only allegiance is to each other. ■