There’s a wedding today. It’s a royal wedding. It is a bloated affair designed to project the idea of a vibrant, exciting modern British royal family adapting to the 21st century while uniting their happy empire. Well, the remnants of it which is the Unite Kingdom so when the couple get titles like the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel it’s a reminder that ultimately we are ruled and the people are not sovereign, well, apart from Scotland where the people are.
We’re in the tenth year of austerity; the eighth of Tory austerity. People have grown up knowing government enforced poverty. People who lose £30 a week from their benefits are plunged into a horror that won’t end unless they make it end in the only way left to them.
Pitched outside Barclays Bank, with a Rubik’s cube and a pile of books including ‘Mr Nice’, by Howard Marks, is British Indian Sunil, 40. “I can’t get a job because I have no stable address and no personal hygiene. I don’t get unemployment benefit because I don’t have an address. I earn £3 to £15 a day sitting here. If I make enough, I take a B&B,” he said. “I am happy for the couple, but I am not happy about living on the streets,” he said. “They should just house us. Asians look at me with disgust. It’s mostly white people that give me change.”
His parents moved to the UK from Phillaur in Punjab. A former market trader, he said he was turfed out of a rented flat in Slough after it did not meet council rules. He had nowhere to go and owing to disagreements with his family after his father died, 11 months ago he ended up on the streets. “The homeless charities can’t help you unless you meet certain criteria. How much are they spending on this wedding? Quite a few million? Would it not be better for them to house us?” he said.
I get the argument that this is ‘something happy for bad times’ but the act of inherited wealth & power being displayed is a way that belies the truth that this is all a sham to continue the line and to ensure the British state seems strong and powerful just at a time when it is probably at its weakest since the Union was born 300 years ago.
So be a flag-waving nationalist if you want, but the only good, honest thing that comes out of today is that it shows increasing amounts of people are done with this medieval institution.
Me? I’m turning my telly to Netflix and won’t come up for air til Monday.