26 September 2009

He's got a point

Strong words from Johann Hari this week, now, I am no fan of this ultra-leftie (he's a male feminist for god's sake), but this week he has left an impression on me

Firstly for his language - rarely does one so politically correct as Hari use language like this:

He has to present a cruel, bigoted snob who fleeced millions from the British taxpayer as a heroine fit to rule over us. His mind turns to mush.

Not the sort of thing I expect from a 'progressive' - although he is often alarmist (we're all dead by 2015, for example..), this was a sort of anti-Littlejohn diatribe, usually such language is being used to scare and vilify, and I don't like it, especially in a broadsheet

But while I found the language distasteful, I have to admit, he has a point - why the hell do we venerate the Queen Mother?

We are all guilty of glossing over our ancestors' indiscretions - 'Grandad was a racist...but he was from a different time, different attitudes' etc - who hasn't said that one? All well and good, but most of us don't write best-selling books in our cover-ups, had Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon been my Granny then it wouldn't have be an issue, let's all laugh at the little old lady with her quick wit and love of horses, we all tend to remember the dead fondly, regardless of the reality, but let's not write a book about it that ignores her true nature and believe she was some sort of idol

This particular old lady spent her whole life mooching off the state, taking advantage of taxpayers' money and being a self-serving elitist - all of what Hari says is true - the quotes from Lamont are true, her spending record is a historical fact, but we just put up with it - why?

What is this irrational love affair with the monarchy? Why do we elevate one family, for no real reason, into such a position, and pay them for the privilege, when we apparently hate unfairness, as shown recently by the reaction to the politicians who lord it over us?

The fact is, the actual monarch has to behave impeccably, if the Queen hadn't done such a good job then she would've been out on her ear a long time ago - that's a testament to her, but it really shows something about our national (or personal) psyche when we defend and even admire people like her mother, who we simply let get away with it - it defies logic, and any monarchist who decries MPs expenses, or people who live off benefits, is a massive hypocrite

I don't usually like Hari, and I didn't like his choice of words, but I am in total agreement with him on this

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