I didn't watch the King's Coronation on Saturday. I was busy. I was setting up the sound, stage and lights for the Centenary party to celebrate 100 years of The Mill Hill Services Club. My band, The False Dots, were playing, along with local legends, The Alan Warner Band. Alan has been playingt with '60's Superstars The Foundations since the bands inception. Alan is an old mate, I am a big admirer of his playing and it was a great opportunity for a catch up.
I have to admit that my attitude to the monarchy has changed over the last 20 years. I've always felt that the concept of a hereditary head of state is outdated, anachronistic and past it's sell-by date. I have to admit that the last ten years have lead to a re-evaluation. A system that gives us Tony Blair, David Cameron and Boris as PM's, and gives the USA Trump and Biden cannot claim to be working or a model for anyone. It is worth noting that elections also gave Russia Putin. Now I am not claiming that I have lost faith in democracy, but no fair minded person could say that Queen Elizabeth was a model of what a good Leader should be. When we say that something is anachronistic and outdated, we need to look at whether it still performs a useful purpose. Lets consider something such as the Victoria and Albert Musuem. It has successfully reinvented itself, with exhibitions such as the amazing Bowie collection. The building is the same, but the way it works is different to what I remember as a child.
And what about the Monarchy. Charles is a divorcee, like many people in the UK. At his Coronation, representatives of all the major UK faiths attended. His family now wash their dirty linen in public. As to the role of the Monarchy? It seems to me that the most useful function they have is dishing out gongs to people who deserve them for great work in the community (and no I don't mean people who bung political parties huge cash wads) and to give us an excuse for a party, as we had at the weekend. They also bring in cash, as tourists do love a good gawp at Buckingham Palace.
As to the constitutional role of the Monarch. Given some of the Prime Minitsers we've had over the last few years, someone telling them that the latest idiocy they've come up with is not British may not actually be such a bad thing. In a perfect world, we'd elect people who were fit to do the job, but that seems to be beyond us as a nation. When I think about the Royals, the one thing in their favour is that they spend their lives being prepared for the job. This doesn't seem to make them any better at keeping their pants up than the rest of us, but at least know how to smile at the right time and nod their heads when they are supposed to.
I've come to the conclusion that as a species, we are not quite mature enough to live in fair and just societies. Once we elect people, we go off them. It's almost as if we hate them for showing us how rubbish our own judgement is. As we don't elect Monarchs, we have nothing to resent them for.
As for the "Not my King" protestors. Whilst I agree with what they are saying on a logical level, it is crazy that the Police are wasting their time arresting them. I have to say that if we got rid of the Monarchy, we'd miss out on all those wonderful parties that we have when they reach their Jubilee. Life can be miserable and anything that lifts the misery of our existence for a few hours has to be good. I also tend to think that whether we have a Monarch or not changes nothing day to day in GReat Britain for the good. I for one, don't wake up thinking "Oh how I hate having a King". I personally wouldn't pledge allegiance to him and if he has any sense at all, he wouldn't be bothered by the fact.
A lot has been made out of the failure of Liverpool fans to sing the National Anthem, with many booing. It's a free country and if that's how they feel, that''s their business. If King Charles genuinely is upset, maybe he could reach out to them and address some of the issues that have caused a disconnect between Liverpool and the UK establishment. If he isn't bothered, he can ignore them just like every other establishment figure since Michael Heseltine had done.
And what about the actual event. I saw a few highlights. Perhaps the highlight from the coverage that I saw and from social media was the appearance of Penny Mordaunt in a completely insane outfit holding a massive sword. The highly erotic symbolism of this act certainly turned a few heads. MAny people on twitter are highly upset about the reaction to this. Apparently if someone wears an outrageous costume and carries a massive sword, we shouldn't comment. I'm sorry, but I quite enjoy the absurdity of the human condition and there is probably nothing more absurd that I will see this week. I'm a grown up and I'm not going to be looking Ms Mordaunt up on any dating apps, but I doubt anyone with eyes didn't have a pang of interest in her appearance if they are honest. I've seen all of the tweets condemning her as an evil harridan, but I suspect those who are shreiking loudest are the ones who felt the biggest and most unwelcome rumblings in their loins. There is nothing quite as discombobulating as realising that you have the hots for someone who you think you shouldn't. I well recall having a massive crush on a girl at school. All of her family were psychopaths and I knew that any interest in her would be met with certain death. All this did was make her more attractive. I feel the pain of those caught in such a conundrum.
To sum up. I've reached the point in my life where I can accept things that are ridiculous, if they don't hurt anyone. If the UK was being released from Alien Subjugatuon after a thousand years yesterday, there's no way we'd have a hereditary monarch. If there was a referendum to abolish the Monarchy and give all their cash to the NHS I'd vote in favour of that. But whilst we have them, I'll enjoy the spectacle. I really can't think of anyone who I'd rather see as the Head of State then King Charles. Rishi and Keir are uninspiring characters to say the least. For me it would be Suggs or Pep Guardiola (if he'd do it), but I'm not sure that would be universally accepted. I much preferred the Queen. Having a kindly old lady worked for me. Maybe we should keep the idea but just have a raffle for realtively sprighly, kindly old ladys, who's had a life of poverty and give them a few good years at the end of their lives. Give em a few Corgis and a Palace. I just can't get too upset about things that don't really upset me.
The truth is that we had a wondeful party at the Mill Hill Services club on Saturday and that will be my abiding memory. Here's a short snippet of The Alan Warner Band performing the Foundations "Build Me Up Buttercup" from the party