This Is Not A
"The Nation Is United...In Apathy"
So you made it through? Jolly good.
The fanfaronade of fluff and faff through which we have had to navigate these past few days has - despite the propagandising by the state-corporate media and by politicians desperate to distract attention from their general corruption and vacuity - proved to be almost heartening in its lack of effectiveness, giving some hope that the high readings on the Alistairburnetometer which were almost a given on previous such occasions may nowadays have subsided to little more than background radiation levels.
On my usual early Saturday morning jaunt to Sainsbury's today...
...(and the king prawn makhani is back in stock! Yay! So I bought two. Go me! Except that I'm sure they used to be 450g rather than 400g)...
...I decided to count the incidents of bunting. In a four-mile journey through five quite substantial villages, I saw just six houses displaying anything at all (two of which showed a certain lack of commitment from the inhabitants), along with two pubs (one of which has a big, fuck-off Butcher's Apron on the street-facing wall in normal circumstances anyway), one community hub and - annoyingly - one child care facility which was festooned and plastered with the Rag and with the rags of Empire.
Inside Sainsbury's, of course, there was enough of the stuff to cause Nadine Dorries to cream her knickers...
...(I do apologise for that image)...
...although the staff were not - as they apparently were on Friday - dressed in special outfits for The Great Occasion. There should be laws designed to protect employees from such impositions (like the one I described here).
Taken all in all however, this has all been quite encouraging. You see, I remember a number of similar Big Events In Which The Whole Nation Rejoiced in my lifetime. The first was the investiture of Charles Philip Arthur George as - so it was alleged - 'our' Prince, in 1969. Then, there were street parties everywhere - although ours was held in Derek and Jean Williams' back yard. We got special mugs at school as well. The Silver Jubilee of 1977 was the impetus for my 'coming out' as an avowed republican, and the wedding of the heretofore-mentioned footling oaf to Lady Diana Clotheshorse only a handful of years later saw similar outpourings of appliquéd fervour (by which time I was nineteen and had full command of my cynicism glands and instead went for a long walk up Hope Mountain with my trusty radio tuned to the rock show on the Hungarian service of Radio Free Europe).
Down through the Golden Jubilee of Ermajgawdblesser - which was embarrassingly feeble by comparison - to today, royal occasions are no longer the show-stoppers that they once were, and the media are reduced to their usual blanking out of dissent (despite a poll showing clearly that a majority of the population of This S(c)eptic Isle really wasn't giving a rat's arse about it except as an excuse for a 'do'...
...which is what I was doing this afternoon in the company of four other elders of my family. On my stroll up the estate, I saw a similar lack of visible enthusiasm to that which I had witnessed from the bus a few hours before)...
...or interviewing the battier members of the populace - the sort who were more than ready to claim that they would gladly have their tits stapled to a wall or to pay twice as much tax to make sure that Betty Battenberg didn't starve (in either sense of that term) in one of her several palaces.
No, the Magic of Maj has faded to the point where it remains solely as a relic of days long gone by, hanging on for the same reason that some care homes in recent days have been playing Vera Lynn records to their inmates, not pausing to consider that the vast majority of them would have been children or teenagers when Elvis, Buddy and The Beatles were breaking through; and the same reason why the Shipping Forecast is still broadcast several times a day despite having long since been superseded by computer- and satellite-based navigation and meteorological equipment. Namely, an utter unwillingness to let go of the Great British Past (which is all that the Great British have).
(Not without reason has it been said that, had World War II been run by one of the American networks, it would have been taken off after six weeks, but had it been in the hands of the BBC, it would still have been going in 1967).
The flummery and mummery have long since stopped working their ju-ju on the easily impressed, leaving only those incapable of thinking past 1945 or 1966 (or, in the case of the Orange Order, 1690; they're not the most quick-witted of people). In other words, those who still wish to believe that they are part of a mighty, world-spanning Empire when in fact their fading, failing State can scarcely govern itself adequately.
Its fall is a dénouement devoutly to be wished, and I hope to still be here to witness it.