As royals of the same royal family that did this to Ireland, it would be different had they come to apologise for the barbarity of British rule on this island and for the part Queen Victoria – “the Famine Queen” – played in the utter ruin of Ireland during the Great Famine, but they didn’t. Harry and Meaghan came – as British royals – to play the part of international celebrities, stars we were all expected to flock to see. They didn’t seem to notice how empty the streets were, how so few people turned out to welcome them.
The internet however, as Sky News has been reminded, is a bit of a swine. Readers in Scotland clocked what was going on and sounded the alarm on social media. Over the weekend Twitter and Facebook did what they do best, and folk all over Scotland rallied behind their favourite people. From their place of obscurity they quickly shot to the summit, with Scots voting in their tens of thousands and sharing the news to the furthest reaches of the internet. By Sunday afternoon supporters in Wales, across parts of England, and all over the island of Ireland were joining in.
However much the BBC protests that it strives “to provide fair and impartial news coverage,” the "British Broadcasting Corporation" speaks for the British head of state and her government; in short, it is the de facto state broadcaster of the United Kingdom. As such it represents the unionist agenda in a political context wherein various national independence movements are being silenced by its overwhelming dominance of the media. Of course we have the right to complain, but ultimately our complaints must be falling on deaf ears.
Trust? Kinship? Not likely. Britain is the same old heart-scald it has always been to Ireland. Nothing has changed. This should be a lesson to Scotland and Wales. If people think the English state is the geopolitical equivalent of a bout of haemorrhoids while they’re trying to free themselves from it, they should consider how those who have already beaten it are treated.
What Mrs Windsor and her pals haven’t been investing in retail fronts for class warfare on a high street near you they have been offshoring away from the revenue people in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, and other paradise island tax havens. Truly vast sums of money are removed from the British economy – sums earned off the backs of ordinary working people – forcing the government to raise taxes to cover the basics of the safety net we all depend on from time to time.
Britain is no different with regard to its power structure than any other bureaucratic state. Power is not truly in the hands of the people – the demos or the representatives it elects. In the bureaucratic state, which all democracies are, the locus of power is the upper reaches of the state bureaucracy. What makes the United Kingdom different – even from many other constitutional monarchies – is that this bureaucracy of state is thoroughly dominated by the hegemony of a medieval royal estate.
We pay our taxes in Britain and Northern Ireland to ensure our government – correction: her government – can slash social welfare spending, cut essential services, and cripple the health service, while paying her almost £40m annually.
An independent Scotland with Elizabeth Queen of Scots as its head of state sounds positively repulsive. For many of us Yes is as much about rejecting London rule as it is about rejecting the monarchy.