Amol Rajan: Diamond Jubilee is celebration of mediocrity

FreeView from the editors at i

Share
Related Topics

I don't know about you but I've always thought the 60th anniversary of the ascension to Head of State of an unelected aristocrat from a half-German family unusually well-endowed with dimwits and philanderers was just the moment to ignore building schools for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and homes for the needy, in favour of a giant boat to sit moored for most of the year and be occasionally chartered by the aforementioned family on their trips through the Commonwealth.

Then again, I've never been Education Secretary. Michael Gove has – indeed, is.

A letter of his to the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was leaked to yesterday's papers (presumably by the Liberal Democrats, a party united with Labour in having a leader who declares his republicanism in private, but is too cowardly and calculating to turn down an invitation to a royal wedding). In it, Gove wonders how else we might mark the Diamond Jubilee. "My suggestion would be a gift from the nation to her majesty; thinking about David Willetts' excellent suggestion of a royal yacht", which costs around £60m.

Various government lackeys were wheeled out yesterday to say that of course Mr Gove and the Prime Minister wouldn't, in a time of austerity, expect this to come out of the public purse. Fine, and good; but 2012 is the year in which, as jobs and services are slashed, endless stupid proposals will be made for state funding to mark this allegedly memorable moment in the life of the nation.

Naturally, being a patriot, I am a republican; but I must say that of all the eccentricities of the English, the one I can least fathom or sympathise with is the deification of the dynasty formerly known as the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas. Aside from the Queen – whose public image is crafted by an ever-expanding team of propagandists – this clan is unusually full of fools.

Survey the generations. Prince Philip is a racist buffoon. Prince Charles is a scientifically illiterate champion of policies that would lead to the murder by starvation of millions. He is idiot enough to want homeopathy on the NHS and call GM food the "biggest environmental disaster" ever – greater, presumably, than the Permian mass extinction.

As for charming Wills and Harry, aren't they obviously just the sort of posh nice-but-dims our democracy has struggled for centuries to remove from authority? Several of my friends from university were at Eton with them. They all say the same thing: both were exceptionally unexceptional in every aspect of school life.

The Diamond Jubilee will be presented as a moment of national unity and celebration. It is actually little more than the industrialisation of mediocrity.

 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The bustling Accident & Emergency ward at Milton Keynes Hospital  

The NHS needs the courage to adapt and survive

Nigel Edwards
 

Letter from the Sub-Editor: Canada is seen as a peaceful nation, but violent crime isn’t as rare as you might think

Jeffrey Simpson
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?