It is difficult to not comment on what is happening in the (former) United Kingdom – as much as I had attempted for most of this summer to concentrate on donkeys, fixing my washing machine, painting the house, repairing fences, and generally being a peasant. I have been very disciplined in not listening to Radio 4 – the main English news channel – and instead absorbing the classical music of Radio 3 including the Promenade Concerts season at the Albert Hall.
Such was my desire to distance myself from the daily propaganda of the Trumpian disaster that has now befallen my former country. I say “former” country because I am working towards my Spanish citizenship next year and also feel entirely ashamed to be British in the present circumstances. I have never liked the idea that my name Gareth Thomas always prompted people to ask, “Which part of Wales are you from?” When I responded with fun and in truth, “Southend-on-Sea in Essex” it always deflated the questioner. I used to loathe Wales, the land of my father who was president of the London Welsh Society at one time. I hate rugby, Welsh singing, wet sheep, Welsh food, silly witches hats, coal mining… Just hate the lot of it.
But after the Brexit disaster, and the growth of English nationalism promoted by those nasty, nasty, Nazi people like Farage, Johnson and Rees-Mogg etc., if anybody asks me now, “Are you English?” I say, “No, I’m Welsh.”
This has the advantage that it doesn’t compute in Brexit terms and lets me off the hook. I might just as well have said, “No, I’m from Tierra del Fuego.” (A lot of Welsh people do actually live in Tierra del Fuego, by the way, oddly enough.)
Why have I used such a terrible title for this blog, “God damn the queen”? Here in Spain the ABC newspaper (a traditional monarchist paper) used this image of the Sex Pistols album cover to illustrate the horrendous role of the monarchy in Brexit this week. “Boris Johnson brings the Queen into Brexit war”
On Wednesday the Brexit extremists went to Queen Elizabeth II and asked her for permission to shut down her Parliament, so they could “get Brextit done” without interference from democratically elected representatives of the British people (half of whom voted for Brexit and half of whom did not.) She found in favour with the half of the country who want to exclude the other half from the equation.
She made her choice. Here is Der Spiegel‘s take on it, and they have done a better job than our press in explaining what a mess she has got into! https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/boris-johnson-hard-brexit-gambit-a-challenge-for-the-queen-a-1284480.html An “abuse of our queen” is how some people describe what Johnson has done. I took my own view. The queen has abused us.
In September 1968 on joining the Royal Air Force, I swore allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Second and her heirs and successors. I signed the Official Secrets Act for various roles in which I worked, and I joined Her Majesty’s servants in work to protect her realm later, in civilian life. I have never been anti-royalist, neither have I been particularly bothered about celebrating the royals: they were just there, a fact of life, and I couldn’t really find them interesting – nor significant enough to stand against them with republican arguments.
At the age of 67 all that changed this week. I am a republican. I no longer see any place for a constitutional monarchy that cannot safeguard the democratic processes of our Parliament and the rights of its elected leaders. It is not just that but there is one other small matter. There have been various scandals involving this family – and there is no point in going into them here, they are well known – but nothing equals in its utter sordidness the present evidence of the involvement of Prince Andrew in the disgusting paedophile lifestyle of the reptile Epstein in the USA.
For the so-called “royals” – the people who are ‘better’ than us mere mortals – to be destroying our democracy while at the same time covering for a “prince” who jet-setted around the world screwing 17-year-olds, while benefiting by having his useless ex-wife “duchess” bailed out of bankruptcy with money paid into her bank account by a man whose private Caribbean island was known locally as Paedophile Island, is the end for me.
God save the queen? God help us all. I became a republican this week. Queen Elizabeth II is not my queen. Your “kingdom” is a disgrace.
Sorry Mrs Brenda Windsor, you who were crowned shortly after I was born and have been head of state through all my life: you’ve blown it. You are no better than the damned vulture capitalists who are poised to destroy the poorest of “your” land. Damn you.
Oh and it’s not a class thing, Brenda: I despise half of your countrymen too, particularly those who live here in Spain, voted for Brexit, and prefer to call themselves “expats” as if this is the Indian Raj… I am a resident in Spain and I am a British MIGRANT. Let’s be clear: if you are British and you live in the Costa Blanca you are an IMMIGRANT.
“Bloody immigrants, coming over here, living in their ghettos where they don’t speak the language…”
Yes you lot, who call yourselves “expats” because you despise immigrants. If you voted for Brexit, just go home. Please go.
In other news…
An extraordinary find challenges palaeontologists’ theories about the earliest human beings. In renovations to the Parliament buildings a hominid skull has been unearthed in Westminster dated from a period which may overlap with the last of the dinosaurs. Artists have produced an image based on the skull which show how this primitive humanoid may have looked in a typical ape-fight of that antediluvian age.