Wednesday, 6 June 2012

3 Cheers for Notre "Diamond" Duc!

60 years of Queen Elizabeth II - many congratulations!

Blue and red versions of this flag were in evidence...
.. and many houses were decked out in numerous Union flags (this belonging to the air display guy at Maufant).

I hope that the Scottish minority who are keen to break away from the British Union can appreciate the significance of how the nation celebrated with the Union Flag - not just the English cross of St.George.

The avenue was also "flagged up".
Three parishes erected jubilee arches. It surprised me to hear that Grouville were competitive with St.Martin...
.. as the Grouville arch was quite thin and sparse.
The St.Ouen effort was nice and green, but with too much scaffold in evidence - both the side supports and along the top.
The prize has to go to St.Martin for this magnificent triple arch. Chunky, very green and tasteful. Well done!
Fireworks rounded off Monday nicely.

More flares than a 70s theme party (or because they're always lagging behind - Guernsey in the 80s).
1 second exposures - caught this one lighting up the castle and surrounding sea.
Pink and orange.
Many Thanks to my roving reporter for these.
Predictably, some people picked the jubilee to raise the question of the continued existence of the monarchy.

Humans are social pack animals who need leadership and the notion of belonging to a tribe, and I can't see that changing any time soon. In organised society we have divided our labours, enabling specialisation that has progressed our lives far beyond what was nasty, brutish and short - to those we enjoy today (only a little nasty, mildly brutish, and a lot longer for most. And with TV, internet and Pot Noodle!).

I don't really enjoy the concepts of social pecking orders, authority, and leader worship, but I don't feel in the slightest bit constrained in my freedoms by being labelled a crown 'subject'  rather than a republican 'citizen'. I'm still perfectly free to follow my own path in life, within the bounds of what's acceptable to the society in which I benefit from living. Of course it can feel like an endless treadmill to work, consume, pay taxes etc  - but it's better than the alternative of 'going it alone' in the woods. The monarchy is a comforting constant presence with a smoothing effect that transcends the petty flip-flopping of left/right politics.

Looking at the standard of presidents elsewhere, I don't see how swapping one set of wealthy rulers for a different set of wealthy wannabes would be any great improvement. The problem - if there is one - is mainly in the minds of the complainers, given that the expense of running the monarchy is so trivial spread amongst all of us, and comparable to any practical alternative. Also, the problems of the so called "1%" hoarding wealth and the decimation of the middle class, lowering standards of life for the majority - this would seem to be a much more urgent problem that we need to address first. The super rich who don't fully pay their way, and abuse the rest of us? Sort out that problem before wasting your energy on the far less important matter of the Royal Family!

I'm not a great fan of how Jersey has been run, but that's a political matter and as far as overall Crown leadership is concerned I think we're fine as we are with a constitutional monarchy. H.M. The Queen has done a fantastic job for all these years, binding the country together. She has done us proud and is very highly respected the world over. Her detractors are usually ignorant of the large amount of work she does and how it benefits the country. Wouldn't we moan far more if the likes of Blair or Thatcher had been outright national leaders and not just Prime Ministers in the political sphere?

Rather than a series of sleazy rich politicians (war-mongering and often embarrassingly thick) running the show, what could be better than a family performing the task out of duty? The feudal and hereditary aspect that some people complain about is actually a positive thing if their powers are limited anyway - the most dangerous leaders are those who want to lead!

What raises a wry smile here is that the would-be republicans seem to miss an important and ironic point in their calls for more democracy in the matter of leadership. All the evidence (this weekend's turnout and support, along with the usual opinion poll results) indicates that the majority of the British Public are more than happy to continue as we are. What could be more democratic than that?

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