This article was originally published in Issue 1 of Bolshy, in December 1998, under the title "The Voice of Treason: The Royals".
The Queen Mum, everyone loves her, don't they. Did you know, she's 98 years old and is still in pretty good shape, apart from the odd new hip. And I've found out her secret, and it's not Oil of Ulay. Very simple, in fact. She's still going strong, cos She's Never Done A Day's Work In Her Life. If I bumped into her, I reckon I'd ask her round for a fish-based meal. Or kick her stick away.
I like to follow the royals. When I say follow, I mean 'stalk' or 'try to make their lives hell', if you like. It's obviously a bit awkward as they're all under constant police guard but I do the best I can.
Someone's dad from my class at school spends six days a week just protecting the Queen's corgis. Stop them from breeding from any mongrels, I presume. Once we invited ourselves round his house and put strychnine into the Pedigree Chum Mix he takes into work to provide a change from all that caviar and Kingsmill bread they're used to. Don't know if it had an affect.
Haven't Pedigree Chum Mix got a new single out though, er what?
There was this march in London the other month organised by Ma'm. Not the Queen herself, but the 'Movement against the Monarchy'. Apparently it's set to organise all sorts of rebellion against this outdated, undemocratic institution, such as getting Cub Scouts to secretly cross their fingers while reciting the "to do my duty to god and the queen" bit of the Scout Law.
On the demo, where Chumbawumba turned up, a mock guillotine was rolled down Whitehall, which was where Charles I was executed by the Cromwellians in 1649, during the English Civil War. They even offered Prince Charles the chance to try out the sharp blade on his 50th birthday. Apparently he turned it down (shocker).
Anyone who thinks the monarchy have always been popular should not forget that a century ago, there were riots caused by outrage at the cost of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee celebrations. During the Blitz, the King and his wife (now the Queen Mum) were pelted with eggs when they visited the bomb-damaged east end of London.
But if you need convincing, here's some reasons why the entire lazy, in-bred bunch should not necessarily be shot (though a French- or Russian- style monarchy would be nice) but they should all be getting a job and be removed of their titles:
Unelected power. She doesn't just read out the Queen's Speech every year. She can veto an Act of Parliament, intervene in policy decisions, and even dissolve the government if she wishes. And this isn't just "in theory" - Queen Elisabeth II has even done it in practice. In 1975, she got the Governor-General to dissolve the Labor government in Australia because she found it too left-wing. She can take over the government in 'circumstances that threaten the state' such as a general strike or mass
civil unrest. She could even sell the navy and get people put in prison without a jury trial if she liked.
The cost. The taxpayer spends over £60 million per year on services related to the monarchy. This money should be spent on hospitals or schools.
Tourism. This is most royalists' top reason for keeping the Queen. But if Buckingham Palace and the rest were open all year round - and you could look round all of it, surely far more people would come and pay for the privilege. And more tourists would come if they spent the money on public transport, for example. And everyone could go on the royal train.
Hypocricy. The royals are held up as an example for people to follow. Why? They must be one of the world's most famous dysfunctional families. They are ashamed of divorcees, alcoholics and possible gays in their midst. Their "values" are completely rotten.
Shameful history. Royalists say that people should be proud of 'great British history' - i.e. the history of Kings and Queens but not ordinary people. So who won all these battles anyway? Did they rape and pillage half the world all by themselves? Didn't they even have a cook with them? We should be proud of ordinary people's history, like the English Civil War when people rose up against the monarchy, or the General Strike of 1926.
More about money. Until recently, the Queen paid no tax whatsoever on her property or income. Everyone should have the same rights. People who didn't pay the poll tax are still being hunted down and locked up. The rich should be taxed!
So, still think "they're alright basically"? Then read it again or e-mail us and tell us why. We'll have a row with you about it, make no mistake.
Sack the monarchy!
This article can currently also be found on the old Bolshy website at http://www.bolshy.free-online.co.uk/issue1/treason.htm