A very elderly man has a bladder infection and is admitted to hospital. Newsworthy? Apparently so. An elderly woman is suffering multiple organ failure, has not moved from her spot on the sofa in four days and nights and yet her GP and GP out of hours service do not think that she is ill enough to warrant hospital admission. Eventually a 999 call is made, she is admitted to hospital and is in fact so ill that within hours she is on the Intensive Therapy Unit, where despite the best efforts of the medical team she dies. Newsworthy? No. The difference between these two elderly people is that one by accident of birth and then fortuitous marriage is royal and the other is an ordinary woman (except to her family and to me as her daughter who see her as extraordinary) but is representative by experience of the vast majority of people in the UK.
I am not a royalist despite my family being so. My Grandfather painted his house red, white and blue for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, one of his last energetic acts for he died in August of that year. My Mother adored the Queen and would not be happy with the sentiments expressed here but I cannot help but think every time I see the Queen on my TV screen that had my Mother enjoyed the same health care and attention as her beloved sovereign, then she might still be alive today. This might seem bitter but it isn’t, merely observational. My wish is that for everyone in the |UK no matter where they are born and no matter who their parents happen to be are given the same choices, the same treatment and the same opportunities in life and that the privilege of some births is no more. Equality for all and not just for the chosen.
The abolition of class and privilege may be what some would describe as a utopian dream and in a way it is whilst millions continue to line the streets to celebrate their subjection by the same woman for 60 years but I’m a live and let live kind of woman and if that’s your boat then I’m not going to sink it, well not yet! What I do object to however is the absolute saturation coverage by the BBC. Late Sunday afternoon I was cooking a very late lunch and attempting to find a talk radio station that was not covering the celebrations. It was difficult and I was disappointed to find that even the World Service, (that’s world as in global or so I thought) was knee deep in Embankment Joe Public and how wonderful, fabulous, astonishing, astounding it all was and over on Radio 4 The Archers were having a jubilee party. It seems that there is nothing to discuss or report upon according to the BBC but the jubilee.
This morning I turned on my radio to hear a large crowd of people chanting for quite some time ‘God Save the Queen, God Save the Queen’. On and on they went. I wondered what sort of country I am living in and drew comparisons with those who lined the streets of Baghdad and chanted the name of Saddam Hussein or of Tripoli and chanted for Colonel Khadafy. You might think that there is no comparison but there is you know especially if you happen to be someone living in another part of the world and see such things on your TV screen….it all looks the same then. Oh and before anyone accuses me of being unpatriotic then I say you confuse patriotism with support for the monarchy; the two are completely different. I love my country and the fact that I am free to express the views that I have. I do not however love the monarchy, nor privilege through class.
I wish the royal family no ill will and bear them no animosity. The Queen seems like an amiable old lady and the Duke reminds me of my grumpy Dad but how relevant are they to my life? They’re not and they never will be because that nice old lady and decent but grumpy old man receive the care and attention that all old ladies and men should receive in the UK but do not because after all, we have never all been in this together and never will be.