Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
18 May 2012
UK SOVEREIGN LAYS ON JUNKET FOR SEVEN TYRANTS
Kings and queens from around the world have arrived at Windsor Castle near London today for a lunch to celebrate the diamond jubilee this year of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, who acceded to the throne in 1952 on the death of her father George VI. According to the BBC, twelve members of the British royal family will join the Queen to welcome the sovereigns of 26 countries. The lunch will be followed by an evening banquet hosted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
BBC news correspondent Peter Hunt explains – for the benefit of those at the back of the class – that this is a celebratory gathering of heads of state who owe their positions to accidents of birth rather than the ballot box. Correct. Well spotted, Sir!
Not surprisingly, the royal junketing has attracted controversy.
Republic, the group campaigning for a republic in the UK, points out that the sovereigns being feasted by the British royal family include seven royal tyrants from Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Brunei, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Swaziland.
Said Graham Smith, chief executive officer of Republic (which Antigone1984 supports): “We believe the Queen should not be inviting such people to her jubilee celebrations and must take personal responsibility for doing so. With these dictators currently oppressing their citizens it’s unacceptable for them to be hosted by our head of state at lavish parties and dinners.”
A protest being staged this evening outside the Queen’s central London home, Buckingham Palace, is backed by supporters of democracy movements in Bahrain and Swaziland.
However, one royal who will not be present at today’s pomp and flummery is Queen Sofia of Spain. She has snubbed the invitation to attend because of Gibraltar, a peninsula in southern Spain which was captured by the British in 1704 and incorporated into the British empire. Spain wants it back.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.