Stop Press: The Queen’s Screech: Britain, Spain and Other Illnesses

Anti monarchist Soviet poster: “Once and for all”

There are some people — whereby I do not know how many — who recall the key elements of British colonial rule. I was fortunate enough not to live under it. My grandfather had no great admiration for the country where he was born, despite the almost rabid Anglophilia to be found even today in many surprising places.

I find it bizarre that in a country whose monarchy was ended in 1918, many people still say “the Queen” as if they were subjects of Hanover under Britain’s George III. That at least was the last point at which some of my compatriots could legitimately claim that the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is their Queen.

Perhaps as an hypothetical exercise or a thought game, it would be amusing to imagine that Elizabeth II by the grace of God, Queen (by virtue of an ancient papal dispensation) Defender of the Faith, of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and her Commonwealth Realms, were also “our Queen”. That would leave the question why “the queen” is not Margarethe of Denmark or the once Queen of the Netherlands?  Strangely enough my compatriots do not call the occupant of the slave-built mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, USA “the president” — although that person has more direct control over our country than Her Britannic Majesty.

If we assume that the Federal Republic of Germany is nothing of the sort but a covert member of the Commonwealth, a secret vassal of the House of Battenberg (aka Windsor), then perhaps we should ask what the statements delivered to the Lords and members of the House of Commons in London actually mean for those passionate, deluded, or merely mistaken subjects of British imperial rule?

Let us imagine something else, just for fun. This week Spanish judges sentenced some Catalonians to gaol for six or more years on account of their actions in support of Catalonian independence from Madrid. Never mind the problems that such an independence would present (EU membership, financial obligations, currency, military, and other aspects of national rule), the verdicts and sentences have provoked considerable discontent in Barcelona, the virtual nation’s capital. One official has pointed out that this is a political problem and judges are appointed to resolve issues in the criminal code not political questions. This implies that the only recourse to those condemned for their political actions is to appeal beyond the scope of Spanish criminal law. But to whom? The Spanish monarchy was ended in 1931 with the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic. That republic was overthrown by the fascist Francisco Franco with the active assistance of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy as well as the passive and partially active support of His Britannic Majesty, the Roman Catholic Church, the clerico-fascist president of the Irish Free State, the president of the Portuguese Council of Ministers, and internationally active corporate interests.

The dictator (El Caudillo, also by the grace of God if the coins minted during his rule are to be believed) Francisco Franco declared the defunct Spanish monarchy restored and imposed it upon Spain and its non-Castillian provinces. Regardless of the objective merits — seen in practical international power context — of Catalonian independence, it was certainly no less credible than the various “independence” movements supported by NATO to destroy Yugoslavia. So to whom should Catalonians submit for justice in their struggle — executive clemency from the pretenders occupying a defunct throne “Franco gratia”?

Returning for a moment to the Battenbergs and the New Yorker Etonian who serves as their First Lord of the Treasury. The Queen’s Speech — the formal proclamation of HM Government’s policy at the State Opening of Parliament — focusses on two elements, for obvious reasons. The first is the effort by a segment of the British imperial elite to remove itself from the perceived strictures of the European Commission — the so-called “Brexit”. The second is the extension of British police powers under the pretext that the great prudish kingdom is threatened by foreign (non-white) criminal invaders, undesired political fugitives, and sexual offenders (are people like the deceased Jeffrey Epstein and his meanwhile invisible partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Robert, suicide and notorious defrauder and plunderer of a major British media group, also included?)

In the briefing document, issued by No. 10 as commentary to the Queen’s Speech, the First Lord of HM Treasury, pledges the end of “free movement” and a return to the Stormont regime in Belfast.

This interesting choice of words betrays the real attitude of the Churchill fanatic from New York. Those who recall Stormont could be forgiven for remembering Bloody Sunday instead of Good Friday.

With Mr Johnson’s adoration of one of Britain’s most repugnant 20th century imperialists, it requires little imagination to ask if Mr Johnson does not dream of Ireland as it was under his idol — of Para- occupied Catholic neighbourhoods, of Orangeman death squads and maybe even the Black and Tans.

Whether in Madrid or London (don’t look too closely at Brussels or The Hague) monarchy regularly raises its ugly, condescending head behind a paper-thin democratic mask made by its corporate marketing legions. The contempt in which true democrats and socialists are held by these imperialists has never been very well concealed. It has taken the willing and constant servility of those who adopt foreign dynasties and stuff themselves on pomp and pageantry to maintain the illusions that nonetheless break in the slightest breeze of spontaneous self-respect.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..