Monday, September 19, 2022

About the queue

The queue to view the Queen’s coffin will live on, in sociology theses if not in blessed memory, mainly because the end point was a bit of a disappointment. A few people, especially those with some kind of military background, had prepared some sort of ritual (a salute, a curtsey, just a brisk nod) but many, even after all those hours living off sandwiches and some warped folk memory of the Blitz spirit, spent their 10 seconds of communion with the late monarch frozen in the headlights, so afraid of committing some arcane faux pas that they just stared, then waddled off.

An analogy with Brexit seems apt. People definitely wanted Brexit, but many of them weren’t sure why, and even more had no idea what to do after it had happened. Endless iterations of “we’ve got our country back” aren’t really a basis for operating a major, if declining, 21st-century economy. And gawping mutely at a wooden box under a flag for a fraction of a minute is no substitute for a functioning constitution.

I’ve consumed the events of the past week and a half with a sort of baffled scepticism. As I’ve said before, I wish no ill on the Queen, and I hope her family and friends have had a chance to grieve properly. And I don’t really have anything against the people in the queue; they simply have a hobby that doesn’t ring my particular bell, like golf or potholing or light opera. But this morning I discovered that two people I vaguely know through social media have had medical appointments cancelled at the last moment, because it was thought to be more important that NHS staff get a chance to watch the funeral. My scepticism is hardening into anger; to mangle Elvis Costello, I used to be amused, now I fully intend to be disgusted.

PS: Will the sentimental Stalinism never end? Corgi owners throughout the land claim their dogs are in mourning too...

PPS: From Mic Wright, a trilogy of invective that goes into more detail. (This is part 3, links to 1 & 2 beneath the pic.)

PPPS: From the new Private Eye:

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