Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ludicrous Medieval Throwback Meets King Abdullah

Say what you like about the French - they certainly know how to treat royalty.

Lots of people have attacked the government for giving the Saudis the full Buckingham Palace treatment, pointing out the illegitimacy of their rule, their human rights violations and their frankly whiffy relationship with Al Qaeda.

It seems to me that we're missing the real parakeet in the pantry - the most embarrassing thing about this is the fact we have a Queen for Abdullah to meet in the first place.

Forget the tantrums about the evil Saudi regime - they're ruthless Middle Eastern oligarchs, and they're supposed to be evil. It's in the job description.

We, on the other hand, are theoretically a modern liberal democracy whose figurehead is a crinkly old bat who happens to be descended from German princelings. Such rights as we possess are not inherent to our status as citizens, but are privileges graciously granted by the Monarch.

Now, I'm not daft - I know that the Queen possesses almost no practical power. My problem is that I once spent my days studying the lives of Thomas Paine, Cromwell and Danton, and it left me with the definite impression that they might have had a point.

Still, we Britons are too sentimental to send our feudal overlords to their richly merited appointment with Madame Guillotine, so another solution must be sought.

The monarchists always tell us that the Royal family bring in millions in tourist revenue - I say, why not expand the franchise?

If I was suddenly crowned as the King of Scotland and Mrs. Rodent made Queen, think of the torrent of Yankee dollars that would flow into the public purse! The Americans couldn't give a damn whether we were born of regal stock or delivered in a ditch, so long as there's plenty of looted finery to photograph.

And anyway, if you're going to arbitrarily crown a random scruff, why not the guy who came up with the idea?

Being royalty has its drawbacks in terms of privacy issues, but I'm ready to take one for the team. So long as my life of luxury brings in much-needed revenue for the people of Scotland, I'd be prepared to sacrifice myself for the good of the nation.

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