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Those pursed lips open

I was right. On cue, after a splendid, dignified and joyful royal wedding, enjoyed by so many of the "working class" that socialists claim to represent, Polly Toynbee of The Guardian un-purses her lips to dribble all over their parade. Ms Toynbee is not short of a purse or two - her villa in Tuscany, enormous house in London and privately educated children would not disgrace a minor royal - but let's not talk about that.

How well we do it! Was the princess beautiful in lace and was the prince charming? Indeed they were. The glorious pomp and circumstance did not disappoint those 2 billion worldwide watchers, indulging vicariously in the theatre of majesty. They tell us this is what we are best at, the great parade, the grand charade. If you weep at weddings here was one to cry for, for us more than them. The more extreme a ceremony's extravagance, the more superstitious you might feel about the outcome: the simpler the better the prognosis, in my experience.

[...]

Is this what Britain is and who we are? Here was a grand illusion, the old conspiracy to misrepresent us to ourselves. Here arrayed was the most conservative of establishments, rank upon rank, from cabinet ministers to Prince Andrew to the Sultan of Brunei, the apotheosis of the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator in excelsis, a David Starkey pageant choreographed by Charles, the prince of conservatives.

Of course Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had no invitation, being the prime ministers who held back the forces of conservatism for 13 years. Displayed in all its assertiveness was a reminder of what Labour is always up against as perennial intruder. Constitutional monarchy is constitutionally Tory, the blue inherited with its wealth, in its fibre, in its bones.

[...]

How will history look back on this day? Out in the world of bread, not circuses, in the kingdom behind the cardboard scenery, this has been a week that told a bleak story of the state of the nation. History may see the wedding as a Marie Antoinette moment, a layer of ormolu hiding a social dislocation whose cracks are only starting to emerge.

And so on and so forth. What hurts - really hurts - is that so many people don't want Blair or Brown or some Labour- appointed Diversity Tsar. They want to wave the flag and have a good time. Off with her head, that's what I say. First, though, send her to the Tower and make her watch re-runs of the royal wedding until she repents.



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