Arts & Entertainment


With Coffin Ed

When it comes to anything relating to the British Royal Family let me be honest upfront. Many years ago as a young child I was with on an outing with my dad on a wet midweek day in the city when we decided to escape the stormy weather with a visit to the State Newsreel in Market Street. In those days the national anthem, God Save The Queen, was played before every screening with all patriotic Australians required to stand and pay homage to the monarchy.

Not my dad, who was a notable royal hater – in fact he detested the idea of any hereditary nobility, especially one imposed upon a ‘colonial’ subject. When the opening bars of God Save The Queen blurted out, the packed cinema rose as one – all bar my dad and myself who psychically restrained me in my seat. This drew an immediate and angry response from a woman seated directly behind us. “You should be ashamed of yourselves,” she bellowed in shock and dismay, prodding us quite violently with the end of her oversized umbrella.

Within a second my dad had summoned the usher to report that there was a lunatic loose in the cinema, attacking both adults and small children with some kind of nasty pointed weapon. In the torch lit chaos that followed the woman was dragged screaming from the darkened cinema, despite her numerous protestations that she was simply upholding the dignity of the monarchy.

Ever since that traumatic day I have inherited my father’s distaste for the British Royal ‘parasites’ and squirm every time an item is inserted into the nightly news in which anyone of the hierarchy is involved in some kind of spurious activity or official duty. These days, there is a seldom a nightly TV news broadcast that does not include one feel-good story about the Royals or their extended family like the grossly over indulged Pippa Middleton.

Our appetite for ‘celebrity’ now extends to the comings and goings of all the British nobility, carefully orchestrated by their tireless PR machines and obsessed upon by a multitude of tabloid rags and click bait websites. The recent intrusion into Sydney by the now fabulously wealthy Pippa Middleton (who the hell is she anyway?) and her cashed up beau, had all the markings of a public relations conspiracy, with even suggestions that the NSW Government kicked in as a means of promoting the current Vivid Festival. Regardless of any contribution to their supposed $17,000 a night hotel bill, they were featured endlessly in TV news bulletins, getting in and out of water taxis, scaling the Harbour Bridge and joy flighting over the harbour.

Repeatedly we were told that the international coverage given to the newlyweds, as they explored the Emerald City, would persuade hordes of foreign tourists to flock in our direction. Maybe if they had brought a group of orphans from South Sudan and treated them to a similar experience, it would have sent a message to the rest of the world, that we are big here on humanity and less preoccupied with the privileged few.

Last week I noticed a number of radio personalities, including shock jock Ray Hadley had declared their programs ‘Corby’ free, never to mention that name again in light of the recent media circus. If only somebody would apply a similar ban to the Royals, if only for one day of the year – maybe Monday June 12 which if you haven’t already noticed is The Queen’s Birthday holiday. Bring it on!

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