A Tale of Two Stories feat. Rap Harry

LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
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There exists two news stories it is my self-imposed duty – and great pleasure – to circulate via various social media platforms whenever the Mad Parade tramples its beaten path into public consciousness.

Incidentally, for those unwise, by ‘Mad Parade’ I refer to the British monarchy, and perhaps the definitive text on this subject.

‘God save your mad parade,’ sang young Sex Pistol John Lydon during Silver Jubilee week 1977. Not from the top of the charts, incidentally, as merited by the number of copies God Save The Queen actually sold. The Establishment – but mostly the dutiful media – moved swiftly to stifle this most potent of modern working class British protest songs, and you kid yourself if you believe things would play out any differently today,

Last week, of course, we saw the Mad Parade at its maddest, with the State Opening of Parliament. And lo it came to pass that a squadron of pantaloon-clad toffs gathered in one opulent place to hear a woman dripping diamonds who has never done an honest day’s toil in her life, nor ever done without a single thing, spout a roster of mean-spirited policies fair jostling to bring the hammer down on those deemed insufficiently hardworking (hardworking is one big word now, as is hardworkingfamily).

Not her fault, obviously.

The Queen doesn’t write this stuff, just reads it. At the same time, however, there is an argument to say that, as the lynchpin which holds Britain’s entire structure of inherited power, privilege and thus rank inequality in place, she is in no sense wholly innocent.

Anyhow, needless to say this event, and also Friday’s Royal visit to Lancashire, were occasions for yours truly to roll out aformentioned twin truths.

The first, and one which lays bare the exact nature of how the monarchy as a business – it is openly acknowledged, almost as if we are meant to find it amusing, that senior Windsors refer to themselves as ‘The Firm’ – regards the cash raised from us by the State.

Essentially a piggy bank to raid by any and every available means.

‘Queen tried to use state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace’ is the headline on this Independent yarn, and I’ll say no more (nor, for that matter, post a link to that Tory-backing rag’s website). Seek it out yourselves, you’ll be repulsed.

The second, and comfortably my pick of the pair, appeared in the Daily Mail, and is written in such a jolly, jaunty tone you can’t help but believe the Mail hack thinks this is all jolly wonderful dotty eccentric tiresome stereotype fun.

‘Queen’s corgis are fed fillet steaks and chicken breast cooked by a chef and covered with gravy poured by the monarch herself’ is the snappy page topper on this 2013 account (see above for reason why there is no link). Again, read it for yourself, and be ready to pick your jaw up from the floor.

But I’ll say only this: how devoted to the people – and the massive far-reaching Palace press office leaves us in no doubt ER is nothing if not that – can a head of state be if they are happy for their dogs to enjoy a vastly superior diet to the millions of their subjects who current scrape by on Food Banks, supermarket ‘whoops’ reductions, a wing and a prayer?

Incidentally, having tweeted this brace of bracing indictments Friday morning I was delighted soon after to receive a reply from 11-year-old Lancashire rapper Harry Hodgson AKA @rap_harry

Harry had sought out the shaggy dog tale, and he replied: ‘We love OUR little dog, but that is beyond the pale!’

And not 24 hours later, like all good rappers do, he had taken that sense of injustice and turned it into something positive.

Steak Dog!

Good work Harry. Hope clearly lies in the hip-hop generation.