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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Tuesday June 04, 2002
07:34 AM

The Country Has Gone Mad

[ #5408 ]

So this weekend it's the Queen's Golden Jubilee. Actually she became queen on Feb 6th 1952 and the coronation was on Jun 2nd 1953[1] so this is a pretty strange date to pick for the official celebrations.

For the last year or so, the media have been carefully managing our expectations of the event, pointing out that celebrations wouldn't be as big as the silver jubilee in 1977. But then the Queen Mum died and put back the republican cause by a good ten or twenty years with the result that we have had wall-to-wall coverage of people packing into the area around Buckingham Palace waving cheap plastic flags.

And last night there was a big concert in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The cream of the British music industry entertained 120,000 members of the public who had won tickets in a national competition. Apparently the Queen only saw the last half hour of the show. She turned up just in time to see Eric Clapton play Layla - which gives you an idea of just how "cutting edge" the music was :)

The idea that we should celebrate the life of someone simply because their family had the biggest army hundreds of years ago appalls me. I made sure I was out of the country for the silver jubilee - perhaps I should have doen the same this year.

[1] I decide against writing those dates as numbers as there was far too much scope for confusion. Is Jun 2nd 2/6 or 6/2. Or is that Feb 6th :)

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  • There's no problem with writing them as numbers. You just have to put them in the right order: 1952-02-06 and 1953-06-02. After all, we're all programmers on this bus.

    But maybe the confusion is what caused them to pick this date for the celebration. Could Americans have infiltrated the planning committee and seen 6/2/1952?
  • It wasn't that bad, sure, the remnants of Queen turned up simply to plug their crappy musical and there were several talentless groups such as Blue and S Club 7 there, but all in all it could of been worse. Paul McCartney played the old songs and that was enjoyable enough. Ozzy Osbourne (probably plugging his fly on the wall thingy) was quite funny when he came back on stage and you got the feeling the danger meters were going off in the organisers booth.

    But was it really a celebration of the monarchy? Or
    • Or was it a celebration of Britain

      Do you mean Britain? Or do you mean the United Kingdom? There's a difference and I'd expect you, of all people, to get it right :)


      • Naturally, I was just conveying a sentiment that was expressed by the Queen herself last night (with the inclusion of the Corrs), in that while the R.o. Ireland is of course a seperate country they are special to us in that they are linked by land to the UK and many other links (sports, the arts, etc.).So the Queen's informal nod to Ireland was reflected in my post.

        Of course some people who have less enlightened views than her majesty and myself continue to pendantically point out differences in national
        • have you been out waving a flag with Tony's face on it this weekend

          Of course not. I have about the same amount of respect for Blair as I do for the Monarchy.

          On another note. I wonder how much censorship the Palace imposed on people's set lists at the concert. I notice that Paul McCartney didn't play Give Ireland Back To The Irish :)

  • and another example of why I'd rather learn about Europe from you folks here than from the media. I've never actually heard a native's personal opinion of the monarchy. Only generalizations through the media and educators.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I've never actually heard a native's personal opinion of the monarchy.

      Expat - but still a native...

      First let me say that I'm far from being a flag waving Royalist. Having said that, I certainly don't share Dave's anti-monarchy opinion though - never have quite understood that stance I'm afraid.

      Most people I know (myself included) couldn't really care less one way or the other when it comes to the monarchy. Is our day-to-day life impacted one way or the other becuase of the monarchy - nope. Would re
      • Is our day-to-day life impacted one way or the other becuase of the monarchy - nope. Would removing the monarchy have any impact on our daily lives - nope.

        I'm curious what the yearly upkeep is on the various castles & what not. It seems to me that a nontrivial amount would need to be spent to keep all these huge, old places in good condition. Surely this would translate into smaller budgets & (possibly) less taxes?

        And if they, as you say, have NO impact on your daily life, why are you supportin

        --
        "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
        • Are taxes paid to support the monarchy? Of course they are. Will there be sudden tax cuts for all if the monarchy were somehow removed? Highly doubtful, believe it when I see it mate.

          It's a nice "perfect-world" view though - can't fault you for that. Just don't ever see it happening.
          • That's just the purist in me. :-) Hope for the best, expect for the worst. I think it's universally known that just because a country's expenses go down the public's taxes don't necessarily follow.
            --
            "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
        • I'm curious what the yearly upkeep is on the various castles & what not. It seems to me that a nontrivial amount would need to be spent to keep all these huge, old places in good condition. Surely this would translate into smaller budgets & (possibly) less taxes?

          uh, but you would want to keep the old castles in good condition even if there wasn't some people with a different family history living there.
          --

          -- ask bjoern hansen [askbjoernhansen.com], !try; do();

          • Ah, this is true! This is just semantics, but if it was just a historic building wouldn't that make it more of a "park" rather than a "residence"? My brain likes the concept of paying taxes to support a public park more than a (semi-)private residence.
            --
            "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
        • Re:Cool entry (Score:3, Interesting)

          I'm curious what the yearly upkeep is on the various castles & what not. It seems to me that a nontrivial amount would need to be spent to keep all these huge, old places in good condition. Surely this would translate into smaller budgets & (possibly) less taxes?

          The relationship between the Monarchy and the Treasury is complex. Here's a brief summary:

          • The upkeep of the various castles and palaces is paid for by the royal family. When Windsor Castle was damamged by a fire some years ago, the Qu
          • Thanks for the excellent summary davorg! I always wondered how the upkeep for royal family was structured. Now I know.
            --
            "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
      • Oh, of course I just switch off and ignore it most of the time. But unless you've been in the UK over the last four days it's probably impossible to understand just how difficult it would be to ignore it. The jubilee has been everywhere.

  • So did you rebel against this holiday granted by someone who's status you don't respect or believe in and go into work instead? ;-)
    • So did you rebel against this holiday granted by someone who's status you don't respect or believe in and go into work instead? ;-)

      Well that would be a bit tricky, what with me not having a job right now! But I did spend most of the day at the computer working on my tutorial for OSCON :)