Working in the UK in the summer is something of a habit with me. I have been doing it, with two exceptions, every year since 2003. Therefore, the process I am going through at the moment invokes a sort deja-vu with alienation invariably accompanying the first couple of weeks and that despite the fact that I am originally from this small island.
Still, it has to be put into perspective. Here to work and I also don’t quite live in the “saus und braus” that I am used to when I am not here. The Audi is left at home as are the super duper coffee machine, the tap that spouts out boiling water and, of course, the Persian and Afghan rugs. Did someone raise their eyebrows at what might just be a spoiled brat? However, be that as it may, I am not here to criticize my living conditions in England’s green and pleasant land. No, the room is generous, it is quiet, the internet is reliable and fast enough, and the satellite television is even available when I am lying in my bed. Indeed, only last night I noticed that RT is available and a dose of the ‘Keiser Report’ is just the tonic before nodding off.
No, the disgust, the frustration, the alienation, is because of the outside world here. There is the mainstream media and while Josef Joffre’s ‘Die Zeit‘, or Stefan Kornelius’s ‘Die Süddeutsche Zeitung’ are hardly representative of an objective and free press, we can at least read between the lines in their journals. In short, those newspapers represent a less adulterated propaganda and when we compare them to the daily drivel in the United Kingdom, it is a bit like comparing ‘Die Frankfurter Zeitung’ to the ‘Völkische Beobachter’. Apropos the following little story which is doing its rounds in the little island’s mainstream press.
The ‘Sun’ has published a picture of the Queen giving the “Hitlergrüß” in 1933 when on holiday at Balmoral and here we have the media tripping over itself to explain that she was “only waving”. Well, she might have been, but were the other two ladies, including her sister Margaret, also only waving? And look there is the well known big Hitler fan, Uncle Edward, kneeling behind them. Still, forgive and forget, after all she was only seven at the time, even if it is old enough to be killed by an unmanned drone in Yemen or Afghanistan, or an Israeli missile in Gaza. Nevertheless, she was only seven and at the end of the day this silly picture is almost irrelevant.
After all, the real question should not be about whether a seven year old girl was sympathetic to a particular nasty German type of fascism, but rather is there any need for the absurd institution that is British royalty? And, of course, the answer to that depends on which side your bread is buttered. If you are a member of an elite that needs something to hold a disintegrating, socially unjust, divided society together, then the answer would be in the affirmative.
Think about the Queen who doesn’t fart and her extremely insensitive, xenophobic, racist, sidekick, think about the handsome prince, the beautiful princess, and their two lovely children, and there is no need to think about the train to Birmingham being ten minutes late, or the fact that when it arrives, it looks like something from a bygone age. There is no need to dwell on the fact that the cafes close in the early evening and that socializing for a lot of people is mainly about getting into a bar and drinking themselves into oblivion. Still, that is really all about me and my little gripes,but if the infrastructure fails miserably for me personally, I haven’t got round to using the NHS yet, I don’t need support from the state, and I don’t work for a wage that I cannot live on. Kerry-Anne Mendoza’s, ‘Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy’ is my current read. It’s all in there but when you get a real life glimpse of it, it’s even worse.
It only affects me marginally; waiting on the bus that has broken down, or waiting on the train that arrives late and then stops in the middle of the journey leaving us to board buses in order to continue on to our destinations. However, what does it mean for the vulnerable in a state that is being plundered by crony capitalism and its handmaidens as they grab everything worth having before it comes down like a house of cards?
The sun has come out somewhere between Chester and Birmingham and the train is still moving. Back to the newspaper and the ‘Sunday Times’ informs me that the Royals are hunting for the “source” of the Nazi salute film. You poor soul and you only wanted to earn a few bob. Still, thanks for providing the entertainment. After all, it is your story and the one with the sub-headline “Cameron to fight brainwashing of young Muslims” which dominate pages 1,2, and 3 of the paper.Cameron to fight brainwashing, now isn’t that hilarious.