As the Jubilee begins to wear off, Tim Bierley of the University of York’s The Yorker takes stock and argues that there must be better excuses to celebrate:
It’s been a long weekend of jubilation. The Queen’s unencumbered incumbency of sixty years has entitled us to a couple of days off work and a few in the street.
Those who couldn’t make it to the banks of the Thames took to pavements and parks, the country revelling as one. Millions tuned in to watch coverage as the Queen’s flotilla arched majestically towards Tower Bridge. We heard the hunting horns blow out and saw the Great British public flock to greet our monarch – still afloat after 60 years in the job – with a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen.
On witnessing the hordes of Union Jacks raised in jubilation, the grins on the faces of those delighted to have caught the Royals’ passing, and a country seemingly gathered gathered in unison, one couldn’t help but raise a clenched fist to the chest and wonder – well – “why?”
Two answers, probably coupled with a salute and a Union Jack to the face, would be “patriotism” and “love of the Queen”. Perhaps it would be timely to remind ourselves of our reputation in the rest of Europe. We’re stuffy. We dwell in a country which, apparently, would not recognise passion if it bent us over a metaphorical carnival and French kissed us. Unprompted fervour doesn’t make the cut in our assessments of the right and rational…
Full story here.