sexta-feira, 15 de abril de 2011

Revista de blogues (15/4/2011)

  • «(...) In most countries in the world, parents can tell their kids that if they work hard and do everything right, they could grow up to be the head of state and the symbol of their nation. Not us. Our head of state is decided by one factor, and one factor alone: did he pass through the womb of one particular aristocratic Windsor woman living in a golden palace? The American head of state grew up with a mother on food stamps. The British head of state grew up with a mother on postage stamps. Is that a contrast that fills you with pride? No, it’s not the biggest problem we have. But it does have a subtly deforming effect on Britain’s character that the ultimate symbol of our country – our sovereign – is picked on the most snobbish criteria of all: darling, do you know who his father was? Kids in Britain grow up knowing that we all bow and curtsey in front of a person simply because of their unearned, uninteresting bloodline. This snobbery then subtly soaks out through the society, tweaking us to be deferential to unearned and talentless wealth, simply because it’s there.
    (...)

    They then create a directory of fictitious claims to prop up this semi-religious belief in monarchy. We are told that the Windsor family is great for tourism. In fact, of the top twenty tourist attractions in Britain, only one is related to the monarchy - Windsor Castle, at number seventeen. Ten places ahead is Windsor Lego-Land, so using that logic, we should make a Lego-Man our head of state.
    Then we are told the monarchy is a “great defender of democracy.” As a logical proposition, this is almost self-refuting: to protect our democracy, we must refuse to democratically choose our head of state. But more importantly, for people who talk a lot about “respecting” our history, this is startlingly historically illiterate. As several distinguished biographers have demonstrated, the last monarch but one – Edward VIII – literally conspired with Adolf Hitler to run this country as a Nazi colony. It’s only pure luck that he happened to have fallen in love with an American divorcee and had already quit the throne. That’s the point about monarchy: you get whatever happens to squelch out of the royal womb. It might be a democrat, or it might – as it was two monarchs ago – be a vain and vicious enemy of democracy. To suggest it will dependably and always be one or the other is daft.
    (...)  Republicans want to set this couple free to have good, happy lives in the Republic of Britain – which they would clearly take as a blessed relief.
    When we republicans object to the hollow pantomime of the next week, we are not being negative or nasty. We are proposing a positive vision. Britain is full of amazing and inspiring people – so many that if we were to choose a ceremonial President, as they do in Ireland, we would be spoiled for choice. I can’t think of anything more patriotic – and more deserving of a tumult of Union Jacks waving at a thousand street parties – than the belief that every child in Britain should grow up knowing that one day, they could be our head of state. And I can’t think of anything less patriotic than saying that the feudal frenzy of deference and backwardness we are about to witness is the best that Britain can do.» (Johann Hari)