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Ear to the Ground

Let Them Eat Cake: The Dark Side of the Royal Wedding

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Posted on Apr 29, 2011
AP

A fan of the British royals waves Union flags featuring the faces of Prince William and Kate Middleton near Buckingham Palace on Friday, the day that the couple married at Westminster Abbey in London.

While America’s press corps has kept itself busy fawning over the glitz and glamour of the royal wedding, a darker and more interesting side to the story has gone largely ignored. Across the Atlantic, the merry royal celebration has been happening against a backdrop of protests and deep social unrest being caused by massive cuts in social spending. But because this depressing reality does not jibe with the splendor of a proper royal wedding, British authorities have been attempting—largely successfully—to quash public dissent. Apparently, they even got help from Facebook, which deactivated pages being used to mobilize protesters.  —YL

The Guardian:

The action against the 10 or so people participating in the Right Royal Orgy in Soho Square was one of several pre-emptive strikes by Scotland Yard. Police said they made a total of 52 arrests including 13 at Charing Cross station, where people were found to have climbing equipment and anti-monarchy placards, in addition to 21 arrests during raids of five squats in London on Thursday morning.

On the night before the wedding four individuals were arrested, three in London and one in Cambridgeshire, for conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and breach of the peace. One of those arrested, Chris Knight, was planning to behead an effigy of Prince Andrew using a theatrical guillotine, in what his friends said was a piece of street theatre.

By the time the marriage vows had been made, the police had imposed a section 60 blanket stop-and-search order around the whole royal wedding zone, after a few individuals were seen putting scarves over their faces in Soho Square.

The move allowed officers to search people without discretion. It can be issued when police believe, with good reason, that there is the possibility of serious violence or that a person is carrying an offensive weapon. It was imposed along with a section 60a order, which allows officers to remove headgear and masks from demonstrators.

The powers remained in place for several hours, although the police said the mood in both Soho Square and at the Republican Tea Party was calm.

In another incident, officers swooped on a group of five people, three of whom were wearing zombie make-up, when they entered a branch of Starbucks on Oxford Street. They were arrested “on suspicion of planning a breach of the peace”.

They were all handcuffed and held in a police van and gave their names as Amy Cutler, 25, Rachel Young, 27, Eric Schultz, 43, Hannah Eisenman-Renyard, and Deborah, 19, an anthropology student at the University of East London.

“We’ve been pre-emptively arrested under suspicion of planning a breach of the peace,” Cutler told the Guardian from the police van, before. “We went to Starbucks to get a coffee and the police followed us in.”

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Royalty know there is a common population except in the USA.  In the
USA the Ruling Class play like they don’t exist and all the common
population give up their political representation to be individuals
representative of themselves without a class and culture, with only
two political parties; but in England, the Common Population know
their class and culture and get benefits because they know their
common population class and culture and have political
representation for the common population as a
class and culture.  It is time the common
population of the USA pull their heads out of their
combined arses and quit being fooled by the
middle class routine with no political
representation.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, May 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

@RAe
“At the risk of repeating myself, to Raylan and others… the amount the Queen receives from the British taxpayers IS A FRACTION of what she gives back in the form of TOURIST DOLLARS”
Already addressed that rationale - how many people just go to the UK just to see the Queen? She’s the main attraction? Hard to believe. Even when she’s visited Canada there was no mob to go out to see her.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

It sounds to me the Queen is like those red double decker buses and a valuable asset and a service to the community, sponsored by the community as a whole,.. instead of for instance the Koch Brothers who happen to be a private business and opportunists,.... meaning they need to make a profit at any cost. The Queen does not need to make a profit, so she is really a socialist in the sense she is community property, provides a service and a benefit to the community as a whole. So I picture the queen like a buss.

Now that I think on it, it makes sense to me now, I kind of like the Queen!

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, May 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

Don’t understand what you’re getting at, Leefeller. These labels you throw around are meaningless without context.

I suppose everyone has a political slant in one direction or another depending on the issue in question. One person, Democrat, another Republican, yet another communist, socialist or any of the other “ists.” So what?

If the Queen has a political bent she keeps it a closely guarded secret. If there is one big no-no that would likely result in the entire Royal family being turfed out of their palaces it would be for any of them to even try to politically interfere in the nation’s business. Those days are long gone.

So, I repeat… I don’t know what the point is of your remark “making the Queen sound socialist…”. How did I do that?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

RAE, making the Queen sound socialist seems a stretch even for me?

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, May 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

At the risk of repeating myself, to Raylan and others… the amount the Queen receives from the British taxpayers IS A FRACTION of what she gives back in the form of TOURIST DOLLARS. Making money COSTS money - Americans, of all capitalists, should know this almost genetically!

The Queen, BTW, while a wealthy landowner of many estates including Balmoral Castle, does NOT own Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle and dozens of the other “Royal Residences.” These are owned by the state and, while used by members of the Royal family, cannot be sold or mortgaged by them.

And by “owned by the state” I mean the PEOPLE of the UK, through their government, CHOOSE to bear the burden and expense of owning these places BECAUSE THEY BRING IN FAR MORE MONEY THAN THEY COST.

Get that through your thick heads, will you?

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By Wood Gas, May 1, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I approve of showcase royalty. They don’t campaign for the job. They don’t take bribes from multinational corps to influence the government to the detriment of their people. They can greet representatives of other governments and allow the government to get on with governing.

Too bad that government is going fascist, but hey, nobody is perfect.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, May 1, 2011 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

At the least the Brits call their celebs royalty and force themselves to pay for it in taxes. The rationale that it promotes tourism doesn’t quite cut it- since it is only one attraction among many. Most democracies (like the French) consider it a joke.
The US has its celebs it treats like royalty and so are all primed to give all the glitz and glamour total star-fucking attention.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, May 1, 2011 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

All the attention this wedding is getting equals:

“Gee, Diana, we are sorry we didn’t make the effort to find your killers but we hope you will forgive us.”

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By Big B, April 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Wow Tony, hit a little to close to home did I?

Don’t worry, your sorry assed nation will collapse under the weight of its “lets try and keep up with america” policy of the last 60 years. Always attempting to remain at our heels, hoping beyond hope that the day america falls that your brand of white trash ilk will be able to step back into the role of world colonial grand poo-bah. All for Queen and country of course.

Its the one thing I could always say for the French and the Russians, when their royal families became an embarrasment to their nation, the People took control, and excecuted them. England it seems is more than willing to become another bankrupt footnote in history just so they can keep their “royal” family and their arrogant view of world entitlement.

Sure the US is warming up for our swan-song, but the sorry assed ex-british empire, you know, the nation that spawned our nation of religious maniacs, will be deader than the Dodo long before we finish singing. Don’t feel so bad, for we will be the final empire the world will ever know. Once the gas runs out we will all be commoners, eh?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Well that makes it right, marring a commoner who according to one of the guards; a very reliable source; she also happens to be a “stuck up cow”? The important thing is the Royals needed to do something and marring each other was becoming a cause for concern,  or their kids would turn out like those Appalachian blue blood progenies we keep hearing about.

Well I guess I am glad it is over,.... so now are we going to go on the honeymoon too?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

What I liked most about this Royal Wedding was that the Prince
married a Commoner, a beautiful girl from the majority population,
the common population, but in the United States too many people of
the common population class and culture are too stupid to realize
they even have a common population class and culture, therefore
there is no way to get political representation for the common
population class and culture, the majority population of commoners,
the American Populace, who are too busy dreaming about the subjective
middle class to be concerned about political reality of the common population’s
class and culture in the United States so that the common population
will be able to acquire political representation
for their class and culture.

Report this

By Charlene Dryer, April 30, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I and my family are saving to go there in 2013.  If we’d have known about the royal wedding in time, we might have arranged to be there yesterday.  Yes, royalty and the pomp will be attracting our tourist money, thank you.

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By samosamo, April 30, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

****************


““Across the Atlantic, the merry royal celebration has been
happening against a backdrop of protests and deep social unrest
being caused by massive cuts in social spending. But because
this depressing reality does not jibe with the splendor of a
proper royal wedding, British authorities have been attempting—
largely successfully—to quash public dissent. Apparently, they
even got help from Facebook, which deactivated pages being
used to mobilize protesters.”“
***************

This is what I thought the article was about, and I believe should
have the right to protest and not be quashed for having done so
or while doing it. But never can it be said that any royal family
will not do what they damn well please, and damn the people,
let them eat cake, just like the americans are doing for a change.

Report this

By tony_opmoc, April 30, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Big B,

I reckon You Guys would have been better off, if you’d left us lot in charge.

Look at the mess you have made.

You are controlled by a bunch of puritan religious greedy nutters who’s main obsession is getting incredibly personally rich whilst bombing to hell most of the planet, and leaving 25% of Americans in Poverty.

Its amazing what a mess you made of a country so incredibly rich in resources.

Your last big mistake was to import all the Nazis from Germany after WWII.

What on earth were you thinking?

They have now taken over - in case you haven’t noticed.

Go ahead and burn down Wall Street - but don’t forget to broadcast it live in High Definition - so the rest of us can watch and have a good laugh.

Tony

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, April 30, 2011 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

The British do love the Royal family and If the majority of them want all this pomp and extravagance then by all means let them have it.

A better waste of money and resources than blowing up mud huts and having their youth come home in body bags.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 30, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

I just don’t know why the kids couldn’t run off to Reno? Well the street party sounds and seems to be like a super bowl party, if ones team wins? 

I suppose this is the Brit trickle down theory in action?

Supposedly we kicked the king and queen idea out on their harry asp years ago,... but now we have celebrities and the rich and famous to drool over…..  Lets face it the unwashed masses need this kind of stuff to keep them focused and happy about important things, not worrying about nonsense like being buggered by their elected bought and paid for politicians.

Old king meet the new king!

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, April 30, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

What neanderthals such as BIG B don’t seem to understand is that the ROYAL FAMILY is as much of, or even more than a cash cow to the UK as DISNEYLAND is to the US. Sure, the pomp and circumstance surrounding “the family” comes with a price tag. But the tourist dollars they attract FAR OUTWEIGH any costs. So from a financial point of view the Royal Family and all the nonsense surrounding it is a significant net benefit to the economy.

You know, if BIG B by some fluke ever became “one of them” his tune would change SO FAST it would make lighting look slow. BIG B’s problem, apart from juvenile jealousy and a complete lack of appreciation for the value to the psychology of the nation that tradition provides, is ignorance.

Each and every member of the Royal Family WORKS HARDER under MORE PRESSURE than BIG B could even imagine. The Queen is 85 years old and still gets up each and every day to go to work whether she feels like it or not. And if you think putting on a show for 2 billion watchers such as this wedding, and pulling it off with such CLASS and PRECISION, isn’t DAMNED HARD WORK, then how about YOU try it, BIG B, before beaking off about something you know nothing about?

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By Big B, April 30, 2011 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Allow me to speak for the many who didn’t give two shits about the Brits royal showcase. Hey, it’s their money that they are spending to honor a family that claims to be “better” than all you “commoners”, so let them alone to bask in the glory of being ruled by an upper class of old world land owners that still maintain control of the british people after low these many centuries.

Wake up Brits! you are using boatloads of public money to throw a wedding for an arrogant royal family (they did not pay for their own wedding! Did they cover the cost of security and shutting down a nation during a time of recession? of course not)Your wealthy royals are riding in carriages and rolls-royces at a time your nation is cutting financial aid and support for your most modest families.

Welcome to our side of the street brits! You may just be coming to the realization that you need to burn Buckingham palace to the ground. Just like we need to burn Wall Street down to the asphalt and start again.

Report this
RAE's avatar

By RAE, April 30, 2011 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

“Apparently, they even got help from Facebook, which deactivated pages being used to mobilize protesters.”

This is the most important revelation in the whole story. Facebook is just one of dozens of popular online service providers who take it upon themselves, with full government approval it seems,  to censor the postings of users according to any old rules they make up. If they were private, open-to-members only clubs, then so be it. But it should be as illegal for public organizations to discriminate as they see fit in the area of the arts, as it is for them to deny service to those who are black or gay or women.

For example, the site, deviantART, which promotes itself as THE repository for “art” of all kinds, demonstrates its clear bias when it allows hundreds of full frontal shots of wide open, glistening vaginas, (about ten of which come even close to achieving a standard which might be called photographic art), but drops the axe swiftly upon any posting that depicts an erect penis - the photographic, artistic and/or contextual quality of the image is irrelevant. (Note: flacid penises are OK). WHAT THE HELL IS IT ABOUT AN ERECT PENIS THAT SO THREATENS THE ENTIRE NATION THAT IT MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE VIEWED?

I can understand that some people just don’t want to see one. That’s fine with me. There are LOTS of things I don’t want to see. What do I do? I DON’T LOOK! What gives anyone the right to deny what anyone else can view. The capper though, is that deviantART has, BY DEFAULT, a “switch” that users need to deliberately turn on to allow them access to the so-called “adult” material. What do these fascist-minded nitwits do? They “unclick” the limiting technology, AND THEN COMPLAIN TO THE MANAGEMENT THERE IS OFFENSIVE MATERIAL ON THE SITE. That’s bad enough, but then the deviantART censors go to work eliminating the “offensive” material.

Censorship, especially of works of art, is the hallmark of the odious, knee-jerk actions of self-appointed authorities who assume it is their right to decide what others may or may not see, hear or experience. These self-righteous, closeted, anal-retentive, fearful, myopic, hypocritical, dimwitted deviants infest this planet.

End of rant.

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By tony_opmoc, April 30, 2011 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

The UK shows the World How To PARTY.
Over 1 Million Turn Up in London.
24 Million in the UK watch it on TV, then have Street Partys or Go Down The Pub.
2 Billion (a Third of The Planet) watch it on TV.

And the Guardian writes a piece of crap that is copied everywhere about less than 100 people who wanted to protest.

Everyone I saw yesterday had a brilliant time even the few who don’t give a toss about Royalty.

Tony

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By Jim Yell, April 30, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have to admit that when young I wanted to watch Princess Ann’s wedding, but I had to work. When you are young this sort of sillness is allowed, but really some of these middle age types bloviating about the Royals as if they have anything to do with real life. If I had millions and maybe billions I could certainly be able to look grand myself.

My only objection is the over kill of the moment. Every show was getting the vapors over the Royal Wedding. The ones who couldn’t even figure out an angle to promote, all settled for wearing god-awful hats on screen. There was a young woman who was self advertising herself as wishing to marry a royal or at lest a title. What age does she think she is living in? The 19th century?

Unfortunately they are doing it in the streets and scaring the horses.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 30, 2011 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

If a friendly nation wants to waste its resources on this “Royal” wedding, it’s really none of our business.

Clearly the lady they call “Queen” was upset by the expense.  A forensic lip-reader “heard” her say:
“I wanted them to take the smaller carriage.”

(Check out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/29/royal-wedding-lip-reader_n_855782.html )

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By omygodnotagain, April 30, 2011 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

Police were right, this was a national celebration. The monarchy in England is our insurance against tyranny. The last and only time the monarchy was abolished, we got Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan, who shut pubs, banned dancing and exterminated half the Irish population. Thankfully, they restored the monarchy, threw out the Puritan Roundheads, I believe a lot them came to America, and their descendant’s now run the Republican party, and by the looks of it write articles for truthdig

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Psychobabbler's avatar

By Psychobabbler, April 30, 2011 at 12:18 am Link to this comment

I was wanting to go to my favorite country this week for a Cappuccino from a god awful franchise monster (as usual) because someone was married (which is unusual)

Hey!

Coffee is over rated, and this is far less obnoxious than everything I am constantly exposed to on a daily basis here in the United States of lets not admit that celebrity is the same as royalty (in a round about way)

Hey!

Let’s all do the hokey poke-e and so on and so forth.

Can we just put clay into pots yet?

please.


Hey!

Can anyone here please for f*7k’s sake give me an American ‘dream’ because it has the best reputation according to some a8shole somewhere for whatever reason!

ZOINK

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redteddy's avatar

By redteddy, April 29, 2011 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

I totally understand the police sweep. The Royals no stranger to bombings and
death threats and why should a national celebration of a marriage be upset by
protests and mean spirited ‘public theater’.  If there are more important things to
focus on then they should focus on them and leave the nuptial gazer’s to their
revelry.  Its a bloody wedding for christ’s sake!  They paid for their own wedding,
they are royals and entitled to the security and I don’t see anything wrong with it. 
These days anything that simply has the effect of making people feel joyous for a
moment or two in community fashion is a good thing and I won’t pooh-pooh it or
turn a sour grape. Social unrest will be the back-drop in the UK whether there are
royals or not, grand weddings, what-have-you.  The cause of the problems in the
world are not caused by ‘Kate and William’.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Like who gives a rats ass,.... we should be sending them raspberries!

I am eminently more interested in the important stuff,... like Donald Trumps escapades,... I believe he is a US citizen, but I need to be sure and so I want to see his birth certificate and how do I know Donald is not a terrorist, come on, some people will say anything, like calling Donald a bigot or even worse a racist, that can’t be true, some of his best friends are black Negro’s. 

Why in the world should the USA or its people care about the Queen, the Canadians are indifferent and I hear the Aussies cant stand her, but that may be hear say?

Hell, the USA fawns over what ever the media feeds them, right now it is Queenie and Trump…you know the real important things!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

Like who gives a rats ass,.... we should be sending them raspberries!

I am eminently more interested in the important stuff,... like Donald Trumps escapades,... I believe he is a US citizen, but I need to be sure and so I want to see his birth certificate and how do I know Donald is not a terrorist, come on, some people will say anything, like calling Donald a bigot or even worse a racist, that can’t be true, some of his best friends are black Negro’s. 

Why in the world should the USA or its people care about the Queen, the Canadians are indifferent and I hear the Aussies cant stand her, but that may be royal envy?

Hell, the USA fawns over what ever the media feeds them, right now it is Queenie and Trump…you know the real important things!

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

It definitely looked like a docile group.

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