"The jubilee’s pomp is a provocation to anyone who's aware we're in a cost of living crisis"
Imagine what you could do with £28 million of government money?
First you could help out the 2.4 million adults who, according to a new report, can't afford to eat everyday. Then there's the 5.6 million on Universal Credit. And it might be worth thinking about how to support the 1.3 million people who could fall into absolute poverty next year, including half-a-million kids.
But no, instead of helping ease the pain of the cost of living crisis, Boris and his buddies are hosting one of their legendary parties - at least this time it's legal and we're all invited. The excuse? Not a leaving do, this time, but 70 years of her royalness, Queen Elizabeth II, lording it over us.
The Platinum Jubilee will run from Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5. That £28 million is helping fund a whopping 70,000 lunches, 1,458 public events, 2,000 street parties and a massive concert inside Buckingham Palace. Fancy.
But when the government says they want us to “come together" to celebrate this "historic milestone”, it seems they are ignoring the growing republican sentiment among young Brits. A recent poll found that the 41% of 18-24 year olds would prefer an elected head of state, and only 31% thought the monarchy should continue.
So here are a few alternative events, for those of you who won't be joining in the flag-waving to celebrate a posh granny in a silly hat.
Friday, June 3 - Scrap the Monarchy Street Party
While thousands of Brits flock to the capital, hoping to catch a glimpse of Harry and Meghan, over in east London the Anti-Jubilee, Scrap the Monarchy party will be getting started. The organisers, Cut Through Collective, are promising music, poetry and comedy that "will riff on the ways the British monarchy impedes justice". There will also be an open mic session offering attendees the chance to air their grievances against the monarchy, the Tories and the toxic sludge that is coronation chicken.
“The monarchy will forever be associated with a racist colonial empire, and no amount of pageantry can change that," Cut-Through Collective said. "The jubilee’s obnoxious pomp is a provocation to anyone who's aware we're in a global cost of living crisis."
Performers at the party are still TBC, but can they give us any idea of who to expect?
“Not Cliff Richard as he was unfortunately already booked,” they said. Phew.
Saturday, June 4 - Fuck the Jubilee Festival
Venture further south to Bristol for the Saturday, where a three-day F**k The Jubilee punk festival will be reaching its climax. Disorder, Money and Cocaine will all feature heavily (the names of the bands, that is) at these anti-monarchist shindigs that were born out of anger around the cost of living crisis.
#Easton punx multi-venue #FuckTheJubilee weekender made it to MSM courtesy of @TristanCorkPost - but editors 4got the event image - here it is again!😂
Updated article: ‘Stuff The Jubilee’ sentiment grows as Royal privilege laid bare
👉 https://t.co/I3YgFrvUVY#AbolishTheMonarchy pic.twitter.com/GsGuiotQ0L
— Alternative Bristol 🌍 (@Alt_Bristol_) May 18, 2022
Tom Quarrelle, owner of one of the pubs, said: “I find the whole thing outdated and ridiculous at this point, while we’re looking at services crumbling, food shortages, food banks, and there’s a massive big party for empire. The amount of taxpayer’s money they’ve spent protecting Prince Andrew is just crazy”.
Other events for anti-monarchists on Saturday include a Stuff the Jubilee picnic in Norwich, which organisers said will be “an antidote to the vomit-inducing Jubilee”.
“Bring food, fancy dress (and a guillotine)," they joked on the invite. The theme? “Revolutionary”.
Sunday, June 5 - 'Super Wealthy Nanna' Picnic
The official celebrations will draw to a close back in London with a £15 million pageant. This is basically a souped-up parade with puppet corgis, James Bond cars and Ed Sheerhan, obvs.
Or, if you don't fancy that, you could head to Wales for a picnic in Cardiff's Bute Park where partygoers will be toasting anything that isn't Jubilee.
“The idea is to have a positive community event because we want to,” organiser Phoebe said, “not because a super wealthy nanna in an overly expensive hat has told us to hang out with our neighbours.
“I think we should abolish the monarchy, and that it’s not as radical an idea as some may think. People like tradition but there are plenty of things which we did in the middle ages which we wouldn’t do now.”
Sounds like the perfect end to a weekend of anti-monarchy revelry. BYOE-verything (though maybe leave the guillotine at home.)
And for those of you who feel like lurking under the duvet cover until the whole thing is over, why not donate the money you would have spent staying late in the pub to a charity like the Trussell Trust, that supports food banks across the UK.
Personally, I certainly won't be celebrating the Queen's Jubilee as I'll be far too busy trying to figure out how the feck I'm going to pay my monthly energy bills which have tripled in price. I may change my mind though if the Queen fancies lending me some money.
— Paul (@Aw_what) May 23, 2022
Featured image: Cut-Through Collective.