by Don Franks

“I would like to pay tribute to Prince Philip following his decision to retire from public service. He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty. His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations. We thank Prince Philip for his service to the country and wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.”

Not, I think, how most Redline followers would sign off the “working” life of the racist old parasite.

Still, British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s entitled to his opinion. All he has to do now is wear the consequences of his press statement. Already, right wing commentators are saying Corbyn’s words should be taken with a grain of salt. Its not what the guy really thinks. And I reckon its a very safe bet die hard Labour supporters, for different reasons, will be saying exactly the same. That, or Labour supporters will argue that it doesn’t really matter, alongside health care and education issues, matters of the royal family are unimportant.

I believe the contrary; it’s probably close to what Corbyn really believes, and yes, it does matter. 

To argue that the Labour leader does not believe his own statement is simply to say the man is a lying opportunist, a judgement I would hesitate to visit on any would be representative of the people. More than that, its barely a week since Corbyn refused to oppose massive new public spending on the Royal palace. Ok, he didn’t vote for the motion, just kept his mouth tight shut and abstained.

As to whether the little tribute matters politically, I believe it does a lot. In anything approaching a realistic socialist viewpoint it’s nonsense to talk of “our country”. Such nationalist terms are the watchword of the capitalists and those temporarily duped by them. In terms of solid political interests, there can only be “our class”.

The duke did indeed render useful service to his class, but never for one second to ours.

Incredibly, after years of gluttonous vacuity and pretence, the British royal family is still able to totter along as a handy bosses’ symbol of one united country. That will not last forever. Think what you will about the queen, she has somehow retained some appearance of dignity, alone among her deeply unattractive living brood. When the queen goes, it will make a small but handy rent in the prestige of the royal family, which will be a good thing for our side. If Jeremy Corbyn is still around then, will he welcome that small progress? 


  1. Phil D says:

    Back when Corbyn was running for leader I viewed him as a genuine left social democrat and just thought he was in the wrong party. But having been here for a fortnight I must say I find him rather ridiculous. He says he’s a republican but then he observes all the ‘her majesty’s loyal opposition’ dross, sups with ‘her majesty’ and so on. His ‘republicanism’ turns out to be a private/personal thing, rather like the Christianity of the leader of the Liberal Democrats. It is, apparently, not a political republicanism, a republicanism of principle that has political consequences in terms of what you say and what you do.

    Old Leon Trotsky wrote scathingly of such British Labour and trade union leaders back in the 1930s, but today the people who profess to follow Trotsksy are among Corbyn’s biggest cheerleaders.

    The monarchy issue is an interesting one because, as Don says, it tells you quite a lot about people and their *real* political beliefs. Someone who can’t even bring him- or herself to publicly criticise an old reactionary waster like Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, and not attend banquets with Betty Battenberg, are not to be taken seriously when it comes to challenging the rule of capital.

    The ‘socialists’ of the British Labour Party have always been faintly ridiculous creatures – wanting free health and education for British workers while being in favour of British imperialism screwing over as much of the rest of the world as possible – but now, in the 21st century, they are simply totally ridiculous.


  2. doug1943 says:

    Indeed. Corbyn should come out forthrightly for abolishing the monarchy, along with the army and police, and replacing the latter with a revolutionary workers’ militia. He should openly call for the total appropriation of the capitalist class, with all private enterprise nationalized under workers’ control. He should advocate a 100% tax on all income over £40,000 a year, and the expropriation of all privately-owned assets valued at more than £100,000.

    This would have a huge impact on the vote Labour will get in a few weeks.

    • Don Franks (@jilldon2) says:

      As it is Doug, Labour is all set to take a hiding from the electorate despite – or because? of trying to be inoffensive to capital. Whatever vote Labour scratches up this election will be a trivial footnote of history. The party has long and forever outlived any use it might have ever been to the working class