I hereby swear allegiance…

This is not a game. Do not do it, do not, DO NOT do it.

It’s tricky stuff, allegiance. There are people who have allies, people who have friends and people who have comrades. Allegiance is the very worst of these. That bastard child of identity politics has brought “allyship” into politics where we used to have solidarity. What is the difference? It is everything. It is everything to do with scrapping logic, reason, and democracy and depending on personal loyalties.

Emotional ties made concrete and enforceable are responsible for most of the neurotic nastiness we’ve seen in politics in recent years. Loyalties that are supposed to stand, right or wrong, fill some heads instead of the good old socialist solidarity which asks you to stand with someone because you are fighting for common values, for things you agree that everyone needs.

Do not swear allegiance, ever, to anyone. You may end up fighting and dying for their sins and my goodness, the Windsor family have a closet or two full of those.

Bending the knee

Every so often, you get to vote for an MP, a woman or man who’s supposed to represent you and your fellow citizens in parliament. Do you feel as though they represent you? Do you, like so many people, feel that whoever we elect, something seems to happen to them when they go off to Westminster?

It does – what happens is, they submit to the rule that before taking up their role, they must bend the knee and swear allegiance to another human, not one of your fellow constituents, but a divine-birthright-sovereign, who makes a subject out of everyone who should be a citizen. By bending the knee, our MPs acknowledge that human as somehow better than them, somehow in charge. They no longer represent you. They represent The Establishment.

And now, we’re landed with a king. As one of my feminist sisters said recently, that is A LOT worse than having a queen. This Charles is a white, male billionaire – and the relationship white, male billionaires have with power is precisely the curse we most need to shake off, if we are to rescue our battered, beleaguered country.

It’s not harmless – not even if you have one of the rare few MPs who crossed their fingers whilst taking the oath (does that really work?). As Ben Sellers wrote this weekend, it was the “royal prerogative” that allowed Boris Johnson to close parliament when he was on the ropes over his Brexit non-plan, and as Clive Lewis MP (did he cross his fingers?) pointed out, Charles Windsor is a billionaire for one simple reason – the royals dodge just about every tax, whilst charging us a fortune for every step they take in life.

Crossing your fingers

Does it work? Yes, it works. This is what it does: if an MP submits and swears allegiance sincerely, they stop working for you and work for the Establishment. If they cross their fingers, or have some inner subversive mantra running in their heads to nullify the oath, they have accepted that being an MP will be all about lying and cheating, about ways of forgiving yourself for saying what you don’t mean. They get you, coming or going. The oath of royal allegiance guarantees we have a House of Liars.

Rise like lions

It’s possible that hardly anyone in this country wants a new king. There was extensive support for the respectable, practical idea “make Elizabeth the last”. That’s why the Establishment rushed through those royal proclamations, hustling councillors and mayors out into town squares to read the weasel words before anyone had time to remember just how low the latest generation of “royalty” had sunk.

There’s always a few

A recent poll found that around 15% of those asked were willing to consider allegiance to the new king. If that stands true across the country, well it’s 15% too many but you know, it’s a very small percentage. We have most definitely been railroaded. The fact that we let that happen is a wake-up call in itself. A clear signal that our country is seriously depressed and oppressed, and needs to give itself a good shake. The idea that we have a king is just one of the chains we need to shake off.

Jeremy Corbyn reads ‘Rise like lions’

Let’s get on with it. There are far more people out there who support the nurses, the railway workers, the teachers and all those others who’ve been out on the streets in recent months, calling for (as a PCS speaker summed it up recently) fair pay, pension justice and job security. Those are the things we all want and need. Please give a Celtic response to calls for royal allegiance, and let’s ramp up the solidarity instead. We know what we need, and it isn’t a king. Let’s get out there together and fight for the things we all need.

Happy Golden Hat Day

I swear allegiance to no one, but I do offer my solidarity to all those fighting for fair pay, for our NHS, for decent houses and a clean environment – for all the things we all actually need. Please hang onto your freedom, and do the same. Have a good Golden Hat Day, and stay away from the Met. They have explicitly promised to give dissenters a hard time, whether they protest or not.


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