Whey's gunna dee the durty wark?

For those unfamiliar with the dialect of Tyneside, this is a common question members of North East Branch hear whilst out with the literature stall, whether it be in Jarrow Shopping Centre, at the Monument in Newcastle or a local political demonstration. Its translation is “Who will do the dirty work?” - meaning what incentive will there be to do dirty work in a communistic society if there are no wages or salaries and everything is free?

Well, it depends what you understand by ‘dirty work’. As a Socialist, what I look upon as dirty work is the killing carried out by the armed forces, or those whose job it is to destroy food in the knowledge that their fellows, thousands of miles away, might be dying for the want of it, or the duties of the bailiff who is sent into the home of a single parent with five kids because they’re months behind with the rent.

Such work is not what my opponents mean by ‘durty wark’. So I can press them:

“Oh, you mean the type of work where a man will go come in from his job, exhausted covered in mud, stinking of sweat, having endured a shift filled with endless insults from people urging him to work harder?”

“Aye,” comes the reply.

“You mean like a Newcastle United football player?”

“Nah, man! They make thousands.”

When this method of Socratic reasoning is pursued it is common to find that my critic is referring to the menial, droning, poorly paid and unpleasant jobs - money seemingly the determining factor. Of course, when asked if sewer work would be classed as ‘durty wark” if the sewer worker earned £100,000 a week, just like a Premier League player, the answer is a definite ‘no’. He’d be a ‘lucky bastard’, the envy of his friends.

The detractor asks who will sweep the streets? Well, even under capitalism street-cleaning vehicles operated by drivers are now in regular use and I would envisage that in socialism people will have a lot more respect for their surroundings when they feel valued and a part of something, and will thus be less likely to litter. And if we can land a man on the moon, does it really take that much more technology to put machines into sewers, operated from the surface?

Of course, in socialism, not everything will be mechanised. Spades, axes, sledge hammers, brushes and the like will still be in use as they are today. People use them today in their spare time, in their gardens, carrying out home improvements, doing charity work. Ask them and they will invariably confess that they enjoy using them, even though they are not to be paid for their toil. Many will say ‘there’s nowt better than a good and honest bit of graft’. Neither would they consider the work they do to be ‘durty wark.’ They’re happy to do it without pay, but the thought of doing it full-time for a minimum wage is unthinkable.

Thousands come home from hours of wage-slave drudgery and pass their spare time pursuing any one of a thousand hobbies, some demanding a lot of energy, patience and expense. None would consider, if asked, that their hobbies and leisure activities were work. They find these activities gratifying, rewarding and relaxing, an escape from the pressures of the office or the harassment of the shop-floor rate-setter with his stop-watch.

It is clear, then that dirty work only becomes ‘durty’ when it is carried out for a pittance of a wage, and set against the backdrop of say an eight-hour day. If a surgeon, standing many hours at a time in an operating theatre, his hands deep inside somebody’s bowels, or his fingers up a patient’s rectum, were to receive £4.50 an hour, the job would be considered degrading, pitiable, and ‘durty work’. Add a couple of noughts to that hourly figure and this is a respectable, worthy and enviable job.

Critics might derisively suggest that if we established a moneyless system of society, with free access to all goods and services, and no coercion, that people would become languid, preferring to ‘sit aroond on their arses aall day.’ In truth very few, even today, take up such a lifestyle. Anybody who did would soon end up overweight and with deep vein thrombosis. Indeed, it is nigh on impossible to find a really lazy person, someone who will not exert themselves in any way. Those we find like this are either suffering from some severe physical disability or a psychological problem that induces in them a state of profound lethargy.

In socialism, there would be no ‘durty wark’, only work that ‘needs deeing’, useful toil, if you like. Menial jobs, in the sense of butlers and servants waiting on royalty and other sundry parasites would disappear. No one would be servile in a society in which all the good things in life are freely available.

We would also see the disappearance of countless millions of jobs that today only have a use in capitalist society, a world where buying, selling, exchange and competition, killing and coercion are the norm: bank clerks, supermarket check-out staff, accountants, police, soldiers, prison officers, munitions workers, ticket inspectors – the list is indeed a long one.

Take the above with recent suggestions by economists that within 20 years the total world demand for goods will be provided by 2% of the global work-force (and this is in a capitalist society) and it takes no bold leap of the imagination to picture socialism as a society in which each of us need only contribute to society a few hours of necessary work a week.

Who would then complain about going down a sewer for three hours on a Monday if it meant having the rest of the week free, to pursue their own interests or to travel? Would such workers feel their jobs were degrading if they knew that the money system had been abolished, that the criterion that had once served as the “dirty work” gauge was history, that a society of free access to the benefits of civilisation now existed, and that they were all cooperating freely and contributing to the common good?

‘Durty wark’ would become necessary work. Sewer work, cleaning and all those other unpleasant jobs that had hitherto attached to them negative connotations (in capitalism) would simply become work that needs to be done because society is dependent upon such work.

At present, if the sewers and streets are not cleaned, if bins are not emptied, because of strike activity by those employed in these occupations, disease can spread and the well being of millions is endangered. If brain surgeons were to go on strike a few might die. Yet one worker is highly valued, the other held in low esteem, simply because of the money they earn.

And of course, in socialism, with increased chances of personal fulfilment in various fields, many could learn new abilities in their free time. A sewer worker may well study surgery a few days a week and a surgeon may well, after a his work for the day at the hospital is over, wish to volunteer his spare time carrying bricks or digging a garden - both happy in the knowledge that their species has cooperated to create a beautiful world, and that ‘durty wark’ is now history



A hell of a lot has been said of British and American ‘values’, of ‘freedom and democracy’ and the ‘national interest’ in recent months. Tony Blair can often be found making embarrassing conference speeches – any one of which is a rival for the Sermon on the Mount – punctuated with such nauseating terms and George W Bush’s pavlovian addresses to the mind numbed, jingoistic masses serve to remind us to be ever on our guard against the sleazy cant mouthed by politicians in time of war.

The ‘national interest’ is an all time favourite for jingoists, indeed a much bandied about term in any crisis. But what the hll is it supposed to mean?

Well, for one thing, it’s not something the lay person ponders too much. After all, if the politicians think something is in our ‘interests’ then it must be just that. They know best and if we didn't trust them we wouldn't have voted for the buggers, would we? This is, in fact the kind of mind-set politicians count upon before they can come out with such dribble.That politicians continue to use terms like national interest is evidence that they premise their speeches on the assumption that the average person on the street is a bloody imbecile. Moreover, the term is so designed, and used, as to distort our perception of reality. From the cradle to the grave we are discouraged from asking significant and searching questions - the type that might embarrass our betters and superiors. We are nurtured to mistrust our own ideas, to respect the views of the clergy, teachers, parents, politicians, the royals and all manner of counsellors and advisers. Little wonder, then, that so many injustices prevail and that so many can speak in defence of the government line, unwittingly acquiescing in their own exploitation - albeit in the national interest. But this is how it is - so many are prepared to accept that the government embodies the people's “interests”.

The national interest conjures up an image that we are all one big happy family, all pulling and working together for the good of all; that we all have something to be proud of, to defend and to benefit from. It suggests an absence of strife and antagonism and that the real enemy is 'out there'. We're meant to feel good about the national interest, secure in the knowledge that the well-informed are thinking on our behalf. It harks back to the 'bulldog spirit' of the blitz years, when even the king and queen seemed half decent because they had been bombed ('Gawd bless 'em all, Guv.') – even though most Londoners didn’t realise the royal family were shooting off to Windsor Castle, 50 miles away, every night and feasting on swan.In reality, the national interest is anything the master class and their executive, the Blairs and Bushes of this world, deem it to be at any given time, or rather anything that helps perpetuate their ideology and keeps them in power; anything that can undermine the potential for political action geared towards real change.

The national interest is the paternalistic jargon of a profit-hungry elite, trying to rationalise in our eyes the lengths they will go to accrue more profits at our expense. It is used by politicians largely to secure support for a course of action they are finding difficult to promote. It is designed to block serious discussion of an issue - who'll argue against the national interest and risk being denounced as unpatriotic? – and to marginalise opponents, thus stifling deeper understanding of issues.

Thus, the national interest is a Labour government contemplating the selling of arms to Indonesia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, the mobilisation of a Western coalition of 750,000 soldiers to tackle a third-world army of farmers in the Middle East (the First Gulf War). It is a government campaign urging us to shop our neighbors to the state's protectors. It is an army of police wading into a picket line, truncheons swinging. It is the appointment of ‘drug tsars' and the teaching of the benefits of marriage to schoolchildren. The national interest is the Russia army in Chechnya, Israeli troops invading Palestinian settlements and US bombers getting ready for bombing runs over Syria and Iran.

One thing is clear. While all the above can be pushed as national interests, none are in the interests of the working class. The interests of the majority - or the working class - are diametrically opposed to the interests of the master, or capitalist, class. True, we all have basic needs and desires, whichever class we belong to, but talk about shared interests in a two class society is nonsense. The capitalist class have one real interest - and let them deny it - to maximise their investment and to accrue more profit at our expense. How many people get hurt and trod on or slaughtered in the process is of no consequence. Anything is legitimate in the pursuit of profit (just watch the film The Corporation). As Madeline Albright commented when pushed on the issue of the 500,000 Iraqi children who had died as a result of sanctions: ‘It’s a price worth paying’. Neither is much consideration given to environmental concerns. We, the working class on the other hand, own little more than our ability to labour by brain or by hand - an ability we sell to the master class. Our interest under capitalism becomes getting the best price for our labour. Indeed such is the onus on us to sell our labour power at as a high a price as possible that its consequences dominates every aspect of our lives.

Whilst the likes of Tony Blair are all for promoting Britain's 'values of freedom and democracy' around the world, in our interests, you can bet they are quiet on the subject of how this freedom and democracy came about. One thing is certain; it was not handed to us on a plate by an altruistic master class, but fought for over centuries. Workers' blood was spilled campaigning for what miserly rights we enjoy. Even trying to exercise our right to free speech, thousands of us, these past 500 years, were burnt at the stake, hung, drawn and quartered and, more, all of this was passed off as being in the national interest! - a national interest which was in reality the interest of a small elite who held political power.

It has to be remembered that the master class depend on our complacency for their continued survival. Our silence, our willingness to accept everything they say without question, is the victory they celebrate every day.
Our job should therefore be to doubt and question everything they say - if we stand for nothing we fall for anything. For we do have interests. As a globally exploited class, denied so many of the benefits of civilisation in a world of abundance, it is in our interests, our real class interests, to help put a stop to their insane system, not just for the future of humanity, but for the future of our planet. Our real class interests lie in establishing a global system of society, devoid of borders or frontiers, social classes or leaders, states governments, force or coercion, money, wages or salaries, a world in which production is freed from the artificial constraints of profit and used to its fullest potential and for the benefit of all. These interests are far removed from the national interest we are supposed to identify and moreover, they benefit all of today's classes.


Filming the man who consumed the most expensive fish supper in history

(I wrote the following a while back but did bugger up with it and decided it needed an airing, if only for the fact that people who eat £1 million fish suppers need exposing)

It’s a chilly mid afternoon, Thursday, 20th November, 2003 and I’m one half of a camera crew that has blagged its way onto the TV media platform on the runway of Teesside Airport to film President George W Bush’s visit to Tony Blair’s Sedgefield parliamentary constituency. We really look the part, with state of the art camera equipment, housed in expensive looking carriers, and permits, okayed the day before, stuck to our coats. We’re there with the teams from the BBC, ITV and Reuters.

I’ve been there since early morning and I’m busting for a pee and shivering with the cold, so much so my knees are aching. But it’s worth it – I have some great footage of Bush arriving on board Airforce One* and we may well find a buyer and I hope my numbed hands can operate the fidgety camera controls when Marine One (a helicopter) is spotted approaching the airport for Bush’s departure. Christ, I’m cold. I wish I’d put on a decent coat.

The airport staff have generally been very accommodating. Their PR man was welcoming and his colleagues led us (me and my co film maker Carol) to a waiting area, upon our arrival, where we were offered refreshments. Even the police inspector standing next to me on the platform is on real friendly terms. Not so the paranoid security staff who have twice searched our equipment and bodies in a manner which, if I had have done it to another, would have been classed as sexual assault. Every bit of our equipment is thoroughly searched and X-rayed and our clothing scanned for explosives residue with some expensive piece of gadgetry. The bastards even demanded a look under my eye patch, I shit you not – Usama bin Laden has to be somewhere! Still, not to worry; I get through security without having to bend over and endure an internal. But the episode made me think that if you’re into touching people up and want to do it without getting arrested and imprisoned as a filthy perv, then go into security or customs.

As we wait for Marine One and the accompanying Black Stallion helicopters to arrive, the police inspector informs me that he has learned that Blair and the presidential party had a meal of fish and chips at the Dun Cow pub in Sedgefield.

“Christ on a bike,” I chirp, remembering the cost to Durham Constabulary for the day’s security operation, “a million quid for a fish supper? He could have stayed on the plane and I’d have got him fish and chips for a tenner, tip included.”

The sun is going down as Bush arrives back at the airport and there is much cheering and the usual sycophantic shouts of “Mr President!” from onlookers who will proudly tell their grandchildren that the gloopiest president in history looked their way.

In front of me a dozen local cops reach for their cameras and behind and to the right of me a dozen black clad snipers, perched on the roof of the airport terminal, drop and assume the position. I zoom in on the door of Marine One and await Bush’s descent, hoping to get footage of Dubya tripping or a close-up of a bit of fish batter sticking to his chin. And then:
“Fuck!” The camera battery has died on me. “Twat!”

I hastily remove the battery and squat, fumbling about in the camera case that is steadying the base of the tripod for the spare. I look up, smiling embarrassingly at the police inspector, who suddenly looks worried – maybe he thinks I’m going for a gun – and then directly in front of me where a sniper’s silhouette suggests he has his sights on me. I make it clear to anyone watching that it is only a battery, not a grenade, before fitting it and refocusing on Bush, who is now shaking hands with his ‘guard of honour’.

Lined either side of the steps up into the plane, and at right angles to the steps, are a few dozen members of the police, the local territorial army and US airforce staff. This is a last minute change to the schedule and the friendly police inspector standing next to me is happy his boys are being involved. And it suddenly occurs to me that this is not so much a last minute guard of honour but, with the airport widely exposed to the countryside on its southern side, Bush’s short walk from his helicopter to his plane exposes him to sniper fire. These mugs are a human shield for Bush against a sniper’s bullet.

I keep the film running, getting a mixture of close-ups and long shots of the scene, and when he’s aboard and the plane begins to taxi to the runway I zoom in on the front wheel of the plane and do a slow pan out to reveal the blue and white presidential plane in all its magnificent glory as it rolls along and film it until it is so far in the distance it is indistinguishable from a distant sparrow.

I’ve got some great footage – an assortment of shots and some clever stuff too and feel chuffed to bits. We pack our gear away and hurriedly head for the airport’s toilets and then a coffee and chat about the day’s shoot.

Aboard Airforce One and heading back to Washington DC, President Bush was given some distressing news. A fire at the White House earlier that day had destroyed the President’s personal library. Both of his books were lost in a blaze thought to be caused by an electrical fault. Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer later said at a press conference the president was devastated, as he had not finished colouring the second one.

*Airforce One is actually two planes - identical planes – the logic being presumably that an attacker would target the first, which contains mostly entourage - press, secret service agents and sundry Republican arsewhipes.

Some 500 Secret service agents had been in the country for weeks, posing as American tourists, and could been found sitting alone in pubs and cafe’s, looking somewhat conspicuous with their square jaws, crew cuts, long coats and well-thumbed copies of “Larn Yerself Geordie” (this being the nearest White House researchers could find to a ready translator for the North East accent.)


Off With their Heads?

It must have been not long after 10 am, Saturday, September 6th, 1997, that I left my comrade’s house – he lived near Stockwell tube station in South London and I’d been staying there overnight – and headed down Clapham Road, which leads on to Clapham High Street and to the head office of The Socialist Party.

Anyone who has seen the film 28 Days Later will know what a lifeless London looks like. From my comrade’s home to the SPGB Head Office is a half hour’s walk, yet during that journey I spied perhaps only two other humans and not one car passed me on that generally congested 4 lane road.

London had not been evacuated; nor had some neutron bomb disintegrated every piece of organic matter for miles around and neither had some super-bug wiped out the South London population overnight. No. Today, in fact, was the funeral of ‘Princess’ Diana, the “Queen of Hearts” and the country was in mourning. Londoners were either watching the event on TV or lining the route of the funeral procession.

Every shop along my route was closed. Everywhere were hung posters of Diana, in shop windows and in the front windows of a thousand homes. The only door open for business at that sacred hour was the outer door at The Socialist Party’s head office -announcing to the world, that the revolution was not on hold for the funeral of a parasite – I had opened it and I entered at perhaps the same time Diana was entering Westminster Abbey.

There was no doubt in my mind how important an event this was to the brain-numbed masses. I had seen the wailing crowds on my comrade’s TV as Diana’s funeral procession left Kensington Palace and I had travelled down to London the day before aboard a National Express coach (a mobile violation of human rights) full of ageing royalists whose flowers packed the coach’s hold and saw the thronging crowds, some of whom had been there for days to secure a decent vantage point, as the coach (the 525 service from Newcastle) neared Victoria station.

Yet despite all of the grief, the Windsor ascendancy was not secured that day. Indeed, the popularity of the royals had plummeted to an all time low in the week after Diana’s death – she wasn’t one of them, she was “one of us”, was the popular misconception – and if Tony Blair had have stood up in the House of Commons that week and demanded a republic the country would have handed him one on a plate.

I had been watching the film Reds – based on John Reed’s book 10 Days that Shook the World – on BBC 2 when Diana’s car crash was announced. It was late at night and the film was interrupted with a news flash and I just knew she was dead and her death was indeed confirmed an hour later. “They’ve got her,” I told my wife as I woke her up in the early hours, to tell her of the hit. I still have the video recording of the film with that special announcement of the Paris tragedy.

I wasted no time in writing an obituary the next day – not the sycophantic, fawning variety, that would increase the weight of many a national newspaper by a few kilograms in the coming days – but the ‘tell it like it us’ kind, about how she courted the media when it was to her advantage and avoided them like the plague when it was not.

She was popular for many reasons. She had poured her heart out in a TV interview in which she imparted she had contemplated suicide, bemoaned her relationship with Charles and spilled the beans on the three-way marriage – the other partner to this ‘manage a trios’ being Camilla Park Your Balls – and was seen as a friend of the sick, filmed comforting cancer and Aids sufferers and clearing land mines in less fortunate countries. Moreover, she was quite bonny and coy and had a motherly grace about her.

But she was still a bloody parasite and for all her ‘good work’ was not noted for throwing open the gates of Kensington Palace to the homeless, or for offering pensioners a lift home from Netto with their weekly groceries in her Rolls Royce or for her blood donations.

And as for the obituary I sent to six regional newspapers, none published it; none dared publish it! The press were raking it in, so to speak, and couldn’t print enough pull-outs about their fairy tale princess, so there was no way they were going to print some anti-Di piece from a gobshite on South Tyneside. The TV networks were just as obsessive with their coverage, constantly showing us the spreading acres of flora laid at the gates of Kensington Palace by sobbing hoards of admirers, ever ready to tell the camera crews how their lives would never be the same again and what a miserable twat the Queen was for not flying the flag at half-mast above Buck House and what Tampax head needed was a good stiff kick in the jacobs.

It took the House of Windsor many years to recover from the popularity nose dive they had suffered after Diana died. And nothing they could do could raise their pre-Diana public profile. The Queen seemed to be having one “annus horribilis*” after another, and nothing her degenerate offspring did helped – they seemed hell-bent on living life as if it was one fun-filled holiday.

Husband Phil the Greek continued to make the racist royal gaffes* that have made him the toast of the BNP and the KKK and her sons looked destined to make prats of themselves at every opportunity, as if life was one long Monty Python sketch.

Even the Queen’s grandchildren kept on dragging the house of Windsor into the mud. On one occasion, back in July of 2001, Prince William, on one of his strenuous overseas visits, was pointed out a protected species of ibis flying over head. Just like gramps, his inbred reaction was to reach for a gun and shoot the poor creature dead, no questions asked, thereby showing that both stupidity and bloodthirsty sadism runs in the family, every bit as much as noses. For further details of Philip's bloody roll of dishonour go to the bottom of this post.

It was going to take something big to warm the multitudes to the occupants of Buck House. This happened on March 30th 2002, when the Queen Mum, who a year previous had received her 100th birthday telegram off her daughter, decided what the royal family needed right now was the sympathy vote, and promptly died – just six weeks after the funeral of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and which had attracted about as much attention as a USAF bomb-laden sortie over Iraq.

Anarchists jubilantly observed how you can wait for decades for one of the royals to die and then two pop their clogs at once and then went out and got pissed.

The public outpouring of affection in the days after the Queen Mum’s death was both amazing and nauseating. Again the press wasted no time in running off no end of obituaries and souvenir pull-outs, and the TV ran documentary after documentary about her wondrous like, from her humble beginnings in a stately home in Scotland to her wartime heroism (travelling to London to see the blitz victims each day, before making the 50 mile dash back to Windsor for he favourite war-time meal of swan and chips) and to her position as the nation’s favourite 101 year old gin-totting scrote. The queues of people waiting to file past her coffin as it lay in state for a week was estimated – if laid out in one line – to stretch to Neptune and back. Kleenex made another killing.

I again wrote a royal obituary and this time had it had it published! Several times - one paper, with a national circulation, even phoning up asking if they could also use it. The Queen mum may have been popular, but her age meant that she could not claim as her epitaph – as Diana had done – “only the good die young.” This coffin dodger had lived it up for over a century, so was fair game.

For over a year previous to the Queen Mum’s 100th birthday we had heard non stop the news of the preparations of this momentous occasion. Newspapers have given over thousands of column inches to this most important of national events, even stimulating debate as to whether the occasion be afforded the status of a bank holiday. On Wednesday, 19th July 2000, there was a national tribute to the Queen Mother, with military parades and presentations and the dropping of a million rose petals over the crowds who turned out in their tens of thousands and similar events were planned for the coming weeks.

As a socialists and hater of privilege, I was certain I was not alone in believing that not one penny should have beeen spent celebrating the 100 years of luxury that this ageing parasite had enjoyed; not that I believed it should have be put to better use. No doubt it could, but I’m not into the business of juggling the nation’s accounts.

For one thing, the Queen Mother was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, into the aristocracy and into a family which, at her birth owned three luxurious homes at a time when 99% of this country lived in various degrees of poverty. And 100 years later, she was still enjoying the good life, jumping hospital queues, waited on hand and foot by maids and servants and chauffeurs, whilst the average pensioner, after decades of struggling to survive, living in the shadow of debt, having been insulted by successive Labour and Tory governments, was given a weekly rise that year that could not, quite honestly, have bought a packet of chips.
Undoubtedly, the cost of keeping this wizen-faced has-been alive and in the manner to which her ilk have grown accustomed – in the finest accommodation, the best food, the most expensive clothes and jewellery – for 100 years, was perhaps equivalent to the annual income of many a third world country.

It is estimated the Queen Mum was ‘worth’ £60 million at her death, yet still managed to sponge of her relatives and receive £650,000 from the civil list, while being £4 million overdrawn. The crown that lay on top of her coffin was encrusted with 2,500 diamonds, any one of which could have given the average pensioner years of relative luxury.

The contribution made to society by the Queen Mother and her greedy and incestuous clan was, in my opinion, quite simply zilch. Each one is capable of happily consuming in one day more resources and commodities than any 100 members of the working class, perhaps 1000 times as much as the inhabitants of a small African village. Yet we are meant to kowtow to this bunch of indifferent, self-seeking brain-dead leeches, to prostrate ourselves like imbeciles in front of them?

As I wrote in my obituary on the Queen Mum: “It is time we, the working class, celebrated something of far more importance – ourselves and the latent strength we have and can utilise to help bring about a world in which we can all enjoy the nice things that civilisation ought to bring. It seems we have been led for so long by idiots, convinced we should look up to our ‘betters’ and to celebrate their shenanigans, brainwashed into thinking the same by the media, that we have forgotten our own collective strength. The Queen Mother’s 100th birthday deserves no more our sanction than the bombing of Iraq or the reintroduction of the slave trade. If the injustices that plague our world and perpetrated in the name of profit were to receive one-tenth as much coverage as this 100th birthday do, then our case would have been well publicised and our ranks undoubtedly swollen.”

But all said the Queen Mum had made the ultimate sacrifice – she died and saved her family. Or so many thought, for without the guiding hand of the Queen mother, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren just did what they bloody liked.

A few months ago, Diana’s cute little son Harry, now an upper class, hedonistic, beer swilling, nymphomaniac, prone to outbursts of rage - once slamming a camera into the face of a member of the paparazzi – thought it would a good giggle if he turned up for a fancy dress party dressed a World War 2 German soldier. Of course, Harry saw nothing wrong with the stunt. He was simply following a long royal Nazi tradition. The Nazi uniform is just one of the traditional costumes of royalty.

It is well known that the Queen Mum was the guardian of the secret vaults at Windsor castle, which house war time records of the dealings the House of Windsor had with the Third Reich. Sending a copy of Mein Kampf to a friend in the pre-war years, she commented: “Even a skip through gives a good idea of his obvious sincerity.” Harry’s Grandpa, Prince Phillip, had a brother in law in the SS, and his (Phil’s) uncle Prince Christopher of Hesse was in the Gestapo

In Germany, in 1997, Phil welcomed German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at a trade fair as “Reichskanzler” – the last German leader who used the title was Adolf Hitler. And, Edward VIII, Harry's great-great uncle, is accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. After giving up the throne to marry divorced American Wallace Simpson in 1937, the couple visited Germany and met Hitler, voicing admiration for his policies. He once remarked while on a visit to the USA: "It would be a tragic thing for the world if Hitler were overthrown."

With the "Prince Harry the Nazi" story still making the news weeks after the event, what was noticeably absent from the debate about whether Harry was right, wrong or silly to wear a Nazi uniform, was that pertaining to the very existence of the Royal Family. It seemed to be taken for granted that we have one, we need one, they have always been there etc., and all that needs to be discussed is how the bastards should behave in public. No mention at all that the sole purpose of this parasitical and unscrupulous family is to serve as a repository for ‘history’ and ‘tradition’, which of course provides the glaring injustices of capitalism with some form of moral authority. What pissed people off was that Harry had dressed as a Nazi. If he had have come as a Coco the Clown the press would have applauded his sense of humour and written reams on what a fun-loving chappy he was and how Diana would have adored him..

Lately, and once again, we are subjected to endless reams of newspaper commentary and TV debate about the legality of Tampax head’s coming marriage to Park Your Balls. This morning’s Daily Mirror (9th March, 2005) ran a front page photo of a new first class postage stamp which will be produced to mark the occasion on April 8th and protested at the commemorative stamps (there are actually two). Why, the Mirror queried, if this is such a low key affair is the occasion being marked with commemorative stamps? Again, no mention that the Queen’s profile has graced every British stamp since 1952!!

Debate has been ongoing for weeks as to whether they should marry, where they should marry, whether the Queen should attend the wedding or only the piss up afterwards and whether, in marrying such a commoner, Charles would forfeit his right to the crown. And amidst all this intense debate there has been lost one far more important question: who gives a shite? Just why should it concern any member of the working class if these sad old spongers marry or not? What the hell are the mass media thinking of, imagining that the majority of people will really take an interest in this farce?

Who the hell gives a toss for Charles? Anyone out there elect him Prince? He doesn’t give a bugger for any of us yet he thinks he can lecture us on every aspect of life: how to identify architectural ‘carbuncles’ – he should know, he’s marrying one – and how to get the best out of plants by talking to them. Incidentally, I’d like to see him talk to the plants in my garden – they’ll grow for no bugger, royalty or not – far too many cats have pissed on that plot of soil.
But for the future king of England to lecture us on family life, whilst phoning his lover on the phone and telling her he wants to be reincarnated as her tampax, is just taking the piss and perhaps suggests it is high time he met the fate of a previous king Charles. And…hold on a second…just what made him think that a woman that age still used a tampax? Christ, a colostomy bag, yeah - a tampax? Fuck off.

So there you are – my slant on royalty. You can love them or you can hate them, but how much, either way, determines your continuing acquiescence in your own exploitation. You may well think that the country would fair better without royalty, but at the end of the day in a republic we would be exposed to the same inequalities of the present system and our class position would change not one iota. So, are we going to allow ourselves to be brow beaten with royal sentimentality by the media again? Isn’t it time we snapped out of our hypnotic vulnerability to such garbage and threw the whole sorry spectacle back in our masters’ faces? More! Let’s just topple their god-damned system and refashion the world in our own interests!!

* annus horribilus: does not actually refer to the Queen having a horrible arse, but was actually her description, during one Christmas message to the people, of theyear that was coming to an end: “a horrible year”, which sounds more impressive in Latin, as if her “horrible year” was more horrid than ours.
*Phil the Murderer: By 1993 deranged Phil’, who has an arsenal of over 56 shooting rifles, had personally killed for the pleasure of murdering 15,000 pheasants, 15,000 assorted other birds, 2 crocodiles, 60 wild boar (killing 50 in one day), hundreds of stags, and a tiger.
Not bad for the president of the World Wildlife Fund.
(source, Mail on Sunday,7.2.93)
* Phil the Racist:In China in 1986, he described Beijing as "ghastly" and told British students: "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."

And meeting a Briton on a 1993 visit to Hungary he joked "you can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly" - in what was seen as an unflattering allusion to the national cuisine.

He was savaged by the media when he quipped during a visit to an Edinburgh electronics company that an unsophisticated fusebox looked as if it had been "put in by an Indian".

In Egypt he quipped "You Egyptians breed too much."


First 10 taken from Time Out, November 1998

King George III once walked over to an oak tree, shook hands with one of its branches and chatted to it for several minutes. The King thought he was talking to the King of Prussia.

Princess Alexandria of Bavaria believed she swallowed a grand piano as a child and kept up this belief until she dies.

King Ludwig II of Bavaria decreed that day was night and night was day and had a moon painted on his bedroom ceiling.

Prince Otto - Ludwig II's youngest brother decided that the only way to keep his sanity while Ludwig reigned was to shoot a peasant a day. He shot peasants working in his garden.

Catherine The Great of Russia imprisoned her hairdresser for three years to stop him spreading the news that she had dandruff.

Queen Juana of Spain went mad when her husband Philip died. She refused to let him be buried and had his coffin accompany her wherever she travelled.

King Fedinand II of Sicily would only allow his face to be used on stamps if franking marks were never placed on his image.

Prince Philip of Calabria was mad about gloves - and wore up to 16 pairs at once.

King Charles VI of France was convinced he was made of glass and refused to travel by coach in case the vibrations caused him to shatter into a thousand pieces.

King Henry Christophe of Northern Haiti forced his guards to prove their loyalty by marching off a 200ft cliff. Those who refused were executed.

Prince Charles of Wales talked to plants and professed a desire to be reincarnated as a sanitary product. Despite being as thick as pig-shit he felt he could tell other people how to educate their children, what types of houses they should live and work in and what foods they should eat. He seemed confused that his proclamations were met with the near-universal derision.

Prince Philip of Edinburgh felt that the best way to advertise his commitment to world wide environmental issues was to be seen as often as possible shooting at domestic wildlife. After Scottish school-children were massacred by a crazed gun-men, Philip proffered the view that a cricket bat was as dangerous as a gun.