Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The royal wedding: a joyful day... that was a rebuke to the sour-faced whiners of the left
From Tea at Trianon
Not for the first time, the Left has been caught flat-footed by the people whose cause it claims to represent, but whom it actually holds in such contempt.

For a day, Britain wore a huge smile on its face.

For one glorious, uplifting, joyful day it was as if the everyday world had been faded out from the video screen and another picture altogether had taken its place.

Gone were the things that grind us down, terrify us, bore us rigid or turn us off altogether.

The economic crisis, war, voting reform, venal politicians and their idiotic name-calling, the endless litany of official incompetence, the vulgarity and ugliness of TV voyeurism and binge-drinking, the habitual cynicism and grey-faced indifference of the public in the face of all this: it all vanished from view.

For the reported million or so who turned out to line the streets, and the many millions more gulping with emotion over their TV screens, were not some ideological fantasy of social engineering but the real people of Britain.

And they want what the British people have always wanted: a monarchy that reflects a collective image of themselves and of their country that they can admire.

That includes characteristics they yearn for (although maybe cannot always achieve): a happy family life, stoicism in the face of adversity, courage and selflessness, duty and sobriety, and the sense of sharing in a worthy collective national project. Only the monarchy, standing as it does above and beyond politics, can sustain this benign projection of national aspiration.
The same monarchy that thought it knew better than our holy mother the church and literally forced England and Wales to turn Protestant but here Melanie Phillips’ heart is in the right place.
In a society now mired in the mediocre and the philistine, this was a spectacle of soaring beauty and splendour to lift even unknowing hearts.

Britain has the history and tradition to stage such a pageant, to the wonderment and admiration of the rest of the world.

So it was that people suddenly experienced an almost-forgotten emotion: being proud to be British.

Not the synthetic Britishness of serial banalities which Labour politicians periodically try to create. This was the real thing, explicitly identified with Britain’s particular history, tradition and religion.

Last Friday, people in this apparently godless nation were held spellbound by a wedding ceremony which was explicitly not just religious but Christian.
Even the dithering liberal (in American terms mainline) Church of England got its act together and put on a good service (as it often has done for about 100 years), showing the world what Catholicism in English can look and sound like. (It could well have been done by the Continuum, Anglican Use Roman Catholics or Anglican-use Western Rite Orthodox. An American viewer who didn’t know better can be forgiven for assuming this has been merry old England’s religion for 450 years, like a Much Younger Fogey taking such things at face value, being told ‘this is a Catholic church’. The Catholic Church doesn’t change doctrine: add, but not change. That said I defend the C of E’s and all faiths’ rights to govern themselves and to their property.)

Because at heart that’s what people want.

I believe in individual liberty but at the same time believe we’re naturally tribal/ethnic. The British want a king and Americans obviously still love the mother country (some say they were more enthused about the wedding than the British). And that’s good.

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