Saturday, 10 March 2012

Will someone do a Sex Pistols for the Diamond Jubilee?



An extra day off's always welcome, but I'm already getting sick and tired of hearing about the Jubilee. It's almost as bad as the bloody Olympics.

I was inspired to see that Republic - a campaign group advocating for the abolition of the monarchy - have called a national demonstration on June 3rd to mark the occasion.

With a 'Smash EDO' demonstration against illegal arms dealers in Brighton taking place the next day, it'll be a busy, but fun, weekend.

I do hope no-one (except of course members of the Royal family and arms manufacturers and traders) are significantly inconvenienced by either demonstration - I'll certainly be asking police here in Brighton to take a very low-profile approach to the Smash EDO demo in the hope that trouble (which usually flares up between a small minority of protesters and the police) won't happen. It stands to reason, really, that if one 'side' doesn't turn up, you can hardly have a fight - and it's always been the case that a tiny minority of protesters who turn up at Brighton peace protests are, ironically, apparently more interested in a ruck with the coppers than much else.

That said, there's bound to be a few complaints about disruption - there always are: but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, as they say, and, in both cases, the whole point is to make a public noise and be noticed.

Of course in both cases if there's any 'trouble' the protesters will be blamed by the police and the media, because they always are, regardless of the facts.

Anyway, back to the Jubilee. The badges are already doing the rounds - campaign group Coalition of Resistance wins the prize for coming up with my fave design so far with their 'Stuff the Jubilee - Stop the cuts' motif, but perhaps what we need most this June, if any of these campaigns are to make any lasting difference, is a band that can emulate the Sex Pistols, who managed, 35 years ago, to capture the public mood, and spoil a monarchists' party or two, with their classic version of 'God save the Queen'.

Of course, it's quite reasonable to ask: 'What difference did they make?' Well, we've still got the monarchy, but the British public was introduced to a whole new type of freedom to disrespect authority, and we haven't really looked back.

Oh, there's also the small matter of the influence the band, and the song, had on the world of music, and popular culture more generally.

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