Diamond Jubilee - who's responsible for that then?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that talks of the Queen or Prince William seem to make everyone rather giddy with excitement as if they're in a trance.
In a court of law they'd be guilty.
Last year, a colleague of mine - who I thought was a relatively sane, young lecturer - was so excited at the wedding of William and Kate that she was glued to her television set watching the infantile display of outdated deference and listening to the tedious, obsequious commentary. I'm sad to say, she sat all day waving her plastic union jack and drinking as if she was a guest at the wedding. And these are the educated, informed types of our country who should know better.
They're all guilty.
And a couple of days ago, I wrote a status about next week's Queen's diamond jubilee on my facebook page. I said how we're obsessed with monarchy and all things royal. 'Ah,' wrote another intellectual friend almost immediately, 'but buntings do look pretty!'
'Pretty', my word! And she too is guilty.
It annoyed me but I can't help thinking that every now and then the spin doctors at Buckingham Palace come up with media-led marketing campaigns to popularise this symbol of aristocracy and tradition. They've sold us a family that has past its expiration date. This is after all, the same family that was once - say twenty years ago - described as the most dysfunctional family sponging off the taxpayer.
Of course, they're still sponging.
But now, after careful orchestration, they are not only on par with any Hollywood star but they act as if they are on our side, sharing our interests. You might, for instance, remember Prince Harry rapping in America or a couple of weeks ago Prince Charles doing the weather forecast on a visit to a television studio. And the media packages them as if they're doing us a favour.
Guilty. The lot of 'em.
Next week's celebration - and perpetual television and radio coverage of it - is a reminder of our obeisance, our homage to the Queen and her family. It seems that today - as British people - we will do anything to defend the existence of this institution, this family with the mass entourage of innumerable lords, earls and dukes - all safeguarding 'the public interest'.
They're all guilty.
I think there is a dangerous nationalistic malaise in our country which harbours a scant regard for meritocracy.
The fact is that we're quite happy to endorse privilege, inherited wealth and status, titles, position, class and all the trappings that go with them. Our government and politicians might give us rhetoric about equality, fairness, social mobility, access for all etc but the truth is, it's all an illusion masquerading as action or concern. The British class system is a product of ancient institutions that wield power - acting as the wheels within wheels. The monarchy, the House of Lords and the Church are main examples of this. They form the rot from which inequity manifests itself; they're at the core of the body politic. And these institutions have very little connection with the common man. In fact, they love intellectual poverty in which we're surrounded. Political inertia is all. And so unless we get rid of this rotten malignant disease we're going to remain servile within the framework of the feudal system.
Our disease is our failure to stick up for equality and fair play for all. It's our eagerness to endorse our belief in TINA - There Is No Alternative. Of course there's an alternative - it's republicanism. The monarchy - and indeed, the royal family - is an integral part of tradition and national heritage. But we could keep that part of it, if you really wanted it. Get rid of the family and all the palaces and other royal residences could become like castles and cathedrals. They could be venues we could enjoy by visiting like museums and tourist attractions. We could still have history only you'd be a lot better off financially. None of this hype. After all, the royal family are just ordinary human beings who just happened to be born in an outdated institution.
But the public reaction is baffling.
And even as I type this piece, there's another 'news' item on tv about how the country is preparing for 'the big day'. There's reference to silver jubilee, the pictures, the tradition. There's the presenter in front of one of the carriages we're likely to see next Tuesday. And there're the people - all excited, telling us how excited they all are, how excited we are for our country, our Queen. Here's media and journalism partisan to a conspiracy - to undermine the cause of republicanism
Why is it colluding with this mass campaign to popularise the monarchy? Shouldn't it - especially the BBC which relies on public funding - remain apolitical, neutral in their coverage?
Foremost, as a recently born again republican, I am angry with the monarchy and all that it stands for. But I am disappointed with the British people for their reluctance to demand and create a change in the system.
And I wish I had gained an awakening earlier in life. As a former Birmingham poet laureate, I'm a tad embarrassed at having written a poem for the Queen on her 75th birthday just over 10 years ago. Why I should have accepted such a commission, is now -looking back at it - difficult to fathom. Perhaps it was naivety or the workings of the political machinery that takes you along, without you being conscious that you're actually being taken for a ride. Not quite unlike all the people who'll be lining up the streets around Buckingham Palace or putting up buntings, having street parties and enjoying absurd eccentric stuff like Morris dancing.
Or perhaps it was hypocrisy - do as I say, not as I do.
Me? Guilty... Oh yes, very, very guilty!