Today marks the start of a three day celebration to mark our beloved Queens Diamond Jubilee, 60 years as our Monarch and head of state. The role of the Monarch is to undertake constitutional, (A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed) and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. In addition to these duties, The Monarch has a less formal role as ‘Head of Nation’. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service….really?? I missed that!! The monarchy have become an extravegant and extremely expensive commodity that is of no real benefit or interest other than to look good and cost a bloddy fortune! Here is a rough, and basic, guide to the real cost of our Queen and her entourage.
- The estimated total annual cost of the monarchy to taxpayers is £202.4m, around five times the official figure published by the royal household (£38.3m last year).
- The official figure excludes a number of costs, including round-the-clock security, lavish royal visits and lost revenue from the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.
- Civil List expenditure has increased by 94 per cent in real terms over the last two decades.
- £202.4m is equivalent to 9,560 nurses, 8,200 police officers and more than the total annual Ministry of Defence spending on food. The total cost is also equivalent to a number of high profile government cuts, including cuts to the Sure Start programme and other valuable charities and organisations.
- The British monarchy is 112 times as expensive as the Irish president and more than twice as expensive as the French semi-presidential system.
- Britain’s royal family is the most expensive in Europe at more than double the cost of the Dutch monarchy.
- Taxpayers are kept in the dark about the exact cost of the monarchy, due to the royal household’s exemption from the Freedom of Information Act and widespread misunderstanding about the nature of the royal family’s finances.
So with all that in mind and austerity cuts bringing the country to it’s knees, it’s no wonder there is mixed feelings towards the celebrations to mark the glorious reign of our beloved Queen for the last 60 years. I am not a royalist nor am I an anti royalist….I like to think of myself as a realist and sadly do not find the need for a monarchy up against the cost to those governed by it realistically feasable. So it would be safe to say that if I were in the same finacial position as 2 million other brits this weekend I would most definately be heading off for a well deserved break somewhere warm where there were no celebrations or similar jubilee related events and just peace and quiet to enjoy the sunshine.
But as the title of this blog says, there are more important things in life. One of those is asleep on my lap at the minute with the cutest little smile on her face and a serene look that says it all really. She has spent the last few days over at her Grandparents and, no doubt, being spoilt rotten. She was returned to us this morning leaving Grandad and Nanny with a few more grey hairs and the need for a rest. Another of lifes little treasures is asleep on the sofa, with a not so peaceful look on her face and a little bit of a snore going on but still looks beautiful despite the growl. We were going to have a wander into town to join in the Jubilee Street party in the square but decided against it, due to the lack of motivation and the slight drizzle, and stayed in to have a quiet afternoon watching cartoons, (which I am still watching depsite everyone else being asleep) and playing games. So far I have had two imaginary cookies, ten imaginary cups of coffee, a piece of imaginary cake, we’ve made endless jigsaws, been to the moon and back….twice….followed by an imaginary half hours sleep then a cuddle, a kiss and a break. Now these little things are the most important things in life and can so easily be overlooked in the stresses and strains of everyday living.
I for one am a number one offender who can lose balance in his life and lose focus quite easily, becoming engrosed to the point of obsession in work, avoiding work, virtual realities, not so virtual realities….the list is endless. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no point obsessing over something trying to improve your families life at the cost of your families security and future and more importantly the time spent watching them grow.. But am still working on incorporating that into my life. I guess this is another futuremove that really needs more focus and more attention. I mentioned in an earlier blog that I have older kids and I missed them growing up. This was due to my not being able to find a balance, or more so being really imbalanced when they were born. I still find it hard to talk to them sometimes and it’s almost as if my own children are complete strangers at times. This doesn’t feel good and is not a mistake that I would like to make again. There is nothing more important than our kids, they are the ones who will lead us into the future and live out our dreams for us by fulfilling their own. Our legacy to the world.
We owe it to them to do all we can can both personally and globally to make the world worthy of them when they become tomorrows leaders, teachers, role models etc…etc. In the immortal words of Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers) ”If we tolerate this our children will be next’