Cool Observation of Mass Hysteria 358

When the so-called “Leader of the opposition” opposes protest against a new unelected head of state, out of respect for the previous unelected head of state, you know you live under totalitarianism.

Except almost all dictatorships do at least have the form of an election. Indeed, some of the worst dictators in modern history have been genuinely elected, an unfortunate fact we generally prefer to elide.

Over a week of mob hysteria in the UK helps us to understand how.

The psychological phenomenon of societal emotional spasm is fairly well studied but still not necessarily fully explained. How we get to a stage where, in 2022, newspapers are seriously promoting as miraculous clouds that “look like the Queen”, double rainbows or meteors, is a difficult question.

What is not in the doubt is the tendency of deluded mobs to turn on those who do not join in – and the capacity of the unscrupulous to exploit that power.

Attempts to intimidate people out of protesting against the monarchy appear broadly to have succeeded. We saw some hideous attacks on free speech over the last week, including people arrested for holding up placards, for peacefully expressing vocal dissent, or even for carrying eggs or blank pieces of paper.

A number of figures have stood up to come out arguing for freedom of speech – Andrew Marr, Martin Bell, John Sweeney, David Davis, Joanna Cherry, Michael Russell. These are all figures who broadly represent a liberal consensus in society that seems to have gone. As I know all but one of them, I hope they will forgive me for saying they tend to be slightly passé.

Nobody in power, in Westminster or in Scotland, has asserted the importance of freedom of speech, while opposition leader Keir Starmer has done the opposite, emphasising “respect” for authority as more important than freedom of speech, a position taken by anti-democrats everywhere.

There are two arguments used against freedom of speech at present:

1) We should honour the dead, and respect the sanctity of the mourning period.

I do not in general dismiss the value of all societal convention, and I have a certain sympathy for this approach. However, the difficulty is that the accession of a new monarch happens at the moment of death of the old monarch. The latter cannot be used to stifle all protest at the former.

The Establishment quite deliberately conflates the two in order to prevent protest. We have the extraordinary and macabre spectacle of the corpse of the late Queen being carted around the country and her coffin put on public display.

If people really cared for her, I would have thought it much more respectful to bury her, but the monarchist hysteria has to be dialed up past 11 for the longest possible period, and the excuse for suppressing dissent has to be maintained.

Young Rory, who was viciously, physically attacked for heckling sexual abuser Prince Andrew at the Edinburgh procession and then arrested, handcuffed and charged, was widely condemned by the media for disturbing a funeral. But it was not a funeral. That funeral is still not until Monday, when this farce finally ends.

The correct word for what we have witnessed so far is not a funeral but a series of bizarre obsequies. The state is demanding that all citizens be obsequious.

There is a reason that word has such negative connotations, and if the UK had educated journalists rather than state stenographers they might explore it.

So much has been entirely irrational. One moment that stuck in my mind was criticism of Liz Truss for failing to curtsy to the coffin of the Queen when it arrived at RAF Northolt. This was described as “grotesque” – as though curtsying to a corpse were not itself an image straight out of Edgar Allan Poe.

The concomitant of stretching out the period before poor Elizabeth is finally put to rest, is to use that period to maximum political advantage for the introduction of the new King, while his mother’s aura still shines.

We have the deliberate confusion of the two processes. Both the man in Oxford who merely asked “who elected him?”, and the woman in Edinburgh who held the sign saying “Fuck imperialism, abolish the monarchy”, were at the specific proclamation of the accession of King Charles III – events separate to the obsequies. Yet both were condemned for lack of respect for a dead Queen.

We also have the extraordinary spectacle of Charles, immediately after the death of his mother, abandoning his mourning and bottling his grief while shuttling furiously around Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales for entirely political events.

This did not have to happen. This is absolutely not a tradition. Nothing remotely like it has ever happened before.

There was no reason whatsoever why Charles had to visit the Scottish parliament, the Welsh senedd or the assembly in the north of Ireland, now. This could have waited until after the funeral. He could even have had a week of rest and reflection after the funeral before embarking on a tour of the nations.

There was a deliberate decision to hold these political events in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, aimed at strengthening the monarchy and union, while the corpse was still metaphorically warm, in order to maximise the political bounce for the monarchy from Elizabeth’s death.

Part of this calculation was that, if Charles’ first visit as King was after the funeral, there would be political protest at the accession in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, possibly quite substantial.

There is absolutely no modern precedent for a royal tour between the death and the funeral of the previous monarch. It is, when you think about it, disrespectful.

Edinburgh is explicable in terms of Elizabeth dying in Scotland, but Belfast and Cardiff?

Which tells us that “King Charles III” would have still taken advantage of the mourning period to make his power consolidation visit to Edinburgh, no matter where his mother had died.

There is nothing more cynical. We are whipped up to observe emotional mourning, while those who you would expect truly to be in mourning are engaged in cold, political calculation.

One of the darkly amusing things about the last few days was to witness all of the deluded monarchists on social media excusing Charles’ extraordinary tantrum in Northern Ireland about a pen, on the grounds that he must be exhausted making this tour when his mother had just died.

But the answer of course is that he did not have instantly to dash to Northern Ireland at all, leaving behind the rites for his mother. He was doing so for political gain.

It is a capricious God who supports a royal family so much he makes clouds in their image and celebrates them in rainbows and comets, yet makes pens leak on them “every stinking time.”

2) Protest May Cause a Breach of the Peace

This is a truly sinister argument. What it amounts to is this:

The mob is encouraged to beat up dissidents, so the expression of dissent is illegal.

It is quite literal fascism, the exertion of violent force by thugs in the street to quell dissent, with the state backing the thugs and criminalising the dissidents. That is precisely how all fascist regimes operate.

It is now being used shamelessly. None of the thugs who attacked Rory in Edinburgh has been charged. Rory has been charged with a breach of the peace.

If a breach of the peace is an action likely to provoke disorder, then the persons to be charged should be those who decided to put on display in positions of great honour a man who avoided a trial on sex trafficking by payment of £12 million pounds.

One sign of how emboldened the dregs of society are by this period of mob rule, is the quite extraordinary number of people on social media actively defending Prince Andrew, something that was extremely rare before the death of the Queen.

On twitter, it is interesting how many of those defending Andrew show the characteristics I identified of British government troll units. These are very low follower numbers for an account claiming to have been in existence at least ten years, and a timeline consisting entirely of retweets.

The rehabilitation of Andrew is another of the political purposes to which Elizabeth’s death is being put, to which we are not allowed to object on grounds of “decorum” and “respect”.

Now I would not personally have done what Rory did, in the presence of a coffin. But that is a question of etiquette, taste and demeanour, not of the criminal law.

Anybody who had been paying attention ought not be surprised that the Scottish prosecutorial service is happily channeling this fascism and people are coming up for trial for breach of the peace, including the young woman who did nothing but hold up a placard at the outdoor, public proclamation ceremony.

On Sunday, Police Scotland have banned Yestival, an annual Independence rally in George Square, Glasgow, on the grounds that the Queen’s funeral is on the next day, 400 miles away.

The organisers have quietly rescheduled the event, but I shall turn up anyway to bear witness to my beliefs, because I object to being told I may not express my political opinions. I don’t expect there will be more than a dozen of us and nothing in particular is organised to happen – no stage and no microphones. Unless the mere fact of my existence is held by the fascists to be a breach of the peace, I am not sure how it would be illegal. But they may find a way. This is Scotland 2022.

In the long term I am not downhearted. Propaganda works, and I have no doubt whatsoever that monarchism and even unionism will get a measurable opinion poll boost from the current shenanigans.

But it will not be true that the replacement of a popular monarch by an unpopular one will, in the medium term, strengthen the monarchy. Public and press access will be stifled to suppress awareness of Charles’ appalling high-handedness and temper and the way he treats staff

But you can’t make this man popular, and his Queen Consort will be a constant reminder of how he treated his unfortunate first wife.

As for the mob hysteria, I am of the generation that was sent to church every Sunday of my childhood. I recall the sermon every Palm Sunday pointing out that the same rapturous crowd that hailed Jesus into Jerusalem, called for his death five days later.

All the great religions contain a lot of good sense within their mysticism.


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358 thoughts on “Cool Observation of Mass Hysteria

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  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    In more than 70 years the Queen only screwed up significantly on four or five occasions.

    Charles has been on the job for little over a week and already he’s made three fuckups. The third was authorising his wife’s son to stand guard for twenty minutes later this evening in a uniform which he is otherwise not entitled to wear. Officers below the rank of Major (or Squadron Leader or Lieutenant Commander) are not permitted to wear uniform after retirement other than headwear and medals. Harry retired with the rank of army Captain, so he’s really not entitled to wear full uniform.

    The leaky pen incident was truly cringe-making. Fountain pens always leak during high cabin altitude air travel. It’s a pressure differential thing. He should have known that. His temper tantrum was doubly embarrassing as he walked out of the room in a huff before his wife had finished signing the document.

    If he goes on making mistakes like that in public he is in danger of pissing away the enormous amount of goodwill that the public is currently showing for the late Queen.

    • El Dee

      Are you meaning to say Tom Parker Bowles stood guard? Do you have a source on this, I couldn’t find one. Or is it simply an insulting way to refer to Harry?

      I’m not sure of the rules but I think as King he now gets the say so on what they are. The Queen modernised the Royal family greatly when she came to power and Charles is going to have to do the same.

      I agree about the ‘pissing away’ of respect. Much of the respect, perhaps most, that people had for the monarchy was due to the Queen personally. And I mean in this country as well as in the Commonwealth. His problem is that he is a known quantity, people have already made their minds up..

      • Laguerre

        He means Charles is not the father of Harry. And he should have said ‘first wife’, not just ‘wife’, as we don’t know which one.

        • Ebenezer Scroggie

          Yes, I should have said former wife or late wife or ex-wife. I’m quite sure that she was Harry’s mother.

          As we say in Scotland, it’s a wise bairn that kens his faither.

          I also should have said “tomorrow” yesterday as it was the turn of the four adult offspring of the late Queen who stood guard yesterday evening.

          Andrew is technically allowed to wear full uniform due to his seniority at the time of his retirement, but in general he’s been required to relinquish his military titles due to his disgraceful behaviour.

          Harry and others of his generation will be standing guard for a 15 minute shift this evening. It is his wearing of uniform which I find objectionable and I feel it was a rather crass error of judgement for Charles to authorise/command it.

    • Fat Jon

      I’m not sure I agree with this rush to judge a monarch’s temper by the leaky pen incident. Charles III had barely been in the job for 36 hours, and was obviously determined to make a perfect start. The procedures had been in place for centuries, and yet something as simple as non-leaking pens could not be provided. That would frustrate me as well.

      The simplest of things can tip one over the edge after the death of a parent. I remember when my mother died on Christmas Eve many decades ago. I had managed to navigate my way through the festivities, also cope with the fact that when I returned to work no one said a word to me; as if they were frightened to say the wrong thing. I even managed to suppress the extremely strong desire to rush up to the coffin on the crematorium rollers and shout “No! You can’t set fire to the woman who gave birth to me”.

      In the end, I thought I coped really well. After returning home from the wake I found I had a lot of washing to do, loaded the machine and it refused to work. That was it; and I just sat in the kitchen on my own and cried my eyes out. Obviously everything was against me.

        • Bayard

          What it mostly says is that he hadn’t either the balls or the confidence to tell those who were telling him to do the tour where to go. This whole event is obviously stage-managed to the nth degree; what makes you think Charles is the stage manager?

    • Ebenezer Scroggie

      It was Alex Salmond who abolished the local democratic element of local police authorities when he politicised the police in Scotland by placing the entire police force under the personal control of the First Minister.

      It was so ironic that his successor weaponised that political control and that tens of millions of Pounds were spent on the failed witch-hunt which involved police officers introducing themselves by saying “We’re from the Salmond Squad”.

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      Aye, the wee smirking, ginger wan’s a right smunt.
      When Polis Scotland lowered the minimum height requirement for officers they opened the door for folk that were bullied at school.
      If haud it ‘n’ daud it confronted me, they’d get their heid in their hauns tae play wi’. That I suspect is the point, such craven cowards limit their nefarious attention to lone females.

    • Fat Jon

      This creepy police activity reminds me of the police who disguised themselves as parcel delivery men in order to force their way into female student flats after the Kill The Bill protests in Bristol.

      It would appear that dominating young women is a sexual perversion common among today’s plod.

  • Jm

    Superb article Craig.The fact they are propagandising and politicking out of this – and by God they are – is the most cynical and greatest disprespect there could be. They are as hypocritcal, tone-deaf and as short-termist as is possible.

  • Crispa

    It is helpful to have a distinction made here between the “Queen is dead” and “God save the King” elements as the two seem to be horribly conflated. I am old enough to have been around at the death of George VI and remember sitting cross legged on the school hall floor along with everyone else listening to what was probably Richard Dimbleby’s commentary on the funeral on the radio – no TV at the school nor at home.
    We of course have not had an identical event since then – Diana probably being the closest but not the same – so this is a first in the mass media age and I would put down much of the hysteria to participation in the mass media, by which I mean msm (BBC etc) and social media that is amplifying all these issues, which I am sure will die down as soon as the junketing is over and the event will just live on in people’s memories. Serious issues of course will remain, For myself I have no interest in the monarchy and have a msm media blackout so I only get hints of what is going on. Walking around my neighbourhood with my dog chatting to people there has been little to suggest that anything significant has happened. We just get on with our lives or what is left of them.

  • Opport Knocks

    Relax, there will be plenty of time to heckle and take down Charles.

    The current honeymoon/funeral combo will not last a fortnight.

    • Andrew H

      But is Charles really any worse than Elizabeth? I find most of the arguments that Charles is inferior in some way to be rather shallow. For me, the royal I admire most is Fergie (although not a royal by birth) – from the perspective that she has been able to move on with her life without being a burden to the taxpayer. Harry is trying hard – he understands that he can only have a meaningful life outside of the royal family, but his economic needs vastly outstrip his ability to earn money through actual work – if he succeeds my hat will go off to him, otherwise not so much. I know some will say I must have forgotten Diana – the truth is she was never more than an emotional wreck.

      Perhaps rather than move to immediate abolishment of the royal family, the first natural step would be down-sizing. My suggestion is that Charlotte and Louis will not be funded by the tax-payer after the age of 21. It is important that this decision is made sooner rather than later so that these children and their parents understand the importance of working hard at school and seeking a college education and meaningful career. This would be as much a benefit to these children as it would be for the taxpayer. Everyone needs meaning to their lives and we should not seek to deprive even royals from becoming functional self supporting members of society.

      • MrShigemitsu

        Don’t worry. Taxpayers in the UK don’t “fund” government spending.

        Taxes are imposed *after* the spending process to prevent inflation. Did anyone get an emergency tax demand to fund the funeral? The £400bn of Covid spending? The £800bn of GFC bailouts? No, because that’s not how it works.

        The Sovereign Grant, whether a sensible use of public money or not, is spent on goods and services for various royal households, which means the recipients aren’t the royals themselves, but ordinary people and companies who supply these goods and services.

        As long as there isn’t a demand on essential workers, or materials or other real resources in short supply (eg doctors, nurses, teachers, care workers, house, school or hospital building materials, or medical equipment, etc) then the Sovereign Grant doesn’t compete in any damaging way with more important departmental spending. Neither will its budget be taken from more useful spending destinations.

        With the probable exception of arms manufacture and purchasing, all public spending is good; it’s the source of our currency, stimulates the economy, and provides employment.

        Yes, there are far better things for the Govt to spend money on, but taxpayers aren’t “paying for it”.

    • Roger

      So you “take down”, as you put it, King Charles III; and then what? You get King William V.

      The goal should be to get rid of the monarchy and all the crap that goes along with it: the peerage, the House of Lords, and the honours system.

      Charles himself seems no worse than the recent average. He seems slightly more intelligent than Elizabeth (not a high bar) and he hasn’t conferred the Order of the Garter (the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system, btw, and awarded by the monarch’s decision, not Parliament’s) on a war criminal. At least, not yet.

  • Fitzjames Wood

    ‘God save the Queen, and the fascist regime…
    Oh, God save history
    God save your mad parade
    Oh, Lord, God have mercy
    All crimes are paid…
    There’s no future
    In England’s dreaming’

    Sex Pistols

  • FranzB


    “The correct word for what we have witnessed so far is not a funeral but a series of bizarre obsequies”

    I heard one example of this on BBC radio 4. Apparently during a vigil, fork handles will be positioned at the corners of the coffin. Quite why I don’t know, but it seems bizarre to me. The newsreader offered no explanation.

    We’re all doomed anyway. The new Health Secretary, Therese Coffey, doesn’t like the Oxford comma, whose absence gives rise to sentences such as:- “The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.” – see:-

    • Cynicus

      “Apparently during a vigil, fork handles will be positioned at the corners of the coffin.”

      Should that not read:

      “Apparently during a vigil, fork handles (© The Two Ronnies) will be positioned at the corners of the coffin.”?

      • DiggerUK

        All hail Cynicus.
        I suspect the tale of garden forks with fork handles on parade is fake news. But all the same, it gets my vote as best joke to date…. If you look carefully you do see four candles around the coffin, I bet the BBC hacks have been told not to mention them on pain of execution!

        Is there a #royalforkhandles? I wonder if the Twitter Stasi has already sent it to room 101…_

        • Cynicus

          G’day Digger

          “If you look carefully you do see four candles around the coffin,”

          No care needed! They are so conspicuous as to inspire the cultural reference of our friend FranzB above. I only commented because not all readers here will be familiar with a British TV comedy from the 70s and 80s.

  • SleepingDog

    Can anyone give me confirmation of Queen Elizabeth’s top-level security clearance and all-access all-interrogation prerogative that would (for example) allow her every access to Porton Down? Is there any proof that the Queen was ever lied to by her government or civil service? Even more revealing, any idea of any questions she ever asked her secret services?

    • Fat Jon

      Well, if you believe Paul Burrell (and many say he was just out to make money) HM The Queen looked him in the eye and said “There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge. Be careful, Paul. No one has been as close to a member of the Royal Family as you have.”

    • Frances Kay

      Yes, the Queen was lied to by Johnson when he wished illegally to prorogue Parliament. He was representing her government at the time. He sent his toady Rees-Smug to tell her it was legal.

      • SleepingDog

        @Frances Kay, but if the Queen was supposed to be defender of the British quasi-Constitution, how come she didn’t know, or folded anyway? Doesn’t she have her own team of lawyers, or were they too busy working on what exemptions from English law she was demanding in her next Queen’s Consent ‘negotiation’? I mean, shutting down Parliament is pretty much the big one. Now I think about it, I wonder what score the Queen would have got if her chosen Mastermind subject was indeed the British quasi-Constitution.

  • El Dee

    When I realised that those being arrested for holding blank signs and banners were treated the same way as the anti-war protestors in Russia I was actually shocked. We are ALREADY in an authoritarian state. From previous articles you, and others, have written this is exactly how it happens. It happens by stealth, you don’t realise until one day you wake up and it has already happened. This is the moment..

  • Ewan2

    Perhaps the largest protest came when Celtic played Shaktar in the week. Apparently UEFA are mulling over charging Celtic for displaying disrespectful banners. The banners were displayed in a foreign country [ Poland ]. It will be interesting to see what, if anything , happens this Sunday at St. Mirren.
    They were also fined twice by UEFA for displaying Palestinian flags which goes against some UEFA policy about political protests at football matches.
    If 100s of Celtic supporters display anti-monarchist signs etc they will be in the majority and the police will not need to protect them so they won’t get arrested for breach of the peace, as they won’t need to be ‘protected’.

    Perhaps it’s time to order ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds‘ (1841) by Charles Mackay, or perhaps CM could come up with a version for our times.

  • Yossi

    I am an old man. Many years ago before the internet and rolling infotainment, I saw an old black and white newsreel at my local cinema. The main piece was coverage of a young Elizabeth and husband returning from an official visit to one of the “colonies”. They had been away doing what the establishment called her duty, but we in Hackney called one of her holidays paid for by us, We saw a train arrive at a London terminus whereupon the young woman was surrounded by toffs in top hats and long black jackets. She took an age to shake all their hands and a nanny then brought a very young Charles towards her. She had been away for a very long time and you might have expected her to give him a long kiss and hug. But no – she briefly patted him on the head and walked on. I thought at the time ‘what a strange mother’ and wondered what sort of a man her son would become.

    • Crispa

      Yes and of course when George VI died she was staying with Philip at a Royal Lodge in Kenya, a country whose independence the UK was savagely opposing at the time. Dr Malan the White South African government prime minister is on record for offering the new Queen Mother, who became a cult figure in her own right, use of his house to recover from her loss. The papers covered the same ground as they are doing today, though I have yet to find reports of arrests of protestors. One difference was that funeral day was not a bank holiday with the new queen asking people not to stop work but to hold a 2 minutes silence. And children attended school at LEA discretion. There again the country was still recovering economically from the war so it was all hands to the pumps for the plebs royal funeral or no funeral.

      • Isabelle

        I saw the same clip recently, on YouTube or TV, I can’t remember. But I do remember thinking exactly the same thing. Charles looks about four or five years old. He runs eagerly towards, his mother perhaps? She greets all the adults and ignores her son. The Queen mother then gestures towards Charles as if to say, your son is here. Then the Queen gives Charles a cursory acknowledgement, as if an afterthought. Then she actually turns and walks away from him, as if he’s not there. And the look of unhappiness and sheer confusion on the face of that little child, amongst all those uncaring adults, is really sad to see.

        One of the most astute comments I read about our perfect queen, who never put a foot wrong, is why, when she had, apparently, a very happy and close relationship with her own parents, was she so neglectful to her own first born?

        She abandoned him for months at a time. Not unusual amongst the aristocracy, I suppose, especially in those days. But it was a really dysfunctional carry-on.

        I did wonder what kind of person she really was and felt so sorry for the lost and lonely little boy. Now a king.

        I find the very idea of of a monarchy quite ludicrous and the wall-to-wall coverage so boring. I thought this will backfire on the royals, especially among the young. And then I remembered that the young don’t watch ? television.

  • Roger

    “Totalitarianism”? This is over the top. The British monarch doesn’t have any real power.

    Reproducing candid-camera clips of Charles behaving like a normal human being when under great stress (do I really need to remind you that he’s just lost a parent, but is expected to spend hours in public?) doesn’t convince me of anything.

    Get rid of the monarchy and the peerage? I’m on board with that, absolutely! But if I weren’t so convinced a republican, this blog article would put me off your cause rather than persuade me.

    • Laguerre

      You would think Charles would know by now how to behave in public, even if stressed. That he apparently doesn’t is a genuine sign of of his personality that doesn’t need to be excused.

    • Pigeon English

      It was not candid-camera or candid camera situation where you provoke reactions by setting up a victime.
      It was televized and rehearsed event of “enourmous importance ” and He could not control him self .
      For God sake he is a King and can break a protocol in a polite way, or if he can’t handle the heat, get out of kitchen!

      • Pigeon English

        Sorry Charles was ambushed by two sheets of paper and two penholders !
        Can’t they afford bigger table! BTW maybe he was supposed to sign each paper with different pen and ink.
        According to me he failed his exam and protocol and is not a modern King ?!

  • nevermind

    Never agreed with the monarchy. Well said, Craig. Their privileges or the fawning media coverage of this distasteful use of a dead Queen for whatever issue.
    I do not respect Charles 3rd, due to his treatment of his first wife. He is not a role model to anyone, or a husband that respects the norms preached to us as regal or caring. He was adulterous and mischievous with it.
    He allegedly fathered an illegitimate son in the 1960’s who was adopted by the daughter of a royal servant, living in Australia, the ex-penal colony. Simon Charles Dorante Day, 55, claims to be Charles and Camilla’s first love child, has a birth certificate and claims that a DNA test would proof that he is Charles 3rd’s son.

    That we are being controlled by a fawning and faffing media that has just has come to terms with Mary E. Truss and her attacks on all climate remediation, stuff we signed up to internationally. Bye bye James Goldsmith, you and Carrie are being ousted by the ‘ministry of truth’ that Orwell so well wrote about, and our descent into fascism is almost inevitable.
    In Italy, where the story of Simon Charles Dorante Day was headlining for days, unbeknown to the masses filing past HMQ’s coffin here, another feisty speaker, Georgia Meloni, is very likely to get elected, reigning in lockstep with Mary E. Truss, slowly achieving the goals of a fourth Reich.

    I am awaiting the revelations of Harry, who is angered with the royal refusal/silence to help or support his wife Meghan.

  • Craig P

    Oh you old cynic Craig!

    I’ve been thinking how they could have improved the period of mourning, and think they have missed a trick. What could have been more magnificent than placing the royal coffin on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, to steam from Rosyth down the east coast, close inshore past some of the most Brexity, monarchist parts of Britain for people to stand on shore and pay their respects, past the White Cliffs of Dover – what an image for the ages that would have been! So much more dignified than shoving her in the hold of an American-built cargo plane.

    • Bayard

      ” past the White Cliffs of Dover – “

      Were you thinking of burial at sea, or would HMS Queen Elizabeth have then done a smart u-turn?
      She could also have been put on the Royal Train, with perhaps a steam engine on the front to really delight the traditionalists, but she wasn’t.

  • Shardlake

    Mr Murray, I believe you’re correct in that this ten day period of national mourning is purely for political gain. Listening to the BBC Radio 4 Toady programme this morning there was an item which focussed on a survey being taken with those queuing and the likelihood of their political persuasions in the event of a general election. The results so far indicated that 56% of those questioned at random would be inclined to vote for the Conservatives. This in an environment where the nation is imploding after twelve years of austerity, the leaving of the EU, the Covid debacle and the deterioration of the NHS all under the watch of Conservative led administrations just leaves me speechless. For the UK, leaving the EU was a bad idea, but I say to the Scottish people if you can extricate yourselves from this disunited Kingdom through another referendum then save yourselves and don’t look back.

  • Dr Rob Johnston

    Has Craig been watching the coverage from Uzbekistan? He seems to have a rather warped view of the actual events.

    He describes “mass hysteria” and “mob hysteria”, whereas crowds have been — universally — described, and seen, as “silent, respectful, orderly”!

    When I pressed ‘Play’ on the attached YouTube link, to see the vicious and violent attack on “young Rory”, all I saw was him being pushed away, rather gently, a few shouts, then the Police taking him away for his own protection.

    I too, was angry and surprised that the tiny number of — rather polite — protesters, were arrested. But I am gratified that they have been “dearrested” and freed with as much apology as Police can ever muster.

    As for Craig’s extremely silly objections: “the Queen’s corpse being dragged around the country” and the “indignity of her coffin on display” … since she died in far northern Scotland and her burial will be in Windsor, there is little alternative to the first; and the second – viewing of the body/coffin – is an extremely ancient tradition, so I don’t know of what Craig complains.

    Finally … it is ludicrous to claim that Prince Andrew is some sort of “sex offender”. It was equally in the young lady’s interest to settle. She, like Ghislaine Maxwell, “procured” new victims for Jeffrey Epstein; when she claims to have had sex with Andrew she was over 16 — the Age of Consent in this country. And she would have had great difficulty persuading a UK jury that a generous expense account, trans-Atlantic travel in a private jet, 5 Star Hotel stays and Michelin-starred dining, all count as “trafficking” — a word usually reserved for young women kidnapped, moved in shipping containers, beaten, and held against their will in brothels.

    Charles Murray is the one reacting with “hysteria”!

    • Philip Maughan

      I suspect that the alleged $12m was paid to Virginia Giuffre not for any sexual abuse she was subjected to but more to stop a court case in which all the sordid details would have emerged, causing possibly terminal damage to the monarchy.

    • Lochside

      ‘Dr’ Rob Johnston..I hope you are retired, as you demonstrate a complete absence of contemporary understanding of ‘grooming’ and the organised trafficking and intimidation of young children and woman for sexual abuse purposes by the likes of the ‘friends of Andrew’ i.e. Epstein, Maxwell, Saville, all proven guilty to be sex abusers and criminal perverts

      You ascribe it to be ‘in the young lady’s interest to settle’. What an amazingly insensitive and dismissive attitude! Imagine taking on one of the richest families in the world with unlimited power! Try fighting a legitimate case against a ‘firm’ that can throw $12 million contesting you. Maybe as a physician you also believe that ‘Andrew’ also never sweats either, a medical impossibility. Saville had a permanent flat in Buckingham palace and was on extremely close terms with Prince Phillip and advised the new ‘King’ as a personal advisor. As a family the Saxe Coburg Gothas are more akin to the Borgias than the Waltons.

      As for the video of young ‘Rory’. I would worry that your assessment and diagnostic skills are well below par for your profession.
      The young man is clearly grabbed by a burly man with a reddish beard and t-shirt and dragged to the ground, assisted by another tattooed individual in a t-shirt. Only once he is on the ground does a policeman apprehend him. As the cop pulls Rory away, the Tatooed man pushes Rory again. ‘Rory’ to my knowledge has not been ‘de-arrested’ nor has the young woman with the cardboard who was also arrested on the Royal Mile. The two other men remain free. This is Scotland where you are now guilty, if a Nationalist of the Scottish kind, before being proved otherwise.

      • Crispa

        This is a young Rory at the time of the last king’s death. “Misdemeanour” treated more as a civil offence and certainly less brutally than today’s Rory.
        Kept His Cap On

        “A grammar school boy who would not remove his cap during the playing of the National Anthem at Morley (Yorks) proclamation ceremony will apologise to the mayor when a bystander grabbed the boy’s cap and threw it to the ground” (Daily News February 12 1952).

  • Sarge

    Unfortunately I think you are right about propaganda working so long as the media and politicians all sing from the same songsheet and don’t relent. We saw it with the mass public buy-in to the austerity narrative, despite everyone having seen the bank bailouts. We see it with the endless demonisation of official enemies at home and abroad.

    The problem comes when certain branches of the propaganda machine depart from the agreed script. That was the downfall of the establishment campaign to remain in the EU for example. I suspect it will be the same here for the monarchy over the long haul. Newspapers will be unable to refrain from constant digs at Charles, an irresistible target to be fair for his pompous pronouncements, entitlement and thin skinnedness. From now on he and Camilla will be the main players and they are not what the mob or its media is used to in the role, far from it.

    • Sarge

      Incidentally, the comment above mine reminds me of something else I meant to say. I totally understand the female attraction to so-called royals. The whole fairytale / glamorous Hello magazine/ celebrity relationships / soap opera aspect of it. But who in the name of God are all these grown men on here – the Craig Murray site of all places – boldly expressing loyalty to these parasites?? Parasites who have never provided them with one thing in return, zero. They read your articles and are surely aware of the contempt Charles expressed for simpering freaks such as themselves (specifically in the person of Nicholas Witchell) but still they remain steadfast in their loyalty? It must dishearten you and make you wonder why you bother!

  • DiggerUK

    Product placement reaches a new high, or low, depending on your level of cynicism.
    David Beckham of ‘brand beckham’ joined the ‘queue’, which obviously now means the Q section in the O.E.D. has an amendment to the ‘queue’ entry.

    This is the same David Beckham who got well pissed off when he didn’t get his knighthood some years back.
    “They r a bunch of c–ts I expected nothing less,” he wrote of the Honours Committee in late December 2013. “Who decides on the honors??” ….. Apparently ‘brand beckham’ would be worth millions more a year if he was a sir.

    Of interest to Scotnats is the following exchange “In August 2014, the TV historian Dan Snow emailed to ask whether Beckham would support the campaign opposing Scottish independence ahead of the upcoming referendum. Oliveira ( beckhams pr adviser ) declared that “clearly the right thing is that we stay together due to our history and because we are stronger” and advised the star that his “I also think your support will play well with establishment and in turn help your knighthood.”

    Beckham replied: “Ok let’s do it.” So Oliveira drafted a plea to the Scottish nation on Beckham’s behalf”*

    If anybody doubts that the preservation of the privileges of ‘the powers behind the throne’ is not front and centre in this preseason pantomime, then you need do no more than study this sordid little saga. It’s up there with the squalid rehabilitation of the royal nonce andrew…_

    • DiggerUK

      Come to think of it, one half of brand beckham seems to have stayed in bed. I wonder if she’s a closet republican, or regards queueing as beneath her…_

      • FranzB

        Victoria Beckham’s company is reported to be over £53 million in debt, which might explain why she has other things to do. That might explain why David Beckham has (reportedly) signed up to support Qatar over the period of the world cup for (again reportedly) £10 million ( or £150 million in a report for ITV).

        Mind you, DB is in good company, Charles was outed recently as having received £3 million in cash from a Qatari politician, supposedly for his charity (we’re assured by the Guardian). But who leaked these details? Expect more, and as someone above writes Prince Harry is sure to renew his feud when the hurlyburly’s done. A young prince who loathes his father, the king, because of the death of his mother, and a feud between two princes – what could possibly go wrong?

  • Colin Alexander

    All the current, and former, Scottish MPs and MSPs, have taken an oath to serve Queen Elizabeth and her heirs, not an oath to serve the sovereign people of Scotland or the electorate plebs who elect these politicians. Scotland will never be independent when those who are supposed to be the leaders of the Scottish independence movement are the willing servants of the United Kingdom.

    The Scottish Parliament has been around for over 20 years now. The result: one failed independence referendum that has been used as the green light by the UK state to do whatever it wants with Scotland.

    Let’s not forget, a significant part was played in that referendum campaign by the late Queen Elizabeth who, in violation of her supposed political neutrality, campaigned for her United Kingdom with the help of the “neutral” BBC in a pre-arranged set-up. Then purred with delight when David Cameron informed her the No vote had won.

    So, my enduring memory of Queen Elizabeth will be of “Purring Betty” who abused her power to influence the vote in favour of keeping Scotland under the control of England’s MPs, Lords and UK monarchy, none of whom are elected by the people of Scotland.

  • mark cutts

    Apparently there will be no adverts on television on the day of The Queen’s Funeral as a “mark of respect. ”

    But be in doubt after a ‘decent interval’ the Mugs, Towels and various other merchandise will be available in all shops and books will be promoted from all TV sofas – including the claimed – “no advertising BBC ”

    I wonder which currently allegedly respectful rent-a-quote Royal Groveller will break cover first and plonk themselves in front of still dour but pretend grieving couple of TV presenters still mourning in order to flog their tat?

    My money’s on Giles Brandreth.

    After ‘decent interval’ of course.

  • Roger

    A number of figures have stood up to come out arguing for freedom of speech – Andrew Marr,

    Andrew Marr? Freedom of speech? Surely you jest.

    From :

    Likewise, other high-profile media figures including the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Huw Edwards, Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson, and Sky News political editor Adam Boulton, kept quiet when we asked them to explain their silence on Assange.

    • DiggerUK

      And let’s take note of the lack of publicity on this blog for the linking of arms in a human chain around the Palace of Westminster on the 8th of October at 1300 hrs., demanding Julian’s freedom.

      If Conservative Home can have mastheads with Julian’s case for freedom, then why can’t a staunch ally such as our host do likewise?
      Instead we have our host advertising his books and his son advertising an out of date festival.

      I hope to see many of you on the bridge…_

  • Willie

    The video footage of King Chuck breaking out in a public tantrum gives insight into the thoroughly inadequate absolute waster that he is.

    Anyone getting a little ink on their hand would pass it off as inconsequential. A tissue or just rubbing the offended stink spot would do. Indeed, anyone with a brain might have quipped that the first royal edict must be to proscribe leaky in pens. Probably the best course would have been to just wipe hand, say nothing.

    Instead our man goes into full blown hissy fit, cursing and then storming off. With a similar display of teeth bared snarl when he needed a flunky to remove a pen from a desk you truly wonder what kind of loon ball is being held up as a monarch.

    Could you imagine a US President throwing a hiss fit for such an absolutely trivial inconsequential instance. God only knows what is in this balloon’s head. No joking but he probably get someone to wipe his arse with public displays like this.

    • joel

      You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Britain’s elites hate that the whole world saw him and global opinion is already settled.

    • nevermind

      Apropo ‘waster’. when I cook an egg, I know that 5.15 minutes will get it purrrfect every time.
      Charles has some 8 eggs cooked and chooses his ideal egg of the morning decapitating all others.

      I want to know why and what happens to the refused others? are they being used in another dish? or is it just waste to him.
      Is his choosyness the third repeating this wasteful behaviour when dealing with issues he has a hand in?

    • glenn_nl


      Could you imagine a US President throwing a hiss fit for such an absolutely trivial inconsequential instance

      Trump flew into a rage on a regular basis, screaming and shouting, throwing things around. This ketchup-throwing and dish breaking example isn’t over something inconsequential, admittedly, but it wasn’t the first time.

      This article describes this tendancy (not just on the election issue):


      • Fred Dagg

        Cassidy Hutchinson as a “source”? Ahahahahaha.

        The treatment of Trump (and Corbyn) by the “academy”, the intellectual midgets of the MSM and both “Left” and “Right” wings of the “establishment”/neo-liberal/neo-con political parties (“The Return of the Repressed” by Wolfgang Streeck – New Left Review #104, Mar/Apr 2017) has been a revelation to everyone except Marxists/Communists, who have been subject to the same treatment for 100+ years. Why this ‘ganging up’ if, as those like Caitlin Johnstone, Paul Ryder (“Removing a U.S. President Without an Election” by Paul Ryder, CounterPunch, 12 Jun 2020) and others claim, Trump was only a threat because he ‘said things that should remain unsaid’ (“What is NATO for?”, etc.)?

        The answer lies in the 2016 campaign statements of a businessman who couldn’t be bought and who the “intelligence” services had no dirt on (hence the need to create some – Russiagate): better relations with Russia, withdrawal from expensive (not illegitimate/morally reprehensible!) wars, opposition to free-trade deals, opposition to open borders – all fundamental threats to both the neo-liberal economy and the neo-con political establishment. “Uncontrolled”, in other words.

        The disappointments of his term in all these areas can be attributed to several factors: his narcissism, his naivety about the power of the FBI, CIA, armed services et al and the Executive to stymie his policy initiatives and, above all, the corruption of the Democrats. Remember, the false allegation about the Russian hacking of the DNC server was the origin of a whole cascade of events that lasted the full 4 years of his administration: it was directly used by Obama in December 2016 to expel Russian diplomats (and steal their property) and set Trump up with a diplomatic crisis from Day 1 and then expanded into the miasma that was/is Russiagate. Hopefully, Aaron Mate’s book on the period will be the go-to text when published.

  • SameGreatApe

    Apparently, “Fundamentally, the idea of Jesus being King of kings and Lord of lords means that there is no higher authority. His reign over all things is absolute and inviolable. God raised Him from the dead and placed Him over all things, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

    But the Bible afaik doesn’t mention what humans actually are and what actually shaped us. (Not that we know still why there’s a universe or what it really is, of course).

    Freud claimed to have based his psychological framework on evolution but he had departed from that aim early on, and anyway wrongly tended toward Lamark’s principles than Darwin’s I gathered. Also lied about patient outcomes.

  • Paul Jennings

    Ffs! Craig, like most of your work, but repeating the demeaning error of the likes of the bloody BBC and the Telegraph in referring to the Senedd as the “Welsh Assembly” is pretty slack of you. It cost you a retweet as well.
    It’s the Senedd or The Welsh Parliament, please, mate.

  • Townsman

    sexual abuser Prince Andrew

    Craig, that is grossly unfair and you of all people should be perfectly aware that it is grossly unfair.
    He has never been charged with sexual abuse, let alone convicted.
    One person has accused him. As you well know, anybody can accuse anybody of anything. In a civil lawsuit in the United States, there is no “burden of proof”; a jury decides on the “balance of probability”. In a case pitting an American citizen against some titled foreigner, with no real evidence on either side, an American jury will decide for the American. The fact that he settled out of court means nothing, anybody would have done the same.
    I am not for a moment suggesting that the royal family should have any special role in British life. Get rid of all the silly titles, ceremonies, and privileges. But even a parasite deserves basic justice.

    • pretzelattack

      sure there’s a burden of proof. where on earth did you get the idea there wasn’t? iirc there was quite a bit of evidence, which is why he was happy to settle for a sum that is vast to most of us.

      • Townsman

        “The case was cut and dried”?!

        If there had been a case, Andrew would have been charged with a criminal offence.
        But the only hard “evidence” is a copy of a photograph (the original is supposedly “lost”) with nobody testifying to having taken it. It has been alleged that Jeffrey Epstein took it, but since he’s dead he cannot confirm or deny that. Even if the copy is genuine it proves nothing except that Giuffre and Andrew were once at the same party.
        In the age of Photoshop, a copy of a photograph is worth little as evidence unless authenticated by the person who took the original.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    If anyone doubts the enormity of public support for the embodiment of ‘Her’ as monarch, they should spend a few tens of minutes watching the livestream of the people filing through Westminster Hall.

    Certainly not a cross-section of society as most of them are self-selecting by having shuffled along at least a four and a half mile queue for twelve hours or more, but a remarkable variety of people across a huge spectrum of humanity.

    Quite the opposite of narrow-minded racialism/tribalism/nationalism. Nevertheless, it’s an enormous indication of public emotion.

    Nothing like “hysteria”.

    Whether JugLugs can carry that stuff on to himself momentously into the corporation that is is the monarchy is something which remains to be seen.

    “The Firm” could crash and burn in his hands before the royal Willy and his delectable kitten take charge.

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