Two days ago in Challenge, we reported the death of Philip Mountbatten at age 99. We predicted that in spite of the fact that Phillip was a renowned racist and a representative of British colonialism, his death would be met with a wave of pro-nationalist, pro-monarchist propaganda from our right-wing press.
Now, this was hardly a bold prediction. However, whilst the standard minutes of silence, renditions of the national anthem and flag idolising in the aftermath of his death can be expected, the scale of the eulogising over the past 24 hours has been as laughable as it has been sickening.
We have seen gushing statements from public figures across society, back-to-back programming on Philip’s life and supposed accomplishments, the cancelling of national events, media displays of barely disguised faux-mourning, the cancelling of party-political campaigning and so on, and so forth.
Those partaking and creating this period of faux-national mourning are, of course, the same charlatans who accuse the DPRK and, in the past, the USSR for having “personality cults”. Meanwhile, “our” Queen who heads up our Church, is on all of our money, is our Commander in Chief and approves every law in the country – but self-awareness has never been a speciality of the English bourgeoisie.
There are, of course, many of the public who lap this up, who cannot really be blamed given the mass scale of pro-monarchy propaganda. However, what is interesting to note about yesterday and today is how many of us actually didn’t.
Take the television figures for yesterday for example. The BBC ran wall-to-wall coverage about Philip, his death and his life – and it received so many complaints that they had to create a dedicated complaints form for it on their website.
Furthermore, the viewership of BBC 1 dipped 6%, and BBC 2 dipped almost two-thirds when compared with the previous Friday. ITV too ran all-day coverage, and received complaints and a 60% loss in audience when compared with last week. The most viewed show of the night was Gogglebox on Channel 4 – completely unrelated to Phillip’s death.
People are, clearly, sick of it. And we agree.
With the backdrop of the scandals around the treatment of Meghan Markle and the behaviour of Andrew Mountbatten-Windsor, the renewed conversation about the role and influence of the monarchy, and now the blatant propagandising of a man we all know was a racist scumbag, it is clear that now is the time for principled socialist and republicans to take the fight against the archaic institution of the monarchy, which many, especially the youth, are starting to see for what it is.
Onwards to the People’s Republic.