“Austere Times” Justification
If anyone doubted that monarchists have no sense of shame, a minister in the coalition government has put them straight. Education Secretary Michael Grove has proposed that £60m should be taken from the people of Britain and given to the Windsor clan, in the form of an ocean-going yacht.
In a time when the real earnings of public employees and others are falling, when public services are being cut back, and when taxes have been reduced, Gove has highlighted the chasm between monarchy and democratic decencies.
The Windsors are a a super-rich family. The leading members of the clan are already paid much more than any elected official or civil servant who does a real job of work for the people. Mrs Windsor is paid £13m a year and her son Charles gets more than £18m. The taxpayers provide them with palaces to live in, and planes, cars and trains to travel in. By contrast Prime Minister David Cameron is paid only £142,000. President Obama gets £261,000.
“In spite, and perhaps because of, the austere times, the celebration should go beyond those of traditional jubilees”.
Michael Gove, Education Secretary in support of a yacht for the Windsors to mark another 60 years of feudalism.
The gift that monarchist Gove wanted to force the British people to give to his favourite family was to be a reward for the “highly significant contribution” the Conservative believes the feudal family have made to Britain. In a letter to the Culture Secretary obtained by the Guardian newspaper he wrote that “In spite, and perhaps because of, the austere times” the gift should be made to mark Elizabeth Windsor’s “jubilee” – her sixty years as hereditary head of state. He described this anniversary as a “momentous occasion”.
Coalition leaders David Cameron and Nick Clegg have rejected Gove’s idea. However, Clegg said that the “jubilee” celebration of feudal privilege would be a “wonderful occasion for us to celebrate together as a community and as a nation”.