Living High on the Taxpayer Dime.

It’s always annoyed me. Rich Conservatives object to people receiving benefits or food stamps, saying they spend the money on Holidays or expensive meals, the so-called Welfare Queens, Living high off the Government Dime. Any evidence for these claims is anecdotal at best, so why are they so certain?

Because it’s what they would do. Because it’s what they already do.

This Saturday marks the Coronation of King Charles III, with all the Pomp and Circumstance they can muster. While official costs have not yet been released, it is looking to be in the ballpark of £50 to £100 million.

A Welfare King, Living High on the Taxpayer dime. This is what the government chooses to spend money on. Other things the Government spends money on: regular pay rises for MPs, up 38% in the last 12 years. Crony bestowed PPE contracts for faulty or unusable supplies, £9 Billion wasted. Subsidies for Fossil Fuel companies: £80 Billion.

Meanwhile, we’ve had 12 years of below cost-of-living wage rises in the Public sector, which amounts to a substantial pay cut in real terms. Nurses wages are down 8% from 2010. Teachers: 13%. Doctors are 26% worse off than they were 12 years ago. It doesn’t matter to the government if NHS doctors and nurses are well fed, well housed, well rested because they go private anyway.

And the suppression of public sector pay has led to the stagnation of private sector pay, since corporate employers don’t need to compete that hard for staff. No one is paying that well. And most of the British public is suffering for it.

But no matter, they are going to throw the biggest party they can for the Coronation. They want something to rival last year’s Jubilee celebrations.

Not going to happen.

Charles will never hold the public’s affection the way his Mother did. The late Queen earned her place in the public’s hearts over the course of 70 years. Charles simply doesn’t have the time. And while the Queen had a connection to her subjects dating back to WWII, Charles has always held himself separate. That separation has become clearer and wider as the Coronation approaches.

Initially, there was talk of a scaled down ceremony, in light of the financial crisis 99% of the population are suffering. The £100 million price tag suggests they’ve ‘gone in a different direction’ with it.

Charles has said he wants to streamline and modernise the Monarchy, but his actions are going backwards in terms of tradition. Camilla will be anointed and crowned as Queen. This is a sticking point for a lot of people and, more than anything, shows how Charles is out of step with the British Public, as well as his views on what a King can do.

When they married in 2005, it was decreed that Camilla, on Charles’ ascent to the throne, would be titled HRH The Princess Consort. It made sense. After all, Prince Phillip was never King. If the Hereditary Monarchy is to modernise, downsize, streamline, then you shouldn’t be able to just ‘Marry Into’ the job. Charles is reversing his own mother’s decree in crowning Camilla. Because he’s the King, and he says so. Not very modern of him.

Still, they are attempting to get people involved in the Coronation; to give them a personal stake in it. They are inviting people all through the Commonwealth to…. Swear the oath of fealty to the King.

King Charles III appealing to the Commonwealth Nations… He doesn’t have that much support in the UK, does he really think he is beloved abroad? The Commonwealth is a fraying connection; it was held together by respect and affection for Queen Elizabeth II herself, rather than loyalty or duty to British Empire. Caribbean Nations are actively planning referendums on leaving the Commonwealth. Australia has long considered removing the monarch as head of state. Canada and New Zealand consider the Commonwealth as something people don’t really care about.

His subjects at home are angry about the public expenditure of the Coronation, and his subjects abroad don’t consider themselves ‘subjects’ at all. So asking all these people, at home and abroad to swear fealty? I’m sure many people will swear something at the King. It may begin with the letter “F”, but I don’t think it will end with “ealty”.

The argument in favour of the Monarchy has, in recent years at least, been Tourism. The Royals bring in money. And in the past, that has been true, with Royal weddings, Royal births, Jubilees etc. But that’s all dried up now. There won’t be another major Royal wedding for at least 20 years, as Prince George is only 9 and the trend is for marry later. Charles, 74, is unlikely to see a Jubilee. So what are they bringing to the table now?

The Royal Family cost the Taxpayer £86.3 million annually, plus the £100 million for the Coronation. At a time when the Government can’t afford to pay nurses, doctors, teachers, civil servants a fair wage or to properly fund the NHS.

Meanwhile, the Duchy of Cornwall, (Charles patch of land) rakes in £41.8 million per year. Perhaps it’s time for the Royal family to come off government benefits and squeak by on their own income. People might have more enthusiasm for the Monarchy if they weren’t paying so much for it.

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