JR'S Free Thought Pages
Enemies of the Sheeple* Series
Gods, the State, Divine Right Monarchs, Theocrats and other Annoying Bullshit Autocratic Institutions and Authoritarian Abstractions
Inspired by the hilarious and informative book “Enemies of the People” by Sam Jordison
*Sheeple (aka citizens, masses, hoi polloi, ADHD zombies, techno-addicts and people hooked on cell phones, willed ignorance, lotteries, online gambling, tattoo fetishes and amusing themselves to death) may need clarification. This category refers to the vast majority of walking dead people who live in a faith-based fantasy world of religion and other delusions and palliatives such as “elections”, “free markets”, “freedom”, “justice” and “progress” to get them through the day. They tend to be dedicated optimists believing they live in a “democracy” and that like the Dr. Pangloss character n Voltaire’s “Candide” that we live in the “best of all possible worlds” and that everything works out for the best- after all there’s an invisible all powerful beneficent cosmic insurance policy called “God”.
If you read self-help books, have a Life-Coach, investment advisor or mindfulness guru, watch Oprah, Shark Tank with the sociopathic slime ball Kevin O’Leary, Gilligan’s Island re-runs or any corporate TV news, you are likely a card carrying member of the sheeple.
Consider the State. The State is a recent concoction, a very bad idea formulated in the 17th century to replace other tyrannies such as the church, monarchy and nobility. The State is merely another mechanism that protects wealth, power and privilege of today’s obscenely rich power elites, capitalist exploitation and rapacious pillage of the commons, endless imperialist wars ,arrogant asshole billionaires, mafia banks, totalitarian corporations and other financial parasites and doctrinaire neo-liberal theology that are enabled and facilitated by insidious institutions of indoctrination, control and coercion such as the prosperity gospel Christian churches. Yeah, like a cognitive virus, churches and their silly superstitions continue to exist in the 21st century controlling the minds of about 75% of the world’s sheeple. Then there are the other controlling mechanisms of the capitalist Godzilla and techno neo-feudalistic mega-machine such as schools, police, military and surveillance agencies such as the FBI, CIA in the USA (United States of Amnesia) and CSIS in Canada (an inept appendage of the misogynist, racist. inept and corrupt RCMP).
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest – Denis Diderot
If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him – Mikhail Bakunin
I don’t know if god exists but it would be better for his reputation of he didn’t – Jules Renard
Date of Birth/Death: -∞ /+∞
Connected to: faith, wishful thinking, magical thinking, superstition, logical fallacies, anti-science, irrationality, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, theocracy and dozens of other cognitive viruses and social malfunctions
”God is dead” according to Friedrich Nietzsche by which he meant in a strictly hypothetical sense since for him, gods do not exist, only the deluded belief in them. After all, the Scientific Revolution and Humanist Enlightenment had "killed" the possibility of any rational belief in the hundreds of gods dreamed up by humans throughout history. Where are Zeus, Thor, Odin, Poseidon, Apollo and Aphrodite? The short answer is: the cultures that believed in and worshipped them collapsed. But why would any freedom loving semi-intelligent person want to worship anything, especially tyrannical deities? I have great admiration for certain great minds and moral exemplars such as such as Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky, Richard Dawkins, Richard Feynman, Nelson Mandela, Tommy Douglas, Emma Goldman, Victor Serge and many others that would take pages to cite, but I’d never in my wildest irrational dreams “worship” any of these remarkable people. Perfection is a mythical hallucination and worshipping anything, even your loving spouse or parent is the quintessence of human stupidity.
Bullshit on Steroids
God's only excuse is that he does not exist – Stendhal
Yeah, well that’s just, ya know, like, your opinion, man – The Dude, “The Big Lebowski” (1998)
Religious Gobbledygook and Superstitious Drivel
Copernicus’s discovery challenged the ancient and revered Christian religious belief that Earth and its human inhabitants occupied the center of the universe, thereby displacing humanity from its cherished central position. This would subject Copernicus to the wrath of the powerful Catholic Church and its fearsome, tortuous and hellfire Inquisition and with the onward march of science, religion has been on the defensive ever since devising every manner of fallacious objection. 
The reality for religion and all other superstition and fallacious nonsense is that the burden of proof for any claim always rests with the person making the claim with the corollary that any proposition that can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. That alone, one would think, ought to be a shot in the heart of religion. But, no; it continues to persist as about 70% of the world’s population believes in either the god of Islam, the god of Christianity or the multifarious gods of Hindu polytheism. Now that’s a scary fact in light of the corrosive impacts of the Renaissance, Humanist Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution. Darwin’s theories alone ought to have been sufficient to put the last nail in the coffin of religious mumbo jumbo such as gods and “creation myths.
If one accepts the omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly moral deity claimed by Christianity and Islam, are not all events that occur in the universe acts of God? Quite clearly a deity claiming the aforementioned attributes is able to prevent any event that does occur and ordain any conceivable event that does not occur. Consequently God is responsible for everything that occurs in the Universe. But upon even a cursory examination of the misery, death, destruction, wars, disease and other horrors and dismal conditions of the world, these deities are asleep at the wheel.
An “Act of God” is a useful construct invented by religious apologists to explain away anomalies within the natural environment and by devious insurance companies to get them off the hook for huge claims. Of course religionists tell us “God works in mysterious ways.” We should not try to understand tragedies such as the terminal illness of an innocent child, covid-19, the Black Death, our painfully short lives and other gratuitous sufferings of God’s human creations. Given the religionist’s rejection of these questionable premises, I wonder if it is possible for atheists to buy insurance against these so-called “Acts of God” and then launch legitimate lawsuits against the offending deity.
Surely now that we have rational scientific explanations for these phenomena we can rid ourselves of childish neurotic longings. Admittedly, there are still many unexplained events that happen, things that people label as “miracles” or “Acts of God,” but they do not constitute evidence or sound argument. You cannot intelligently attribute anything that you do not understand to some supernatural source or pie in the sky. And simply because we cannot provide a rational explanation of some present phenomenon it does not follow that none exists.
For instance: at one time, there were many more “unexplained phenomena” in the universe, but gradually, one by one, most of those things have been explained by Science. Thousands of years ago, people believe that thunder and lightning were acts of a pissed off God, such as Zeus or Odin. And not too long ago it was acceptable to believe in an earth-centered universe. No enlightened person with a functioning spinal cord believes these things nowadays although many people continue to invoke the fashionable deities of Christianity and Islam to explain seemingly random events. Many professional athletes point to the sky after a home run or cross themselves after a tennis victory as if their god was the cause. Mysteriously these silly antics are conspicuously absent on striking out or after being handed a double bagel (6-0, 6-0) in a tennis match.
As is usually the case, when these “Acts of God” occur, people are killed. It isn't uncommon for falling airplanes, collapsing bridges, tidal waves, earthquakes, floods, fires, train derailments and acts of religious zealots to leave scores dead. The press delights in covering the survivors of these calamities and recording their testimonials. These survivors invariably express their thanks to God. The irony of this appears to be lost to most believers. Moreover, it is remarkably insensitive and obtuse. It's like saying, "Well, the guy next to me may have been crushed to death, but God deserves my thanks for not crushing me." Instead of the typical outpouring of thanks, it would seem more appropriate for believers to have an outpouring of rage. It might be more reasonable for religionists to show their own righteous anger at the Almighty. But, in the modern world, supernatural beings don't get the blame for such disasters. In the old days, theologians gleefully gave God credit for nearly every swarm of locusts, tidal wave, wildfire and every swollen haemorrhoid. The reason for this modern shift has less to do with science than with the well heeled bullshit specialists and apologists that work out of every church. It would seem that demographics just don't support the vengeful god persona any longer.
After the recent wild fires in California, a Roman Catholic priest was quoted as saying; "I believe for all this hurt in Laguna Beach, God will bring forth great things." Of course, that's self-serving mumbo jumbo. Shrewd clergymen defend themselves, and the beliefs that sustain their institutions, from blame. Like slick political spin-masters, in post-disaster media sideshows, clergy bring in damage control for their Sky Daddy. They must appear to "accentuate the positive" and remain optimistic even when it is totally unwarranted. Pessimism is the default position for the rational realist; after all failure is the norm in most human endeavour as the optimist is typically disappointed. To err is human and most people screw up...and remember Murphy’s Law.
 Later successors to Copernicus’s heretical discovery would demonstrate unequivocally that Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old and was created by a slow accumulation of material over millions of years, much to the discomfiture of literal readers of Genesis, many of whom claim the universe is 6000-10,000 years old. The curious heretical monk Giordano Bruno was roasted at the stake by the Vatican while the esteemed Galileo was forced to renounce his belief or face a tortuous death. Nevertheless the truth was out as many philosophers and historians of science consider Copernicus’s discovery as marking the beginning of modern science and the Scientific Revolution that continues unabated.
Despite all this knowledge, among many other silly biblical beliefs of Christianity, creationism remains dismayingly popular. Eleven Gallup Polls taken between 1982 and 2010 found that ancient religious beliefs, including creationism, remain widely held by average Americans. Gallup’s question ran as follows: “Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings? 1) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so; 2) Human beings have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life and God guided this process; 3) Human beings have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life, but God had no part in this process.” Over eighteen years, between 40 and 53 percent of the respondents—an average of 45 percent—accepted the first statement, while approximately 43 percent accepted the second. Just 12 percent accepted the third.
Although Gallup does not label the three options, the first statement clearly represents creationism, while the second represents intelligent design (ID), a variant of creationism, not unlike a mutation of covid-19. The third statement represents the truth of evolutionary theory - the basis of all modern biology - which shockingly only 12 percent of Americans accept.
For a scientist, the uniformity of the responses from 1982 to 2010 is more than a bit discouraging. After almost five hundred years of scientific advancement, approximately half of the American public still accepts the fairy tale creation story. Of particular concern is that a major feature of creationism is opposition to not only logic and critical thinking courses in the schools, but even the teaching of evolution and its offshoot genetics which are the cornerstones of all biology.
Bogus Carrot and Stick Morality
We grew up in Christian America believing that sex is dirty, nasty and awful and that you should save it for marriage with the one you love – Butch Hancock
Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things. One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, dirty thing on the face of the earth and you should save it for someone you love - Reverend Richard Harries
Religious or not, I doubt that there are any victims of floods and wildfires who would trade their home, children, property and family heirlooms for the promise of an afterlife. The only thing that ever really mitigates these disasters comes from the secular realm: sense of community, solidarity and mutual aid, government assistance, bailouts and insurance claims. The worrisome thing is that one of these days, perhaps after the increasingly grim effects of global warming, species extinction, ecological collapse, pollution, overpopulation; the insurance companies are going to play the Trump Card (not the Donald) they've been holding since they began writing contracts. It's that little fine print provision which states that they don't have to pay if the disaster is an "Act of God." To my mind, an "Act of God" conjures up a Monty Python cardboard cut-out fickle finger of fate popping out from behind a cloud preparing to flick a jumbo jet out of the sky. “Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more”
People have a need to make sense of things that happen to them that transcend the banal and mundane machinations of natural phenomena – god old Mother Nature perhaps fighting back. Saying something is "the will of God" depicts genuine tragedy as dishonest gobbledygook. The real danger of religionist apology for disaster is the helpless feelings it endorses. It can discourage people from examining the true causes of problems and engender a sense of impotence. A councilman of a major American city recently announced that "only God" was able to restrain a bloody crime wave. When people attribute destruction of lives and property to "Fate" or "the Will of God," action is futile. The doctrines of futility and resignation advocated by religious institutions are among the strongest weapons used in the fight against agency, reason and critical thought.
The Holy Babble
When the Christian missionaries came to Africa they had their Bibles and we had the land. They said, “Let us pray. We closed our eyes and when we opened them we had the Bibles and they had the land” - Bishop Desmond Tutu
The Bible is a history of the grossest vices and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales - Thomas Paine
God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them – George W Bush
The total absence of humour in the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature - Alfred North Whitehead
Theist: God exists! Sceptic: How do you know god exists? Theist: It says so in the Bible. Sceptic: But how do you know the bible is true? Theist: It’s the word of god.
I don’t claim to be a biblical scholar but I did read the Bible (KJV) cover to cover many years ago which from my personal experience is something many Christians I have known have never done. There were two features about the bible I found strange: there was not a single word in praise of the intellect or any humour throughout – endless passages about submission to a vindictive arrogant deity and the infliction of torture, violence and death for non-believers (believe or burn). Consider a few passages, certainly not any cherry picked by Christian preachers and proselytizers that support my contention that the Christian God is a psychopathic misogynist, moral degenerate and blood lust tyrant. To confirm, simply dust off and pull out that moth balled bible you’ve never read and refer to passages such as these:
Some of the most cruel and sordid will be found be found in the sad story of Lot - Genesis 19:15-23, Genesis 19:6-8, Genesis 19:26, Genesis 19:34. If that story unsettles you, there’s much more – and worse. Consider this short list: Numbers 31:17-18, Deuteronomy 20:13-14, Deuteronomy 21:12-13, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, 2 Samuel 12:11-12, Zechariah 14, Leviticus 21:9, Deuteronomy 25:11-12), Leviticus 12:5, 1 Timothy 2:11-14, 1 Corinthians 11:8-9.
Consider these equally vile excerpts from the Good Book:
Exodus 32:27 - After seeing the golden calf, God commanded the Levites, “Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbour.” Three thousand were slaughtered, and God was pleased.
Numbers 15:32-36 - A man gathered sticks for a fire on the Sabbath. By God’s command, he was stoned to death.
Numbers 16:27-33 – The men were rebellious, so God caused the earth to open and swallow up the men, wives and children.
Numbers 25:9 - A plague from God killed 24,000. Judges 7:19-25 – Under God’s direction, Gideon’s army defeated the Midianites. They killed and decapitated their princes and delivered the heads to Gideon.
Judges 11:29-39 - Jephthah cooked his beloved daughter on an altar as a sacrifice to God for giving him victory in battle.
1 Samuel 6:19 – Some of the men of Beth Shemesh looked into the Ark of the Covenant. God killed all seventy of them.
1 Samuel 15:7-8 – God commanded Saul to attack the Amalekites and “totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”
2 Samuel 6:6-7 – The oxen carrying the Ark of God stumbled, and Uzzah reached out to steady it. God punished his “irreverent act” by killing him where he stood.
1 Kings 13:15-24 – A prophet lied to a man, telling him it was fine to eat bread and drink water in a place the Lord had previously told him not to. The deceived man ate and drank there. God sent a lion to kill him, “and his body was thrown down on the road.”
2 Chronicles 13:17 – God delivered the Israelites to Abijah and Judah--500,000 enemy dead.
Ezekiel 20:26 – Israel rebelled, and God’s punishment was sobering. “I let them become defiled through their gifts- the sacrifice of every firstborn- that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.”
Anyone remember “Joshua at the Battle of Jericho” and the song lyrics from their Sunday school classes? I can’t remember these being mentioned:
Joshua 7:19-26: Ai conquered. Achan’s sons, daughters, cattle, donkeys, sheep and possessions were taken to the Valley of Achor where they were stoned and burned.
Joshua 8:22-25: 12,000 men and women were slaughtered
Joshua 10:10-27: all of the Gibeonites killed
Joshua 10:28: all in Makkedah killed
Joshua 10:30: all of the city of Libnah was “put to the sword”
Joshua 10:32-33: all in Lachish killed
Joshua 10:34-35: all in Eglon killed
Joshua 10:36-37: killed the king of Hebron, its villages and every citizen. “They left no survivors”
Joshua 10:38-39: all of Debir killed
Joshua 11:6: God commanded Joshua to defeat the enemy at the Waters of Merom. “You are to hamstring their horses” (a horrific act of animal cruelty) “and burn their chariots”
Some are not only extremely violent, but very strange indeed; consider:
1 Samuel 18:25-27 explained how David gave King Saul a dowry of 200 Philistine foreskins to earn the hand of Saul’s daughter, Michal, in marriage. Deuteronomy 23:1 instructed that “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” Genesis 38:8-10 had God telling a guy named Onan to have sex with his brother’s wife in order to produce a child, and when Onan instead pulled out and ejaculated on the ground, God killed him. Deuteronomy 25:11-12 dictated that, if a man was in a fight with another man and his wife intervened by seizing the opponent by his genitals, the woman’s hand was to be hacked off at the wrist. Foreskins? Testicles? Semen? Genitals? For an ostensibly omnipotent, omniscient and a perfectly moral creator and master of the universe, the Xian God seemed to have a rather unhealthy obsession with the male genitals.
There’s much more weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, revenge, murder, rape, godly vengeance and genocide in the “Good Book”; but I think you get my drift.
Date of birth/death: 4 BCE – c 30 CE*
That which fascists hate above all else, is intelligence – Miguel de Unamuno
Religious historians generally claim that Jesus was born between four and seven years before the Year of Our Lard. Yeah I know, but none of the rest makes sense either and it’s quite plausible that J C is a fictitious character like Peter Pan. But the religionist will reply that you can’t prove that God and Jesus do not exist.
It’s a fundamental tenet of logic that no one can prove that Jesus did not exist anymore than they can prove that God, Ghosts, Goblins, Santa Claus, Angels, the Tooth Fairy or the Invisible Flying Pink Unicorn do not exist. But what reason does anyone have for believing these and other supernatural and pseudoscientific claims? The answer is zero, zilch, nada, none. However, when there is a lack of substantive evidence for the existence of such entities or compelling counter arguments for the implausibility, incoherence or improbability of their existence then rationality and common sense dictate that we ought to disbelieve in them or at the very least suspend judgment.
But in the United States - a Christian country of guns, flags and bibles - what would Jesus do (WWJD)? In light of the election of a raving fascist as POTUS in 2016 and the preponderance of fascist supporters most of whom call themselves Christian, surely if he is the historical anti-Roman Empire revolutionary we are told was executed by the Roman state, he’d feel like throwing up. He certainly would not be a Christian fascist and would refrain from spouting off “God Bless America” and “God Bless our Military” as do most American politicians. The essence of fascism is authoritarianism and hierarchy, a short waltz to the political right of mainstream conservatism. The churches, military and police lie at the heart of fascism and nowhere do these institutions have more power that the United States today which has become a full blown fascist police state. With 4.5% of the world’s population, it has in its jails and prison gulags 25% of all people in the world who are incarcerated. That fact alone qualifies the US as a fascist police state. In case you haven’t been paying attention, most cops, military men and Christians (particularly those who voted for Trump) are fascists. If you can’t accept this, read Chris Hedges, a self-described Christian, who in 2008 wrote the book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. The USA is far more fascistic today than it was 14 years ago when Hedges wrote this block buster revelation.
From Sam Jordison’s book “Enemies of the People”
In a nutshell: Naughty boy authoritarian revolutionary
Connected to: Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson*, George W. Bush, Billy Graham, Donald Trump, Teresa May, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Adolph Hitler (yes, Hitler was a Catholic), etc, etc, etc
*Blowhard televangelist Pat Robertson was a former Republican candidate for the President of the United States, a silly incredibly stupid man who believes that earthquakes and the 9-11 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001occurred because God was pissed off about same sex marriage and the evils of secular humanism.
Don't worry folks. There won't be any criticism of the historical Jesus here. Not the least because there's little reliable evidence about his time on Earth or even if he existed. For all we can say, he was a stand-up guy. Sadly, we can't say the same thing about the other Jesus. The one we've all created. That Jesus is a real piece of work.
The trouble started a few decades after Jesus is supposed to have died, when people began composing books about his deeds, mashing together Old Testament prophecies to help convince people' he was" the Messiah and writing lots of stories about his vicious mean streak. Bible Jesus tells us that most people on earth are sinners and will burn in hellfire. (He's really into hellfire.) He spreads the belief that sick or mentally ill people contain demons - and that to make them better, you have to cast out the demons. He demands repentance. He says that even fancying a woman is a lustful act and will get you in big trouble with the 'Guy in the Sky'. He gets angry. (He gets angry a lot.) He threatens that any community that does not accept his disciples will be blasted with fire from the air like Sodom and Gomorrah. He demands you to be a lickspittle and boot licker. He also tells people that they shouldn't worry about washing their hands which is just bad advice - like the anti-vaccination know-nothing morons. Silly you, J C.
There's also this:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: 1 came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Passages like that beauty have been used as an excuse for the spreading of death and destruction and misery for centuries.
Christ worship first became a weapon of state-sanctioned mass-murder in AD 312 when the emperor Constantine decided he wanted God on his side. According to his chronicler Eusebius, he had a vision of the symbol of Christ just before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, which he used to inspire his troops. Also to justify the fact that after securing victory, he established the long-running Christian tradition of slaughtering his retreating foes.
Soon after that bloody victory, Constantine gathered committees of bishops at Nicaea to decree the most politically acceptable version of his new faith. In the process he created the notion of apostasy and outsiders. He also began 1,700 more years of confusion and bloodshed and bizarre behavior in the name of poor old Jesus Christ, ranging from witch hunts, to Crusades, to invading Poland* via plenty of weird stuff about exorcism, getting scared about other people's sex lives and eating fish on Friday.
Even today Theresa May says Jesus is helping her find the way out of Europe. Not long ago Tony Blair claimed Jesus told him it was okay to invade Iraq. And that's before we get to the fact that he made Bob Dylan put out all those dreadful albums in the early 1980s. Before we get to Cliff Richard ...
* Contrary to popular belief, Adolf Hitler liked Jesus and his sky-daddy. He even gave them props after he invaded Poland, saying: 'I can thank God at this moment that He has so wonderfully blessed us in our hard struggle for what is right, and beg Him that we and all other nations may find the right way, so that not only the German people but all Europe may once more be granted the blessing of peace.' Safe to say, that didn't work out too well.
Date of birth: 2 / April 1926
In a nutshell: Accident of birth and the continuance of Divine Right
Connected to: God, Jesus, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson
If there's virtue in living for a long time and saying little, then the Queen of England is some kind of saint. Give or take the occasional refusal to pay income tax, or the odd failure to register much sympathy when her daughter-in-law died, the Queen has given the British press remarkably little to gab about during her seventy-plus years' reign.
But doing nothing can also be a failing - especially when that lack of action helps reinforce an unfair status quo. She might not like Nicholas Witchell,* but nor has she done anything to stop the BBC's royal correspondent from fawning and scraping. Nor any of the other sycophants that surround her. She has inflicted hours of boredom on the nation and strange men droning in awe for countless hours. By doing so she has also tacitly encouraged lickspittle deference.
* Or at least, her son Prince Charles doesn't. Referring to the BBC royal correspondent, he once said: 'These bloody people. I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is.'
More urgently, for the entire second half of the twentieth century, and now also a good part of the twenty-first, the Queen has been there to remind us that we do not live in a-meritocracy. Her presence alone informs her subjects that no matter how hard they work, how clever they are or how good they are to other people, there will always be someone above them; someone who didn't have to work to get there - someone who was just born there by winning the genetic lottery. She has reinforced and symbolized a system that gives precedence to obscene stolen wealth and decadence. She has legitimized a world where those born without a silver spoon are counted and treated as lesser citizens. She has done nothing to address the idea that there might be something wrong with our top-heavy, iniquitous society, where accidents of birth make far more difference to the way you end up than anything you actually do.
Talking of iniquity, meanwhile, just because the Queen has been good at avoiding personal controversy, that doesn't mean she hasn't been busy. The Queen has had other interests alongside touring the nations of the world while looking grumpy. She has been very good both at making money - and making sure that none of her people get their hands on it.
In 1993 the Queen's finances came under the spotlight following an unfortunate fire at Windsor Castle. When it became clear that the public didn't much fancy footing the entire bill for repairs to her private house, there was a prolonged discussion of her wealth and finances, during which the unfortunate issue of taxation came up. It turned out that the Queen hadn't ever paid any. So she agreed to a private arrangement whereby she would voluntarily pay undisclosed sums to the tax office (or, to give its full title, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) - which is worth repeating. She still hasn't been compelled to pay tax. And we don't know how much she's paying.
Aside from that one chink of light stemming from 1993, we've never managed to claw back any of her huge inherited and state-earned wealth. We don't even know how much she's got. Although we do know that she's getting more of it, all the time.
The Queen's people claim that a large part of her wealth called the Crown Estate which is the conglomeration of lands, castles and businesses that generate her vast income - don't actually belong to her. 'You would be hiding behind nomenclature and history to suggest that the Crown Estate is in any way an asset of the Queen's,' a palace spokesman claimed recently which prompts the question of who this billions in wealth really belongs to in that case. Does it belong to the public or the Indigenous People’s whose lands and resources were pillaged for 500 years? And can we the people have some of the money? Of course we can’t.
In 2013, under the Coalition government, while austerity was wreaking havoc all over the country and most public servants were enduring years of pay freezes, the Queen managed to get a deal whereby each year she would be paid 15 per cent of the income from the (supposedly) publicly owned land and property in the Crown Estate - unless that income fell, in which case she'd still be given more than the year before. * Which is to say, she was guaranteed pay rises in perpetuity. Given the way the income of the Crown Estate has been rocketing year on year since the early 1980s, she was guaranteed healthy ones. In 2015 she netted a tasty £40 million. (Oh, and she also cost the taxpayer round about another £100 million in security and unknown millions more in travel expenses.)
* In early 2017, a tiny committee of MPs also took a full thirteen minutes to decide to raise the per cent income from the Crown Estate from 15 to 25 until 2027, to pay for repairs to Buckingham Palace.
On top of this income provided by her grateful public, there's also the money the Queen has tied up in private lands, her art collections and her many other assets. Reuters estimated in 2015 that she's worth about £22.8 billion pounds. To put that another way, that's enough to send the NHS £350.million a week for a year. Or it's over £300 for each of her subjects in the UK. But, of course, we can't have any of it. We don't deserve it. We weren't born right. We aren't royalty.
God save the Fucking Queen! (The first doesn’t exist and the second should not exist)
Most so-called “democratic” and “enlightened” countries in Western Europe, including the UK (note “Kingdom”), still tolerate and finance the decadent swinish monarchy in some form - with the exception of France which in their “off with their heads” French Revolution dealt with the nauseating Medieval Institution (Ancien Régime) once and for all.
Motorhead: God Save the Queen
Sex Pistols: God Save the Queen