May 2, 2011
The following report from Britain appeared in the April 29th issue of Lutte Ouvriére (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers organization of that name active in France.
The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th had 1,900 invited guests, 7,000 journalists, 5,000 police, fighter planes and helicopters, with the center of London under surveillance, topped off with an outlandish parade. For two weeks up until the wedding, the media inundated the British population with every detail of this event, which was supposed to “weld the nation together” after the shock of the economic crisis.
But by far the most scandalous aspect of this great nationalist spectacle is certainly its cost, which the government is very careful not to reveal, nor to talk about the profits which businesses will get from it.
In response to the understandable hostility of the working population to this arrogant luxury, April 29th was declared a public holiday. Save that ... the law didn’t impose anything on the bosses – including government contractors, like the giant Kelly Services, which forced its workers to take a day off without pay!
All the public monies that have gone to fund this royal wedding will serve only to make things worse for the population, which has already shouldered the burden of the huge budget deficit caused by bailing out the banks. The working masses have had to pay a very high price for this bailout, costing them hundreds of thousands of jobs. A million households have seen their housing allocation drop sharply. Now, who knows how many hundreds of millions of public dollars have been wasted on this wedding! The night that Kate Middleton spent in a hotel the night before the wedding could have provided seven months of unemployment compensation!
“Weld the nation together”? It’s hard to see how this extravagant parade of wealth could do that. But maybe it will give an additional reason for the laboring classes, who the bourgeoisie wants to make pay for the crisis, to weld their ranks together to make all these parasites give up their gains.