Fighting Words

Royal Baby: The Next Generation Of The Ruling Classes

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Royal estate at Sandringham, Norfolk in east England,
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a 2011 Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the royal estate at Sandringham, Norfolk. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The royal baby is late. This will probably be the first and last time that punctuality will ever be a problem for the child throughout what will be a very privileged life. Really, any later at this point and the child may have to abdicate.

But why should we care about the royal baby?

The United Kingdom looks to be heading toward a triple-dip recession, which could endanger more jobs and put more strain on an already fragile public service sector. Despite all this misery, some 2,013 of the mothers who give birth the same day as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will be entitled to a silver 1p coin with a value of about $39, or 26 pounds. In total, that’s around 56,000 pounds' worth -- or about $84,000 in total. Not much considering that the royal baby is expected to bring in about $400 million for the economy, but it's a huge amount when you consider that some  families are getting their groceries from food banks and getting by on as little as $9 a day.

How about we take the Finnish model and give mothers the essentials for raising a baby in the first six to eight months? New moms in that Scandinavian nation get bibs, coats, nappies, outdoor gear, a small mattress and even a specialized box that statistics show lowers the risk of cot death. Give new parents in the UK something useful to kickstart their parenthood and stop wasting our money on commemorating a child who is being born into a the lap of luxury.

Basically, the proffered coin is just a reminder of who comprises the 99 percent and who makes up the 1 percent.

Disconnected Leaders

Is the royal family and British government really this disconnected from modern Britain?

The UK is in terminal decline, but just for a moment take a look at the men and women who rule the country. The current conservative coalition government is full of millionaires who attended schools like Eton and Harrow. They are all friends, ensuring each other top jobs in government. Prime Minister David Cameron, for example, is school friends with his chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, along with London Mayor Boris Johnson. All of them are millionaires.

Osborne has repeatedly cut welfare for the neediest in the UK, including his awful cuts on the meager levels of support received by single mothers. He has not only lowered that support but also backdated it, putting those mothers in debt and at serious risk. For the lucky few single mothers who somehow make time to apply for the coin online, they'll want to cash in on its value so they can perhaps buy the essentials that will actually give their child a better start in life.

Identity Crisis

Not only is the UK financially crumbling at the seams, it is also losing its identity as its four nations increasingly look inward as the British government continuously destroys their communities. No doubt many of the royalists will be claiming the child could bring all the nations together, but when was the last time a royal baby was born outside of London?

What about the rest of the UK that already feels so estranged from a country that is run from London? If this baby is supposed to bring a nation together, why don’t they have it in Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland? They won’t, because tradition dictates that the child will be born in the same place all royal babies are born, either in Buckingham Palace or St. Mary’s Hospital. And this is very much the crux of the problem in the UK: tradition and traditionalists.

Don’t get me wrong, the royal family contributes much to this country, whether it is the Queen engaging with world leaders, or smoothing over trade deals with Arab sheikhs. They are wonderful for tourism, and they most certainly pay their way in life. Prince Harry is a professional soldier, Prince Charles runs his own organic farms, Prince William is a helicopter rescue pilot, and even the Queen was once a mechanic during the war.

To their credit, they did jobs that we can all identify with one way or the other. But the real truth of the matter is that the royal family, the royal baby, the current government, and those coins they will be giving away are just more reminders that we are governed by the ruling classes, who, by cutting off the few things that give support and hope to the country's beleaguered population, keep us exactly where they want us: needy.

These coins are an insult to the working classes who struggle every day to just have a tiny part of the life that this child will be given. Good luck to the new family, but let's not kid ourselves: It’s them and us.

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