What exactly is going on above is a matter for some conjecture. Suffice it to say that from the page girl (or whatever she is called)'s reaction, it must be very noisy. Hat Tip to Charles Christian via Charon QC.
'Socialism' George Orwell wrote in The Road to Wigan Pier (1936), draws towards it 'with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist and feminist in England'. Warming to his theme, our man's tirade against such 'cranks' is memorably extended in other passages of the book to include 'vegetarians with wilting beards', the 'outer-suburban creeping Jesus' eager to begin his yoga exercises, and "that dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come flocking towards the smell of 'progress' like bluebottles to a dead cat'.
The quote came to mind in relation to the Royal Wedding. I start by saying that the rabbit had little to no interest in this event and only caught a few minutes of it as it was on a great big screen in front of his exercise bike down at the gym. The only thought the coverage provoked was that the much traduced Rowan Williams would make a splendid Gandalf. And yes, as previously outlined in White Rabbit, the Windsors are an utter shower.
And yet. And yet. Oh and you can knit your own royal wedding if so inclined.
Some of the reaction to the Royal Wedding has been graceless in its splenetic nature - a classic example is the commentaries of charmless lump Tanya Gold (google if you can be bothered). It does strike me that we are rapidly developing a British variant of the 'culture wars' that have paralysed US politics for many years now. The effect is a social and intellectual paralysis as two camps who hold large numbers of their fellow-citizens (the other camp) in a kind of uncomprehending contempt, pass the time glaring at each other and exchanging insults. As the memorable line in Educating Rita has it 'there must be better songs to sing'. Roll on the republic. But nicely.
Then I am brought back to earth by the news of - talking of Orwell - Orwellian 'pre-emptive arrests' by notably the Metropolitan Police. Prominent among these was Chris Knight, a 68-year-old retired anthropology professor, his partner, Camilla Power and 45-year-old friend Patrick Macroidan on the eve of the wedding near their home in Brockley, south-east London on the charge of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance (sic). Knight's group, the Government of the Dead, (doublesic) was planning to behead an effigy of Prince Andrew with a theatrical guillotine in an act of street theatre on Soho Square in London.
As you do.
The clunking mindless authoritarianism of this grates. Even vegetarians with wilting beards have rights. Including the right not to be incarcerated for hours before being released without charge on the grounds that they may do something embarrassing. Probably mostly to themselves.