Marx on Monday: US Royal Baby

I don’t know about you but I am fed up to the eye teeth with all the publicity surrounding the birth of Prince George.  Don’t the BBC and the Daily Mail know that there are over 500 republicans in Britain, all desperate to rid us of the so-called Royal Family and replace it with a more internationally respected democratically elected President like Barack Obama.

I was talking to my old mate Penny Red about it last week, as we waited outside Buckingham Palace for news of the royal baby’s birth. Mentioning Penny in this week’s column gives me the opportunity to correct the error I made last week when I referred to her as Laura Penny. Her name is, in fact, Laurie Penny. I don’t know how I could have made such a mistake about somebody who is a major household name. 

Anyway, as Penny stood by the palace gates, waving her union flag along with the hundreds of thousands of royalists, many of them American, who had gathered there to celebrate baby George’s birth, she turned to me and put a dampener on William and Kate’s special day.

“Don’t you just hate the Royal family,” Penny shouted above the crowd in her carefully cultivated “mockney” accent, “what have they ever done for this country?”

“Hasn’t the institute of monarchy brought political stability to this country for a thousand years,” I played devil’s advocate, “and avoided us embracing fascist or communist dictators and despots like other European countries?”

“Apart from that,” Penny replied.

“And doesn’t tourism directly associated with the Royal family generate over twenty billion pounds a year for the British economy, with at least half a billion pounds of additional revenue from the royal birth?”

“Yes, but we mustn’t forget,” said Penny “that this is just one of the 701 babies born in Britain today.”

“Your point being?” I replied.

“Doesn’t all this slavish coverage of one baby’s birth make you sick?” Penny asked, furiously waving her flag.


“Because the other 700 babies will all be born into poverty with single teenage women drug addict prostitutes on benefits as their only parent,” she replied, “what chance will they have in life?”

“What, all 700?” I replied.

“Yes, all 700,” she shrieked hysterically, “and believe me I know the sort of grinding poverty and despair these children will grow up in. I remember poor children like that from school.”

“But I thought you went to Brighton College,” I said, “one of the most exclusive private schools in the country with fees of thirty thousand pounds a year?”

“That’s true,” she sniffed, “but we were occasionally forced to play hockey against the oiks from the local comprehensive school. I met plenty of the great unwashed then.”

At that moment the easel displaying news of the royal birth was unveiled. The crowd surged forward and I was parted from Penny as she was carried away towards the palace. The last I saw of her she was waving her flag and singing “happy birthday royal baby” in unison with the rest of the crowd.

I was hungry, so I slipped away and headed for the nearest Greggs, intending to buy a couple of sausage, cheese and bean bakes for lunch. I appeared to be in luck. I was second in the queue and there were twelve sausage, cheese and bean bakes sitting, still piping hot, in the display window.

“Twelve sausage, cheese and bean bakes please,” I was dismayed as the customer in from of me placed her order, “and eight yum yums.”

The customer paid for her food and left the shop, forcing me to have sausage rolls instead. She was sitting on a bench outside the shop when I came out, tucking into the first of her sausage, cheese and bean bakes, and I gave her a hard stare as I walked past, only to realise that it was none other than double Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel.

“Hilary,” I sat down beside her, forgiving her gluttony because I was aware that she suffered from a chronic eating disorder which caused her to be morbidly obese, “I didn’t expect to see you here?”

“What,” she replied, “at Greggs?”

“No, I always expect to see you at Greggs,” I laughed, “I meant at the palace for the royal birth.”

“I haven’t been at the palace for the royal birth Kevin,” she said, shoving a little plastic union flag deeper into her handbag, “why should I be interested in that plastic princess’s baby?”

“Which plastic princess?”

“Kate Middleton,” she sneered.

“Don’t you like her?” I asked.

“What is there to like,” Hilary scowled, “she’s just a doll on which certain rags are hung.”

“Why do you hate her so much Hilary, is it because she’s beautiful and you look like the back end of a bus?”

“She’s also painfully thin.”

“Whereas you weigh in at around eighteen stone,” I replied, “or as our American cousins would say, 250 pounds – a deuce and a half!”

“Well at least I’ve got a personality,” Hilary replied, “not like Kate Middleton. There’s no risk of an emergence of character with her.”

“You have got a personality Hilary,” I agreed, “just not a very nice one. Why are you so bitter about Kate – is it because she’s just had a baby and you can’t have children?”

“I’m not bitter about her.”

“But didn’t you criticize her in your speech at the British Museum, causing Ed Milliband and David Cameron to come to her defence and describe your remarks as offensive”

“My remarks were taken out of context,” Hilary protested.

“But didn’t you call her a painfully thin shop window mannequin with a plastic smile on which certain rags are hung?”

“I might have done.”

“And didn’t you describe her as being personality free with no risk of an emergence of character whose sole purpose is to deliver an heir to the throne?”

“Yes I believe I did.”

“So in what way where those remarks taken out of context?” I challenged her.

“She’s not even a real Princess,” Hilary sulked, “her mother was an air hostess.”

“What’s wrong with that?” I was shocked.

“Princes shouldn’t marry into the common herd,” she replied, “William should have married a posh, upper class girl like Laurie Penny.”

“I’m surprised at your attitude Hilary,” I said, “I would have thought that you above all people would be a great fan of the royal family.”

“What royal family” she spluttered, “I hope you’re not talking about the Protestant Germans who currently sit on the throne, pretending to be the rulers of this country.”

“Don’t you accept Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of England?”

“No more than I accepted Queen Elizabeth I,” she replied.

“Why not?” I was mystified.

“My parents were Irish Catholics,” she explained, “I was raised a Catholic. The only royals I recognise are Katherine of Aragon, Bloody Mary, James II, Mary Queen of Scots and, best of all, Bonny Prince Charlie.”

Her soliloquy was interrupted by Penny Red dashing towards us furiously waving her flag.

“It’s a boy, it’s a boy,” she shrieked, “they’re going to call it George after William’s great-grandfather.”

“If it had been a girl,” Hilary replied, “they were going to name it after Kate’s mother.”

“What Sharon?” said Penny.

“Kate’s mother is called Carole,” I corrected her.

“Is she?” Penny looked confused, “I thought all air hostesses were called Sharon.”

“No, some of them are called Tracy,” Hilary corrected her.

“Right, I’m off,” I announced, “I’m off to the hospital to see baby George when William and Kate show him to the waiting world. Is anybody coming?”

“What makes you think I’m interested in that plastic princess’s pretender?” Hilary scowled.

“I’m a republican feminist,” Penny shrieked hysterically, “why would I want to see a Royal boy?”

I walked alone to the bus stop, glancing back to wave goodbye, and saw them hailing a passing taxi.

“St Mary’s Paddington,” I heard Penny shriek hysterically at the driver as they both jumped in, and as the taxi sped past me the last thing I saw was Hilary and Penny in the back seat furiously waving their flags.

5 comments on “Marx on Monday: US Royal Baby

  1. Homily
    July 30, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I love it when you play devil’s advocate Kev.

  2. nikkir1972
    July 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I hope you were joking about wanting someone like Obama. This country will go under due to his policies. The great American experiment at it’s failure point….wish I didn’t have to see it.

  3. tom
    July 31, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Lol! You’re really good at winning arguments when you put words in the other persons mouth! Clever clever stuff 🙂


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