By Joe Booth
Why am I writing this now? Because since Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh passed on April 9, 2021 so many people in the country consciously or subconsciously sent their condolences to him and gave the royal family importance. So many people including left wing, socialist republicans like Jeremy Corbyn and Nadia Whittome (MP for Nottingham East)
This has sparked so much controversy because for his long history of racism, having nazi siblings and just very simply being a member of a royal family where most people who believe in democracy, anti hierarchy and equality are rightly against, people who appreciate that are paradoxically sending out condolences and tweets that make him important in in our hierarchical society.
Of course that’s not the intention. The intention is to show politeness, compassion and also care not to create another wrong by saying how happy they are that he’s dead and that’s particularly important when fighting for a world free of all oppression, hierarchy and harm and full of plenty, freedom, security and individuality (always trying to be better and more humane than your enemies rather than just fighting them without any decided alternative).
But the problem with influential people like Jeremy Corbyn and Nadia Whittome voicing their public condolences the way they did – specifically as bad as saying “Her Majesty” and ‘all those who loved them” and nothing about other undisputed deaths and all their victims – is that had all those people collectively started a plan to say condolences if they wanted but also be very unapologetic about their republicanism, it would’ve become easier. Yes, even if April 9, 2021 wasn’t the right time, they still could’ve clarified that they were gonna be part of and aid the struggle against royal families, racism and other causes of death and for socialism and democracy – of course, so long as they explain those ideologies which was actually one of the failures of Corbynism (not yet being able to explain socialism to people).
This of course isn’t the only example of people with influence sending out condolences to their enemies: back in 2020 when Boris Johnson had coronavirus, even MP John McDonnell sent out his thoughts for Boris and his family, after all he tweeted against Boris. Obviously, there are somewhat significant differences between these 2 examples.
But hey, if Jeremy or Nadia or anyone in their defence is reading this article, don’t get me wrong: I’m still willing to understand why you felt the need for this: because lack of strength from others to properly voice opinions unapologetically. And that’s exactly why I think it’s essential to prioritise fighting the causes of these problems and for transitional demands that help us win more socialist demands in future.
But even if your tweets may have literally been just an apolitical act of politeness, the fact that you’re influential powerful people who have the capacity to say your more unconventional views means more could’ve been done. Besides, using ‘Her Majesty’ and not mentioning victims of the Royal family and other people who don’t get the same attention when they die, makes it even less about just simply sending condolences and more about actually making them seem important, even if not intended.
So in conclusion, on just one day of the year when an enemy either dies or gets sick its okay to send condolences *but* using that as an excuse to not say your real political views gives ground to your enemies and that’s a sociological fact, that’s not my own personal opinion. Feel free to disagree with me but this is a political discussion about what’s right not what’s convenient.
Besides, never at any point in your life think that by writing this article I disagree with or am more cynical about building a culture of unity, politeness and compassion. It’s exactly what I’m calling for: for a culture of unity and compassion, not a culture of naivety and compromising with harmful actions in the clothes of politeness.
For a draft example:
– “it’s very sad when any human being dies/gets sick and will always send condolences, but I’m way more concerned about deaths from poverty, discrimination, ethnic cleansing and other shit that don’t get the same attention. Let’s use this time to discuss what we think of [the relevant issue at hand] and what we want in future”
So, hope this was a good read, not too hostile and will love to hear all different ranges of opinions and perspectives and post a comment if you wish.