The Queen’s Birthday

So, once a year Nairobi society gets together to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. As far as I know no-one bothers to do this sort of thing in Britain but as Kenya aspires to be Britain of the 1950s this is quite a big deal. The only reason for attending is to see which innappropriate speaker the Kenyan government has sent. Last year it was George Saitoti. My money’s on Ruto this year. Not even fish and chips and Stilton could make me want to attend such an anachronistic event. Is this really how we want Britain to be known around the world?

Not me. Britain is about so much more. I’m proud of London, Edinburgh and many other great cities that I have been lucky enough to live in. We are at the forefront of art, music, science and so many other things that are worth celebrating. Britain was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Tom Paine and The Beatles. We saved the world from Nazism. Other countries mark their independence, victories over oppressors or revolutions. We mark the Queen’s birthday.

I’m sorry but this was my response this year.

Dear Joy,
For 30 years I did not once celebrate the Queen’s birthday and I certainly have no intention of starting now simply because I live overseas. It is worth pointing out that this is the year 2009 and medieval notions of monarchy have been ditched by most of the rest of the world. It would be nice to think that we could celebrate more sophisticated, more inclusive notions of Britishness but that apparently remains a pipe dream. Until then I will graciously decline your kind invitation safe in the knowledge that 1000 generations of Crillies will be pleased that I have not attended. Rest assured that I will be the first to celebrate the execution of whomsoever is on the throne when we finally come to our senses.
Your loyal, erm, subject
Rob Crilly