Those who thought London could never resemble Pyongyang & that the BBC wouldn't offer up a bemusing mix of sychophancy & banality over this extended Bank Holiday weekend may well feel disoriented.
Certainly, the scant number of Merseyside neighbourhoods which applied for council permission to hold jubilee parties attests to a general indifference towards the Monarchy in these parts. However, that didn't stop the Oldham Echo from banging the royal drum yesterday (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/views/our-view/2012/06/04/what-makes-britain-great-100252-31107103/).
A half-hearted stab at populism, its editorial trumpeted:
"There's the fact that we are a proud little island kingdom with an NHS which is still the envy of the world and a belief in fair play and democracy that allows a free press and fierce pressure on the politicians who so often let us down."
Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, et al are hell-bent on policies which will effectively dismantle the NHS, the claim that "a free press" holds the powerful to account is risible, particularly with regard to local politics. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't get the feeling that Oldham Hall Street has exerted "fierce pressure" on Peel Holdings, Joe "Tea & Sympathy" Anderson, or his much-missed predecessor, Warren "War Zones" Bradley.
Moreover, the supposedly robust media has been conspicuous by its unctuous & tedious coverage of the Windsors' weekend; the Daily Show with Jon Stewart expertly & forensically dissected CNN's coverge (http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/06/05/watch-jon-stewart-rips-queens-jubilee-coverage/ ).
As ex-Echo hack Vicki Kellaway writes in a guest post for Dale Street Blues, there is sufficient local evidence that we live in a very dis-United Kingdom (http://blogs.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/dalestreetblues/2012/06/vicki-kellaway-forget-rios-inf.html ).
Adding to this unarguable presentation of a grim reality facing an increasing number of people (including those who once thought they were safe from the vagaries of market forces) is a story from the Guardian which truly warrants the adjective Dickensian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/04/jubilee-pageant-unemployed ).
Those jobless "volunteers" who were forced to sleep beneath London Bridge, told they had to change in public, denied access to toilets for 24 hours & paid the not-so princely sum of £2.80 per hour for their labour would beg to differ with the Echo's contention that "a belief in fair play and democracy" is a defining characteristic of life in Elizabeth Windsor's Britain.