Sixty Glorious years of shape-shifting Lizardry

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June 6, 2012 by Jake Cantona

Are the crazy people chasing the old woman down the river again today?[1]

Well, well, well. That was all worth it wasn’t it? Taking my lead from Gary Lineker, who reckoned that the best way to watch Wimbledon play football was on Ceefax, I decided to follow most of the Jubilee weekend on Twitter, letting others articulate how badly things were going in 140 characters or less, without having to face too much of it myself.

It certainly worked last year for the royal wedding; I didn’t get to see Pippa Middleton’s arse until several days after the rest of my friends (and the entire England rugby team. Allegedly).[2]

So sixty glorious years of what exactly? Dismantling an Empire? Crawling to the USA? Progress and equality?

No, essentially the whole shooting match has been to celebrate the fact that 60 years ago the previous Chief Lizard-in-Disguise finally hacked and stammered his way gently into that good night.

The death of a parent is such an obvious thing to celebrate! Take my family for example. Every year, for the last twenty, my father has, religiously, cleared the decks for a piss-up on the anniversary of his father’s death[3]. On significant dates, five years, ten years on et cetera, my mother, myself and my siblings have entered into the spirit of this festivity by dressing up like twats and spending the money we normally use for mortgages, childcare and other such fripperies, on a shed load of booze and a dodgy karaoke artist at the Green Man[4], often with a finger buffet thrown in. What, for heaven’s sake, could be more fucking natural?

Thus, the royal celebrations are but this humble custom writ large. In heraldic crayon and the blood of virgins.

To be fair, they’ve gone easy on sacrificing virgins recently – it’s been a bit of no-no since that incident in the underpass – but on the bright side (metaphorically speaking), surely just a few of those homeless stewards won’t be missed. So not a massive body count this time out, some hypothermia among the sodden masses[5] – oh, and Phil’s got a bladder infection. Dogging in Windsor Great Park again the most likely cause.

Perhaps one cares less as ages advances, but it does appear to me that both Phil and Liz(ard) are taking far less trouble to disguise their reptilian form these days. It could simply be that that’s what happens when chameleons go on the blink. I keep expecting her forked tongue to lash out on a walkabout to snare a passing dragonfly or small child, I keep waiting for him to lick his own eyeballs, or at the very least, rotate them in different directions simultaneously.

Now I am not a rabid anti-monarchist nor do I think that I wallow in uncritical nostalgia, but it does seem to me that our national standards are slipping. As I remember the Jubilee summer of ’77, from the perspective of a nine-year old, there was plenty to write home about: the review of the fleet at Spithead[6], a Jubilee mug, silver Matchbox London buses, Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon, Brearley, Boycott and Botham[7] beating the Aussies to regain the Ashes.

But leaving toys, trinkets and sporting achievements aside, we no longer have a Navy to speak of, so a review of the Fleet would have been more of an embarrassment than a spectacle. Instead we got some quasi-homage to Gloriana, the First Elizabeth, with a punt on a barge down the ever Sweet Temmes, Phil, Liz(ard) and the assorted lesser geckos, getting rained on with minimal shelter, and waving stoically from the deck of what was presumably a glass-bottomed boat in case the Red Arrows display went wrong again[8].

All of this with the combined assault force of the Boy Scouts First Armoured Kayak Division and the Maidenhead Veterans Swimming Club’s support vessel in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile back in Airstrip One, we’re being run (into the ground) by Etonians, Oilmen and Bankers. Big Brother’s on Channel 5 and the Olympics mean there’s missiles on the roofs of flats where you normally can’t even get the lifts to work.

Sixty glorious years: bread and fucking circuses.


[1] Luke Haines, Twitter, 4th June

[2] Insert your own joke, or dildo, here

[3] And believe you me, I’m quite looking forward to continuing the tradition. Cunt.

[4] Other cesspits of humanity are available.

[5] A.k.a The Constitutionally Challenged

[6] My school, close by, was steeped in maritime history. Our houses were Drake, Hawkins, Nelson and Raleigh. Pirate, Slaver, Cuckold and Traitor,

[7] And a non-alliterative mention for Randall, Woolmer, Knott, Hendrick, Old, Edmonds, Roope and Willis. You really think I had to look them up?

[8] Recycled from an old joke about the Falklands War

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