I look outside my window and the sun is shining. It has been for several weeks now. I turn on the TV and I see pictures of joy as a new baby is born into the world. It is a child I will probably never meet and one who will undoubtedly have a better life than I could have ever dreamed of. For several days the Royal Birth has covered newspapers, TV and radio bulletins as if it were the most important thing in the world. So the thing is this, the sun is shining, a child is born and Briton seems to be doing rather well at sport, isn’t this a time to be happy?
Facebook and Twitter are full of messages of joy for the Royal newcomer, yet equally there are some dissenting voices who bemoan the coverage that this child is getting. They hate and I think it is hate, the fact that their TV, Papers and Radio are covered with this story. This is a privileged child they cry, a child with no understanding about ‘real’ life. They belittle reporters for asking inane questions of the waiting public and for reporting ‘news’ when clearly awaiting the birth isn’t that. ‘What about Syria?’ they cry, ‘What about the recession?’ They have no interest in the name of the future King, nor whether Kate (or Catherine now she’s poshed up) will breast feed or not. They have no interest in the fact that Kate displayed her post natal bump to the media.
Well I for one am pleased that this birth is getting a lot of coverage. I’m kind of a lukewarm monarchist, in that I prefer Her Majesty to having a President Blair or Thatcher. But that isn’t why I am glad. I am happy because for what seems like a long time (perhaps the Olympics) the focus of the news is on something positive. Here we have (and I hope this to be true), a loving young couple who are sharing their joy of the birth of their son with the world. Yes, it is stage managed. Yes, it has probably gone on too long. But it is a story that surely can only make you smile.
I think you get a bit weary of all the sad/bad news that is out there. How many more deaths can we hear about in Syria before we turn off? How many more times can we be told that everything in our country is in ‘crisis’ before we all pack our bags and leave? This week I have been able to turn on the TV and actually watch the news (Admittedly not too long as it gets a bit nauseating). But at least I know that when the titles roll I will see an image of a smiling couple. I will see people genuinely happy, whether they are the paupers or the princes. When asked why these poor people are happy the general answer seems to be that it is something positive in a world/country of such pain. And that the couple look so much in love.
Now I know people will be screaming to say that this is the Opium of the People, that the Royal Family are there to distract us from the ‘real’ problems in our world that we neglect to address. The injustice, the class structure which suppressing change and improvement for all.
But this week I just don’t care. It won’t be long before the sun goes back behind the clouds. Before Britain starts losing at things again. Soon the woes on the world will once again be on the front pages. We will get to see the images of the dead and dying once again to prick our souls.
For now I’m getting the Pimms out, firing up the Barbie and turning up the radio. It is time to enjoy the summer and give everyone a chance to smile.