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Maybe its grandpa who gets it

Last Saturday, there was an elaborate ceremony to mark the fact that a 74-year-old man finally got a job that he had been preparing for. The occasion, like all British events involving the Royal Family was as wonderful celebration of pomp and pageantry. Heads of State and Government from around the world were invited and the glamorous of British Society made it a point for the rest of us to see them at their best.

Given that we live in an age of extremities, the coronation of King Charles III stirred a few emotions. On one hand you had people basking in the “pride” of the nation. At the other extreme, you had people complaining that the royals were “free-loaders” spending tax-payer money at a point when most tax payers have to choose between staying warm and having enough to eat.

Out here in the former colonies, the editorial focus was on the rather ugly past of colonialism. It was pointed out that the fabulous Crown-Jewels of the British Royal Family was stolen loot from the colonies – so much so that the newly crowned Queen Camilla avoided wearing the crown with the Kohinoor Diamond, which was looted from India. Much was also made of the fact that the fortune of the British Royal Family was built on slavery.

I studied British History (part of the History A-Level course) and I am well aware of the fact that the “Colonials” were not nice people. As the only Oriental growing up in the UK in the 1990s, I made it clear that my heroes were inevitably people who got rid of the colonials like Gandhi and Nehru in India or Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. My “action” hero was inevitably Bruce Lee, who showed little Oriental Boys that we could hold our own against the larger white boys.

So, I get that brown and black people around the world feel a little miffed by any hint that they should celebrate an institution that represented a time when they had to call someone else “master.” However, whilst I do get why people outside the UK may have issues with the monarchy and its links to the colonial past, I think their anger is focused on the wrong target.

The monarchy is by its very design “archaic.” It has worked in the UK because it is a symbol of a “glorious” past and the idea of “modernity” and “monarchy” can seem like contradictions. It doesn’t help that the current head of this monarchy is 74. One might argue that Old People simply don’t get it.

However, if you look at what’s happened in the last decade of “Tory” Party rule in the UK, it actually turns out that the king is not the issue. The King, who does not have normal freedoms (though the money is beyond the wildest dreams of most) is actually looking like he’s trying to make the world a better or at least a nicer place, whilst the people’s representatives in Westminster and No 10 Downing Street seem to be in a daily competition to get nastier.

When he was Prince of Wales, the King gave an interview where he talked about being “Defender of Faith,” rather than “Defender of The Faith,” (a title which ironically bestowed on Henry VIII by the Pope just before he decided to ransack Catholic Monasteries). It caused an outcry at the time and there were issues with the Church.

However, if you look the demographics of 2023 and compare them with his mother’s coronation in 1953, you’ll notice that the United Kingdom (UK) has become a far more multi-ethnic and multi-religious place. Given that the monarch is technically Head of the Church of England, the King has made it clear that he a dedicated Anglican but respects the right of all faiths: [LINK]

King Charles, has to his credit made it a point of visiting Mosque and Gurdwaras, showing that it is possible to religious co-existence.

One of the best symbols of the coronation was getting the first ever Hindu Prime Minister of the UK to read a biblical passage. What could symbolise religious harmony better than that?

Apparently, some people or at least someone claiming to represent people had issues with that and denounced a “heathen Prime Minister,” reading from the Bible. Rishi Sunak has undoubtedly done my things that should be criticised but showing respect to another religion should not be one of them: [LINK]

Then, you look at the issue that upsets the brown and black in the colonies – slavery and its links to the monarchy. There is a complaint that the King and Prince of Wales have only “expressed sorrow” for the suffering of slavery rather than giving an outright apology. The King has even gone as far as to back research into the monarchy’s ties to slavery: [LINK]

As an ethnic Chinese, I understand the frustrations that colonised folks have with “non-apologies.” The Japanese have been getting away with non-apologies for years when it comes to everyone else in East Asia.

However, let’s give credit where credit is due. The King, who is merely a symbol, is trying to acknowledge that the past was not bright and rosy. It is ironically, the Prime Minister, who is the son of colonial subjects, and the man who actually makes the decisions who has rejected calls for an apology or to pay reparations to the victims of the slave trade: [LINK]

The Old White Man who isn’t allowed to say much sounds like an easy target. However, he’s the one making the appearance of doing the right thing. The real problem is a Prime Minister like Rishi Sunak and Home Secretaries like Priti Patel and Suella Braverman who have made going to war against poor and helpless brown and black people a part of their policy. Let’s look at the fact that its Suella Braverman, a decedent of colonial subjects who dreams of sending South Asians seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda. It was Prince (when he was still one) Charles, the then scion of a family that represents colonialism who spoke out against this policy. Instead of reconsidering, the government felt he was out of line getting involved in politics.

I get that colonialism was not a happy time for us in the colonies. However, lets not take issue when the person making an effort to look like he’s trying to right the wrongs of the past and focus instead on the people making the actual decisions enforce the worst bits of the past in a modern context.

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able to meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

21 Responses to “Maybe its grandpa who gets it”

  • Tough to be a King now.:

    Tough to be a King now.
    Do or don’t do will also be damn.
    Hard to please everybody…although he try without much success…especially with his Queen affair.
    Anyway enjoy the kingship while it lasts…before it becomes irrelevant.

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  • The Lion, Unicorn & Dragon:

    Don’t be surprised one day very soon you will see the British monarch is a Black.

    One estranged prince has already betrothed a brown wife into the firm. A storm in the English Tea cup.

    So far, the Orientals ( though large in numbers-Hongkongers in the UK ) have not the least been in favour by the monarchy or its people who are kinder towards the black and brown.

    In the BBC video coverage on the coronation ceremony of king CIII, you hardly see any of their orientals partaking the ceremony. The ones you see however are invited diplomats.

    So, can a Black or Brown be called an Englishman/woman ?

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  • Royale Craps:

    A rambling and intellectually apologetic “analysis” that ends in “Je cède”—the philosophical equivalent of the ‘classic French shrug’. To truly have reconciliation, there must be 1) an admission of wrong-doings and 2) a rendering of the past that laments the awfulness that does not paper over the wrong-doings. Until such time that we can label things accurately. Relics of treason! I would love King Charles to go on live television and explain in detail exactly what he did to earn every one of that chestful of medals on his clown suit. And the explanation has to be more than just ‘Mummy gave it me’.

    As for the British tabloids, they’re an open sewer of the festering worst of humanity. Whatever one thinks of Harry and Meghan, a man who feels entitled to publicly publish his misogynist fantasy that a woman be paraded naked through the streets while people pelt her with excrement is a man who should never again be accepted into polite society or given a platform. This kind of misogynist vitriol fuels violence in a Brit’s society that gives it a pass. He has told us who he is; his apology is worthless.

    Fatalism and the defeatism have no place on a lifeboat. As long as Britain is weeded to an obsolete monarchy, a class system that rivals the castes of India, and enormous social and economic inequality it doesn’t have much of a future. It represented the worst preferences of humanity to abuse other humans as well as open sedition to perpetuate those worst preferences ad infinitum. In fact, racism, slavery, religious hypocrisy, white supremacy, barbaric human bondage is still keeping the country in one piece.

    Just keep today’s very real white imperialists from shooting at us please because, yeah, that’s still going on. The Earthshot Prize, which was founded by Britain’s Prince William in 2020, will give £1 million (S$1.7 million) each to five winners in Singapore. What a well constructed heap of baloney.

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  • Narcist:

    Confirmed narcissist.

    “As the only Oriental growing up in the UK in the 1990s,”

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    The Lion, Unicorn & Dragon:
    Don’t be surprised one day very soon you will see the British monarch is a Black.

    One estranged prince has already betrothed a brown wife into the firm. A storm in the English Tea cup.

    So far, the Orientals ( though large in numbers-Hongkongers in the UK ) have not the least been in favour by the monarchy or its people who are kinder towards the black and brown.

    In the BBC video coverage on the coronation ceremony of king CIII, you hardly see any of their orientals partaking the ceremony. The ones you see however are invited diplomats.

    So, can a Black or Brown be called an Englishman/woman ?

    can a Black or Brown be called an Englishman/woman ?

    Hahaha.. Opposition can never answer your question.
    Oppositions are racist as my great PAP so aptly put it.

    I had also asked similar question but opposition all chicken out.

    Is yellow American?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfIbRiX5r_Q

    Is white Chinese?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIGfbeD6hFE

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  • Harder Truths:

    The UK is a washed-up financial center relying on offshore banks in the Cayman Islands hiding tax $$$ from their government.

    The King is an adulterer who was having sex with a married woman while his wife was pregnant. He has ears that is an early-warning system for an ICBM launch in China. The Queen is the selfsame adulteress and mistress the King was bonking under the nose of his wife, aided by his friends and staff.

    Having royalty is saying some people are born with privilege and regardless of how stupid or morally bankrupt they are, must be treated differently. Like the Pappies. Only difference is our Pappy ministers cannot detect an ICBM launch in Chin.

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  • xoxo:

    The Brits face the waning importance of London as top financial centre as scenarios change POST-BREXIT.
    It would have to court Asia ,particularly China n India for trade(exports).
    Biden’s outward BBF with Sunak is justskin-deep.
    U$A has to contend with its own humongou$ DEBTS.
    America will try to achieve TRADE SURPLUSES going forward.
    So,U$A,will definitely take care of its own economic interests first.

    I see UK leaning towards China for trade,its a matter of survival.

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  • Jokers:

    You are so keen to show your ignorance and low IQ. You can’t understand that words have multiple meanings, and keep on asking very stupid questions.

    Singaporeans R Free Riders: can a Black or Brown be called an Englishman/woman ?

    Hahaha.. Opposition can never answer your question.
    Oppositions are racist as my great PAP so aptly put it.

    I had also asked similar question but opposition all chicken out.

    Is yellow American?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfIbRiX5r_Q

    Is white Chinese?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIGfbeD6hFE

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  • Royale Craps:

    The UK currently has more food banks than it has branches of McDonalds. A diminished nation that can still show the world it can still do pomp and pageantry like no other. They are reaping the fruits of their stupidity and King and coronation won’t help them. Almost like a comedy or a clown show…. that guy on the balcony with that stupid ‘silly thing’ propped up on his head like a ‘Pillsbury muffin’ pastry. And it is the elevation of Camilla as “Queen” that I find MOST galling. It makes me want to spit now to see her wearing the jewels of the Queen of England. She would have told Charles to stuff it way back then.
    Instead she aided, abetted, encouraged Charles in his extramarital affair. Young, naive and capable of producing heirs, Diana was the perfect third person to keep them happy and the fairy tale illusion going. Charles and Camilla settled upon her as the perfect virginal cover to enable their sexual escapades to continue. And, Charles, just blind. Somehow so cowed by this woman he cannot see the damage. Craps!

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  • SINGAROAR:

    Why would anyone want to participate in this false crowning of Charles and Camilla. These people are stuck in previous centuries and people who attended it look like fools. The jewels are all stolen from colonies and yet being worn and shown of in Public. All should be seized and returned to the rightful owners.There is no more need for monarchies which are becoming tax burdens to people.

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  • Cheap Cheap:

    Must look at numbers. Much of the royal family’s expenses are covered by an annual taxpayer-funded payment known as the Sovereign Grant, which in the 2021-2022 financial year was set at 86.3 million pounds ($108m) – roughly 1.29 pounds ($1.61) for every person in the UK.May 2, 2023

    See? So cheap. Only half a plate of kway teow. By UK standard, it’s only a cup of tea at McD.

    Better worry about self-appointed aristocrats who are very expensive.

    SINGAROAR:
    Why would anyone want to participate in this false crowning of Charles and Camilla. These people are stuck in previous centuries and people who attended it look like fools. The jewels are all stolen from colonies and yet being worn and shown of in Public. All should be seized and returned to the rightful owners.There is no more need for monarchies which are becoming tax burdens to people.

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  • opposition dude:

    It’s all about mindsets and perception. True, the royal family might seem old fashioned in their way of doing things or speaking at times but no one can deny that we all live in the present and not the past. Imagine if royals worldwide decided that they would still travel by horse carriage everywhere today or sail (instead of fly) across oceans in wind sail ships, that would be unbelievable but old fashioned royal families don’t want to change how they do things now do they?

    Charles is, as stated, head of the church and nothing more. The UK government, at most, considers his public opinion to be that of one very high ranking citizen and no more than that. It’s like Ho Ching blah blahing on some social issue, her useless husband considers it her opinion and won’t change things just because wifey commented.

    So this slavery issue just gets mentioned every now and then like how the Japanese occupied Asia in WW2. If this is really such a big issue then no ex colonised country might as well trade with Japan but we aren’t seeing that. You know why? Because those days are over and the people who were slaves, well, how many are still around today to make noise about it?

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  • Royale Craps:

    Quite unlikely many denizens of the Commonwealth are observing the events, if they are at all, with anything other than bemusement and a shake of the head. I’m afraid I missed everything as ‘I was cleaning the crumb tray on my toaster’. There are many folks in Scotland and Wales, living and dead, who would vehemently disagree with you (Cheap Cheap) — those who were violently stripped of their ancestral lands, their homesteads, their means of making a living, their personal possessions, their children, their culture, their wearing of kilts and family/clan identifiers, their speaking their own languages, their lives — all of that was brutally taken from them. (Very much like what was done to the indigenous peoples in America).

    Adding insult to the injury of a hereditary monarch as head of state, Charles suggested all Brits/Commonwealths pledge their allegiance during the coronation. But an old man starting out with his withered second wife to fulfill his god ordained duties seems like a stretch. The St. Edward’s Crown is valued at £3bn-5bn by experts. Nonetheless, seeing it hoisted onto King Charles’ noggin, one cannot but muse that “crown” rhymes with “clown.” Do we in Singapore not have our own royal clown – espousing “natural aristocracy”? If you’re Singaporean, and this stuff isn’t anathema to you, you’re swimming in the wrong pond.

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  • SINGAROAR:

    @Royale Craps
    Enjoying your posts. Kudos.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    opposition dude:
    It’s all about mindsets and perception. True, the royal family might seem old fashioned in their way of doing things or speaking at times but no one can deny that we all live in the present and not the past. Imagine if royals worldwide decided that they would still travel by horse carriage everywhere today or sail (instead of fly) across oceans in wind sail ships, that would be unbelievable but old fashioned royal families don’t want to change how they do things now do they?

    Charles is, as stated, head of the church and nothing more. The UK government, at most, considers his public opinion to be that of one very high ranking citizen and no more than that. It’s like Ho Ching blah blahing on some social issue, her useless husband considers it her opinion and won’t change things just because wifey commented.

    So this slavery issue just gets mentioned every now and then like how the Japanese occupied Asia in WW2. If this is really such a big issue then no ex colonised country might as well trade with Japan but we aren’t seeing that. You know why? Because those days are over and the people who were slaves, well, how many are still around today to make noise about it?

    Confering an adulterer King Charles as Head of the Church is a big joke.

    Head of Church is a bunch of jokes just like the CCP bandits.

    Desmond Tutu:
    https://www.azquotes.com/quote/298486
    When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Confering an adulterer King Charles as Head of the Church show the hypocrisy of Christianity.

    It shows that the Church say one thing but does another.

    Money makes the world goes round.

    Got money adulterer can also be gentleman even it is a fake one.

    Who say money can’t buy you friends ? Hahahaha

    Better investigate your religion leader background and not blindly believe.

    Dalai Lama also had fetish asking young boy to suck his tongue.

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  • Royale Craps:

    @SINGAROAR
    Kind of a debbie downer. Talk about narcissists are never ashamed to wear “royal” jewels. Genuinely LOL’d.

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  • OHMSS:

    On Her Majesty’s Commercial Service: Bribery, Public Officials and the UK Intelligence Services
    This article sets into context and analyses the justification for committing bribery granted to the intelligence services by section 13 of the Bribery Act 2010. Particularly criticised is the extension of section 13 to include the intelligence services’ statutory function of furthering ‘the economic well-being’ of the UK. In a context in which there are high risks of corruption in forms of export business such as arms trading, it should not be acceptable that it is open to the intelligence services, if need be, to use bribery or related offences to further such business interests on behalf of the UK. More broadly, it is argued that the breadth of section 13 illustrates the moral ambivalence of the UK when it comes to bribery overseas. This is in spite of the strengthening of the law more generally through the Bribery Act 2010, in its application to overseas trade.

    Singapore sure follows UK, right?

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  • Royale Craps:

    What the U.K. Bribery Act do, is to incentivize companies with lax compliance programs to get their act together. Seriously, rather than ‘dun’ the company, shareholders, etc. with fines, just jail the bad actors. The same thing should have happened for all the Wall Street bad actors such as JP Morgan, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, et al.
    Which means I am not condoning what took place here, however as one delves further into it much it seems is being based on allegations that ‘a few’ took part which is not correct. Same issue with whether Britain will actually hold Murdock accountable within the News Corp. organization. The notion that he was above it all, unknowing, should gag even the most gullible among us. It’s also curious that Murdoch praises Singapore; as paying our officials enough so they couldn’t get bribed–this was probably his truest comment he made. Call a spade a spade…the reality is no amount of money is enough — absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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  • Long wait:

    He has waited long long already…
    Let him have his day lah…
    Don’t worry William,your wait will be shorter.

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  • tankuku:

    If Charles live as long as his mother or father, William will have to wait long long also. Wait until 70′s of age then king.

    Long wait:
    He has waited long long already…
    Let him have his day lah…
    Don’t worry William,your wait will be shorter.

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