As every Englishman knows, the high point of the calendar is the Lord Mayor’s Show. An ancient (783 years) ritual in the square-mile that mixes the bizarre, basic, feudal, unpleasantness of 13th century England with the bizarre, basic, unfair, unpleasantness of the modern-day world.
Our non-English friends may wonder at the spectacle of loads of corporate whores in horrible pastiches of Ole Englande constume, parading up and down in a joyless fashion, holding their corporate logos on banners, desperately trying to convince the TV cameras that they are having a great time dancing in the cold, grey drizzle.
The Lord Mayor in the mean-time looks every bit the part: jolly, red-faced and happy to watch the dreary procession of civil servants, proles and soldiers. Of course he does! This procession heralds the start of the best year of his life! For the next 12 months he will be off round the planet, getting celebrity treatment without a care in the world! And why ? Because he spent most of his life supporting previous Lord Mayors like a good civil servant.
It’s not only joyless corporate whores on the floats though! In between the advertising banners are the military, demonstrating how big and pointy their weapons of mass destruction really are. The whole display is to show off Britain’s pathetic “Military Industrial Complex”, as Eisenhower put it.
After the heady excitement of the Lord Mayor’s Show, the whole of the English population get together as one for the “solemn ceremony of remembrance”: a ceremony in which we remember the thousands of people we sent off to certain death in the name of keeping our rich, rich.
As one on the Sunday morning we all collectively sit in our baths and shout out “Oh fucking hell they’ve put the Archers back by an hour for this bastard ceremony”
Oh England, my Lionheart.