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14/09/2022

14/09/2022 

A line of Toby Jug-faced miscreants, waiting overnight in the pissing-down rain, in order for the stiff, starched, unnatural, beatified corpse of the monarch to give them the exact same lack of reaction it gave them in 1989 when her car passed their huddled class outside the leisure centre, and her grey-haloed head in its tacky little hat stayed fixed forwards, eyes on the road and studiously averted from the crowd that had spent six hours having its guts boiled in the heat.

Ah, your Maj, we are but the source of dividends on your BrightHouse investment; the ones who keep palace radiators on through the misappropriation of our hardship funds. Try and picture Amazon warehouse workers weeping when Bezos dies and thanking him for his service…


… I still find it impossible to believe that Robin Hood would have kneeled before the cowardly Lionheart. He already had his own crusade, a rare just one, why did he need another man’s rotten variant? I tell you, some censorious monk or Earl with a frayed forelock must have gotten his hand in the ballad collection or the manuscript at some point…

… Summon a less bourgeois Lennon, without a property portfolio to sanctify him in the eyes of the English creeps who conspire to make you all still seem like peasants to him, and imagine, it’s easy if you try, she’d never made it to the throne. Imagine, imagine… if the lot of them had been given the chop (metaphorically speaking) in ’45, along with that other bloated soon-to-be-icon of stolid, continuous Englishness W.C. We never go far enough here, that’s the problem…

… a knife in the back of class, a cry against privilege. Even in the 1640’s they stifled the shout and chased pure Gerard from St George’s Hill (now a private gated enclave for the super-rich, more enclosed than the Digger could ever have dreamt of in his most terrible nightmares of Conqueror-derived oppression). Close Cambridge and sack Oxford too, while you’re at it. Imagine a country free of the big wide yoke, a people without a foot on their throat… 

… not able to look back on all the old symbols and signifiers because they’re already too far gone; forced to look for other things to learn who they have been and what they could be… 

… things close to home for once…

… the gilded mirror broken… 

… a Windrush generation arriving and being told they’re part of the future, and not having to feel the spectre of the past breathing down their necks in every pub and every garden suburb like a parochial MR James curse demanding paradoxically both total assimilation and full deportation…

… Oh me, oh my, why are we all haunted by impossible dreams of what could have been?

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Author: Billy Stanton

Billy Stanton is a young working-class writer and film-maker based in London, and originally from Portsmouth. His short story ‘Screwfix’ was recently published in the psychogeography collection ‘New Towns’ (Wild Pressed Books). His short fiction has also appeared in Horla and The Chamber magazines. His latest short film ‘Noli’, dealing with the rituals of modern British drinking culture, is currently in post-production.

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