As we further contemplate the significance of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II we explore other perspectives (than previously published here and here and here ) on this event.
I have been curious about what others might see unfolding beyond the power structures (or intelligences) that Queen Elizabeth II represented in her role and position.
We value the opportunity to share the ideas from Alternative UK/Planet‘s Editor, Indra Adnan related to an exploration of Power – reprinted with permission below.
Dateline: September 25, 2022
After ten days of news near-blackout in the UK, reality lurched back into view—but not in a familiar way. Instead of moving forward into a new era, there is an ominous sense of retrogression.
In the UK, the ‘new Liz’ is preaching ‘trickle down (supply side) economics’. She takes the stance of a GCSE student trying to make simple sense out of the mystery of money. When in doubt, just give the rich more money to create a bigger economy; everyone will benefit eventually. As if giving the most corpulent person more to eat will eventually satisfy the appetites of the leanest.
Despite the manifest failure of this crude idea over decades Truss’ unexpected rise to power has her grasping for what she can to appear bold (the unfortunate challenge for any woman holding high office, even in 2022). In the face of a plunging pound and the howling of the Commons (itself an expression of the U-turn on the economic manifesto that won the 80 seat majority), Truss pushes to prove she can take the ‘hard decisions’. How sad to see this newly diverse cabinet, futuristic in that way, be so defined by this 70s vision.
However, this feeling of retrogression is not confined to the UK. Like a series of strange dreams, the ‘new era’ appearing is of a Europe – Sweden, Denmark, Italy – pulled back to an old political right. While Left v Right can be confusing when calling for an alternative people’s politics that brings us together, this wave of advances is clear about its identity as an anti-diversity stance. Fearful rather than supportive of refugees from the crises our economies and geo-politics have caused. And against the influence or protection of our LBGTQ communities.
The formerly disgraced Silvio Berlusconi is back in the frame, alongside new PM Meloni, flirting with a Russian President whose flagging military campaign gestures towards a nuclear option. Even as Putin’s own young men flee to the borders to avoid subscription, he pushes for multiple referenda in the captured Ukrainian provinces. A single Yes to annexation would change the status of Americans and Europeans helping Ukraine, to being at war with Russia.
How many people reading this news the world over are aghast at the stupidity reigning here. And at the same time alarmed and grieving for those affected. For the young Russian men it’s a brutal shift—from refraining to comment on the war via social media, to having your body dragged onto the front line. Whether you agreed or disagreed with your leader until now, this is an extreme wake-up call for the families of boys.
It’s one thing to imagine distant others in the line of fire, another to imagine your own child looking down the barrel of a gun. Especially when ignominy is a much more likely reward than glory in this case. It’s not a video game that you can shrug and switch off, whenever you get blasted. Mostly pain and shame beckon.
Of course, there are plenty who might rise to the call just as the Ukrainian soldiers did: anxious to defend their mother country. But for so many young people in particular, this must feel like a call from the past – old ways of settling disputes, way past their efficacy. Surely this form of hard, military power lost its guarantee after Vietnam? When the only super power of the time – the USA – was forced to withdraw with its tail between its legs, from one of the smallest countries in the world? Since then Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have all proved to be unwinnable wars
So where are we (writers and readers in this space) when we observe this unfolding tragedy? For some, it is only an extension of the other troubles we are witnessing every day—more evidence of our failing socio-economic-political system. The sense of powerlessness only increases with every news item, be it on the epidemic of knife crime , deepening poverty or a collapsing environment.