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'UK royal wedding, a 5bn pound drain'
Wed, 27 Apr 2011 08:27:22 GMT
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At a time when the UK is battling with economic austerity measures, the British people are faced with a royal wedding that analysts say puts a five-billion-pound burden on British taxpayers.

Press TV talks with Stephen Lendman, writer and radio host in Chicago who shares his views on the expenses of this event and its consequences on the economy and people. Following is a transcript of the interview supported by other guests.

Press TV: Critics say that the royal wedding is going to bring in a lot of income for the government. Do you think there should or shouldn't be public concern about how the economy is going to be affected?

Stephen Lendman: The economy is a central issue not only in the UK, but in American and across western and eastern Europe. Doing this whether it's for royal weddings, whether it's for imperial wars, whether it's for any of the things that the government does while at the same time having an austerity program that's contemptuous of public needs and any idea that they might end up blowing ten billion US dollars on a royal wedding, well, I must say that bonnie Prince William puts on his trousers in the morning the same as I do.

I have contempt for what is going on. I'm sure that he and his family has contempt for me, a commoner, but we share one thing in common, we have equal contempt for the traditions of the other. But I have a lot more people in my commoner class than he has in his royal class.

And it is really shocking and disgusting that not only Britain, but America has these ceremonial affairs as well, we call them presidential inaugurations. Millions of dollars are spent when a president is inaugurated or an existing president is inaugurated for a second term. It's an extravaganza, a terrible waste of money and again popular needs go begging so that rich people can cavort with unlimited amounts of money to use on whatever they want and they simply don't care about terrible needs that keep growing - It's the same in America as it is in Britain.

Press TV: If the role of the royal family is mostly symbolic, what of the question of accountability when it comes to business issues? Can the royals answer the question of accountability?

Stephen Lendman: The royals may not have actual authority, but they have moral authority. When the queen has something to say she can command the TV networks the same as the prime minister can do; and the same as the US president can do here in America. If the queen, a national figure, wanted to speak out about things she was concerned about - bad policies, imperial wars, wasteful government spending and government corruption - She can get the public ear anytime she wants.

But she won't do it because she is part of the system the same as the corporate chiefdoms and political leaders in the US and they are part of the same enterprise to follow the interests of the elites in the country and damn the ordinary commoner people. That's exactly the way it is in the US and in Britain.

Things might go sour in either country and I strongly believe we're heading in this direction. We are in hard times - I call it a main street depression that is in the US, UK and across Europe is getting deeper and deeper where rich people are doing better than ever, especially bankers while ordinary people are suffering deeply.

As this pinches more and more in months and years ahead people will get angrier and angrier and sooner or later they'll react.

Press TV: Some are suggesting that royal wedding fever is not sweeping the whole population, but largely what the media are up to and that they are setting the agenda. How much of a role do you think the media playing in all of this?

Stephen Lendman: I think the media is paying a very major role. I expect that the Brits are more intelligent about their media than the Americans are. Too many Americans are deluded by the nonsense they get through the media and the royal wedding is being played up here as well. So it is playing a central role in putting out this information, but if 80% of the British population is very negative about what's going on I say bravo to the UK public because they are a lot smarter than the politicians there give them credit for.

Now they need a government that will serve them and not the elitist interests that at the same time spurn the public needs that get greater every single day.

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