Expensive British royal jubilee

This music video from England is called Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen (Studio).

While the poor in Britain get poorer … weekly Socialist Worker reports:

Tue 8 May 2012

Let them eat cake! The £10m jubilee festival ‘fit for a queen’

It’s a Marie Antoinette moment for the jubilee as we learn it will feature a cake portrait of the queen—made up of 3,120 individual cakes.

As ordinary people struggle to afford their weekly shop, the 94 square foot monstrosity will use 1,000 eggs, 50kg of butter and 150kg of sugar.

It’s all organic of course.

The cake is just part of the £10.5 million London diamond jubilee festival and river pageant planned for 3 June.

Organisers say it will be “a festival fit for the queen”. What does that mean?

First, eight enormous church bells—named Elizabeth, Philip, Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, William and Henry—will be rung from a floating belfry.

Then the queen’s new £1 million gold-plated barge Gloriana will lead a 1,000-boat flotilla down the Thames. It will stretch for over 12 miles.

Not enough pageantry for you? Not to worry.

The next day the queen will light a beacon at a concert in her honour—using a huge diamond-shaped crystal.

There’s also the Windsor Castle celebration, being held this week.

It will feature a parade of 500 of the finest horses in the world—some flown in by private jet at a cost of up to £40,000 each.

But just remember—we’re all in it together.

If you can’t quite cope with it all, help is at hand. The official merchandise includes a diamond jubilee whisky flask.

However, it seems not everyone is welcome to join in the jubilee celebrations.

The police have banned a jubilee party at a Sheffield community centre—after finding out it was planning to play R&B, reggae and soul music.

Tickets were to be sold from a Caribbean restaurant.

The police claimed that they feared the event at the Everyone Centre in Heeley might really be of a “different nature” to what the organisers said.

Manchester City Council was forced today to defend a decision to splash nearly £40,000 on a visit by Elizabeth Windsor two weeks after approving millions in budget cuts: here.

By Barry Mason:

9 May 2012

Nearly 130,000 people, including more than 45,000 children, used food banks operated by the Trussell Trust in the UK last year.

This represents an increase of more than 100 percent over the previous year. The trust is a Christian charity, whose remit is “to empower local communities to combat poverty and exclusion in the UK and Bulgaria.”

People who use its food bank services are given a minimum of a three-day supply of emergency foodstuffs made up of milk, sugar, fruit juice, soup, pasta sauces, tinned fruit, rice and sponge puddings, tinned tomatoes, pasta, tinned meat and other basic staples.

The Trussell Trust is the only body operating food banks in the UK. They are a relatively new phenomenon. A Coventry University report of November 2011 noted that although charitable food assistance programmes were well established in some developed countries such as the US and Canada, they were not common in the UK. But since the early 2000s, there had been a rise in organised food provision “in the form of both community food banks and food redistribution programmes.”

Prince Michael of Kent, cousin of Elizabeth Windsor, has received at least £320,000 from exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, according to weekend reports: here.

Bahrain, dictatorship, resistance and British royals

This video is called The march of democracy gathered in Bahrain 27/04/2012.

From the Angry Arab News Service:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bahrain Update

From Angry Arab chief Bahrain correspondent: “Situation in Bahrain is like how it was last year in March and April when emergency law was instituted. Media is back to identifying protesters and using hate speech. There are house raids, mass arrests, excessive use of force, and checkpoints everywhere. This all existed throughout the year but it seems like we are almost back to the level it was last year. Round two? Zainab AlKhawaja is still in prison. No news about her father.”

Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 8:08 AM

Bahrain: Where is Abdulhadi Alkhawaja? Here.

From the (usually conservative, pro-monarchy) Mail on Sunday in Britain:

Bahrain despot says Yes to the Queen’s Jubilee lunch invitation

By Katie Nicholl

PUBLISHED: 23:14 GMT, 28 April 2012 | UPDATED: 23:41 GMT, 28 April 2012

The King of Bahrain has given the Queen a political headache by accepting her invitation to attend her Diamond Jubilee lunch at Windsor Castle next month.

The decision will anger human rights groups opposed to his bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

As a matter of royal protocol, the Queen was obliged to invite the king, along with other crowned heads from around the world, to her celebratory lunch on May 18, as revealed by The Mail on Sunday three weeks ago.

Here, Ms Nicholl more or less lets Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II off the hook, making it look as if the monarch had no alternative.

Royal protocol said as well that the ambassador of the Assad regime in Syria should have been invited to the royal wedding last year. Then, that ambassador was not invited. So, the queen did have an alternative. As she does now, though she apparently does not want it.

While some may have hoped the king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, would decline the invitation to spare the Queen embarrassment, sources have now confirmed that he has formally accepted.

It is also understood the king has been invited to a champagne dinner to be hosted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace that evening.

The news will be heavily criticised by human rights activists as well as MPs who are appalled at the Gulf state’s brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy demonstrations, which has seen live bullets and tear gas used by riot police.

Many believe the king, who is trying to reassert the authority of the Sunni monarchy, should never have been invited.

Bahrain is in a state of civil unrest as protesters attempt to overthrow the king.

Pro-democracy groups have been taking to the streets since February last year and more than 50 civilians have been killed during the demonstrations, while thousands more have been arrested.

News of the acceptance of the invitation to the lunch to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the Throne ahead of the main celebrations in June comes only a week after Bahrain hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix last Sunday.

Race bosses came under pressure to cancel because of the regime’s bloody behaviour, but the event went ahead.

The king’s acceptance of the Queen’s invitation will no doubt be seen as another victory for the Bahrain monarchy, which has direct control of the police, army and security services.

A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The King of Bahrain has accepted the Queen’s invitation to lunch on May 18 and is therefore expected.’

Buckingham Palace last night declined to be drawn into the row over the invitation. A spokesman said: ‘We won’t be confirming attendance until on the day.’

There was a similar outcry when the King of Bahrain’s son, the Crown Prince, was invited to the Royal Wedding a year ago today.

Again, all crowned heads were invited as a matter of protocol, but human rights activists had threatened to disrupt Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s stay and he decided to pull out only days before the wedding.

Instead of the crown prince, the Bahraini monarchy’s torturer-in-chief came to the wedding then.

But whether his father cancels coming to Windsor Castle at the 11th hour remains to be seen.

His country is still gripped by tension – last month the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights published a report looking at violence inside the kingdom since November, finding at least 30 cases where people had died after confrontations with police or security forces.

Most of the other victims reportedly died after inhaling tear gas, which is regularly fired at the demonstrators.

Bahrain: Police Brutality, Despite Reform Pledges. Minors Regularly Beaten; Impunity Remains Key Problem: here.