I think that's the first time I've written the word "austerity" down. It's the new catchword as we approach 2011, isn't it? With our government plans to butcher our public sector, the prospect of continued job losses, and the certainty of tax increases, we'll be going into the New Year with more trepidation and scepticism than we perhaps have in the 40 years I've been alive. I know I will.
So isn't it nice, then, that we have a lovely Royal Wedding to look forward to? We may even, nice Mr. Cameron says, have a national holiday for it. That'll be lovely for those you'll be putting out of work, Mr. Cameron. That'll be delightful, since it's probably going to be on a Saturday, Mr. Cameron. That'll be superb, since we'll be footing the bill for it anyway, Mr. Cameron. It would be fair to say that there are a lot of people across the nation who think you can shove the wedding and the national holiday up your arse, Mr. Cameron.
Oh, it's easy to be cynical about this. Prince William and Kate Middleton are delicious targets for the media as much as they are ripe pickings for sick jokes and novelty earthenware. He's the heir to the throne and eldest son of our most iconic tragedy figure, and she's a working middle class lass of no discernible extraordinariness or social excess. It has all the makings of of what I'm sure the press will call a fairytale wedding, with all the inevitable Sunday paper colour supplements and made-in-China tat that we know and love from previous Royal weddings of significance.
Hold the cynicism for a moment though. Whatever you think of the Royal Family, going back to what I said about the anticipated and expected doom-and-gloom of the coming year I personally think it will be quite nice for us, the nation, to have something symbolic of our country to be involved in something positive for a change. Sod the VAT increase. Set aside the worry of job losses for a day. We have plenty more days to worry and moan about that. William actually appears to be a pretty decent bloke, and Kate doesn't appear to have been pushed into marriage with him in some urgent and orchestrated way as might be suggested of his parents. She is not "the new Diana" any more than she could be described as "a young Camilla". Not that I know if Camilla was ever young. I assume she was.
I've always said I don't mind paying my taxes. I don't have to support "dole scroungers" because we have high-earners and professional sportsmen to support them. But I know I pay taxes towards a lot of utterly shit things about this country, like, for example, speed cameras, mini-roundabouts, MP wages, one-way European investment, the war in Afghanistan, and the bailing out of cheatings banks who've engineered a fake economic failure.
Thank you, William. You've announced your engagement, given the pro-Royals something to look forward to, and engineered a certain amount of "feel good factor" in the nation you will one day (assuming your Grandma isn't, as I suspect she is, immortal) rule. That's a pretty cool thing to do when our nation's political leaders just cannot and will not give us anything to look forward to. Oh, and before anyone says "What about the Olympics?" I think it's fair to say we won't be able to even touch Beijing. We just don't have the slave labour.
I look forward to paying for the wedding. I won't watch it, and I won't be buying any of the junk related to it. I don't care about the dress, or the guests, or the coverage, or the build-up. I just care that someone who is a national symbol is giving the people of the country something to look forward to, rather than continued bleakness and misery.
Or defeat to Germany.