So it's over at last. I think what I found most troubling about the Jubilee Weekend was the reports of republican protesters being shouted down and told to go away, on the grounds that they were "spoiling people's day". It suddenly dawned on me what it is about monarchism that makes it entirely different from other democratic political beliefs - it depends for its sustenance on the fiction that everyone, without exception, agrees with it. How else can we explain just how absurdly upset monarchists became at even the tiniest, vaguest reminder that there is an alternative to their own view? It also perhaps explains why the broadcast media, which usually makes at least some efforts to provide balance, shamelessly turned itself into an unalloyed propaganda organ over the weekend ("Britain is absolutely united"), and banished all but the most slavishly loyal monarchist views during their coverage - maybe they felt they would be "letting down" or unduly "upsetting" the majority of their viewers by reminding them that democratic dissent extends to the question of how the Head of State should be selected.
Heaven only knows how these people would cope with a referendum on the monarchy. Opinion polls currently suggest that a comfortable 70% would vote for retention, with only 15% opposed - but simply posing the question and countenancing the inevitability of a non-unanimous verdict would, I suspect, be enough to make many monarchists feel violently ill. Oh, and the campaign - how grubby.
* * *
This from the Herald raised a smile -
"Following talks between Mr Salmond and BBC chairman Lord Patten, who met the First Minister at Holyrood earlier this year, it has been reported that guidelines will be issued to the broadcaster's staff on how to avoid terms favoured by the independence and pro-Union camps.
Nationalist politicians have complained about the use of "separation" instead of independence.
Phrases favoured by the SNP such as "normal European state" are also likely to be discouraged."
Which is a bit like saying "14-18 year old males will be told not to drink Buckfast - and are also likely to be discouraged from attending Barry Manilow concerts". The latter is a worthy precaution, but almost certainly superfluous.