From Patriotic Alternative.
With the advent of the Queen’s platinum jubilee this weekend, I took to considering the monarchy and the position of the folk in relation to this institution. Fellow travellers will note from my choice of title the allusion to The Kinks’ 1969 concept album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Quite right. Let’s proceed from this reference.
With the possible advent of WWIII and the Queen being the Head of the Armed Forces, let’s look at how the situation with the monarchy, the standing of the British, and the social ramifications of war were viewed as early as 1969.
The Kinks are my favourite band. Listening to them lately, with the Queen’s platinum jubilee and the associative faux-patriotism and saccharine love affair for her in mind, I this time heard from the band a different perspective.
As I’ve said previously, I was once one of those (what we might now call) ‘Bulldog Nationalists’. A flawed position soon ended by a 5-year education with the National Front. However, from this much younger foolish perspective I viewed this Kinks album as a celebration of Empire, imperialism, the ‘might is right’ narrative… as somehow an endorsement by a band that showed themselves to be patriotic, even somewhat nationalistic. I now no longer perceive this album as a celebration of British endeavours but rather a lament – in the Kinks’ quintessentially English, customary social commentary – and I like it all the more for it.
With the wisdom of age and under darker skies, the other morning I listened and found what I feel to be a different, more profound view from Ray Davies (lead singer; main lyricist) writing this at the staggeringly young age of 25. How many 25 year-olds today could even think, let alone write, with such acerbic satirical socio-political commentary?
The lyrics are necessary and add to this piece so should be read in conjunction with my considerations for a fuller understanding. The lyrics in full are embedded in each video with excerpts of the most pertinent passages included in my commentary under each video.
Admittedly, I could be way off the mark here – but bear with me. Let’s see where this takes us. Why not take some time out and listen to this album while thinking of Her Maj and the state of Britain she has presided over? Makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it?
In order of album tracks (which I perceive to follow a chronological order of linear history).
Davies here is, rightly or wrongly, celebrating past achievements. As a Nationalist, my aversion to Empire and imperialism is standard, and at this point irrelevant, but will become more so as the album continues. Davies makes a clear and pointed allusion to the significantly more freedom enjoyed then than now: Long ago life was clean / I was born, lucky me / In a land that I love / Though I am poor, I am free. While I don’t fully agree (even though there were many valiant efforts, especially the stand at Rorke’s Drift), one could be forgiven in thinking there was then much more for which to fight and die. Indeed, When I grow I shall fight / For this land I shall die. Land of hope and gloria / Land of my Victoria.
Certainly, workhouses, chimney-sweep kids in Victorian Britain lamented by Dickens; unjust conflict with the Boers… but no jailing of opinions; no perverse and twisted indoctrination of children; no plethora of rules and regulations prohibiting everything and allowing nothing; no conditioned comfort to elicit apathy in the masses.
“When I grow I shall fight / For this land I shall die.” Now listen on to the sombre perspective of the conscripted and notice the huge switch in direction and loyalty.
2. Yes Sir, No Sir
Even though Davies is speaking of the British army, adapt if you will and consider the plethora of rules and regulations prohibiting everything and allowing nothing. Apply military life to civilian life in a modern British context overseen by the Queen. Any similarities? Yes Sir, no Sir / Permission to speak Sir / Permission to breathe Sir / What do I say, how do I behave, what do I say.
While we work, struggle, pay tax (what the Regime only wants and expects from us) in the hope of a better life, consider this while the masters lord over we the servants: So you think that you’ve got an ambition / Stop your dreaming and your idle wishing / You’re outside and there ain’t no admission / To our play. Pack up your ambition in your old kit bag / Soon you be happy with a packet of fags. Doesn’t matter who you are / You’re there and there you are. Authority must be maintained.
And with the possible advent of WWIII and the new Covid-esque hysteria in the form of sabre-ratting against the latest bogeyman (terrorism no longer works for this end), the people are being mobilised: Let them feel that they’re important to the cause / But let them know that they are fighting for their homes. Give the scum a gun and make the bugger fight / And be sure to have deserters shot on sight / If he dies we’ll send a medal to his wife.
Jolly sobering isn’t it, old chap? I wonder how many jingoistic ra-ra Tory boys are prepared to spill their blood for more price increases in food, fuel, gas and electric while inflation reduces their savings? Is it really only the market, dear boy? The ravages of capitalism?
It’s enough to make one ill – and the worst is yet to come. Wait until autumn when the heating has to go on at possibly triple the price it was last year. Not to worry, you too got your £2,212 pay rise along along with the parasites in Westminster, didn’t you? Err… And still the zombies will vote for it and drag us all down with them. Please let me die Sir / I think this life is affecting my brain.
Back to the track, I’m seeing a clear demarcation, a shift from celebration of Victoria to lament of George V. Here we seem to be in WWI? Let’s go on because to me the linear history continues.
3. Some Mother’s Son
Some mother’s son lies in a field / Someone has killed some mother’s son today.
While all the parents stand and wait
To meet their children coming home from school
Some mother’s son is lying dead
And still the world keeps turning / Though all the children have gone away
A bleak, despairing lament of the death of the youth during the fratricidal mass-industrialisation of death. We lost not only millions of men but a large sector of British culture and a certain essence, a rigor, a soul. And for what? Because some duke somewhere was shot and politicians and their war games had a plethora of interdependent and contradictory treaties tying them up in bureaucratic knots? (No matter – send in the children. They’re not our kids. Pawns on the board.) Not sure I can contain my patriotism at this point.
I’m sensing the onset of WWII – with children being “sent away” after “coming home from school.” Maybe; maybe not. But my perception of this being the inter-war period now leads comfortably into the following song with allusion to the Spanish Civil War.
Let all the Russians and the Chinese /And the Spanish do their fighting / The sun is shining / We’re going drivin’, drivin’. What is this song but an idiosyncratic projection of splendid isolation and a cry for no more war and a return to simplicity?
The inter-war period: a time far freer than today. Small State; country idylls; self-sufficiency; home brewing; space; zero-foreigners; common sense; simple, fairer rules… zero Statist jobsworths with a lust for imposition and a govern-me-harder-daddy mentally that will drag us all down. A time, put simply, one could left alone: And all the troubled world around us / Seems an eternity away / And all the debt collectors / Rent collectors / All will be behind us / But they’ll never find us. Here is where my patriotism lies – not in the polity of today. Let them fight their own wars for once. In fact, knock on the doors of all those meek gullible idiots with Ukraine flags in their windows and introduce them, by conscription, to the consequences of trusting authority.
So while the mass was out at weekend with their State-sanctioned faux-patriotism, little plastic flags, and idolisation of a multi-millionaire parasitical institution feeding off them and passing by Royal Assent every piece of anti-White legislation, did they consider the following that Davies rightly cites as a semi-mitigating circumstance of their victimhood?
The aristocrats and bureaucrats
Are dirty rats
For making you what you are
They’re up there and you’re down here
You’re on the ground and they’re up with the stars
All your life they’ve kicked you around and pushed you around
Till you can’t take any more
To them you’re just a speck of dirt
But you don’t want to get up off the floor
But, alas, let’s see how far their faux-patriotism, fondness of the Queen, and blind obedience to authority goes when they lose their houses due to rocketing interest rates and soaring inflation. Many are still sleep walking into a coming hell and, yes, I’ll be the Casandra to shout it from the rooftops. Thankfully, PA have started to make inroads into social issues because this is where battles will now be won. Or else we can simply ignore it and sing, all together now, “Land of Hope and Glory…”
One of the most challenging tracks on this concept album of linear socio-political commentary, I’m not all together sure of its intent. An advert that there is an option to escape the coming madness? Perhaps. Or else, one of Victoria’s key assets in the Empire and a chance for Davies to end side A a little more upbeat from the hard-hitting lyrics? Maybe. A pointer to parts of the Empire that are not undergoing the flood of non-Whites and the social transformation then happening in the UK – all on the watch of Queen Elizabeth II? My chips are on this theory.
Australia, the chance of a lifetime
Australia, you get what you work for
Nobody has to be any better than what they want to be
Australia, no class distinction
Australia, no drug addiction
Nobody’s got a chip on their shoulder
Originally published at Patriotic Alternative on 4 June, 2022.