Royal Tours: Gov. Reinforcement That Poor Don’t Matter
by Brandy D. Anderson
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” *
Standing outside of a Salvation Army the morning of a Royal Tour is a sobering experience. Inevitably, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn to the ongoing royal visit. Half-starved men and women, wearing ill-fitted and battered hand-me-downs, release angry mutters into the wet air. They know they’ve been forsaken by their government, this isn’t a sudden realization they’ve come to. The reason they feel the sting more keenly today, however, is because the government bragged to spending over $100,000 on pomp and foolishness, attempts to impress the Prince of Wales. This enormous amount of tax payer dollars is going up in smoke over a royal visit of less than 24 hours.
That’s why they’re angry.
Instead of utilizing that money to help abate hunger, it’s going to inflated security and a fireworks display for a couple who are so far removed from reality that they’ve never known what it’s like to be poverty-stricken. Hell, they have no idea what it’s like to live a normal or common life in any aspect. They’ve never known what it is to have to hovel and swallow your pride because you desperately need money to feed your kids – or to help pay the medical bills of ailing parents – or to make a half-payment on your rent so you don’t get evicted because you were laid-off like so many others.
Sure, before today these downtrodden men and women had no delusions of being able to expect any help from their government; but it particularly hurts when it’s flaunted in such an obvious and grand way. So, the government decides to cater to royalty, to spend $100,000 to impress two people for less than a day, rather than making sure their people had food to eat. Meanwhile, provincial governments are also cutting education funds left and right, they say they just don’t have the money. Because, really, what’s more important – educating children or showing off for English royals? Feeding residents or kowtowing to the rich? The Provincial Governments of the Canadian Maritimes have made their priorities very clear.
The question is, will we, as the majority, remain quiet?
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many — they are few”
Percy B. Shelley – The Masque of Anarachy
*: Quote from Network. Film.
Image Source: CBC