This week the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, collaborated in a coup d’etat. She acquiesced to the request of Boris Johnson, Britain’s unelected Prime Minister, to prorogue Parliament in order to ensure that representatives of the people would be unable to oppose his “no deal Brexit” and thus avoid catastrophic harm to the very fabric of British life.
According to Boris Johnson, formerly Court Jester to the British Conservative Party and now merely Britain’s Bad Joke, ensuring that Parliament is effectively removed from the equation is today’s “democracy.” Apparently this is entirely consistent with his Brexit claim of “restoring Parliamentary sovereignty.” Or to be more precise, just like Putin in Russia, Boris-the-Joke believes that democracy is whatever he says it is.
Apologists for the Queen claim that she had no choice in the matter. This is the same claim that supporters of Victor Emannuel III of Italy promoted when he collaborated with Mussolini. It is the same claim that defenders of King Leopold III offered when their monarch collaborated with Hitler. In short, it is not a very strong argument.
If it is a true claim that the queen had no choice in the matter then one must ask: what is the purpose of the queen?
Some claim she boosts tourism to the UK, but actual data on this is inconclusive. Some claim she is a necessary figurehead, that she is “above politics” but clearly this is untrue. The queen is merely the puppet of whoever happens to be the Prime Minister of the day. This places her firmly beneath politics, not above it.
Some claim that if the queen had refused to acquiesce to Johnson’s coup this would have provoked a constitutional crisis. Apparently rendering Parliament powerless is not, in this view, a constitutional crisis in and of itself. Clearly such reasoning is poor and the conclusion is entirely fallacious.
British people are masters of being passive, of muttering things like “well, mustn’t complain” and “I suppose we’ll just have to put up with it…” Defense of the queen is ultimately nothing more than standard British passivity because accepting the logical conclusions would be uncomfortable and might get in the way of afternoon tea.
Meanwhile the downsides of the monarchy are obvious. It is an anachronistic holdover from feudal times and supports a social structure that is totally out of keeping with the modern world. While the various members of the royal family do provide paparazzi fodder and fill pages of tabloid newspapers and journals around the world, these days we have adequate supplies of toilet paper and no longer need low-quality substitutes. If we wish to gawp with empty minds at scandal there is a sufficient supply of intellectually deficient celebrities to fill every need.
The time has come, therefore, not to abolish the ancien regime but to modernize it. Today the royal family requires significant funding in order to remain semi-operational, as witnessed recently by the fact that the British taxpayer funded the rebuilding of Windsor Castle after a fire had gutted several of the buildings and is funding the renovation of Buckingham Palace to the tune of nearly four hundred million pounds. While the queen herself and Prince Charles may have the benefit of having inherited tax-free estates the revenues from which offset some of their costs, the same is not true for the many sub-royals who subsist to a greater or lesser degree on the largess of the British taxpayer. Furthermore many of these junior members drift off-message and create problems for overall brand image.
When we consider the core function of the queen it becomes immediately apparent that smiling blankly and waving at crowds is her primary mission.
In former times it was necessary to train a human being for the role, much as we used to train captive dolphins to catch fish. Early in her career Elizabeth II was an ideal student: not particularly intelligent nor particularly inquisitive yet dutiful and persistent, she was readily molded into the shape required by a still-hierarchical society. Today however technologies of many kinds have radically reshaped our ability to deliver required outputs. We no longer wait for the delivery of mail through our letterbox: we send emails and instant messages. We no longer saddle up and trot into town for our groceries: we hop into our automobiles and drive to our preferred superstore. We can now effect a similar upgrade for the British royal family.
Fortunately for us, there are suppliers who can deliver what we need. The Japanese have become the world’s foremost developers of synthetic people, otherwise known as bots.
Driven by the typical Japanese male’s desire for non-threatening sexual encounters, Japanese companies have begun to deliver quite realistic sexbots. Other Japanese companies are delivering bots that stand smiling behind reception desks in hotels and restaurants. This is partially to offset the shortage of labor in the notoriously xenophobic and closed Japanese labor market and partially because the Japanese, with their deep terror of interpersonal interaction, find bots far less intimidating than human beings.
Our good fortune is thus in being able to leverage Japanese technology to deliver Queenbot 2.0.
This upgrade from the current worn-out model will provide decades of flawless smiling and waving. As it will be even less sentient than the current incumbent, no one will expect it to be useful in any other way. Tourism will not suffer and indeed will likely increase because Queenbot 2.0 can attend far more functions and be far more active than the present antiquated model with its low power reserve. There is even the option to acquire several queenbots so as to enable the royal presence in multiple locations simultaneously. Think of all the ribbons that can be cut by such an innovative approach.
Furthermore, just as we use automation in factories to ensure that humans are not harmed from dangerous and repetitive work so too we can use queenbots to ensure no human is harmed by having to encounter repellent foreign objects such as the bloated orange sack of human excrement known as Trump, the mindless grinning ape known as Johnson, and all manner of other blustering shambling animals that nowadays prance seemingly without end upon the world stage.
In short, Queen 1.0 has long since passed her sell-by date and we are overdue for an upgrade.
The old queen is dead.
Long live Queenbot 2.0 !