First, rule of fight club is that you don’t talk about fight club. What I mean is the military unwritten rules are ‘what goes onboard stays onboard’ so therefore, the media are very hard pushed to find anyone who will talk to them, until now. There is me. I am happy to talk to the media about my perceptions and observations of 10 years of marriage to Hagar the Horrible, a serving member of the Royal Air Force.
I don’t need permission to speak to the media because I am not in the military. Not to mention, I am a complete self promoting whore and I seize any opportunity to talk publicly or write. If there is cash involved – even better!! Yes – that’s right I am willing to profit from my 10 years of career sacrifice keeping the home fire’s burning and supporting a husband who fought predominantly in conflicts I, intellectually, opposed, using methods I, ideologically, disagree with. Although understandably, I also recognise that smacking Terry Taliban on the hand and sitting him on the naughty step for 5 minutes clearly is not going to bring world peace. But I do, however, think there are better ways and the current ‘male’ way is FAILING!!!!….steps off one soap box and gently climbs onto another….
Wootton Bassett is to have bestowed upon it the title of ‘Royal’ and it’s the first town to do so in a gazillion years. The media are quite excited about it. I have no doubt the BBC will be broadcasting ‘LIVE’. I received a call from BBC Wiltshire about this great day and was asked if I was willing to comment. Obviously, I said ‘YES!!” [I would like to point out that no cash was exchanged for this interview – I did it because I am a media whore]
I was sent some questions that predominantly focused on how the military feel about ‘royalty’. I even had to do some research, errr….I mean I asked Hagar. As I have no idea.
It was an interesting discussion because essentially Hagar considers the Queen to be his boss. As far as he is concerned he works for her. We then moved on to discuss and agree that on the whole [sweeping generalisation] the military is very pro-establishment and we would say conservative. They like receiving medals from the monarch, or her rellies, and would feel less excited about receiving them from the prime-minister and his hench men. They have royal regimental goats and stuff and like be sprinkled in royalty as often as possible. Definitely, on the whole there is no republican edge in the UK armed forces, they are royalists through and through. [sweeping generalistion – it’s a blog not a Sunday paper magazine feature – throw me a frickin’ bone]
In fact, I noticed this when I was freelancing at Help for Heroes, which is a charity which has culturally a huge military influence over the business. It is predominantly army-led, so very pro-establishment and very Town and Country. Obviously Bryn and Emma Parry attended THE wedding [for those of you on Planet Zog, or me, by this I mean the one when Di’s boy married the daughter of a stewardess aka Kate & Wills], Help for Heroes did a brochure-thingy; on the day after, Press Manager, Kitty Dimbleby, burst into the press office proclaiming post-wedding party gossip and the PR girls were swooning around, dreaming of marrying a prince and secretly wondering what were the chances of bagging Harry. I was really surprised that they were so into it. Especially as I hadn’t even watched it. I thought it was a snipsy bit bonkers. Yes, I accept I am a hardened, emotionless, bitter cynic!
I was prepared in my head, therefore, to talk to BBC Wiltshire about the pro-establishment nature of the armed forces. However, I seemed to get caught by the presenter Mark O’Donnell trying to get me to agree that if the people of Blighty don’t support the conflict and a soldier dies then that is a waste of life, and the said soldier, died for no reason. I wasn’t willing to support that notion so we ended up with this slightly awkward dialogue. Click on image to hear interview.
Sometimes, I think the world that I want to live in is not the world that I actually inhabit. I am not anti-monarchy but I am not republican. I feel like we live in a world ruled by corrupt, wealthy, power-hungry, self-centred, elites with very little sense of social responsibility and I believe these to be occupied in by predominantly male roles in politics, finance, military and corporates. I feel trapped by how little choice and power I have and I feel like I am living in a mess created by others, which was not of my choosing. I guess what I am trying to say I am completely indifferent to whether a Royal title is bestowed upon Wootton Bassett. I think if they want it and they make the most of it; I hope it works for them. When the people lined the streets and paid respects to those who sacrificed their lives, it was an honourable and noble gesture. Thank you to the people of Wootton Bassett, who took the time out of their day to be decent in the memory of those who had died. When someone dies I think it’s decent to show some respect regardless of whether you oppose the conflict or not. Or am I missing something?