I’m British. I live in America. I am generally pretty uninterested in the monarchy. I used to be pretty hardcore anti-monarchist. That’s changed a *bit* because I do think there’s something stabilizing about heritage and institutions (as long as they can evolve), but not much.
My general position is that they’re massively over-privileged, rich, unnecessarily powerful people who deserve effectively none of it, but are also part of a chain that has some meaning, and neither deserve the praise nor most of the opprobrium they receive.
I don’t watch royal weddings. I don’t watch royal interviews. I genuinely do not spend a lot of attention keeping up with what’s going on with them. For the most part, I simply do not care.
Regardless, this situation with Meghan and Harry has seemed absolutely insane for years. I have no doubt they’re at least partly disconnected from reality, but I have seen absolutely nothing that would justify the violent animosity that they’ve experienced from the UK press.
I’ve had a few conversations about this stuff with friends in recent days—which in itself is highly unusual—and the general consensus is that the situation definitely includes a strong stench of institutional racism and fear of the couple’s significant popularity around the world
But I think a thing that’s not talked about sufficiently is the fury associated with a royal couple who are ‘woke’ or evidence liberal values of any kind. Remember these are mostly pretty right-wing and reactionary newspapers...
They despise Hollywood celebrities who stand up and argue for causes. They rail against political correctness. Many of them are owned by Murdoch adjacent people. They think pointing to implicit racism is some kind of attack on Britishness.
And so here we are, with this escalating level of media (I don’t like to use the term, but here we go) hysteria and whether or not I have particular sympathy for them as people... I mean, it’s still revolting to watch what’s gone on around them.
And where are we at the end of it? To me it looks like there’s an alternative royalty in exile, loved by pretty much everyone except the British right. It’s with a vision of the royal institution itself that looks somehow both crueler and weaker than before.
It’s a royal family that looks like it lives in fear of British media, and isn’t prepared to stand up to them even when it attacks one of their own... I find that extraordinary. I find that very difficult to understand.
In the end, I still don’t really care that much about the royal family. I don’t have any intention of watching royal weddings in the future. I’m not going to make a habit of watching royal interviews.
But this story *has* had an impact on me. The interviews *have* had an effect. Because for me it's exposed the venality and corruption of much of the British media and the feebleness of many of the institutions I thought helped trace the line of Britishness through the centuries.

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More from @tomcoates

8 Mar
I want to restate this a day later. There’s a reason why the traditionally anti-monarchist British publications like the Guardian aren’t leaping on H&M and it’s not because they’re “destroying the monarchy”. It’s because they evidence some mildly liberal views.
A couple of decades back, they were doing the same thing to Prince Charles, whose views on environmentalism, organic farming and the built environment (while being often pretty clumsy) were widely derided by the right-wing press as “weird”.
I mean think about that. This is Prince Charles we’re talking about! He’s not a bastion of liberal values. He’s pretty far from an icon of the left. But expressing views like that was revolting and anathema to a right-wing Briton that fundamentally thinks royalty belongs to them.
Read 21 tweets
12 Jan
@GMB @piersmorgan A bunch of people will hear "gay roles for gay actors" and say it's stupid or hypocrisy. But there are a few areas to consider:
(1) Do gay actors get roles?
(2) Can straight actors accurately portray gay people?
(3) Can gay actors accurately portray straight people?
@GMB @piersmorgan The first one is I think pretty clear - while it has become considerably easier for gay actors to get ahead in Hollywood, they still don't generally have access to the most common or most popular roles and it can be an impediment to their careers.
@GMB @piersmorgan The same is true in the UK. It is often the case that actors who are out and well-known as gay simply don't get given straight roles in movies or TV. They're considered 'not believable'. Whereas when a straight actor plays an LGBT role, they're (now) considered 'brave'
Read 33 tweets
26 Nov 20
If you want to know what the Trump administration has been about, then read this list of ‘midnight regulations’ that they’re trying to implement in their final days in office. I’ll post a few of them below. projects.propublica.org/trump-midnight…
The Trump administration is expected to move forward plans to make families of noncitizen immigrants ineligible for subsidized housing.
The Trump administration is expected to move forward plans to increase the speed at which chickens may be slaughtered by putting workers at higher risk of amputations.
Read 12 tweets
24 Nov 20
I may be in a minority here, but I don’t think there’s *any* way to do an investigation of the Trump administration’s abuses that is coordinated or organized in any way from a Biden appointee.
Do I think his administration needs or requires investigation. Absolutely. Without question. Yes. Do I think he did appalling things. Absolutely. Without question. Yes. But if a Biden appointed AG starts it, it will *always* be viewed as a partisan attack ...
... and it will necessarily increase the sense that the AG and the Federal government is a tool that you can use to attack your political enemies.
Read 9 tweets
24 Nov 20
Right-wing media is now absolutely completely consumed by anti-voting machine hysteria. I have to tell you, I’m okay with this! If their anxiety results in more thorough audit trails and a determination to keep these machines updated and with paper verification, it’s good!
It is, as always, basically impossible to search Google for any subject that’s currently in the news and be able to find any historical record, but tech professionals, civil rights organizations and democrats have been raising concerns about abuse for years...
... stating that it’s important to have clear auditability, the ability for people voting to be able to check their votes on paper slips before they submit them (the benefit here being that it’s faster to machine-count machine-created ballots) ...
Read 7 tweets
23 Nov 20
So a few key states are supposed to be certifying their results today. Trump is leaning hard on the GOP members to not certify the results, which drive the conclusions to state courts or delay them so Congress ends up choosing the President by state delegation.
As always, we need to be clear about what’s happening. Joe Biden won six million more votes than Donald Trump. He won 306 Electoral college votes from the states vs 232 for Trump. There is no evidence of voter fraud.
And yet Trump and the Republican Party are working incredibly hard to deny reality, lie through their teeth and find a way to force themselves to stay in power. It is no more and no less than an attempted coup.
Read 5 tweets

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