It's not difficult to understand why many of us will bodyswerve the planned celebrations for the coronation of King Charles in May. The long weekend of events from May 6 to May 8 will attempt to paint a false picture of British national unity that’s both insulting and patronising. 

These big-ticket royal occasions have lately been commandeered by conservative forces to convey messages that all is well in the realm and that no matter the divisions and inequalities that characterise modern Britain.

The royals gleefully participate because they know their lifestyles and property empires depend on it. 

The coronation takes place on Saturday, May 6, with a “solemn religious service” conducted under the auspices of the Church of England, whose head Charles automatically becomes.

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The following day there will be the now-customary royal concert. Landmarks across the UK will be lit with “projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations”. There are to be street parties. 

On the bank holiday Monday, we’re being encouraged to volunteer for a day. As with much of the rest that will unfold during the coronation weekend, this is replete with hypocrisy and fake virtue. 

Thus, something that conveys selflessness and caring for those less fortunate is being expropriated as part of a jamboree which celebrates absurd excess and the maintenance of a privileged and morally desiccated order. 

The coronation itself, including two new custom-built thrones, is expected to cost tens of millions of pounds. This spectacle of profligacy will come as Britain emerges from a winter which has caused profound hardship and distress for millions who have struggled with crippling energy bills and a huge hike in the cost of living. 

And all of it to place a crown on the head of the richest landlord and property owner in Europe. 

Work-shy Windsors

The Herald: A coronation is demanded only by the ego of King Charles #NotMySpaniel

Those media outlets who act as the royal family’s chief cheerleaders and lickspittles always seem unaware of the irony in their obeisance. 

These titles are always in the vanguard when it comes to launching attacks on work-shy Britons and the benefits culture that they claim bedevils our economy. Britain, they say, has become a “soft touch” for indulging this. 

Jobless people should simply “get on their bikes” and look harder for employment. Migrants are only drawn here by our “benefits culture”. 

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Yet, nothing speaks more of unearned cash and rewarding mediocrity than the sprawling Windsor family. The royals are themselves chiefly descended from junior German aristocratic lineage who felt moved to change their name for fear of anti-German sentiment at the onset of the First World War.

If you’re looking for evidence of a “benefits culture”, or “work-shy Britain”, look no further than the Windsors. 

Shame of thrones

The Herald: King Charles

During the elaborate coronation ceremonials at Westminster Abbey, no mention will be made of the large pachyderm sitting in the middle of the church: that all of the UK’s five million or so Catholics will always be debarred from ever occupying the throne. 

Yet, like all other races, creeds and faiths, we’ll still be urged “to share food and fun”. So long as we know our place and keep our mouths shut we might get a place at the table. Perhaps we could volunteer by folding up the chairs and clearing the tables after the street parties. Or, we could help peel the potatoes. God bless you, sir (tips cap). 

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Words of wisdom

An antidote to this grandiose ritual of contrived righteousness was provided by some pupils of my old school, St Ninian’s in Kirkintilloch. I was privileged to be asked to judge presentations by third-year pupils who were vying to win £3,000 for local deserving causes. 

The event was organised by Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Scotland (YPI).

These organisations served the needs of homeless people, those battling addiction, women dealing with domestic abuse, and also a community arts group. 

It was uplifting and profoundly moving. 

And I’m indebted to pupil Summer Manly, whose poem, published here, was inspired by visiting a local group called GRACE (Group Recovery Aftercare Community Enterprise). 

Depression trauma anxiety
When will it end?
My pit of a life is fiery
My happiness I pretend,
I’m running and running
What am I becoming?
This life that I live
With no light to give
Where can I go?

I bottle it up so I don’t feel it anymore
But I get duller and duller; life is a closed door,
I stumble upon a place that feels like home
But I was so scared and I felt so alone,
But the kindness like a family
Doesn’t come so often 
This place called grace
Made my dull feelings soften.

I’m happy for once in what feels like a lifetime
And grace is my home my friends; I found at the right time.