The whole Harry and Meghan saga has been shoved in my face each time I’ve opened social media. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. Important points were raised (institutionalised racism, maternal mental health, mental health in general) but those important issues have been reduced to meaningless gossip by the press. I like Harry and Meghan, I really do, and if leaving Royal life behind serves their interests best, then that is the right thing to do.
This week I read Owen Jones’ opinion article on the chasm that’s been created by the whole event, Britain’s generational divide is ever starker, which is a headache for the left. He highlighted some of the more salient points of a debate that has raged in my mind for a while, points that the whole debacle has highlighted. Ultimately, I care little for the he said she said stories that are being told, it’s the hidden agendas, the politics, the bigotry that’s crept out of the woodwork.
The headache for the left comes from the disparity in the trends. Class appears to be less important, while age and life experiences seem to be the focus. There’s no real clear margins anymore. Most people who would have voted Labour thirty years ago are so disillusioned by the whole system (and bogged down by the drudgery of their lives) that they vote for whoever promises them the best bullshit. In 2019, it certainly left the field wide open for the Tories and BJ’s “Get Brexit Done” (I still haven’t figured out exactly what people thought Brexit would give them!).
Labour leadership hasn’t been that popular for a while… remember the jokes about Ed Miliband? Then Corbyn was an easy target really. I’m undecided on Starmer, really undecided. On the one hand I think, at least he’s a stronger leader than Labour have had, on the other, I’m still entirely undecided about where he actually stands.
I know far more about 19th century politics than I do about modern, however, I see similar patterns emerging. Civil unrest, an urgency for change from the many without power, the fear felt by the institution – the ones with all the power. None of what we are experiencing is new, the context may be different but the struggles are the same. It’s always been the younger generations (and a minority of older generations) that have attempted to challenge the status quo.
Harry and Meghan have, in a way, done that. They have challenged the status quo. I didn’t watch the Oprah interview, it doesn’t interest me. The claims that have been announced in the press are not a surprise. The reaction from the Royal family was expected. What intrigues me is the response from the ordinary people and it just sums up everything that is wrong with society. Maybe they didn’t need to air their laundry in public, however they’re entitled to this thing we all call free speech.