Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sauceless sausage rolls were the least of it

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The coronation of King Charles leaves Alan Emerson disinclined to bend the knee.
The sight of King Charles being crowned brought all of Alan Emerson’s republican feelings to the fore.
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I detected some excitement around the traps last week and believed it must have been the Mighty Hurricanes game against the Fijian Drua that was responsible. I’ve played rugby in Fiji and it was a great experience but they are tough, as they certainly were against the Hurricanes. 

Alas, however, it wasn’t the rugby but a coronation that created the excitement. How could I have missed that?

The papers have been full of it. We even heard our prime minister was invited to meet the King, who supplied sausage rolls. The only thing missing was tomato sauce, which indicated a distinct lack of class. Sausage rolls without tomato sauce is a little like a glass of tonic with no gin in it. Unacceptable in my circle.

Then we read, horror of horrors, that the dish the King would celebrate his coronation with was a quiche. No, I’m not joking. His quiche will contain tarragon, broad beans, spinach, cream, English cheddar and eggs.

With the exception of cheddar and eggs, it seems singularly uninspiring

Tarragon, or Artemesia dracunculus to those with a Lincoln education, prefers poor soils and is a carcinogen in mice so I’d leave it alone.

Broad (Fava) beans are high in potassium and protein, which is fine for those missing those essentials in other foods.

Spinach is 91% water and originated in the old Persian Empire. My wish is that it had stayed there but the chooks really like it.

And, as we’ve all been told, real men don’t eat quiche.

It gets worse as you can read that the King only eats fruit and seeds for breakfast and doesn’t eat lunch. 

Why the King didn’t have a good feed of lamb shanks or some nutritious steak and onions is beyond me and think of the example he’s setting the younger generation. They’ll grow up thinking eating tarragon, broad beans, spinach, fruit and nuts is normal. Mind you the good news is that if they do follow that diet then the English are finished as a rugby-playing nation.

It all came across to me as a largely irrelevant and expensive circus and basically meaningless to New Zealand today.

For a start I found the pomp and ceremony ridiculous and think of the effect on the climate. Hundreds flying in first class from around the globe. The motorcades and fly-pasts. It makes our cows’ emissions pale into insignificance.

I just wonder: if they planted their estate at Sandringham in pine trees would it make the coronation  carbon neutral? As there’s 6400ha it should do, but the pheasants might object.

The coronation was interesting just viewing the incredible wealth of the Anglican church. They also seem to have a licence on pomp and ceremony, which would be largely irrelevant to most, including the over 90% of Kiwis who don’t go to church.

Where I had some difficulty is putting up with the media frenzy over the event here in NZ, especially considering two thirds of Brits either didn’t care about the coronation or cared very little.

Watching Al Jazeera on the eve of the coronation I was a little surprised to see Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi telling the world that the British royal family were “war criminals”.

He then claimed that the Māori King was attending the coronation “as an equal”, adding that “Māori people do not care what non-Māori think’”

I’m sure those viewing from Al Jazeera’s 80 million households were entertained by the comments. 

The cost of the coronation is obscene, estimated at $203 million. That’s on top of the annual bill for supporting the royals at $1 billion.

Mind you, maintaining the King’s presence in NZ through the governor general’s office doesn’t come cheap either at $9,368,000. That’s equal to a lot of pothole fixing on our rural roads.

The final iniquity for me was the suggestion we all swear allegiance to the King.

We were even provided with the words: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

You’d have to be joking.

Allegiance, according to my dictionary, is “loyalty as of a subject to his sovereign or the obligations of a vassal to his liege lord”.

My view, as you may have guessed, is that it is high time we became a republic. I don’t want to be a subject to anyone and NZ in 2023 shouldn’t be swearing allegiance to a person or persons thousands of kilometres away who is there by birthright alone.

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