Watching the Royal Wedding, I could not help but wonder who all those people in the streets of London were. Experiencing England, as I have, mainly through its media for the last twenty years, they seemed unfamiliar. They were clearly untroubled by envy, for example. They cheered the succession of impressive British motor cars (as well as the dowdy VW minibuses). Where were the Prius-driving prigs? Where were the equality fanatics? Where were the alienated youths, the anti-Christians and - for that matter - the aggrieved immigrants decrying the home culture (or lack of it)? Who were the polite people processing sedately behind a one-officer-deep police line to get a view of "the balcony scene?"
Could it be that England has not changed as much as the Guardian would have us believe? Could it be that the carefully-cultivated BBC and Guardian view is only a bad dream from which we might wake at any moment? Like my illustrious namesake I am a republican, for reasons to be discussed some other day, but today - thanks to the Royal family's celebrations - London felt like home. As G.K. Chesterton put it;
...we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
We are a funny bunch, no doubt, but from the scenes on the streets of London today, we are not finished yet.