Some good news for the Queen on the eve of her Diamond Jubilee - the majority of Britons think the country is rubbish, but you have escaped the blame!
Here is some good news for the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee – the majority of Britons think the country is rubbish, yet Her Royal Highness has avoided the blame.
More than avoiding it, the Queen’s popularity ratings have spun off in the opposite direction. While a recent YouGov poll shows only 40% of people feel Britain has improved since Lizzie took to the throne in 1952, a massive 86% think she has been a good monarch during that time.
Thirty-four per cent of people feel the country has worsened in the last 60 years, while 14% feel it hasn’t changed either way. Back then, food was rationed, polio was rife and millions lived in Victorian slums, yet people still seem to favour it over modern times.
It also seems that little buzz of Republicanism (which may, let’s be honest, barely exist outside Twitter) is just a flash in the pan, as a meagre 16% of those asked by YouGov want rid of the monarchy, compared to 73% who want it to stay.
President of YouGov Peter Kellner says:
“My, we are a miserable lot. One might have thought the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee would be an occasion to celebrate how much life in Britain has improved over the past sixty years. Yet that is not how we feel.
“We seem to be gripped by nostalgia for the early post-war years, when Britain was Europe’s richest and, militarily, strongest country, when we still had an empire, and when our Prime Minister was Churchill.
“The Queen herself has escaped any blame for presiding over a country that so many of us think has gone to the dogs. One reason is that the impact of the monarchy on British life is regarded as positive (that is, we fear we have declined as a nation since 1952, but we don’t blame the royals).”
A piece in the Telegraph this week explored why the Queen scores better popularity ratings than the overall state of the country:
“Mr Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg now have approval ratings of -11, -12 and -27 percentage points respectively, while the Queen scores +78.
“It was not always so. In 1946, her father, George VI, achieved 3 per cent in a poll asking whom citizens admired, putting the king on a par with Joseph Stalin and behind Clement Attlee.
“[This] popularity has little to do with charisma, or with great age, for Britain often treats its elderly with disdain. The lure of monarchy lies instead in its chameleon knack of adapting to meet public desires.
“Both Leveson and the Diamond Jubilee show, in different ways, the necessity for a new compact between market, state and citizen. That the spirit of Britain is embodied in a hereditary monarch with wealth beyond most people’s dreams of avarice says as much about politicians’ failure as it does about the Queen’s success.”
• What is patriotism in Britain today? 27 Nov 2011
• Verdict of the British people: “Long to reign over us” 29 Apr 2011
So it seems, like a bad panto, Britain has its villainous politicians drawing in the boos, alongside an elaborate bejewelled character (Widow Twankey?) who’s sole purpose is to whip the nation into a frenzy, by a mere flutter of the back of her palm, during the interval.