On the 8th of September one of the last remaining links to a past world was severed. With the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, Elisabeth II, notions of duty, responsibility, and care are in further jeopardy. Through her life of service, she stood as an emblem for these and other virtues that were once part of everyday life, and which have come to be eroded over years of progressive policies. Some radicals saw her death as the opportune moment to get their message of radical ‘progress’ across, further proving the lack of common decency prevalent in today’s world, but which once formed part of a good upbringing.
Her Majesty’s years of service have been recognised by statesmen, politicians, and religious leaders around the globe. Recently, the President of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who is a member of the right-wing Spanish People’s Party (PP) decreed three days of mourning for the passing of the Queen, from the 8th to the 11th of September, and flew the Spanish and EU flags at half-mast. For this she received incredible amounts of flack from the national government, led by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). Like radicals in all corners of the world, instead of celebrating a leader and iconic figure, they chose to make politics of the monarchy which has always stayed above the fray of politics.
One government official spoke of the flying of the flags on half-mast in Madrid as a “competence of the government” and not something Ayuso is allowed to decree on her own authority. Yet, as she has pointed out on Twitter, Madrid flew the flags at half-mast for the death of Pope John Paul II, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Nice, Brussels, and Berlin, and for 77 days for the victims of COVID. It is only right, she adds, that they should do it for the head of 56 states and 1/3 of the world’s population.
One spokesperson for the PP also took to Twitter to list all the occasions in the past months alone in which regions of Spain have decreed days of mourning without the need for any approval from the national government, adding that the interjection from the delegate of the national government in Madrid “seems very strange to me.” If it truly were reserved to the government, why have they not intervened before? It would seem that party politics and the wish to make an example of a region run by an opposition party trumps respect for the deceased.
It’s a shame that the national government has chosen to make politics of the situation, especially given that they have proclaimed themselves as ‘defenders of the monarchy,’ telling the more radical left-wing party Podemos “touch the monarchy and the system might fall.”
After the death of General Franco, the PSOE jettisoned their Marxist allegiance and became a part of the international social democratic movement. Unfortunately, it is in times like these—when respect is due to elder monarchs and heads of state who have been the “light above politics, which shines down on the human bustle from a calmer and more exalted sphere” as Scruton once wrote—that radicals and progressives show their true colours.