Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II
This is possibly the hardest and the scariest blog we will ever write.
The Queen has been on the throne for 69 years, surely a life of service worth celebrating.
We respect her tenacity, her majesty and her role as the Head of State. She has held fast and been the personification of dignified stability during a time of extraordinary change
However if you would like our participation in an event to celebrate the Queens Jubilee we hope you understand that we will bring all of the diversity of thought that means you book us in the first place.
We hope you will understand that many of our countries were still colonised at the time of the Queens ascension to the throne and for many years afterwards. We would like to separate the Queens great reign from The Horrors of the Empire. However the Most Excellent Order/merit/commander of the British Empire are all still British orders of chivalry, rewarding contributions to Britain. It is the highest honour and yet it is something to which I cannot aspire. For me Empire was not an experience of excellence, chivalry or reward. It was occupation, misery and death.
We would like to remember the many great things the Queen has achieved as the head of the Commonwealth, not least the stand taken against apartheid. However the reality is that the Commonwealth does not share wealth in common. We also know that sodomy laws imposed in the colonial era still exist. Homosexual activity remains a criminal offence in 35 of the 54 sovereign states of the Commonwealth and legal in only 19. A higher rate of oppression of LGBTQIA people than any other European Empire. People are suffering and dying and it needs to change.
The vision of ‘the motherland’ was a strong one and there are many across the world with great affection for the Queen. But we must remember that the Empire was not forged without violence. Nana Yaa Asantewaa died in exile and misery only four years before the birth of Queen Elizabeth the second. Her ‘crime” was to defend her country against the colonisers and kick them out, twice. Few would argue that this Queens defence of her realm, when all the men had long capitulated, is worthy of celebration, yet I doubt you have ever heard her name.
I appreciate that it might seem that we want to spoil the party. That we want to disrespect a woman who has given her life in service. Actually none of these things are the case, but whilst we sing and dance you can expect us to bring the songs of freedom and the stories of our murdered warrior queens. Because anything else just isn’t history, let alone cricket.