They Are?! Let’s Bury Them Then
I get the feeling I am going to upset some people with this rant for I am going to Jamie Carragher in the face of popular opinion…or at least someone’s opinion. I’ll take a deep breath and just come out and say it…
Joanna Lumley gets on my tits. I don’t know what it is, the posh-bird demeanour that makes me feel she’s looking down on us, maybe? To be fair, it’s not just her, it’s all those who have been, like her, entitled as ‘National Treasures’ because a great majority of the ones I am aware of (there’s several lists on the internet, that font of all truth) are filthy, stikin’, rich. Is that the main criteria to make the list? Do you actually have to have a load of real treasure to become a national one?
So poor old Joanna is not singled out for solo admonishment, here are a few others on one of the lists available and while we’re compiling it, let’s play ‘spot the poor relation’. David Attenborough, Michael Cain, Prince Harry, The Queen, David & Victoria Beckham, Stephen Fry, Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson…and it goes on. Did you spot the trickery? That’s right, there is no poor relation on the list, they’re all fucking minted. You may have also spotted that there is at least one twat on the list, though I suspect the twat spotted could well be different for each reader. Personally speaking, I spotted three.
Seems to me the ‘rather well orf’ have got enough of the good things in life already, so why do they get gifted another gong to add to their collection? Is not the guaranteed longevity that comes with being loaded enough for them? Getting pinged on the shoulder with a sword by The Queen a mere trifle? (I’ve done the knighthood system already in another rant and I’m still waiting for the implementation of the updates.) Getting to go to all kinds of posh dos, for free no doubt, they take that as expected? It’s time we made a different list, delete this one and start again.
This begs the question, who are the real national treasures? Well, I think we should look at this without judging by chosen career success, wealth or just being up in our faces all the fucking time but instead by what the person sacrificed or sacrifices for the good of the nation without any gain for themselves and at times even leading them to pay the ultimate price. So let’s start with that ultimate price and put on the list any man or woman who has given their life to save another, be that in the theatre of war or in civilian life. The person who runs into danger to save others only to perish themselves, they go on top of the list. Next come those who have done the same but were lucky enough not to pay the ultimate price, these two top levels can be occupied by those who are also well-heeled, so if any of the current national treasures can lay claim to having done a truly brave deed, faced losing everything, even the breath in their body, in service of another, they are welcome on the list. This does not include anyone trying to make children stop eating chicken nuggets and then crying when they don’t.
What about those little people (as they like to tag us) who give freely of their time and effort to help others but with less of a chance of croaking in the process. The old lady who day after day helps see school children safely across busy roads armed only with a Day-Glo lollipop stick? The volunteers in charity shops, the ladies of the WRVS running the cafes in hospitals, those who shake the tins under your nose – annoying at the time, yes, but people depend on these annoyances. All around the nation there are people giving and not receiving, nor asking for, reward. One of today’s so-called national treasures sneezes and I bet they’d probably get an O.B.E. for serves to the tissue industry.
Yes, there are little awards doled out now and then, some hazardous pointy bits of crystal (Perspex, more likely) tossed into the lap of a woman who spied behind the lines during the last war and has had her pension cut because she didn’t fill in the correct form on returning from occupied Europe, for example. It is not fucking enough, it’s an insult given freely to someone who has asked for nothing in return for their selfless service. Patronising at its worst, it would be better if they were carried on being criminally ignored in my opinion rather than making minimal effort.
Here’s what we should do. We make another list, this time it shall be called the ‘National Treasure Houses’ list and the same people on the current ‘National Treasures’ list will be transferred over to it. Then we shall make a further list, the ‘Truly National Treasures’ list, made up of those truly worth the title, obviously, and starting from the name at the top we shall, each month, make a bloody loud and lively song and dance about them and their actions. In addition to that, everyone off the ‘National Treasure Houses’ list will be forced to donate a proportion of the one million pound we are going to gift to the designated person from the ‘Truly National Treasures’ list. The recipient can do whatever the hell they like with the money as long as it used on themselves, however against their altruist nature this goes; hell, they can even buy themselves some engraved, pointy crystal if they like. They deserve it, they earned it and more importantly, they neither asked for nor expected it.
Some might say; ‘So you’re going to bleed the National Treasures dry just because you have a chip on your shoulder, envy their wealth and they get on your tits?’ To that, I say: ‘Too right, because in doing that they will see what others have done to deserve the new and improved accolade of being a Truly National Treasure and could one day make the list themselves…possibly…except the twats, of course, they are beyond redemption. Besides I’m just sick of seeing their the smug, cheeks stuffed with wealth like a fiscal hamster, faces all over the place and hearing simple-minded mugs cooing about how wonderful they are.’
They’re not National Treasures, they’re just very naughty boys and girls (that line must be said out loud in a Terry Jones impersonating a woman voice). But to placate those who do still think they are worthy of the moniker, I am willing to bury the buggers, as would a pirate with his treasure, but I will not be drawing an ‘X’ marks the spot map or handing out spades.
Please feel free to add your own ‘National Treasure Houses’ that need pulling down in the comments below. Let’s let them know we’re on to them…