I’m back. And I was barely awake this morning when I found myself on the Nolan Show, Radio Ulster/Raidio Uladh discussing the latest piece of local absurdity. It seems Tesco issued some Royal Diamond Jubilee badge to its staff in Britain but didn’t do likewise here. OMG – the INSULT of it. The CONTEMPT of it. There were callers saying they’d never shop in Tesco again (it’s called cutting off your nose to spite your face). Gregory Campbell – a man I like – was on saying it was absurd to have no Tesco/Jubilee badges here, because “everybody” here was agreed about celebrating the jubilee. Crikey, Gregory. Gisssabreak.
Tesco’s make decisions on purely commercial grounds. What will sell more stuff, what will keep the customers happy? In Britain, for reasons best known to themselves, most people seem to think that giving the job of head of state via genetic roulette is a good idea. Here, however, QE2 is, waking and sleeping, a constant source of joy to some half of the population, while the other half get a pain their tender parts just thinking about her. So Tesco don’t want to go doing something that might at best irritate and at worst outrage half the population. Not good business, that. So they decided to just skip the badges-for-staff thing. Eminently sensible, I’d have thought.
But no. There were chaps ringing in saying any staff that wanted to wear the jubilee badge should wear it, others who didn’t shouldn’t bother. Mmmm. Sound like a great recipe for division among staff and for identification of the unionists from the nationalists/republicans at the check-out. Hardly the stuff of harmony. Another guy wanted to know what was my problem with Protestants and why couldn’t I “let Protestants live”. I hadn’t said a word about Protestants and wham bam, here’s this guy David telling me I’ve got a shocking down on the prods. Pu-lease, David. Some Protestants I like, some I can’t stand. As is the case with Catholics. But this is politics, remember. And all I’m saying is, Tesco made a good decision by keeping their stores here jubilee-badge free. If David or anyone else wants to dance in their street because QE2 has been on a throne for 60 years, fine. Although do keep in mind, she never would have been where she is only her uncle cleared off with that weird-looking American woman. But that’s how monarchy works – they allow women (or have allowed: I gather it’s going to change) to pull on the crown when they’ve run out of men. And of course I’m hugely cheered by the possibility that if I can get a sufficiently high-up royal to marry me, the fact that I'm a taig will be no bar on my royal wife getting her rear-end lodged in that throne. As it would have been in the past. A major worry removed, I promise you.
Like I say: it’s a weird system, royalty. Tesco’s, on the other hand, have one sole aim: to separate you from your money. So don't take the non- badge thing personally, guys ; it’s only business.