The New York Times has been evoking squeals of outrage for its provocatively unsympathetic coverage of the Queen’s death, blaming her for the sins of Empire. Within hours after her death the NY Times kicked off its coverage with a Harvard academic saying readers should not ‘romanticise her era’ because the Queen ‘helped obscure a bloody history of de-colonisation whose proportions and legacies have yet to be adequately acknowledged’.
Another US academic in a tweet said ‘the chief monarch of a thieving, raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.’ And managed to blame the Queen for the post-independence Nigerian civil war.
It would have to be said that the immediate aftermath of a notable death is always a tricky affair. After Ted Kennedy died and the USA was having a ‘Diana’ moment of profound respect, I pulled the ceiling down on my head by suggesting that the Chappaquiddick affair and the Mary Jo Kopechne death hardly merited the adulation. Equally I remember David Starkey, the historian, valiantly standing at the gates of Buckingham Palace in the hours after Diana’s death making himself unpopular by suggesting she had damaged the monarchy and was hustled off. Even after 9/11 there was disquiet in the US that not everyone in the UK shared their profound grief and insisted on raising questions about the downside of US Middle East policy.
Getting the balance right of respect-for-the-dead versus the truth-of-their-life always wobbles in the early days. Robert Maxwell was lauded to the heavens for 24 hours until it started to creep out that he had been a corrupt monster.
What intrigues me is the left-wing critics obsession with the Empire which died sixty/seventy years ago, whose atrocities are well publicised in the UK and is given almost no thought by 95% of the UK population, who now accept the UK’s diminished status in the world. The NY Times aired another academic when Liz Truss became Prime Minister, suggesting she was ‘still in thrall to the Empire’.
They are living in the same time warp as the Iranians who still treat the UK as ‘the Great Satan’ who caused them grief decades back.
This isn’t too astrological but I was delighted to find a piece in a Nigerian journalistic website giving a considered response to the ‘painful death’ tweeter: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/opinion/554416-uju-anya-and-the-dangers-of-deliberate-half-education-by-tope-fasua.html
‘The history of the world could as well be written as the history of plunders, from one society to another. Every nation on earth was formed by a group of oppressors, plunderers, enslavers, conquerors, whether from within or without. Before the British – led by the English monarchy – made their foray into the furthest limits of the earth, they too had been raped and plundered by the Romans, the Scandinavians (Huns), the Saxons, the Normans (Normandy, France), and a few more.’
‘The persecuted and oppressed British, who fled the monarchy to the New World or today’s United States of America, what did they do to the owners of the land there? Total decimation, using a combination of diseases and guns. Today, aboriginal Americans are in some places herded into colonies still. They were wiped out with small-pox and bullets for trying to protect their land and sovereignty. It is perhaps the worst ever carnage perpetuated in all of humanity. If [US critics] feels so bad about the English monarchy, their skin should crawl for earning salaries and living in the USA. The USA genocide was carried out mainly by the ‘oppressed’ from Britain.’
The NY Times also suggested, shock horror, that the funeral would be paid for by the taxpayer – which appears to amount to about five pence a head. And the cost of the Royals annually is less than a quarter of the amount that Americans pay for their President to be transported around the world in Air Force One. And a tenth of the £1.2 billion they pay for ‘operations’ at the White House. It’s not that there are not legitimate questions to be asked about Royal finances, opaqueness over wills, inheritance tax etc but the fixation on the UK’s slide towards bankruptcy while the Royals apparently do a Marie Antoinette is bizarre.
To drag a miniscule amount of astrology in – the New York Times, 18 September 1851, and the present Editor Joseph Khan, 19 August 1964, both have Mars in Cancer which sits conjunct the UK Midheaven and in opposition to the Capricorn Sun – which is a competitive interface, argumentative and abrasive. In Khan’s case doubly so since his Mars is pumped up to full passion by Venus close by. As a Wall Street Journal reporter in 1997 he wrote a flattering and complimentary pro-Chinese piece about the handover. There is some suspicion he is trying to drum up trade in that part of the world by beating down on the ‘Great Satan’ of the UK which disappeared before he was born.
The NY Times, labouring as most media with falling circulation, in its case especially after Trump’s exit, is facing substantial problems in the near future. Tr Neptune is undermining the Virgo Sun this year on and off till early 2024, not good for morale or finances. The Solar Arc Saturn is in a discouraging, enthusiasm-squashing conjunction to the Jupiter. Then from March 2023 with Pluto’s entry into Aquarius there follows a monumentally tough four years as tr Pluto squares Pluto, then Saturn and Uranus – pulling painfully away from the past and into a period of intense turmoil and forced change.