Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cliches of 2010 #2

"The Royal Family brings in tourism revenue"

With the recent news that Prince William is to wed Kate Middleton, the supremely annoying cliche that "the-monarchy-generates-tourism" has made a swift comeback, particularly in reply to allegations that a Royal wedding in the middle of an age of austerity will strain the public purse.

For instance, former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie proclaimed on last Thursday's BBC Question Time that "we need the tourist dollar [...] we need the Royal Family to help pay the bills". Needless to say, the Mail on Sunday reiterated the same argument today.

A few obvious questions, however, spring to mind.

Do these people seriously think tourists are booking flights and hotels to Britain only after they've double checked on Wikipedia that the country's still a monarchy?

Do they picture those gondoliers in Venice tearing their hair out in regret crying that: "oh, if only Italy had not become a Republic in 1946! The amount of extra revenue we missed out on!".

Would it be such a massive mental strain to work out that France has been a republic for 221 years and it's still the world's number one tourist destination?

Do people flock to Spain because their Head of State is called King Juan Carlos or because of the tourist attractions, history, scenery and weather?

Wouldn't tourists want to visit Buckingham Palace and other monuments anyway? How do you think it works?

"Oh, but it's not that, it's the mugs, the tea towels and the commemorative plates", the Sun, the Mail and the Express would probably tell you.

Except that you can work out for yourself that there will always be a specific type of tourist spending money on mugs, pens and commemorative plates, t-shirts and trinkets, key rings and the lot.

They sell them all around the world, and it matters not one jot if they have a royal family or not at the helm. Some tourists spend that money anyway, whether it's the Big Ben that is printed on that mug, Prince Charles' ears, the London Underground sign, the Eiffel Tower, Gaudi's lizard, or the Parthenon.

Get real. Open your eyes. You've got a brain. If you want to stick up for the Royal family, ditch the kool aid and use some better arguments.

Last week's cliche: "Iain Duncan Smith is a kind and honourable man".

1 comment:

Stan Moss said...


Another one that makes my blood curdle is that the royals hold the country together. It says a lot about the people who come up with such comments if they feel they need a bunch of loaded parasites to "hold them together". What are we, fucking bay hales needing holding together? Speak for yourself!