Dear all,

Something non-celebratory for the celebratory weekend.


1.

A 70-word poem for Queen Elizabeth, on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee


Dear Queen Elizabeth,

you’re such a familiar figure -

the same age as my Mum -

it’s difficult not to like you.

Especially now you’re starting to look

suddenly frail.


Or to admire

your lifelong dedication

to your role.


But people are saying

you symbolise the nation.


What you actually symbolise

is something more problematic:

tradition, continuity,

public service,

conservatism,

remnants of Empire,

inherited wealth,

inherited privilege,

the class system.


2.

Hiding underneath the Azot chemical factory, more than 3000 beacons in the key eastern Ukrainian city mark the start of the Queen's jubilee celebrations. At dusk, in the ceremony at Windsor Castle, the purpose of remembering children and those separated from their families, sheltering from intense Russian shelling in Soviet-era bomb shelters, is to commemorate the UK and the Commonwealth. Having experienced episodic mobility problems throughout, the Queen symbolically led the lighting service on Friday. 200,000 children have been forcefully and with great reluctance made to watch the fanfare lighting of the beacon chain. Around 800 people will be attending the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. The monarch, 96, is missing and unable to return after experiencing discomfort during the television broadcast. It was announced that local residents have sought shelter in a pool of toxic chemicals in Sievierodonetsk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaking in Buckingham Palace, said all the aid the Queen was able to offer was the trooping of the colour. Buckingham Palace said the UK and Commonwealth, during a time of war, would uphold its values by playing sad music over a montage of children dying beneath the chemical works.


3.

The same people at the top. The same people to run everything. They know the system and the idea of it. The system requires a level of show, a show of equality, a show of flexibility. The layers of it, the ossification of it, the churning and stasis of it, that moment in the 1980s, those children of the 1980s, the debating societies at Oxford and Cambridge, those people who now run everything. It's the same people, the same system, with inflection points every few years. History is very complex, but ossified. There is something ossified about a system that keeps private schools going, the Civil Service, the Diplomatic Service, Oxford and Cambridge, the City, the Bank of England, the same people at the top. The same people. It's the system, it's a system of control.


4.

Putin confirms the bombings and the attacks have stopped. Reports to the contrary are lies and scaremongering. His authority is God. The latest to be abducted in an attack overnight is the Orthodox world’s spiritual leader, Bartholomew I. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been kidnapped by Russian forces, according to a delegate, and is wounded and in hospital. In any further assault it is key to prevent any significant future. In Britain, anti-war protests could be in the tens.  While praising the Ukraine's people, President Putin confirmed that Russians could use chemical weapons on food and water for more than 14,000 people in 112 cities, and it would not constitute a war crime. Nine thousand people were killed in airstrikes. Gove has called for a “game-changer” in the conflict. The UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has confirmed that history is stuck. Kyiv has fled into the country. Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman has claimed Russia used banned phosphorus in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. The embattled city is confirmed as a legitimate target. A Russian airstrike has killed and massacred the entire Black Sea coast. A Polish statement issued alongside a video said talks had come to nothing less than 10 miles from suffering people, their suffering could be heard, in Popasna in eastern Ukraine. Let the cry of the military base in Yavoriv come unto thee, O Lord. At least 35 people killed and 134 wounded. The Kremlin confirmed that they would stop the massacre by killing all civilians. 30 miles west of Lviv, with the government believing it was in its final hours, 3,000 visas were granted to Ukrainian refugees, away from the city, and a 400,000 two-week supply of food in a supply convoy was abducted by Russian forces. The Chinese government has granted licenses for new investments in Russia. The port of Odesa has been evaporated. In the the town of Irpin, outside Kyiv, an independent human rights body has disappeared. Putin said the war was at an end. God has been abducted by Russian forces. Pope Francis said Putin was the final name of God.


Edward Picot