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Didn’t anybody else notice the flaw in the Queen’s Christmas message?

In it, she pointedly praised the volunteers who stewarded the Diamond Jubilee celebrations – in particular the river pageant.

So what was the flaw?

Well, everyone seems to have forgotten that a lot of the volunteers she was praising hadn’t in fact volunteered to work on the river pageant at all.

Many were unemployed jobseekers who had been bussed into London and forced to work as unpaid stewards. Some had even had to sleep underneath London Bridge on bare freezing cold concrete the night before the event.

Remember this:

Unemployed bussed in to steward river pageant

But – according to the Queen – the success of the event depended to an enormous degree on the dedication and effort of an army of ‘volunteers’.

Call me old-fashioned, but I always thought volunteers were people who had actually volunteered to do something – not been forced or blackmailed into it.

Of course, it’s entirely possible the Queen wasn’t aware that people had been forced to work as unpaid stewards during her jubilee celebrations.

If so – isn’t it about time someone told her?


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