Kia ora Koutou,

I have had enough. The wall to wall coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s death/funeral arrangements/ the queues/ whoever’s standing beside the coffin/ flowers/enough… enough.

The frenzy of reporting every detail, the seeking out of anyone old who has any memories, real or not, or anyone young for that matter, tributes to the Queen’s stamina, work-load, manners, smile, okay, I get that. She was a very nice hard-working woman. I get that, okay? I have had the good fortune to know a lot of very nice hardworking women and their stamina, fortitude, energy and smiles, match the Queen’s, but the world did not stop for them even when they were alive. We might have sung Bread and Roses at their tangi, their death might have (or might not) been reported by the media but even if there had been a reference to their death and life of service, by the next day the rest of the world had quickly moved on. And in any case, I know they would not have wanted a huge expensive celebration of their life or death, I know they would rather have the causes they marched for become reality – women treated as equal, mothers, fathers, children, the Rainbow community, all warm, well fed and housed and everyone, female, male, young, old, able to walk around at night without fear.

I wonder how many kids around the world have died of malnutrition this week? How many whose life could have been made easier by a teensy little bit of the money, now flung around because everyone wants to see, hear, contribute to the general drawn out process. The money being poured out while people in pain wait for operations and hundreds fly to be at the funeral or to be seen at the funeral could have paid for a huge number of those.

And then (as a kind of excessive one-finger salute) we have the auction of paintings held by, you guessed it, a bank. Speculation about high-priced offers have been confirmed/surpassed and I wonder if any of those buyers who purchased those canvases gave a thought to how many families could have been warmly dressed, lived in warm houses, fed well, for that much money – or half of it. The plight of the poor, the homeless, the disenfranchised, is very muted at those warm air-conditioned, expensive wine and food auctions.

Wouldn’t it have been great if even half the money expended on the pomp and ceremony of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral been spent on warm housing for those who desperately need it. Wouldn’t it have been great if, for once, priorities had been given to those who (it is said over and over) Queen Elizabeth II, served.