What is a Jubilee for?


This year is the Queen’s 60th year on the throne and therefore her diamond Jubilee. Jubilee in the bible was a whole year of rest with fields lying fallow, property returned to its original owners and Israelite slaves set free. Essentially it was Sunday for a whole year.

The Queen’s Jubilee is not a biblical jubilee but it is a time of celebration for a nation who are in need of cheering up. The nature of the jubilee is that it will be fairly good natured, the infamous street party being popular and an enjoyable period when generations will celebrate together – whether you think the monarchy is a good idea or not it’s hard to criticise Her Majesty. And there will be an extra bank holiday – hooray!

Not according to Mervyn King the governor of the Bank of England. In this article  he is quoted as warning that the Jubliee will have an effect on output. What about the  effect on “output” of people who are miserable or even ill because they work too hard? What about the effect on output of “duvet days” ?

Jubilee is a Sabbath a day of rest and though this is a secular occasion it will have the same very human function – giving us all a break. It depresses me that this is even worthy of publication and I thnk it says a lot about a society when the only worth they find in celebration is monetary. It tells me where loyalties and conerns lie and even though this is a depressed market joy and rest are currencies that we in the West take far too much for granted.

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