Life is one long ‘if only’. If only the Jubilee celebrations had fallen on last weekend the national party spirit would have been unforgettable, which it deserves to be given that we are marking a remarkable 60-year long reign of a Queen who many of us old ‘uns remember as a shy princess stepping off a BOAC plane to be greeted by Winston Churchill. Hers is a truly magnificent record, and republicans find it very difficult to stand by their wish for the alternative – a long succession of un-Churchill-like callow, untrustworthy politicians posing as President.
But, like the rest of the nation, we are pressing on with our allotments ‘street party’ despite the wretched rain. None of us will see another Diamond Jubilee, and a momentous day in our Island’s history is too important to be spoiled by someone up there pouring what at this moment feels like buckets of the wet stuff over us.
Doubtless our dear leader and his pals will be putting on their best Sunday grins when the Thames pageant begins. But they must be feeling very worried and insecure right now. It has been a grim week for the Coalition. Four U-turns by George Osborne on tax plans announced in his March budget were followed by further revelations at the Leveson Inquiry of the closeness between Jeremy Hunt and News Corpooration’s James Murdoch, around the time that Mr Hunt was appointed to oversee News Corp’s bid for BSkyB. And then our dear leader dropped his latest brick by announcing that there would be no parliamentary investigation of Hunt, only to learn that he has no powers to make such a bizaare ruling. Posh he may be, careful he ain’t.
If all that was not enough to spoil the taste of today’s champagne, today brings a new long awaited opinion poll. The new “Wisdom Index” survey by ICM is based on a new measuring method said to be even more accurate than the long-established ‘Who would you vote for’ version. And it gives Labour a lead of 8% over the Conservatives and one of 23% over the Lib Dems. Such a result would give Ed Miliband a majorit of around 90 seats.
And if even that news was not enough to turn the dear leader’s Bollinger sour the information seeping out this morning of secret talks between Miliband and Vince Cable, Menzies Campbell, Simon Hughes (Lib Dem deputy leader), Tim Farron (Lib Dem president) and Lord Oakeshott (Lib Dem former Treasury spokesman) most certainly will. Inside sources claim that there is now open discussion about sections of the Lib Dems splitting off, and detailed debate about a joint approach with Labour on issues such as Lords reform. Apparently Lord Adonis, Blair’s transport secretary, is acting as a liason. This morning an unnamed spokesman said to be ‘close to Vince Cable’ said; “Lib Dems are waking up to the fact that Nick Clegg has led them to the edge of the abyss in terms of the next election.”.
On the face of it this is all cheering for those of a leftish disposition. But in reality we should all be worried. Right now there is every possibility of the Euro collapsing into its inevitable chaos. If that happens the implications for our own economy are frightening given the massive investments, by our financial sector, in Europe. It will need astute management to avoid an economic crash here. It is hard to imagine the present government providing it, particularly if it splits assunder.
But for today let us focus on our ever-reliable Monarch. There are those who continue to bang on about the undemocratic nature of Royalty. But polls show clearly that they are in a minority. It is not the Monarchy that attracts the venom of the people in these difficult times. It is the bankers, the politicians, the media class, those who bray about social mobility while exemplifying the opposite, the clubs, the networks, the smiling phonies who promise opportunity but perpetuate privilege; it is towards them that the tumbrils roll!
HATS OFF TO OUR FAVOURITE ROYAL!
We codgers revere above all others the Duke. A man’s man if ever there was one, Philip has cheered us over so many years with his caustic wit and irreverence. Today we recall our favourites; On meeting a blind girl with her guide dog, Philip remarked; “Do you know they are now producing eating dogs for the anorexics?” Talking about Princess Anne, the Duke said ; “If it doesn’t fart or eat hay, she isn’t interested” He asked a Scottish driving instructor; “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” On conservation he said; “If it has four legs and is not a chair, if it’s got two wings and flies but isn’t an aeroplane and if it swims but it’s not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it!”
Keep going Philip!