Monday, 16 January 2012
On the Beach
Although I don't think the timing was quite right. Which may explain why it's not been so rapturously applauded in the higher reaches of the Establishment
I've quite a bit of time for Mr Gove, our Secretary of State for Education. Frankly, I have only admiration for anyone who takes on our education system. So when he launched the idea of a new royal yacht as a gift from a grateful nation to a Queen who's spend 60 years on the throne, I thought "Good on you, me lad".
Except of course, what with the mishap in the Med and Costa Concordia, now I suppose isn't the best time to suggest floating off the old Queen. That and the cost.
Opposition is nowadays not couched in £.s.d., but how many hospitals, nurses, policemen or bankers' bonuses could be provided with the dosh spent on a new boat for the royals. And, of course, it would send the wrong message at a time when we're all tightening our life belts.
Which no doubt explains why No 10 has gone all ship shape and bristol fashion saying that it's a good idea but there'll be no money from the Government. Instead, the Royals will have to go round Buckingham Palace tea parties and the Highland Games with a begging bowl or two to drum up the readies.
Although I suspect there will be quite a few of her Maj's loyal subjects who would happily hand over a few quid to float the Queen's boat.
In keeping with the times, sponsorship might help raise the necessary cash. The Royal Bank of Scotland could sponsor the plimsoll line - since they know quite a bit about being under water. New Corp International would, I'm certain, be more than happy to kit out the vessel with the latest communications hardware.
So the little people could be encouraged to donate to this new symbol of our Nation's greatness I thought that we could all sponsor a rivet for a tenner. Possibly chip in with £100 for a deck chair or a set of deck quoits. The well heeled amongst us might be able to buy a timeshare on the new boat. A week a time at around £50k doesn't seem exorbitant, especially when you realise that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridgeshire would be thrown in along with Andrew to act as crew.
No, I think this idea is unstoppable. It's got everything going for it, especially stopping us having to worry about the Olympics.
No doubt there'd be a competition to find a name for the new ship the winner receiving a suitable prize such as a years supply of household cleaning fluid - donated by Tesco's. As a starter might I suggest the Royal Yacht "Caledonian Spirit".
Your 'umble servant Ma'am.