The timing of Michael Gove’s suggestion that the Queen should have a new Royal yacht as a diamond jubilee present was unfortunate to say the least, made as it was on the very day of the Concordia disaster. Well, I suppose you can’t get things right all the time, but it did come across as inept and insensitive. That’s Michael for you.
But what of the idea itself? Clearly Gove was set up to float the idea to gauge reaction, which appears to have been strongly negative – a deafening raspberry actually. But that doesn’t seem to have put off the royalist lickspittles in the Cabinet.
Today, doubtless emboldened by the support of his mates (plus Charles and Anne), David Cameron has come out in favour of the idea with some far-fetched scheme that the yacht could double up as a “training resource for young people”.
Oh for goodness sake Dave, pull the other one! The Royal Yacht Britannia was sold to a hard-pressed British public in the fifties by saying that it could double–up as a hospital ship. It never happened, and was never going to happen. The British people were sold a lie. And anyway the ship was singularly unsuited for such a role. But why on earth do young people need a yacht as a training resource? They don’t. We don’t buy your suggestion at all, Mr Prime Minister. The British people are being sold a lie – again!
As for the funding (a cool £60 million, apparently) there have been noises that there have already been some substantial ‘donations’ made. Whether there have or not, it is totally unacceptable for one penny piece of public money to be spent on such an unnecessary project, particularly at a time when millions of Britons are finding life very, very tough. Austerity means austerity for all – or is it one rule for us and none for them?
If the Queen wants a yacht, then she should pay for it herself – and the cost of manning and maintaining it. If she felt so inclined to rent it out for training young people, then she would be free to so do.
But all this misses the point. To have our ‘royals’ swanning about the world in a yacht in the 21st century is quite simply ludicrous. Do the fawning sycophants who are proposing this idea not realise how utterly ridiculous Britain is going to look? Do the ‘royals’ not understand how stupid they would look? The days of steaming off to some far off Commonwealth isle, of being greeted by befeathered flunkies and bemused primary school children in funny outfits are gone, are they not?
If the British monarchy is to survive it needs to think less of yachts and more about less exclusive means of transport. Already a living anachronism, they surely don’t need to demonstrate in such a blatant way how out of touch they are? They should beware of fawning Tories bearing gifts.