It was nice of Michael Gove to suggest that the Queen should get a new yacht for her jubilee. It shows that somewhere under that exterior of hauntingly childlike, ventriloquist doll's face, in amongst all the cold callous decisions to make teachers more sackable, destroy school summer holidays and basically ruin education as some sort of payback no doubt for the horrendous amount of bullying he received as a child, that he has a heart. A mistimed heart for a monarch most are apathetic about, but still.
It doesn't matter that no one really knows why we still have a Queen. Sure, there's the whole tourism thing, as I'm sure people travel far and wide just to see the outside of a place she sometimes sits in, watching avidly as men in really stupid hats walk around each other as though they have problems with their joints. Aside from that though, any actual joy about the royals only ever seems to be based on if they give us a day off. That was at least 90% of why people where so happy with Kate and Wills, the other 10% purely being that heat magazine had something else to cover aside from celebrities' eating disorders or the shocking notions that some of them sweat occasionally.
Of course the day off, which will happen again this year for the jubilee, is a double edged sword. While we all rejoice in the nation being able to sit at home in their pants for an extra day, the economy takes another hit for the worse. Also it's a leap year so technically it only cancels out the extra day everyone has to work anyway. For Queen and Country is the motto - and a shit 1988 film with Denzel Washington - and I'm sure that despite her name coming first, she's done a few bits for the UK:
Her international relations, carting Phillip around making sure everyone knows that we are still inherently xenophobic and therefore a fine place for the US to trade with. More on the latter bit of that sentence later. Then of course Charles has those nice biscuits that he sells which must give us tuppence? Ultimately though, not that I'm anti-Royalist by any means, they just suck another few millions of pounds out of the country when we could probably do with keeping them and a yacht, alongside a huge jubilee celebration including a gold lined canal boat covered in fireworks (seriously) probably isn't going to help save that important cash to keep us out of that recession we are already in.
I'm not anti-Royalist though. Not at all. I love the Tower of London. It has axes in it. Without former Kings and Queens there would be a lot less axes there. My problem is that while a number of MP's have already given Gove a suitable backlash for his ideas - no doubt taking him back to those harsh schooldays again - it still shows just how out of date the government's ideas are.
Before the election in 2010, Cameron was often hailing himself as a 'progressive politician', and has since referred to the UK as a 'progressive nation' when telling us the eurozone crisis wouldn't affect our economy at all, before then entirely backtracking on that opinion. It was one of many lovely Cameron moments where a phrase about the economy or society gets blurted out only for days later him to retract it as though he's had a telling off. For someone who only recently made jibes about those with Tourette's, he has worryingly similar symptoms. The comment he made about people with Tourette's ironically being a great example.
So if the PM still believes we are a progressive nation, then why are we in a recession worse than that of the 1980's and more akin to that of the 30's? Further still, why is there the prospect of Scotland, and now Wales, talking of leaving the UK sending the state of the nation way back to the 13th Century? And we have politicians happily suggesting that the Queen should have lumps sums of money while those who are vulnerable in all areas of society suffer more and more? Dark Ages anyone? I fully expect the next Conservative initiative to be putting all science money into extracting dinosaur DNA from a fossilised mosquito just so they can outdo themselves. The UK - or maybe soon to be, England with a lovely bordering of Celts - isn't alone in this. The US (note my point earlier and its resurgence here. Thanks) is currently undergoing a situation that takes its emulates a level of xenophobia itself that seems to date back before boats were invented and people wouldn't leave their village for fear of devils.
I am by no means a fan of Republican Mitt Romney - a man who's name alone sounds like some sort of glove wear for robots - nor John Huntsman, both with many views I hold in high disregard, and I'm not very tall. Fact is though, neither should be lambasted by rivals or the press for knowing other languages. Romney knows French and John Huntsman knows Mandarin which means, aside from perhaps having greater knowledge of the world and being able to source this for their policies and governance, that they are both spies who will use these evil, possessed tongue like words to eat our children and make the dead rise again. Sure part of me wishes we still viewed other languages as evil, if only so my painful years of learning French, then German at school, were spent doing something more useful like building wicker men or learning incantations. I'd love to email all the Republican voters and congress with a short memo saying 'Hey! Its 2012 you know!' but I worry they'd be scared by the witch magic of electronics and the revelation that I've sent it from a place so far away it can't really exist.
So in comparison, maybe still acknowledging our Queen isn't all bad. I just don't think she needs a new yacht. Gove said the money wouldn't come from taxpayers but from corporations willing to invest, but hey, Mikey, here's an idea, why not get them to invest in things that benefit the country? I can't imagine Queenie's still got sea legs anyway, so, here's a batshit idea, for the Queen's jubilee, why not put some money into fixing the country over which she reigns? It'd be nice to think that on the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth II being Queen that she won't be doing that trademark half wave to a nation that is in more backwards state than it was in 1952.