Who sent the namby-pamby Commando-come-tea-boy?
But can anyone tell me why they sent that utter wally the Duke of Wessex off to the South Atlantic? I realise it’s not a gig many of the Royal Family would fancy, the Falkland Islands being a bit like Scotland but without the population’s sunny disposition, but Prince Edward for Christ’s sake? The namby-pamby Commando-come-tea-boy? A man so insignificant they had to invent a county of which to make him Duke?
And why on earth did they let him near the dressing up box as well? I suppose they’re his mother’s armed forces, so he can wear whatever uniform he wants, but turning up dressed as a Ruritanian rear admiral (yes, I’ve heard the rumours too) hardly added to the dignity of the occasion.
I’m told that the snivelling little git officially holds the honourary rank of Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Well I’ve been drinking with the RFA in a past life. They are, in general, completely barking. Even the Paras are wary of taking them on in a bar-room brawl. Appointing the wimp of the family as their top man confirms once and for all that Her Maj (God bless her) has a devilish sense of humour.
I DOUBT that Prince Edward ever had to pass through a weapons scanner on the way to his Greek lessons at Gordonstoun - although I’m prepared to bet that the soft lad was tied to the odd radiator and had his head pushed down the toilet more than once.
Likewise, we never had a problem with pupils carrying illegal knives at my inner-city school. It wasn’t illegal so we all had them. Although in our case it was penknives for whittling arrowheads and playing Split the Kipper, rather than flick knives for stabbing to death the wannabe Yardie at the next desk.
The problem of lawlessness in our schools was underlined this week with a story that appears to have passed almost without comment – which tells you a lot about the state of our schools. Helix, manufacturers of essential school equipment like protractors and shatterproof rulers, have announced that they are going to make a tamper-proof pencil sharpener after head teachers complained that kids were removing the little metal blades and slashing their schoolmates.
My immediate thought is why go to all that bother when a pair of compasses makes an excellent stabbing implement. I remember with a shudder the terrible Compass Wars of 1964, when gangs of feral schoolboys roamed the back alleys inflicting painful punctures on rival posses. The conflict only ended when, in a fearsome weapons escalation, the kids from Dead Dog Croft stole the board compass (remember them?), sharpened its four-inch spike and introduced a generation of 10-year-olds to the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction.
Ah, but Health and Safety have been there before me. Apparently that problem has already been eliminated by the production of soft-point compasses. And bang go hours of schoolboy fun and games.
But then, they’re still going to make pencil sharpeners, aren’t they? And that means that small hoodlums will still be able to produce lethally-sharpened pencils. And, let me tell you, they can hurt. Let’s see Helix get around that one. Back to chalk and slates, anyone?
SO WE’VE eliminated compasses and pencil-sharpener blades from the litany of life-threatening objects menacing our offspring, so what’s next? How about bubbles? Yes, bubbles.
Step forward, Public Enemy Number One, a clown from Sheffield called Barney Baloney. This man has been showing callous disregard for our children by blatantly spewing forth a stream of deadly bubbles from a machine during his act. The youngsters then run around, giggling, chasing the tiny spheres of soapy death. How none of them have yet died from multiple fractures is a miracle.
But sleep soundly in your beds. Our usually vigilant Health and Safety Nazis might have missed this one, but thankfully the Association of British Insurers are on the case. Mr Baloney has been denied insurance cover and has been forced to drop the bubble element from his act, having to rely in future on only his juggling skills and usual clown stuff to enthral a roomful of jelly-crazed tots. We wish him well.
IF, PERCHANCE, Barney Baloney suffers some mishap during his act – let’s imagine that all the wheels and doors fall off his car and the engine explodes showering tinsel over the gathered throng – he’d do well not to rely on the local fire brigade to race to his rescue.
Yes, they’ll get there, but it may take some time because they’ve been banned from using their blue lights and sirens and must travel strictly within the speed limit “unless there is an immediate threat to life or property”.
Quite how they know whether or not there is an immediate threat to life or property when someone’s dialled 999 and shouted “Help! Fire!” is beyond me, but I think it’s safe to assume that a bubble-free clown trapped amongst the collapsing wreckage of his comedy car while feral packs of jelly-crazed toddlers armed with pencil-sharpener blades circle him menacingly might not rank high on the list of priorities.
IF A MOB of angry children’s entertainers decided to burn an effigy of Prince Edward in protest at unfair bubble-banning I can’t see too many people getting upset about it. However, when demonstrators in a Commonwealth country – in this case Pakistan - decide to torch an effigy of Her Majesty The Queen, then something has gone badly wrong.
This is the dreadful situation that the dark forces who run the honours system have inflicted upon us by conferring a knighthood on Salman Rushdie, the frog-eyed scribbler who hates this country so much he relied upon us for £10 million worth of protection before clearing off to New York.
We are told that the honour was granted “due to public demand”. Well only if the “public” consists of a bunch of Guardian-reading, lentil-eating, latte-supping Lefties sitting huddled round a table in a Hampstead vegetarian café.
Now they’ve stirred up another terrorist hornets’ nest just when we didn’t need it. Well done, chaps.