Peter Rhodes on rearing a prince, moving the Lords and the lady who called a reporter 'mate'
Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.
Confusing headlines of our age. From the Guardian: 'Children in Scotland could be banned from heading footballs over dementia link'.
There was a curious moment in Channel 4 News when Labour leadership contender Emily Thornberry (the one who looks like the Cheshire cat with a double helping of cream) lapsed into blokey, working-class English and twice addressed Krishnan Guru-Murthy as “mate”. Sadly, Guru-Murthy did not have the presence of mind to respond by calling Thornberry, who is married to a knight, by her official title of Lady Nugee.
Meanwhile, having sneered at candidate Rebecca Long-with-or-without-a-hyphen-Bailey in yesterday's column, today I sympathise with her. In the past she has spoken against the abortion of full-term babies who are found to be disabled. Her view, shared by many other folk, is that healthy and disabled babies should be treated equally. However, such views are anathema to the hard-core abortion supporters who fill Labour's ranks and Long Bailey has been forced to recant. Her beliefs, founded in her Roman Catholicism, are politically unacceptable. Political parties sing the praises of diversity in everything - but God help anybody whose conscience diverts from the party diktat.
When the Americans finally joined the First World War in 1917 they brought with them a song which went: “How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?” It's a fair question. An American teenager who has spent his pay and lost his innocence in the French capital is hardly going to return contentedly to the daily chore of counting tumbleweeds in Nevada or branding pigs in Ohio. And exactly the same applies to princes and princesses. Their career path is so brain-numbingly dull that the only way to prepare them for a life of cutting ribbons and planting saplings is to incarcerate them in a palace, educate them with governesses and create a social circle of royal cousins as dull as they are. Let them loose with a machine gun in Afghanistan or an American actress in La La Land, and it's all over. Prince Harry was allowed to mix with the squaddies and meet a film star and the rest is history. They were never gonna keep him down on the Windsor farm.
A youth who appeared on reality TV show Supernanny as an unruly brat 15 years ago has been jailed for raping a stranger. Anyone surprised? Criminality often starts early. From the moment they enter nursery, most kids are aware that some of their contemporaries are mad, bad and dangerous. The average class of eight-year-olds could tell you with some accuracy which of their classmates will end up in prison.
The leaked Downing Street plan to move the House of Lords to York is inspired. And although we have more than 800 Lords, let the new chamber have no more than 100 seats. First come, first served and the late arrivals get no seat and no payment. We revive the North. We reward punctuality. A very British revolution.