Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear Mr PM

Please note. You should have said "The whole country apart from Andrew wishes them every happiness." Or, in your language "The vastmajority of the country wishes them every happiness." Or possibly the "The vast yes majority of the yes country...." Not that Andrew wishes them any ill, of course. I suppose in that sense you are right: I wish them every happiness to the exact same extent that I wish happiness to any other two people I have never met. Apart from Nick Clegg and Tony Blair, obviously. On my way to Tescos, if it wasn't that I live near Stokes Croft and have to pretend that I don't like Tescos, for reasons I can't remember, I walk past the sorting office. I sometimes drop in and pick up a package from Amazon. There's a big sign outside saying "Royal Mail", with a picture of a crown. It's the most decreptit building you ever saw, it looks like a warehouse. On one side there's a small trading estate which I have never been near, and on the other side there's a small local railway station which I have. (In between there are some reasonably nice looking flats. Years ago I was mugged in the ally between my flat and the Royal Mail sorting office.) If you took away the picture of the crown and the word "Royal" you'd have to put something else there. "The British Mail" sounds white and BNP. "The People's Mail" sounds commie. "The Mail" sounds like a racist newspaper. And then Andrew Lloyd Weber would have to write a new national anthem and we'd have to elect a president. The joke used to be that you could summarize the anti-republican argument in two words: President Thatcher. Then it became President Blair. But that was in the days before the whole celebrity thing had gone completely to cock. These days, we'd (seriously, really) be talking about President Boyle or President Goody. So keep up the silly tradition by all means, at least until you can think of something to put in its place. But don't involve me in the back story. It's a bit like the Olympic Games. I'm not against the Egg and Spoon Race. I don't want the Egg and Spoon Race abolished. I'm not even against us hosting the international Egg and Spoon Race, although if it comes to a straight choice between the Olympics and, say, Universities, I'd go for the Universities. But I do rather get bored with the idea that I should, and indeed do, care who win the gold medal in the egg and spoon race, any more than the guys in the running club do, or should, care whether the 1950s Captain America was an imposter. Ho hum. Eighteen months of the Daily Mail calling for mandatory street parties and compulsory bunting, eighteen months of the Guardian saying that anything the working class are interested in should be abolished, eighteen months of the Express saying that Prince Philip dunnit. I think perhaps I shall hibernate.