There is a new hashtag #TheGoveBoat on twitter and it also a new subject trending. So I have taken the hashtag as my title for this blog, my alter ego has already fired off several angry tweets on the subject this morning!
I wake up to the news on the radio and often am motivated by items thereon. This is a handy method of getting me out of bed and into the 'working' day. Thus I often find myself mentally composing emails and other great works of literature whilst also doing the mundane jobs of finding matching shoes and tracking down a clean mug with which to start the day. But today the news that Michael Gove has suggested - in a letter leaked by the Guardian started with me in a furious mood.
I like to be calm first thing in the morning. Calm I am not. To quote a couple of Gove's 'ideas' [and so far this is only an idea, which is the only thing which is keeping me this side of laying on the floor and having a full blown tantrum. And I am a pacifist....]:
In spite, and perhaps because of the austere times, the celebration should go beyond those of previous jubilees and mark the greater achievement that the diamond anniversary represents.Actually, not a bad idea of a way to mark the diamond anniversary, if thought necessary, would be to endow a new hospital, say, or build/repair some schools? And:
I feel strongly that the diamond jubilee gives us a tremendous opportunity to recognise in a very fitting way the Queen's highly significant contribution to the life of the nation and the Commonwealth.
Aren't the proposals for street parties and banquets and Royal tours and all the other things that are already in place enough?
The Guardian goes on to add [not a direct quote from Gove's letter]:
Gove ends his letter by suggesting that if insufficient taxpayer funds are available a private donation could be sought
I believe that the Queen is one of the richest women in the country. So does she really need a present of £60million from all its citizens, many of whom are struggling to survive?
BTW it has been suggested that a new Royal Yacht could be a bit of a poisoned chalice with all the Coastguard cuts...
I really cannot understand Gove's reasoning. We have pensioners in this country at the moment who have had their extra winter fuel allowance cut. We have disabled people who are fighting for [and too often losing] the continuation of disability living allowance. We have young people not able to attend universities due to fears of debts that could be incurred through the student grant system. A great lack of social housing. Libraries closing. Schools that need repairs having leaking roofs, inadequate heating and more. Hospitals existing by luck more than judgement due to inadequate staffing and buildings also needing attention. And so much more. But oh yes, let's build a Royal yacht. Of course it might give British manufacturing a boost. If it hasn't already been destroyed and broken up and much engineering knowledge lost due to the processes Maggie Thatcher started.
Maybe my prejudices are showing. Maybe I am ranting. Maybe others agree.
The picture is Vincent van Gogh's Fishing Boat's on the beach at Saint Maries de la Mer. I couldn't think of anything more beautiful to use than this today. Bringing me back to the calmer waters and mood that I prefer.