The King and I.

I will readily admit, that in this day and age the idea of a ‘Head of State’ being a heredity title seems absolutely crazy. Here we are, the so called upholders of Democracy, fully (or nearly) embracing the House of Windsor as our begetter of our Head of State. Madness!

Why did at least 20 million Brits and assorted mad foreigners congregate with such joy at the Coronation of King Charles the third. Charles the first didn’t make it and was beheaded, Charles the Second was a benign egghead and a bit of a lad he had at least 13 mistresses including Nel Gwyn and we ‘ve has a series of clowns and odd balls as our Head of Sate ever since. I won’t bother to catalogue the episodes of eccentricity, vulgarity, even treasonable behaviour that has plagued the royal household, merely acknowledge the multiple oddities of the passed Monarchs.

Since George the Sixth, Elizabeth the Second, and now Charles the Third, The United Kingdom and Commonwealth of nations have enjoyed a head of state that first gathered us together in the unity of common battles to save democracy, to fight for right, and to respect the primacy of parliament. They were preceded by Victoria as worshipped a Leader as there ever was, despite her closeted existence. All our royal ancestors since 1689have been German or Mainland European. It was only in 1917 that the existing monarch household changed its name from Sax-Coberg to Windsor.

The royal households have not escaped the movement of history or modern technology. They have evolved from the tribal leaders of Ethelred to the sophisticates of modern day. The one word that has been constant has been LEADER and if they did not sustain leadership then there have been many instances of their failure.

England and the United Kingdom have been a republic before, under Oliver Cromwell and his son Richard from 1649 to 1659. Charles the Second was brought back as our leader by Parliament in 1659.

Through modern history, the Victorian era and the world wars, we have been happy with our lot as loyal subject of the Saxe-Cobergs come Windsors. Why change?

It is clearly at odds with democracy to have the Head of State unelected, and born by right to rule.

Although constitutionally the right to rule exists, in practice it does not. In the UK we have the Primacy of Parliament, and the basic rights laid down by King John (through the will of the then parliament) in the Magna Carta which in practice over rides the rule of the throne. That is not to say that those who are of the Royal family do not have influence. They do, but it is hushed and termed soft power.

Why not get rid of the royal family their heirs and successors and save the exchequer a lot of cash?

Looking at the alternatives, that we should elect a Head of State and give that person the role now ensconced in the King. Election is after all the basis of democracy, one person one vote. If the Head of State does a poor job we can then change him/her via the electoral system. Looking at the electoral results over the last fifty years does not give me much enthusiasm for this idea. The Air heads, Crooks and Lunatics of the last ten years alone gives us fear to trust what will inevitably become a political election.

As the royal family has changed with the time, especially modern times, it has become progressively more servant than served. The present King’s mother Elizabeth was loved and respected both as a person and as a monarch. Despite the slings and arrows of everyday life, of loves, loathing, sickness and health, we have a King who will serve us well. Above politics, a man who believes in goodness and care. I vote for King Charles the Third.

Long live the KING.


Cricket the old man’s friend.

You have no idea how good I was.  Yes, yes, sitting on my settee watching these well paid television idols making a complete hash of the Indian series, it is easy to forget.  Oh yes! I can tell when the umpire gets it wrong on TV.  My mind goes arrow straight and sharp to the certain ball flight, how smart am I?

It is all true except in some small details.  I do have an idea how good I was, and I wasn’t.  In fact, I was a hopeless cricketer whose only talent was shouting appeals from long on, which, more or less, summed up my vulgar knowledge of the game.

Since those long off days, (forgive the pun) I have graduated to days out, from Lords to the Rec Antigua, from Sophia Gardens, Cardiff to the Wanderers Johannesburg, I have shifted gallons of lovely beer and snook a bit of shut eye, I have even left early and missed a collapse or two. But now at eighty I am in my prime, I can prattle on with the best of them.

I miss John Arlott and Brian Johnson, to name but two, I find some of the present-day smartie-arses a bit much to take.  After all, what do they know? Don’t answer that, it is just that they seem to make a meal of even the slightest move, a twitch here, a dart there, a tweak and a turn, and excitement knows no bounds.

My decisions are much simpler, when to stagger to the kitchen either to make tea or slip an early whiskey into play. Then and only then, do I get down to team picking for the next match.  Astonishingly, my choices are seldom adhered to, I know not why.  These selectors clearly have no idea.

My emails, (yes, I am technically brilliant for my age) contain crisp messages which are received with secret disdain by those who are, by necessity, younger.

As I edge to my journey up the chimney, cricket becomes one of my best friends.  They program five days from nine till four and I am delighted that the pink ball promises introspective excellence. One and a half days simply will not do.  Don’t they know they are depriving a legion of old dogs of the peaceful fullness of otherwise empty days?

 I can watch and dream, such wondrous promise that my hapless cricketing persona has been elevated to the pantheon of greatness.

 Cummon’ lads, more than two days please.