Suicide bombers kill 50 in Baghdad, north and south Korea could be on the brink of war, the Euro could soon crash – sending the whole European project into terminal meltdown. And Prince Charles and Camilla had a traumatic encounter on the way to a royal engagement.
Many people become a bit more conservative as they age – and I don't claim to be an exception – but the strange veneration of the royal family, combined with the shock and horror every time they are exposed to the casual hooliganism of everyday life, continues to baffle me. It's not that republicanism is THE make or break issue for the UK but the over-sensitivity with which people react to a relatively minor incident is unintentionally funny.
I've never bought into the royal family and I don't think it's a litmus test for one's general political beliefs. Hereditary privilege seems an anachronism in any country striving to become a genuine meritocracy.
What makes people republicans is the ridiculously inflated indignation with which commentators huff and puff when mere mortals cross paths with royalty. Almost at once the core issue on December 10 was no longer the merits or otherwise of tuition fees, the injuries sustained by protesters and police alike, the desecration of the Cenotaph or even the fact that someone urinated over Churchill's statue. The enduring image became that of Camilla recoiling in horror as rioters approached the car window.
Veneration of the royals is an example of the snobbery that should be obsolete in modern Britain. I have a feeling that the servility the Windsors engender also plays a part in the general yobbish behaviour that mars the UK. I've never understood how people can keep a straight face when they go to Buckingham Palace to be bestowed with a title alluding to an empire that no longer exists. How can people go through the rest of their days with the title "sir" or "dame" before their name?
When I was a child I'll never forget an American tourist asking my mother, a tour guide, "does the Queen ever go to the bathroom?" What a stupid question! Of course she doesn't! Whenever the need arises, angels descend from heaven and remove any "waste" using golden tubes bearing the royal crest.
Let's face it, most people are completely out of touch with how the royal family live. And never the twain shall meet.
Now did that stick make contact? Did it actually poke her royal highness? If it touched Camilla's clothes they must be removed at once and thoroughly disinfected to remove the stench of the common folk that now contaminates them.