Fair dinkum for little princes;Opinion;News amp; Opinion

19th November 1999 at 00:00
COR, strewth, Bruce and stuff my jumbuck's di d geridoo into a tuckerbag!

I've just had a visit from my Uncle Gordon from Australia. Not that he spoke like that u he's originally from Wishaw. And his jumbuck can't play the di d geridoo. Time to cease this pathetic stereotyping u I get enough of that when people hear I'm a physics teacher.

Let's talk republicanism. As he cracks a tube beside the billabong with his Sheila (Desma, actually) by his side, my uncle will doubtless be contemplating the results of his country's decision to remain a monarchy. I suspect that he will be disappointed . I know I am.

Had I been the driving force behind a punk band in the late seventies, I might have penned a hit called Monarchy in the UK (I am a monarchist I like the civil list ). In the eighties , there seemed to be an over riding argument for having a royal family too. That argument was called Ronald Reagan.

I was not even swayed by a ludicrous incident at a school where I was a student. The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay were due to visit. As a consequence, a mural outside the building was completely painted over because some reprobate had anatomically e nhan ced some of the figures .

In the nineties I have changed my mind. Forget the arguments about democracy and privilege. Forget the counter - arguments about tourism and exports. For me it comes down to royal weans. I cannot support a system that foists the sort of upbringing on a child that I myself would have loathed .

I would not pack my own kids off to boarding school while I went on a world tour of benevolent dictatorships as part of a trade mission to boost the sale of heat-seeking computer mice. I thus have no right to condemn anyone else to months of affection starvation because of an accident of birth.

Nae offence to anyone who teaches at such an establishment. Every offence to anyone who sends their children there. If boarding schools were free and used by ordinary working people as places to dump kids in while Maw and Paw got on with life there would be a rash of Parents From Hell tabloid headlines.

I don't have enough space here to go into all the things that strike me as truly dreadful when I consider the ruling class and childhood. Perhaps the worst thing of all is seeing the cycle repeat itself. I hope Australia gets another chance to edge the Windsor family closer to something approaching a normal existence. Maybe we'll get to do the same too .

That would be fair dinkum, as my Uncle Gordon wouldn't say.

Gregor Steele was shocked to hear that they don't know how good Skodas are in Australia.

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