They are talking this morning about a new Royal Yacht for the Queen.
Obviously, a lot of the great and good are in favour, as they like a good jolly and hope Her Majesty might ask them to come aboard.
I’ve been to one of her good jollies and I enjoyed it. But then you could say that I earned my invitation.
If you look at the list of royal yachts on Wikipedia, you’ll see that most large ones are owned by Arabs, with bad human rights records, except perhaps for the royal families of Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands. The Iranian president might have one too.
I think the Queen has said she only misses the yacht for her family cruise round the Scottish Islands and since the decommissioning of the Royal Yacht Britannia she has twice hired a small cruise ship called the Hebridean Princess.
So for her personal pleasure she has found a sensible substitute. According to Wikipedia, one year she paid £125,000, which doesn’t buy a very big yacht and pay for the maintenance.
But obviously, this doesn’t satisfy the great and the good, who get nothing out of it.
On the other hand, the owners of the Hebridean Princess get publicity that money can’t buy.
John Podmore, who has run prisons for many years has written a book called Out of Sight, Out of Mind, which describes why Britain’s prisons are failing.
On BBC Breakfast this morning, he talked about how he went some of the way to making Brixton a community prison, by opening the doors to local businesses, charities and churches. He also indicated seriously that local prisons could be run on John Lewis lines, with all the community having a share.
Now there’s an idea! But I think a good one, as our current penal policy is unsustainable.
The Sunday Times has a column of this name, which collects odd news from around the the world. This is the text of one this week with a title of Call the Pants Police.
Brides should be forced by law to wear knickers at the altar, says a Brazilian councillor. Ozias Zizi claims a growing number of women are being married without underwear because a superstition says this will guarantee a longer marriage.
The councillor from Vila Velha wants to introduce a local law that would not only force brides to wear knickers, but would bring in a minimum neckline for dresses.
“The moment they enter a place of worship they must show some respect,” he said. But Enoch de Castro, a local priest, said: “It would be absurd to try to police something like this, to find out whether a bride is wearing knickers or not.”
I think the priest has it right. Although, I don’t think that the police would lack volunteers for the job.