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Royal Yacht? One Thinks Not

26th January 2012
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Boats have been getting a bad press of late; on the centennial of the Titanic’s incomplete final voyage: an Italian captain learned that cruise liners don’t float on land and a Tory MP discovered that Royal yachts sink in times of recession. These stories found themselves deliciously juxtaposed on the Guardian’s front page, where the image of the capsized Costa Concordia is pasted above the headline: “Give Queen a new royal yacht for the jubilee, says minister.” Such divine irony could plant party poppers in Cromwell’s multiple graves.

In a leaked letter, Michael Gove has proposed a £60 million (an ever increasing projection) yacht to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee. This is one in a series of enlightened ideas; by Easter, each primary and secondary school in the country will be the proud owner of a King James Bible, now finally complete with a foreword by saint Gove himself. Not until he’s splashed every last penny on every last anachronism will Gove’s political suicide be complete.

Or perhaps Gove just stands loyally in line with the rest of the prime minister’s human shield, as it was Cameron who erected a “no fishing” sign in the public pocket. The project already has £15 million backing in donations from Lord Ashcroft and two unnamed Canadian businessmen - but this is damage limitation.

Pictures of the Italian cruise liner drunkenly flopped over are particularly unsettling: it’s visually unnatural; it just looks wrong. Picture, then, a royal yacht, decked with aristocracy, floating from the shores of a nation who is struggling to punch enough holes in her belt. And on the mast, a portrait of Gove, flicking the v’s, the national salute of the Big Society.

 




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