Friday, 24 August 2012


So Prince Harry, 'the coolest royal', makes another gaffe by allowing himself to be snapped butt-naked at some sleazy strip-pool party in Las Vegas, the sleaziest place in the world.
  Unlike his older brother who has inherited the awful job of being monarch one day, Harry, following the example of the late Princess Margaret and other redundant members of the Windsor clan, can allay his boredom  by being naughty. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being naughty, especially if one is rich and schooled in buffoonery (Boris, Cameron and Co at The Bullingdon Club at Oxford). We know that Harry was disappointed about being taken out of the firing line in Afghanistan and is desperate to be redeployed with his regiment; but the thing is that the sorry file of young squaddies who have lately returned from the combat zone to help ease the shambolic security arrangements at the London Olympics will not have watched the games from first class seats or relaxed after this onerous duty on a holiday in Vegas, gallivanting and picking up the sort of women who are game about taking their clothes off in front of strange men. At least Prince Harry showed some modesty in hiding his 'crown jewels'.

    A few years ago, he was in the soup for allegedly plagiarising his teacher's work at Eton to gain his art A level - a crucial requirement to get into Sandhurst and begin his army officer training. The thought occurred to me today that this might not have been so easy for him under this year's newly-introduced draconian marking schemes for A Levels and GCSEs, resulting in a high percentage of lower grades and thus keeping the less able from taking up university places  - a jolly good wheeze from the chaps at the Education Ministry, I should think,  those same idiotic jobsworths who have been messing about with the school curriculum for the last thirty years.  For several summers, under the old regime, I marked English Language AS level for AQA Board, where examiners were always briefed to see the bigger picture. This meant not penalising candidates for basic English mistakes, such as misplaced apostrophes (it's/its, potato's/potoatoes), inability to distinguish between 'there' (place) and 'their' (possessive pronoun); received usage no-nos such as 'we was' instead of 'we were', etc.  The blind have been leading the blind, like the teacher at the local, 'outstanding-rated' comprehensive school, who wrote in my daughter's homework book: please check spelling and AMMEND (sic).  That was the school where they corrected up to five mistakes per homework and turned the other cheek with respect to the rest.


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