PRINCE PHILIP really must take a grip on himself and realise that in the democratic Twentieth Century royalty just cannot go around pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. His advisers were surely at fault in not informing him that prissiness in public speaking is expected just as much in Woolloomooloo as it is in Wigan and Westminster.
Permissive we may be in sexual matters and morals generally, but this four-letter age does not readily sanction the five-letter word—Truth —when patriotism, race and religion are being discussed in the market-place.
But evidently Prince Philip has not been told, or has chosen to ignore the advice of his democratic betters. After Sir Garfield Barwick, Australia's Chief Justice, had painted a glowing picture of his country's progress and prospects. and had claimed
that there were no racial
minorities in Australia and no sharp religious divisions, Prince Philip had the temerity to take this legal luminary gently to task. '
"1 think," said Prince Philip, "his national pride may have got away with him for a while. We may have gained the impression that this is a country where nothing ever went wrong." It was a strange coincidence that "of the two major political parties, one is predominantly Catholic. the other predominantly Protestant, and there is, in fact. a racial minority in Australia."
Prince Philip was, of course, given a severe drubbing by the Australian Press for daring to throw a few royal pebbles into the puddle of romantic nonsense and political make-believe. He said later that he should have kept his trap shut and no doubt he will be told that enough is enough and to keep in future to the wellthumbed brief beloved by the average speaker addressing an Australian audience.
When next in Australia, Prince Philip should roar about the splendours of Bondi's beauties and the golden vulgarity of Manly beach. He should laud the Everests conquered by Australian sportsmen and extol the natural charms of Sydney's bays and praise the man-made grandeur of its bridge.
On the special occasion, when the reporters and photographers have been sent packing, Prince Philip might just mention the odd English belief that Australians love to be thought of as a people relishing plain speaking and having a contempt for Pommie sophistry and circumlocution.
He would then quickly add that he was only joking and that the English really regard Australians as being complete mirrors of themselves — very, very nice people with a basic distaste for the truth about race, patriotism and religion.
THOUGHT that I had I. gone to the wrong place when I found myself peering through the clouds at the tall and bulky figure of Cecil, the political King-maker, at the party last week to launch HELP. In case you don't know, HELP is the new glossy magazine that will concern itself with social issues that "journalists don't
True to form, however, Mr. King had gone to the right place, because it transpired that he had lent £50,000 to the non-profit company that is producing the magazine. Profits will go to charity, and HELP can be bought on sub scription (£3 35. Od. for 12 monthly issues).
From my vantage point, admittedly not a good one, Mr. King evidently did the right thing by leaving before Mr. Richard Exley, the managing director of the magazine, subjected us to a speech of such shattering dullness that I forgot to have a second Scotch. I did not want to listen to a speech. I wanted to see the excellently produced magazine.
Mr. Exley was slightly patronising about Fleet Street, but Fleet Street, with all its faults would, if it had been launching HELP, have kept the cackle to the minimum and put a copy of the magazine into the hands of each guest on arrival.
Mr. Exley should learn from Group-Captain Cheshire, VC., the chairman of the company. He made a brief but informative speech and then a la Prince Philip shut his trap.
Up for Cup
IS it possible to be unparti san? Possibly in some things but not, so far as I am concerned, in politics or sport.
I watched the Cup Final from the comfort of my armchair on Saturday and before turning on the television set I would have been hard pressed to say Who the finalists were. Yet within ten minutes of the game starting I had chosen the side I wanted to win. West Bromwich were my choice and I willed them to victory throughout the afternoon. excusing all the fouls they corn mitted and inwardly booing when Everton perpetrated identical misdeeds.
For the life of me I cannot explain why I elected to support West Bromwich. Perhaps because. they were not expected to win or perhaps because they played in white jerseys and looked the more saintly and sartorially polished. Whatever the reason I can now partly understand why soccer supporters carry on the way they do. If West Brom had lost it would have cast a shadow over ITly evening—and yet I am not exactly sure where West Bromwich is situated.
It was, of course, a bad game and the better side lost. Yet there was one thing that pleased me enormously and that was the fact that one goal only was scored, 1 can put up with an awful lot in modern sport, but the sight of soccer players embracing, kissing, hugging and slavering over goal scorers brings out the Blimp in me. By Gad, sir, it didn't happen when I was a boy and Bradford City were in. the Second Division.
IF Mr. Wilson is forced to resign as Prime Minister he need have no financial worries. There is always, as one usually reliable wag put it, a permanent job awaiting him in television—impersonating John Bird.