Captain Moonlight

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The Independent Online
SIR Robin Butler: an apology. Up until now the Captain had absolutely no idea that Sir Robin, our chief civil servant, Cabinet Secretary and head of the home Civil Service, had a sense of humour. Perhaps I should have realised when he chose 'A World Of Our Own' by The Seekers on Desert Island Discs, but he appeared to like it. Now, though, I have been alerted to a further, little-noticed radio appearance, on Prayer for the Day. Sir Robin read the following early 19th-century prayer, which he discussed with great earnestness and apparent seriousness: 'I shall pass through this world but once; therefore if there is any good I can do, or any kindness I can show, let me do it now. Let me not not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.' No doubt the entire Civil Service recites it every morning.