Mark Steel: A new yacht is the least she deserves

I expect Daily Mail readers in Haiti are busy sending off their cheques

Share
Related Topics

One of the talents of the Conservative Party since the days of Margaret Thatcher has been to explain economics as if the country is a household, so everyone can understand ideas such as the need to cut spending when you're in debt. So I imagine they'll use the same homely reasoning to explain their support for a new royal yacht. Because anyone who's run a household knows, when money is tight and you've spent two years insisting your family can't have anything, if you're prudent that's when you buy a 650ft yacht with a theatre and a helipad.

That's why, if debts become a serious problem and it feels there's no escape from the bailiffs' letters, you should consult a registered financial adviser, who will explain how to manage the situation by buying a royal yacht for £80m with a space to seat two royal buses.

Because even in times of austerity we have to be prepared to spend SOME money. And most people, if asked for their feelings about the current restraint, will say, "I understand the need to close the library and the local A&E department. And, while the rise in tuition fees will bankrupt me, I accept it's a necessary measure. But I can't bear the thought that if the Royal Family fancy going on a yacht, they have to hire one because they don't have one of their own", and break down sobbing.

The Daily Mail, which campaigns for this yacht, says "it won't cost you a penny" as it "will be run by a charitable trust", and claims that "we have been touched by generous and unsolicited donations from readers". That's understandable, because if there's one cause that deserves our charity, it's this one. I expect readers from Haiti are enclosing cheques, with a note saying, "Since the earthquake, my family has been living in a sewage pipe but when we saw you had to hold a banquet for the King of Morocco in a palace without the option of bobbling about on a yacht, it put my trifles into perspective."

One minister suggested the yacht would be "an ideal way to thank the Queen for all she's done for this country over 60 years". And certainly it's about time her efforts received a little financial reward. All these years, she's queened away for nothing in return. It's one of the great unsung jobs being Queen, toiling away in the background with barely a moment's recognition.

The yacht will also be used for "training for young people" and "scientific research facilities". You might suggest another way to fund training for young people and scientific research would be to fund training centres, and scientific research. But it's more productive to buy a royal yacht and let selected teenagers and scientists on it for three days a year when it's not being used to entertain Saudi arms dealers. So it would be wrong to sneer. As someone wrote to me yesterday, "monarchists should be allowed their yacht, as long as Republicans get to pick the captain".

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

PPC Co-Ordinator – Permanent - West Sussex – £24-£30k

£24000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Are you a Marketin...

Senior Asset Manager

£70000 - £75000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Katie Robinson +44 (...

IT Support Analyst (2nd Line Support) - City, London

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare: Ashdown Group: IT Support Ana...

KS1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: KS1 Teaching Specialist Leic...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

In Sickness and in Health: It’s been lonely in bed without my sleep soulmate

Rebecca Armstrong
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor