Michael Gove: Can You Buy my Mother a Boat as Well?

Like anyone would else who gets their kicks out of farce and absurdity, I have been gleefully following the saga of the royal yacht. Apparently, this has been on the cards since at least September, with a combination of royals and Tory MPs supporting the idea. Lately, it seems that Cameron is also keen, although the source of the funding is under consideration. I have a funny feeling we might just end up paying for it anyway, and to that effect wanted to make a request of my own.

Dear Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP,

I was heartened to hear of your plans to reward the Queen for the tough job of reigning over us for 60 years, while being maintained in more luxury than most of us will probably ever experience. After taxpayers paid £20 million for the marriage one of her grandchildren, such a gesture is surely the least we can do.

I was particularly moved when I read that Prince Charles , the Queen’s son, was  part of the plan. It’s heartening, in this day and age, to see a son working hard to reward his mother: it must be hard to go gift shopping for the 27th richest women in the world, particularly when she owns about a sixth of the planet’s surface! I was so inspired that I decided to make an impassioned plea of my own: in the next month my own mother will be celebrating her birthday and I can assure you she would simply be thrilled to receive a yacht of her own! Isn’t it a wonderful idea? I know what you’re thinking: “£120 million on yachts in a double-dip recession? You must be mad!” But alas, on yachtworld.com I’ve seen boats going for as little as £500 000. Think of the possibilities.While I can’t pretend she has accumulated the wealth and power of the Queen and doubt she would make the top 100 wealthiest women in the world – let alone number 27 – she has contributed rather a lot to the British economy, at least in so far as a peasant like myself can tell.

Having been among the first people in her family to go to university from the humble Scottish city of Dundee, she graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in English Literature. This experience, provided free of charge, provided her with a love of Milton and English poetry she has retained to this day. After helping to found a company determined to support people with learning difficulties, she now works without a wage directing an enterprise that provides organic food to the local community. In the age of self-service machines in Tesco and 1 million plus youth unemployment, she goes out her way to provide employment in an area that, shall we say, is not exactly the definition of ‘thriving’. Amongst her many responsibilities, which include continually battling the economic climate in part created by public sector spending cuts, she organizes school trips to the farm for disadvantaged kids and supports local businesses seeking to do something productive with the land.

While I can’t pretend she’s appointed one of her myriad nephews to represent Britain diplomatically – only to be fired amidst a scandal involving a convicted paedophile – or accumulated priceless works of art through imperial conquest, we do our best with what we have. Perhaps one day one of her grandchildren can even dress up as a nazi for comic effect! And, of course, whether the Common Agricultural Policy will extend the generosity to us currently dealt to the nation’s aristocrats, among them the Queen’s extended family and friends, remains to be seen.

Anyway, do let me know. I would hate to see her special day taking place solely on dry land.



  1. #1 by Richard Whittle on January 18, 2012 - 8:25 pm

    Your mum wouldn’t have any spare time to spend sailing in it.

  2. #2 by Richard Whittle on January 21, 2012 - 9:45 am

    But nevertheless, a brilliant blog post.

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