Disappointment is a powerful word and one my father used to good effect. You can rant and rage or scream and shout but it’s never as effective as the ‘D’ word. My father only had to quietly use it on me as a stroppy teenager to reduce me to tears. He also used two of the words also credited to the Queen this week - “frustrated and exasperated”. But that’s another story.
Of course we don’t know what the Queen actually said. But I’d bet my bottom dollar whatever her lofty position she feels just like the rest of us. Exhausted. And definitely not amused.
Christa Ackroyd: My mother's heartbreaking fight with dementia and our appalling struggle to get NHS funding for her careLet’s take Nigel Farage. Please someone take him as far away as possible and leave him there. Actually Australia, where he gave his own support of a kind for Her Majesty at the loftily titled Sydney Conservative Political Action Conference, is just about far enough.
Christa Ackroyd: Why treatment of Lord Brittan has made me agree with Cliff RichardThough I wouldn’t wish him on the Australians or anyone else. I am sure her Majesty is thrilled at his plaudits that she is an “amazing, awe-inspiring woman”.
Less so about the description of her mother, according to one newspaper who has reportedly heard a recording of his ‘performance’, as an “overweight chain smoking gin-drinker”, her son as “Charlie boy” and her grandson as having “fallen off a cliff” since his marriage to Meghan Markle. Who does he think he is?
One thing is for sure the answer does not lie with an all-woman emergency cabinet as proposed by the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, who within 24 hours was forced to say she had got it wrong when she named ten white female politicians who could break the Brexit impasse saying she should have “reached out further”. Oh how I hate that ‘right on’ phrase. Caroline, I would respectively suggest you got it wrong full stop. And in doing so made your party a laughing stock.
Pity, I thought the Greens were a force for change. But you can’t change anything by replacing an old boy’s network with the sisterhood. Inclusive politics means just that, everyone. Male, female, black, brown, white, gay, straight... you get my drift. Though I will keep recycling my rubbish. If only the politicians would stop doing the same with their rhetoric. And mean what they say.
Which brings me to Boris. Ah Boris. As regular readers will know, I have my doubts. But if he can do what he says he will, a no deal Brexit aside, and tackle our major issues as at home I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Tougher sentences served in full and 10,000 more prison places to ensure there is enough room for them? Yes please. Thousands more police officers so they can get back on the beat and among the communities that are suffering the most, particularly from this alarming trend of knife crime? Absolutely.
Oh and stop and search. Again, totally agree, as long as it is carried out respectfully and without malice. As my dear aforementioned father, a police officer for 30 years, would have said, you have nothing to fear if you are not up to no good. So go for it Boris. And add a full DNA data list to your reforms too. Forget civil liberties, people are dying and the villains are getting away with it. Crime is the greatest scourge on our nation.
Take Lorraine Fraser from Leeds, whose 16-year-old son Tyrone was set upon by a mob of 20 youths armed with knives, planks of wood and CS spray in 2004. He didn’t stand a chance and died from his injuries. Four men were jailed. But others were never identified and one escaped oversees. They escaped real justice. But there is no escape for Lorraine and her family who have their own life sentence.
Lorraine is weary. She is weary of campaigning against knife crime and seeing it get worse. She is weary of hearing of another killer, rapist or paedophile has been released from prison early to do the same again.
Above all she is weary of politicians promising a new dawn, of spouting it’s time to get tough on crime, but doing nothing about it. We all are.
Boris et al must remember actions speak louder than words particularly in the run up to a general election. Anything else, as my father would say, would just be so disappointing.