“When I was a chylde I spake as a chylde
I vnderstode as a childe
I ymagened as a chylde.
But assone as I was a man I put awaye childesshnes.”
1 Corinthians 13:11 – Tyndale translation

When I was a child I rather like Prince Charles. After all, we got a day off school for his investiture, and (if I recall correctly, but probably don’t) were gifted some pointless gewgaws – perhaps a mug and a coin. And at that time anything with the word “Wales” in it seemed good to me. It was only later that I realised how the role of the so-called “Prince of Wales” symbolised the systematic oppression of the Welsh by the English; it substantialised the English authorities’ desire to eradicate the Welsh culture and language; and was a start of the systematic rape of the country’s natural resources and brutal exploitation of its workforce for the benefit of the English robber-barons.

And that was before I came to understand that his status was gifted not upon merit, but upon from whose uterus he was squeezed out. And in the womb-squeezing lottery he won first prize.

It’s probably fair to say that today I’m no longer a fan of Brian.

Still, I’m not a man of rigid beliefs, and when I saw his Duchy tea bags for sale half-price I bought a couple of boxes.

When I opened the first box my disappointment started: the inner foil wrapping designed to keep the contents fresh was silver – not gold. Hardly the royal wrapping I’d been expecting. Perhaps His Majesty thinks that gold is too good for hoi polloi? Perhaps he keeps a gold-wrapped version just for himself and his family?

On ripping the wrapping I saw the teabags, and again my heart fell. I’d expected the bags to have strings and little tags attached. But then, perhaps the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales he thinks that we all, like him, have some flunky to pluck the sodden sachets from the boiling water whilst burning their fingers so there’s no need for string or tag.

And then the bags themselves, they weren’t separate, but in pairs. Frankly, I’d have thought that the Honorary Commodore of the Gurkha Rifles and the Duke of Cornwall (they’re both the same person) might have found some time whilst sitting on his gilded throne to tear the bags apart before packaging them. After all, what else does he have to do whilst waiting for the latest suckling from the teat of the British tax payer?

And as for the bags themselves, the paper is brown. Are they made from recycled cardboard and used manila envelopes? And if so, would a little bit of bleach have been too much to ask.

So, Charlie-boy, I’m sadly disappointed by your abject failure.


A certain blindness to the law appears to run through the Shinawatra clan, and that’s despite the family’s recently-acquired role as the country’s feudal overloads.

It was most unfortunate that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra fled the country just hours before being found guilty of corruption. But not to worry. One of his sisters – Yingluck was shortly to be granted the role of premier – albeit blatantly as Thaksin’s puppet.

And now it seems entirely possible that the little sister will be tried for and convicted of crimes of corruption and so will lose her positions as MP and PM. So what’s a family to do? Line up another sister – that’s what.

In Chiang Mai – home territory for Thaksin and his clan – a current senior MP has mysteriously resigned without warning or explanation. It’s widely anticipated that Yaowapa Shinawatra will stand for election to his constituency and (undoubtedly) be elected, making her eligible to be the next PM should Yingluck fail and fall. (In Thailand only a standing MP can become Prime Minister.)

It’s perfectly possible that the square-faced one would be very happy with the substitution. Yingluck has so far totally failed to pass legislation that would grant him a “get out of jail free” card. Yaowapa, however, has a reputation as a bit of a political bruiser (even though she’s never stood for political office) and may well be able to secure that card for the country’s most notorious fugitive from justice.

So, if any country is looking for a new Prime Minister – one politically naïve and poor at debate but with a pretty face and a penchant for Burberry boots – then possibly a soon-to-be former Prime Minister will be available for the job.