Gove's gong hunt
January 17, 2012 10:32 AM   Subscribe

With the UK struggling through continued dismal economic prospects so grim they are even damaging such an august a tradition as the Indian restaurant, perhaps a new Royal Yacht to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee will cheer everyone up?
posted by fearfulsymmetry (31 comments total)
It's okay. After the queen is kidnapped, Cameron will pay for the yacht with a heavy tax levied against parasites and spongers such as the elderly, the infirm, and little children.
posted by michaelh at 10:41 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Perhaps it will.

Carry on.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:44 AM on January 17, 2012

I wonder what HRH thinks about all this. Wasn't the yacht really Charles and Anne's idea? This is probably wishful thinking on my part, Elizabeth seems like she would find the whole thing unseemly.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:46 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Like they say, cutting benefits, raising taxes on working people during a recession, and using the proceeds to buy an astonishingly wealthy old lady a new boat, raises all boats. Or something.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:47 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Flag the yacht and move on.
posted by vidur at 10:51 AM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

£7,900,000 a year for the queen and family. for what?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:59 AM on January 17, 2012

I remain convinced that the Queen is the envy of every Commonwealth politician going. Many things are done in her name that no politician can get away with on his or her own. Some see that as an opportunity, and cling to her figurative skirt hem in the name of doing things that benefit themselves in her name. Others rail loudly against her, thinking to level the playing field among politicians and thereby advancing their own agenda and status.
posted by LN at 11:02 AM on January 17, 2012

She asked for an iPad. I say we go for that instead.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:16 AM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Coincidentally, her uncle–in–law Louis Battenburg was killed when the IRA planted a bomb in his boat. The IRA is mostly inactive nowadays, however.
posted by Jehan at 11:23 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Guardian's front page was a delight, yesterday
posted by permafrost at 11:40 AM on January 17, 2012 [25 favorites]

Only if they name it The Seaward.
posted by rocket88 at 12:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

jeez. look. this is what you do...

you want a permanent gift for Elizabeth, great!

build her a hospital. ok so she has hospitals named after her. build her a bigger one.

or a school. or a bridge. or a tunnel. or a particle accelerator.

you know, the usual gifts that The Queen gets. the things that benefit her because it helps ensure goodwill toward her carries through posterity, and benefits the public at large because damn right it is the government's job to benefit the public at large. this sort of thing is why you have a queen.

oh so it's the diamond jubilee and you want to get her something special? great, build a diamond shaped medical school both over and under a river and then run a particle accelerator around the complex, wrap it in a bow and get every child in the nation to sign the cutest birthday card ever and call it a day.

anything, anything but a yacht.
posted by striatic at 1:08 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

I enjoyed the hashtag #thegoveboat
posted by DanCall at 1:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Coincidentally, her uncle–in–law Louis Battenburg was killed when the IRA planted a bomb in his boat. The IRA is mostly inactive nowadays, however.

A significant number of young men from Hamilton, Ontario were killed or captured during the ill-conceived "Raid on Dieppe" during WWII, the planning of which had been primarily the responsibility of Louis Mountbatten.

A popular joke in Hamilton legion halls used to go something like:

Q- "What's white and skims across the North Atlantic?"

A- "Lord Mountbatten's deck shoe."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:20 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Apparently David Cameron told Gove he could have his yacht project if he could find private sector backers. No-one (except Gove) is suggesting that this be taxpayer financed.

Also, yes, I can't imagine that Her Majesty thinks this is a great idea in the current economic climate, and it doesn't surprise me at all that Charles and Anne think it is.
posted by atrazine at 1:26 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

You know what would be a great birthday present for the queen? Giving her some happier fucking subjects.
posted by lalochezia at 1:36 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

After my large corporation donates enough money to sponsor a deck on this yacht, where do I go to pick up my government contract handouts?
posted by slmorri at 1:43 PM on January 17, 2012

How do we know Lord Mountbatten had dandruff? He left his Head and Shoulders on his boat.

Golly, haven't thought of that one for a while. Oh, here's another:

What's got four legs and goes wooooof? Piper Alpha.

Perhaps we could have a national campaign to write a joke book for Her Maj. I'll take the yot.
posted by Devonian at 1:44 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]

Insert relevant Sex Pistols comment here.
posted by chris88 at 2:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

This ConDem government are like the anti-Motown - the (s)hits just keep on coming.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 2:31 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

It'll cheer me up as long as somebody torpedos the fucking thing when the whole sorry crew of chinless inbreeds is aboard. Failing that, I know an Italian captain who might be looking for a job.
posted by Decani at 3:21 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

So I went to see the film version of Coriolanus tonight - a play I hadn't seen before. Coriolanus, with his open contempt for the 'scabs' and 'curs' of Rome, seemed to be taking his cue from the current UK administration. I'd like to see it end in a similar way (SPOILER: It doesn't end well for Coriolanus).
posted by Summer at 3:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Favourite comment from #thegoveboat:

"Let's skin Gove, turn him into a coracle and let public-sector workers paddle him around on weekends. Everyone's a winner. "
posted by estuardo at 4:07 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Gove bible project?
Holy what now? What the hell is going on in the UK? I leave you for the US for a few minutes and now you go all Republicans on me?! Don't make me come back there because I will if I have to. And if I do I will be sorely pissed (off).

I loved Prescott's tweet: Is Gove sticking up for the Haves and the Have Yachts? At least I think it's Prescott's. Just realised I suck at the Twitters.
posted by NailsTheCat at 4:51 PM on January 17, 2012

Alistair Campbell, 2003: 'We don't do God.'
David Cameron, 2011: 'We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so.'
posted by permafrost at 1:53 AM on January 18, 2012

Michael Gove is walking proof that gargoyles should not be allowed to seek public office. Seriously, the only other time you see a face like that is when it's spitting rainwater at you from a cathedral.
posted by Grangousier at 2:06 AM on January 18, 2012

Perched on a church, spouting rubbish. Apt, that.
posted by permafrost at 2:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

The reality of this is far worse than it even sounds. The Royal Yacht isn't so much a gift for the Queen as it is a gift for the current government as the yacht primarily serves as a portable embassy for state missions like visits to other countries. So really this is David Cameron stumping for a yacht for David Cameron. Funding it with private money is just another avenue for legally bribing politicians.
posted by srboisvert at 5:02 AM on January 18, 2012

The thing that most amazes me about the 'bible project' is not that I imagine that every school in the country will have a least one bible in it anyway, even Jewish, Muslim or other faith schools if only just for reference, or that organisations like the Gideons are already sending bibles out to schools/schoolchildren all the time and I would imagine jump at the chance to do a special one off their own bat, its the intro... it's the utter hubris of Gove himself providing the introduction... Archbishop of Canterbury - fine, another leading theologian or historian - okay, even, at a pinch, as they are or will be Head of the Church, the Queen or Charles... but Gove! It's just a glorified vanity project and it should come out of his own pocket.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:49 AM on January 18, 2012

The best thing to come out of this thus far is Clegg's quip that this is about the "haves and have-yachts".

That said, I'm a bit more sanguine -- as head of state it seems acceptable to me for the monarch to have a vehicle. I'm just not sure that in the post-Britannia era, with a little less wave-ruling than in the past, it needs to be a boat. Still, if the vessel could serve some other public function such as training, a case could be made.

Incidentally, Wikipedia (uh, mobile) reminds me that the Hebridean Princess has been chartered by the Queen a few times. And for a peer comparison, there aren't that many -- the monarchs of Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and the President of Turkey. The US hasn't had a presidential yacht since the Sequoia was decommissioned in 1977. For a worthwhile comparison, Britannia displaced some 6000 tons, and Sequoia 90. What is the size of Gove's hypothetical vessel here?
posted by dhartung at 1:12 PM on January 18, 2012

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