"This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress, built by nature for its precious fucking flowers"
Shakespeare, Richard II (sort of)
I mean, seriously, what the fuck is this?
The centuries-old practice of servants and guests walking backwards when leaving a room after seeing the monarch has been dropped after health and safety concerns.
The protocol was observed as a sign of respect but royal aides feared it could lead to someone getting hurt – and potentially suing Buckingham Palace for damages.
The decision was taken to quietly drop the practice for most Palace staff and all visitors.
For real? Because someone might hurt themselves when ... err ... not one person has done so since the practice was installed in medieval times?
Now, this could just be an expedient way of not having to admit that it looks damn stupid and has no real place in the modern era, but can we please stop adding extra fuel to the out of control health and safety bush fire by using this as a reason for ceasing it?
Because the vast majority of the pleblic in this country are incredibly stupid. They read (those who can. The Sun, usually), they digest, they believe, they regurgitate. By next week, it will be a widely held 'truth' that walking backwards has been banned by the Queen, and football clubs up and down the country will delete the faster, running version from their training schedules. QI will debunk it at some point but the pleblic mostly don't watch that anyway.
The government and their cohort quangoes, fake charities and assorted self-interested lobby groups have long since worked out how to manipulate outlets like Comrade Beeb. And, in turn, Comrade Beeb have worked out how to brainwash an increasingly dozy public (just re-watch today's lunchtime news and count the number of times you hear the term 'climate change' for very little reason - over double figures in just two articles - and don't get me started on the passive smoking con).
The health and safety juggernaut is similar, but is a bit of a poulet and ovum situation. Did the H&S Act 1974 cause us to become a nation of quivering, insular, gutless, delicate, bruiseophobic lily-livers? Or are the overweening risk-aversion measures a response to our being, generally, quivering, insular, gutless, delicate, bruiseophobic lily-livers?
Whatever the answer, the Queen jumping on the bubble-wrap bandwagon is further perpetuating the culture and ISN'T FUCKING HELPFUL.
Oi, Queenie. You lived through the second world war for crying out loud. What did you say to the land girls? Tell them to stop digging until a risk assessment had been performed on the possibility of a pulled muscle, did you? Those guys who took boats to Dunkirk, did you give them a cheery "Be careful now, don't go near any beaches, it's a bit dangerous" to see them on their way?
No. So what's all this shit about walking backwards being a hazard, then? If someone can't walk backwards without falling over, they deserve pain for not having properly learned how their limbs work. If it's just that you think it's old hat, say so.
You know why? Well, if the knuckleheaded keep having danger hammered into their tiny minds, they end up making us look like the pussies of the world.
The England team has defended its decision to withdraw from the World Badminton Championships in India because of security concerns.
They denied claims they had "overreacted" to a terrorist threat, saying there had not been "appropriate levels of security".
They read something in the paper the other day, and promptly quivered and wobbled their self-important arses back to Blighty - brown trousers and all.
Along with all the other nations who also shat their pants, like ... err ... no-one.
Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson said he was "glad to be home in one piece".
Yeah, cos you're so fucking important, aren't you Nathan. One can almost imagine the discussion at terrorist HQ, Hyderabad.
Ahmed Amatoady: The English badminton team are in India, shall we bomb them?
Osama Bin Beardy: What's badminton?
AA: A sport.
OBB: Are they famous?
AA: There's one guy called Nathan who was in the audience at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year once.
OBB: Never heard of the cunt.
AA: Neither have 90% of the English infidels.
OBB: Fuck that then, let's stick to cricketers.
Little england arrogance meets risk-averse panic about something that might happen, sometime, perhaps. Best just turn tail and flee then.
On a parochial level, the hi-viz bedecked panic-peddlers have instilled an environment where knuckle-scrapers will walk Sultan, their psychopathic staffie, blacken their skin with agony-inducing tattoos, knock back a gallon of white lightning on a regular basis, revel in a 'rumble' at weekends, but sue their local shop for compo if they slip on a wet floor - "elf an safety 'azard, innit".
Meanwhile, abroad, we have
Health and safety seems to have protected all of us from harm, right down to the risk of a broken fingernail. Unfortunately, in so doing, it has ripped out our collective spine.