Saturday 10 December 2016

We're yours for the taking, Lizzie

Published 06/03/2011 | 05:00

So, after years of footsie and foreplay, and numerous false starts, the Queen is finally coming. And overall we're thrilled. Some guy called Brian Cowen spoke very highly of the news.

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To which we all responded, slightly puzzled, "Are you still here?" And even Lord Gerry Adams is finding it hard to get that worked up. It is a sign, Lord Gerry, says, of changing and changed times. It certainly is. The Queen used to be the woman we blamed for hijacking our sovereignty. But she looks like a benign figure next to Angela Merkel, who really taught us what it's like to lose our sovereignty. That 800 years of oppression was nothing compared to the next 800 we're facing into courtesy of our friends in Europe.

The Queen will find this a strangely familiar country: an unlikely coalition government that's shedding its principles by the day, high streets where only the biggest UK chains survive, and children everywhere playing the national sport -- cricket. We too will find her strangely familiar. "Isn't that your one? Yes. It is. I'm sure of it. She's the woman I saw on the banknotes when I went up North to open my sterling bank account."

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