IT’S tricky for the people who advise Prince William because he’s got to be interesting without being interesting and edgy without being edgy. A
IT’S tricky for the people who advise Prince William because he’s got to be interesting without being interesting and edgy without being edgy.
And he has to say things that matter without saying anything at all about stuff that matters.
Prince William’s complaints about space exploration were ill-judged[/caption]
Normally, they are very good at it but this week, I’m afraid they dropped the ball slightly and decided to let him express an opinion on billionaires whizzing around in space.
So he said, out loud, that people with great minds (and deep pockets) should try to fix this planet before trying to find the next place to go to live.
Doubtless this anti-rich, anti-business tone played well in millennial and woke focus groups, but it doesn’t really stand up to much scrutiny.
A great mind?
Because one of the billionaires engaged in the new space race is Elon Musk, who made his fortune by designing and building electric cars.
Which is what the green movement wants us all to drive, if we can’t afford to follow in the footsteps of Prince Charles, who’s somehow trained his Aston Martin DB6 to run on cheese and wine.
Then there’s Jeff Bezos, who actually doesn’t seem to want to find another planet to live on.
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He just wants to build a road to space, so that it becomes cheaper and easier to get up there and do important stuff. Like launch satellites that your mobile phone and your sat nav need.
There have been claims that it’s massively polluting to launch a rocket. But that’s nonsense, because they run on hydrogen, which isn’t a fossil fuel, and oxygen, which isn’t either.
And all that comes out of the back is water vapour.
I once went, on a bright blue summer’s day, to a Nasa rocket test in Louisiana, and ten minutes after it ended a small cloud formed and it started to rain.
It remains one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen.
Sure, in the early days of space flight, the whole rocket was used once and then a new one had to be built.
But not any more — Musk’s and Bezos’s are both as reusable as the family hatchback.
And that brings us on to Sir Branson. Hmmm. Is he a great mind?
I think that, all things considered, I’d rather he was wombling about in space than trying to fix anything important back on Earth.
Prince William is wrong, space rocket flights are truly astonishing[/caption]
And I feel much the same about Prince William. He is no doubt a very lovely man and he has an almost impossible job. Waiting. And while waiting, being, not doing.
But the day after he offered us his thoughts on space travel, he criticised people who drop litter.
That’s safe ground, Your Highness. And if you’d like, you can come to my farm and help me pick up the mountain of crap that’s blown into the fields every day. And the old fridges that are dumped in the gateways.
Then, in the evening, we could have a pint and chat about how you once secretly played the part of a Storm-trooper . . . in a movie called Star Wars.
Green team’s futile
ALL week, everyone has been urging world leaders to get busy at the forthcoming Glasgow climate summit. “Action this day” is the rallying call from social media.
Basically, they don’t want the politicians to just sit there talking. So what do they want instead? For them to sing? Make origami animals?
Trying to sort out emissions without China’s co-operation is futile[/caption]
The problem is that when politicians stop talking and “do” something, it’s usually a disaster. Iraq War, anyone?
On the green front, our glorious leaders in Britain have decided to ban internal combustion engines, which is foolish, they’ve said they want to plant 30million trees that they haven’t got, and recently they said that farmers must use animal droppings to fertilise their fields and that farmers must NOT use animal droppings to fertilise their fields.
Happily, it’s not likely that they could achieve anything in Glasgow even if they wanted to, because President Xi of China has announced he can’t make it, probably because he’s opening a new coal-fired power station that day.
And trying to solve our carbon emissions without China in the room would be like trying to sort out the future of newspapers without a representative from The Sun at the table.
Free poor Adam
COUNTRYFILE has been getting a lot of stick this week, with many saying that I did more for farming with my one show on Amazon than the BBC flagship has done in 30 years.
This is a little unfair, I think, because Countryfile is not a farming show. It’s a festival of wheelchairs and turbans, a smorgasbord of righteousness and a celebration of minorityism.
Countryfile presenter Adam Henson seems held back by the BBC[/caption]
It doesn’t even try to tell us what’s going on in the countryside, only what its producers wish was going on.
Which is why we get items about women lying under trees in a wood, humming.
I actually feel sorry for the show’s farmer, Adam Henson, because I’ve been in the business long enough to know he’s talking with one hand tied behind his back and an off-camera gun to his head.
He’s a bloody good presenter and a nice guy and what I’d like to see is a series called Henson Unleashed.
Where he can say what he wants. And he can start, in show one, by telling us the truth about badgers.
We all want farming to fork, where the middlemen are cut out. Well this would be farm to front room, with no BBC interference in between.
Soon we will all have a dog in the fight…
Robot dogs of war are being trained in America[/caption]
AT an air force base in America, a robotic dog is used to patrol the perimeter, sending a video feed to human operators back at base.
And now there are plans to fit it with an assault rifle. The idea is simple. If the human operator sees someone trying to break in, he can load the rifle, take aim and, without getting out of his chair, fire.
There are even suggestions that one day these remote-control dogs could replace soldiers in the battlefield. Great.
Because when both sides are using them, all world conflicts will be settled by everyone playing what is basically a game of Robot Wars.
We saw you Keir
YOU’VE got to admire the chutzpah of Sir Starmer.
This week, he tried to reverse a lorry and immediately crashed into a fence.
A normal person would say, “that’s harder than it looks”, or “I am such a numpty”.
But Starmer said “very good” and got on with his day, hoping that we hadn’t noticed and that we now think he’s an Ice Road Trucker.
In the money
This Banksy painting cost a ludicrous £16million[/caption]
FOLLOWING the news a partially shredded Banksy painting has sold at auction for £16million, I’d like to announce that I’m going to sell my crumpled and slightly ripped poster of the Athena tennis girl.
Let’s start the bidding at ten mill.
Kick in the teeth
There was no good reason to take Jack Grealish off against Hungary[/caption]
I DON’T claim to be a scholar of football, but I know enough to recognise that Jack Grealish put in a proper shift in the game against Hungary this week.
He was everywhere on the pitch, and always looked like he would be the one to score.
And then he was taken off. Am I missing something here? Or was Mr Southgate not paying attention?