Queen Elizabeth II - Our calming influence

Posted on: 07 July 2010 by Mark O'haire

Yesterday I truly appreciated the awe and respect the world has for our very own Queen Elizabeth II and I must admit, it did fill me with pride.

I happened to switch on the news yesterday, just as the UN was honouring the Queen who was visiting for the first time since 1957. The plaudits were ongoing whilst she sat quietly and calmly waiting for them to finish. She then rose gently and walked across the rostrum and started her speech. It wasn’t emotional or in any way confrontational – just a calm reflection on the past, the present and the future.

Here is a lady who has been at the centre of major world events her entire life. She has experienced firsthand the loss of family in war - the Duke of Kent; personal loss with the death of her mother and father and national loss with the death of Princess Diana.

She has seen 12 Prime Ministers go in and out of Downing Street, numerous governments and a myriad of ministers. Over the 58-years of her reign, endless crises have come and gone. Elizabeth ll is the longest serving head of state in the modern world and she’s still going strong. She has more experience and knowledge of world affairs than anyone alive today but never shows it.

I have never been a great royalist but I have always been an enthusiastic monarchist. In my view all the royal ‘hangers-on’ would serve the nation better if they went out, got a job and experienced the life that most of us have to live. But the Queen is different…

Yesterday I truly appreciated the awe and respect the world has for this 84-year-old lady and I must admit it did fill me with pride. Whatever you say good about our system it owes much of its success to the lifetime’s work of the Queen.

Good on you Ma’am – we couldn’t have got a better one!

Ignorance is bliss

The great pensions debate is now on and in full flow. For the first time in a generation, a government has got the balls to say publicly that public sector pensions are no longer sustainable and have to change.

The real evidence of this situation, as I said last week, has been known for years. The Tories under Margaret Thatcher were preoccupied with re-energising the private sector, cleaning up the public sector and getting rid of bad business practice.  John Major and co. was beset with infighting and Tony Blair government had unprecedented prosperity to pay the bills and a constant need to keep Labour’s paymasters happy - the unions!

Now it’s pay time and it behoves the David Cameron coalition to grab the problem and sort it out. The public sector unions are going to moan and groan and put up bit of a fight but they will know only too well the pension’s gravy train is coming to an abrupt stop.

I only hope Cameron doesn’t bottle out under the pressure of all the reforms to the economy he is pushing through. It has to be done if our children and grandchildren have a chance of a fair and prosperous life in the future.

Keep your peckers up boys and stay true to your beliefs!

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