The Official Blog Of Monarchy Wales
Who could not fail to be beguiled by the inexplicable and ineffable charm of an English public school boy? For in my younger days, when the sun was hazy and my mind was half mixed up and crazy, I was often being confused for being either an Old Harrovian or an Old Etonian. Indeed who can forget my encounter with the check-out girl at a supermarket in Cardiff? Yes. You did read that correctly. I once did lower myself to actually shop in a supermarket. In Cardiff of all places! Especially when I was a young dashing undergraduate. Dashing to the shops that is. Anyway I digress. For as I approached the supermarket counter (or should that be till?) I merely uttered in hushed tones to the check-out girl: "Hello there. How are you today? Nice to see you." "Ooh, ooh," she replied. "It's you, isn't it? It's you. Do you know you sound just like Richard E Grant?" I hesitated for just a moment as I couldn't believe I had been mixed up with somebody else. Didn't she recognise me for Pete's sake? Yet I was rather relieved that I sounded like Richard E Grant but did not look like him. "You types do it for me every time," the check-out girl added. Before proceeding to make a rather strange grunting sound. I think it was her chewing gum. I must also say at this point that the atmosphere between us was electric. Especially when she beeped my pasta sauce over her scanner. For I must admit I was rather flattered that she should think me ineffable. For little do ladies know I am quite ineffable. In many ways and also for reasons I fear are quite clear. Indeed one lady friend even thought I was "born and brought up on some big estate somewhere". In a way she was right. In a way. For life often is the art of illusion.
Boris Johnson's former communications director has described how he was branded an "oik" and a "bruiser" because of his thick northern accent and shaved head. Lee Cain, who was a senior adviser to the PM for four years, said "class-based bias" still exists at the heart of Government. He said he got the "distinct" feeling that senior officials thought he shouldn't overreach himself and should be content simply to be in the room. "My experiences in Westminster made it easy to see why young working-class women and men struggle to get ahead. Class-based bias still exists," he has told The Spectator. "I lost count of the times I was branded a bruiser, thuggish and even an oik for the twin crimes of having a strong northern accent and shaved head. Luckily I have a skin thicker than my accent." "If men and women with thick accents and poorer backgrounds are kept quietly away from the top roles, or undermined when they reach them, then the political parties and business leaders will find themselves ever more baffled and out of touch with the people they seek to lead." Lee Cain, who left Downing Street last November at the same time as The Prime Minister's chief adviser Dominic Cummings, stressed that Mr Johnson judged him on his abilities, rather than his background. But he added: "When I first entered Downing Street I got the distinct feeling that some senior officials thought I should be content simply to be there. The clear message was: you've come a long way, don't overreach now." Lee Cain wrote that those in the capital often failed to understand that not everyone wanted to move to London or become a City trader. Reflecting on the new Red Wall working-class constituencies that the Tories are seeking to keep at the next election, he said Mr Johnson would have to focus on trying to improve their prospects. He added that had more of those in Westminster been eligible for free school meals when they were children, the Marcus Rashford Saga may not have happened. The Government was forced to continue to provide free school meals over the summer holidays after the footballer's intervention. However it has since been revealed that the policy will be paid for by cutting £20 per week from Universal Credit.
Teenagers who believe in God are likely to get better exam results than those who don't, a new study has found. Children aged fourteen who say that faith is important in their lives typically go on to pass more GCSEs than non-believing pupils. The difference amounts to more than a third of an extra GCSE on average. The study, based on questionnaires completed by more than eight thousand school children, said the advantage appears to stem from religious belief itself and is not related to whether a school pupil goes to an academically strong faith school. "Belief is more important than the faith of the school," the report concluded. Nor is it connected to self-confidence, work ethic, sociability or the sense of control that young people have over their lives - qualities often linked to children from stable families and with good incomes. Otherwise known as middle-class families. The findings, assembled by Lancaster University and unveiled by the Royal Economic Society, will provide food for thought for parents anxious to get their child into a high-status highly-rated faith-based school.
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