With stunning topicality, the prime minister has rejected my petition, seeking a little more respect to be shown to royals by press photographers. He - or one of his people - says it was intended to be humorous. Well I am gutted. Couldn't he at least have said that it was humorous? At least that would give me some sense of achievement. And what is wrong with injecting a little humour to make a serious point? Do all petitions need to be po faced?
Anyway, this was the text:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to: 'permit members of the Royal Family to thump press photographers whenever they have the opportunity.'
With the supporting statement:
Without seeking to defend hereditary privilege in general, it is intolerable that after the paparazzi, the newspapers and their readers contributed to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the same industry can still hound surviving members of the family.
If royalty is to mean anything, it must be allowed to command the most elementary respect and dignity.
So we hear that "Kate and Wills" are splitting up. Boy has a girlfriend, boy stops having a girlfriend, big deal. At least after the Charles and Di fiasco, nobody could seriously try to tell him he has to marry her.
I saw The Queen on DVD the other week, and although it potrayed the royals as a bunch of emotional cripples, they still looked better than anybody else in the film - the PM and the press. Lots of people are excessively reserved, I probably am myself, and it is a human right to be so. Hounding celebrities to their death is not a human right. Let's get some perspective.