The new yacht is just bombast – a childish salute to the past which, it seems, HMQ wants no part of.

Tin-pot regimes always indulge in vulgar and extravagant symbolism. Criticise Idi Amin for his viciousness and genocidal tendencies but you have to admit that he could put on a show. The more extravagant a dictator’s uniform the more vicious his crimes. When the British Empire ruled across the globe we always had lots of events to demonstrate our power. An elephant could have a good career in India just being part of parades.

As we have entered the stage of terminal decline to tin-pottery more and more flags have been unfurled. They even wanted to brand the “Oxford” vaccine with a union flag for a while until it was realised both that its British component was limited – and that it wasn’t as good as the alternatives.

So the new yacht is just bombast – a childish salute to the past which, it seems, HMQ wants no part of. Can’t see Charles fancying it much either. Not his thing at all. Can you imagine a serious nation wanting to preen around on a boat thinking it would “host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks”. They’d hire the function rooms at the nearest Hilton Hotel instead.

This is tax-payers money (there’s no other sort) and could be better spent – not least on overseas aid where the budget has been decimated. Will you tell the African hospital denied funding that if they go to the harbour than can see a British yacht setting out its stall – like Del Boy in Peckham.

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