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ANNA SMITH: Only way is up, Charles.

Byline: ANNA SMITH

I'LL TRY my best not to foam at the mouth over jug-ears Prince Charles, but I cannot promise.

My working-class knickers are all in a twist over the outrageous claptrap of this privileged parasite who tells us not to get ideas above our station.

Well, pardon me Your Royal Pamperedness. But is it not us wannabes who pay for your palaces and keep you and your brood of useless cadgers in champagne? These dark mornings, while your butler is serving you quails eggs in bed, the rest of the real world is out grafting.

They are the welders, joiners, electricians and plumbers, to name but a few who keep this country turning. Just because they pull on overalls instead of a silk shirt it doesn't mean they should leave their aspirations and dignity in the cloakroom.

And why shouldn't their children have high expectations? How dare this Prince of moochers try to keep us in our place while he and the rest of the sponging Royals play polo and punch out pressmen who take pictures as they fall out of night clubs.

You know, we really shouldn't be surprised at Charlie's outburst in a memo written after his personal assistant, Elaine Day, complained about promotion prospects in his household.

His quote: "What's wrong with everyone now- adays? Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far beyond their technical capabilities?" is typical of one so out of touch with the country.

I've been to countless Press calls when Prince Charles turns up to greet the flag-waving flock of sycophants tugging their forelock in his presence. And he really does know how to work the crowd, chatting and constantly uttering the words "Marvellous, mar- vellous".

"I'm quite sure even if someone told him their leg has just fallen off, he would screw his face up and say: "Mar-vellous." Yes, school is easier than it was when we were bashing our brains trying to learn. But that doesn't make the old regime better. It was a divisive system that streamlined the bright and academic from an early age, so those not as intellectually gifted were thrust to the back of the class doing raffia or woodwork.

Now, thankfully, we live in a time when we value everyone's contribution, academic or not. Yes, it's easier to get into university. Why not? But if our youngsters can't make it there, they should not despair.

A classic example of a wannabe with no credentials is Richard Branson, who left school with no qualifications. He's not exactly struggling, is he? Of course everyone can't be a politician or a pop star. But we have to help our young people get the best out of themselves.

Comments like Charlie's are straight from the dark ages - where he belongs. Especially with that haircut.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 21, 2004
Words:473
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