First Person - with Allan Crow

Allan Crow
Allan Crow

FORGET Leveson, who cares about Gideon’s handling of the economy or what’s left of it amid talk of a triple dip recession, and, as for the independence debate, might as well chuck it in the bin for the next nine months.

Important matters? Look, there’s only one. We, as a nation, are now officially expecting.

Yup, Kate and Wills are pregnant. Well, technically, one of them is - but already the media is in overdrive.

By the time the Daily Mail and every magazine in the UK has finished filling a rainforest of features on every possible aspect of pregnancy, we’ll feel as though we’ve all just given birth.

Twitter has already melted down - on Monday every trending hashtag had a royal connection.

Along with everyone else, of course I wish the couple well - as you would with any friends or relatives about to start a family, but I’m just not sure I can muster the same excitement levels as Cheryl Cole who tweeted ‘‘I’m soooooo happy.’’ Gosh, six ‘o’s - this is big news. Personally I’d have capped it at just the one, but show a celeb the spotlight and they’ll bask in it all day long.

The bookies, meanwhwile, are taking bets on the name, the weight, the middle name, the title - you name it, they’ll happily take your money, and keep most of it, while the usual talking head politicians did their bit to speak for the nation, and none of them, as Simon Cowell would say, really nailed it.


Still, I have learned two new words this week. Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Sounds horrible, but it’s what royals get while mere commoners simply suffer morning sickness.

And that’s where I part company with the media entourage.

The pregnancy is in its very earliest weeks, and already they’re fawning and falling over themselves. At this rate I fully expect to see BBC newsreaders courtsey before delivering the ten o’clock headlines, while Sky News will probably broadcast live from outside Buckingham Palace for the next nine months, spinning the merest morsel of news out for as long as possible.

I recently sat in awe of their reporters who, on being told Price Philip had been taken to hospital, managed to work that solitary fact around four or five correspondents with nothing new to add or elaborate upon for a staggering 32 minutes of continual live broadcasting. Goodness knows what they’ll do nine months hence.

Can’t we just announce the news, wish the couple well, pray she has good health and a safe delivery - and then leave them alone?


But then, I’ve never understood the deference that comes with all things royal.

Maybe it’s the thrawn Fifer in me, but I refuse to bow to anyone. There is simply no need.

You can be polite and courteous - basic common decency - without all the fawning and scraping that goes on around the Royal family.

I was at a reception hosted by Camilla last year. We met, she mumbled something and moved on. Still got no idea whether she was talking about the weather, the room, the event, the paintings hanging on the walls or the canapes. Possibly all five. A lovely old lady though - there again, so was my gran and she could at least hold her own when it came to the offside rule and what an idiot Arthur Scargill was. If anyone had courtsied at her feet she’d have telt them to get up and dinnae be so daft.

But I fear I am in the minority. The bunting is being broken out as we speak, a nation is eyeing up another cheeky bank holiday, and the papers are marking up their revenue from as many supplements as their presses can crank out.

So, just one request.

Please don’t let Paul McCartney sing.