The 2016 Christmas message from the Queen will have one more attentive listener this time - me. Usually I am somewhere in the vicinity, as other family members settle down for the great event, but my interest is easily distracted by such things as mince pies.


The last two messages, however, have registered just enough. A cynical interpretation of the words of HMQ is all too easy, but most people will take the content at face value, so conspiratorial write offs could just be self righteous.


Last year the message was of balancing action with contemplation, and this year it was all fluffy and neighbour hugging.


The very same message was also coming from the anti establishment republican Russell Brand, but the crashing bores of the literary world trashed Russell for writing in a muddly, stream of consciousness street vernacular. The man is a gem, is both authentic and eccentric and should receive a civil allowance, as do  certain others of that ilk. Have we become so narrow that all Great British Eccentrics are now sent to live in Hebden Bridge??


The whole royal set up is a bit barmy anyway, but why worry as long as people are making the right noises.



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