Somewhere in the house I've got a book - I think it's an adventure story - which contains a line to the effect that "your Englishman is calm when bullets are flying, but he fairly freezes when he sees a knife".
Something seems to have changed since then.
My university generation believed that legalising cannabis would produce a peaceful, laid-back sort of society - no more of those rough drunks. We listened to a lot of peaceful Rasta music - but didn't take a look at murder stats 'down yard way' in Jamaica. Hence the campaigns for legalisation of cannabis.
"They say it is against the law,
But I got to have my draw !"
Now that all these chavvy youths are smoking skunk we've changed our minds.
This Indie story 'typifies a modern decline in moral standards'.
Queen's royal approval for 'living in sin'
Official form for royal garden parties advises guests that 'living with partner = married'
By Marie Woolf, Political Editor
Published: 18 March 2007
Cohabiting is the same as marriage - official. While some will, no doubt, argue that this view typifies a modern decline in moral standards, it comes from a person of the highest social stature: the Queen.
Peers filling in applications to attend this summer's royal garden parties and requesting tickets for family members were put in no doubt about Buckingham Palace's perception of relationships these days. The form includes the notation: "NB living with partner = married."
Archbishop: Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel ?
Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law ?
Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England ?
And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them ?
Queen: All this I promise to do.
Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, shall go to the Altar, and make her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the premisses: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and is now brought from the altar by the Archbishop, and tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), and saying these words :
The things which I have here promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God.
UPDATE - according to commenters at Fr Tim Finegan's, there's a bit more to this. Sounds like the Indie have sexed up the story.
Zadok The Roman comments :
If I'm reading the story in the Independent correctly, it seems that the context of the statement "NB living with partner = married." is in relation to the admission to the Queen's garden party being restricted to sons and daughters of peers who are 'unmarried'. If this is the context in which it is being used, it would seem pretty plausible that the intent is to exclude the cohabiting children of peers from these garden parties in favour of those who are properly single - i.e. neither married nor shacked up with a partner.
If it were extending a privilege to cohabiting couples that would normally be extended to married couples, then one would indeed have strong grounds to think that the Palace was treating marriage and cohabitation as morally equivalent.
However, since the context is about denying a privilege to cohabiting couples, I think it is much harder to make the deduction that the Queen sees them as morally equivalent. It could just as easily be a very clumsy way of extending the traditional restriction on who can attend the garden party.
I'm not normally an apologist for the British Royal family, but I cannot make the logical leap from the exclusion of the cohabiting children of peers from attending a garden party to the statement that Her Majesty is somehow treating cohabitation as morally equivalent to marriage. The evidence of a note on an invitation card does not bear the weight of such an inference.