Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 14/4/05It has come 'as a shock' to the Sandhurst military that Prince Harry is not very good with computers and in fact joined the Army to play polo. They gave him a test, and he didn't fail — 'it was just to see his strengths and weaknesses', you see, so you can't fail — but he was clearly not at home with Mr Keyboard.

Thursday 14/4/05

It has come 'as a shock' to the Sandhurst military that Prince Harry is not very good with computers and in fact joined the Army to play polo. They gave him a test, and he didn't fail — 'it was just to see his strengths and weaknesses', you see, so you can't fail — but he was clearly not at home with Mr Keyboard. Does this mean that the defence of the realm lies in the hands of people who hadn't spotted this beforehand? Ignorance of the difference between milk floats and WMDs in the Iraqi desert is one thing, but not knowing that the Windsors possess between them the technical prowess of an aye-aye — that's worrying.

A thundering incompetence with IT is of course a prerequisite for the highest in the land. Blair is bemused by technology, and while Buckingham Palace has let it be known that Brenda can be found browsing the interWebs I know that Phil the Greek never bothered to read his email. But while most families with sons can rely on the youth to pick up the skills necessary to program the VCR and delouse the PC, the evidence strongly suggests that the Royal Sony will be flashing 12:00 for some time to come.

What can be done to bridge this digital divide, and help these intellectually underprivileged people join the 21st century — if not the 20th? A digital outreach programme needs to be instigated immediately, but one fine-tuned to the specific needs and expectations of this dysfunctional family. If there's one thing the royals like, it's flattery. And for a second thing flunkies, ideally paid for by someone else.

So I propose to get myself seconded to the ranks as Keeper of the Royal Mouse. I'll need an appropriate uniform, of course, something that reflects the dignity of the office as well as the traditions of service that IT companies have always embodied. A nice tunic made out of Blue Screen Of Death-hued mouse mats, with the motto "RTFM. TSMYOYO. STFU." picked out in golden ISA expansion port pins should do it. I shall show my new masters all the deference and respect I normally reserve for our own royal houses of Gates and Schwartz, and on subsequent release from the Tower I'll publish a searing expose of life within the family that'll mean they have to learn how to use a browser to read it.

The things I do from patriotism, eh?

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