The Queen is celebrating her 60 years of reigning like a benign rich aunty. I was three when she came onto the throne and can count myself blessed to be part of the post-war baby boom generation whose paths have been showered with opportunity and excitement. The Education Act of 1944 gave us a chance to attend grammar school and then, unbelievably the prospect of university. Thousands of folk like me, from a working class background, became the first of their family to walk through the hallowed gates of, well not quite Oxford, but Swansea and such-like places. We were paid to go as well, given grants that would have made today’s debt-wracked students green with jealousy. An abundance of decent jobs, many with guaranteed generous pensions, gave us financial security as we watched the walls of grey, conservative Britain collapse under the irresistible force of the sixties cultural revolution. The emergence of the new pop cultures, the challenging of old taboos and the flowering of consciousness made this a thrilling time to be a young person growing up in Elizabeth’s state. So what do we make of it all now? Has her reign been a success? And when will she judge the time to be right to step down, if ever? Power is a demanding and seductive mistress, but just like Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, perhaps its time to allow Charlie boy to have a go, before he runs out of steam. After all we do share a birthday.
Over in the corner the rather regal figure of Molly seems to transcend these questions. Perhaps she deserves a turn?