Healthy turnout for royal reception

EVEN as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall sweep majestically through Tassie today to gratify loyal forelock tuggers, while marking the Queen's 60th year on the throne, it is nevertheless all your columnist can do to stop thinking of Premier Lara Giddings as a bit of a peach.

Round and smooth, sort of blush- pink while bearing very much the same gorgeous head.

And that, we're afraid, is not all.

For some reason an image of House of Assembly Speaker Michael Polley shimmers constantly into this correspondent's mind as a rather jolly version of a well-scrubbed kennebec potato.

Oh no, and what's more, we can't stop thinking of Liberal MHA Rene Hidding as a sort of very tall marrow and the Greens' Kim Booth as an exhibition-quality example of curly kale.

What gives?

There is, let us stress, no treasonous intent in these comparisons between the state's politicians and various representatives of the fruit and vegetable kingdom.

Rather, it has everything to do with inspiration derived from the strict instructions for very important persons invited to attend a diamond jubilee reception for Chilla and Camilla at Hobart's Princes Wharf this very arvo.

Now, while Chuck's fondness for conversing with camellias, nattering to nasturtiums, may cause bemusement (if not embarrassment) to royal-watchers, a serving up of various comestibles drawn from the earth is on the agenda at the diamond jubilee reception for Chilla and his Mrs.

Rather obviously inspired by the venue, the Sustainable Living Tasmania's Festival 2012, the totally bizarre instructions (as supplied by a gobsmacked invitee to the get-together who must remain nameless) include: "The area of the venue to which each guest will be assigned will be designated by a category of vegetable or fruit."

Yes, folks, it doesn't matter how important you see yourself, just for today consider yourself nothing more than a bunch of rhubarb or half a pumpkin.

Although, hopefully, with a slightly more enhanced IQ.

Anyway, and according to the handout to VIPs, this "is to ensure an even spread of people around the venue and give everyone at the reception an equal opportunity to meet their Royal Highnesses".

We can only imagine the indignity of arriving at the venue in one's best bib and tucker only to have a yellow sticky note slapped on one's lapel or left breast (depending on one's sex) reading "Cabbage", "Cauliflower" or, heaven forfend, "Stick of Celery".

There is also the risk that Chuck and Mrs Chuck may well ignore a minister of the Crown because they have the word "Peanut" stuck to their shirt, or blouse.

The concern goes double with, as we have intimated, Chuck not wanting to again become a laughing stock what with whispers that he speaks to plants at his Highgrove property in Gloucestershire.

The Prince of Wales would be well advised to enter into the spirit of things by dressing up as a nationalistic leek.

That would certainly put to rest claims by republicans that the royals were not "with it".

Has it come to this then, that our political leaders are seen as no more as vegetables cast in rude and amusing shapes?

Brought to mind is a 1980s episode of the BBC satirical comedy Spitting Image where then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher treats her cabinet to a meal at a restaurant.

Mrs Thatcher tells a waitress she will have the steak.

Waitress: "What about the vegetables?"

Mrs Thatcher: "Oh, they'll (the cabinet) have the same as me."

Boom, boom.

Here's a Tassie take on that - we couldn't possibly imagine our Lara coming out with anything as cutting as Mrs Thatcher's supposed remark - even if she might think it at times.

She's far too sweet and peachy.


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