British “speak propah!” campaign

David Bell, the British Chief Inspector of Schools,

said last summer that infants increasingly lacked speaking skills because of the “disrupted and dishevelled” lives some were forced to endure.

So how come George W’s oracy has declined now he’s no longer a boozer? Mr Bell thinks that the answer to the problem lies in more state intervention in the parent-child relationship. I would suggest the opposite, that inter-generational understanding and trust has been destroyed in the last 50-odd years by the state’s success in dramatically reducing juvenile alcoholism while failing to make much headway with Ma and Pa. So here, for you to drink with your toddlers and household beasts on this wickedly hot day, is a wonderful quasi-sangria concoction:

2 cups red wine
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice
4 tbsp sugar
Lemon slices
Any soft fruit you’ve got lying around
Mix the ingredients, chill, serve with ice.

Once you’ve drunk it all, try some of these Turkish tongue-twisters.

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