Yesterday, I devoted a little time to watching the Beeb's presentation of the journey of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth from Balmoral to Edinburgh. My predominant reaction is one of amazement at the profound professional ignorance of the Commentariate.
They had among them a soi disant historian. But when the listeners were informed that the coffin was covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland, nobody was able to answer the inevitable and sensible question from Johnny Public, about how that Standard differed from the Standard for England. "I don't do Heraldry", the experts shamelessly mumbled.
The answer issimpler than simple. The royal shield is divided into four quarters. The three sauntering lions of England are in the first quarter; the single red jumping lion of Scotland is in the second quarter; the harp of Ireland is in the third; and ... oops ... because there is no fourth nation in this archipelago which has ever had royal status ... England appears again as a sort of filler in the fourth quarter.
But, in the version of the Standard used in Scotland, the red jumping lion of Scotland is promoted to the first and fourth quarters; the indolently perambulating three lions of England are relegated to the second quarter.
Surely, not rocket Science, except for Experts with IQs less that about 40.
I recall that, at the Queen Mother's funeral some years ago, there was one of the pompous Great High Priests of the Commentariate doing a voice-over in hushed tones ... and he had not the least information about the regiments in the procession. So he covered his ignorance by repeatedly saying "And still they come". This appeared to be the Commentariate-Pomposity-Equivalent for "Oh gosh here are some more of them but once again I don't have the faintest idea who they are or why they're here but who b***** cares?". (We should note the faux-literary word-order of the formula.)
Considering that these jokers actually have back-up staffs, and, I suspect, are paid fees, this is worse than a joke.
And pretending to be a professional with Information at his finger-tips, when you aren't, is dishonest and a disgrace.
I'm not joking when I remind you of the Veterum Sapientia of S John XXIII, with its insistence that knowledge of (for example) Latin, at least on the part of the clerisy, is essential, if witless bog-ignorance is not to force a cultural divide between the generations.
Am I making too much of the Ignorance of the Commentariate? Perhaps what really gets me is the combination, with that ignorance, of condescending Pomposity.