John Gibson: You’re in the army so get smart

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In the navy, it’s been claimed by a bunch of village people, you can sail the seven seas. Assuming you can find a ship. But in the army, well, it can be one helluva life, because two-fifths of recruits are . . . thick.

They have the reading age of an 11-year-old. So says an MPs’ report. Army chiefs have been asked to consider raising recruitment standards. I’ve known some sadistic drill sergeants and corporals in my time who were barely literate, products of the system in the military and in our schools.

If I have offended any 11-year-olds, I apologise.

Probing Proby

You won’t be old enough, of course. Houston-born PJ Proby, who famously twice split his trousers on stage, is coming back on the road in a Sixties package that includes Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Meantime I’ve probed into Proby and found him saying: “It’s true, I’ve drunk enough whisky to float the Queen Mary but I never had anything to do with drugs.

“I sing better at 70 sober than I ever did drunk.” Beg pardon, PJ, you are now close on 75.

Just the job

Make haste. Chances are you won’t find this at the Jobcentre. Try the Royal Household’s website. The Queen’s quest is for a head housekeeper to take care of her castle and other pads, mainly as Windsor, and it will pay £35,000 a year plus accommodation. One imagines that a fondness for corgis would help secure the job, wouldn’t one?

A £35k salary sounds more attractive than the measly £273 a week (plus accommodation) Her Majesty offered last winter for a skivvy to fill a staff vacancy.