THERE are the millions people. And then there are the rest of us, the pounds and pennies people. I’m talking about the amount of money we have available to spend or, beyond that, to sit on like Smaug the dragon on his hoard of gold.

Advanced countries – Scandinavia and that’s about it – have the lowest gaps between rich and poor. In not unrelated trends, they also have the highest levels of trust and contentment. In Britain, one of the world’s leading backward countries, distrust and discontentment are rife.

Indeed, these words should be written in Latin on the national escutcheon beneath images of a mangy, toothless lion and a shaven-headed, heavily tattooed unicorn downing a tin of super-lager.

Britain is a country dominated by the free market, which gives us the admirable sanity of property prices, directors’ bonuses and footballers’ salaries. These are the perks of the millions people, folk with way more money than they could possibly use, as a result of our impossibly liberal rulers declining to imprison anyone earning more than £100,000 a year.

Reading about royalties “earned” by the Royals prompted me to feel unusually discontented about the financial situation this week.

Tucked away in a story about Her Majesty, a Queen, and Charles, a Prince, standing to make more than £100 million a year from the expansion of windfarms off the coasts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was the intelligence that the late Queen Mother amassed a £70 million legacy before departing to have a gin and Dubonnet with God.

As the law prevents scrutiny of Royal wills, we cannot know how this sum was acquired. My own researches reveal that the Queen Mother was never a professional football player. In the meantime, I have a small point to make about having £70 million. It is too much. It just is.

No one “deserves” that much, even if they have bought and sold houses with a canny eye, or run companies into the ground causing mass unemployment, or nutmegged an opponent, dribbled down the wing and executed a Cruyff turn before heading their own cross into the net. What the Queen Mother did isn’t entirely clear. But that was part of her charm.

However, I haven’t gathered you here today to disrespect the Royal Family. I want you to join me in trying to get oor heids roond “millions”.

It starts in public life where everything costs a massive, suspiciously rounded figure. Police overtime in case of trouble at a bowls match? Millions! Public building needs washed with soapy water? Millions! Inquiry set up to investigate something? Millions (though the press could do it for about 53 quid)!

It doesn’t stop at millions. There are also billions. This week, the CBI employers’ faction took to fiction with a claim that Labour’s renationalisation plans would cost £196 billion. Some of that would go to compensate shareholders, the something for nothing society who, for the most part, belong in prison, along with most of the British population.

Then there was the EU’s instant demand, plucked from the ether, for £39 billion when Brexit was announced. It seemed a tad high for paperwork, and most fair-minded people hope they’ll be told to pluck off.

These mind-boggling, spuriously concocted sums are beyond ridiculous. Back among the money available to private individuals, we already have the minimum wage, so why not balance it out with maximum wealth? If the prisons are pleasantly full, then let anyone hoarding seven-figure sums be ordered to perform community service.

It would be good for these hoarders’ souls, and perhaps encourage them to reflect upon how bizarrely avaricious they have become.

PS Should my lottery numbers come up, I reserve the right to disassociate myself from the communist nonsense above and to claim it was just “satire”, ken?

Movie madness

LIKE most decent ratepayers, I no longer go to the cinema. There are too many texting neds and, if I wish to purchase mini eggs, coconut mushrooms, gummy bears and strawberry pencils, with a view to eating these during the film, I don’t expect to be charged £27.50.

Actually, there’s always a rush now to finish such delicacies before the film, presumably to avoid making a noise during proceedings, though there’s always some drooling oaf slurping from a small vat of cola and munching popcorn from a carton the size of Wales.

But another terrible aspect of the cinema is having to sit through the pre-movie adverts, which now last 30 minutes, prompting leading moaners to complain this week that we’re being conned by the published film start times.

It’s true, of course. Everybody knows it. But why, then, does everybody turn up at the advertised times? Is it to eat the sweets? I’m shy so could never arrive late and have to find a seat while tittered at by those already in place. But you Earthlings are brash and insensitive and normally don’t care about such things.

The way round this conundrum is for everybody to turn up 30 minutes after the advertised time. Right, you first.

Rude awakening

RUDENESS continues unabated. A study by that leading academic institution, Cadbury Roses, showed that sincere appreciation is becoming a thing of the past, with fewer people sending cards, flowers or taking someone out for a meal to show gratitude.

Gratitude is a thankless task. You could stand all day holding a door open for folk, most of whom breenge past without giving you a glance and some of them taking an hour about it. And if you hold a door open for a lady, or whatever they’re called now, you do so full of trepidation that you might get arrested for a hate crime.

In country areas, the number of drivers waving gratefully at passing places, or acknowledging a pedestrian’s wait on the verge, has dramatically declined.

The “Ah’m no signallin’” brigade in cities has been joined by the “Ah’m no wavin’” brigade in rural areas. Where do such people belong, readers? Correct. In prison. Along with everybody else.