WITH the long Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend about to arrive, it is interesting – but not surprising – to learn that the older generation are solidly behind Her Majesty.

Patriotism is the name of the game as far as the over 50s are concerned, according to a survey commissioned by old people’s organisation Saga.

A whopping 85 per cent of them think it is important to feel a sense of pride and affiliation for your country.

Over half of those questioned said the royal family helps to build integrity and manners, and six out of 10 believe the monarchy teaches us that a sense of loyalty to one’s country is important.

How many of you have been unable to resist the temptation to rise to your feet and stand to attention as you read this? Don’t all rush at once.

Again not unsurprisingly, it is the over 75s who are revealed to be the most patriotic and supportive of the royal family. Almost eight out of 10 wish that Britain was more patriotic and only 12 per cent say they do not care about patriotism at all.

The standard of living has undoubtedly improved since the Queen ascended to the throne. Rationing imposed during the Second World War was still in place in 1952. The average number of calories consumed then was 1,818. Now, it is 2,178. The average female waist measured 28 inches in 1952, now it is 34 inches

But what about the quality of life? Interestingly, only 19 per cent of the over 50s questioned believe Britain has improved since the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and 70 per cent think society has got worse.

One place where the diamond jubilee is not likely to be celebrated in a big way is China. They have other important things on their minds there – like flies in public toilets.

I was amused to read that cleaners in Beijing’s 12,000 public loos were ordered last week to ensure that the number of flies in each establishment is never allowed to exceed two.

Given the fly-by-night (and more pertinently day) nature of such insects, quite how the cleaners are supposed to do this is truly a Chinese puzzle.

Officials at the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment are vague on how the rule should be implemented with a spokesman saying that it was designed to “lead public toilets in a better direction”.

And it was stated: “We will not actually count fly numbers.”

That was good news for some cleaners who had said they tended to operate a three-fly policy at their toilets. How revolutionary of them.

For all us couch potatoes, it was sad to read last week about the death of Eugene Polley. Never heard of him? Well, he was the fellow who in 1955 invented the wireless TV remote control.

He came up with the Flash-Matic which cost a whopping $149.95. It looked like a ray gun similar to one I had as a boy but without the flashing lights. I shot many an alien with that.