The edge - Amanda Platell tells Prince Charles to zip it

With the entire country in uproar, Prince Charles, ever with his finger on the pulse, called for us

With a remoteness that has come to mark his musings, a pensive Prince of Wales appealed at the weekend for a little peace and quiet. Yes, on the penultimate day of the most exciting Ashes series of our lifetimes, while the entire country was in uproar cheering England's cricketers to go faster, Charles called for us to be quiet and slow down.

Ever with his finger on the pulse of the nation, he went on to say: "I think it is terribly important for any human being to have a time for silence and for things to slow down just a bit." Well, sir, let me inform you that, for most of your future subjects, slowing down is not an option. For the millions of working mums, working dads and now working pensioners, there are not enough hours in the day to be a good parent, a good provider, a good partner and be in sync with the wonderful "rhythms of nature", as you put it. I would imagine that a private income of £13m a year, plus £2.6m from the taxpayer, more homes than Elton John and a full-time staff of 123 buy a man quite a bit of time for silence.

Allow me, sir, to avail you of some of the facts of average British family life:

Number of staff, including toothpaste squeezers and urine sample holders - nil.
Number of rich people they can freeload off - nil.
Number of homes without mortgages - nil.
Number of opportunities to pontificate about how other people should lead their lives - nil.
Number of hours in a day to be still - nil.
Perhaps you could do something yourself to add to the sum of human silence, and just zip it.

Indeed, these were the two days that shook the world. First we had Andrew Marr's new TV show, Sunday AM, replacing our beloved David Frost; then our first glimpse of the new Guardianette, on that very show and then on our doorsteps the next morning; and lastly, England won the Ashes. Will our lives ever be the same again? Freddie Flintoff's liver certainly won't be. As for Marr's show, it has all the pleasure of that last glance through the oven door at a Victoria sponge rising, not quite baked, but with the sweet promise of hours of enjoyment to come.

The new Guardian is simply beautiful. If it weren't for its unremittingly left leanings, many could eschew all others for it.

Finally, the Ashes. What a bitter-sweet day, torn between two loves, my birthplace and my home place. Now I understand what it feels like to be Richard Williams, watching his two daughters battle it out on Wimbledon's centre court.

Few images were more tragic than those of the blazing synagogues left abandoned in the Gaza Strip. Copies of the Jewish Bible were paraded in what was tolerantly described as "a display of national pride". I couldn't help thinking that if any mosque were treated in such a way, or the Koran handled with such contempt, a fatwa would be placed on the heads of the culprits, and their actions condemned from here to Christendom.

A sisterly cry of joy on hearing Faria Alam had lost her ridiculous claim for sexual discrimination against the Football Association, a claim that, had she won, would have set back the case of women in the workplace for years. Having had virtually simultaneous affairs with Sven-Goran Eriksson and the FA chief exec Mark Palios, she went on to accuse the executive

director, David Davies, of sexually harassing her.

Alam has turned out to be the kind of woman who would take you to court for not sexually harassing her. Despite her costs running into tens of thousands of pounds, Alam said she "just wanted everyone to know what she went through". And in the process we've seen right through her.

- Bridegrooms used to thank the father (we're not sure where he is), the bridesmaids (they were out the back fighting) and the wife (in this case, the glamour model Jordan). But in celebrity-land Peter Andre just thanked the owner of the glossy mag who bought up the wedding and the film crew who took the pics. Who said you couldn't find true love on a reality TV show?

This article first appeared in the 19 September 2005 issue of the New Statesman, The gathering storm