Tag Archives: cricket

Daily View 2×2: 8 January 2010

Suspicious Minds. Steamroller Blues. Can you guess what it is yet?

No, not Labour and the Tories’ fortunes this week, but Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday.

It’s also the 1139th anniversary of the Battle of Ashdown.

2 (nearly) Big Stories

Coups and cricket balls: both spun, neither won:

Cabinet almost backed our coup, rebel MPs claim

Fresh doubts about Gordon Brown’s authority surfaced last night as rebel Labour MPs claimed that most of his Cabinet came close to backing the attempted coup against him.

One ringleader of the revolt told The Independent: “My understanding was that only three or four Cabinet ministers were absolutely determined to die in the ditch for Gordon.” Suggesting that Cabinet members were fomenting the revolt, the rebel MP said that: “We were asked to do something and we did it.”

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The Liberal 1st XI

Lord Bonkers’ attempts (published courtesy of Jonathan Calder’s Liberal England blog) at listing his favourite XI cricketers inspired me to have a slightly more serious crack at coming up with a XI who represent the finest liberal traditions in the finest sport:

Mike Brearley (Captain)

Maybe not the first person from within the game to back the campaign against the 1970 South African tour but certainly the first to do so prominently at a time when it could have had a detrimental effect on his career in the game. In 1968 he proposed a motion to the MCC calling for future tours to be suspended until cricket became multi-racial.

CB Fry
A point of agreement with his Lordship: 94 first class hundreds and polled 20,000 votes as a Liberal candidate in Brighton.

Barry Richards

White South African who played for the apartheid era test team might seem an unlikely liberal figure but makes the team after he (and other South African players) staged a walk-off during a provincial match in protest at government policies.

Andy Flower (WK) & Henry Olonga
It solves my wicket keeper problem but that pales into insignificance alongside the bravery of Flower and Olonga who wore black arm bands and issued a statement in protest at the Muagabe regimes human rights abuses. Both had to leave Zimbabwe and Olonga faces arrest for treason , an offence carrying the death penalty.

Basil D’Olivera
Brought an end to the idea that selecting a team based on colour was an acceptable idea in global sport. The idea that someone who could never have played for his country of birth because of his skin colour could get into a test team was one the South African authorities could never accept.

John Cleese
Though not his best known achievement, Cleese wasn’t a bad cricketer in his youth at one point having trials for Gloucestershire. As well as his SDP/Liberal Alliance and Liberal Democrat PPBs – available here and here – he also produced a rather too closely obseved take off of the TMS commentary team for which he later apologised to Brian Johnston.

Andrew Flintoff

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    So Cameron is sending more fences and sniffer dogs - you couldn't make it up.
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 31st Jul - 11:25am
    Exactly right Paul. Johnson writes very movingly, but not self-pityingly, about conquering his nerves around public speaking when he was a young union official. He...
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