Archive for November, 2010
Wonderful! It was my turn to release everyones’ chickens this morning and I arrived at first light clad in the fashion of Captain Scott. Having heard the weather forecast of temperatures low enough to freeze an eskimo, I was armed with a blow-torch fully expecting an hour of thawing. In fact not one of the many containers was frozen and everything was shipshape by the time that Vernon came in. I said that he should be impressed by the sheer efficiency of the duty melter. But my Jamaican mate is not easily fooled and replied that if I continued to tell lies I would find myself transferred to the FIFA world.
Yes, he too had watched last night’s Panorama. We both found it staggering that people such as David Cameron should have attempted to persuade The Beeb to postpone the programme lest it influenced the panel due to select the venues for the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cups. He, and the others who agreed with him, must have lost their moral compass for what the programme revealed was several very serious charges of massive corruption. Already two FIFA members have been suspended and now we learn that three or four others, who will be adjudicating, are claimed to be implicated in fraud of the most venal variety.
The findings were shown to Swiss MP Roland Buechel, an expert in the field of football administration. Having heard the facts his reaction was immediate. He said that ” after years of corruption we now need an external, an international and an independent investigation into the FIFA books”.
I confess to knowing litte about FIFA other than the constant appearance on the news of President Sebb Blatter who seems to be a sort of self-appointed head of world football. The impression given yesterday was of a clique of people with absolute power to make decisions that involve many billions of pounds. The suspicion is that the countries competing for their votes offer inducements and some provide vast amounts of cash that are not subsequently accounted for.
Those who were anxious to stall the BBC revelations present as their case the fact that many of the allegations go back a number of years. But that makes the situation even worse for it suggests that the alleged crimes – and that is what they are – have either gone undetected in which case there is clearly no proper audit, or have been condoned by others. Even Trinidad ExCo member Jack Warner stands accused of trying to buy tickets for the next world cup to the value of £50,000 and he is due to join David Cameron for lunch!
So severe are the accusations that one cannot avoid the conclusion that even the inept English Football Association must surely question its continuing to be a member state until there has been a full and independent inquiry. Panorama produced documentary evidence and it is intolerable that such a discredited organisation should continue to make decisions involving money on a gigantic scale.
Clearly it is now too late to have the decision-making meetings postponed but if British football is to retain any semblance of decency and propriety it must surely take a stand. The tragedy is that whatever is decided now will attract suspicion and the thought of our prime minister and future King toadying to people accused of fraud is very hard to take. The reality is that those on the catwalk are going along with the world governing body’s refusal to reform!
Some newspapers today have suggested inducements such as aircraft carriers or palaces but the situation is too serious to be laughed off. They should also note that apart from the claims of serious fraud, the programme provided details of the conditions that our government has accepted. A Dutch parliamentarian attacked these with vigour, she said the laws of a country should not be changed to make exceptions for individual organisations least of all those that have a dubious record. As David Mellor put it, this time corruption must be rooted out and there should be no amnesties or exceptions.
Like most soccer fans I and my pals were keen to see a successful England bid. But now we are less sure. Will we be supping with the Devil and providing it with a cloak of respectability that when it eventually ignites will burn us too?
Blatter’s seemingly dysfunctional “football family” should be left with the choice of becoming a transparent international parliament or admit its intention to continue to provide a means for opportunists to sell power to would-be hosts and private companies!
VIOLENT OFFENDERS ARE GETTING OFF WITH CAUTIONS!
We all know about the views of Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, on crime and punishment but only now do we learn the extent of his proposed leniency. Yesterday John Thornhill, chairman of the Magistrtaes Association, revealed in a speech to the associations annual meeting that no fewer than 37,000 offenders guilty of violent assault are being let off each year with a caution. He demanded that such cases be brought before the courts and added that in almost every case a prison sentence would have resulted.
This outburst folows that of the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, who said that he felt very strongly that all violent offenders who cause injury to others should be dealt with by a court.
As Lord Judge remarked it must be extremely difficult for injured victims to come to terms with the fact that their assailant has received nothing more than a rebuke.
Justice must be seen to be done. Right now that is not the situation and Clarke’s new world of forgiveness will make things even worse. It is time for him to move into the real world!
H & S BRIGADE STRIKE AGAIN!
Todays health and safety lunacy comes from Essex. Ron Warrick is a lollipop man and has been helping pupils from St Marys Primary School in Shenfield across the road for some time. But after the council installed a pedestrian crossing he was told that he must not leave the pavement because of the danger of motorists jumping the lights.
Adrian Tidbury from the highways department says that Ron could still be out there when the lights change and that is dangerous. Parents are astonished and wonder why it is not equally dangerous for six year olds!
ASHES; ADELAIDE HERE WE COME!
The scene is set for a tight match at Adelaide. Will Australia persevere with Johnson whose bowling in the first Test was just about as bad as things can get. But when he hits the right line and length his speed makes him dangerous.
England has a similar problem in that Swann at Brisbane looked a shadow of his recent all-conquering past. The Adelaide pitch is notoriously slow and spin could be the deciding factor.
But I tend to line up with Shane Warne who is quoted as saying that neither team is capable of bowling the other out twice!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. Guyana 2. Lockheed
TODAYS QUESTIONS; 1. In what year was the European Monetary system formed? 2. Which city became the capital of the unified state of Vietnam?
Yet another freezing morning, yet more thawing out water supplies. Suddenly we amateurs can sympathise with farmers for whom the weather forecast is of more than academic interest. Unlike them we lack the will and there were mutterings about emigration today. Albert opted for America because he would prefer the climate and would like to become a spy. A rather difficult aim I hear you say. But it seems that it is ‘childsplay’ to quote Bradley Manning, the US soldier who has given the world something to ponder over its cornflakes, or whatever passes for breakfast in Iran.
In truth most of the ‘secrets’ being revealed by WikiLeaks are of the soap opera variety. But there are some chilling comments, not least the fear that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are far from secure and the view of various countries that unless Iran is tackled it will trigger armaggedon. And there is plenty to choose from for thanks to Private Manning no fewer than 250,000 classified cables from US embassies to Washington are available.
The hapless G.I is now incarcerated but how did he pull off such a massive exposure? He has even exposed that secret. In a published chatlog with a fellow-hacker he explained that he would arrive at his place of work with a CD-RW labelled Lady Gaga. He would then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing as he “lip-synched to Lady Gaga while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history”. Manning said that he had “unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for 8 months”. He went on to tell his correspondent Adrian Lamo that ” Hilary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning to find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public. Worldwide anarchy in CSV format..its beautiful and horrifying”. Manning clearly isn’t the brightest button in the box for it obviously didn’t occur to him that Lamo might leak news of his involvement in leaks. But he did! Meantime the latter day 007 had fed the data to WikiLeaks.
The 1.6 gigabytes of text files duly reached the Guardian. They were contained on a memory stick capable of being hung from a keyring and cover the contents of 251,287 despatches from 250 US embassies. I confess to being a Luddite in such matters but cannot refrain from pointing out that had the cables been retained merely in hard copy the chance of anyone stealing the lot would have been greatly reduced.
It seems that Manning was but one of around 3 million people allowed to access these files which prompts one to wonder how serious America really is about security. Presumably it is so bewitched by the new age of hi-tech processing that it actually believes all the boffin guff about secure systems being impenetrable.
Such naivety deserves exploitation so the US customs should keep an eye out for Albert, Bin Laden, and a host of others willing to fork out the Virgin air fare in exchange for a a check through the Pentagon files. Of course they will only succeed if they have some Lady Gaga to hand and I have taken the precaution of hiding the allotment shed CDs to which we hum on days more cheerful that this one!
EU FLAGSHIP POLICIES ARE DISASTROUS!
My recent piece on the EU led to a chat with a local farmer whose desk is littered with EU documentation, most of it being about the Common Agricultural Policy. Clever it ain’t!
The policy costs each British taxpayer about £398 per year and the overall cost to the UK is estimated at about £10.3 billion a year in everything from increased food prices to regulatory burdens. It seems that a good deal of the cash handed over ends up in the hands of corrupt conmen. In Sicily large payments have been made for non-existent orange groves and “phantom farms”. There have been “double-counted sheep” in Italy and “permanent pasture” in Greece which aerial photos showed to be largely forests and rocks.
Farm subsidies are even more corrupt. Since the introduction of the single farm payment, farm subsidies appear to have been granted to airlines, golf clubs, cruise ships and pony clubs.
Meantime the British fishing industry is at death’s door with the Commission pushing for a 50 per cent cut in our fishing quota. And that is not to preserve the fish for under the latest rules 39,000 tons of edible cod will be thrown back dead by trawlers arriving with more that their quota.
No one I ever meet has a good word to say for the Agricultural Policy, my new farmer friend certainly didn’t have. Perhaps I just don’t meet the right people?
TEST DRAW IN BRISBANE!
My self understanding reveals that whilst I desperately want England to retain the Ashes I will derive no pleasure from winning a poor series. And the signs are not good.
In their second innings the top English batsmen demonstrated just how toothless the 2010 Aussie attack is. And then for the second time the Australian batsmen did the same to Anderson, Broad and company.
The next match is at Adelaide (renowned for its lifeless wickets) and, right now, it is hard to imagine other than a draw for the chance of either attack taking twenty wickets is akin to Beefy making a comeback. But hope springs eternal!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1.Mother Teresa 2. Calcutta
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. The 1978 mass suicide of the followers of Jim Jones took place in which country? 2. Which US aircraft corporation was accused in 1976 of bribery in several countries?
None of us can remember temperatures as low as these before Christmas. This morning we eventually thawed out the hen’s drinking utensils only to see them re-freeze almost at once. Even the hens seem dispirited, a large crowd stood around in the manner of spectators at Old Trafford waiting for the rain to stop. I’ve mentioned our retired bank manager Phil before, he made an appearance as we gathered for a brew. Having no animals to care for Phil only visits the allotments spasmodically at this time of the year but he likes to cheer us up with tales of banker’s perks. Today he mentioned that a former colleague has just heard that he has a record bonus this year. Hooray we cried.
In many industries bonuses are a matter of a few hundred quid at year end if results are favourable. Our bankers work to different dimensions. We have yet to see this year’s figures but for 2009 we know that 2,800 bankers each received total remuneration of over £1 million. The bulk of the amount came from bonuses in a year when the banks brought the country to its knees. And the word is that this year’s numbers are up. Alastair Darling responded at the time by imposing a one-off tax on banker’s bonuses and he netted a very handy £3.5 billion for the public purse!
But now we see a very strange development in which, for whatever reason, the two men who before the election hurled venom in the direction of the banks, are falling over backwards to remain their best friends. Just over a year ago George Osborne went on GMTV and slammed banks for paying “inexcusable bonuses”. We will, he declared, “end the big cash bonuses. If there is spare cash it should be lent out to small businesses”. Scroll forward to this week and what do you find? Osborne has referred the matter to Brussels, which is the equivalent of very long grass, and has confirmed that there will be no UK action.
Meantime Vince Cable, who had insisted that any bank employee being paid more than the prime minister would have his or her salary and bonus details published, has now decided otherwise. A government that has not hesitated to apply that criteria to senior civil servants has curiously lost its nerve. We are all in it together? It seems not!
There has also been a good deal of comment from the legal profession about the absence of prosecutions arising from what happened. It is true that several leading lights left in something of a hurry after the taxpayer’s bailout but they have re-emerged in equally well-paid positions in the private sector. Some of course, such as Fred ‘the shred’ Goodwin, have been ennobled.He may have cost us a few bob but we must remember to call him sir.
Without putting too fine a point on it there clearly is a strong link between this government and leading financiers. Bonuses are to continue at obscenely high levels, there are to be no prosecutions and the scandal of tax avoidance schemes, that rob the treasury of an amount equal to the deficit, is to continue unchallenged. One suspects that Osborne et al are gambling on the fact that few of us understand in detail what the banks did. They are right on that but we do know that their being forgiven and rewarded excessively is unacceptable. But what can we do, it is clear that the banks had Brown in their pockets and have now slipped in their old chum Osborne.
None of the wealthy clique will have heard of Doug Paulley. Perhaps they should pop along to his residential care home in Yorkshire. Doug is a 32 year-old wheelchair user, having been diagnosed 14 years ago with a degenerative neurological disorder. He and his fellow residents in the Leonard Cheshire Home are allowed £22.30 per week from their benefits. Up until now they have also received a mobility fee of up to nearly £50 a week. It was, says Doug, a “quaity of life saver”.
Now it is to be cut completely and will totally curtail the little freedom that Doug and others enjoyed so much. He has said that he hopes he is not still around when the cut happens.
The two situations are not directly connected but it is the banks that created the ruin of people like Doug. And it is their pals in both the last and this government who prefer to see the vulnerable suffer to the alternative, a quarrel with their own!
THE MEDIA TENDS TO BE POOR AT REVELATIONS!
For many years various newspapers have boosted circulation with ‘exclusives’ about the split up/ engagement/marriage of William and Kate. In reality of course they had no more of a clue than any of us commoners but that didn’t stop them from invention.
The Mail on Sunday’s royal correspondent, Katie Nicholl, was billed last week as “the writer who really knows William and Kate”. Her track record suggests otherwise. Private Eye magazine has analysed her many predictions going back to 2004. In December of that year we were told that William wanted to split up for good. But by 2006 William was about to propose. Come 2007 the couple had parted for good. But in 2008 a wedding was being planned – for 2016.
Earlier this month the friend of the Royals was at last able to brief us finally. The announcement would come as part of the royal family’s ”Christmas sojourn to Sandringham” . At least that exclusive wasn’t so far adrift as all the others! Mind you the writer is not alone. Richard Smith of the Daily Mirror wrote in October of “others who make an industry out of wrongly predicting the nuptials – we choose to get our facts right”.
But even this paragon of accuracy failed. He said that “their formal engagement will be formally announced early in 2011″!
ENGLAND FIGHT BACK IN BRISBANE!
Having once described the present Aussie attack as the worst one to ever wear the baggy green cap I feel a little less embarrassed by developments in Brisbane.
In the first innings the England batsman treated Peter Siddle and others with far too much respect. Last night I watched with delight as Strauss and Cook belted them to every corner of the ground. The result should be a draw which will not represent a disastrous start even though ny fiver on a whitewash will have gone the way of most of my punts!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. Republic of Ireland 2. Afghanistan
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Who won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize 2. In which city did she do her work?
I must refrain from banging on about another freezing morning, and the problems of frozen water dispensers, lest you conclude that we allotmenteers are depressed. But I have to confess that we are sinking lower than a snakes belly. This morning it was a combination of a night spent watching the Australian batsmen belting England’s much vaunted bowling attack, followed by three of us having to chase a lot of irate hens who headed out whilst we wielded ice-picks. But when the papers arrived we discovered that, we who constantly moan about the mad political correctness brigade, have a new champion. Take a bow Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary and the Tory equivalent to two-Jags Prescott.
We are a mixed bunch on the allotments, people of all religions and none. but we all enjoy Christmas. In fact the tree will be decorated any day now, the fact that it stays in situ throughout the year makes the task an easy one. We all share another sentiment too, we loathe the busybody PR brigade who have done so much to harm race relations in this country and who have the gall to believe that they have the right to tell everyone else what they can and cannot say or do. In recent years they have targetted Christmas or Wintermass as the ghastly crew insist on calling it.
This year has seen them scaling new heights in lunacy. Birmingham’s annual festival has been renamed Winterval and Lambeth council sparked fury when it ordered its Christmas lights to be renamed “winter” or “celebrity” to avoid upsetting “other faiths”. Rochdale Council provoked more rage when it decided to celebrate Eid and Diwali also, even though those Hindu and Muslim festivals have already come and gone. The lists goes on and on.
Now at long last a minister has had the guts to speak out. Yesterday Eric Pickles said that “we should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ”. He went on to warn Councils that ” The war on Christmas is over, and the likes of Winterval, Winter Lights and Luminous deserve to be thrown into the dustbin of history”. And he hadn’t finished at that. Eric went on to stress that shoppers want to see Christmas lights, Christmas trees, carol services and nativity scenes”.
Small wonder that John Midgely, founder of the burgeoning Campaign aginst PR, described Mr Pickles as a “breath of fresh air”. Small wonder too that his sentiments were echoed by leading church figures. The popular Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, believes that Christianity is being wiped out of public life in the name of equality. The bans on Christmas are, he believes, part of a drive to censor Christianity. And no one can accuse Dr Sentamu of being a racist!
I have yet to meet any member of the ethnic community who feels in the least offended by Christmas celebrations. They are not the people responsible for the ever growing chorus of disapproval. That is down to the nauseating busybodies who should shut up once and for all. I am sure that the vast majority of Brits treasure Christmas, and all it represents and entails.We needed a champion and big Eric is the man.
The Christmas story is the greatest story ever told. We sometimes forget that the calender we use is based on a birth that took place 2010 years ago. No story in the history of the world has influenced so much and so many. And one doesn’t have to be religious to acknowledge that irrefutable truth.
Whether we like it or not our country is now a multi-cultural one. But that doesn’t mean that we should change our treasured festivals or customs anymore than we should expect people of other faiths to change theirs. Tolerance should mean acceptance without interference and Eric Pickles may just have started a revolution in reverse. One in which we ignore totally all talk of political correctness.
In reality there is no such thing. Simple courtesy and an ethos of live and let live is all we need provided that the law is observed. And if it isn’t there should be no variation in the response of the authorities whatever the colour of the offender!
TIME TO TACKLE THE PROFITEERING POWER SUPPLIERS!
The Energy Regulator Ofgem has failed totally in its task of regulating the financial trickery of the privatised power companies. Many still remember the various privatisations of the Thatcher era when we were told that competition would drive prices down. In reality there has been an almost unholy alliance amongst the various suppliers and the customer has been robbed again and again.
At a time when many are struggling to meet their bills, and with winter here, the suppliers are announcing massive increases. Dismiss their lies about increased costs for gas, when those costs fell they didn’t pass any reductions on.
British Gas is a classic example. Its annual profit per houshold is now £90. As recently as September it was £65. Like the other suppliers they treat their customers with utter contempt and if Ofgem are not prepared to step in the government should appoint a new regulator.
BANKS ARE THE PITS OF THE WORLD!
Richard Brown is head of savings at HSBC and has staggered many by publicly chastising the public for its failure to save. Yesterday he remarked that only a minority are doing this and said that the public is “burying its head in the sand”.
Perhaps he should consider the possibility that because the rates now offered to savers are virtually zero, people have decided to hold the cash at home. The only advantage of saving with a bank is now security against burglary, there is no monetary case for saving.
I have an account with Barclays. The interest rate has just been reduced to well below 1%. I realise that, having won the green light from the government, the Banks have to find cash to fund their ever increasing bonuses and salaries, but they shouldnt be surprised when I and millions of others decide that we would rather fritter our cash away than help to fund their largesse!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1. The United Nations 2. One of the states of India
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; Where did Charles Haughey become prime minister? 2. Which Asian country did the USSR invade in 1979?
The worst morning of the new ‘winter’ greeted us this morning as we arrived at the allotment. Yes, the sun was glaring from a blue sky but everything was frozen. All the chicken’s water containers were a block of ice and the stock of lettuces had turned as brown as Albert’s vest overnight despite being inside. Anyone seeking encouragement to try self-sufficiency would be ill-advised to seek inspiration right now from this gang of grumpy old men. It is on mornings such as these that buying eggs in Tesco boxes doesn’t seem quite so heinous. But at least a couple of our number were in high humour!
Bob and John are both rabid eurosceptics and have often reminded us forcefully of all the alleged shortcomings of the takeover of power by what they like to call faceless EU bureaucrats. When the news of the Irish bailout broke they were quick to remind us that the amount being handed over by Britain was equivalent to all the savings forecast to result from the cuts now decimating many of our public services. I recall John saying that maybe someone will now realise just how disastrous our membership is proving to be.
It seems that someone has. Yesterday the Daily Express became the first national newspaper to launch a ‘Get out of the EU’ campaign. Banner headlines on the front page of the Express suggest trouble for the coalition since, as it showed with its Diana obsession, this newspaper above all tends to be persistent and dogged. We may wrap our fish ‘n chips in yesterday’s edition but you can bet your muesli on those of the next weeks, even months, repeating the theme!
What interested me above all else was the identity of those who led the day-one attack. Daniel Hannan is a Conservative MEP and wants to see the UK out of the Union. It struck me as being a little like turkeys voting for Christmas but he is scathing in his condemnation of Brussels and all its works. He starts his assault by pointing out that the ‘Irish’ £7 billion is in addition to the £14 billion which we pay each year. For good measure he advises that there is now another £435 million to be found to help fund the increases which the EU people have decided to award themselves.
All that we knew, but his statistics on red tape are truly astounding. Internal market commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, has carried out a survey into the cost of regulation in the EU. He established the cost to be 600billion euros a year. If you then compare that with the European Commission’s own figures covering the advantages of membership you arrive at £120billion per year. In other words, Eurocrats themselves admit that the costs of the EU outweigh the benefits by five to one!
The other thing that surprised me was the information on trade with Europe. We currently have a £14.4billion deficit, in other words our purchases from EU countries exceed our sales to them. Amazingly Norway and Switzerland both sell around twice as much per head to the EU as we do. And they are thriving independent states outside the EU membership.
Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, is another supporter of the Express campaign. He warns that we may be obliged to pour billions into saving failing euro economies such as Greece and Portugal and he is angry at the threat to British democracy by what he calls “meddling Brussels bureeeaucracy”. Mr Davies and other MPs also point to the destruction of our laws and commonsense by the EU Convention on Human Rights and the destruction of immigration controls due to freedom of movement laws for EU citizens.
There is a great deal more and most of it is damning. Of course up to this point anyone questionning EU membership has been brushed aside and any thought of a referendum dismissed. One suspects that the decision by the Express may trigger a more difficult problem for the government. Presumably an equally great problem will be the fact that over one hundred Tory MPs are already declaring support, leaving ministers reliant on the support of the Lib Dems who believe not only that we should be in Europe but that we should embrace the euro too.
In this daily blog I really try to be even-handed but I am struggling on the EU for I genuinely don’t understand what the avantages of membership are supposed to be. And if MEPs don’t understand there is little chance of my enlightenment. Even my self understanding offers nothing. Part of me suggests greater strength in numbers but another part suggests that we are enduring hardship here and pouring money out across the channel. Occasionally I remind myself that some of my best mates are europeans but that clarifies nothing for they too regularly rail against the idea of a single European State. They may not have our advantage of the English Channel but they do have our sense of national identity.
There is only one way of resolving this massive issue and that is a referendum. One suspects that the reason for Blair and Brown denying us one was that they expecetd to lose it. But the will of the people should surely prevail and at the very least we would have a reasoned debate in which the case for staying in could be explained.
This is infinitely more important than the referendum planned for a change to our voting system. After all if our integration into Europe goes all the way we won’t need a voting system at all!
JUST HOW TOLERANT HAVE WE BECOME?
Guardian reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad has published a report on a visit he made to northern Afghanistan where he managed to gain access to a group of Taliban. He was taken to a secret location to meet the Taliban district chief who apparently acts as a sort of magistrate amongst the local population.
The reporter met a number of those engaged in the fight with American and British forces and was, to say the least, surprised to meet British citizens amongst them. One of the fighters was ” a burly bearded man with a hint of a London accent”. He admitted that he is a mini-cab driver in London and “makes good money there”. He said that he and other cabbies collect money for the jihad all year round and then travel over to join the fighting for three months of each year.
No surprise really but it does perhaps remind us not to be rude to our driver the next time we visit London! Remember that our Taliban cab drivers have human rights!
ENGLAND NEED A SWANN SONG!
It isn’t only Old Trafford that has rain. The second day of the first Ashes Test at Brisbane ended early due to a surfeit of the wet stuff. At least we nighthawks were able to go to bed!
Sdaly it was not another huge success story for our favourites and the most worrying feature for me was the ease with which the Aussies handled Swann. He could prove the real difference between these sides and we urgently need him to get into his spinning groove.
He has rightly been compared with Warne but so far has looked more like Phil Tufnell of sacred memory!
YESTERDAY’S QUIZ ANSWERS; 1 1976 2. Transkei
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Which organisation proclaimed 1975-85 as the Decade for Women? 2.. The status of Sikkim changed in 1975. What did it become?