People

I burbled yesterday about the deterioration in standards nowadays. Now I don’t much like humanity in general – although there are some wonderful folk around – but I can’t help feeling that even the most sensible of folk are losing all sense of perspective.

Take doctors for instance. These are the men and women we all look up to and visit when we are at our most helpless. They must surely be sensible people – or most of us would think so anyway.

But no that is not necessarily the case. Doctors are ordinary people and seem to be gripped with the same group madness of the moment as the rest of us hoi polloi. The general council or whatever they call themselves of the BMA (the doctors’ trade union I think) voted this week to stop charging overseas visitors for treatment under the NHS on the grounds that it is ‘racist’ to do so.

What utter codswallop and how short sighted can that be?! The rest of us pay our dues to the NHS throughout our working lives yet now any poxy peasant from elsewhere in the world can breeze in and get treatment for free on the foolishly-revered National Health Service. That same National Health Service that is chronically short of money and closing down much-needed facilities all over the country. What utter politically-correct madness!!

Talking about madness, I see that a Daisy Goodwin who writes for television and obviously backed remain in the referendum of 2016 is now calling for the Dad’s Army programme to be banned. Why you might ask – I did anyway. Because according to Ms Goodwin, the programme caused people to vote for Brexit and encourages them to want to leave the European Union.

What sort of claptrap is that I wonder. Dad’s Army is probably the most popular show the BBC have ever made and I confess I have never heard of Daisy Goodwin and don’t know what she writes. Indeed Dad’s Army celebrates Britishness in hard times but that must surely be a good thing. Obviously not to Daisy Goodwin and her ilk though. They are determined to ignore the referendum result and remain in the European Union even though the majority of the public do not want that.

My last complaint – for today at any rate – about people and lowering standards in general concerns cricket. I was brought up with cricket and played it to a high standard for a goodly chunk of my life. Cricket is a sport that has always embodied sportsmanship and fair play. It is an honourable sport and enjoyed by people the world over. Yes, like any other field of human endeavour, there have been problems and the odd scandal over the years, but in general cricket is a cleaner sport than most.

The headquarters of cricket is Lords, that elegant London stadium in St John’s Wood that is looked on as the home of cricket by everyone who knows the game. I watched cricket at Lords before it became a stadium rather than a cricket ground and I have attended dinners and functions there as a member of the Kenya Kongonis. My closest friend, Bill Higginson (he has been my Best Man twice) used to play for Middlesex and once proudly showed me around that grand old pavilion. What a thrill to walk through the Long Room and see the dressing rooms where so many immortals of the sport have hung their socks.

Yesterday England played Australia at Lords in the cricket World Cup. A momentous occasion, but spoiled for me at any rate by the crowd booing Warner and Smith of Australia. Booing at Lords? The very idea is unthinkable! Yet it happened on numerous occasions. The two Australians did wrong a couple of years ago by tampering with the ball in a Test Match in Cape Town, but they have served their sentence and come back to represent the country they have done so much for once again. Yes they were convicted of cheating, but to my somewhat cynical mind their real ‘crime’ was getting caught cheating very blatantly. Every notable bowler – and others like myself, not so notable – has broken the letter of cricketing law by picking at a seam or applying a bit of illicit moisture from time to time, but they used sandpaper, which was going a wee bit too far!

However they have done their time and are now back to delight cricket followers around the world. Those spectators at Lords yesterday should have been pleased to be entertained by two fine cricketers, rather than lowering themselves and setting a horrible example to youthful spectators by booing.

See what I mean about standards plummeting in everyday life. From political leaders to celebrities to ordinary men and women enjoying a day out, nobody seems to care about the niceties of life any more.

All I can do about it though is rant!

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