Winners and Losers

What a day it was for sport in this country yesterday. The Wimbledon final was an absolute cracker, lasting well over five hours and leaving the spectators almost as worn out as the players. Five long sets of absolute effort from both men. I watched bits of it on the idiot box and even though I was also absorbed in the cricket final at Lords, it was wonderful to see.

It renewed my doubts over the gender differentiation in tennis though. The men play five sets, the woman three. Why then should they receive equal pay? To illustrate my point, the Ladies’ final on Saturday lasted less than an hour, in fact it took less time than the first set of the men’s game. Good luck to the young lady who won it, but her efforts certainly couldn’t match up to the titanic struggles of those two blokes yesterday.

Pay them the same by all means, but make the ladies play five sets as well. That is surely fair.

At Lords there was equal excitement. I did not feel that New Zealand had posted enough runs on the board to challenge the English batting line up, but they fielded like men possessed and whittled away the English batsmen. At the end of their fifty overs, the scores were level so a ‘super over’ was brought into play, rather like a penalty shoot out in football or even a tie break in tennis. England went in first and scored fifteen off their over – a formidable target. Then lo and behold, New Zealand also scored fifteen – another tie.

The match was then decided by the number of boundaries hit by each side and came out in England’s favour. How utterly devastating for the New Zealanders that must have been but what an incredible game of cricket. Sport can be very cruel at times!

Back in ‘the real world,’ life goes on and it seems that the only real winners are those who don’t deserve it. Britain’s most notorious and evil female paedophile Vanessa George is being released on parole because ‘she no longer poses a danger to the public.’ Of course she ruddy well does and did the parole board think for one moment about the woman’s victims, all of whom are now at an age where the memories will hurt? Of course they didn’t. Even George’s husband says that he is ‘shocked.’

And a snivel servant in the Northern Ireland office was paid £10,000 compensation because he was ‘offended’ at having to walk past portraits of The Queen and Prince Philip. Lee Hegarty, who had been working in the Northern Ireland Office for around 20 years at the time, is said to have cited Human Rights legislation claiming it was unfair for him to have to work in a place where he was offended by such portraits. 

It all came to light in the House of Lords when Lord Maginnis who is a former Ulster Unionist Party member cited the incident in an attack on both the Northern Ireland office and the Conservatives. He also said that the portraits had been removed and that one was replaced with a photograph of the Queen shaking hands in Belfast with Martin McGuinness, the late Sinn Féin deputy.

Maginnis told the House that Hegarty was consulted on what should replace them. Hegarty suggested that the portrait of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh be removed and that photographs of – at best – the Queen meeting people during engagements in Northern Ireland be put in their place.

Why on earth should he have been ‘consulted’ damnit? 

Lord Maginnis also revealed that Mr Hegarty had now gone on to secure a position at the Northern Ireland Parades Commission. I wonder what he will find to offend him there.

He was doubtless paid with taxpayer money so yet again, we lose and he wins. At least on the sporting field, winners usually deserve their spoils!

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