Cricket has always been the beautiful game. The very notion soccer could be surely disappeared long before Blatter chose to be seen in Mugabe’s company after the latest FIFA corruption cover-up. Perhaps he lives on the stench of the stuff?
The second England – India Test at Trent Bridge contained a lovely incident that reminds us of what might be left for our society to emulate. Ian Bell was given run out. The laws say he was and best cricket awareness that he and Morgan should have run an extra run. Yet the Indian team withdrew their appeal and he was allowed to continue. The spirit of the game took precedence over the letter of the law. Three cheers for the Indians. I believe the lessons here are not about cricket and not as obvious as they may seem.
At almost the same time, The Metropolitan Police, still in my view generally a fine body, was issuing instructions to the public on terrorism, including the idea that we should report anarchists on the grounds anarchy wants to see the end of the State. No one, surely, has any objection to reporting violent drongoes of any ilk, but surely again there must be better philosophers than this in our largest police force. I would welcome Noam Chomsky as a neighbour, not report him as a subversive. The Met usually has a fine cricket team and I remember them playing to the highest ethical standards.
The Grauniad has rightly groaned on the matter. One assumes the Met mean something other than the kind of reporting the Stasi was famed for – and the Checkists and Gestapo before. Police in our country have generally understood they protect liberty, not merely the State and the spirit as well as letter of the law.
Most anarchism is rather lovely and peaceful – it’s notion of no permanent State and processes of decay and creation have lots in common with varieties of right wing capitalism. Ideology doesn’t matter much and is very dangerous in the hands of sociopaths – oops I get close to anarchy here and must just nip to my local police station to report myself! Not, of course, that there is one! And that’s not because the anarchists bombed it …