Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rainman stops play

Our recent allusion to "skiers" being struck by the new government was wildly over optimistic. They may never even connect bat with ball. John Humphries' interview with Gordon Brown on Radio 4 today was more a case of the groundsman having being pressed into urgent service after the only batting talent had been compulsorily retired hurt.

Humphries bowled him comprehensively with just about every delivery as Gordon ducked into bouncers, flailed hopelessly outside the off stump and generally began to prove what we had all suspected about his fundamental lack of fitness for purpose. He simply does not answer any question he is given, but carries on taking guard somewhere around square leg.

There's nothing rare in a politician not answering a direct question, even when bowled underarm; but there is something quite painfully maladroit and uncoordinated where Gordon is concerned.

Humphries maintained a perfect line and length when repeatedly asking about the effect 600k unscheduled immigrants were having on stressed UK housing requirements on some 4 successive occasions. Brown played down the wrong line and missed each time, and only the most starry-eyed ardent Labour sympathiser could have failed to hear the regular clatter of the stumps being flattened.

Interviewing Our Beloved New Leader is not so much a case for Hawkeye as ensuring that Gordon's endless requirement for new stumps comes from ecologically managed sustainable forests.

Gordon's command of statistics is legendary. He has bored for England (and Scotland) on many budget occasions with his reams of tedium: to adapt that famous quotation, Gordon knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Would it be too extreme to suggest there may even be a glimpse of the Aspergers variant of autism going on here? As far as John Humphries was concerned, it was clearly a matter of "Rainman stops play".

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