Post Election Thoughts (And Other Stuff)

Some thoughts on GE2019, cricket, an autism related twitter thread and of course a few photographs.

INTRODUCTION

I am not going to relive Thursday night and Friday morning here. I am going to look to the future.

LOOKING AHEAD

After the carnage of the 2019 General Election Johnson has emerged with a substantial majority, Northern Ireland has a majority of non-unionist MPs for the first time ever and Scotland saw the expected SNP tsunami. Labour has fewer MPs than at any time since 1935 – 203 – but also more female MPs than any party has ever had (see here), the Liberal Democrats had a disaster relieved only by Sarah Jane Olney winning Richmond Park from Zac Goldsmith, and the Greens failed to increase their MP count, but did get 850,000 votes in total, in yet another election that showed FPTP in a terrible light. Those MPs who switched parties and were standing for a new party for the first time all lost, though the vile Tory masquerading as Lib Dem Sam Gyimah (aided by a mendacious article in the Observer on the Sunday before the election) did enough to cost Emma Dent Coad Kensington and Chelsea.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour are both looking for new leaders. The likely pick for the LDs is Layla Moran. Labour need to work hard to regain trust in the North, and for that reason I think they need to select a leader who is not London based. For me (although this is not a prediction) the obvious choice, given that Laura Pidcock was among the election casualties, is Angela Rayner, with another northerner as deputy (possibly Chi Onwurah, the first MP to be officially confirmed as such at this election, and a north-easterner to go with north-westerner Rayner). Among Labour’s few bright spots was the election of 23 year old Nadia Whittome in Nottingham – and she has immediately announced that she will be taking only £35,000 of her £79,000 salary, the rest going to local charities. As this piece in The Mirror makes clear she is doing this not to say that MPs are overpaid but to say that nurses, teachers and the like are underpaid.

Labour, LDs and Greens are going to have to get better at working together to do anything in the ‘lesser Britain’ comprising England and Wales that we are likely to see in the not distant future (Scotland will go independent one way or another, and a united Ireland is firmly on the cards – note that the DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds lost his seat to John Finucane (son of murdered lawyer Pat Finucane).

CRICKET

England Women have been playing Pakistan Women in Kuala Lumpur. In the two ODIs that had enough play for a definite result England won comfortably both times. In the first openers Dani Wyatt (promoted, as following the retirement of Sarah Taylor, Amy Jones is now first choice keeper and has dropped to no 5 in the order) and Tammy Beaumont both racked up centuries, Kate Cross took four wickets and debutant spinner Sarah Glenn took 2-38. In the second match Natalie Sciver scored 100 not out, Heather Knight 86 and Fran Wilson a blistering 85 not out off 49 balls in a total of 327-4 and Pakistan were all out for exactly 200 in 44.5 overs. Anya Shrubsole, Sophie Ecclestone, Knight, and once again Glenn (2-37 this time) each took two wickets.

Meanwhile, although it has been spoiled by rain, test cricket has returned to Pakistan itself for the first time in a decade, with Sri Lanka (it was an attack on their team bus in Lahore that led to the removal of test matches from that country) the visitors.

In blazing Perth New Zealand have become the latest visitors to discover that Australia is a tough place to go – the home side began by racking up 416, with Marnus Labuschagne racking up his third successive test century, and then dismissed the Kiwis for 166, and declining to enforce the follow-on had reached 167-6, a lead of 417 by the close. Labuschagne managed a beggarly 50 this time round, with Joe Burns making 53. Assuming that Australia do not declare overnight Messrs Wade and Cummins are in occupation.

AN AUTISM RELATED THREAD

Steve Silberman, author of THE definitive history of Autism, Neurotribes, has produced this twitter thread about Greta Thunberg, Time “Person of the Year” for 2019:

A thread on the historical significance of @GretaThunberg being chosen as the first proudly autistic @Time Person of the Year. The fact that autistic folks often speak the truth bluntly, even rudely at times, is often framed as a social deficit. [1/7]
In Greta’s case, her relentless reiteration of the facts of #climate change, and the importance of science, has made her a focus of incandescent hatred by the same pompous liars and paid-for buffoons who are selling the earth from under the feet of their own grandchildren. [2/7]
The “autistic” qualities of Greta’s war on the status quo – her visceral distrust of rationalizations and vacuous rhetoric – are precisely the qualities all humanity must emulate at a time when global political discourse is dominated by nonsense and gaslighting. [3/7]
As the author of a history of autism, I’ve said for years that gut-level loathing for unfairness and injustice could practically be added to the diagnostic criteria for autism. At this point in human history, when lies and denial of facts are dooming future generations… [4/7]
Greta’s monotropic insistence on “walking her talk,” and her impatience even for vacuous praise instead of meaningful action, are vivid demonstrations of the role neurodivergent people can play in the advancement of human civilization. In the case of #climatechange… [5/7]
the “social deficits” are all on the neurotypical side, on Greta’s opponents and critics, who use misogyny, ableism, and ageism against her. They lie for a living, deceiving millions of fellow neurotypicals in the process. [6/7]
The success of climate disinformation campaigns in sowing seeds of doubt about science is proof of a potentially fatal “truth dysfunction” in non-autistic people. Want to know the role of #neurodiversity in our collective future? We may not have one without it. Go, Greta! [7/7]

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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This giant monopoly board is in the foyer of the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House (I went there on Monday to tell them my story for use in subsequent publicity materials).

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My favourite set on this board – note the Pall Mall equivalent, the seals at Blakeney.
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About the only time you will see this in Norfolk!

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Yesterday’s Predictions and Today’s Matches at Halfway

How yesterday’s predicitions fared, and predicitions for todays matches (one Royal London Cup match, one tour match). Also a few extras including two very important petitions.

INTRODUCTION

In this post I reveal how yesterday’s predictions fared and look at what is happening in today’s matches. I also have a couple of extras as you will see.

YESTERDAY’S PREDICTIONS

  • Hampshire v GloucestershireHampshire 331-8 from 50 overs, Gloucestershire 246 all out from 46.5overs, Hampshire won by 71 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
    James Vince’s amazing innings looked to have put this one beyound Gloucestershire. A small rain delay reduced Gloucestershire’s innings to 47 overs and their target to 318. No Gloucestershire batter reached 50 (Ryan Higgins, primarily a memiud pacer, top scored with 45), and Hampshire were never anything other than in control, so this was a correct prediction for me. Mason Crane, a legspinner who had a brief but very unsuccessful time as an England player took 3-64, while Kyle Abbott, Brad Wheal and Liam Dawson all picked up two.
  • Northamptonshire v WorcestershireWorcestershire 254-9 from 50 overs, Northamptonshire 234 all out from 48.4 overs, Worcestershire won by 20 runs.
    In restricting their opponents to a modest score Northamptonshire seemed to have done enough, but their own batting misfired badly. Alex Wakely with 46 and Josh Cobb with 44 were the leading scorers, which tells you what the problem was. Wayne Parnell took 3-45, while Brett D’Oliveira was the most economical bowler with 1-28 from 10 overs. I got this one wrong.
  • Nottinghamshire v LeicestershireNottinghamshire 433-7 from 50 overs, Leicestershire 259 from 33.2 overs, Nottinghamshire won by 87 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.
    Rain reduced the Leicestershire innings to 37 overs and their target to 347. They made a brave effort, but the target was always beyond them, bearing out my prediction. Harry Dearden made 74 off 70 balls and Mark Cosgrove 59 off 43. Luke Fletcher took 3-53 from eight overs, a notable achievement given the overall run rate on the day.
  • Warwickshire v DurhamWarwickshire 244-8 from 50 overs, Durham 211-3 from 33.4 overs, Durham won by seven wickets with 2.2 overs to spare under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
    Warwickshire’s total looked modest, and the Duckworth-Lewis adjustment to cater for Durham’s reduced allocation of overs did not help them sufficiently to put them back in the game. Alex Lees was 78 not out off 69 balls and Gareth Harte 51 not out of 49 when Durham completed their victory, Greg Clark having scored 66 off 62 at the top of the order. No Warwickshire bowler deserves to have their figures quoted. This was another correct prediction. 
  • Yorkshire v DerbyshireYorkshire 308-2 from 40 overs, Derbyshire 224-3 from 22 overs, tied under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
    Because Yorkshire had a lot of resources left when the rain came (20% of their overs and 80% of their wickets) the requirement for Derbyshire when the game could be resumed was, as it should have been, exceedingly stiff. Spearheaded by opener Billy Godleman running up his third straight List A century Derbyshire made this a pulsating contest, and actually came closer to winning at the end than Yorkshire, although the tie, the second that Yorkshire have been involved in in the competition was a fair result (though disappointing for my predictions, as I had called it in Yorkshire’s favour. Godleman (107 not out off 62 balls) was well backed by Leus Du Plooy (75 off 37 balls) and Matt Critchley (33 not out of 23 at the death). I will not quote any of the Yorkshire bowling figures. 

Thus I called three right and two wrong, making my overall record 21/34. In the day/night game Somerset comfortably beat Essex (353-5 off 39 overs, against Essex 154-6 from 17 overs, a margin of 36 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method). Peter Trego made 141 of 101 balls, Azhar Ali 110 off 93 and James Hildreth 40 off 18. Peter Siddle took 4-60 off eight overs. In the Essex Innings Dan Lawrence made 51 off 33. Tim Groenewald took 3-34 off three overs, while Craig Overton was notably economical with 1-9 from three overs. In the early stages of the Essex innings there was some blatant time wasting by their batters in the hope that the ten overs necessary for it to constitute a game would not be bowled, but fortunately they were, and thereafter there was little doubt that justice would be done. 

TODAY’S PREDICTIONS

There are two matches taking place in England today, and they are:

  • Middlesex v Sussex, Sussex 298 all out from 48 overs.
    When Sussex were 6-2, and even more when they were 102-5 this looked good for Middlesex, but Luke Wright who had opened thne innings and survived all the early wickets was supported by Ben Brown, captain and wicketkeeper for Sussex in a stand of 174, before both fell in quick succession, Brown for 55 and Wright for an amazing 166 (142 balls, 10 fours, nine sixes). The Sussex tail then did an impression of a house of cards, and Middlesex were spared having a 300plus total on the board against them. However this total should be enough to for Sussex to defend comfortably. Nathan Sowter took 4-48 and Ireland star Tim Murtagh 3-24 each from their full 10 overs,. while their colleagues had a combined 3-226 from 28 overs.
  • Kent v Pakistan (Tour Match) Pakistan 358-7 from 50 overs
    A formidable looking total from Pakistan. Imad Wasim scored 117 not out from 78 balls, Haris Sohail 75 from 71 and Fakhar Zaman 76 from 59. Only Imran Qayyum with 4-45 from his 10 did anything significant with the ball. I fully expect Pakistan to defend this. A point of interest is that Kent have been strengthened by the presence of James Harris of Middlesex in their ranks. 

LINKS AND PICTURES

First a piece from The Guardian titledLabour is right to reverse bus cuts. But it needs to go much furtherwritten by Manchester based campaigner Pascale Robinson.

Next a piece from Vox Political titledBenefit claimants are the modern equivalent of dogs to private landlords, say MPs

A piece from Cambria Jenkins titled “Take Care of Yourselves, Everyone – Especially You, Greta Thunberg“. This piece, written by an autistic person (as Greta Thunberg is as well), contains some good advice for those who struggle to take care of themselves and also some powerful but fair comment on the more neanderthal among Thunberg’s opponents, some of whom have publicly expressed the hope that she has a meltdown in public. For anyone who has experienced a meltdown (see here for an account of one) this is deeply offensive, and it should be outrageous to anyone.

A peition on wemove.eu to save the Ulcinj Dalina nature reserve.
Ulcinj

Also to counteract the one calling for him to be sacked there is now a petition in support of Chris Packham on change.org:

SupportPackham

My usual sign off…

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