We awoke this morning to the news that the BBC had discovered fresh dangers lurking in the undergrowth to damage your children for life.
Not all children, naturally. Those who play football are apparently safe, despite the preponderance of injuries reported amongst professional players, especially those just signed for millions of pounds from foreign shores. Football is acknowledged as a working class sport, and those kids are tough…
It is Rugby in the firing line. Not even all Rugby, but that brand of professional Rugby known as ‘Union’. Rugby ‘League’ has for generations been stripped of the need for ‘dangerous’ contact. Listen to Tulson Tullett, who switched from League to Union:
Fewer league forwards tend to switch because league is a simpler game to play: there are no line-outs, rucks, mauls and so on, and the technicalities at these areas are something that take time and understanding to master.
However, Rugby Union tends to be played at the ‘elite’ schools, and thus is forever associated with those woolly-woofters known as VIPs…[Ed: summit wrong here surely?] Typical of the coverage by the left wing media is this from the Guardian, describing the alma mater of Will Carling:
Sedbergh, a near-medieval public school nestled among steepling fells in Cumbria, is a 6am-run-and-bracing-shower sort of institution. Over centuries, it has hewn an abundance of military strategists, statesmen and polar explorers.
For several years, the loudest voice amongst the critics of Rugby Union was that of Allyson Pollock, a professor of public health research and policy, stern critic of any form of privatisation of the NHS. What she is not so keen that you should be aware of lately, is that she has a very personal interest in this matter.
Allyson’s son, unaccountably for such a severe critic of choice and privatisation in the NHS, was at just the sort of elite school that teaches its little darlings to play Rugby Union – so we may assume that it wasn’t the local comprehensive. On the rugby field, one of the nasty big boys tackled her little precious, and gave him a broken nose, a fractured leg and a fractured cheekbone with concussion. She has been on the war path ever since, demanding that Rugby be turned into a form of tag played with a nice soft ball.
She does have a point – if her political Lords and Masters are determined to send the Vanguard-class out armed with cotton wool buds, instead of Trident to frighten the nasty Argies, then we really don’t have need of a generation of boys trained to have the skill, courage or stamina to become ‘military strategists, statesmen and polar explorers’ rather than refugees in the nearest university ‘safe space’ or bawling because the Iraqis have confiscated their iPod.
There are, however, many who would profoundly disagree with her. Not least those on the receiving end of Rugby League – the ‘safer alternative’…
Is she right, is the ‘protection of children’ a major failing in Rugby Union? Should they be doing a roots and branches overhaul of the manner in which they protect vulnerable youngsters? A Dame Janet style review of all the information? Hire top flight experts like Allyson Pollock to advise them and point out how badly they are letting down the children in their care?
It might surprise you to find that they have already done so – spent a considerable amount of money doing so.
Excuse me; I have to compose myself. Get my breath back. If I stop laughing it would help.
I have a feeling that you are about to see not a ‘reverse ferret’, but a ‘three-point turning whilst doing wheelies and shooting backwards clean through the garage wall ferret’…..
The expert hired to take care of the protection of children whilst under the auspices of Rugby Union is none other than the Chewing GumShoe himself.
Pollock v. Pillock. ‘Tis a mirage made in heaven.