Author's details

Name: Letters
Date registered: April 13, 2015
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/australia-cricket-team

Latest posts

  1. Snobbery that hasn’t been kicked into touch since David Storey’s playing days | Brief letters — March 29, 2017
  2. Fond memories of Gerald Kaufman | Letters — March 3, 2017
  3. UK goes for gold with ‘financial doping’ | Brief letters — February 21, 2017
  4. Lincoln City fans won’t forget Keith Alexander | Letters — January 30, 2017
  5. Football governance needs new independent review | Letter from Richard Caborn — December 15, 2016

Author's posts listings

Mar 29

Snobbery that hasn’t been kicked into touch since David Storey’s playing days | Brief letters

Rugby league v union | Civilian casualties | Incompetent TV detectives | Office thieves | Alcohol intake

The obituary of David Storey (28 March) mentioned that he attended Wakefield’s Queen Elizabeth grammar school. A council house boy, he actually won a state scholarship to this fee-paying establishment which was (and still is), of course, strictly rugby union. I have a letter he sent a few years ago in which he recalled that when he signed professionally with Leeds rugby league club, in 1951, the deputy head of QUEGS wrote to him to say that he had let the school down. “I think rugby league in those days was seen as a species of prostitution,” Storey added. Such attitudes undoubtedly informed his outlook and writing. It is a pity they still persist in some quarters.
David Hinchliffe
(Former Wakefield MP), Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

• President Obama may well have set up rules of engagement that insisted on “near certainty” that there would be no civilian casualties (Up to 130 civilians dead in Mosul airstrikes, 23 March). However, what does this mean when in 2016 alone the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs across the world? In contrast to Obama’s public concern for civilians, the independent monitoring group Air Wars estimates that a minimum of 2,715 to 3,925 civilians are likely to have died in US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria to 21 March 2017 – the vast majority under President Obama, not President Trump.
Ian Sinclair

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/mar/29/snobbery-that-hasnt-been-kicked-into-touch-since-david-storeys-playing-days

Mar 03

Fond memories of Gerald Kaufman | Letters

In your obituary of Gerald Kaufman (28 February), you refer to his support for the Palestinians. When I first met him, more than 30 years ago, he was a supporter of the Labour Friends of Israel and Poale Zion. It was the horror and brutality of Israel’s occupation and its refusal to concede a Palestinian state that led him to speak out, as a Jewish MP, against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. On 15 January 2009, at the time of Israel’s Cast Lead bombardment of Gaza, when 1,400 Palestinians were killed, Kaufman referred, in a speech in the House of Commons, to the death of his grandmother, who was killed by the Nazis in the Polish town of Staszów. In a powerful and memorable speech, he said: “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
Tony Greenstein

• I was disappointed that your obituary of Gerald Kaufman made no mention of his being, with John Smith, a sponsored MP of the Boilermakers Society before that union amalgamated with the GMWU in 1982. It was a position he was proud of, as was shown in the speech he made in the Commons when John Smith died in 1994. There was ribald laughter in the Commons when he made the speech in what was a Tory-dominated chamber. Sadly, today’s politicians do not have his gift.
Harry Ripkey

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/03/fond-memories-of-gerald-kaufman

Feb 21

UK goes for gold with ‘financial doping’ | Brief letters

Sports funding | Olympic spirit | Expats and migrants | Mammoths | Robot right to vote | Weetabix prize | Lardy buster

We are horrified when countries are found to have allowed their athletes to use drugs to improve their performance. The UK now seems to be using “financial doping” to give their athletes that extra edge (Sports cast adrift in drive for Olympic medals, Sport, 21 February). UK sport now seems to want “best medal success to make the nation proud” and blow all the athletes who might only be the fourth best at their sport in the world.
Ron Brewer
Old Buckenham, Norfolk

• Not winning but taking part; Baron de Coubertin must be spinning in his grave.
Chantal Legg

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/21/uk-goes-for-gold-with-financial-doping

Jan 30

Lincoln City fans won’t forget Keith Alexander | Letters

The current success of Lincoln City in the FA Cup has inevitably brought to mind similar achievements in the 1970s when the late Graham Taylor was manager. However, your headline (a quotation from an Imps fan) suggesting that the Cowley brothers have made the “biggest impact on the city and club since Graham Taylor” (Sport, 28 January) disregards the contribution of the late Keith Alexander, who led Lincoln to four consecutive League Two finals and two play-offs at the Millennium Stadium between 2002 and 2006. As importantly, he was a respected and dignified member of the community until his death aged 53 in 2010, his contribution to the life of the city being recognised by the thousands who attended his funeral in Lincoln Cathedral.
Linda Richardson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/30/lincoln-city-fans-wont-forget-keith-alexander

Dec 15

Football governance needs new independent review | Letter from Richard Caborn

“Without government support, a shakeup of football’s archaic regulatory structure will achieve nothing,” you say (Editorial, 13 December). That is why in 2004 Lord Burns was asked to review the governance of football jointly by the government and the FA. This government-initiated independent review resulted, contrary to press speculation, in the FA accepting the Burns report recommendations, ie appointment of an independent chair; creation of a new board with two non-executives; establishing a new regulation and compliance unit to carry out the enforcement of the FA; creation of two new subsidiaries – the Community Football Alliance and the Professional Football Alliance; and expanding the current FA Council into a “parliament of football”, which will include players, managers, referees and supporters.

As the sports minister in October 2006, I welcomed the FA Council’s acceptance of the Burns recommendations as “a step in the right direction”, but fully acknowledging that more would need to be done. So it’s unfortunate that the three past independent chairs of the FA have chosen to write to the select committee, after leaving the job, calling for government intervention rather than to have initiated a further review with government support to build on the modernisation changes that brought them into office.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/dec/15/football-governance-needs-new-independent-review

Nov 30

Snowflake’s fourfold symmetry is pure fantasy | Brief letters

Snowflake graphic | Safe spaces | Nurses without degrees | French cake history | Tennis and risk of death | Fivers, ponies and monkeys

When is a snowflake not a snowflake? Answer: when it has fourfold symmetry, like the graphic used with your article (Poor little snowflake, G2, 29 October). How could you make such a mistake? If you are determined to include a snowflake graphic, please get it right. Your snowflakes appear to be made of cubic ice, a metastable polymorph not seen in blizzards or snowballs. An interesting idea but sadly a fantasy. Regular bog-standard ice comprises a hexagonal array of water molecules, so snowflakes likewise have sixfold symmetry. You silly snowflakes!
Roger Davey

• Young people’s need for “safe spaces” is completely understandable. I’m quite old now but still need mine: it’s my bedroom, usually with a favourite book and a cat. But speakers’ platforms and debating chambers are intended as verbal battlegrounds and have no business being anybody’s safe space.
Jan Chamier

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/30/snowflakes-fourfold-symmetry-is-pure-fantasy

Nov 21

The Two Cultures and Bobby Charlton | Brief letters

CP Snow synchronicity | Eating river rats in Norfolk and France | Rugby: women in, Scotland out | Female leaders chosen at birth | The White Queen’s dictum

CP Snow’s essay on The Two Cultures (Editorial, 21 November) was published in the New Statesman on 6 October 1956 – also the day of Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United debut and my wife Lucy’s birth. For what it’s worth, I’m unrepentantly on the FR Leavis side of the debate: science can learn far more from the humanities than the other way round.
David Kynaston

• During the 1960s coypu eradication campaign in the Norfolk Broads, my mother regularly served a tasty coypu stew, including, on one occasion, to newspaper and BBC journalists (Waiter, there’s a rat in my burger: rodent on the menu in Moscow, 19 November). We children were under strict instructions to say, if asked, that it was rabbit.
Mary Stiff
Broadclyst, Devon

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/nov/21/the-two-cultures-and-bobby-charlton

Nov 16

England cricket team proves British Asians have passed Norman Tebbit’s test | Letter

Ali Martin notes that the England cricket team currently includes four Muslims of Asian ancestry (Sport, 16 November). Many of us are old enough to remember Norman Tebbit’s “cricket test”, which was used to imply that Asians, and perhaps Muslims in particular, might not be quite British enough. Can we agree that the cricket test, if it was ever valid, has been definitively passed?
Athar Yawar

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/16/england-cricket-team-proves-british-asians-have-passed-norman-tebbits-test

Oct 12

Theresa May reminds me of the great Margaret Rutherford | Brief letters

Heathrow runway | Theresa May | Golf club banter | Private education | School cadet forces

By threatening the government with legal action over a new Heathrow runway (Report, 11 October), Theresa May’s local council will be at odds with most MPs and many of its own residents and businesses. Windsor and Maidenhead council claims it was elected on a mandate to oppose expansion, but local taxpayers have not given the council permission to hand over tens of thousands to expensive lawyers. Many would prefer their hard-earned cash to be spent on creating local jobs, not preventing them.
Rob Gray
Director, Back Heathrow

• Denigrating the role of the British prime minister to that of clothes horse for high fashion is not just sexist (Personal political broadcast, G2, 11 October); such focus on female appearance is a needless distraction from the increasingly damaging rightwing policies of the Tory government.
Rachel Burgess
Wokingham, Berkshire

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/12/theresa-may-reminds-me-of-the-great-margaret-rutherford

Oct 04

Endless amusement provided by sketch that omitted Tories’ view of Liam Fox | Brief letters

I, Daniel Blake | Donald Trump and tax | The C of E’s wealth | Girls, boys, women, men | European Ryder Cup team | John Crace’s sketch

Jeff Lewis makes a plea for an updated version of Cathy Come Home (Letters, 28 September). Ken Loach’s new film I, Daniel Blake describes the present iniquities that exist for those drawn into the benefits and housing support system in England. It is as poignant and concerning as Cathy Come Home, and should be viewed by all our politicians.
Ian Proudfoot

• Re Trump’s suspected non-payment of taxes (Report, 3 October): the US war of independence was based on the demand of no taxation without representation. Should the American people also demand no representation without taxation?
Ruth Sharratt
Bangor, Gwynedd

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/04/endless-amusement-provided-by-sketch-that-omitted-tories-view-of-liam-fox

Aug 25

How Jeremy’s jammy dodge beat the critics | Brief letters

Jeremy Corbyn’s jam | Unpopular words | Bolt versus Farah | When Harry calls

As a staunch Corbyn supporter anyway, I would like to report that nothing has strengthened my support more that to read that Jeremy was “making jam” (Report, 25 August) when “Labour sources”, ie whingeing critics, were trying to reach him. Here is a man who knows that in the middle of a row fabricated by an alliance of billionaire tax exiles and a rightwing press, the best approach is to ignore it and get out the preserving pan and the soft fruit. A toast (and jam) to Jeremy!
Karl Sabbagh
Bloxham, Oxfordshire

• Re your article mentioning “moist” as an early contender for least popular word (Report, 25 August). Three years ago I was accused of being “moist” by my then 16-year-old son, when I refused to play a 27th game of table tennis. In the then parlance it meant pathetic. Admittedly, not a particular favourite of mine, it found a new admirer in the way it had been given a modern twist. This year however, I was called “certy”.
Christopher Knapton

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/25/how-jeremys-jammy-dodge-beat-the-critics

Aug 24

A Daley reminder of decathlete Thompson’s great achievement | Letters

While the Cabinet Office and various committees are considering the “special circumstances” applying to honours for the victorious and deserving athletes returning from Rio (PM hints at bumper Olympics honours list, 23 August), perhaps they could spend a minute or two contemplating awarding a knighthood to Britain’s greatest ever all-round athlete, Daley Thompson, who won the decathlon in 1980 and 1984 with nothing like the financial support of today’s winners.

At a time when other athletes were awarded knighthoods, he was given the lower-ranking CBE. It leaves some of us wondering whether he was penalised for having a sense of humour… or some other reason.
Helen Middleton-Price
Twickenham, Middlesex

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/aug/24/a-daley-reminder-of-decathlete-thompson-great-achievement

Aug 23

Theresa May tops Trump when it comes to nukes | Brief letters

Nuclear weapons | Olympics and obesity | Medals as honours | Moaning about Brexit | Cryptic confusion

Stuart Jeffries draws our attention to Trump’s problematic attitude to nuclear weapons (Armageddon in a bag, G2, 23 August). Would he use them? You bet. However, no such horror was displayed when Theresa May was asked if she would authorise a nuclear attack that could kill 100,000 people and she replied “yes”. Is it because we think that the true answer is “no”. Or have we not recognised the Trump within?
Margaret Squires
St Andrews, Fife

• It is utterly depressing that not a single politician has recommended creating a secretary of state for sport and health education. We can’t have a successful Olympics (again) and not recognise that fewer people are playing sport while our obesity rates are climbing. The political system needs to address these issues through one new government department.
Derek Wyatt
(Former MP and rugby international), London

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/23/theresa-may-tops-trump-when-it-comes-to-nukes

Aug 22

GB’s medal haul as a source of national pride | Letters

The Guardian (Final medal table, Sport, 22 August), BBC News and various other British media all triumphantly misreport Great Britain as ranking second in the Rio Olympics medal table by virtue of its total 67 medals. But China got 70 medals, while GB only came third on this criterion. However, British hubris may be restored to second rank if we judiciously assign 3, 2 and 1 points to gold, silver and bronze medals respectively. Then Britain’s 67 medals score a total 144 points, compared with China’s 70 medals scoring only 140 points and USA’s 121 medals scoring 250 points.
Alex Bellamy

• Compared with 40 or 50 years ago, when we won next to nothing, GB’s medal haul is supposed to give us a great feeling of national achievement and pride. But in the 1960s and 70s we saw the creation and expansion, under the aegis of the Sports Council, of local leisure centres where ordinary people could enjoy sport for its own sake. Now many these are threatened with closure or have been converted into private facilities with expensive fees. Gold medals for elite athletes, or sport for all? Which do we prefer?
Jeff Hill
Church Stretton, Shropshire

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/22/gbs-medal-haul-as-a-source-of-national-pride

Aug 22

Semenya’s gold is being tarnished by hormone row | Letters

I find your article on the stunning performance of the South African athlete Caster Semenya unbalanced (Caster Semenya wins Olympic gold but faces more scrutiny as IAAF presses case, Sport, 21 August). The court of arbitration for sport made a careful …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/22/semenyas-gold-is-being-tarnished-by-hormone-row

Aug 08

On the Water, a tale of rowing and friendship | Letters

The surprising omission from John Dugdale’s recommendations for books on rowing (Best books for the Olympics, 6 August) is the 20th century Dutch masterpiece Over den water (1998)  by HM van den Brink. Paul Vincent’s beautiful translation, On the Water (Faber and Faber, 2001), was acclaimed by English reviewers, including the Guardian’s own Daniel Topolski (16 February 2001). This is a unique and enthralling representation in fiction of what competitive rowing feels like. Set in prewar Amsterdam, it tells in exciting and moving detail how the seemingly mismatched coxless pair, shy Anton and self-confident David, are transformed from awkward partners into triumphantly cooperative oarsmen and become, in the process, the truest of friends. Narrated by Anton, who has lost his adored compatriot in the devastation of the second world war, it is a subtle bittersweet evocation of a summer of perfect happiness.
Alistair Stead

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/on-the-water-a-tale-of-rowing-and-friendship

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