Labour councils’ brutal, ideological assault on sports in schools, indeed on anything that could be seen as rewarding achievement, had not yet reached my excellent (Thank God) independent Alma Mater and so, in blazers with buttons brightly shined and sensible shoes, our form boarded the coach – no tedious risk assessments to give jobs to “teaching assistants” in those days – and set off with the Games Master to Headingley for the Test Match. We were Scottish of course, but the Union was strong then, long before the BBC’s crude propaganda and determination to embrace every trendy new cause, had undermined it. And where are we now as a result? Lumbered with the disastrous Edinburgh “government” of Alex Salmond and not a Scot in the England cricket team.
We sang a few songs on the coach down the A1 (but not too many, as our Headmaster had, rightly, recognised that music in schools is best delivered by what was an already blooming “Big Society” of talented ex-soldiers and librarians) and were soon at our campsite in the Dales. At 13years of age, we were left to scavenge for food locally and live on our wits and, you know, without any of the red tape of Health and Safety bureaucrats awarding each other jobs, we all got by just fine – except Malcolm.
With a few berries and an apple or two in our tuck boxes and a bottle of pop bought at the local grocery store – quaint, but overpriced, and now a Tesco Metro serving its community admirably – we took our seats to cheer on Bob Willis as he saw off the Australians (some of whom looked just the sort whose visa status should be checked and these days, thanks to a Conservative Government, would be) and victory was ours!
We returned that night – except Malcolm, obviously – and were grateful for the cold showers so kindly allowed us on an evening other than a Sunday in celebration of the victory. We were in chapel for prayers as usual at 6.30am the next morning and, you know, I think there was just a little more gusto than ever in our voices, as we raised them in the daily singing of the School Song.
The saddest thing about those wonderful summers gone by, is that the youngsters of today cannot enjoy what those of us born in the Sixties so relished. My reforms are working towards ensuring that the children born five decades later will have that opportunity – no matter what the wreckers in the Labour Party, Local Councils, The Unions, The BBC, Universities, The Press, The Liberal Democrats and a fair slice of The Conservative Party say. Free Schools will be free! The Govey Is Not For Turning!