Ending the drought.


           There are two well known ways to end an English drought. The first is to appoint a Minister for drought, or declare an official drought with policies to tackle it.

          The second is for twenty four grown men to put on white clothes and for thirteen of them to stride purposefully into the middle of a grass area with ten sticks placed in the centre.  Eleven MPs assembled with two umpires to do just this on Friday. Down came the rain.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† We were very disappointed. We wanted to play a game of cricket for the charity Chance¬†to Shine, to spread cricket widely through our community. It was the first time the Lords and Commons had been invited to play at Lords since 1939. Some of us were very conscious of the honour of playing at such a great ground,¬†one that¬†¬†our very modest cricket abilities and lack of training and practice¬†would have prevented us achieving¬†. Nonetheless we trust we helped the charity, and loved the ground and its facilities seen for the first time from¬† the player’s side. I would like to thank all involved. Perhaps a special thank you is due to Ed Balls¬†¬†who made the whole event so newsworthy.


  1. John B
    June 12, 2011

    Playing cricket for any cause with ‘Shine’ in its title surely was pushing your luck!

  2. Robert George
    June 12, 2011

    This is the mildest of complaints. It took me the best part of a minute to find ten rather than six. With my ability to count, perhaps Mr Millibrand could offer me a job? Balls perhaps!

  3. lifelogic
    June 12, 2011

    Yes Cricket will do it so will Wimbledon or the Met Office announcing a BBQ summer or the BBC telling you to plant drought resistant plants in your garden.

    The UK has plenty of water it is just just a question of storage, treatment, pumping good engineering, metering (sometimes) and money.

    1. lifelogic
      June 13, 2011

      Does this, mixing with the enemy (and politicians worldwide) alas, not perhaps help to lead to the group think that seems to make most MPs think in the same way? For example in regard to expenses, the EU, the size of government and similar. With MPs and government thinking in almost a BBC, big state, way. So often abusing their positions and acting in a conspiracy against the public’s interests and in the interest of the state sector and often their personal interests in so many ways.

  4. Peter Huntington
    June 12, 2011

    Well the drought has broken here. It has been raining in Worcester all morning so far. So well done the cricketers. But how about a move to compulsory water metering? Sounds a cause John should espouse.

  5. Bernard Otway
    June 12, 2011

    Look at how the Politics show this morning made PROPAGANDA of Ed Balls being a TEAM

  6. alan jutson
    June 12, 2011

    Well at least you did get out in the middle John (photographs of wicketkeeper Ed dropping a few deliveries in the Press).

    Must be one of the few times both yourself and Ed have been on the same side !

    Did you manage a few overs before the weather closed in ?

    Does the famouse slope go from left to right, or right to left.
    Suppose it depends from which end you are standing.

    What is good to see, is all personal differences put aside for a common good for once, shame it cannot happen more often, instead of most playing to the media most of the time.

    Reply: Unfortunately there was only time for a few overs from the opening bowlers so I did not get to bowl. I did field a few shots from Mid On. The slope seems bigger when you are on the playing area and runs from right down to left if facing the Pavilion.

  7. eddyh
    June 12, 2011

    We have a countrywide canal system. Why not use it to transfer the north’s surplus water to the south east?

    1. lifelogic
      June 13, 2011

      Pumping (and storing) water around is rather expensive (it is very heavy). Cheaper for the companies not to bother and just tell people to use less or restrict its use in any dry summers or just blame it all on “climate change”.

      1. Simon
        June 14, 2011

        One would have thought that desalination plants were even more expensive than building reservoirs .

        Is to too cynical to put the desalination plants down to vested interests and public subsidies ?

  8. electro-kevin
    June 12, 2011

    Very funny !

    I’d say the same about getting my motorcycle out from under wraps.

    Here’s hoping for a great season of cricket ahead.

  9. zorro
    June 12, 2011

    Flaming June eh?…..I see Ed Balls dropped a catch behind the wicket, a sure pair of hands…not….replicated by his butter fingers approach to public fingers as is becoming increasingly apparent.

    So John, in your considered opinion, who is the most effective parliamentary spinner? Is it a Labour or Tory MP? Are there any half decent cricketers among the Commons or Lords Spiritual and Temporal?


    Reply: We have no first class cricketers at the moment. Some have played decent Club cricket in the past. David Gauke and I were in the team to move the ball around by spin or seam. Most of us know our limitations but like the chance to find out how difficult it is to play the game really well.

  10. zorro
    June 12, 2011

    Er… I don’t mean ‘public fingers’, I mean the public finances….

  11. StevenL
    June 12, 2011

    I saw a picture on the front page of Mr Balls keeping wicket for you. Is he really the safest pair of hands in SW1?

  12. Richard
    June 12, 2011

    I envy your chance to actually play on Lords hallowed turf, an ambition I have held since I was very young.
    I have a dream of hitting a huge six into that awful press podule, seeing it then explode and disapear into a cloud of dust.

  13. Johnny Norfolk
    June 12, 2011

    You have done it John. Its raining real hard in Mid Norfolk first real rain for 3 months. Thanks.

    Reply: Glad to be of service!

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