Sunday, January 22, 2006

Harrison Bergeron

Sports Minister Ruth Kelly today promised that teams would not be allowed to select players by footballing ability.

In a bid to reassure critics of the sports white paper, Ms Kelly said selection would be against the law.

She insisted the code on transfers would be statutory.

Asked if selection by ability would be against the law, Ms Kelly replied: "Absolutely full stop against the law. I can give you a categorical assurance that that’s the case."

Ms Kelly told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme she was confident Labour opponents could be brought on board.

Ms Kelly said independence for clubs meant giving them “the freedom to succeed”.

She said they could manage their own assets and employ their own staff and have more freedom over tactics.

Ms Kelly denied the Government would have to rely on Tory support to get the plans through the Commons. She said the Tories had adopted a “common sense” position which was very close to the Government.

Shadow sports minister David Willetts said people had lost sight of the fact there could be selection within clubs.

He said an increase in setting would mean players could be coached with others of similar ability without large-scale transfers between clubs.

“We think that is a good practical way of raising the quality of football,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.
Find and replace is a wonderful tool in a word processor don't you think? Do you remember this Kurt Vonnegut story from over forty years ago?

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren’t quite right, though. April, for instance,
still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron’s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

Read on.

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