Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No instant judgements

I'm going to break the habit of a lifetime today and not rush to instant judgement of today's Budget. This is partly because now that I am no longer a political news reporter I can afford to take a slightly more reflective approach to such things, but also of course because it's a well-known fact that any Budget that looks good/bad on the day invariably looks the opposite 48 hours later.

I will however comment on the selection of the British Lions Rugby Squad, and it is to say that English players have on the whole been pretty harshly treated. While I myself predicted a couple of months back that the squad would have a distinctly Celtic air about it, I still reckon Tom Croft and Delon Armitage in particularly have been very unlucky not to make the 37.

Ian McGeechan says he has picked the squad purely on form over the last three months, but someone with as long a rugby pedigree as Geech surely knows that while form is temporary, class is permanent. Besides Croft and Armitage, other "class" players who can count themselves unfortunate are Ryan Jones, Gavin Henson, Mike Blair, James Hook, Dwayne Peel and Josh Lewsey. By contrast some of the players who have made it strike me as journeymen.

McGeechan will no doubt prove me wrong and win the series, as he did in 1997, but I still can't escape the feeling that this is not our strongest squad.

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Ted Foan said...

I agree with you on Armitage and Croft. Bit surprised that Vickery is there but he is an old trooper. Earls? Don't think I've come across him so can't judge. I hope Halfpenny does well but I would have preferred Cueteo. Surprised that Mongye has made it this time but he has real talent.

It's only a short tour so Geech has probably had an eye on character and ability to "slot" in quickly. I think we could do surprisingly well as long as the preparation is well organised.

Ted Foan said...

Oh, and as for the budget - no need to wait 48 hours Paul. It's disastrous for the country and for Labour. The 'soak the rich' tax hike was very cynical and totally unnecessary. If I was still in business I'd be planning to relocate.

Oli Parker said...

Oh come on Paul - I logged on here especially for your comments on the budget, and there are none to see!

(FWIW, I'm with Ted Foan in calling it a disaster, for more reasons than just the 'soak the rich' angle.)


VFTN said...

You don't need time to reflect on this Budget, Paul - we're in desparate trouble and it's going to take years to get out of it.