Making the rules

I was told this week that we do not talk much about Europe. To be more precise, we do not talk about the workings of the European Parliament. The comment came from one of our regional Euro MPs, who was meeting the press at a now annual gathering in the ho

I was told this week that we do not talk much about Europe.

To be more precise, we do not talk about the workings of the European Parliament.

The comment came from one of our regional Euro MPs, who was meeting the press at a now annual gathering in the hope we become interested in the decision-making process in Brussels.

Our man in Europe happened to say that explaining the European Parliament was about as difficult as talking about the rules of cricket.


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He seems to have a point.

Indeed, the laws and regulations from Europe are, in spite of on occasions being ridiculous and annoying, are in the end understood.

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Now in cricket, we have so many rules. Who really does understand the Duckworth-Lewis rule? Someone did attempt to explain this piece of complicated arithmetic, but to no avail.

It was much easier in times past, when a day at Lord's or The Oval was simply watching a game of cricket without the need of a computer and calculator - or a thick copy of the rules from the MCC.

Those were the days, when we had John Arlott and EW Swanton, and the always brilliant Neville Cardus reporting on the game in our morning newspapers.

It was the days when Compton and Edrich, and Washbrook and Hutton were the heroes, and Laker was becoming the scourge of Australia.

I do not think we had crisis meetings over the decisions of selectors.

It was simply a question of playing the game to rules which could be understood.

Still, I suppose, we shall see the latest outcome of cricket in crisis in the Third Test Match against South Africa at Edgbaston next week.

Meanwhile, our understanding of Europe is confined in most part to the Champions League and the Uefa Cup.

And that may be all we need to know about life on the continent.

To tell the truth, however, I think I would be more inclined to have the European Parliament explained than the meanings of Duckworth-Lewis.

Perhaps we all need to have a certain amount of knowledge about the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, the Court of Justice of the European Communities, and even the European Ombudsman.

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