Curious

I wrote this last night. I didn’t enjoy writing it and have had thoughts about whether to publish it. Quite a lot of the time I try to be humorous when having a pop at a journalist, but in this case, I couldn’t find the humour. Is it our fault?

So read on…..bilious inadequates.

There are advantages and disadvantages of being 3500 miles away when stories break. I’m a bit more removed from the sources of the stories than if in the UK, but also I’m not at work and I do find this sort of thing quite relaxing, believe it or not. But this Moores story is one of the oddest in an odd 16 months or so. Once again a major story is put out in advance of the agreements being signed or deeds being worked upon, and the ECB’s media strategy, whatever it is, has gone up in smoke. The new man in the role, name not known at present, hasn’t had a much better time than his predecessor.

This is not an ECB leak. We’ve been assured this by all and sundry, except, interestingly, Jonathan Agnew who appears to be jumping to the conclusion that we have. BOC has been informed that this was not an ECB leak, but will not be told who has spoken. Fair enough. But you could be forgiven for thinking “so what” if they did tell us. What difference would it make? Luke Sutton had been tweeting away yesterday about how bloody unfair it all was, and I’m wondering out loud about who might be the source, but I am only guessing. This isn’t right. It can’t be right. The ECB may be anal about leaks, but they seem pretty hopeless in stopping them.

Which brings me to dear old Mike. He’s been on form today. Let’s go through a couple of his golden greats. I like this one:

Too many people here do not understand how journalism works. And too many look for conspiracy where there is none. And do you seriously think we would give up the sources of our stories? Get real, as Farage once said.

This is getting out of hand. You ain’t the victim here, Michael, the paying cricketing public are. You get to sit around, write and watch games as a job. Many of us would love that role. You seem to think it better to sit behind your keyboard admonishing the great unwashed for being reasonably on form when it comes to the way the governing body has acted for the last 18 months. To say “too many people here do not understand how journalism works” is hilarious. You don’t have the faintest idea how social media and blogs work, as judged by your dismissive attitude to anyone disagreeing with you. I fundamentally disagree with a number of journalists, but have a decent online relationship with a few, because, to a degree, I get how journalism works. What I don’t get is how what you does works? When we see Moores shabbily treated like this, what are we supposed to do? Say “oh, well done ECB. Another bang up job done.” Even if the ECB did not leak, THEY ARE SACKING HIM AND THEREFORE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT INFORMATION. You made a decision and decided to tell certain people of that decision and no doubt stressed its confidential nature. If that person then went on to leak it, you’d have to question your judgement. Or am I being too harsh here?

Which brings me on to part two of Selvey’s beauty. “Too many look for conspiracy when there is none.” Nothing drives me, and I suspect those who comment on here in record numbers each month, more mad than this “I know what is going on but I’m not tellling you.” Then, to compound it, they make less than subtle digs at your sanity for thinking there might be more to things than meet the eye.

The ECB are firing a Head Coach, which while I’m not completely against the decision, is a shocking development and the way it has been “released” to the public, by what appears on the face of it to be a synchronised piece in three newspapers at 12 noon, screams out for someone to try to connect the dots! “Too many see a conspiracy” when clearly someone has coordinated this piece of information’s release (that’s how it looks). So we’ll question the timing, the synchronisation and the content. This isn’t the 19th century where we just take the view of our Lords and Masters. We try to investigate, try to get to the bottom of this and theorise. Because, at heart, we are inquisitive and want to know what is going on. To dismiss this as the work of “conspiracy theorists”, which is a dog whistle for “nutters” – a charge thrown at us regularly, and dismissed just as easily as the accusations of the morons throwing it – is insulting your readership. I’m so sorry about that Mr Selvey Sir (I tug my forelock).

In the third part, I don’t expect you to give up your sources, because I understand to a degree how journalism works. I’ve learned a lot talking to some journalists about it, funnily enough. I share as much as I can with my readership, because I don’t want to betray trusts. I’ve never been asked not to say something (I don’t think so) but recognise that balance needs to be struck. However, once my information is confirmed I let people know what I know. Don’t tell me to get real (because I believe this stuff is aimed at the likes of me and my readership). You get real. Work out why the people BTL have turned against you in large numbers in a way not seen anywhere else. Work out why Ali Martin, Nick Hoult, Lawrence Booth, Scyld Berry, Dean Wilson and even John Etheridge get better social media reactions than you. Because they don’t treat their readership like the shit on their shoes. Don’t go hiding behing a ridiculous article by Ed Smith (he’s so clever, just ask him) to prove that those who disagree with you are just a voluble minority (who can be ignored), when that minority are pretty adept at reading between the lines, and don’t like this secret squirrel bs. The secret, silent majority may pay their ticket prices and pipe down, but then who is to say that they aren’t thinking “this is a bit of a shambles, isn’t it?” You can’t keep assuming their silence means consent.

Peter Moores, although he’s not a favourite on here, has never ever had his commitment questioned. He’s tried his hardest, and although I think he should have gone after the World Cup, has tried to keep this team on the road. The “antis” should not ever question that. It was the ECB who gave him the hospital pass, it was the ECB who “bigged him up”, it was the ECB trumpeting every success, backed up by a largely compliant press who were always primed to provide six inches of mitigation if we just held on for a couple of balls more. Lots of us had doubts, ongoing doubts, but we were told to pipe down about them because we beat India in a test series. We may have had those doubts, but I’m not here to bury Moores. I’m here because I get angry when I see someone treated very, very badly by authority or whoever it was who leaked this. Moores is another one spat out by this machine. Excuse me if I theorise over what happened. You get real.

I see journalism. I see a victim. I’ll theorise.

Contrast this with Ali Martin’s reponse to wctt:

And you’d been complimentary about my work early on too. Ok, I have seen both your comments today and while they stung a wee bit, no one is more aware that my writing style is not a patch on some of my illustrious colleagues than myself. What I would say is that while they turn out the beautiful flowing prose, I work very hard to source cricket news stories and share it with the readership as soon as I can turn it around. Not every piece can be Cardus – it’s news, ultimately, and that is my brief. When it comes to great writers, the Guardian had an abundance.

I respect Ali’s work a lot. He gets “us” to a degree and if I’m not putting words into his mouth, doesn’t think a great way to carry on is to piss off his customer base. Which includes those who disagree and those who agree.

Unlike this.

Good night all. Bilious inadequates. Remember, those silent and who don’t comment on blogs or the newspapers think that too.

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30 thoughts on “Curious

  1. SimonH May 9, 2015 / 2:09 pm

    Strauss appointment is official. Harrison said:

    “Andrew’s breadth of ideas, his passion for England cricket and his proven leadership skills shone out. He was an exceptional England captain, is an authoritative voice on the modern game and has a wealth of experience building successful teams.

    “Andrew’s also widely respected across the sporting landscape. We’re delighted he’s joining us at the ECB as we set out to create a new strategy for the game.”

    Like

  2. Andy May 9, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Is it me reading too much into it or not – the last line of Martins quote

    “When it comes to great writers, the Guardian had an abundance.”

    Had….

    Like

  3. Andy May 9, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Sorry for the drip feed reply’s

    Re strauss – I’ll wait to be surprised, but I doubt he is going to be anything other than a mouthpiece for the ECB

    He was a dull commentator (the cricket version of Michael Owen?), I expect him to be a dull MD, or whatever the role is branded as.

    As for ‘Authoritative on modern cricket’ – Hows that T20i record Mr Strauss (guess it doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand it, but he sure didn’t play it)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thebogfather May 9, 2015 / 2:49 pm

    check out new twitter ‘person’ @BilyUsInAdEq…. apparently he’ll be getting under the MSM/ECB skins in due time….. hehe

    Like

  5. dvyk May 9, 2015 / 2:57 pm

    Selvey would be better off reflecting on the criticism he receives instead of insulting people. To quote one long time regular commenter at the Gu–
    ————-
    “Dear Mike,
    I am very sorry for the unkind things, sometimes abuse, directed at you. This has never been by me. For a number of years I read your work, and learned to read it properly. I saw how much information you were trying to communicate, and I always appreciated it enormously. You and I have conversed below the line, and while I have sometimes questioned or disagreed, I have always listened…..
    ……I have been so deeply, deeply disappointed by your writing over the last year. It has often appeared jaundiced, protective, and unedifying. I have kept this to myself, and I say it now only from a place of genuine sadness, because your writing has always mattered greatly to me.
    All I can say, Mike, is if you’ve lost me, then things are pretty bad.
    Yours respectfully,
    quebecer.”
    ————-

    And he responds to that with complaints about “bilious inadequates”.
    For my part, I referred to Selvey in quite insulting terms on this blog the other day, but if he doesn’t like insults he shouldn’t use them himself. I got placed on permanent moderation for politely expressing a reasonable opinion he doesn’t like. I never insulted him or anyone else there. But he calls players “parasites” or “pests” or “numpties” etc, and pursues agendas against specific players while licking Cook’s boots. And then he whines when people lose respect for him. He’s worse than Cook when it comes to petty-mindedness and flouncing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. thebogfather May 9, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    Dmitri…your best ‘rant’ ever, sad to say that Selvey would never, understand…. thank you

    Like

  7. Clivejw May 9, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Dmitri, which article is that Ali Martin quote from? Thanks.

    Like

  8. Mark May 9, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    Good lord, he’s quoting Nigel Farage!

    Surely Selvey can see how badly Moores has been treated. Making him go all the way to Ireland yesterday is a real, real low for the ECB. Memories of Gower with his shirt…. “I’m still in charge.”

    No wonder he doesn’t think there was any dressing room bullying or KP genius was just dandy. The man treats his readers and anyone he thinks is beneath him like a 18 th century plantation owner.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Benny May 9, 2015 / 4:28 pm

    OK maybe I don’t understand how journalism works. Can’t think of any other profession that feels it part of its role to pick fights with the public. Clearly a more complex job than I realised. I expect that Selvey only took it up because the job centre had no rocket scientist vacancies when he quit cricket.

    Like

  10. Zephirine May 9, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    I thought the Ali Martin response (it was a BTL comment. clive) was interesting in that he seemed slightly more stung than I’d have expected. Then it occurred to me that we’ve been nice about him here but not over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mark May 9, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    I’ll give you a bit of his style of journalism.

    I have it on good authority that Mr Selvey is going to get the sack next week. Can’t tell you how I know this, but I just do. Would be wrong to give up my source. And I don’t have the decency to wait for the official announcement. Deal with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart May 10, 2015 / 8:38 am

      And don’t expect me to engage critically or confirm my source’s version of events, I’m just telling you what I know. You bilious inadequates.

      Like

    • thebogfather May 10, 2015 / 9:38 am

      Mr Selvey was informed of his due departure a few weeks ago (my official sources say), he accepted this with candour and immediately put in place a press embargo to prevent further discussion and thus upset the MSM cabal. This he managed imperiously by blocking me on twitter…

      Like

  12. paulewart May 9, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    a shocking development – not really
    Fine piece Dmitri, though I’d like to offer a couple of suggestions:

    The victim here is Peter Moores, not the paying cricketing public, not Selvey, not us readers. Let’s maintain perspective. We don’t want to appear one-eyed or entitled it would give Mike and his ilk too much satisfaction.Likewise I’m sure his comments are aimed at anyone who happens to disagree with him rather than your readers. Mike fears critical thought. Why? Because it’s generally taken as a sign of life: sentience. Bluff dismissal and ‘common sense’ is a strategy familiar to the English. It keeps us in our place.

    You’re right to distinguish between pre-digital journalism and social media. Mike grew up when the relationship between broadsheet journalists and the public was quasi-religious at worst, feudal at best. The printed word was delivered from on high, journalists were rarely openly challenged due ot the nature of the media and the general deference abroad at the time. That may explain why he’s so very, very thin-skinned; he was to the manor born, but the manor’s changed and he doesn’t like it. Then again, it’s just possible that journalists were respected because they tended to focus on cricket rather than scurrilous rumours and smear campaigns. Similarly journalists like Arlott and Keating were very much ‘outside cricket’ and maintained a healthy distance from those who ran the game: in short they were sceptical because they didn’t rely on those who ran the game for their match reports.

    Mike increasingly reads like an analogue journalist in a digital age. When you start losing WCTT you know you’re in trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 9, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      I didn’t get the Moores as victim across too much, and that’s understood. Moores is a victim of shabby internal politics and an appalling lack of respect. I may have been critical of much of what he has done – I mean how can you not after that World Cup campaign – but that doesn’t mean I disliked him. He never came across as entitled, just a man pleased to be given another shot at the top job. I’ve not belittled him, I don’t think. I believe I’ve been pretty fair. He never really had a chance.

      Where I believe we are victims, again, is how the paying public have been treated by the ECB. Aggers, for all his sins, alludes to it today in his piece, but I think for slightly different reasons. The ECB are an example of how not to run things, and yet again, those outside cricket sit and wonder how much worse they can do. Now, at least, some of the media are seeing it with their own eyes now it’s happened to one of their chosen ones.

      Cheers, Paul. Always a good read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart May 9, 2015 / 5:20 pm

        i know, and i don’t mean to sound sanctimonious. Your earlier piece was commendable as noted. I’m just conscious that if read as a discrete commentary, this piece could provide ammunition to those ‘inside cricket’ and we know how they operate. I agree with your wider point too, but the ‘victim’ angle could, it taken out of context, feed the beast.

        Like

    • Benny May 9, 2015 / 9:56 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more. In olden times, and I go back a long way, journos gave you the news. Now, by the time the papers hit the streets, we already know the facts. So these well paid chaps have to fill a blank space with something else – rumour, gossip, fantasy, made up stuff – or their editors will be saying “what do I pay you for?”. Whether they are now redundant or not is the question. Imho Yes. I see no need to buy a newspaper. However, if they gave up, I would miss this intelligent and entertaining blog

      Like

  13. paulewart May 9, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    Your blog though, obviously!

    Like

  14. metatone May 9, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    I lost it with MS when he condescended to me on the matter of England injury management, only for the issue to keep troubling the team time and again. If he won’t investigate it, I think I’m entitled to suggest that the G should employ someone who will…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Zephirine May 9, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    “the way it has been “released” to the public, by what appears on the face of it to be a synchronised piece in three newspapers at 12 noon, screams out for someone to try to connect the dots! “

    Nick Knight seems to have told somebody that Moores was going and he was in line for a job, according to Michael Calvin in the Independent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart May 9, 2015 / 8:38 pm

      But who told Nick Knight? And who decided it was a good idea to run with the story? Oh….hold on….

      Like

  16. Ali Martin May 10, 2015 / 8:29 am

    Hello all, just wanted to say that ‘had’ in last line of reply to westcork was vey much a Graun typo – should 100% have been that the Guardian has an abundance of great writers. But then his subsequent comments about me have made me regret engaging at all…. hey ho.

    My two penneth: the ECB’s biggest and most damaging mistake was making the decision to sack Moores and then sitting on it that information while they dawdled over when to confirm the already open secret that was Strauss. That it got out before Moores was informed was almost inevitable from the moment they decided to hold off and let a decent bloke fly across the Atlantic to Dublin to take charge of a game that had no relevance him, rather than inform him immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart May 10, 2015 / 1:00 pm

      Good of you to engage openly with the bilious hypocrites Ali. You’ll find there’s nothing to fear here.

      Like

    • paulewart May 10, 2015 / 1:15 pm

      I shouldn’t take wctt to seriously btw. Displacement, pure and simple. He is no longer able to defend the indefensible so attacks the new guy in the room.

      Like

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