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There was an hour this afternoon when the snow outside my window was a blizzard and it looked like – for once – the monuments and by-ways of central London would be shrouded in white. At exactly the same time it seemed like something exciting (I’m not saying good or bad, just ‘exciting’) might be happening in politics. Hoon and Hewitt had called for a ballot and there was an eerie silence from the Cabinet. And at just that moment Strauss and Cook were charging into an unbroken century partnership chasing the improbable target of 466 in South Africa.

And then

The snow turned to sleet leaving the West End soggy, dirty and dispiriting. The Cabinet started to troop out one by one to give their scripted support to the Prime Minister, and England lost three wickets for less than thirty runs.

It’s probably best that we don’t have to deal with snow piled high. Maybe it will turn out that the Labour party did right to stick with their leader. And no one can begrudge the South Africans their deserved win.

And yet I feel, as they say, like someone ‘who’s lost a shilling and found a penny’.


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