The sun might be shining with the promise of a glorious weekend ahead, but that’s no excuse to bunk off work and sit in the park and eat ice cream. Or so we’ve been told.
Anyway, this week we look at how climate change protestors managed to disrupt events at the heart of politics with the cancellation of a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering, and how one charity has made £20,000 out of the cricket.
The time is to be rescheduled
This week, Diary found itself trapped in an orderly queue of climate change protestors. Luckily, Diary had noticed the gathered throng as it crossed the Thames so had enough time to throw the disposable coffee cup it was drinking from into the river in the nick of time. As it turned out, the planet-lovers were friendly enough and did not make any disapproving comments about Diary’s fast-fashion pre-summer suit, made from palm oil and CO2 emissions.
In fact, the #TimeIsNow protestors were at Westminster on Wednesday to use their democratic right to mass-lobby MPs to take more urgent action on climate change. Diary would have offered them its full support (at the very least, they offered a refreshing break from the permanent pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit camps positioned on opposite sides of the road from each other). However, Diary was there for a charity event and so numerous were the protestors that the queue had reached a two-hour wait. With the sun beating down, it reminded Diary of going to Thorpe Park, except that instead of a ride on Colossus awaiting it at the end of the queue, there was an equally white-knuckle ride of intense debate on public services and volunteering.
In the end, the queue was so long that NCVO cancelled the APPG meeting, with a plan for it to be resheduled. The news was brought to Diary by the umbrella body’s CEO-to-be Karl Wilding, who, as it happened, had arrived by bicycle. So Diary hopes the environmental protestors are happy they ruined the day of man doing his bit to reduce his carbon footprint. Perhaps next week they can block David Attenborough’s way as he takes an electric bus to his nearest natural foods store.
At least our minister for civil society seemed happy:
Thanks to all my constituents who came to send a message @HouseofCommons & #TeamEastleigh many feel strongly on this matter & that has been heard in #Westminster #TimeisNow Via biggest mass lobby of Parliament since 2005 - great work by everyone @TheCCoalition pic.twitter.com/2P4VEAypCi— MimsDaviesMP (@mimsdavies) June 27, 2019
‘Caught out for charity’
Cricket fans, or indeed anyone who has to sit at work next to cricket fans and inadvertently absorb far more information about the game than they ever wanted to, will remember that last year Aussie cricketers Steve Smith and Dave Warner were caught cheating by sandpapering the ball in a test against South Africa.
Now Paddy Power, an online betting firm, has pledged £10,000 to a charity, Workaid, for each time one of the offenders is caught out in the World Cup. This could raise enough to fund a shipping container full of tools and equipment to countries in need in Africa, delivering sandpaper and other tools to make an actual difference, and not, y’know, cheat at sport. Well Diary hopes that’s the case, anyway.
Things are bad when the gambling industry can claim moral superiority.
Anyway, both have already been caught out so that’s £20,000 in the bag for charity. So at least some good has come out of the whole sorry mess.
Diary gathers that things aren’t going quite as planned for England in the cricket. But who cares; the Lionesses are definitely going to bring football home this summer and that is about as much sporting excitement as the country can cope with. Stand by for tenuous charity links in future columns…