Leave summer to the brigadiers

I saw this in yesterday's DT and really enjoyed it:

I spend more time than is strictly necessary wondering what the upper orders are actually for, and now I know the answer: they are for organising Wimbledon, Ascot and the Henley Regatta, and I dare say, if they were organising the forthcoming Olympics, we would all feel a bit more optimistic about them.

The tufty old brigadiers who manage to pull off the racing, the boating and the tennis are actually pretty brilliant at it, and they have a natural ability, it seems, to go about the task as if they weren't organising a tour of Her Majesty's prisons. I've been to Ascot several times and it is English festivity at its most wonderfully bonkers.

Thank God the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has nothing to do with it, because within minutes it would turn it into a means-tested, heavily polled, forward-thinking imbroglio that would sweep all the fun out of it before it had even begun. It has to be said the British state is wintry-minded when it comes to sport, and if it was all down to them, the lawns would remain unscissored and the champagne would remain eternally uncorked (or unordered).

Instead of this, at Ascot, you have the wonderfully-named Brigadier Douglas Erskine-Crum, who, as The Daily Telegraph once reported, might appear "to be closely related to John Cleese's character in the Upper Class Twit of the Year Contest", but who has in fact done a superb job in clearing out those jobsworth, bowler-hatted pills who formerly tried to turn Royal Ascot into a beauty contest.
Makes me proud to be British.

read more here: Leave summer to the brigadiers


Perhaps we could rehire some of them to sort out the Army if they are such talented go getters!! Might allow some of our more politicised Senior Officers more time to be 'in Town.'
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