Friday, September 10, 2004

Mann's inhumanity

I once heard a Francis Wheen story that tells all you need know about Mark Thatcher. One day he rang Carol Thatcher for a quote, and she replied: "What dreadful thing are you writing about Mummy now?" When Wheen said it was not her mother but her brother he was researching, Carol said: "Good, it's time someone had a go at him."

It is not fitting to be too gleeful about the unravelling of the apparent Equatorial Guinea coup. One German defendant has already died in prison there after what Amnesty International suspects was torture. Nevertheless, this story, with its rumours of involvement by Jeffrey Archer, adds to the impression that the set surrounding Margaret Thatcher were not the most pleasant people.

Today a court in Zimbabwe has sentenced Simon Mann to seven years in prison for attempting to buy arms for use in Equatorial Guinea. This seems a good time to record that Mann is the son of the former England cricket captain F G Mann and a member of the brewing family. (Think Watney Mann.)

Back in the 1950s, John Arlott (twice a Liberal parliamentary candidate) was commentating on a match in which F G was being bamboozled by the South African leg spinner "Tufty" Mann.

Arlott remarked: "What we are watching here is a clear case of Mann's inhumanity to Mann."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Coming to this late, it could have been worse. Perhaps "Mann on Mann action" might have other meanings now.