Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Bob Willis on Portland Bill

Christmas Day wouldn't be Christmas Day without a word from me, what? - Bonkers


I was sad see to those Pakistani fellows jailed for bowling no balls. If such strictures had been applied in the 1970s, then our own Bob Willis would be breaking rocks on Portland Bill to this day. I was myself attached to the Special Investigations Branch of the MCC for a number of years, and it was heartbreaking work. More than one county scorer cut his throat on a dark winter’s afternoon, as the pilot flame in his Ascot water heater guttered, over discrepancies in the leg byes account.

Later, you may recall, I chaired the committee of inquiry into allegations over irregularities in the betting on local authority by-elections in the 1950 and 1960s. Few think of it today, but it was the most tremendous scandal in its day and many of the aspects of local elections we now take for granted - the ban on having the polling station in the home of one of the candidates, the discouragement of firearms at the verification of papers, the oath of celibacy for agents - have their roots in The Bonkers Report.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10

Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary...

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