Quentin Letts

Best of the Blob: who would be picked for its 1st XV?

Selectors for the Blob have chosen their 1st XV. Fans of The Game sometimes ask, as they do about Barbarians RFC: ‘Who are these people, do they have any supporters and who exactly pays them?’ Well, now we have the answer to at least that first question.

Full back: Sir Philip Barton, head of the diplomatic service. Recovering from injuries after a sticky select committee hearing on Afghanistan. Sometimes drops the ball but popular with professionals for telling civil servants not to work weekends or more than eight hours a day owing to dangers of ‘burn-out’. Was holidaying at a family château in the Dordogne while Afghanistan was crumbling. Good to see a man lead by example.

Left wing: Former Guardian editor Dame Alan Rusbridger. The wily veteran punts the pig’s bladder upfield and gets the rest of the Twitterati to chase it, no matter if in touch or not. Had a stint at California’s Facebook. So delicate an ethicist would not normally mingle with naked capitalism but, as Dame Alan sighed, they needed someone of Olympian wisdom to improve themselves and protect humanity. And the money was good.

Right wing: Andrew Mitchell MP, ex-Tory whip who huffs and howls every time small-tax Tories try to trim the international aid budget. Any cut, avers ‘Mitch’, will result in hungry aid executives begging in Mayfair with flies on their faces. Mitchell is sponsored by charities such as Spin-Docteurs Sans Frontiers but the BBC, when denouncing lobbying, somehow forgets to mention this.

Outside centre: Sir Geoffrey Vos, new Master of the Rolls. Ran in an unexpected try against Fleet Street. The reptiles thought they could report freely on the Blessed Meghan. Vos put a stop to that. The judgment, arguendo, could buttress privacy laws for the boss class and their libel lawyers ab initio ad coelum de jure.

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