Alex Massie

Morgan in Parliament? Surely not!

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Is Piers Morgan going to be an MP? I suspect that this is one of those questions to which, as John Rentoul would tell you, the answer is no. (UPDATE: Indeed it is!)

So Fraser has to be joking, right? I mean Piers Morgan is ubiquitous enough as it is without raising the chill prospect that he might make it into parliament? That said, Morgan is right to suggest that vastly increasing the provision of sport in schools is something most people should be able to agree upon. Doing so, mind you, would a) be hugely expensive, b) exceedingly difficult and c) be bound to further annoy the teaching unions. Those aren't reasons for not making kids exercise but actually making that happen is much harder than people might assume it would be.

It's not simply that so many school playing fields have been sold off in the past 25 years that causes a problem. I believe I'm right - readers will doubtless correct me - that it's often difficult to organise running sessions for children because, unless they take place on school property (and most schools don't have the land for a cross-country course), you run into child protection and health and safety issues if kids are running on public roads or even, I suspect, in public parks.

Then there's the money: I suspect that teachers will insist upon being paid extra for the provision of activities that used to be thought part of their job and that, to some extent, are duties now performed, unpaid, by thousands of volunteers at sporting clubs up and down the country. This doesn't mean it can't be done, merely that it will be difficult.

Nevertheless, if you believe in the "obesity epidemic" the best way to tackle it is not through banning vending machines and the like but by increasing the amount of PE and sport in schools. And, as Morgan says, there are other social benefits to sport too. The "Asbo Kids" at our cricket club may at times be too boisterous for their own good but they might well be in greater and more regular trouble without the cricket.

Still, even allowing for stopped clocks and all that, is Piers Morgan is the answer, or even part of it, to our "broken politics" then, well, heaven help us. Right?

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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