A no Dickhead Rule is imperative in politics and sport.
Something fascinating is going on in English cricket at the moment.
(And there, I say to myself, is a phrase not oft used ‘neath the Southern Cross for many and many a’moon, … but I digress.)
See, former English cricket captain Andrew Strauss had no sooner been installed in the position of Director of English Cricket, than he was asked – some 10 seconds into his first press conference, what his attitude towards outcast, troubled genius England batsman Kevin Pietersen was.
Look, I am paraphrasing the sentiment here, rather than quoting the words, but Strauss essentially said he’d sooner put hot knitting needles in his ears than ever allow Pietersen back into the same postcode as the England cricket side, let alone the team itself. No, he didn’t specifically cite the No Dickhead rule, but that is what it boiled down to.
There is a “massive trust issue” between Pietersen and the England Cricket Board, Strauss said, and therefore a return for Pietersen is “not in the best short-term interests of the side.”
Alas for Strauss was that as he was speaking, Pietersen was finishing up a triple-century for his Surrey county side of such breath-taking genius that even opposing fans got blisters from clapping.
See, English stocks have fallen so low they couldn’t beat the lowly-rated West Indies in a Test series. But allow Pietersen back in?
Not on your nelly.
I humbly submit, even as a great admirer, and booster, of the “No Dickhead Rule”, that Strauss is badly mistaken in this.
For yes, its inventor, Swans coach Paul Roos, demonstrated the efficacy of the rule during his successful reign in Sydney.
But it was never a cast-iron rule, and there was always a let-out clause to it, which it is apposite to cite now.
Are you reading, Andrew Strauss?
On page 2 of the No Dickhead Handbook, second paragraph, third line, it reads:
“When the said dickhead is so extravagantly talented, it would be sheer madness not to have them in the team, you may not only ignore the ‘No Dickheads Rule’, but – and never more than when your own stocks are lower than a snake’s belly-button – you may even crawl across cut glass to have them.”
Roos invoked that clause a couple of times recruiting the likes of Spida Everitt to the side, and was well rewarded for his trouble.