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Jos Buttler ‘Mankad’ dismissal: Law is ‘essential’ says MCC

Jos Buttler ‘Mankad’ dismissal: Law is ‘essential’ says MCC
Jos Buttler has twice been run out backing up at the non striker’s end

The law regarding running out a batsman backing up at the non-striker’s end – known as ‘Mankading’ – is “essential” to the game, says cricket’s lawmakers.

England’s Jos Buttler was ‘Mankaded’ by India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian Premier League on Monday.

Buttler reacted angrily and Ashwin’s actions – seen as not within the spirit of the game – have been criticised.

“It is up to both teams to ensure the game is played within both the laws and the spirit of cricket,” the MCC said.

Ex-Australia spinner Shane Warne called Ashwin an “embarrassment to the game” but others defended his actions as being within cricket’s laws.

The dismissal is known as a ‘Mankad’ after India bowler Vinoo Mankad ran out Australia batsman Bill Brown in 1947.

Buttler was dismissed in similar fashion by Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake in an England one-day international in 2014.

Law 41.16 states: “If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out”.

Replays showed Buttler was in his ground when Ashwin’s foot landed at the crease but then left it before the bowler removed the bails.

A statement from the MCC, read: “Some feel that Ashwin delayed his action to allow Buttler the chance to leave his ground and that Buttler was in his ground when he expected the ball to be released.

“If it was a deliberate delay, that would be unfair and against the spirit of cricket. Ashwin claims this not to be the case.”

Ashwin was also criticised for not giving Buttler a warning that he would dismiss him if he continued to leave the crease early.

“Without the law, non-strikers could back up at liberty, several yards down the pitch,” the statement added.

“It has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker.

“Nor is it against the spirit of cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early.”

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Why does easyJet charge more when flying solo?

Why does easyJet charge more when flying solo?

Q Why does easyJet charge more for the same flight when travelling alone? Is the airline punishing solo travellers with a hidden charge?

Sabrina S

A You are referring to easyJet’s strange pricing policy. In 2012, when the widespread practice of charging extra for debit card payments was ended, easyJet responded by introducing an “administration fee” of £9 per booking. This applied regardless of the number of passengers and flights. It has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

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Since then the charge has steadily risen to £16. For a family of four flying a return journey, this represents a modest £2 per person per flight. But on a one-person, one-way journey it adds a full £16.

The effect for solo travellers is to make easyJet more expensive. But I wouldn’t categorise it as “hidden”. To conform with UK pricing rules, as easyJet says: “This is included in the flight price you see – it is not an extra charge.”

Because it distorts the fare for solo travellers so much, the admin fee makes easyJet look uncompetitive. Searching two weeks ahead for London-Barcelona flights, for example, easyJet is more expensive than Vueling and Ryanair for one passenger. But for a couple, with an effective £8 drop in the price per person, easyJet becomes cheapest.

I don’t feel penalised as a solo traveller. For most journeys where there is plenty of competition, I generally book on Ryanair, Jet2, British Airways or other airlines without a similar flat-rate charge. When easyJet is the only answer, then I see if I can make a couple of bookings at the same time (eg Gatwick-Barcelona for two weeks’ time, Stansted-Edinburgh for a trip some months ahead) to halve the impact.

Certainly, there is a fixed cost to setting up a booking and taking payment. But I would measure the administration cost in pence rather than pounds.

So long as the fares are clear, easyJet can price its flights however it wishes. But I imagine one day soon the airline will realise it’s losing out by sending travellers like me to other carriers, and abolish the charge.

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Montenegro v England: Tackling racism in society must come first, warns Barnes

Montenegro v England: Tackling racism in society must come first, warns Barnes
‘Don’t just pick on Montenegro’ over racism – Barnes

Banning Montenegro or calling for players to walk off the pitch when they hear racist abuse is not the answer to football’s problems, according to former England winger John Barnes.

England’s 5-1 win in Montenegro on Monday was overshadowed by several of their black players being racially abused by home fans.

“It can’t be tolerated but we’ve got it the wrong way around,” said Barnes.

“You can’t get rid of it in football before you get rid of it in society.”

Barnes, who played 79 times for England and suffered racist abuse throughout his career, added: “It’s hypocritical for us in this country to look at Montenegro and say how terrible it is when it happens every week in this country.

“Try to figure out a way to stop people wanting to boo because someone is black. Let’s look at what’s going on in society and try to tackle it.”

There have been suggestions that Montenegro should have points deducted from their European Championship qualifying campaign, or be excluded from the competition.

After Monday’s match, England boss Gareth Southgate was asked whether he should have taken his team off the pitch, but Barnes does not feel either option is practical.

“If we want to throw teams out then I will go along with that but this is the problem – do not just pick on Montenegro, pick on everybody,” he said.

“Should Chelsea be thrown out the Premier League for racist abuse of Raheem Sterling? And it’s not just Chelsea, I’m sure it happens at Liverpool as well and I’m sure at every football stadium there will be racist abuse.

“Walking off, for me, is not the answer. Who decides what you’ve heard? How many people do you have to hear? One? So if you hear one everybody walks off? Or does it have to be 10 or does it have to be 100? Who decides?

“Is it a black player or a white player that is going to walk off? If a black player doesn’t walk off does that make it OK for the white players? Or are they culpable because they don’t walk off?”

However, Troy Townsend, head of development for anti-racism charity Kick It Out, disagreed with Barnes and questioned whether European football’s governing body Uefa was “brave enough” to ban teams from competitions.

“What I would like is stadium closures, expulsions from competitions, federations held accountable for not just the players but the supporters in their care,” said Townsend.

“The first time that happens [expulsion from a tournament] it will send a massive message out that this is not acceptable any more.

“I believe there will be a time when we will get to a stage where players will take the matter into their own hands, and managers will do what is right for those players and consider the fact that maybe it’s not worth it just for three points.”

Raheem Sterling scored one of England’s five goals against Montenegro and said his celebration was a direct response to those who had shouted racist abuse

World governing body Fifa has a three-step protocol that allows a referee to pause a match and request a stadium announcement asking for chanting to stop if racism is heard. After that, the referee can suspend the match and request another announcement and then abandon the match if the chanting does not stop.

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks was unhappy that the referee did not follow this procedure on Monday.

“What really disappointed me is we know Montenegro have previous,” said Crooks. “Gareth Southgate knew that and that’s why he said his players were going into a hostile environment. He needed to be more specific than that – his black players were going into that environment.

“The referee should have, in my opinion, enacted the protocol. Southgate should have asked him, ‘Are you going to enact the protocol? If not, I am taking my players off the pitch’.

“When black players are abused the referee can now take action – it’s taken 25 years to get to this place – and the game isn’t protecting them. We have to hold the game and administrators to account.”

Former England women’s striker Eni Aluko also wanted to see more action taken by officials during the match.

“It now needs to be part of referee training to do something during the game,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live. “We can’t continue to hear monkey chants in 2019. When racist abuse happens there needs to be a clear structure as to what a referee does.

“The officials need to do more. If everyone else can hear it, what are the officials doing during the game?

“The likes of Uefa really need to start clamping down, whether a points deduction, closing a stadium, maybe a tournament ban… it needs to make sure there’s a strong deterrent. No player should be going on the pitch and being abused – it’s not something the game should tolerate.”

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Is Shell Energy’s green offer really as good as it looks?

Is Shell Energy’s green offer really as good as it looks?

Oil company Shell powered up its arrival in the home energy market this morning by rebranding First Utility, the “challenger” supplier it somewhat surprisingly bought last year, as Shell Energy. 

But there’s more: the newly renamed outfit, which has just over 700,000 customers, will also switch the whole lot over to 100 per cent renewables.

That’s something its research suggests a lot of us want. 

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Shell has been trying to bolster its environmental credentials for some time now, including linking part of its CEO’s bloated remuneration to meeting climate change targets.

But is this genuine or just another example of what environmentalists describe as “greenwashing” – an attempt  to make a company and its products look more environmentally sound than they really are?

The renewable part of Shell Energy’s offer will be fulfilled courtesy of it taking out Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). 

These certificates ensure that each unit of electricity Shell’s customers use will be matched to a unit of renewable electricity that has been put into the grid by green generators in the UK. 

They’re also used by the likes of Bulb and Octopus, rival energy providers set up to challenge the dominance of the sector’s “Big Six” firms (British Gas, E.On, EDF Energy, npower, Scottish Power and SSE). 

But doesn’t Shell’s move just mean that, say, an E.On customer will get less of their power from renewable sources? 

In theory, yes. But the idea is that as demand for the certificates grows, the market for energy from renewable sources will grow, creating new opportunities for generators and drawing further investment into a market that’s started to take off. 

Shell’s involvement could, in theory, deliver a fresh shot in the arm. It has a much bigger brand than its renewable rivals and while it’s offer isn’t market leading, it is competitive. There are some people who might feel more comfortable about buying from Shell than they do about signing up with a company they haven’t heard of, all the more so given the financial difficulties faced by some energy market entrants in recent times. So the rebranding matters. 

Shell also says it is very interested in securing its own renewable generation capacity, and was in on the bidding for the last set of wind farms the government announced. Although it didn’t win, I’m told it will be back. 

So far so good. 

Now the sting in the tail: it’s not entirely clear how all this works with Shell’s pledge of cheaper petrol, which is part of the offer being extended to those who sign up. 

When I put this to the company, it pointed to its efforts to expand charging points for electric cars at its forecourts, and said that there will be a similar offer made available to electric car users who join Shell Energy. In the meantime, the oil giant says, this simply gives energy customers with petrol cars a reward for buying fuel from us that they were going to buy anyway. 

That’s logical, but still a little cynical, and all the more so when you consider this. Despite the green power move, and Shell’s other public statements regarding climate change, the InfluenceMap think tank recently found oil majors (also including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Total) have invested over $1bn of shareholder funds in the three years following the Paris Agreement into what it described as “misleading climate-related branding and lobbying”.  

A report “Big Oil’s Real Agenda on Climate Change” argued that positive messaging about environmental issues was countered by an enormous investment in lobbying designed to “control, delay, or block binding climate-motivated policy” either by the oil companies directly or via the trade bodies they fund. Shell was in second place in terms of money spent, and although, along with Total, it did achieve a better overall grade than its rivals it still managed only a “D” on an A to F scale. 

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Shell has said it rejects the report’s premise, arguing that it has been clear about its “support for the Paris agreement, and the steps that we are taking to help meet society’s needs for more and cleaner energy”.

“We make no apology for talking to policymakers and regulators around the world to make our voice heard on crucial topics such as climate change and how to address it,” it adds.

Nevertheless, if there has been a conversion to the cause of fighting climate change in the halls of Shell’s London Lubyanka, the jury remains out on whether it is more than skin deep. 

The firm’s confused messaging – buy green fuel and get cheap petrol too – could be seen as a symptom of that. 

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Euro 2020 qualifier: Republic of Ireland v Georgia – live text

Euro 2020 qualifier: Republic of Ireland v Georgia – live text
Republic of Ireland v Georgia live in Euro 2020 qualifier – text commentary – Live – BBC Sport


  1. 19:45 GMT: Republic of Ireland v Georgia
  2. Republic of Ireland second in Group D after 1-0 win over Gibraltar
  3. Georgia lost 2-0 in opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland

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Manchester United: Louis van Gaal on his sacking, his legacy and life in retirement

Manchester United: Louis van Gaal on his sacking, his legacy and life in retirement
Louis van Gaal and David de Gea celebrate Man Utd’s 2016 FA Cup win, with Ed Woodward, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton watching on

It is almost three years since Louis van Gaal walked into a Wembley news conference and slammed the FA Cup on to the table.

The Dutchman had just completed what he regards as his greatest managerial achievement: “Winning a trophy despite having a noose round my neck for six months.”

Within minutes of the final whistle of Manchester United’s victory with 10 men against Crystal Palace, it was reported he would be sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho.

I met Van Gaal in Portugal last week for his first written interview with a British journalist since that day.

He looked well, energised and now free from the stresses of over four decades in professional football. The previous week he had confirmed his retirement.

Over the course of a fascinating 90 minutes, Van Gaal, now 67, was his usual charismatic self. He laughed – a lot. When he had a specific point to make he would reach out and give my leg a push, to make sure I was paying attention. If I said something he disagreed with, he would lean back, scoff and dismiss the remark with a wave.

Every so often he would finish an answer with a question that demanded a response to the specific point he had made. He asked, more than once, for me to tidy up his sentences because his English “is not so good”. He broke off the interview to pose for a photograph with a fan, but not before asking me if it was OK. Van Gaal places huge importance on attention to detail in his personal relationships.

It was clear the manner of his exit from Manchester United still rankles. To get to the crux of his resentment, wind back to the spring of 2014.

United were trying to pick their way out of the disaster created by the decision to appoint David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.

They wanted someone with a track record of success who would not be overwhelmed by the job. Van Gaal fitted the bill. Moreover, he was available as his contract with the Netherlands would expire after the World Cup. Tottenham were also interested, but United’s pulling power was persuasive.

“Tottenham were a better selection because Manchester United were an old team and I knew I would have to transform them,” Van Gaal says. “Was it the wrong choice? Maybe, but I follow my heart. I worked at the number one team in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and now also in England.”

Van Gaal wanted a two-year contract. It would take him to the summer of 2016 and fulfil a pledge he made to his mother during his younger days that he would retire when he was 65. United wanted him to commit for three.

He says: “The Glazers [the club’s owners] and Ed Woodward [executive vice-chairman] asked me. That is why I am still angry with the way they chose to do it. Ed Woodward knew Manchester United would be my last club.”

Van Gaal was also aware restoring the club to its former glories was not going to be a speedy process.

“They had seven players over 30,” he says. “We spoke about that at the job interview. In my first year we qualified for the Champions League. In my second we won the FA Cup.”

On 21 November in that second season, United won 2-1 at Watford. They were second in the Premier League, a point behind eventual champions Leicester. Their next five games yielded two points in a disastrous period during which they were also eliminated from the Champions League.

As supporter disenchantment with perceived negative football grew, Van Gaal’s position as manager came under increasing scrutiny. Without Van Gaal’s knowledge, contact was made with Mourinho. To this day, United are adamant no job offer was made. Alternative sources from outside Old Trafford said otherwise, the media ran with it and Van Gaal found himself in an impossible situation.

“I can imagine Woodward chooses Mourinho,” says Van Gaal. “He is a top coach. He has won a lot of titles. More than me.

“What I don’t like is Woodward contacting my successor, knowing in his mind he will replace me and he keeps his mouth shut for six months. Every Friday I had to go into press conferences and be asked what I thought about the rumours. What does that do to the authority of the coach?

“To win the FA Cup when, for six months, the media has a noose round my neck, is my biggest achievement.

“I spoke to Woodward the day after that game. His argument was that I was only going to be there for one more year and Mourinho would be there for three, four or five. I appreciate he hired a private plane to get me back to Portugal but his arguments were not good enough.”

Van Gaal gets animated when the negative view of his football is pointed out.

“It is not true,” he argues. “You say it was boring. Why was it boring? Maybe it was boring-attacking but that was because the opponent parked the bus. Then you have to play at a higher tempo, which is difficult. Then you have to see what kind of players you have.

“Wayne Rooney should have been the number 10 but Robin van Persie was not fit enough for the Premier League, which meant Rooney was the best striker we had. But Manchester United needs the best striker in the world.”

He tried to address the problem.

In came Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Huge names at huge expense.

The first two lasted a single season, Schweinsteiger made four appearances in his second before moving to Major League Soccer in March 2017.

Di Maria recently blamed Van Gaal for his United failure because he picked him in the wrong positions.

“Di Maria says it was my problem. I played him in every attacking position. You can check that. He never convinced me in any of those positions. He could not deal with the continuous pressure on the ball in the Premier League. That was his problem,” says Van Gaal.

“I brought Schweinsteiger in because we needed a captain on the pitch. He didn’t do it. He was injured. He had an excuse.

“I wanted a first-class striker. I don’t want to go through all the names but when you can’t have the first or second choice, you have to be happy with the fourth or fifth, so Falcao came into the picture but we knew in advance he was injured. That is why I said we should take him on loan.”

Over the course of our conversation, Van Gaal returns to a theme.

The media has power to influence but they do so on a very limited amount of facts. As an example he explains how Ajax were lucky to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this month and why, despite losing at the Amsterdam Arena, they were much better at home in the first leg than they were in the second, which is considered one of the great modern-day performances by a Dutch team.

“The media do not analyse the game,” he says. “They analyse the result.”

Which brings us to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“People think we have only had fake news since Donald Trump became president. In football we have had it for 50 years,” says Van Gaal.

“The coach after me [Mourinho] changed to park-the-bus tactics and played on the counter. Now there is another coach who parks the bus and plays on the counter. The main difference between Mourinho and Solskjaer is that Solskjaer is winning.

“I am not there but there does look to be a change and the atmosphere seems to be better. It is also true that Solskjaer has changed Paul Pogba’s position and put him into an area where he is much more important.

“But the way Manchester United are playing now is not the way Ferguson played. It is defensive, counter-attacking football. If you like it, you like it. If you think it is more exciting than my boring attacking, OK. But it is not my truth.

“Solskjaer has just lost twice and he has to manage that. It is very important that Manchester United qualifies for the Champions League, as it was when I was manager. But they can also win the Champions League because they play a defensive system and it is very difficult to beat them, which, whether you like it or not, is the result of Mourinho’s work.”

The previous day Van Gaal gave a talk to a League Managers’ Association meeting and he remains hugely sensitive to the difficulties all managers face.

He has opinions, lots of them, but at no point, either on or off the record, is he critical of anyone who puts themselves forward for the job. Although he has noticed how quickly one of his major critics decided he had himself taken a wrong move recently, 31 days after his appointment by Oldham.

“Paul Scholes was a manager too, yes?” he smiles. “Fantastic, eh. Fantastic.”

Van Gaal is amused at “being retired by the media” as he says his recent comments only repeated something he said first in 2012. Yet he also reveals he received two job offers a month after leaving United. Not all of them were dismissed out of hand.

“They were from the highest level,” he says. “Not too much from England but a lot in Germany, Spain, USA, Mexico, Argentina. I had big doubts twice. I asked my wife, Truus, but she said no. The last one was Feyenoord. She wanted to do that because she is a Feyenoord fan but I am a consistent man.”

There is a public perception of Van Gaal that he enjoys being the centre of attention. He says this is misplaced. How long, he asks, have I been asking him for an interview?

The answer is about once a month since his United exit. If he was addicted to attention, he argues, why would he wait so long?

“Everybody thinks I am a narcissist. I am actually the opposite of that,” he chuckles.

“The media likes me because I give honest answers. How many people in football give honest answers? I don’t lie. Always the truth. OK, maybe my truth. But it is the truth.”

In the aftermath of Mourinho’s exit, United sources stated clearly the appointment of a technical director was on the agenda, in addition to a new manager.

At present, nothing has changed from Van Gaal’s time, with Woodward in overall charge and Matt Judge, who has a masters degree in economics and finance and 13 years’ experience in investment banking, negotiating fees and contracts. United are adamant their priority is the football side and success on pitch is the objective for everyone at the club. Van Gaal does not agree.

“At the moment there is a structure with a scouting division and above that is someone at Woodward’s right hand. The structure is not so bad but the right hand has to be a technical director with a football view, not somebody with a banker’s role,” Van Gaal says.

“Unfortunately, we are talking about a commercial club, not a football club. I spoke to Ferguson about this and in his last years, he also had problems with it.”

If there is one aspect of Van Gaal’s illustrious career for which he will be remembered, beyond the trophies, it is the number of young players he picked.

Van Gaal gave debuts to Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Edwin van der Sar, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Thomas Muller, all now established names at football’s highest level. There are many, many more, including Marcus Rashford from his time at United.

He says: “I read something from Mourinho saying I only did that out of necessity. Not true. I created the necessity.

“Manchester United had over 30 players. I brought them back to 23. Then I had an open selection for the youth academy. I did that at every club. That is why a lot of young players have made their debuts with me.

“A lot of trainers, like Mourinho, never give youngsters a chance. Yes, five minutes. Solskjaer, 10 minutes. That is not a chance. A chance is a game.

“Too much experience is not good. Then you have an automatic pilot. You always need imagination and you cannot forget how inspiring young players can be.

“If you are not willing to trust young players, you are not suitable to be a manager of a club with a youth education.”

But the journey to the top is not exclusively to do with ability.

“Your personality is also very important. In my time, Rashford was very modest and I thought he would reach the higher level,” Van Gaal says.

“I knew players with the highest ability to kick a ball from A to B but as a human being, no. Then you can forget it.”

There are eight teams left in the Champions League. Van Gaal managed three of them – Ajax, Barcelona and United. He knows United fans in particular will be annoyed at his preferred outcome.

“People think Barcelona are the best but they are not. Manchester City and Liverpool are more of a team than Barcelona – and Liverpool are more of a team than City,” he says.

“In my philosophy the best team shall win but I hope for City because they play the best football.”

After 46 years, Van Gaal’s active career in football is over. Now he is creating “my own future”, with his wife, his children and grandchildren. A house move on the Algarve is nearing its final stages.

Pushed to assess his legacy, Van Gaal reveals a softer side, which, he feels, is a more accurate reflection of the man he really is.

“I have a philosophy. I was convinced of it and by winning trophies in four countries, I proved the philosophy worked,” he says.

“But my legacy is bigger than just my results. I am also a relations coach, not only with my players but everyone in a club.

“It is not my image but I am very human in that way. At Manchester United there were more than 40 people in the performance department. The medical department, the fans. They all had a heart for the club. I went to work as an analyst at a game at Liverpool and the United fans were still shouting my name.

“I am proud people still like me. That is what is most important in life.”

Van Gaal celebrates winning the 1995 Champions League with a young Ajax side featuring Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger, Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf
Van Gaal returns to the Netherlands after leading his country to third place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Van Gaal watches on from the stands at the 2016 US Open final, four months after leaving United
Van Gaal and Mourinho meet at Anfield in October 2017
The pair first worked together at Barcelona, where Van Gaal was manager between 1997-2000, and 2002-2003
Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich team of 2009-10 had already won the German league and cup double by the time they met Mourinho’s Inter Milan in the 2010 Champions League final. Inter won 2-0, securing their own treble in the process
Van Gaal began his career in football as a player with Ajax in 1972, and left United, his final job in management, in 2016
Louis van Gaal: Man Utd boss’s funniest quotes

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Money for nothing? How we broke the welfare state – and how we can fix it

Money for nothing? How we broke the welfare state – and how we can fix it

So ingrained in the collective psyche is the concept of the welfare state, it is remarkable to remember that it is still less than 80 years old. Like the NHS, which sits at the centre of our great British social contract, we speak of it as a great unmoveable: almost everyone agrees that we need a welfare state, even if we don’t agree on how it should operate and on who should be its greatest beneficiaries.

And yet the welfare state as we once knew it is crumbling. Universal credit, the Conservative government’s reform of the system, is a story of failure upon failure resulting in dramatic stories of neglect – and, in a handful of shocking examples, even death.

Astonishingly, the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, last month admitted that it is the welfare state – created to prevent hunger and destitution – that is now actively causing it, with the shortcomings of universal credit responsible for driving up the number of Britons who are reliant on food banks to feed their families.

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So how did we get here, and is there anything we can do to save our welfare state?

* * *

The roots of the welfare state as we know it today lay in a lengthy government-commissioned inquiry into social security. The resulting 1942 Beveridge report was an unlikely hit among policy reviews, if you can imagine such a thing. Somehow, its author, William Beveridge, managed to capture a post-war zeitgeist (a longing perhaps), even while wartime fighting continued, penning an emotive series of recommendation that spoke to the spirit of the nation. Politicians on all sides of the house were listening.

Beveridge identified what he called the five “giant evils” of British society: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness.

“The state should offer security for service and contribution,” Beveridge wrote. “The state, in organising security, should not stifle incentive, opportunity, responsibility; in establishing a national minimum, it should leave room and encouragement for voluntary action by each individual to provide more than the minimum for himself and his family.”

After the election of Clement Atlee’s Labour government in 1945, Beveridge’s recommendations were turned into political action: a network of public services and financial safety nets for the unemployed, the disabled and the ill; guarantees of education and (the hoped for, if not the realisation of) equal life chances for children; the promise of decent, affordable housing and, through all this, a commitment to the redistribution of opportunity. These public services were free at the point of use and, in most cases, universal.

The philosophical and political ambition of this move cannot be underestimated. Yet what seemed radical then, even future-proof, has visibly unravelled eight decades later. Two recent cases illustrate the point.

‘I, Daniel Blake’ won plaudits for its portrayal of a middle-aged widower in northern England who can neither work nor get government benefits (Joss Barratt/Sixteen Films)

Stephen Smith was denied disability benefits and judged fit to find work by the Department for Work and Pensions when his weight had dropped to under six stone and he was unable to walk. An image of his naked, emaciated torso visibly captured the failings of the means-testing system that now dogs the benefits system. He later received an apology, but his story is by no means isolated.

Meanwhile, in February, Jeff Hayward finally won an appeal against the judgement that he was fit for work – seven months after his death from a heart attack.

The Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake is fiction only insofar as the characters are drawn from the imaginings of that celebrated cinematic realist; their stories, their experiences as “clients” (not citizens) of the welfare system are taken directly from the lives of the thousands struggling to survive in a country where the promise of lifelong support, from cradle to grave, amounts to very little.

Given this backdrop, perhaps it should not be a surprise that public support for the welfare state has dissipated, particularly in the past three decades.

In 1989, 61 per cent of people polled by the British Social Attitudes survey agreed with spending more on welfare benefits for the poor. That fell to 27 per cent in 2009 and remained low (rising slightly to 30 per cent in 2014). In those later years, support for increasing taxes as a mechanism to spend more public money on health, education and social benefits fell particularly rapidly: 63 per cent supported that proposition in 2002, but that had halved to 32 per cent by 2010.

And despite vast expenditure – £264bn in 2017, accounting for 34 per cent of all government spending, and that’s before we add in the cost of the NHS – those five “giant evils” are still with us today.

We may describe them differently – we now use terms like poverty, chronic ill health, lack of education or skills, unfit housing and homelessness and unemployment – but they linger on.

* * *

The pattern of the welfare state’s disintegration began very early on, with the introduction of charges for dentistry and optician services in 1951 and prescriptions a year later. In 1959, the National Insurance Act introduced an earnings-related pension – a significant ideological departure from the flat rate contribution and pension payout that Beveridge had first envisaged in his report. From the first decade of its life, means-testing and contingency had entered the welfare state payment system. This small ideological tweak was enough to start a slow unravelling towards what could be its ultimate end: the failure of universal credit in 2019.

Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy policy created an unregulated market in low-cost tenancies (AFP/Getty)

By the 1970s, Britain had built a nation of “homes fit for heroes”, vast estates of new council-owned homes that anyone could apply to rent. There was no stigma attached, at this time, to renting or to council ownership. Affordable housing fit to live in was considered a citizen’s right – one of the great early successes of the system.

A decade later, Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy did its dirty work, removing houses from state ownership and, with it, access to them for the poorest people. When the welfare state was born, private landlords were considered incapable of providing the good-quality housing needed to prevent the “squalor” that had held British society back. Yet Right to Buy created a powerful and unregulated market in low-cost housing.

By the middle of the 1990s, private landlords were forced to become the “solution” to our housing needs once again. And housing benefit – as Sir George Young then instructed – “took the strain” of that cost. The overall benefits bill rose and the changes meant more and more people who encountered the benefits system were now having to prove their eligibility for support.

Until this time the idea of universalism had generally been preserved. There were still unemployment grants available for those seeking creative careers, for example; nobody questioned the need for child benefit to be paid to every child, even though the payment stopped rising in line with inflation in 1990, in an early attempt to cut costs.

That feels unthinkable today. Why?

The introduction of means-testing in respect of most benefits altered how the public thought about the welfare state. Citizens now had to prove they really needed support; it was no longer a simple conditional right of their citizenship.

National insurance payments, which everyone duly paid, were not contributions to a national safety net but became regarded as a sort of government-sponsored pensions savings scheme. Today, the vast bulk of the government’s welfare bill consists of pension contributions, and yet if you ask the woman at a Clapham bus stop what she thinks it is spent on she will probably say either unemployment benefit or disability benefit.

William Beveridge was the architect of the post-war welfare state

As the state rolled back, and fewer individuals qualified for financial support, their views of the welfare state began to shift too. The concept of a deserving and undeserving poor became prominent once again, slowly spreading its tentacles through the entire welfare state system, even as it was still being established.

By the 1990s Britain faced a rapid increase in relative poverty as unemployment and sickness benefits were cut, no longer meeting the basic cost of living.

In his controversial Back to Basics election campaign, John Major spoke of the importance of  “accepting responsibility for yourself and your family and not shuffling off on other people and the state”. Yet, arguably, welfare payments at that time also included mortgage tax relief – the ultimate reward for the “deserving” citizen.

Ask most liberal-minded people which politician destroyed the welfare state and they will either point to Margaret Thatcher, who lost the nation’s public housing stock and forced thousands of redundant miners to see out the rest of their working lives “on the dole” or “on the sick”, or to John Major and his Conservative moralism, which focused on the nuclear family as the protector of the British people, not the government and certainly not the “bloated” arms of government that allocated benefits and provided public services.

But really it was Tony Blair who drove in the final nails and sealed the fate of the welfare state as we now know it. 

After Labour’s landslide election win in 1997, as the sell-off of social housing continued apace but employment prospects improved, Blair’s government became obsessed with the “responsibilities” of its citizens – the deserving and undeserving poor were resurfacing once again. A raft of politics which focused on punishment and reward were introduced. The best remembered of these initiatives was the introduction of anti-social behaviour orders, the use of which began to criminalise the ordinary, boundary-pushing behaviour of young people – particularly those from poor backgrounds.

This attitude infected almost all public services. Housing associations, for example, began offering complex reward systems which in the most extreme circumstances gave tenants money off their rent for behaving in desirable ways, such as paying their rent on time. It was a process of infantilising.

Public opinion started to shift too. In 1999, Blair delivered his famous speech about the welfare state, in which he claimed that benefits should always be a “hand up, not a hand out.” He spoke of ending fraud and abuse of the system; of focusing help on those individuals and families who needed it most. It proved a bellweather moment.

According to the British Social Attitudes Survey, the speech market a “point of intersection”, after which the trust of the British people in the benefits system rapidly eroded. Until this point, the public generally believed that the welfare state was partly to blame for causing poverty, with the levels of support offered set too low. Afterwards, the idea of the “benefit scrounger” began to emerge; the view that benefits were too lavish, allowing people to live very comfortable lifestyles without being required to find work, became prevalent. Support for the welfare state declined rapidly across all groups, but particularly among Labour voters.

Blair’s 1999 speech was far more complex (and progressive) than the soundbite it was remembered for: he was ultimately seeking to pave a new “road to a popular welfare state”. But his delivery had the opposite effect in terms of public attitudes. When he talked of focusing help on specific groups, people no longer felt that the welfare state was for them. And they no longer wished to defend it – especially in a period of relative national affluence.

As the researchers found, “support for the welfare state among Labour voters has been in steep decline for two decades. In 1987, around 73 per cent of the party’s supporters agreed that the government should spend more on welfare benefits for poor families, compared with just 36 per cent in 2011”.

Was it Blair’s government which drove the final nails into the welfare state’s coffin? (PA)

Therefore, the creation of universal credit by the Conservatives in more recent years is not the source of the welfare state’s undoing, but a reaction to attitudes that had already set in motion a dangerous race to the bottom.

The result? Not a system, as was initially designed, intelligent enough to map a person’s path in and out of work and provide up to date support depending on their exact economic circumstances, but a game of cat-and-mouse in which a claimant must end up near destitute to qualify for support – and then wait five weeks, often resorting to food banks, to actually obtain the financial help they have been told, at the last, they deserve.

The loss of public belief in welfare hinges on the re-emergence of the idea of the deserving and undeserving poor – a concept that the original welfare state was designed to help eradicate. To prove oneself deserving, a claimant must jump through endless hoops and administrative tasks to demonstrate their fitness – whether for work, for financial support, for housing, even for medical care under an increasingly stretched NHS.

This burden of proof puts the new claimant immediately in dispute with the state – or, worse, as in most cases, in dispute with a private company acting on behalf of the state with targets set to reduce the number of claimants considered to be “deserving” in the first place. This is particularly distressing when it involves the assessment of claims based on ill health or disability.

How this feels to the claimant, as well as wider society, really matters. It has a huge effect on the results of the system. Hopelessness, anger and fear simply do not create the psychological conditions for human flourishing – or, to put it in less philosophical terms, the kind of stable mental health that leads to good employment opportunities.

Thus the welfare state is now failing on both sides: claimants are unhappy with the way the universal credit system treats them, feeling the promises made to them by the state are not kept; yet the wider electorate also feels short-changed. Nobody feels the benefit. The only way to save the welfare state from total disintegration is to reset it from scratch.

How do we do that? The answer lies in the early roots of welfare, way beyond Beveridge, to the Georgist idea of the “citizen’s dividend”.

* * *

Thomas Paine’s 1797 essay “Agrarian Justice” set out one of the first proposals for a social security system as we now understand it, but its principles differ significantly to those that underpin the welfare state we eventually got. He saw the earth, and the agrarian economy which man had built upon it, as a collective inheritance in which all people shared – and from which all people should benefit.

As he put it: “Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.”

The current work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, admits universal credit has failed to be ‘compassionate’ enough (PA)

He was making the argument for a citizen’s dividend, payable by those who held the wealth at that time, to all those who were entitled to benefit from a shared resource. That is, everybody.

Even today, despite the complex political legacy of the past century, there is still huge public backing for the concept of universality in our welfare state. The NHS receives greater support than any other tenet of our state support system. Likewise, very few ever dispute the need to continue paying out an old age pension to those past the age of qualification (though this, of course, has risen in line with rising life expectancy and improved health in later life).

Where we believe it to be fair and to be right, the public agrees we should all share in a universal benefit. And the largest chunk of our shared welfare spending already falls into this category (ie on pensions). So, if this is the point of agreement, then this is the point from which the welfare state must be rebuilt.

* * *

The idea behind universal credit – removing the sense of infantilisation from the system, and paying claimants a single sum, once a month, similar to a salary – is a good one. In theory, it empowers those on benefits to live a more productive life. But in practice it has patently failed. So, what if there was a fairer, an easier and more psychologically beneficial way to achieve the same thing?

The argument for the universal basic income – a very old political idea that is receiving new interest across the globe as western economies battle to find new answers to the thorny question of welfare and poverty – is very simple. Pay all your citizens a dividend to recognise their participation in, and contribution to, the shared economy, and thus afford them a very basic financial security. From this point, economies flourish.

Emotionally freed as they longer having to fight to prove themselves worthy of social security, released too from the worry of how the family will be fed, citizens are free to pursue employment, self-employment, study, care duties, self-improvement and so on. Businesses have the confidence to start and grow; families can plan for their futures with some sense of security; care work – the bedrock of our economy, and almost always utterly neglected in mainstream economic calculations – is in itself rewarded financially.

It is intellectually challenging, in our current political climate, because it asks us to accept the idea of “something for nothing”, when our own welfare state, with the introduction of national insurance, was predicated on the opposite tenet of “something for something”. But the benefits system, not least the universal credit computer failure, is very costly, and endlessly complex.

By contrast, the payment of an unconditional sum as a right of citizenship – not a high figure, barely enough to get by and likely far below the current minimum wage – alongside the dismantling of the current welfare architecture is straightforward to explain, and simple to manage. Yes, it requires that we all pay more tax on what we do earn, but what we receive in return cannot be undervalued. The proposal, importantly, removes stigma from welfare: if we all receive the same, there is no difference between a student, someone navigating life with a disability, or a stay at home parent.

To pay for it, the expensive structures of the welfare state would be dismantled and those who earn on top of their universal income pay a much higher tax rate to fund it. There is no single accepted proposal around how much the payment should be if introduced in Britain, and how tax brackets would be shifted to accommodate that. It is a matter for heated debate.

In western Europe, the idea has recently been coopted by left-wing groups, including the Green Party and some parts of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Among ultra-left factions, it forms the core part of an idealised social structure known as “fully-automated luxury communism”. A book of that name setting out the proposal, authored by the Novara Media journalist Aaron Bastani, is forthcoming this summer.

Jeremy Corbyn has promised a new approach to welfare, but does he have a magic answer to current challenges? (PA)

However, the language around the proposition is problematic in terms of making it acceptable. The term “universal basic income” sounds both wonkish and overly-generous. Any serious proposition of the policy does not, in fact, provide the recipient with an “income” in the sense in which that term might be colloquially understood. At least in any major western democracy, the policy is not going to provide a liveable salary on which any individual or family could maintain a particularly enjoyable standard of life.

Indeed, it is not some fashionable wheeze dreamed up by the bearded and bespectacled of the alt-left in a coffee shop with a poured concrete floor in Peckham. Though labelled communistic, it is also supported today by many on the right who want to see the state take less of an interfering role in its citizens’ daily lives. The basic idea has been mooted in various forms by both the left and the right since the mid-1700s, with Paine’s essay perhaps its first crystallisation. Since then, interest in the concept of a payment to all citizens gained most traction amid the positivity of the interwar years, just two decades before the creation of the welfare state as we know it.

But a modern basic income – or “citizen’s dividend”, a more accurate term, and one I prefer – not only sounds different from those early proposals but feels different. It taps into the rights and responsibilities agenda that Blair introduced: we all have a right to profit from our economy, but we all have a responsibility to contribute.

Psychologically, it focuses on capacity and potential, not incapacity. It leaves space and time for development and enrichment. This is important. The current benefits system is experienced as a constant tail chasing, an anxious panic about the future, day by day, hour by hour. It does not leave time for creativity, for ideas, for learning, for experimentation – all necessary conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship.

A citizen’s dividend also promotes maternal feminism, which respects the critical role of attachment and the freedom to parent in the first two years of a child’s life. As it is paid to all, whatever their role inside or outside the home, it prevents control of wealth and financial power within families – a significant problem with the current benefits system, which still appoints one individual (often a man) as the head of a household.

Across Europe, governments have in recent years experimented with various forms of the citizen’s income, with varying results. The largest (though still relatively small scale) of these schemes concluded in Finland at the end of last year. The pilot was very specific: it selected 2,000 unemployed people and gave them a payment of €560 a month, which was not contingent on any means test or coercion into employment. Not enough to live on comfortably, but enough to afford some security.

The early findings scheme, reported last month, will be seized upon by those who are sceptical about the idea of gifting money for nothing. In the first year of the trial, payment did not help people move into work – in fact, it did not affect employment rates at all.

It did, however, increase wellbeing: those who received the income reported a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction. As discussed earlier, these psychological effects really matter, and are, over a longer term, economically significant.

A final study is expected next year and will look at the pilot’s wider outcomes, including the effects in its second year. It should be said, however, that this study is fundamentally limited as an assessment of how a citizen’s income should work – focusing only on the unemployed, and providing a relatively high individual reward.

Elsewhere (in Utrecht, Barcelona and a group of four Scottish cities), other schemes are trialling similar models of the policy. Each will report back on feasibility studies in the coming years. Critics and supporters will of course pick at them like a carcass; they will neither prove nor disprove the theory. What is needed is a grand experiment, and a government with the confidence to take the leap.

One way to think about the citizen’s dividend is as a reward for work already done; a chance to share in the nation’s business success, and address wealth gaps. In Alaska, a state which boasts significant oil wealth but little other major industry aside from fishing, citizens already benefit from a yearly, one-off payment based on the shared profits of the state’s oil companies. The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend varies in size each year and is a bonus, not an “income”, but paid out more than $2,000 to each family in 2015.

As Beveridge originally envisaged, a citizen’s dividend like this offers some security in return for contribution. In Alaska, that’s a reward for forming part of the socio-ecoomic group that allows the oil companies to flourish and profit. But what could that contribution be in Britain today?

Even for those that appear economically inactive, each modern citizen’s contribution is constant, in the form of the silent stream of data that pours out of mobile phones, laptops, desktops and other digital devices. This data is now forming the bedrock of an information economy.

Look closely and there is, in fact, “something for something” in the citizen’s income. We each of us, in what we click, link, like and share, are doing unpaid and profitable work in our leisure hours. By posting on social media we are sharing our likes and dislikes, our activities and behaviours. Each of these small actions – done freely, by choice, and for our own enjoyment – nevertheless allows large, powerful and often anonymous organisations to profit. Those organisations are taxed, and our citizens deserve that money back as a reward for their hard work.

* * *

In 2017, work and pensions secretary David Guake gave a speech to commemorate 75 years since the Beveridge report. He recognised that the welfare state faced huge challenges, that its very survival was at stake, but he said that in order to continue to function it must “hold work at its head, while becoming ever more personalised”.

He was wrong. What is needed to save the welfare state is a recognition that in our society everyone contributes – whether through economic activity and employment, or through care work, or in other ways – and we all deserve to share in some of the rewards.

In our current political climate, where debate is increasingly polarised by the hard left and right, the universal basic income – or citizen’s dividend – is gaining popularity as it is being taken up by extremist factions. That is to all our detriment, because in fact there are a strong, mainstream liberal arguments in its favour: manifest in all the social, economic and psychological benefits it would bring.

Yes, the citizen’s dividend is expensive. But tax rises would be sufficient to cover a small regular payment. If the welfare state was based on a non-conditional payment as a right of citizenship, wages would rise as labour is in demand, inheritance tax hikes become morally and politically defensible and the introduction of wealth transfer taxes – the Robin Hood tax, as it is colloquially known – also becomes more palatable.

By failing to radically change the welfare state, the huge disruption of the labour market and the casualisation of the workforce we are already undergoing will continue. The Department for Work and Pensions is chasing to keep up, and in its constant attempts to revive universal credit it is fundamentally failing. No Labour government can come in and save the welfare state in its current form through magical thinking. What is needed is a major philosophical rethink.

In the case of pensions, we still accept universality in the welfare system. A citizen’s dividend is a natural, liberal extension of that principle.

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Perhaps the first basic income payment would be nothing of the sort. Rather than replace the benefits system as it exists today, it would instead be an additional token payment, as made in Alaska, to ensure that every citizen felt they had, once again, a personal stake in the welfare state.

That alone would be worth it – but that is certainly not all it would achieve. It would be a first step in an economic revolution and a fundamental shift in our attitude to social responsibility – both long overdue.

It would not eliminate want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. But it would remind us of our rights as citizens and our shared responsibility in helping to bring these to an end.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Listen: IPL – Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings

Listen: IPL – Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings
Listen to live commentary from Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings in the IPL – Live – BBC Sport


  1. Delhi Capitals win the toss and bat first – play begins at 14:30 GMT
  2. Both teams won opening games
  3. India’s Shreyas Iyer captains Capitals
  4. England’s Sam Billings and David Willey miss out for Super Kings

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This Time with Alan Partridge makes television history (again) by bringing back absent jokes

This Time with Alan Partridge makes television history (again) by bringing back absent jokes

After last week’s cardiopulmonary resuscitation of a silicone sex doll, it is difficult to imagine Steve Coogan and the rest of the team behind This Time with Alan Partridge surpassing that moment of magic.

Well, they haven’t. But they do make television history (again) by bringing back the mother-in-law joke after an absence of quite some decades. Obviously this is done so intricately and ironically that you never quite know what is going on, especially as the one-liners are inserted incongruously into a quite lengthy This Time segment devoted to feminism and the #MeToo movement. This is something which Alan does his absolute best to get on board with, because he has tried to move with the times, and because he also knows he has to retain his precarious hold on his new presenting gig back on prime-time BBC1

And so, leaving co-host Jennie Gresham (Susannah Fielding) behind on the sofa (just as well), he takes the slightly over-long walk across the studio to the “Digi Wall” area occupied by sidekick Simon Denton (Tim Key). Here they share the viewers’ thoughts on sexism, and they are immediately presented with a predicament about how to treat a series of old lines about mothers-in-law sent in by John, from Essex. In the event, Alan compromises by reading each one out (rather than ignoring them), but, to compensate, does so in the tired, cynical sort of tone one (or Alan) might expect from the woke male of 2019.

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Except of course the jokes (three of them, plus a wife gag thrown in for good measure) “still work” as Alan and Simon ruefully agree. They do, too, because – I think – they are just so ridiculous and so obviously not hateful, in the way that other sexist humour and racist “jokes” from the past invariably are. Here the viewer finds his/her self in the same sort of dilemma – to laugh or be appalled; to laugh with or at Alan, or both. (I assume that was what Coogan and writers Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons are up to).

For example: “I could tell it was my mother-in-law coming up the path because the mice were throwing themselves on the traps.”

I can recall the late great Les Dawson delivering that on Sez Les in about 1976, I confess, and Partridge’s delivery was only marginally drier, and no less funny. However Alan then goes on to “explain” to Simon in exaggerated terms the supposed horror of this “contemptible stuff” – “suggesting that a mouse would rather take its own life than meet the mother-in-law”.

Much the same goes for this one (also from John, Essex): “I saw my mother-in-law getting beaten up by six men. My wife said ‘aren’t you going to help?’ I said no, six should be enough.”

Thus has Team Partridge, I fear, partly rehabilitated a type of humour that the nouvelle vague “alternative comedy” (the likes of Ben Elton) was supposed to have extirpated in the 1980s. An ambiguous achievement.

Less riskily, Alan also revives some even more antique terms of vulgarity such as “rantallion”, which fell out of use in the later 19th century: “One whose scrotum is so relaxed as to be longer than his penis.” This leaves Alan, like the rest of us, wondering “if that’s due to a truncated member or a distended testis”. (Could be both). It’s old and, I guess, sexist in its way, but also amusing.

Talking of swellings, Alan’s lips become comically distended to sausage proportions when he accidentally samples an oyster dish prepared by one of the show’s guests. Even so, ever the super trouper, Alan refuses to allow his allergic disfigurement to prevent him from singing us out, with his mixed vocal harmony group The Quavers. Given Partridge’s status as a practical example of that lethal male combination of arrogance incompetence, their chosen number, “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” felt entirely justified.  

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Callum Hudson-Odoi sends message to Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri

Callum Hudson-Odoi sends message to Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri
Callum Hudson-Odoi was handed his first competitive start for England before starting a game in the Premier League

Callum Hudson-Odoi’s full England debut brought joy to Gareth Southgate – and hopefully a measure of embarrassment to Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

Southgate has shown more faith in 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi in 10 days than Sarri has shown all season at Stamford Bridge, an instant elevation from England’s Under-21 squad followed by a debut as a substitute against the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday then a first start in Montenegro.

The teenager’s career is being played out back to front because of Sarri’s reluctance to incorporate the gifted attacker into his tactical framework at Chelsea.

And on the evidence of his performance on the pitch in the 5-1 win in Montenegro and his strong, mature, measured response after the game when questioned about the disgraceful racist abuse suffered by England’s players, he is an all-round class act and will be for years to come.

He is getting his chance, the show of faith in his talent, from England. This is a youngster with two England caps to his name before he has made a Premier League start for Chelsea – a stark statistic that does not reflect well on Sarri.

Chelsea’s fans have become increasingly mystified by Hudson-Odoi’s continued marginalisation and the temperature on those feelings will only have been turned up several notches by the maturity of his performance here in the hothouse of Podgorica, where natural passion boiled over into shameful incidents of racist chanting aimed at England’s players.

Hudson-Odoi was not only one of England’s stand-out performers, helped by Southgate’s successful early switch from right to left, he showed character beyond his years in this unforgiving, unpleasant atmosphere.

He was composed amid the acrimony from the terraces, picking up an object thrown from the crowd in the aftermath of Raheem Sterling’s goal before getting back to the business of ensuring England recorded another dominant win after Friday’s 5-0 dismissal of the Czech Republic at Wembley.

The winger is seriously considering following his England team-mate Jadon Sancho’s route to the Bundesliga. Sancho, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday, has been a huge success since leaving Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund.

It cleared a pathway to the England team for Sancho and now Bayern Munich are willing to pay well in excess of £30m to take Hudson-Odoi, whose contract expires at the end of next season.

Hudson-Odoi showed he has the temperament and talent for England and yet he still seems to have to prove himself to Sarri. It is a situation that gives a clearer insight into the Italian manager than it does to Hudson-Odoi.

It would be gross negligence on Chelsea’s part to let a young player of such promise go and it may well be that Sarri’s departure will be their best chance of keeping him.

Hudson-Odoi will be coveted by many clubs and if he is not valued by his own manager then he clearly has the strength of character and self-belief to take his chances elsewhere.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has made just six appearances in the Premier League for Chelsea this season

He made a difficult start in Podgorica, occasionally running into blind alleys and showing a weakness in an aerial challenge in the build-up to Montenegro’s opener from Marko Vesovic.

Southgate acted with that switch of flank and suddenly Hudson-Odoi was released. He cut inside and his shot across goal was turned in by Ross Barkley, then a magical slalom run in the second half brought a fine low save from Montenegro keeper Danijel Petkovic.

His performance was full of menace, ironically proving to be exactly the sort of player a Chelsea side that occasionally lacks threat requires.

If Chelsea are to show they are a club where young talent can fashion a career then Hudson-Odoi should be their poster boy, not the one who got away.

Southgate has embraced him in the England fold and barring unforeseen circumstances he is there to stay, part of an emerging young group that is bringing verve and excitement to the national side.

“It was a fabulous performance,” his manager said. “He showed what we have been seeing all week. His application has been excellent.”

The pressure on Sarri to play Hudson-Odoi will only increase when he performs as he did for England and the teenager’s desire for action at the elite level will only be sharpened by his international experiences.

Chelsea’s only benefit, should they fail to persuade him to stay, will be that his price will increase as he gets the wider exposure.

The Stamford Bridge club must make it top priority to ensure it does not come to that. Sarri must come to his senses and follow Southgate’s template, stop holding this untamed talent back.

If Hudson-Odoi feels under-used and under-appreciated (although not by Chelsea’s fans), there is no danger he will suffer similar disappointment with Southgate’s England.

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