The cloud consists of allegations of ‘racism’ against Michael Vaughan, a former English captain, and current commentator. The only allegation that Mr Faruqi mentions is that Mr Vaughan is alleged to have said to a group of Asian cricketers ‘Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.’ Mr Vaughan denies making saying that. (If it matters, I believe him. I hold Mr Vaughan in high regard.)
The Age today has an article by Osman Faruqi, who it describes as a Pakistani born Australian journalist.’ Mr Faruqi says there is ‘a cloud hanging over this series that few in Australian cricket seemingly wanted to acknowledge, let alone discuss.’
English media organisations have apparently dropped Mr Vaughan as a commentator. Mr Faruqi says Fox Sports should do the same here.
Mr Faruqi does not say which form of the very plastic term ‘racism’ he invokes against Mr Vaughan. We cannot then judge – if we are into giving judgment – whether it would apply to his remark that ‘as a Pakistani-Australian cricket tragic, I absolutely love to see England lose.’ I can imagine people having very different views on that issue. Or in the belief that English soccer is bedevilled by its overt reliance on too many imported players of colour.
But they are mere debating points. What Mr Faruqi is saying is that Mr Vaughan should be dealt by a third party adversely to his interests and good standing among us because first, someone has made an allegation against him that he denies and, secondly, that other third parties in England have chosen to do so (albeit on grounds that we have not seen described).
If we here were to follow that policy, we would be going back to the Law of Suspects implemented in France during the great Terror in 1793. You could be deprived of your rights if someone made an allegation against you that you had conducted yourself in a way that was seen to be against the interests of the current regime. Mere suspicion was enough to put you down.
That is a shocking suggestion. It is the logical equivalent of saying that if there is a cloud above your head, we can say that you are standing in the rain.
And it does not get any better because it comes from a person who – it is transcendentally clear – is not a disinterested observer.
The Age should know better. Indeed, it is dangerously close to standing under a cloud.