We are not amused
In the Labor Party its often not what you know but who, as Bob Hawke demonstrated on the 1988 Indigenous cricket tour of England.
Mark Manion, producer of Dreaming of Lords, a documentary that charts the story of the first Australian sports team to tour England, an Indigenous cricket team in 1868, and the subsequent Indigenous tour of 1988, was at the Star Court Theatre on Friday night for a film night organised by Lismore People for Reconciliation. Mark was a member of the 88 touring party, along with Charlie Perkins, Mark Ella and Ernie Dingo, and said the original idea had been to follow the path of the 1868 tour, culminating in a final game at Lords.
Only problem was the esteemed members of the Marylebone Cricket Club, the board that controls Englands most famous sporting ground, said no.
According to Mark, when Hawke, who was in England with the tour, heard about the refusal, he started going through his list of contacts, rejecting Margaret Thatcher, PM of England at the time, and the English sports minister before he came up with the perfect person.
Hawke got on the blower and spoke with Elizabeth II, who told him to give her 10 minutes.
Sure enough, 10 minutes later, the tour manager had a phone call from the president of the MCC, inviting the team to play on Lords.
The Queen also extended an invitation to the touring party for a lunch and private audience on the day before the match.
When Charlie Perkins heard about the MCCs decision he got cranky, Mark said. When the Queen heard, she got cranky just like Charlie.