RICHARD FLANAGAN:

My 86-year-old mother still hasn’t forgiven the English for Jardine and believes Freddie Flintoff is an animal. My own feelings, honed in my youth by that particular generosity of spirit and sharpness of wit that is Oxford University (“Who’s the sheila, convict?”), are not dissimilar.

I don’t care whether we win or lose against India or South Africa. But I derive a satisfaction from seeing the Poms flogged in the Ashes, not unlike that which must have arisen in the breast of the first Goth to walk as victor through imperial Rome.

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