On the Naughty Step - The Pundits who need a ticking off

This week: Ian Botham

Oh dear. Where to start with Ian "Beefy" Botham? Great man. National hero. Top bloke. Cricketing legend. Expert on the nature of school discipline. Spot the odd one out.

It was with this in mind that On the Naughty Step read news this week that Beefy had waded into the debate over the summer's riots, and called for caning to make a return to the classroom. A slippering, apparently, never did him "any harm". Oh, OK then.

Let's look at your CV, shall we, Both? Ah, beyond sport, charity walking and Shredded Wheat-flogging, it's fairly barren. It doesn't read like you enjoyed schooling, does it? Knowing what we know of your early life, Sir Ian, corporal punishment doesn't seem to have done much to turn you into a well-behaved, rule-abiding dream pupil. Indeed, one might go so far as to say that you were something of a tearaway for most of your childhood and early adult life.

Furthermore, the last time the words "Botham" and "caning" were used in the same headline was in 1986 when you were banned for smoking a certain illegal substance.

Perhaps now might be the time to set the Daily Mail to one side, Beefy, and instead flick through the many biographies and autobiographies that have been published about you.

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