OPINION: Emma Raducanu shows you don't need pushy parents to succeed

Emma Raducanu, who lit up Wimbledon earlier this week

Emma Raducanu, who lit up Wimbledon earlier this week - Credit: PA

What a breath of fresh air and hope Emma Raducanu brought to Wimbledon

The wild card who has just finished her A-levels showed astonishing maturity during her run, and self-awareness beyond her years after pulling out of her final match when she struggled to breathe.

“Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top. I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger!" she said after retiring on Monday evening.

Learning from mistakes and acknowledging failure helps any next step is the most character forming.

What was most refreshing was that she isn’t the spawn of ghastly pushy tennis parents.


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I’ve yet to encounter worse in life than obsessive sporting parents who live and breathe their children’s “passion’, which is usually far more the grown up’s passion than the poor child’s.

Their pomposity and superiority believing their child is the next big thing is unbearable.

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These children tend to be the worst behaved on the circuits, throwing tantrums, hammering their rackets on the floor and chucking bats and balls around if they lose.

The most sporting of youngsters are too often the least sporting in behaviour, reflections of their obnoxious parents who stand by and watch disgraceful behaviour rather than the zero-tolerance life lesson.

Raducanu came across as grounded, in love with tennis for what tennis is and not what other people have planned for her and was human, not the usual prodigy machine.

Many a parent of tiny terrors could learn from her attitude and that of her relaxed parents.

Truth always wins
No one trusts a liar. However long it takes, lies are always exposed, the truth emerges and the liar is revealed as dishonest.

Being dishonest is the very worst reputation to hold.

Keeping up a lie is exhausting, and rarely worth the effort because the real story is just waiting to be revealed.

Honesty is the always the best policy, and probably the most crucial quality to instil into any child – ‘fess up’ and it can be sorted. Tell a lie and any situation always ends up worse than it started.

Pathological liars whose tales are pure fantasy are the objects of derision. Most of us know someone whose second nature is to spout elaborate lies and snigger at how ludicrous their tales are.

However, if a prime minister states untruths, ministers are economical with the truth, narratives are changed in the interests of ‘politics’, British people accept it as part and parcel of the political game, we’re told.

Boris Johnson’s biographer Andrew Grimson said this week that lies were par for course in politics.

More than 25 million people watched lawyer, vlogger and filmmaker Peter Stefanovic’s video debunking statements by Boris Johnson, but Grimson said that anyone that took Boris Johnson’s assurances at face value wanted to be deceived.

Justifying the lies and deceit of Johnson, is one thing. Insulting the British people that we wanted to hear lies is shameless.

There are new expressions and words for lies, Grimson said. Talk about twisting the truth. Now lies aren’t lies if they’re in politics?

Stefanovic is right to say that the public does care about the “rampant lying” in parliament. His video is a public protest.

When there’s gain to be made from lies, it’s a desperate politician’s – or a person’s - weapon. Inflated promises are electioneering, rewriting the narrative and inflating statistics are blatant untruths. The electorate should call them out on it.

If we can’t trust, we need to rip up the whole system and start again. There’s never been a time when we needed to trust than through this pandemic, but it’s looking more and more like fiction not fact.

Distorting the truth in politics is as old as the hills. Plato claimed in the Republic that rulers of a just society must promulgate “noble” lies to promote social harmony among the masses.

In the 19th century, John Stuart Mill stated that an act is morally obligatory only if it creates the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, relative to its alternatives because there are circumstances when lying serves the general good more effectively than truth telling does, so we sometimes have a moral obligation to behave dishonestly.

Dominic Cummings, now devoting his life to blowing the PM and ministerial statements out of the water, claims that Johnson can’t distinguish between truth and lies and is a fantasist, then contradicts his efforts to expose by stating voters don’t care about mistruths.

Sadly, credibility and integrity aren’t always dominant in A type personalities and power seekers. It’s about holding on to control.

But lie after lie will make us lose the scintilla of faith we have, leave even more politically homeless and unrepresented.

Telling barefaced lies to Parliament might satisfy person power drives but puts our democracy at risk.

Test and Trace disaster:
If we’re driven by data not dates, I can’t wait to see the true cost of what has been lost to industry, commerce and education from the dreadful Test and Trace app and school bubbles.

More than 640,000 were off school in England last week self-isolating, and people were stuck at home for 10 days because they were pinged by the app even though they might not have been anywhere near an infected person.

This is not caution, it is waste.

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