Out of solicitude for my mental health, I have stayed away from the gongs announced on this dreadful dies non, but two items caught my eye today in the sports pages. One concerned Mr Toby Price, the two time winner of the Dakar, the toughest contest on the planet. They will have to invent a new word for courage for him – in hospital again with a broken body.
The other concerns our PM who is increasingly looking like a strolling player in search of a sandwich board. He said something very silly about sport and politics. Politicians, especially those of the crude, retail populist kind – like ScoMo – just love mixing with sportsmen. Remember Our Bob on the America’s Cup? Paul Keating number 1 at Collingwood?
But like the IPA on corporations, ScoMo thinks sports bodies should not have views on politics. You do not have to live in a small town to realise that if you want to get on in business, you have to engage with people. That’s what Cricket Australia did about this sad day’s name, and our PM said he thought they should prefer sport to politics. I am not sure if the New South Welshman knows of Mr Adam Goodes, but Mr Gideon Haigh correctly analysed the bullshit.
The either/or foundation is of course perfectly fallacious. Sport is pervaded by politics, especially when sports teams purport to represent whole nations, and beloved of politicians, who envy its capacity for engaging, exciting and unifying…..Which is exactly why Morrison flaunts his democratic credentials by cosying up to sports people …..So when the Prime Minister objects to the mixing of cricket and politics, what he is really objecting to is the particular mixing that doesn’t shore up his national daggy dad routine. And when he says that it ‘wasn’t a particularly flash day for those people on those vessels’ of the First Fleet, it’s not just a lazy stab at moral equivalence, but the same tone-deaf approximation of the vernacular as Kevin Rudd demanding a ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle.’
Precisely, Mr Haigh. Get a new gag writer, ScoMo. The Mayflower at Plymouth Rock was more your go. Puritans to their bloody eyeballs, but they never let God stand between them and a dollar. That’s why your old mate Donny Boy is still so flush, and in with the chosen, God’s elect. Just live for the Sharks of Cronulla on Saturdays and Hillsong on Sundays. You bloody ripper, Mate.
It is hard to see what the world did wrong to land Rupert. The Oz editorial yesterday counselled Mr Biden to be prudent and concluded:
The US does not need a rerun of the Obama years.
There in one sentence is the accumulated venom of Rupert Murdoch.
The Australian, 25 January, 2021