Logical inconsistency boomerangs

Today’s amusement is at the expense of the regressive progressive Legacy Press (c) and their take on the Commonwealth Games, currently taking place on the Gold Coast of Australia.

For those unfamiliar with the Commonwealth Games, think of them as the Special Olympics for countries that were colonised by Great Britain with the exception of the USA and basket case countries like Zimbabwe (although Myanmar is still competing).

To underline the purpose of the games, the original name in 1930 was The British Empire Games. Basically, it’s a way for all the athletes who would normally do “a Brian Jones” (i.e. not exit the pools) in the Olympics to get a medal. Which is pretty sad really, given the fact the Olympic Games itself is just a convenient way to bundle into a single event a collection of sports nobody normally pays to watch.

If the Olympics and Commonwealth Games’ actual sporting events are relatively pathetic spectacles, the opening ceremonies are even more tedious. It’s as if the event organisers sat around the planning table and said to each other, “I know what’ll liven up the prospect of a couple of weeks of synchronised diving and rhythmic gymnastics; a West End musical-style opening ceremony! Someone get Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John on the phone, stat!“.

The problem is, of course, if you have signed up to the entire list of left-wing “correct” positions to take on everything, yesterday’s opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games puts you into a tight spot, logically.

Why?

The Aboriginals; yesterday’s song and dance show was heavily-influenced by Australian Aboriginal dancing, music and ceremony.

On the one hand, commentators such as Phil Lutton want to underline the message that it’s time for Australia to ditch the historic links with the UK, that a constitutional monarchy is an anachronism in the 21st century, and that things were altogether better before Australia was colonised. On that theme, many of his colleagues from his newspaper have campaigned vociferously to change the date of the national day, Australia Day, from its current date of January 26th (the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet) to show solidarity with the oppressed first people.

On the other hand, many of those Aboriginal people willingly took place in the opening ceremony of an event which celebrates Australia’s history as a member of the British Empire and, latterly, the British Commonwealth, and yet there was a small group protesting outside the stadium.

What is the correct position to take without destroying one’s progressive credentials? It’s a fine line to tread and one for which Phil has our deepest sympathies, after all, he desperately wouldn’t want to express the “wrong” sentiment and incur the wrath of the Twitter pile-on crowd.

What results, of course, is an article brimming with cognitive dissonance, probably not helped by the late evening hour that he had to file his copy and the, presumably, free-flowing Aussie beer in the press room;

He starts in rambling, grammatically-clunky style, desperately trying to keep the representation of the para-athletes in parity with the able-bodied, and doesn’t improve much from there;

Surely, this is not the time for jingoism in our fragile sporting climate.

A statement he then quickly goes on to disprove, of course, dismissing the link to England as an anachronism whilst cheering the kilted Scots. News flash for Phil, it was called the “British Empire” for a reason; many of the more successful colonial masters weren’t actually English; Hong Kong’s Jardine (Scottish), Australia’s Macquarie (Scottish), New Zealand’s Hobson (Irish), for example. Further evidence might be found by perusing the place names of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where there will be plenty of instances of Aberdeen, Hamilton and Perth. The monarch of the empire may have been German English, but a large proportion of their subjects probably only stepped foot in England to travel to a port of emigration.

Then we get an anthropological history lesson, which is a nice touch from the Sydney Morning Herald’s sports correspondent;

….but, if we agree that the first people to arrive in Australia landed 65,000 years ago, they’d have done very well to have settled 2,700km away within the same year. Oh well, it’s a sports journalist we’re reading here, after all.

The article continues by celebrating the beaches of the Gold Coast and a cursory nod at some local government corruption in the 1980s, which is, well, obscure and not relevant.

At least we can all agree that Prince Charles and his wife did look out of place. Well, overdressed compared to the dancers at least. Actually, overdressed compared to any resident of the Gold Coast of Australia, a place where “singlet” is considered appropriate wardrobe regardless of the social appointment; beach, bar, court appearance, state funeral, etc…..

Bill’s Opinion

Sometimes a sporting event is just a sporting event and doesn’t really need to be used as a cultural guilt weapon, especially as very few Australians are even related to anyone who has ever oppressed an Aboriginal, let alone actually been personally responsible for such oppression.

Also, regardless of how one feels about the relevance of the role of a monarch in 21st century Australia, surely the one person who looks least out of place at the British Empire Commonwealth Games is a member of the British monarchy?

Lastly, could someone also please have a word with the Aboriginal people of Australia and get them to agree on whether the Commonwealth Games are a good or a bad thing so that we can all virtue signal in the correct manner, please?

Show me on the doll where the mean words hurt you, Mr Warner

This post is about cricket and requires some background knowledge about the sport to fully-comprehend the points being made. Feel free to continue reading, of course, but caveat emptor that it may be boring or obscure if you’re not from a Commonwealth country or you are American or American lite Canadian.

This month, the Australian men’s team have been playing a series in South Africa. Some unpleasantness occurred between the two teams in the 2nd test match around very personal comments made by the South African players about the wife of Australian batsman, David Warner (prior to their marriage, she’d had a very brief bathroom rendevous with a famous rugby player). The usual modern not-quite fight occurred in the tunnel on the way back to the changing rooms.

Australia’s team and spin machine went into overdrive claiming some imaginary line of decency or topics for “sledging” had been crossed and demanded sanctions on the South African players, particularly and suspiciously on the one player who had been causing them most concern with his skills on the pitch.

This week, whilst staring down the barrel of another test match defeat, an Australian player was caught red-handed interfering with the ball in an attempt to produce a difficult to read spin on the flight of the ball to the batsman. How blatant was the attempt? Yellow duct tape being rubbed across the ball and then the tape was stuffed into his underwear once the coaching staff tipped him off that the TV cameras had spotted it.

In the subsequent press conference the captain admitted to pre-meditated cheating but mentioned that it was a group decision of the “leadership team”. He also brought the younger player who’d been caught cheating into the glare of the camera lights to answer questions.

Back home in Australia, much angst and many pixels and column inches are being produced along the lines of “When did we become a nation of cheats?”.

Two days after the cheating scandal, the non-sports correspondents are allowed free reign on the subject, which has resulted in these two stunning examples of whataboutery;

Firstly, Ross Gittins;

And the 2nd funniest man called “Birmingham” in Australia;

To summarise both articles so you don’t have to slog through the grammar and syntax errors (they’ve fired all the sub-editors); Australian cricket is played by a bunch of cheats because of a recent federal government policy on asylum-seekers arriving by boat that you voted for (or, at least, didn’t vote against).

Bill’s Opinion

The Australian men’s national cricket team is loathed by all cricket-playing countries for two reasons;

  1. Their lack of sportsmanship. This commenced around the time of the Allan Border captaincy in the early 1980s when a win at all costs and hate the opposition attitude became the norm. At the start of this era there was probably a caveat of “within the laws of the game” applied to the win at all costs ethos but the unpleasant on-field banter commenced in earnest at that point. The current culture of the squad is a direct consequence of those years and the incremental effect during the years in between. Blatant ball-tampering to win an otherwise lost test is simply a natural extension of a psychological inability to accept defeat to a superior team.
  2. Their hypocrisy. The Australian cricket team would have won every Olympic gold medal in “sledging” for 40 years if one had existed. On-pitch insults have always been extremely personal in nature and topics have included the wives of the person being insulted. The temerity of an Australian cricketer claiming some moral high ground over an insult about his wife resulted in ironic belly-laughs from everyone in the non-Australian cricket world.

The way the cheating scandal was handled by the coaching team, captain and vice captain is also highly instructive; there is no such thing as a “leadership team” when blame needs to be owned. The boss is responsible, no-one else. That’s the captain of the team if the decision was made without the coach’s knowledge or the coach if it was. No ifs, not buts; own your decision and do not throw anyone junior under the bus. Be a man or step aside.

Lastly, if you are happy to throw insults around about other people’s personal lives, yet you’ve married a woman who may have previously dressed like a hooker and gave blow-jobs to strangers in toilets, shut the fuck up about “lines of decency” you silly short man.

Mexican standoff… in Australia!

A week or so ago, I wrote the following;

And now for some speculation; this will blow up in the Australian Prime Minister’s face as it is highly-unlikely that this will be the final sexual dalliance to be or have been occurring at senior government levels. By writing his moralistic code of conduct, he’s just given a green light for these stories to emerge.

Today a journalist tacitly admitted there’s a battle underway between those who now believe they should be reporting matters sexual in the Australian Federal parliament and those who would keep the status quo code of silence;

Politicians (and men of public stature more generally) are fearful of what past misdeeds might be uncovered next.

Journalists are at internal war over what is in the public interest and what is not.

Note the subtle men of public stature dig there.

Unless all of the latent scandals being prepared for public consumption are about gay sex, presumably there’s a significant ratio of women involved in these rendevous cinq à sept, and not all of whom are Foreign Minister?

Yesterday a minister, Michaela Cash, made some unsubtle hints about two senior opposition MPs which she was then pressured into retracting. But, of course, the inferred allegation they were both adulterers is now out there permanently.

Shots have been fired, it will be interesting to see if the response is a return volley.

Bill’s Opinion

This is pure Game Theory being played out in public;

Journalists are contemplating whether or not they can claim a public interest angle to publishing details of politicians’ sexual dalliances.

Politicians are using parliamentary privilege to make allegations about their opponents.

As both groups have individuals break ranks and start letting the information flow into the public domain, there will be less reason for others to maintain their silence.

In other news, Australian popcorn futures have suddenly doubled in value.

Teach your sons well

Apologies, but we’re sticking with Australia and Australian politics today because, well, it’s such a rich seam to mine.

As we’ve discussed previously, the scandal surrounding the Deputy Prime Minister is, like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving. Nobody, with perhaps the exception of his estranged wife and daughters, are coming out of this situation with the ability to hold their heads high.

A quick recap;

  • Deputy PM has a history of pontificating on moral matters, especially “family values”.
  • He has an affair with a member of staff.
  • She falls pregnant, he’s kicked out the family home.
  • He finds a new job for her on the taxpayer’s coin.
  • They accept a gift of a rent-free apartment.
  • The scandal breaks, he refuses to resign.
  • The PM refuses to fire him but introduces a new code of conduct which would mean the next minister caught shagging a staff member would be fired.

Since then the Deputy PM has made a few public statements. This one, for example;

Subsequently, there has been a very tame interview with the new couple in their “very ‘umble” apartment where the general theme is that, somehow, they are the victims in all of this.

Bill’s Opinion

What follows is not a moral judgement on the Australian Deputy PM’s sexual dalliance but an assessment of how he has since responded to its publicity.

Barnarby Joyce’s unborn child is a boy. Barnarby clearly needs to quickly gain some experience in raising sons.

Here’s a few lessons that may be useful;

  1. Take ownership of decisions you make and their consequences. Flying on airplanes doesn’t generally result in people cheating on their spouses by playing “hide the snag” with junior members of staff. You chose to do that and the quicker you accept and own the consequences the sooner everyone can move out of crisis mode.
  2. Rushing to claim victim status is never the correct behaviour for men. It’s not a particularly good idea for women either but it’s especially castrating for the male of the species. Barnaby Joyce is not the victim here and, even if he were, the correct approach is to quietly accept the misfortune and move on.
  3. In the words of Jordan Peterson, one of the best pieces of advice you can give a son is to “tell the truth and carry a heavy load“. The first step is to tell the truth to oneself and expand from there.
  4. The worst example you can show a son is to tell lies and claim victimhood. Barnaby needs to fix this problem as soon as possible before his son learns by example.

Lastly, given the reputations of Boris “come upstairs and let me read Ovid’s Art of Love to you in the original Latin” Johnson and Julie “#PolliePedal” Bishop, this seems like a photo in need of a caption;

Shark jumping is a new Olympic sport

Elite sports teams should be mixed gender, according to “a rising star” in the current Australian government.

Linda Reynolds would like a parliamentary debate on the subject, paid for by the Australian taxpayer.

Presumably she’s already solved the problems of national policy on cheap energy generation and security, the complexities of the tax code, affordable health care, the creeping pension Ponzi and updating the school curriculum to ensure a future-ready workforce so has got time to spare for this important topic?

Perhaps we can help shorten the debate with a couple of pertinent pictures;

Exhibit A, the largest elite Australian female rugby player, Violeta Tupuola.

Violeta weighs in at a solid 99kg.

Exhibit B, her likely opponent next time she plays against England, Kyle Sinkler;

Kyle has been cutting back on the pastries recently and has trimmed down to an anorexic 124kg, over 25% heavier than his new Australian opponent. That will make for an “interesting” contest at scrum time.

Let’s give a little more context. Here is the lightest man on the current England squad, Danny Care;

Danny currently weighs in at 88kg, or just 11% lighter than the biggest Australian female player. They play in very different positions on the field, Violeta is selected for her power and bulk, Danny for his nimbleness and speed.

What other facts could we bring to the debate?

How about looking at the delta between some of the current men’s and women’s world records;

100m sprint – 0.91 seconds

1,500m – 24.07 seconds

Raw deadlift – 155kg

Long jump – 1.43m

That trend continues for every world record. There is no Olympic sport where women outperform men, including air rifle shooting, an event where it isn’t obvious that a larger body or greater aerobic capacity would be an advantage.

It’s almost as if human beings are, I dunno, a dimorphic species selected over an incredibly long time by natural selection to perform different tasks…..

To return to the article;

However Marnee McKay, a lecturer in musculoskeletal physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, doubted mixed gender teams would suit contact sports.

She said her researched showed that from 12 years of age, “males and females are fundamentally physically different in terms of speed, power and coordination and balance”.

She said tests demonstrated males were stronger than women but females were better at tasks that required fine motor skills. Dr McKay said mixed gender teams could work for sports like lawn bowls.

“But rugby league? No. I cannot see male and female professional athletes competing across all sports as a blanket rule.”

Dr. McKay is risking the Twitter mob pile on by bringing such inconvenience irrelevancies like scientific facts into the debate.

Bill’s Opinion

If there is a parliamentary debate on this proposal, Australian taxpayers should all send an invoice to Linda Reynolds totalling the consequent wasted salaries and building power expended during such a pointless exercise.

“Methinks the lady doth…..”

The Australian Foreign Minister sure does get around a bit. One day in Canberra, London the next.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has stopped short of throwing her direct support behind a ban on ministers having sex with staff.

Curious.

She goes on to give some advice to the press on their job descriptions;

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has warned the media not to take it upon themselves to police the Turnbull government’s new sex ban, saying it is a matter of personal responsibility for ministers to abide by their expanded code of conduct.

That’s fairly unsubtle; “keep your prying noses out of our private lives”.

Some of us may have previously been of the opinion that the press were a necessary part of the checks and balances applied to those who wish to wield political power over us.

And she suggested the ban should be read in the context of the wider purpose of the code, to prevent conflicts of interest, misuse of public money or undue influence.

That’s a helpful interpretation for us all there; “it’s a code of conduct to prevent probity issues so don’t go publicising promiscuity and extra-marital affairs unless you can prove corruption”.

One almost gets the impression La Bishop is becoming concerned about something personal.

“It’s certainly not open season for the media,” Julie Bishop said.

Quite right, we wouldn’t want an open season and all the concomitant erm, openness that would bring.

Ms Bishop said there were aspects of politicians’ lives that were private and should be kept private.

Oh, do tell us more about which aspects you’re thinking about specifically….

Bill’s Opinion

What politicians do in their or other people’s bedrooms is their business and should remain that way. There might be three exceptions to this rule however;

  1. Where there is evidence of probity or conflict of interest issues arising from private relationships.
  2. Where there is a perception of probity or conflict of interest issues arising from private relationships.
  3. Where the behaviour contradicts previously-stated public positions by the individual.

And now for some speculation; this will blow up in the Australian Prime Minister’s face as it is highly-unlikely that this will be the final sexual dalliance to be or have been occurring at senior government levels. By writing his moralistic code of conduct, he’s just given a green light for these stories to emerge.

Of course, he could have just fired the Deputy Prime Minister immediately and watched the news cycle move on to the latest Donald Trump tweet. But that would have required vertebral fortitude.

The Occam’s Razor test of leadership

Sometimes how a person answers a simple hypothetical question tells us all we need to know to understand their character. Take this one, for example, which cuts to the core of the qualities of leadership;

Scenario; You are Prime Minister of country. The press break a story that your Deputy has been having an affair with a member of his staff, has deserted his wife and family, jerrymandered the recruitment and selection process twice to ensure his new partner remains employed in good roles, received a “gift” of a rent-free apartment to house her and they are now expecting the birth of their child in 2 months’ time. Previously, the Deputy Prime Minister has been a vocal supporter of “family values”.

Do you;

A) Confirm that there are no impediments to removing him from his post and replacing him with a more suitable candidate based on pre-existing codes of conduct relating to bringing parliament and the office of the Prime Minister in to disrepute and then do so with immediate effect?

B) Give him the benefit of the doubt, gracefully allow him a suitable period of time to state his case and to show some level of contrition but then, with a heavy heart, remove him from his post in order to maintain the gravitas of parliament and the office of Prime Minister as paramount?

C) Dither about for a week or so, force him to take a long weekend paid “leave” and then make a public statement to “update the ministerial code of conduct” to explicitly state that knocking up your staff and dumping your wife is not acceptable these days but do nothing tangible about the situation in the hope that Donald Trump will tweet something inflammatory over the weekend that diverts the news agenda?

Bill’s Opinion

There’s a special place in hell for people who claim to be leaders but soil their underwear the first time they are faced with a difficult decision which requires some level of consistency with previously-stated moral positions.

If you feel that this is a trivial point, remember that the person in this job has the ability to send troops to fire live rounds, both internationally and, in extremis, domestically.

“Over the top lads, I’m right behind you!”.

The best women are men

Remember the transgender Aussie Rules player trying to play in the women’s league?

(Hannah Mouncey, not to be confused with a bricklayer from the 1970s)

Well, “Hannah” Mouncey has just been given the green light and is eligible to compete as a woman.

Readers outside Australia will probably find coverage of the league on satellite television channels or via the watch again facility on Australian tv channel seven. I’m sure most matches will be fun to watch but there will be an extra frisson of vicarious adrenaline rush if they show footage of the recently-female “Hannah” smashing in to an originally-female player.

See also; Fallon Fox.

Who has agency?

Those unfamiliar with the principled, intellectual and classy world of Australian politics may have missed this current affair (s’cuse the pun); the Deputy Prime Minister has left his wife and family for a member of his staff and has subsequently had a child with her.

As always, there are some other periphery issues to be aware of; the staffer was recently moved into a new tailor-made taxpayer-funded position and the Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, has previously been a drum-beater for such things as “family values”. Whoops.

Well, nepotism and hypocrisy are nothing new in politics. Hand out the appropriate penalties, hoist him by his petard and move on.

What is more interesting, however, is the left’s take on all of this. There is a concerted effort to compare and contrast the situation with a hypothetical gender role reversal, obviously to bring our old nemesis duh patriarchy in to the firing line.

The link above has a TV monologue piece by veteran broadcaster (one hesitates to use the noun, “journalist”), Lisa Wilkinson, where she poses questions about how the story might have been handled should the genders have been reversed.

We’ll answer that question in a moment, first let’s look at one of the facts that are being touted in the list of reasons to damn the, already fucked, Barnaby Joyce; his paramour is 15 years his junior.

How do we feel this is relevant? Is she under the age of consent?

Not exactly, she’s 35 years young.

So why would the feminist, Lisa Wilkinson, think this is a relevant fact?

Bill’s Opinion

It’s subtle but the inference we are being offered is that a 35 year old woman was taken advantage of by the Deputy Prime Minister. Let’s rephrase that; a 35 year old professional woman does not have enough agency to make an informed decision about selecting her sexual partners.

That’s a fairly damning report card for the outcomes delivered by 3 waves of feminism.

Lastly, we can answer the “what if the genders were reversed, how would the press report it?” question with three words;

Julie “bicycle” Bishop.

Every Australian journalist reading this will be aware of the in-jokes, rumours and innuendo surrounding the Foreign Minister’s complicated and “busy” personal life. They will also be aware of how much of that has been investigated and reported on by the Canberra press corps – zero.

Hypocrisy is contingent on the observer’s viewpoint, it would seem.