In which universe does this make sense?

Remember the Government boondoggle that is Australia’s National Broadband Network?

Not content with landing the taxpayer with at least twice the original bill, a likely never ending implementation and terrible customer service, the genius politicians are now going to fine the taxpayer for the poor customer service.

No, really they are.

Let’s just step you through the order of events of which this is the latest installment;

  1. A Prime Minister and Minister, whilst enjoying a business class flight at taxpayer expense, concocted a plan to deliver broadband to the nation and decided on the technology to achieve this.
  2. When costed, this personal branding exercise was estimated to total around $50bn… at taxpayer expense. A mitigation was offered that the project should make a profit so therefore not costing the taxpayer any money.
  3. The “profit” would be made from the subscribers of the service, i.e. the taxpayer.
  4. Through the usual Ministerial interference and large government project incompetence, the final bill will land at upwards of double the estimate, the project won’t make a profit and the people who the free market wouldn’t have serviced still won’t be serviced…. all underwritten at the taxpayer expense.
  5. In response to the delays and legendary poor customer service, the likely incoming government have decided that they will fine the NBN Co. (i.e. the taxpayer) and compensate the customers (i.e. taxpayers).

Bill’s Opinion

It isn’t in the interest of any major political party to stop, take a moment and think about the logical fallacies and insanity involved to get to this situation and accept it as a good outcome for the taxpayer.

The correct thing to do about the NBN Co. is to close it down, further deregulate the telecommunications’ industry to encourage more suppliers to the market, sell the NBN assets and use what little residual value is realised to pay for a tendered contract to provide high speed internet to the 3% of the population that doesn’t live in a metropolitan area.

Oh, and tar and feather every politician who signed off on the original and subsequent NBN legislation.

Containerisation

….is a word invented in 1956 by Malcolm McLean to describe the switch from loose freight that had to be manhandled in and out of trains, lorries, cargo ships, etc. to the standard TEU and FEU shipping containers we still use today.

Depending on your source of choice, containerisation lowered freight costs by almost 50% due to lower rates of breakage, pilfering and required labour. Obviously, if you were previously employed as a stevedore in a port, that last efficiency might not have felt quite so positive.

The word “contained” similarly can have positive and negative connotations today. Witness;

Here’s another use of “contained” to compare and contrast;

That was from Ben Bernanke.

He doubled down a couple of months later;

Hubris is a painful lesson to learn. Of course, if you’re the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the only real injury you suffer from being proven utterly wrong and professionally incompetent is a bruised ego which you can nurse with your gold-plated pension (it’s funny how, in these times of fiat money, “gold-plated” is still used to refer to great pensions, isn’t it?).

Back then to Australian property prices….

For non-Australian readers, there are several important points to make before judging an opinion on the subject;

1. There is no such thing as a single “Australian property market”. In a country as large as Australia, with so many economic and climactic differences, there are multiple markets.

2. Many people have tried to apply lessons from other countries to Australia and been proven wrong continuously.

3. Opinions are like arseholes; everyone has one.

So, that being said, here’s some opinions with supporting information;

Sydney and Melbourne account for about 40% of the population and roughly 60% of the value of housing. Sydney is about 15% times larger in terms of population than Melbourne and 50% greater in terms of value (being mindful that “value” is determined by someone actually being prepared and able to pay the price quoted). For the purposes of this blog, therefore, we will use the term “Australian Property” as meaning the Sydney and Melbourne markets rather than, say, a small town next door to a mine that’s just been approved in a remote part of Queensland.

Predicting how a group of assets will be priced in the future is notoriously difficult, even the “experts” struggle with it. A search over the years for one such expert, Dr. Andrew Wilson (yes, he’s a doctor of property economics!) shows that he’s under-predicted the rises and not forecast the falls in his area of apparent expertise. The newspaper articles seeking his views never show his past performance in their analysis, however.

We might be able to at least predict the direction of the trend, perhaps?

Let’s list the main factors which might indicate main two Australian cities are on a trajectory for an increase in prices (“Column A”) and those which suggest a fall (“Column B”).

Ok, they aren’t actually presented as columns because I can’t be bothered to work out how to do that in WordPress, but you get the idea;

Column A – The bullish case for Australian property

The Federal government has a moment of largesse with taxpayer’s money and implements quantitative easing or hands out a cash gift to debt holders to sustain prices.

China primes the pump and begins another phase of massive infrastructure creation, requiring more of the stuff under the Australian gound.

India decides to rebuild the 3 largest cities and connecting infrastructure and strikes an iron ore deal with Australia.

Australia develops a widget that is manufactured locally and is as popular as an iPhone.

The largest natural disaster in history destroys a few states of the US and, the US Federal Reserve opens the faucets again.

Column B – The bearish case for Australian property

Lending criteria stays tight to retain the illusion of banking strength and prudence to the world.

An incoming new Federal government makes sweeping changes to the way tax is calculated, with negative unintended consequences.

Overseas funding for mortgages becomes more expensive. 60% currently comes from outside Australia and this is subject to the rate rises being seen elsewhere and Australia’s banks have fallen out of favour.

Banks play out Game Theory and reduce their exposure to riskier asset classes in the face of evidence of a downturn.

Criminal charges accumulate as political pressure demands scalps.

Employment weakens.

In anticipation of or in response to the decisions by the regulator, APRA, the banks impose and enforce tougher credit standards.

New rules and laws are introduced to regulate investment from overseas.

Chinese capital constraints are introduced, stemming the flow of funds south to safer Australian assets.

Interest-only loans reset to interest plus principle.

Global politics fracture further and protectionist stances become policy (in extremis, protectionism might create “hot” conflict).

Bill’s Opinion

It’s been a stellar ride, Sydney and Melbourne, but consider the possibility that your house might not be the pension fund you perhaps previously considered it to be. 18% annual rises will seem a distant memory if the current trend continues and “Column B” is stronger than “Column A”.

As for Scott Morrison, your Treasurer who is likely to be replaced within 18 months; in the words of Christine Keeler, “well he would say that, wouldn’t he……”

When the mathematics of probability is misogynistic

Tragically, a young woman was raped and murdered in Melbourne last week.

She was walking home from her work as a comedienne late on Tuesday night and was attacked by a stranger in a park.

The police officer leading the investigation, Superintendent David Clayton, made some comments at a press conference that have stirred up the professionally-offended.

The egregious comments were reported in the Grauniad, thus;

Clayton told reporters that because the park was an area of “high community activity” women needed to aware of who may be around them.

“So just make sure you have situational awareness, that you’re aware of your surroundings,” Clayton said. “If you’ve got a mobile phone carry it and if you’ve got any concerns, call police.”

The issue seems to be that the statements above somehow partially-exonerate the scum who raped and murdered her.

In the words of the State of Victoria’s Premier, Andrew Daniels, a man who generally gives the adjective “incompetent” a run for its money when trying to describe his capabilities;

…..Because women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.

All men, Andrew, or one man in particular; the one who grabbed Eurydice, forced himself on her and then killed her?

Putting it another way, if we wanted to prevent this type of crime in the future by trying to change male attitudes to women’s right to life and safety, would our resources be best spent on targeting particular men or all men in general? I suppose it depends on whether one believes all men are potential rapists and murderers or just a very small subset.

With regards to Superintendent Clayton’s comments, let’s reverse the meaning to see whether his original messages were 180 degrees incorrect;

because the park was an area of “high community activity” women neededdidn’t need to be aware of who may be around them.

“So just make sure you don’t need to have situational awareness, that you’re or be aware of your surroundings,” Clayton said. “If you’ve got a mobile phone don’t carry it and if you’ve got any concerns, don’t call police.”

If a police officer had made the revised statement above they’d be forced to resign before sunset, surely?

Bill’s Opinion

Most men you will meet consider rape or murder to be most heinous crimes and something completely abhorrent. These men do not need to change.

Sadly, there will always be a tiny minority of men who will commit rape and a small proportion of men and women who will commit murder.

If you are a lone individual walking across a park late at night, being aware of that fact of statistical distribution might just be the difference between you becoming the victim of a tragedy or getting home safely.

Is it right, is it fair? Of course not. It’s reality though and not “victim blaming”.

For a more comprehensive analysis of the lunacy of accusations of “victim blaming”, visit the Secular Detective.

Minimum wages and unemployment

Australia raised the minimum wage by 3.5% this month.

Hurrah for all the lowest-paid workers, I hear you cheer.

Some cynics have suggested that this might not be the universally good news that most commentators suggest, however.

Their argument goes something like this; an organisation has a finite amount of available funds to pay workers. If the rate at which they must pay these workers is raised by legislation, there will be less money and therefore fewer hours of work will be offered to the workers.

The finance and economics commentator, Stephen Koukoulas, disagrees in this article on Business Insider. It’s worth reading in full but a fair summary might be, “price signals work in both directions; if wages were higher, the 5.5% of the potential working age population who are currently unemployed would find paid work more compelling than whatever else it is they do with their time“.

The Kouk is a well-respected commentator and generally talks a lot of sense but his position doesn’t ring quite true on this occasion.

He uses the technique of looking at the extremes to seek the truth, which is a useful method. If the wage was $100 an hour, who in their right mind would sit around at home watching daytime TV, for example?

There’s a problem with this however; it assumes everyone is capable of finding and keeping a job.

This chart shows the flaw in that argument;

It’s the distribution of IQ across the bell curve.

Look closely at the left hand side; 2.2% of the population have an IQ below 70. A score below 70 is a crushing intellectual disability, with very few suitable jobs available that could be undertaken by someone in that part of the distribution. Cognitive abilities will be severely limited and reading, reasoning and basic mathematics will be real challenges for them.

13.6% of people are between 70 and 80 on the IQ distribution. Although not as severe an inhibitor, these people will struggle with more complex tasks and interactions.

It gets worse…. of the jobs we are rapidly automating, the first cabs off the rank are the ones more easily codified into simple rules and processes. Mainly, these sit in the distribution to the left of a score of 80. Anyone who has been into a McDonalds recently will have noticed that orders can be placed on automatic tellers now; it’s not the manager who has been replaced but the entry level staff.

Bill’s Opinion

There is a point beyond which raising the minimum wage will have no effect on the level of unemployment if one of the reasons for unemployment is a fundamental incompatibility between the potential workers and the vacant roles due to genetics.

It’s not necessarily the fault of the person with an IQ of 70 that they can’t get a job.

“Full employment”, is a utopia that will never be achieved. Is an unemployment rate of 5.5% as close to full employment as Australia can get? Unlikely but it might not be too far off either.

What other subjects are men not allowed an opinion on?

The other gift that keeps on giving*, Clementine Ford, offered another couple of hundred words in Sydney’s Morning Herald last week. The subject was the Irish referendum which resulted in abortion being legalised for a more wider range of reasons than previously. To be more accurate, the column would have probably been just fifty words if one could filter out “misogyny“, “toxic masculinity” and “rape culture“, i.e. Clementine’s default reasons for anything she finds offensive in the world.

As always with La Ford’s ramblings, she links multiple subjects (the war in Syria, border disputes in Israel, etc.) with the point she’s trying to make (“abortion should be legal and free on demand“), but there were two sentences that leap out as indicative of the mental gymnastics that must be performed to maintain a level of certainty as rock solid as Clementine’s.

This is the first;

Abortion is an issue of reproductive health-care, not morality.

Wait, what?

A useful epistemological technique to test the truth of a position is to look at the very extremes to see if the statement still holds true. In this case, we could imagine a situation where a full-term pregnant woman requests a termination whilst the baby is in the birth canal and in the process of being born, let’s suppose for reasons of her mental well-being.

If La Ford’s statement is correct, the midwife would have no need to hesitate before, sorry for the mental image, suffocating the baby as its head emerged from the woman’s vagina. It’s doubtful anyone sane reading this would disagree that there’s a moral element to that decision.

If we can agree on that, La Ford’s statement might still be true if we can find a point between conception and birth that the termination of the foetus doesn’t require a morality question to be answered. Birth minus 1 week? 5 weeks? 10 weeks? It seems hard to find a reason or trigger for her no morality decision required position.

The second sentence that indicates a contortion of logic is this one;

Men who cannot get pregnant need to learn that their opinions on this issue are irrelevant.

There’s quite a lot going on in those 16 words, let’s unpack them shall we?

Men who cannot get pregnant“. At first that seems a tautology; of course no man can get pregnant so why add the extra 4 words? Unless…… she’s making a very subtle point that there are some men who can get pregnant; men who used to be women but are now, in La Ford’s mind, men. Being a man and carrying a foetus to full term are not mutually-exclusive in Clementine’s mind. Okaaaaay.

Those “men” who weren’t born with a uterus and the other physical requirements to conceive and give birth, i.e. the people we used to call “men” in those halcyon days when all of us understood the term,  aren’t allowed to express an opinion on abortion, according to Clementine, and if they were to express an opinion, it would be deemed irrelevant.

Bill’s Opinion

At the risk of wasting my time writing an opinion that will instantly be dismissed as irrelevant because of nature of my genitalia, I’m going to anyway.

Abortion is a highly-nuanced and difficult issue and one that many very intelligent people have struggled with over several decades in many jurisdictions. That La Ford feels so certain that it is not an issue of morality and that a male’s opinion on the subject is irrelevant says more about her intellectual dwarfism rather than the correctness of her opinion.

As for men being able to give birth, that’s simply a land grab of language to suit a Cultural Marxist agenda.

As Bertrand Russell eloquently put it;

Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.

Of course, Russell’s opinion is not relevant to La Ford because, in all likelihood, he had a penis.

 

 

*Herpes is the original gift that keeps on giving.

Australia’s NBN; where taxpayer’s money goes to die

National Broadband Network chief executive Bill Morrow has warned there may never be a time when all Australians get the fastest available internet speeds, as such a project would cost “billions and billions” of dollars.

For those unaware of the Australian National Broadband Network, it is a national government initiative to deliver fibre optic internet to 90% of homes and business in the country and satellite or high speed wireless internet to the remainder.

No, really; that was the ambitious stated deliverable of the programme when it was launched in 2009 and it would only cost 43 billion dollars and take 8 years to complete.

So, imagine everyone’s surprise to learn, a year past the original scheduled completion date, NBN won’t actually deliver its objective and won’t be able to connect everyone.

In fact, the scope of the deliverable has atrophied whilst the cost has increased. Most dwellings won’t be receiving fibre to their home but that bleeding edge technology known as copper wire, the stuff Alexander Bell used to summon Mr. Watson over.

In addition, depending on which source you go to, the cost has blown out to nearly double the original estimate. Then there’s the lived experience of those consumers who have been connected; a Google search illustrates a potential systemic level of service delivery failures.

If only this fiscal disaster at the expense of the taxpayer could have been predicted in some way….

Bill’s Opinion

Australia’s NBN is a case study of why government spending is always, I repeat; ALWAYS inefficient and results in sub-optimal solutions. There is a list of mistakes as long as the cables they aren’t installing with this programme, but some stand outs include;

  1. The wrong “exam question” was asked. Instead of, “how will the government provide high speed connectivity to the entire country?“, the question should have been, “how does the government provide high speed connectivity to the 3% of the population that the telecommunications providers will find uneconomical to connect?
  2. The politicians behind the creation of the programme determined the solution not the problem statement by initially stating that the high speed connectivity would be via fibre optic cable. In the meantime, the global market in wireless technology has introduced 5G which is capable of speeds close to those selected by most NBN customers.
  3. Rather than deregulate the telecommunications market and local planning laws to allow multiple new telecommunications providers to compete for business and then oversee their services to ensure quality and value, the NBN programme opted for a central planning approach. The clear evidence around the globe of large, centrally-planned programmes is that they spiral out of control.

Government programmes take on a life of their own, regardless of the good intentions at the outset, and eventually become a siphon direct from the wallets of the taxpayers to the employees of the programme. The NBN is likely to be the case study of this in future.

Everything is racist.

Even how one pronounces the name of a consonant is racist.

No, really it is;

No research has conclusively established….” seem like the most relevant words in that paragraph.

I heard a talk radio show once. Extrapolating the comments by the callers is a valid and reliable scientific approach“.

By pronouncing the letter H in the way that you do makes you responsible for the extinction of other languages“.

…and, not content with driving other languages to extinction, you are also responsible for historic and current violence against minorities“.

“Sinister. Yes, it may seem harmless but you’ve killed other languages and dealt violence on the innocent with your language pedantry, you monster. Look at what you have done. Happy now?

Bill’s Opinion

Voltaire didn’t actually write the quote being paraphrased and re-purposed above, his biographer did.

….he is also an utter cockwomble with a complete disregard for critical thinking, investigation of fact and application of logic.

He must be very comfortable and well at home in academia.

Meaty, Beaty, Hannah Mouncey

Our old friend Hannah Mouncey was back in the legacy press this week, on IDAHOBIT Day (yes, that’s a real “day”). The Grauniad gave him her some column inches to write about transphobia.

There’s no need to read the complete article, it’s mainly self-serving guff about how the AFL are tying themselves in logical knots trying to work out what to do with a “woman” player who has been on testosterone treatments (i.e. they were a man) for their entire life until their mid-twenties but wishes to compete in the female league. The picture Hannah and the Grauniad chose (above) to illustrate the injustice might not be quite as persuasive as they would hope. Nice guns there, Hannah, what do you bench?

The key part of the entire column is here;

But with latest figures showing 80% of young trans people having self-harmed, 48% reporting having attempted suicide at some point in their lives and rates of depression and anxiety approximately 10 times higher than other young Australians, it is important that people are aware of the impact their actions have. Those commenting on trans people and their place in society – as Chris Judd has recently – really need to be careful about the potential impact this has, as well as ensuring that what they have to say is informed.

Firstly, the comments by Chris Judd are here and are about as balanced an opinion as one is likely to see on any subject and has several academic studies referenced in support of the opinions. In summary, the physical advantages of a male athlete over a female athlete are not negated simply because they have recently reduced their testosterone levels and increased estrogen; the bone and cell advantages remain. For a less scientific version of this view, refer back to the picture above.

Secondly, Hannah seems to have jumped to the conclusion that transgender folk are depressed as a consequence of societal factors, rather than than a more inherent cause. It’s worth repeating that the only groups of people with documented rates of suicide approaching those of transgender people were prisoners in Soviet gulags and Nazi death camps.

For there to be a societal cause to the transgender suicide problem, we would have to agree that transgender people are being brutalised at a comparable scale to those two groups. Let’s just pause for a second and, if need be, go to Google and search for images and video footage of the liberation of Belsen.

Can you honestly claim western society is treating people like Hannah in a way that is similar to those war crimes?

Hannah also raises the issue of the perceived irresponsible use of speech that risks “harming” young transgender people. Apart from the balanced and academically-referenced article by Judd, the only evidence of this “harmful” speech offered was a news article reporting some signage on a bathroom door in a restaurant in the US (i.e. another continent away from Hannah’s house). What was the signage?

This;

Bill’s Opinion

Using our patented razor, it’s most likely that transgender people are depressed and suicidal due to their internal existential conflict rather than the reaction of the outside world to the outward displays of their internal existential conflict.

Regarding the irresponsible use of language, of course it is important that we consider carefully how we discuss the problems of others but it’s a dangerous path that leads from suggesting we can’t discuss facts. Hannah currently benefits from free speech; there are many locations in the  world where he she would be unable to write a newspaper column such as the one in the Grauniad simply due to who he she is. Be very wary of restricting what others might say, regardless and especially if you disagree with what it is they are saying. The true test of your belief in free speech is that you specifically allow and defend the right of opinions you reject to be expressed.

As for the bathroom signage…. well, I think it’s quite funny actually.

In fact, why would a Grauniad reader feel that it is offensive given their firm assertion that Bruce Jenner was a man and Caitlyn Jenner is most definitely a woman. If that statement is correct, what is inaccurate or offensive about the doors?

 

We screwed up. You pay.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this news, after all, the modern response to a political scandal is always to make the taxpayer suffer and never for the responsible to resign or be fired;

The Northern Territory government’s response to a Royal Commission’s damning findings on juvenile criminal custody is to throw more money at the problem.

Perhaps most galling for those few suckers taxpayers who are net contributors in the Northern Territory is that this recent splurge of their cash is being pitched as an “investment”.

If that noun were truthful, perhaps it’s not unreasonable for those taxpayers to ask what the return was for previous such “investments” and whether or not they were receiving value for money?

Let’s examine the “investment” claim a little further, what will they get this time?

The money is going to buy;

  • Upgrades to two existing detention centres ($71.4m)
  • An IT system ($66.9m)
  • “Improvements” to detention operations ($22.9m)
  • “Coordination hubs” ($11.4m)
  • “Support for kinship and foster carers” ($5.4m)

I bet the NT taxpayers must be so excited, like a year full of Christmas and birthday mornings have arrived at once…..

Speaking of taxpayers, how many net contributing taxpayers (i.e. those who put in more than they receive back in benefits, childcare vouchers, medicare, etc.) are there?

Numbers are hard to ascertain but we could make an informed guess that it’s probably about 50% of the total population (supported by this article), so about 100,000 souls.

Bill’s Opinion

The press conference announcing the response to the Royal Commission’s findings could have been shortened considerably by reading out the following statement;

Good afternoon taxpayers of the Northern Territories.

The Royal Commission has found that this government and our predecessors have consistently failed to achieve our stated results, regardless of how much of your money we threw at the problem. Therefore, we will be removing another $200 each from your wallets and will be buying more stuff with it. We haven’t made any material changes to how we measure return on investment so please do not expect any change to the outcomes.

Nobody responsible for the past mistakes will lose their job or be subject to further investigation“.

If you are a Northern Territory taxpayer, you may want to consider the possibility that you are being farmed.

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?