Irony is resurrected for Australian Rugby

The ARU are looking to renew their links to charitable causes and are seeking expressions of interest;

The photo above is interesting; last time I checked, there were 15 players in a rugby team, not 10. More if you count the match reserves.

I wonder why they’ve cropped the rest of the team and wider squad out of the picture?

Perhaps a clue can be found in the press release (highlighting mine)?

Rugby Australia said it is seeking a charity partner that aligns with the game’s core vision, which includes making rugby “a game for all” and igniting Australia’s “passion for the game”.

Right then, a game for all? That’s great.

Can we get a hint of what that might mean by looking at the current charity partners?

The charity will also link with Rugby Australia’s current community partners including Disability Sports Australia, Pride in Sport, the Australian Deaf Rugby Team and Our Watch.

Pride in Sport? I wonder what they’re all about?

Pride in Sport is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTI employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators. The world-first Pride in Sport Index (PSI) benchmarks and assesses the inclusion of LGBTI people across all sporting contexts.

Ah, because what one does in the privacy of one’s bedroom and with whom one does it is extremely relevant to kicking a ball or swimming in a pool, isn’t it?

I suppose there’s no point in the charity, The Australian Christian Values Institute applying then?

Bill’s Opinion

As this article points out (h/t Tim), the ARU is one of those organisations that has fully-embraced the current fashion for wokeness. The problem is, they haven’t fully-worked out the details of which victim credentials trump which others.

Hence a deeply religious rugby player is about to sue the arse off the sport for firing him for legally-expressing his views, fully in line with the recognised teachings of the religion, because they are at odds with the feelings of another one of the protected groups.

Unless the Australian judge presiding over the case decides to defenestrate Common Law precedent (which, to be fair, is not beyond the realms of possibility), the ARU are going to have to cut a considerable cheque.

The lesson is straightforward.

Go woke, go broke.

Soggy bottoms

If it feels like this month’s update to the “Are we there yet, Mum” Index has come around early, it’s because last month’s was late. Sue me.

Since the Federal election and yesterday’s decision by the RBA to cave in to the noise prudently lower interest rates to yet an even lower historical low, the Legacy Press (c) and social media has been awash with vested interests talking up their own book.

Notable characters included in this description are Doctor Andrew Wilson (he’s a doctor of property!), the usually mildly sober Pete Wargent and practically every estate agent left solvent and trading. Apart from offering tangible data about “da feelz“, sorry, “market sentiment“, an increase in the auction clearance rate (i.e. the ratio of properties sold against those put up for auction) is presented as evidence for this ding dinging of the bell calling the bottom.

Now, it may well be that the nadir of the Sydney market has been and gone. That data point is, thankfully, a relatively objective measure. We can probably confirm this in about 2 month’s time when this month’s sales information has washed through the databases.

Our updated index (presented below), isn’t suggesting the trend has reversed, however. The relative change in the RBA lending data is still bouncing along at the lowest it’s ever been (before 2017, one could count the months it had been at 0.3% or below on the fingers of one hand) and the CoreLogic price index is still showing “negative growth”, i.e. prices are still falling.

It could be credibly argued that the CoreLogic data is a lag measure, so Wilson, Wargent, et al, could be correct in their bottom-calling, but the RBA data is almost certainly a lead indicator. Awkward…

Bill’s Opinion

The index suggests we’re still about 2 to 3 months from a possible bottom in the Sydney property market, and that’s likely to be the continuing situation until we’ve seen a quarter of a year’s worth of lending figures above 0.3% increases.

For those who pay attention, I’ve switched the trend line from linear to moving average as it seems more useful now we’ve reached a (low) plateau.

Better late than.. oh

Remember the false promises, customer and shareholder disappointment that is Wokepac’s New Payments Platform?

Well, have some good news and bad news…..

Good news; it finally went live, about two years after all of the bank’s major peers did.

Bad news; I bet they wish they had delayed it even longer to do a tad more testing; almost 100,000 customer details hacked by a simple query on Westpac’s NPP system.

Gosh, that’s a bit unfortunate, one hopes that it was a cis-gender white male who oversaw such an amateurish implementation and not one of the diversity quota hires such as Lyn Cobley.

Bill’s Opinion

Anyone who is surprised by this latest screw up hasn’t been paying attention.

Wokepac has, like any other organisation, finite resources such as time, people, money to apply to problems and opportunities.

Brian Hartzer’s social media activity alone should be all the indicators one needs to understand that those finite resources are being applied to many other causes and crusades before “customer service” and “shareholder value” are considered.

In fact, it’s almost a certainty that fuck ups such as this are to be an expected consequence now and likely for some considerable time in the future as the legacy of de-prioritising core commercial values for the sake of corporate virtue signalling will take a long time to flush its way out of the organisation chart.

Tim Newman’s academic investigations into the cause and effect of such diversity in large corporates is going to be fascinating reading once it’s published.

Obviously it’ll be too late to save Wokepac.

UPDATE

A correspondent has been in touch to offer the following statement, “The IT security team recommended not switching on the PayID functionality but were over-ruled by the CEO“.

Obviously I can’t ascertain the accuracy of that statement. Perhaps one of the remaining journalists employed in Australia might want to stop cutting and pasting celebrity Tweets as “news” for a while and investigate?

Monorail! Monorail!

Sydney ratepayers must miss the albino pachyderm that was their late beloved monorail, formerly of their parish. It may have stopped at no useful locations and cost more than a taxi to go there but at least the liability had been paid off and it only cost them operating overheads.

It was removed a few years ago but, rather than learn a lesson about crap public transport projects nobody asked for, the State Government decided to spunk ratepayer’s money on light railways.

How’s the value for money been so far?

Oh: Light rail project costs blow out to at least 30% over budget and is two years late.

The +30% figure is conservative, by the way. That’s a calculation by a journalist based on public information. The real figure when (if) the line is completed is likely to be an order of magnitude greater. Sydneysiders should prepare the wallets for close to $3bn when the final invoice has been counted.

Actually, it’s not the ratepayers in Sydney we should feel sympathy for; the ratepayers of regional NSW are up for the same bill but none of the eventual benefit.

There’s something about grand infrastructure plans in Australia that seem to regularly under deliver and over cost. The National Pornband Broadband Network, for example.

Bill’s Opinion

This isn’t my area of expertise, so I welcome illuminating comments below as always.

However, it would seem that there’s been a fundamental disconnect somewhere between the NSW infrastructure planning department and the legal counsel to have let such an obvious issue of subterranean cables be so vaguely contracted for.

Do you think any civil servant will have lost their job over this $576m screw up?

The eternal lesson is there for another generation; if you want something done badly, get a government department to do it.

Nothing burgers for sale – $10 each

A reading of all 448-pages of the Mueller Report is taking place in Queens, New York on Saturday and Sunday.

Isn’t it always the case that we find out about events too late to buy tickets or to cancel other plans?

For example, U2 have just announced an Australian tour but, unfortunately, it’s too late for me to attend as the concerts coincide with a long-planned appointment I have with slamming my cock in a drawer.

But back to the performance art by people who are absolutely sane and in no way caught up in an echo chamber of views;

Beginning on Saturday evening, volunteers will read from the report over 24 hours. Music will play over some of the redacted portions.

Riveting stuff. I bet there won’t be a dry seat in the house.

Ticket sales must be huge, somewhere between the Alien Sex Fiend reunion and “T’Pau’s Greatest Hit rebooted” tour, I imagine.

“The American people paid for the Mueller Report and not a lot of people have read it,” Steven Padla, a member of New Neighbourhood, told Business Insider. “We want it to be heard by as many people as possible.”

“…..not a lot of people have read it”?

It’s not as if there’s a concerted effort to censor it; it’s a free downloadable PDF.

Frankly, if you’ve not had an utter gut full of CNN talking heads trying to find something, anything, of interest in the report for the last few months, can I suggest Rachel Maddow over on MSBC would welcome the extra viewing numbers?

Bill’s Opinion

The Kübler-Ross model is generally accepted as a good indicator of where people suffering from grief and loss are on their journey to some semblance of normality.

The stages are as follows;

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

It would seem stages (1) and (2) are quite hard to leave for some folks.

Mandate rooted

As we know, Australia is in the insalubrious club of tin pot dictatorships and banana republics that enforce voting by law.

So, turn out must be close to 100% then, with any missing votes due to forgetfulness or illness?

Hmm, not quite.

So despite there being an enrolment rate (ie “we know who you are and where you live for the purposes of issuing the fine”) of over 98%, only 91% of voters turned up?

Ok, but that 91% took the important task of maintaining confidence in the democratic process seriously, though, surely?

Oh;

But up to 1.5 million people on the roll failed to vote at the election. In some seats, once informal votes are taken into account, less than three-quarters of those entitled to vote cast a legitimate ballot

Ah. So, faced with a choice of a $20 fine or turning up and drawing a penis on the form, a quarter of the population chose the genital option.

One Liberal MP said the voting figures suggested ramifications for the political system and major parties.

“Everyone campaigns on the assumption that people vote. This might mean they will have to campaign on the assumption they have to get people to vote,” they said.

You mean politicians will have to go out and campaign for people’s votes and engage them on matters of policy, as if they were taking voters’ views in to account?

How novel.

Bill’s Opinion

A major difference one notices when experiencing an Australian Federal election compared to general elections in other western democracies is how little you see of politicians in the wild.

Sure, they are all over the media, dropping well-crafted soundbites in time for the evening’s TV news but you can do the weekend shopping at the local mall safe in the knowledge it will be a politician-free zone.

As for politicians walking the streets, knocking on doors asking for your support? Forget it.

I have long assumed this lack of visibility of prospective MPs is a direct consequence of compulsory voting. Politicians assume everyone is going to vote, and most likely vote en masse for their traditional demographic’s party. If that assumption is correct, then their resources are best directed at potential swing seats only.

Perhaps this taking for granted of the electorate is now becoming a poor strategy when a quarter of the electorate are going to the local school, signing on the register and then flipping the bird at the whole charade?

More of this, please.