The New Australian

Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The New Australian - Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The future of the ARU board is safe

Looks like we’ve got loads of potential replacement board members being groomed to take on the demise of Rugby Union in Australia. If the sport is still being played here in 20 years’ time, any one of these booster seat occupants will be excellent fodder for the GPS-Alumni Sheltered Workshop that is the ARU board. Billy Boy can fall on his sword at the end of November as agreed, safe in the knowledge that, Boys From Brazil-esque, there is generation ready behind him.

 

The entitlement culture is strong in the Scots’ College parents. Apparently, driving a hundred grand’s worth of German 4×4 means that the regular rules of the road are not applicable to you.

 

Can’t wait for a space to open for you? Just drive down the footpath, after all, it’s only testing a small component of the highly-engineered off-road capabilities of the vehicle.

Off Road in Woolhra

 

Someone needs to have a serious word with the NSW Land and Environment Court, however. How dare they enforce consequences to the parents’ actions!

 

Imagine if this action/consequence linkage was demonstrated to the wee bairns, just think what chaos it might cause in later years….. These future employees of Macquarie Bank might start considering others or even being wary of being perceived as brash, arrogant and without empathy.

 

No, this decision must be overturned by a higher court before the very fabric of Sydney’s elite society falls apart.

Can anyone give directions from Canberra to Runnymede?

Another piece of anti-terrorism legislation was made a step forward to being written onto the books in Australia today. I’ve got to admit to wondering why?

The key part of the bill, and the element which will get the most publicity, is the provision to declare an area as being a terrorist zone and to prevent Australian citizens from travelling to these locations.

Labor (sic) cleverly watered this down from being able to declare a whole country as a terrorism zone. One wonders whether any of the Labor (sic) MPs understand Venn Diagrams?

Anyway, it makes loads of sense to stop young men with murderous intentions from heading off overseas to fight religious wars and then return brutalised and skilled in combat to Australia, doesn’t it?

Wellllll………

To my knowledge there are no direct flights to Syria, Libya, Iran or Iraq from Australia so any intended travel will be via a third or possibly even a fourth country. It will be very hard to know in advance where someone was intending to travel unless there was surveillance-based intelligence suggesting that was the case. There’s nothing stopping someone innocently taking a holiday to Turkey and slipping across the border on foot.

So realistically, the police would only trigger this provision if they were provided with some tangible evidence of an intention of wrong-doing from the intelligence services. The alternative is that the border agencies would have to prevent travel for any male who looks like they are muslim, under 35 and has a visa for Turkey, Jordan, etc.

Best of luck with that as a strategy.

Either these people will be prevented from travelling based on a gut feeling OR the authorities will be acting on gathered intelligence. If the latter, then surely there is already enough evidence to progress a prosecution for conspiracy to commit a crime? The prosecution of murder or conspiracy to commit murder is not limited by location.

In addition, if we feel that someone is trying to get to Syria or wherever to shoot AK47s, do we really think the best thing to do is signal our knowledge of his radicalisation by just taking his passport away and putting him under curfew?

How many cases are there likely to be where we know he’s radicalised AND that he’s intending to leave for jihad BUT we don’t have enough evidence to prosecute him for conspiracy or possession of the recipe for Semtex or whatever he’s downloaded from the internet?

Maybe my default position of cynicism with most legislation tabled by the surfeit of parliaments that Australia possesses is incorrect but it seems to me that a little more legislative humility wouldn’t go a miss.

What I mean by this is, we’ve had nearly 800 years of Common Law since Magna Carta was signed yet MPs still believe that they should keep on writing more laws. Maybe they should be working on repealing some of the bad laws as often as they introduce new ones (which are invariably fundamentally-flawed)?

But the lipstick on a pig routine works so well that I can’t see that ever happening.

Take this part of the legislation, for example*;

Sunset

That’s good, right? They’ve reviewed the law that allows detention without charge and they’ve shortened the life of the legislation.

Of course they haven’t. All this bill does is reduce the duration between re-confirming the provision. Look at the anti-terror laws in the UK; “temporary” legislation that needed to be renewed each year. Which it was from 1973 until it was made permanent in 2000.

You can bet your mortgage that in 4 years time that detention without charge provision will be renewed.

 

Freedoms lost will never be peacefully recovered.

 

*And “sunset” isn’t a fucking verb.

There’s guns across the river aimin’ at ya

 

 

If you’re new to this organ, save yourself the bother of reading any of the last 4 or 5 post in the category “Rugby” and read this article which summarises the problem far more eloquently.

 

The sheltered workshop that is the ARU board has to go. Rugby union is doomed in Australia if the GPS alumni aren’t all replaced with people with track records of sports administration and leadership.

Bye bye Bill

 

I hadn’t realised that the NPC competition was Pulver’s idea. That alone should be grounds for dismissal, let me list the reasons why it is a competition superfluous to requirements;

 

  1. A competition with manufactured teams can be successful but they tend to require a huge PR budget to launch. The ARU hasn’t a bean to rub together. Ask your colleague if they know about the NPC to see how well-publicised it’s been.
  2. Selling the broadcast rights to Fox might have looked good on paper but the problem rugby has in Australia is one of depth of exposure to the public. Tucking it away on a paid channel isn’t going to help at all.
  3. How does the NPC fit in the Shute Shield, Super XV, Rugby Championship landscape? If you’re going to build a groundswell of support, there needs to be a clear player progression through intra-state, national, Super, International levels underpinned by a player/team contract hierarchy.
  4. How much rugby does the population want to see anyway? As a player I’d pull my boots on for a game whenever the opportunity arose but as a spectator I only leave the house a limited number times a year to pay to watch a game. And I’m one of the more enthusiastic rugby fans.
  5. What is the point of playing a fixture in a 40,000 capacity stadium when your best estimate of seat demand is 500 people, including coaches and support staff? As a TV spectacle it just looks embarrassing. The Shute Shield fixtures look well-attended because they are played at more appropriate grounds.

 

Nope, time to go Bill. You have been the Nicola Murray of Australian Sport.

 

Dear ASADA redux

The hallucinations of the Australian media over the potential of a Wallabies grand slam in Europe this month reminded me of a similar episode of hubris from nearly a decade ago.

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I never cease to be amused by Gavin’s hubris and disconnect from reality in this article.

He ponders the possibility of an unprecedented (in recent decades) consecutive victory over England and then extrapolates that to a Triple Crown win.

I wonder what was going through his mind at this point other than, “fuck me, this single malt is good“? Because, despite all evidence to the contrary, he then pitches the possibility of a Scotch grand slam as being something he truly thinks will happen.

So, let’s remind ourselves how well his predictions played out….

Wooden Spoon

Won 1, lost 4. Wooden spoon.

Good luck to the Wallabies in Europe. It is often the case that teams get a performance lift simply by a change in coaching staff, but I won’t be putting the TNA family grocery budget on the possibility this year.

 

 

Oh please, just for Gough

Few people under 40 or from overseas have heard of Gough Whitlam, so this is for you.

If you spent any significant time this week immersed in the Australian media, you would be might be under the impression that canonisation is not far away for the ex-Prime Minister. The revisionism is somewhere between Joe Strummer and Diana Spencer in its intensity.

There have been many variations on the theme but probably this one from another ex-PM (Jesus Australia, you’ve got a lot of ex-PMs still alive, haven’t you?), Paul “cop a feel of Queeny” Keating;

Gough Whitlam changed the way Australia thought about itself and gave the country a new destiny.

Did he, Paul, did he really?

Many us weren’t around back then so we have to rely on what we can research about his government and its subsequent demise. What’s clear is that he led an initial sugar-rush of reform, some of which stuck but other policies weren’t fully-thought through or, and this is always the left’s problem…. funded.

1.       Universal healthcare subsidy. One of the better healthcare-funding systems in the Western world, in my view, as charges are means-tested and contributions are taken based on income levels. Certainly it’s better than the UK’s NHS which is free at the point of service to all, regardless of means, and therefore often ends up with bottlenecks and funding gaps due to the disconnect from demand (two million non-EU immigrants arriving in the last decade, for example). TNA Verdict: Good plan, well executed.

2.      Increased public education funding. This is bread and butter policy for a leftist government. “Education, education, education”, as another fellow private school educated, sandstone university alumni Prime Minister once said. TNA Verdict: Not particularly radical, innit?

3.      Aboriginal land rights. Hmm, I’m struggling with this one. My suspicion is that this has been more divisive than he intended it to be. There’s a real constitutional dichotomy in  Australia with regards to land title; either the country was officially up for grabs when Captain Cook landed or we have a fuck load of unpicking to be done, unbelievable amounts of compensation to be paid and very little chance of paying it out to the right people. Guilt for the crimes of predecessors in positions of power is no basis to create legal precedent for the future. My personal view is that the problems affecting Australia’s Aboriginal problem are due entirely to special treatment, both misanthropic and well-meaning. My hypothesis is that if we give everyone the same opportunities, responsibilities and consequences for their actions we will find reasonably similar outcomes will occur regardless of ethnic background. TNA Verdict: Thumbsucking well-meaning intentions always end up with unintended consequences.

4.      He visited China. Who gives a fuck? Nixon was there shortly afterwards, which was far more geopolitically-significant. Sure, China is important to Australia today but does anyone realistically think the modern mining boom was in any way influenced by a visit in the early 1970’s? TNA Verdict: A commie visiting commies isn’t as earth-changing event.

5.      He changed the anthem. Fair enough, God Save the Queen is archaic and not relevant to modern Australia. I am yet to hear anyone ever use the verb “girt” in conversation, though. The replacement anthem doesn’t really stiffen the sinews as, say, La Marseilles. TNA Verdict: Good idea, poor execution.

6.      He built some infrastructure. Sewers, for example. Yes, that’s what we’d expect leftish governments to do….. and then the following government has to work out how to pay for it, usually. TNA Verdict: Vote Labor (sic) and you’ll get infrastructure projects, that’s just how it is.

7.      Pulled out of Vietnam. Actually, Australia already had, give or take a few special forces bagging their turds while lying perfectly still tracking targets in their gun sights for days “advisors”. TNA Verdict: At least he finished the job. How’s Obama’s pledge to close Guantanamo by January 22nd 2010, going?

8.     No fault divorce. This seems to be waved around quite a lot as a big reform but actually, it was just aping legislation that had already been passed in other countries several years earlier. TNA Verdict: Catching up with the rest of the modern world wasn’t particularly revolutionary and it cost private detectives and photographers loads of business.

Some of these reforms stuck, others required quite a bit of finessing to fund or were repealed later. Components of the healthcare and education reforms, for example.

Ultimately, Whitlam won’t be remembered for any of this as much as he will for being brutally fired from office. I wasn’t there at the time, I don’t have an in-depth grasp of the timeline and political dynamic but everything I’ve read suggests the following summary applies (please correct me in the comments if you disagree);

Whitlam failed to build a consensus with the Senate to pass the bills funding his government’s future planned spending. He spent over two weeks in deadlock because he feared the outcome of a double dissolution. So the Governor-General made the decision for him and the public subsequently massively rejected him at the election.

This intransigence, fear of allowing the electorate to break deadlocks and maintaining a limpet-like grip on office as a lame duck leader is exactly what the the two most recent Australian Prime Ministers have done.

It’s undemocratic at it’s very core and Whitlam set that precedent of tolerating sine die.

Similarly, the Governor-General laid out the approach to resolve it and it is for this reason that three subsequent Labor (sic) Prime Ministers have been victims of regicide since, presumably to avoid a repeat of the “constitutional crisis”.

What I read of Whitlam suggests to me that he had the vision for change but, as with all left-leaning politicians, lacked the pragmatism to find a consensus with enough of those he needed to find the funding. So he got fired.

So farewell Gough. Once you’ve been buried and the crocodile tears for a “comrade” have dried, probably the kindest thing we can say about you is that you weren’t as bad as Rudd/Gillard/Rudd.

 

 

 

Vale the Whitlam

After bursting on the scene with undoubted talent and energy, he cut a dashing figure amongst peers.

After an apprenticeship at the grass roots level, delighting small audiences at local venues he moved on to wowing the discerning cities.

Success and influence was inevitable and, with a small cabal of trusted talent, he easily won over the public with his integrity, vision and righteous support for social causes.

His fame was to be shortlived and purely domestic however. Times and public sentiment moved on while he remained rooted in a fantasy not based in reality.

This became a factor in his later self-enforced public exile, appearing rarely at events for boutique causes or to simply bask in the dwindling numbers of hard core supporters.

He leaves a wife, daughter and about two and a half partly-reasonable albums.

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Optimism, thy name is Australia

Sincerely-speaking*, of all the things one can admire about the Australian psyche, the unblinking optimism has to be top of the list.

 

The current public train wreck that is the national rugby union team is an excellent example of Australians looking on the bright side. Well, the Australian media, at least.

 

If you stick the words “Wallabies” into Google today, the top four or five articles are focused on who the new coach will be rather than dwelling on how the current steaming pile of faecal matter came about. The pundits in the know are touting the next “dream team” of coaching staff for the Wallabies as Michael Cheika and Stephen Larkham, apparently.

 

The Dream Team.

 

You can almost bank on the Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup and an unprecedented third World Cup win next year, based on the Dream Team moniker.

 

Let’s just take stock of where we are before ordering that case of Grange to celebrate “Bill” coming back to Australia next year, shall we;

 

  1. The ARU are looking for their 3rd national coach in 2 years.
  2. Half a dozen world class players have left the country, resigned to probably never pulling on a national shirt again. Kurtley Beale is likely to be among that number shortly.
  3. They scraped into 3rd place in this year’s Rugby Championship, providing Argentina with their first win of the competition.
  4. The captain was 10 years old last time Australia won the Bledisloe Cup.
  5. A series loss to the British and Irish Lions, including a humiliating 3rd test defeat where the result was assured 20 minutes from full time.
  6. The Wallabies are off to the Northern Hemisphere in 2 weeks’ time, currently sans coach, for a 5 test tour of the strongest 4 European sides plus a Barbarians team.
  7. The Rugby World Cup is in 11 months’ time…. Or 9 matches away.
  8. Nobody in Australia is interested anyway.

 

Re. point (8); Don’t believe me? See if you can spot the problem with this picture, taken from a home test match (against Argentina on the Gold Coast). Here’s the clue; don’t look at the players in the picture, look at the background:

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It’s a dying sport.

 

Here’s a graphic I’ve posted previously, but it still illustrates the point.
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Rugby union is dying on its arse in Australia. There is no young talent coming through and the ARU are going to have to increasingly rely on poaching rugby league players to keep the elite level teams viable. In the meantime, AFL and wendyball are both thriving. The problem isn’t that kids don’t want to play sport, they just don’t want to play this one.

 

Yet, in the context of this moribund environment, the CEO of the ARU whacked a $200 levy on every junior rugby team last year to give the balance sheet a boost. Or $20 per kid in the U9s and below.

 

It’s easy to see why many Australians are turning off from the rugby union “product”.

 

Things are going to have to get much worse before they have any chance of getting better. First of all, Bill Pulver needs to fall on his sword; he brought McKenzie in, didn’t support/manage him appropriately and has now left the squad in disarray just prior to a major tour and less than a year from the world cup.

 

If the board can fire him quickly enough, I may be persuaded to take the job on in an interim capacity. At which point I will execute my 8 point plan;

 

  1. No home test match ticket to be more expensive than the equivalent seat in a Super XV or NRL match.
  2. All future venues to be decided on the criteria that the ground can be filled or not. Give away tickets to schools and junior rugby clubs if need be.
  3. Sound out all the exiled players with a view to joining the squad for a fixed term to cover the world cup. Flexibility will be offered to accommodate the logistics of the squad training together.
  4. Every board member to take a 25% pay cut. Consider it a performance bonus that can be earned back next year.
  5. Invest in junior rugby; hire coaches and rugby ambassadors to visit the public schools to re-introduce the game to the non-GPS students. Especially the western suburbs.
  6. Investigate the terms of the Sky deal to see whether highlights packages can be sold/given to the terrestrial networks for the Super XV and Wallabies fixtures.
  7. Review the team charter; get the squad to re-write it with agreed punishments for breaking it.
  8. Hire a forwards coach with a more than a passing knowledge of how the scrum works.

 

The emergency treatment will be delayed though. Procrastination of the hard decisions is the one thing that the ARU can be relied upon achieving.

 

So, whither Australian rugby union? Here’s my prediction;

 

Next year; the Wallabies will do a “Barrymore” in the world cup (i.e. struggling to get out the pool).

Within 18 months; an Australian Super XV team will collapse. Probably the Force or the Rebels.

Within 24 months; the ARU will go into financial administration to be bailed out by the efforts of the GPS alumni in the Federal Cabinet “for the people”.

 

 

 

 

*Sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

Typical

The blog category, “Sydney CDB Dress Code Bingo” is dedicated to exposing some of the more horrifying office attire that most Australian men deem to be acceptable.

 

Generally, the extreme examples are posted up here, mainly because photos of badly-wardrobed blokes spotted on George Street or up in North Sydney could consume an entire blogger’s life and many gigabytes of online storage. Browse back through the category to view some absolute howlers.

 

Today’s photo is meant to demonstrate the “background noise” environment within which these extreme examples exist and to break up the festival of schadenfeude that is so tempting for a non-Australian rugby fan to engage in.

 

This bloke is typical of the vast majority of Australian white collar males;

 

 

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If you’re Australian, let me explain the main problems……

 

  1. Black trousers, blue jacket. Let me be clear on this; Never. Wear. Black. With. Blue.
  2. Plastic shoes. Are you still at school? Are you worried about wear and tear in the playground?
  3. Button missing on the shirt cuff.
  4. Sports jacket. Seriously, the 80s were fun but…..
  5. Turtle neck. Ok, maybe he’s not wearing it but I bet he owns one for when the weather falls to 15 degrees gets cold.

 

So you can understand now why blokes buy suits that don’t fit or think that snakeskin shoes are an appropriate footwear choice when working in the Risk Dept. of a bank, for example.

You see, it’s all relative (as they say in Tasmania). This bloke is actually well-dressed for Australia and this organ has clearly set its expectations too high.

 

Just can’t get good help – Manli ™ MILFs

Oh hello! Fancy a soy decaf?

How are Tresemmé and Chlamydia? Doing well at school?

How are they getting on with the new nanny?

Not so good, eh? We’ve been having problems too, in fact, we’ve just let ours go. The kids weren’t showing any respect for her.

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At least we quickly realised things weren’t working out this time. Remember how long it took for us to fire the previous one?

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We’re looking for other staff too as we’ve had some of our domestic help resign recently.

We’ve gone through a few cleaners and gardeners who didn’t seem to like the job or money;

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I know, I know, it’s just so annoying that we can’t seem to find and keep good help these days. I wonder what the common factor is?

I asked Bill whether he thought it was something we were doing that causes all these domestics to leave us so regularly, but he reckons it’s a problem with “Generation Me“, not us.

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He reckons we’ll just poach the neighbour’s nanny for our big family holiday in Europe next month.

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Anyway, good to chat as always. See you at Bikram Yoga tonight?

Right, I’d better hurry along, it’s a 10km barefoot walk to the well to get the day’s water.

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Sid Choraria, Australia’s top troll

Frankly, I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with the idea.

 

What a bloody genius Sid is, he only managed to troll Gerry Harvey to absolute perfection, the little clever clogs.

 

If you had to think of the best way to get the vein in Gerry’s forehead standing out and throbbing like John Holmes in Spearmint Rhino, I reckon you couldn’t have thought of a better subject to pick than the share price of his beloved Harvey Norman retail operation.

 

Sure, picking on his family or background might have got a response and we’ve seen how discussing taxing internet shopping gets him warmed up, but stating that HVN.AX is the world’s most over-priced stock is exquisitely-targeted at the open nerve in his aching tooth.

 

Now, I’ve not really researched Harvey Norman as an investment opportunity; it never crossed my mind because,

(a) I never shop there as I discovered the internet some time ago, and

(b) Even if I knew something which suggested the company was worth a punt, I’d struggle to put money into a company with such a hypocritical and crony-capitalist/corporatist as Gerry “pull up the ladder now that I’ve made it” Norman.

 

So, Sid Choraria…..

*slow hand clap*

 

Well played sir, well played

 

 

Starburst neé Opal Fruits

Transport for NSW Internal Memo

    Lessons Learned from the Opal Card Roll-Out Project
  1. Perhaps make the card available for purchase at railway stations?
  2. Rather than using only the “stored value” function of the system, maybe also implement the multi-ticket function in use on similar schemes such as London’s Oyster, where a season ticket can be stored alongside additional value for trips outside the user’s regular commute.
  3. Before enabling the Opal card on bus routes, have a project “gate review” to check whether the installation of the card readers has been completed on all the buses that drive those routes.
  4. Invest in “change management” for key or sensitive stakeholders such as pensioners who may be confused by the change and are unlikely to want to log on to a website to order their card.
  5. A bit of capacity and performance planning and testing might not go a miss. London’s Oyster card has a performance target of 40 customers through a tube gate in a minute. Our planning fell somewhat short of that.

 

In summary though, given that the project has only had two decades of successful and unsuccessful implementations around the world to learn from, this has been a remarkably well-run project with exceptional management of milestones, expectations, budget and communications…… for a public sector project.
 

The ARU board is a GPS alumni sheltered workshop

Discuss…..

Seriously, is anyone surprised to learn that Bill Pulver went to Cunt College?

A quick glance at the other board members will find nary a one who hasn’t been through the Australian private school system.

Nothing wrong with private education, per se, by the way. We might question why it is deserving of government subsidies and tax breaks, but in principle, if you choose to send your kids to a private school that’s absolutely fine by this organ.

Perhaps there’s a problem of diversity, skill and experience that’s a consequence of only the alumni of a fairly tight club making it to board level though?

Maybe this results in an inability to deal with members of society from alternate backgrounds. 90% of the Australian elite players, for example.

Which might go to explain how a generation of Wallabies have been mismanaged at a personal level and fucked off abroad.

This might also explain how they didn’t spot the extra-marital relationship going on under their noses but which the players knew about and were gossiping about.

This has directly resulted in Ewen McKenzie’s resignation, which you will hear about offically next week. Probably Monday.

Heard it hear first.

UPDATE.

They are softening us up for the announcement.

Is the ARU is the Calcutta Rugby Club in disguise?

As much as I have enjoyed, on many occasions, witnessing the Australian rugby team capitulate at the hands of some of the best teams in the world and, better still, lose to some unlikely opponents, I suppose I must grudgingly agree that it isn’t in the best interest of the game.

 

The joy I experience watching an incompetent and ill-disciplined Wallabies pack being pushed backwards like a bunch of drunken students in stolen shopping trolleys is obviously very selfish and not at all constructive to the future of the game they play in heaven.

 

After losing to Argentina for the first time in the history of a competition with about 3 fixtures too many The Rugby Championship last week, things could surely only get better?

 

Oops, spoke to soon; Kurtley Beale’s fucked up again.

 

The tone of the Bill Pulver press conference was instructive by the way. The backstory was that there was an argument on the plane, but the players pulled together and recommended that Kurtley wasn’t dropped from the squad. A week later and some “deeply offensive” SMS communications were found from June and this is the reason he’s been dropped.

 

I reckon my boss could probably find some deeply offensive SMS and emails if he checked far enough back too. This seems like a hunt to find a reason to lose another talented player.

 

Don’t believe me?

 

Ok, here’s an hypothesis to test;

 

The Australian Rugby Union exists for the purpose of serving the elite members and employees and, as such, the development of the sport in general and the management of high-potential players specifically are considered secondary issues.

 

Or, as Will Carling once expressed it, the 57 old farts problem.

 

No, surely this can’t be true? Say it isn’t so, TNA”, I hear both of you all of the Australian rugby union supporters cry.

 

No?

 

Ok, if the ARU were so great at developing and maintaining talented players, with all of their concomitant personality challenges, would Matt Giteau’s international career have ended three years ago while, in the meantime, he’s gone on to play some of the best rugby of his career (European Cup last year AND France’s Player of the Season)?

 

Or would James O’Connor be sitting in South West London scoring all of the points in a recent match for London Irish?

 

Would Berwick Barnes be earning Japanese Yen rather than pulling on a Waratahs jersey?

 

Not forgetting Drew Mitchell, too…..

 

In fact, as this article jokingly suggests, the next Wallabies side to play against the Barbarians could potentially play against a team stacked with exiled Wallabies.

 

Here’s the thing, Bill Pulver, if you’re reading this…. most companies’ HR departments would be raising a flag up to the board about talent retention if they saw the attrition rate the Wallabies squad has been experiencing for the last half a decade.

 

In a domestic scenario, this is the equivalent of having a cleaner or nanny walk out on you every couple of months.

 

In a matrimonial analogy, the ARU are rapidly becoming my buddy from Hong Kong who is currently on his 6th marriage (and that’s looking somewhat shaky, based on the “plus one” he brought to dinner last time we caught up).

 

Viewing this as an outsider, it reminds me of the story of the Calcutta Rugby Club.

Now, I don’t know what the current balance is in the ARU’s bank accounts but if they do come to the same crunch point as the boys in India, perhaps they might have enough to put on a really good bash for all their supporters instead of being noble and having a new cup commissioned?

I vote the Four Pines microbrewery in Manli ™ as the venue, although we might have to rope in a few non-rugby mates to fill the place up a little.

Give me Brisbane Any Day

Our old correspondent, Magic, is on an enforced exile in Brisbogan this week and has spotted the marketing campaign currently underway in the large country town city;

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He asks, “how fucking bad must it be to have to choose Brisbane ‘Any Day’? And what’s the story with the weird capitalisation?

Magic’s opening gambit is “Give me Brisbane Any Day over a cock rash“.

Not bad, not bad.

I’m going with, “Give me Brisbane Any Day, half a kilo of crack, an AK47 and a thousand rounds and see how many fucking bogans I can take out in a timed ten minute rampage“.

Can you do any better? Don’t forget to capitalise the Any and Day in your reply.

Please donate to Justin Marshall’s eye charity

In a recent survey of rugby fans, Justin Marshall’s commentary skills were voted as being almost as objective and non-partisan as Phil “geee” Kearns.

This, of course, places him slightly behind North Korean TV newsreaders in terms of sources of unbiased information.

Following a “successful” rugby career with the All Blacks, having played in the legendary group of players who achieved the lofty and much-coveted 3rd place position in the Rugby World Cup (there’s no shame in being a bronze medalist in New Zealand), Justin has made quality commentary an idiom all of his own.

For example this masterclass from last week’s fixture against the Argies.

This is the start of the pass;

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And this is where the pass was caught;

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The referee and linesmen should have spotted the fact that the pass went forward by 2 metres but, hey mistakes happen in real time.

However, we must feel nothing but sympathy for that legendary (“lidg-in-durry“?) Kiwi blues guitarist Blind Justin Marshall, with his unfortunate cocktail of conditions including cataracts, astigmatism, myopia and cyclopic impairment.

Because, after 3 action replays, he still gushed like a female 14 year old One Direction fan about the pace, the power, the strength, the vision which enabled the try scorer to somehow beat a load of defenders…… after taking the ball 2 metres in front of where they legitimately thought he should have been.

Take it away, Blind Justin Marshall…. “boomfaah! Uncrudabel power there frum the wunger.

Yeah, what’s the hurry, maaan?

Hardly a working day goes by where I don’t think to myself, “the next Australian recession can’t come soon enough or hard enough“.

Yesterday was one such day.

Because of the lack of a severe dip in the Aussie economy for so long (over two decades), there is now an entire generation of domestic middle managers and executives who are living under the misconception that they are wonderfully-efficient creators of shareholder value.

The more serious flip side to that coin is that they have not a single fucking clue on where and how to truly take cost out of the business. For the avoidance of doubt, I don’t mean just picking up the phone to your biggest suppliers and saying, “maaaate, we’ve had an awful quarter, the boss needs me to show that we’ve made an effort. Do me a favour, drop your unit costs by 5% for a while, eh?“.

A couple of weeks ago, we spotted that there was an opportunity, through some contract consolidation, to rip an easy $3m per annum out of our cost base. The data was a bit rubbery but the conservative case showed $3m and the mid to best cases doubled that. For little effort, it made sense to just do it.

Actually, it made sense to JFDI; Just Fucking Do It. And do it quickly.

So off I dutifully trot, scope up the work, line up all the key stakeholders, get a project manager on board and briefed, business case approved and go hard and fast to the point of execution.

The last piece in the puzzle is getting a contract negotiated with a supplier and then signed. I can do the negotiations but, in the interests of being “collaborative” I need a Twinkie from the Procurement team to sit with me for probity and “support”.

One is allocated. He fails to attend the first steering meeting where our authorised negotiation parameters are delegated to us. Not a great start.

This doesn’t slow me down though, I’m booking conference calls with overseas lawyers and commercial representatives to occur in rapid succession and making plans for the execution phase with the project manager in the meantime.

However, the Procurement Twinkie keeps trying to get these meetings pushed back to suit his diary and even when he does turn up, it’s clear that that the first time he’d read the latest contract drafts was on the walk from the printer to the meeting room.

Christ on a fucking bike.

Yesterday though, was the icing on the cake. The phone rings;

Twinkie:TNA, I can’t believe you’ve just sent another short notice meeting invite out for tomorrow. You KNOW my diary is full all day“.
TNA:Yes, but on the last call two days ago, we agreed as soon as the latest contract drafts arrived we’d hold what is likely to be the last meeting with the supplier to confirm we have an agreement. This is that meeting
Twinkie:But, but, the speed you’re going at just doesn’t make sense. It’s too hard to keep up with you. What’s the urgency, for God’s sake?
TNA:Three million a year. That’s what, about sixty grand a week? Look, I know it’s not going to be a share price-altering improvement but it’s not a gob full of spit in the ocean either. Maybe I should just work on the assumption that if can’t get in your diary for a week, I’ll just take the sixty grand off your salary this year, ok?
Twinkie: *Phone click. BRRRRRR*

The Richmond Game explained

As much as it pains me to link to an article on the Grauniad, there were a couple of charts here that did make me chuckle.

The following two pictures go some way to explaining why every entry to date in The Richmond Game has involved fat old blokes and young slim women.

We’ve not posted a Richmond up here for a while so, for the newer readers, here’s the origins and the rules.

The first chart is this one;

Laaaadies

This is an analysis from a dating website of what single women think is the ideal age of a man. In general, a couple of years younger than she is, hopefully with a full head of hair, good personal hygiene and as little baggage as possible, is the consensus.

The female of the species is definitely more realistic than the male. Here’s the same analysis for us blokes;

Gennlemen

It’s unconscious knowledge, isn’t it really? Any bloke over 30 is a lecherous twat.

Want to see this chart in action? Be in a bar in the city at around 7pm on a Friday night where there’s an office drinks party happening. The young leggy blonde from HR/recruitment is stuck in a corner having to laugh at the lame jokes and innuendo from the fat 40 year old married accountant while she desperately wonders how she’s going to make her excuses and get away without jeopardising her career.

Being a contrarian, I look at that 2nd chart and think to myself, “what a bunch of idiots“.

Why? How about the 65 years young Isabelle Adjani, for starters?

Isabelle-Adjani

Bonjour Madame Adjani…..

But we could also have mentioned Helen Mirren (69) or perhaps Zeninab Badawi (54), both of whom float my boat.

Just my personal view but frankly, when I was of an age where 20 year old girls would give me a second look, I generally found them to be more than a bit vacuous. Of course, that was fine for a fairly vacuous spotty TNA, but now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things….

This is not a view shared by much of the male population, clearly. Otherwise, this would not be currently our second-placed Richmond Game entry;

20111128-185703.jpg

The summer is rapidly upon us, friends of this organ. This is the season of The Richmond. We need some quality submissions for this year’s coveted prize of the best Richmond.

Remember, you’ve got to take the photo clearly showing that the pair are an item and get it emailed through to thenewaustralian at gmail dot com with a little supporting information and your preferred screen name (let’s stay cowards use the antiseptic of anonymity).

Happy hunting!

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