Advance? Australia? Fair?

My apologies for going on so much about Australia’s Lieberal-led Coal-ition lately, but I really need to vent my revulsion at the fact that these con-servatives are, entirely contrary to the spirit of our national anthem, rapidly ‘advancing’ the country in reverse.

In every possible way, but most obviously this week by means of the protection racket they’ve been running on behalf of their supporters and cronies on the big or rather pig end of town.

But in any case you can avoid my ranting by simply ignoring it. Like me, you’ve probably had more than a belly-full by now of the evidence of systematic malpractices, corruptions and crimes emerging from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

And now, to add insult to the injury done to many if not most of us by the CBA, ANZ, NAB, Westpac, AMP and their predatory subsidiaries, we’re being confronted with the sickening spectacle of Treasurer Scott Morrison and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer striving to deny that they’ve spent the past two years dismissing, ridiculing and voting against moves by Labor and the Greens for a royal commission into this mess.

Plus pretending to forget that it was only a threatened revolt over the issue by some of their own Coal-ition back-benchers that finally dragged them, ‘kicking and screaming’, as so many commentators have observed, to relent.

But not, with the exception of former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, to repent, but rather to embark on an offensive – extremely offensive – campaign of lies, spin and evasion.

In short, rather than advancing the cause of financial reform, these retards have set it back as far as possible, even to the extent of some years ago slashing the budget of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the alleged financial ‘watchdog’ that has since clearly been sleeping on the job.

At least, despite their scramble to deny that they’ve been responsible for years of foot-dragging on financial-services reform, and thus arguably open to the accusation of having been accessories to the crimes currently being exposed by the royal commission, the Coal-ition parties look likely to pay a heavy political price for the protection racket they’ve been running on behalf of the predatory banks.

Turnbull, Morrison, O’Dwyer and all their accomplices in retarding rather than advancing Australia are now faced with more determined opposition than ever to their plot to slash the corporate tax rate, in light of the fact that a fat slice of the benefits would go to the very banks that the voters have such good, and still growing, reasons to revile.

And the same voters aren’t so stupid as to be unaware of the fact that financial services is just the latest in a long list of the Coal-ition’s failures to advance Australia.

Long-overdue root-and-branch reform of the tax system still remains completely undone, despite the government’s assurance some years ago that, following prolonged inaction on recommendations by the Henry Report ‘everything was on the table’.

And in another massive failure to make the slightest advance, as signified by my continually calling it the ‘Coal-ition’, this gang of fossils and fools still persists in pandering to its supporters and cronies in the fossil-fuel industries, thus costing Australians a fortune in inflated power bills and the nation the opportunity of playing a leading role in the global renewable-energy revolution.

Just as they wasted years opposing same-sex marriage and  then squandered $100 million or so on a plebiscite so that they could pacify their ultra-right, or in other words ultra-wrong colleagues by blaming the populace for the decision rather than taking responsibility for it themselves.

Advance? You must be joking. In every sphere it gets its grubby hands on, the Coal-ition, in its desperation to cling to power by conning its con-servative constituency that the path to progress lies in fosterinbg feral levels of financial greed and fear amounting to panic at the prospect of change, is capable of nothing but retreat.

And then there’s the question of Australia itself. I have to confess that this issue is far too complex for a legal ignoramus like me, but I’m dimly aware of some sleazy legal fiction by which some islands and perhaps even the mainland of the continent have been ‘excised’ for the purpose of denying asylum-seekers landfall within our borders and keeping many if them in prison camps for years. An act that, as long as we’re employing the name of our national anthem here to examine where we’re collectively heading, to me casts doubt on not only the advancement of Australia, but its very identity.

All of which finally brings me to the confusion I’m in about the apparently innocent but on further thought tricky little four-letter word ‘fair’.

According to my true-blue Macquarie Dictionary, this innocent little word has at least five meanings, leading me to wonder every time I hear ‘Advance Australia Fair’ which meaning, if any, comes to most peoples’ minds.

The meaning the lyricist presumably intended, given that ours, like most national anthems, is a jingoistic jingle or, if you prefer, patriotic to the point of self-parody, was ‘fair’ as in ‘beautiful’. And indeed it’s true that Australia, like almost any other nation you or I could name, undoubtedly boasts a great deal of breathtaking beauty, both natural and man-made, while admittedly some of its sites are a sight less attractive than others, or outright blots on the landscape.

But besides ‘beautiful’, of course another meaning of ‘fair’ is ‘blonde-haired, pale-skinned’. This connotation of ‘fair’ takes us into dangerous territory, evoking as it does the bad old days of the pernicious ‘white-Australia’ policy, when caucasians were the only permitted migrants. And additionally reminds me of  the apparent intention of our unlovely immigration and security super-cop Peter ‘Dead to Me’ Dutton to preference white South-African farmers over other potential newcomers to the country.

But I doubt he’ll get away with this, any more than he will achieve his stated intention of requiring candidates for citizenship to demonstrate university-level proficiency in English, as by far the majority of Australians seem welcoming of migrants from anywhere and everywhere, without discrimination.

So if ‘fair’ as in skin and hair colour isn’t what most of us understand our anthem to mean, what about ‘fair’ in its meterological sense, as in ‘fine, not rainy’?

Certainly a good deal of the Australian continent, especially the so-called Red Centre and sundry other deserts is fair as in fine, not rainy, though I doubt that the drought-stricken nature of our continent is what our anthem’s librettist intended to evoke.

Though come to think of it, if the Coal-ition’s record of water management gets any worse than its woeful performance in the Murray-Darling basin, our anthemic ‘fair’ could come to achieve a very dry meaning indeed.

The next and fourth of all the possible implications of ‘fair’, of course, is ‘mediocre’, which I grant you is an apt description of our current government’s record of achievement in office, and indeed the quality and credibility of most of its members.

But frankly the ‘fair’ that I like to think Australia should be advancing towards, instead of, as at present, apparently backing away from due to the Coal-ition’s bloody-minded determination to steadily widen the social, cultural and above all economic divisions between its citizens, is the ‘fair that my dictionary defines as ‘free from bias, dishonesty or injustice’.

Or, in other words, ‘fair’ as in such common expressions as ‘fair play’, ‘fair go’, fair share, ‘fair crack of the whip’ and ‘fair suck of the saveloy’.

There’s apparently no way that my kind of Advance Australia Fair is going to come true under the current Lieberal-led Coal-ition government, however, so, as you see here, I’m fair busting to help in whatever small way I can to throw it fair out of office.

 

 

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South Africa’s rANCid ruling regime.

I’d love to be able to research and write an article as good as this about the rampant corruption of South Africa’s ruling ANC regime, but there’s no way I could possibly hope to equal this magnificent effort by Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan for the New York Times, see:

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Mahathir’s second coming?

This is the burning question in Malaysia these days: can the 93-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resurrect himself as opposition prime minister come the May 9 general election and thus prove to be the messiah that Malaysians have been waiting for to lead them to the Promised Land after 60-odd (very odd) years in the Umno/BN wilderness?

Current Prime or rather Crime Minister Najib Razak certainly hopes not, as a new free, fair, honest and genuine government for Malaysia would likely prove not so much the Promised Land for him and his Umno/BN accomplices as the prospect of imprisonment.

Punishment for a long, long list of offences against the Malaysian people, from an endless string of corruptions and other criminalities of which the looting of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been the most massive, and the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, Mongolian translator and pregnant former mistress of at least one of the participants in the Scorpene Submarines swindle, the most memorable.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Mahathir has put himself forward as the saviour of Malaysia before. Twelve years ago, to be precise, when he pressured Umno/BN to dispense with his hand-picked successor as Premier, Abdullah Badawi, and inspired me to the first piece of writing I ever had published in Malaysiakini.

A blast from the past that that seems to me as eerily relevant today, April 13, 2018 as it did back on June 16, 2006:

 At last, an opposition.

 Not to decry the efforts of the DAP, PKR, PAS and other parties that have aspired to bring some semblance of balance to Malaysian politics over the years. They’ve had the deck so stacked against them that they can be entirely forgiven for how ineffectually they’ve opposed or even criticised the endlessly entrenched bully-boys and girls of Barisan Nasional.

But now BN has some real opposition. And it can’t be blithely ignored or dismissed as some frenzied fundamentalist fringe-group or make-believe party of meddlers, misfits and malcontents. In fact it’s not a party at all, but a person. Or more accurately a personage. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, alone and single-handed, in full spate, and of course spite.

To be sure the Malaysian news media, the party-owned newspapers and the Prime Media free-to-air TV monopoly, have dutifully done their darndest to write the situation off as just a “spat” or a typical Mahathir stunt, or by downplaying the whole thing as much as possible. And Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, aka Pak Lah, was at first almost silent in his public response, saying only that the Tun is entitled to his opinion as Malaysia is a democracy.

Malaysia is nothing of the kind, of course, as a genuine democracy is, as Abraham Lincoln memorably phrased it, “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Not government of the people, as it’s been for far too long in Malaysia, by not the people at large but by a self-appointed “elite” of “leaders” who rig the rules, flout the laws, suppress dissent and crush criticism in favour of themselves, their relatives and cronies; and certainly not for the people, who are expected to be grateful for whatever they get or at least to keep their opinions and complaints to themselves.

For the two decades during which Tun Dr Mahathir headed this fraudulent “democratic” system, he seemed quite content with the situation. In fact he appeared to do everything in his power to perpetuate it, and employ it quite shamelessly to his advantage. But now, it appears, he’s determined to assert his right to criticize, ask questions and demand answers of the Government, just like the opposition, the press and the populace do in genuine democracies.

Not that I’m suggesting that he’s changed. As always, he’s showing himself to be a fighter. And again as always, out of instinct rather than idealism, and for his personal agenda as well as, if not in preference to, the public good.

But whatever Dr M’s motive for bad-mouthing his successor as PM – whether he’s simply making mischief, or miffed at what he sees at monstrous mismanagement, or even, as some I think foolishly suggest, showing symptoms of senile dementia – he’s mounting a more powerful challenge to Barisan Nasional’s monopoly of political power and opinion than most Malaysians have seen in their lifetimes. And if Malaysia’s journalists had the mettle and the moxy to follow his lead despite the protests of the political pawns and puppets they work for, and if the Malaysian people could see this as a watershed moment, maybe history would someday remember Dr M, not for the malice, mendacity, malfeasance, magniloquence and outright megalomania he all too often manifested in his years as Prime Minister, but as the man who, if only by default, brought true democracy to Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has, after all, and apparently with the backing of everyone from Cabinet on down to the Backbenchers’ Club, agreed to respond to Tun Dr M’s questions in detail and in public. Whether he’s as honourable a PM as he appears and his “Seri” title proclaims, and not just a plausible front-man for business-as-usual behind the scenes as some suspect, only time and events will tell.

But meanwhile, given his apparent readiness to allow one citizen – albeit one as eminent as Tun Dr M – to criticize and question his Government and refuse to take either nonsense or “no comment” for an answer, just like happens in genuine democracies, I think we should take him at his word. Who knows?

Maybe his constant assertion that Malaysia is already a democracy, as mistaken as it is, isn’t so much insincere or cynical as a sign that he intends to make it one. And maybe, with all the help and encouragement Dr M’s giving him, and with the support of the millions of other Malaysians who’d love to live in a truly free country, just maybe he can do it.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Twelve weary years down the track, we know all too well how that ended. In a disaster named Najib Razak. So let’s hope that in the meantime Mahathir has managed to get his messiah act totally together, and that he really can save Malaysia from the Umno/BN hell that he formerly helmed for 22 years and thus helped create and perpetuate.  If so, and if he’s not simply on some cynical mission to more favourably position his son Mukhriz in Umno/BN, or even worse, as some suspect, serving as a stalking-horse for the an anti-Najib Umno/BN faction, his second coming can’t come too soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faking Malaysia.

Or, considering how fake it is, should that be ‘Maliesia’? Whatever, I shouldn’t by rights be writing this. Because after 11 years of contributing a weekly column to the first and still foremost of Malaysia’s pitifully few non-fake newspapers, Malaysiakini, I’ve had to take a break for the sake of my faking sanity.

But with another typically fake Malaysian federal election looming, I just can’t help adding a few more to the 500,000 or so words of calumnious columny I’ve already composed about this nation’s decomposing ‘democracy’.

Or, more accurately, about the ministers, members and supporters of Barisan Nasional (BN), the rotten-to-the-core regime that has been ruling and ruining Malaysia ever since the nation was granted independence by Britain 61 years ago, and changed its name from Malaya to Malaysia.

A moniker that quickly became fake, as the ‘si’ syllable in its new name represented the fact that it supposedly included Singapore.

But, for fear of having to deal with all those pesky extra Chinese led by the then young firebrand Lee Kwan Yew, Umno, the dominant Malay member of the coalition of race-based parties comprising the the Alliance, as BN was known in those days, soon threw Singapore out and thus made the ‘si’ in Malaysia misleading.

Thus equipped with a fake name, and a constitution falsely deeming Malays to be definitively Muslim as well as providing special privileges for them on the grounds that they were the first inhabitants of the country, a clearly fake claim in light of the existence there of the ‘orang asli’ (original people) long before Malays migrated there from present-day Indonesia and the Philippines, the ruling coalition proceeded to create a fake facsimile of Westminster-style democracy.

Complete with an agong (king) periodically chosen from not just one family of hereditary ‘royal’ parasites as in Britain, but nine of them, headed by the very sultans who had been bribed with cash, Rolls-Royces and other perks by the former colonial powers to keep their subjects abject.

And a coalition, as mentioned above, consisting of parties representing the various races, principally the Malays, Chinese and Indians, leaving little if any room for a proper opposition, plus so privileging the Malays as to inevitably promote racial resentments and tensions.

Or, indeed, outright hostilities, as on May 13, 1969 when there was an outbreak of bloody anti-Chinese rioting allegedly instigated by Tun Razak, father of current Prime Minister Najib Razak, in what proved to be a successful bid to seize the top job from the nation’s inaugural Prime Minister, Tungku Abdul Rahman.

Ever since then, and especially during the 22-year premiership, or, if you prefer, doctatorship of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s always highly dubious ‘democracy’, or more accurately, as I proposed in a long-ago column, ‘dermocracy’, given that it’s based on race or in other words skin colour, has been totally destroyed by the increasingly incompetent and corrupt Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional regime and the millions of fakewitted Malaysians who have been systematically bullied, bribed, bullshitted and bamboozled into keeping on voting for it.

Bullied by threats of a repeat of the May 13, 1969 riots, as in Najib Razak’s oft-expressed determination to hold onto power even at the cost of ‘broken bodies and lost lives’; or of arrest under the Internal Security Act, since replaced by the equally severe Sedition Act; or of dismissal of dissenting civil servants or withdrawl of government scholarships from students suspected of disloyalty to the regime.

To back-up all this bullying, Malaysian voters are bribed with often utterly empty promises of government expenditure on infrastructure and other improvements in their electorates, plus salary-raises, bonuses, extra handouts under the so-called BR1M scheme, and additionally bribed every election day with free meals, bags of rice and sundry other ‘gifts’ including hard cash.

Besides all this bullying and bribery, Malaysians are ceaselessly bombarded with barrages of BN-regime bullshit. Faked-over in every possible way, from being faced with Najib Razak’s fantastic invention of some apparently parallel nation he called ‘1Malaysia’, and under which banner he proceeded to create a whole raft of fake initiatives ranging from falsely ‘economical’ food outlets to the massive global financial fraud and money-laundering scam 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), to being fed a steady diet of fake ‘news’ by Malaysia’s regime-controlled and thus ruthlessly truthless press, radio, television and outdoor media.

And if all that wasn’t sufficiently bamboozling, BN has progressively, by which of course I mean regressively perverted the police from a force for public law and order into a farce for the protection of regime flaws and ordure; turned the formerly independent and impartial judiciary into a regime-skewed and indeed screwed travesty of justice; made such a mockery of the so-called Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that it turns a totally blind eye to regime and crony corruption, and gets away with such faking outrages as the death of witness Teoh Beng Hock in its custody; has so comprehensively corrupted the ‘religious’ authorities as to constitute a disgrace to the very Islam it so faux-piously claims to ‘protect’; and so successfully suborned the Election Commission as to blatantly manipulate electoral boundaries, numbers and even racial mixes in its favour.

All of the above is concealed as far as possible from the Malaysian people, of course, by the BN-controlled so-called ‘mainstream media’, newspapers, television, radio and increasing numbers of online sites all keeping silent about BN crimes and corruptions, and loudly proclaiming the regime’s fake propaganda.

And now, in an attempt to shut-down the small space for true, independent news and views opened-up by Malaysiakini two decades ago and since expanded by other online portals like Malaysia Today and Sarawak Report, the faking powers that be have passed a so-called ‘The Anti Fake News Act’. Which is in fact an act of bastardry designed to ban the spread of truths that BN deems to be fake, as in contrary to its corrupt and outright criminal interests, by way of penalties of up to six years imprisonment, or fines of up to RM500,000 (about US$120,000), or both.

So, as everything I’ve written in this piece is as far as I know the gospel truth about the BN regime, and thus very likely to be viewed by its self-styled censors as ‘fake news’ under the Act, I won’t be sending it to Malaysiakini for possible publication as a column.

The very last thing I want to do is to risk costing Stephen Gan, Prem Chandran or any other members of the Malaysiakini family, of which I’ve so long been proud to be an honorary and I hope honest and honourable member, a slew of cash or a spell in the slammer, let alone both.

But from down here in Sydney I can relatively safely blog as much true or in other words fake fake news as I like, in the faint hope that it might by roundabout means reach enough of the vast majority of unfake Malaysians to help strengthen them in their resolve to finally force their fake and on-the-take BN government to for once and for all and forever fake off.

 

 

 

 

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Cracks to the max in the Coal-ition.

Any unkind cracks I’m capable of making about Australia’s coal-crazy Lieberal-National Coalition, as in my previous post, are nothing compared with the chasm-sized cracks that are currently opening-up between its conflicting factions.

And it’s not a split along party lines, with Lieberal hacks on one side and National hicks on the other, but rather a rift between political fossils and fools on both sides of the divide.

The fossils, of course, being former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and those of their fellows still stubbornly denying the stark and increasingly-evident reality of  man-made climate change, and thus strongly supportive of big coal, its shareholders and employees.

And the fools being current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his clique, who in their failure to come up with a coherent national energy policy and their slashing of funding to the CSIRO and other scientific institutions have cost Australia the golden opportunity it formerly had of playing a leading role in the global renewable-energy revolution.

Unfortunately I don’t have the time and patience it would take to fully inform you about this fiasco. I’m not sure Malcolm Turnbull totally comprehends it either, having first proposed an expansion of Australia’s hydro-electric power-generation capacity that will take something like six years and cost who know how many billion dollars, and since come up with somein incomprehensible interim scheme called the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

And one of his chief supporters, Treasurer Scott Morrison, appears hopelessly confused, having been such an avid advocate of coal as to bring a lump of it into Parliament some time ago to show doubters how beautiful it was, but now claiming to be totally opposed to proposals to construct new coal-fired power stations.

But in any case the crux of the conflict isn’t really the question of electrical power, but the power-struggle between Malcolm Turnbull and his allies and Tony Abbott and his accomplices for political ascendancy.

Ever since Turnbull replaced him as leader of the Lieberal Party and Prime Minister, Abbott has been planning, plotting and conspiring to get his revenge by reversing the situation.

And now that the Turnbull-led Coalition/Coal-ition has been out-polled by the Labor opposition almost as many as the 30 poll losses it suffered under Abbott’s former leadership, a dismal record that Turnbull used as justification for his grabbing the top job, Abbott clearly sees his chance to stage a reverse coup.

Not that he has a hope in hell, in my humble opinion. But whether there’s a leadership challenge or not, I’m so disgusted with the current Coal-ition government that I’ll applaud any damage Tony Abbott and his fellow crackpots do to its chances in the next election.

 

 

 

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Lies, damn lies and the ‘Liberal’ Party.

On second thoughts, let’s make that the ‘Lieberal’ Party, as the founder of this entity , the late seemingly-endlessly-serving Australian prime minister R. G. (Pig-Iron Bob) Menzies, cunningly confused, indeed outright conned the populace by cloaking its conservatism with a name connoting the opposite.

How he got away with this blatant act of fakery I have no idea. Maybe it happened before the rise of the kind of consumer advocacy that has since led to  legislation against the fraudulent labeling of products and services.

Whatever, it’s not as if nobody realised that Menzies was blatantly staging a ‘con’ as in ‘conservative’ by plagiarising the formerly respectable word ‘liberal’ and perverting it for political purposes.

Because ever since, genuine lovers of liberty in Australia have been at pains to draw a distinction between true ‘small-l’ liberalism and the fake or at best highly-selective form of ‘liberalism’ represented by the party that calls itself  capital-l ‘Liberal’.

The word ‘capital’ in its sense of ‘cash’ being highly appropriate in the context of discussing the Liberal/Lieberal Party, as the one and only interest in liberality lies in the freedom to make and keep as much money as possible.

In other words, as a prominent former right-wing, or in other words wrong-wing member of the Liberals succinctly put it recently in description of his own philosophy and by extension that of the Party, it’s ‘economically liberal and socially conservative’.

So economically liberal, in fact, as to be hard-core neo-liberal in its determination to do anything its power to further enrich the ‘haves’ at the expense of the ‘have-nots’.

Or, as the past two ‘Liberal’ treasurers have expressed this intention, to privilege the ‘lifters’ over the ‘leaners’, or the ‘taxed’ over the ‘taxed-nots’.

Both of which are clearly politically-correct expressions of the brutally obvious actual Lieberal-Party project, which is to further advantage the rich over what they perceive as the riff-raff, or, if you prefer, the affluent over the effluent.

In the process strongly promoting the false proposition that it’s welfare recipients, pensioners, the unemployed and otherwise financially disadvantaged who cost the economy most dearly, when in fact, as a recent report by the Smith Family reveals, tax-avoiding and evading affluents, both private and corporate are a far bigger financial drain on the nation’s prosperity than the effluents.

But as long as the rich rich keep getting richer, as the Lieberal-National Coalition intends, and on whose financial and electoral support it depends, there is no effing way it will fix this situation.

Quite the contrary, in fact, as the Lieberal-Nationals fight tooth-and-nail to get the Senate to approve of its bill giving the affluents even more billions of dollars worth of relief from company tax that so many of them don’t pay anyway, and more than half of those who do will send the savings offshore.

Of course Lieberal Treasurer Scott Morrison rejects such awkward facts and persists in his support of one of neo-liberalism’s favourite falsehoods, the so-called ‘trickle-down’ effect.

When, in fact, as evidenced by the ever-faster-growing gulf between the haves and the have-nots, it’s actually a case of suck-up.

The big, or as I can’t help thinking of it, pig end of town sucks as much as it possibly can out of the trough, and the Lieberal Party suck-up to these hogs by keeping on feeding them fat tax-breaks, while telling the rest of us a bunch of porkies about ‘jobs and growth’.

And the Lieberals’ partners in this political jiggery-pokery are equally a pack or rather litter of trickle-down economic frauds.

But at least before they re-branded themselves the National Party, their original name the Country Party, especially its first syllable, rang true.

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From baggy to daggy green.

I’m not a big fan of cricket. In fact I find it so tedious I’d almost prefer to watch the grass grow on the arena than the the actual game being played there.

And all the media hype and hoo-har about Australia’s national team, the wearers of the so-called ‘baggy green’ cap, quite frankly gives me the runs.

Especially in light of the fact that, as I can’t help but noticing however strenuously I strive to ignore cricket news, wearers of the baggy green are internationally notorious for their vicious slagging-off, or ‘sledging’ of opposing teams to what strikes me as a disgraceful extent.

And often can’t take it when their competitors slag them back, as revealed most recently in South Africa by vice-captain David Warner’s becoming so enraged at remarks that some opposition team members and supporters made about his wife that he apparently had to be restrained from slugging them.

But of course that particular storm in a cricket cup is over now, having been totally hit for six by the subsequent ball-tampering scandal that has left some current wearers of the baggy green looking not just as slaggy as usual, but so daggy as to leave cricket fans gaggy.

Sick to their stomachs at the nauseating spectacle of one of our boys wearing the baggy green engaging in some blatant ball-scratching, then attempting to shove the evidence of the offence down his pants.

And caught in the guilty act not just by the umpires but the dozen or so television cameras beaming their pictures to the big screens around the ground and horrified viewers around the world,

Thus outraging not just lovers of cricket, or at least those who haven’t yet been alienated from the game by the above-mentioned slagging – not to mention occasional allegations of illegal betting by players, some of whom were wearing the baggy green at the time, and cases of massive match-fixing – but also lots of non-fans to boot.

Especially Australian ones, who seem to have seen the whole episode as reflecting badly not just on the baggy-green and those that currently wear it, but on the entire nation and its self-image, justified or otherwise, as the home of good sportsmanship and hard but fair play.

Me, I’m more amused by the sanctimonious reactions to the bad publicity by big-business sponsors of the baggy-green team and some of its individual big names, as one of them happens to be, or at least was until very recently, CBA.

This, of course, happens to be one of the banks currently batting on decidedly sticky wicket against a royal commission into financial malpractices ranging from the relatively mild or  ‘not quite cricket’ to what many consider about as daggy as can be.

Certainly a lot more seriously daggy for the Australian public for whom these money-bags are supposed to provide honest financial services than a spot of ball-tampering by the baggy, slaggy green team.

 

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