Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Forum - Rugby, professionalisation and the return of the Australian Parliament

Saturday night I had the dubious fortune at the nearby pub of watching the Wallabies play New Zealand in the second Bledisloe Cup match, the annual Rugby derby between the two countries. The Kiwis won (again) retaining the Cup (again).  The Australian team's body language at the presentation says it all!

My enjoyment of the match was not helped by the surrounding group of rampant Kiwis. In fact, the tiny group watching was nearly all Kiwis. Meantime, the sports tab area nearby was crowded to overflowing.

 It is no secret that I follow and enjoy Rugby Union. It will therefore be no surprise that I have not enjoyed the recent decline in Rugby. The national team peaked for last year's World Cup, although it was not good enough to win in the end. However, the excitement of the World Cup and Australia's relative success, indeed the recent success of the Australian Women in the Sevens at the Olympics, mask a continuing decline in the Australian game.

In a piece in Rugby News, Bret Papworth argues that part of the solution lies in the re-direction of funding to the grass roots. I have some sympathy for this position, but there is (I think) more to it than that. It seems to me that the Australian Rugby Union in its desire to survive and grow in a competitive sports market over-extended itself and the game itself. In seeking to expand and maximise the TV money, it lost sight of those who follow as well as play.

There is another issue as well. The physical  demands of the modern game, the body sizes required, the sheer increase in skill levels, are actually crowding out the smaller and not so good who just want to play because it is fun.

In a different direction but still staying within the gladiatorial arena, the Australian Parliament is about to resume after a long election related break.  What are the issues that you are watching?

 As always, feel free to go in whatever direction you want!

Same Sex Marriage

Tonight it looks as through the same sex marriage plebiscite is dead, but is it?  It is if Labor votes against it, but will Labor do so? Will be interesting to see how it plays out.


Anonymous said...

Something totally different to your suggested topics: painting shows on TV.

Jim's following post about the painting of ancient statues got me thinking about something that used to provide me with a very calming half hour or so every week.

There was an English artist (can't find him, but search "Bob Ross tv artist" for the genre) who I watched quite religiously (in more than one sense) for a couple of years as I recall - and I wondered if anyone else had ever watched this sort of tv show?

I suppose Rolf Harris has given this sort of stuff a bad name now, but his type of tv work was not ever attractive to me; more preferred the water colour, or oils on pallette than the housepainters' brush :)

From my google search I see that there appears to be a UK channel entirely dedicated to this:

and here's one for tanners: a 5thirty8 analysis of the above-mentioned Bob Ross

Have to confess I 'wasted' 25 minutes this morning watching one of his youtube episodes - but I came out of my revery most refreshed, just as I used to!

If you've never watched one, maybe give it a go - let me know what you think of it as a relaxation technique. Or are you just too 'busy' getting by?


Jim Belshaw said...

I did find and watch one of his programs over dinner, although he seems to have been US rather than English. Its not a good relaxation technique for me. Perhaps I am just too "busy" getting by!

2 tanners said...

Born in Daytona, Florida and spent much of his military career (20 years) in Fairbanks Alaska. Explains a lot about his subject choice - I'm sure after one rotation in Fairbanks, you're allowed to move if you want to. Painting is not really my thing, but I love cooking shows (sensible, constructive ones, not Masterchef or Gordon Ramsey foaming at the mouth). Often I'd never cook, or eat, what they serve up, but I still often like them. It's like Bob Ross - he is selling the presenter, not the product.

Anonymous said...

Yes tanners - agree about the cooking shows. And btw that particular painter I instanced as example only; couldn't find the Brit watercolourist I was thinking of.


Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis of the Murray Goulburn (now not a) Co-op FY16 results here:


Jim Belshaw said...

That's a very interesting post, kvd.

Jim Belshaw said...

Just following up on that comment, re-reading it. very interesting indeed. Its not just problems with two masters, but the dynamics created by particular financial arrangements.

Anonymous said...

Agree Jim. I dashed off an incompletely thought-thru comment which is still in moderation (if I actually followed the prompts correctly) trying to highlight the 'ATO share' before which producers receive their gate prices.

Still not clear in my mind - but, to the extent that the producers' marginal tax rate is at or above 30c, it seems to me it matters not if the ATO holds its hand out first? And then I got lost in corporate structures, dividend imputation, and think I've probably commented too soon. As always :)


Jim Belshaw said...

Laughs. I haven't followed the tax thing through. But paying tax as a consequence bringing to account clawbacks is sus. Need to look at the numbers properly