Barnaby Joyce has come (no pun intended) and Barnaby Joyce has gone, but one issue that is intimately connected with the circus that surrounded him for the last three weeks has yet to be subjected to any scrutiny.
And that is the highly incestuous relationship that exists between Australian journalists and politicians and often results in news being concealed from the public.
The Australian media examined the scandal around Deputy Prime Minister Joyce from many angles, ever since a picture of his pregnant mistress, Vikki Campion, appeared on the front page of the The Daily Telegraph.
Continue reading “Joyce affair: incestuous relationship between pollies and journos needs some exposure”
Australian cricket authorities are short-charging fans of the national Twenty20 competition, the Big Bash League, through their policies on releasing players from national duty when needed by their BBL sides for crucial encounters.
The Adelaide Strikers and the Hobart Hurricanes, who contested Sunday’s final, were both affected by this policy.
Adelaide won, but had they failed to do so, no doubt there would have been attention drawn to the fact that their main fast bowler, Billy Stanlake, did not play as he was on national duty to play in a tri-nation tournament involving New Zealand and England.
Continue reading “Cricket Australia needs to get player availability policies sorted”
A little more than a year ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1000 rupee notes would be removed from circulation as a step to flushing out all the black money in the country.
He made the announcement on TV in prime time on 8 November 2016 and gave people four hours time to be ready for the change!
But judging by the amounts which cricketers were bought for in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 auction last week, there is more black money than ever in the country.
Else, sums like US$1.5 million would not be available for the Kolkata Knight Riders to buy a cricketer like Mitchell Starc. This is black money being flushed out and made ready to be used as legal tender, the main reason why the Indian Government turns a blind eye to the process.
Continue reading “Black money continues to pour in to IPL”
The year that ends today was remarkable for one thing on the media front that has gone largely unnoticed: the fall from grace of one of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s brightest stars who has long been a standard-setter at the country’s national broadcaster.
Sarah Ferguson was the journalist’s journalist, seemingly a woman of fierce integrity, and one who pandered to neither left nor right. When she sat in for Leigh Sales, the host of 7.30, the main current affairs programme, for six months while Sales was on a maternity leave break, the programme seemed to come to life as she attacked politicians with vigour and fearlessness.
There was bite in her speech, there was knowledge, there was surprise aplenty. Apart from the stint on 7.30, she brought depth and understanding to a long programme on the way the Labor Party tore itself to bits while in government for six years from 2007, a memorable TV saga.
Continue reading “All your gods have feet of clay: Sarah Ferguson’s fall from grace”
Last year, Australia’s national Twenty20 competition, the Big Bash League, had 32 league games plus three finals. It was deemed a great success.
But the organiser, Cricket Australia, is not content with that. This year, there will be 40 games followed by the two semi-finals and the final. And the tournament will drag on into February.
This means many of the same cricketers will be forced to play those eight extra games, putting that much more strain on their bodies and minds. How much cricket can people play before they become jaded and reduced to going through the motions?
Continue reading “Too much of anything is good for nothing”
At the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, New Zealand bid goodbye to six players who had been around for what seemed like forever.
Richie McCaw, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock and Daniel Carter left, some to play in foreign countries, others just opting out.
At that point, nobody really raised the issue of how the All Blacks would adjust, for talented players seem to come in a never-ending stream in New Zealand. This, despite the fact that six mentioned above were all well above average in ability.
Continue reading “Erratic All Blacks will need to buckle up for 2019 Cup”
Two failed bids for the presidency notwithstanding, it looks very much like Hillary Clinton is intent on making a bid to be the Democrat candidate for president in 2020.
That is possibly the only reason why she continues to scour the world for opportunities to gain publicity, instead of accepting that she was beaten fair and square in the 2016 elections and retires from public life.
Clinton was on the Australian ABC TV channel on Monday night, getting a soft interview with the normally ferocious Sarah Ferguson which ran for all of 50 minutes.
Continue reading “Hillary Clinton should disappear into the sunset”
This morning, for the first time in nearly 18 years, I did not run apt-get update on my server to look for any software updates. The reason is, I can’t. There is no server; it was decommissioned on Saturday, a decision that was forced on me. I have hosted my domains myself ever since I bought them.
Yes, the government forced me to do it. Pardon me while I take a rather circuitous route to explain.
Australia is in the laborious process of rolling out a broadband network across the nation; due to political wrangling, the rollout has been something like the Shakespearean drama The Comedy of Errors.
Continue reading “Venturing into the world of external hosting”
Last year, Johan Ackermann, the coach of South Africa’s Lions super rugby team was literally asleep during the final against the Hurricanes. His team lost to the Hurricanes 3-20.
This year, he appeared to be dozing again as his team lost, only to a different New Zealand team, the Crusaders.
The Lions lost a player to a red card about a minute before half-time but given the inherent advantages they had — they were playing at home, at altitude which made the visitors prone to running out of gas, and in dry weather which has always suited them — they could still have won.
Continue reading “Lions’ coach Ackermann asleep at the wheel again”
Referees or umpires can often put paid to an excellent game of any sport by making stupid decisions. When this happens — and it does so increasingly these days — the reaction of the sporting body concerned is to try and paper over the whole thing.
Additionally, teams and their coaches/managers are told not to criticise referees or umpires and to respect them. Hence a lot tends to be covered up.
But the fact is that referees and umpires are employees who are being paid well, especially when the sports they are officiating are high-profile. Do they not need to be competent in what they do?
Continue reading “French farce spoils great Test series in New Zealand”