Steve Waugh the charitable sports star

I am dismayed that once again the Australian of the Year has gone to a
sporting identity (god forbid a cricketer no less). No doubt he can
afford to travel overseas to do voluntary work (the amount he gets paid
for playing that boring game would more than adequately cover the
costs). There are thousands of good Australians who go about their
daily life doing voluntary work, but I suppose when you have the small
one supporting you, you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy the day

Does Waugh really deserve to be Australian of the Year?

Just what has been Steve Waugh’s contribution to deserve the
orchestrated send off and now oz of the year?  He’s knocked up a
few runs sure, but under his ‘leadership’ the oz cricket team developed
into the most boorish, unsportsmanlike and best sledging outfit going
round!  He should have simply retired to the pavilion and let his
true achievements warmly fester in the psych of his fellow
countrymen.  Those who have orchestrated the recent shenanigans
have done him no favour.

From the Grandstand

Sport and Australia Day

You are quite right. The Australian of the Year is a sports-fest, not
much else. We didn’t need Waugh to win to tell us that. (I have nothing
against Steve Waugh. His work in India is inspirational).

But sport is an entrenched, saturated part of the Australia Day
psyche.  So it all fits. I just cannot imagine a Dr. Pat O’Shane
or even a Tim Costello getting the nod. Strewth, it would be almost-
here comes that abused, dysfunctional word again – un-Australian to
demonstrate more than a bit of diversity, wouldn’t it?  The fact
that a few others have picked up the award is tokenism.

The obsession with an Australian male, playing with balls of some sort
or another reflects an endemic problem in this country. 

The great divide between sport and culture, the shallow, populist and
often tacky sports frenzy that dominates our print and electronic media
feeding the masses is way out of whack with so much else that goes on,
unreported of course.

Robin Nevin states she would tell a taxi driver she is a housewife
rather than an Australian performing arts icon? This encapsulates the
problem beautifully.  Cultural diversity still equates to minority
group status in Australia.  We still have such a long way to go,
and in 2004 this is very immature, beyond belief.


Lack of imagination

Why are you surprised that Steve Waugh became Australian of the Year?
Haven’t you ever seen the Logies? It’s what we do out here.

Steve Birdsall

Channel 7 and the un-Australian line

Just saw on Channel 7 a blurb promoting tonight’s tennis match
featuring Hewitt.  A clear statement that it would be
un-Australian to miss this match tonight was nothing short of ignorant
and inappropriate.

Beam me up Scotty, as this blatant un-Australian bloke whose forebears
arrived in a leaky ship in 1857, will never watch Hewitt, the symbol of
ugly Australian sport.  Channel 7 – get stuffed.


Hookesy and Eddie M

Almost choked on my beer after the one-day match on Thursday 22 Jan
when up pops Eddie Maguire to rabbit on about Hookesy. They were on
rival radio stations in Melbourne for God’s sake and Hookes was no fan
of Mr Ingenuous.

No Eddie is the best thing about the cricket season and now that protocol is no longer observed, damn it.
And now we hear Eddie is hosting 9’s coverage of the funeral in
Adelaide.  What a shame 7 has sacked most of their staff which
made it impossible for them to even edit up their own half-hour Hookes

Next expect the Adelaide Oval testimonial match Bradman XI vs Hookes XI
broadcast on 9 starring stars of the present and past including their
risible commentary team. But then who would commentate – Eddie of

It’s enough to drive me to even more drink.

Melbourne identities to host Hookes funeral

In the sealed section today, you said, “There is a lot of public
interest in the Hookesy tragedy so it us understandable that it is
being broadcast and Eddie is Nine’s number one host who also knew
Hookesy. Similarly, Mitchell worked with Hookers at 3AW for nine years
although eyebrows will be raised at Seven about this appearance on Nine
given his latest contract with Seven was only inked in November.”
Hookesy got his start with Ken Cunningham on Adelaide radio and was a
partner with him for many years. Who is Neil Mitchell to anyone outside
Melbourne? KG mentored, played cricket with and against him, and is an
Adelaide institution, and at the very least, should have been there
with Eddie Everywhere, who it is conceded is pretty good at what he
does. It is certainly not understandable to anyone in Adelaide why two
Melbourne people need to come here to cover a SA hero’s funeral. Sure,
Hookesy was pretty popular throughout the country, but why can’t a
national network use its local people to cover local issues. We are
sick of being on the end of a half-hour time delay for live sport –
they will probably do that to us for this as well!

Bob Williams
Fulham, SA

Hookes, spinner and bouncers

I read with interest the vitriolic comments pointed at Spinner
recently. Both sides have fair arguments but I must say people rarely
get punched for no reason at all.

I despise overzealous security guards and bouncers and I, too, have
seen people dealt with in a manner more befitting a mongrel dog.

Recently in Brisbane I witnessed three bouncers dealing with a drunken
patron. I don’t know what the patron did but he had one bouncer
kneeling on his back with both of the poor bastard’s arms up behind his
back. Another bouncer kneeling on his neck which served to grind this
poor bloke’s face in to the footpath. The third was applying some sort
of weird leg lock. This guy was screaming in pain, crying and begging
these idiots to get off him. They didn’t care. It was disgusting and it
would have bloody hurt. I have also heard of security guards at a local
licensed establishment (you can have a bet there) who not only kick
people out but escort them some 50-metres away out of range of security
cameras where they deal out their own rough justice.

On the other hand I have seen bouncers show a remarkable amount of
restraint at times when you would think they would be quite justified
in using violence.

But having seen Hookes call a radio caller an idiot and suggest he was
drunk just for expressing an opinion he didn’t agree with, I think
there may be more to his death than meets the eye.
I don’t agree with the culture of violence which has pervaded the
security industry and I firmly believe steroid use is to blame. I’m
glad there are bouncers because if there is an idiot making life hell
for other patrons, it’s good to know they will soon be out the door.

I sincerely hope the Hookes incident sparks a good look at the security
industry. There’s no doubt violence is necessary when used to counter
actual violence. These bloody rent-a-cops who think their little
security badges entitle them to flog the living daylights out of
punters should be banned from working pubs indefinitely.

Julian Tomlinson
Reporter, Editorial
Gold Coast Publications Pty Ltd

CRIKEY: Read the spinner on Hookes and the responses he received here.

Victorian Government and the Herald Sun

I wonder if anyone else noticed the connection with the Saturday
(24 January) Herald Sun’s reporting of a survey the newspaper conducted
about Melbourne’s CBD and its “unsafe” streets and today’s announcement
by the Victorian Government about putting “more police on the streets.”

The Herald-Sun report was typical tabloid rantings and the survey was
very general in its findings. “Lanes” (which ones?) were listed as
being unsafe, as was Flinders Street (which end? Spencer Street? Spring
Street?) and the question asking what made people feel unsafe had the
choice “strange people.”

Hmmm. Coincidence between the report in Saturday’s paper and today’s announcement I wonder?
Safely yours

Steven Haby, Box Hill
(A strange person who walks in lanes and Flinders Street)

Wolves in working-class hero clothing?

Scott McLean, Secretary of the Tasmanian Branch of the CFMEU Forest
& Forest Products Division, must have a hide as thick as the stump
of a clearfelled old growth eucalypt!

In the local press, he recently condemned rocker Jimmy Barnes as a
working class traitor, when Barnes visited the Styx Valley and spoke
out against old growth logging.,5936,8413569%255E3462,00.html

Yeah right, Mr. McLean. The logging industry in Tasmania really is a working class utopia!

That’s why the Transport Workers Union have at last drawn a line in the
sand and recently launched a campaign for workers’ rights after having
been infuriated by years of dismal working conditions endured by
Tasmania’s 1000 or so log truck drivers.

McLean’s logging working-class heaven has also seen two thousand nine
hundred jobs lost in timber industry manufacturing in Tasmania between
1992 and August 2002 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Let’s not forget Jim Bacon’s draconian workers’ compensation laws that
stop injured workers taking common law action against employers unless
they suffer 30% impairment to their bodies following an industrial

Mr. McLean is another Tasmanian union boss who seems to be faithfully
following the example of Jim Bacon’s Labor, which is big on working
class rhetoric, but in reality owes its allegiances to the millionaire
woodchip barons.

McLean’s pompous accusations against Jimmy Barnes and his unfailing
loyalty to Bacon’s right wing ideals have brought the divisive
Tasmanian forestry debate to a new low, and has added to suspicions
that Jim Bacon is Tasmania’s answer to Silvio Berlesconi without the

Neil Cremasco