Questions of sportsmanship arise with our readers as the Australian Open and Labor’s leadership battle take centre stage.

Lleyton Hewitt and the Rodent

Has anyone noticed the amazing similarity between the admirers of John
the Rodent Howard and our beloved Lleyton “C’mon” Hewitt? They wax
prolific about dogged determination, resilience, the ability to get
under their opponent’s skin, and how there are two camps – the lovers
and the haters and how contemptible the haters are!

They both have preferred sycophants in the media and a gaggle of
boosters (advisers) and supporters ( including bodyguards). Howard
dazzles us with his political cunning, mediocrity and mendacity while
lovable Lleyton endears us to him with his tennis talent, fashion sense
and on court antics.

Despite the fawning journalists like Andrew McIntyre for Howard and Leo
Schlink for the boy wonder, their idols strut the stage with a sense of
their own importance, an imperiousness in Howard’s case born from
sanctimonious hypocrisy and in wunderkind’s case from arrogant
immaturity. No wonder they are so popular and what does that say about
us!!

Henrie Ellis

Howard’s Australia Day awards

Howard is divisive, a deceitful liar, according to many-see ‘lying
rodent’ looks after family – see Stanley, friends -see Alston’s new
plush o/seas job for one and party donors see the ethanol boss! Now the
Australia Day awards, as in previous years liberal party employees,
clapped out greedy grasping ex-politicians and friends. This man (this
word ‘man’ is used in a generic sense only) has besmirched Parliament
by having no standards of conduct, especially for his side of politics
and even for himself.

Besmirched the armed forces, besmirched the once proud public service
no matter what he does or says or besmirches there has to something in
it for him. Now AGAIN he has besmirched OUR Australian honours. Yet
very, very few so-called journalists are game to call him to task.
Admittedly many work for Rupert so to be a success all they have to do
is be obedient to their yank boss. The time he met Australia’s V.C.
winners in place of ‘his’ compliant G/G. The difference between Howard
and men who were and are heroes, men who thought of others to even put
their lives at risk and this pathetic shadow of a miserable, mean
spirited politician was very visible indeed. Why are so many of my
fellow Australians so blinded by this consummate manipulative
politician.

Numbat

Christian Kerr funny man

Christian, you’re hilarious (your piece on Costello as leader of the
opposition), it will be interesting to see the smirk wiped off a few
faces when this country finally wakes up the mean spirited and selfish
nation heir Howard has turned us into and throws him back to the gutter
where he and his cronies belong. Careful Christian, your partisanship
is showing.

Lorie the leftie


A view from a political outsider

Latham went off the rails from day one. He had a reputation as an
original thinker and an action man, but what happened when the Labor
party elected him? Nothing. The shadow cabinet stayed the same. The
policies stayed the same.

Now Kim will be elected, and guess what? Nothing will change. Tanner,
McMullen and Emerson will stay on the backbench. The Ferguson boys will
stay on the frontbench. The invisible woman will stay as deputy leader.
At Beazley’s first press conference next Friday he will be asked if
Medicare Gold and the schools policy will remain, and all he will do is
waffle. Oh dear, why don’t we become a one party state and get it over
with?

I know it is a fantasy land idea, but why can’t Labor line up all the
roosters next Friday and ask them all some simple questions, like:
how will you handle the obvious questions from the press? and what policies do you recommend and how will you implement them?

Of course, the problem is the real question the caucus wants to ask
is: can I get a promotion if I elect you? And so it goes.

Paul Gilchrist


Labor leaders’ poor marital record

Apparently some think it’s better that ALP leaders are married and not
un-married and childless like Julia Gillard. Labor has 5 recent leaders
(Hawke, Keating, Beazley and Latham) who are had failed marriages and
they have all been political and policy losers too. Perhaps the single
“chick” may do a better job. Go for it Julia.

Adrian Jackson

Men’s quarter-final Australian Open

Further to Charles Richardson’s piece on ‘Biased TV sports commentary’
[Thursday 27 January 2005] I must record my disgust with the
Hewitt-Nalbandian tennis quarter-final on Seven last night :

1. The poor standard of linesmanship displayed by more than one lineperson.
2. The chair umpire’s inconsistency on re-playing points.
3. The poor TV commentary.
4. The appalling lack of sportsmanship displayed by spectators each time David Nalbandian lost a point.

A very poor standard of linesmanship also occurred at match point
during the Molik-Davenport quarter final which, in my opinion at least,
robbed Molik of the match.

During the first 2 sets of the Hewitt-Nalbandian quarter final, the TV
commentators concentrated so much on Nalbandian’s supposed sluggishness
they overlooked the fact that he led many of the points which Hewitt
merely defended. When Hewitt lost 2 sets in a row it did not
occur to them that his injury may have been the cause. That was
not mentioned until near the end of the 4th set.

Hewitt’s chanting cheer squad is over-the-top and needs to be reined
in, as do future spectators. It is the height of bad
sportsmanship – and completely un-Australian – to applaud and cheer
when someone loses a point.

Hewitt and sportsmen

Fair enough that Chela got fined for “unsportsman-like conduct”, but
what about Hewitt? I find his tactics absolutely abhorrent. He is as
far away from being a “sportsman”, in the true sense of the word, (one
definition: “a person who behaves fairly and generously”) as it is
possible to be.

G. Lane

Patrick Smith the Prahran Sledger

What a pathetic diatribe by Patrick Smith in his piece in today’s Australian on Lleyton Hewitt and his match with James Blake.

He talks about Hewitt’s “whingeing and sniping” but Smith’s whole
article is just that. What is it with the “little” description (eleven
times) – does our corpulent sports reporter have a problem with size?

His cynical articles go back years to when he wrote for the Age and he
salivated over the behaviour several times of Shane Warne and with Mark
Waugh both of whom he suggested had brought the game of cricket into
disrepute. Maybe he was right but is he a proper judge?

His ongoing destructive criticisms of Richmond Football Club are legendary.

From today’s piece Patrick has a real problem with News stable mate the
Herald-Sun. Perhaps the vitriol would be better directed to Management
who obviously prefer unbiased comment in their major daily rather than
the typical harangue in the poor circulating Australian.

“Class and sophistication don’t win tennis matches but temperament
does” – this comment comes from the PRAHRAN SLEDGER infamous in
Melbourne District cricket in the 70’s – Patrick Smith the king of
Sledging. Can anyone take his tirades seriously?

Peter Nicoll


Larrikin tennis crowd

As his opponent made an error, he screeched “COME ON!” and pummelled
his arm like an old locomotive piston. His Chorus of supporters joined
him, chanting away loudly.

But suddenly from amidst the crowd, fifty to sixty tennis fans stood up
and roared, “OINK, OINK, OINK” followed by loud grunts and snorts. They
sat down.

Moments later, at the sound of another “COME ON!” and a primeval squawk
at the heavens, both he and his Chorus were met with another round of
“OINK, OINK, OINK” and further loud grunts and snorts.

He had had enough. Approaching the umpire, he requested that those
making loud pig – like noises refrain from doing so. The umpire
obliged, requesting that certain sections of the crowd refrain from
making loud and inappropriate noises.

Soon, with his opponent making yet another unforced error, “COME ON!” and his supporting Chorus were in full flight.

His opponent had had enough. Approaching the umpire, he requested that
all inappropriate noises cease immediately. On this occasion, the
umpire refused to act.

The pigs had won.

Tom Joyce


Lynton Crosby’s mastermind

What planet is Annabell Crabb
on? her article on Lynton Crosby’s latest gaffe for the tories puts all
the dot points down on paper then, unlike Crikey yesterday, pointedly
fails to connect them. Michael Howard’s new stance on immigration
straight is outa the Tampa songbook, yet Annabell leaves us all to make
the connection. Has she a blind spot for racist political wedges? Or
does she just wanna remain in tight with Crosby, a man she dubs
“mastermind”. Never smart to burn a well-placed source, I guess, no
matter how repugnant. Some mastermind: playing the race card!

So where will brainiac turn once the dog whistles only bring home two
percentage points of ratbag stray votes? Just how low can you go?
Looking forward to Crabb’s charting of this descent into perdition over
the coming months.

Anon

Peter Fray

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