C’mon England, c’mon England! Australians love an underdog, so I’ve been barracking for anyone but the Australians in various international sports over the last five years and thoroughly enjoyed the Pommie victory over Ricky Ponting’s boys at Bristol last night.
Marat Safin in the Australian Open final, Clive Woodward’s boys in last year’s Rugby World Cup and anyone in the cricket get my support, although the allegiance does remain with Australians in the likes of golf and soccer where we don’t do so well.
With our East Germanesque taxpayer funded sporting academies, the nation has become misguided in thinking sport is a top national priority, when things such as education and economic development are far more important. Elite sport is bad for the economy, so why do we pour billions of money from the taxpayer into it?
On Friday I listed a range of British companies which leave our equivalents for dead, but this is rarely debated in Australia. Several subscribers have come back with some interesting explanations for Britain’s comparative strength when lined up against corporate Australia:
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A corporate spindoctor writes:
The priority of big Australian corporates and business leaders is to hang on to what they’ve already got and keep the monopoly/duopoly in place (Telstra, the banks, Qantas, BHP and Rio, Woolies and Coles, Foster’s, Westfield and, the prime example – Packer). This involves anti-competitive behaviour, spinning governments, erecting barriers to entry and just plain bullying. On the other hand UK companies and their managers are interested in growing and entering new markets. To be fair, they also have history (BP and Glaxo) on their side and a home market three times our size.
Subscriber Scott writes:
You raise the fundamental shortcoming in Australia – our eventual marginalisation as a trading and probably independent nation is structural, entrenched, supported by both major political parties, class-based and very few people care. What is it you ask? Well we alone among the developed world have no history of funding risk-orientated business. Put simply, this country’s mainline credit and equity providers are reluctant to invest in new ideas and concepts.
Subscriber Mike writes:
The Poms have been at this business lurk for hundreds of years longer than white Australian has existed. During that time, they established and exploited their Empire creating enormous wealth, most of which was and remains within the hands of a relatively small number of people. The retreat from the Empire didn’t mean that British businesses ceased to operate in their old colonies. On the contrary, most probably went from strength to strength.
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