1. Bullying bosses behaving badly, and it’s not cricket
The New Daily sport editor James Willoughby’s article Cricket tour of South Africa cancelled over pay dispute is typical of the coverage. The players want everyone to be treated fairly, and want the grass roots to be looked after. Seems Cricket Australia wants the same, but with a different way of carving the pie. The chasm is so wide people are talking about an Ashes tour being junked, and worry about the future of the game.
Yet most of the reporting and commentary misses the main point – Cricket Australia refuses to attend mediation or offer any genuine flexibility in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiations. They simply will not deal with the Australian Cricketers Association.
ABC’s 7.30 Report got to the nub of the issue. The Players Association have turned to former union heavyweight Greg Combet, who is facing off against Cricket Australia’s chairman, David Peever, a former managing director of the mining giant Rio Tinto.
It’s a union-busting exercise, cricket has become a commodity, produced by employees who should do what they are told. And the bosses will probably win.
The international cricketers have enough in the bank to hold out, and can get plenty gigs overseas. However, many shield cricketers have kids and a mortgage, or are young and have not yet established a reputation. I heard CA has 450 staff, who will no doubt continue to be paid.
Cate McGregor sanctifies Peever by saying he played grade cricket in Brisbane and stuff and “has cricket in his genes”.
I’m not impressed. Who appoints the chair of the board? Who should be the real guardians of the game?
As an ambit claim, I’d legislate that the players association should appoint a supervisory board whose function would be to employ the management board, including the chair, to run cricket. Half of the supervisory board would be players, past and present, with terms 50% longer than the terms of the management board they supervise.
Other suggestions are welcome, but I think we could do with some stakeholder industrial democracy.
ABC RN’s Background Briefing is one of the bastions of investigative journalism. Paddy Manning’s report, linked above, is unbelievable. Inter alia it tells of:
- Dentists in corporate chains are drilling and filling 6-8 holes in healthy teeth in some patients
- Insurance companies give bigger rebates for the same work to the clients of ‘preferred practitioners’, mainly corporate chains
- Insurance companies are setting up their own corporate chains. They take the addresses of claimants treated by independent dentists and offer them cheaper services, freebies or incentives.
You would think any decent legislator would move to stop this nonsense in a heartbeat, as they should have with ‘one-dollar milk’, but competition is the new god.
By the way, in France you get a free inspection and clean every six months.
3. Macron starts in style
This article highlights that new French President Emmanuel Macron has used the grand surrounding of the Palace of Versailles to deliver his state of the nation address, including a plan to cut numbers in parliament by a third.
This has echoes of Napoleon after the French Revolution. Macron is seen elsewhere as a sensible centrist. He now has direct power Trump and Theresa May can only dream about, so we won’t die waiting to see the colour of his cloth.
Jeremy Corbyn now has untrammelled power within the British Labour Party, and is using it to include on his front bench people who had resigned rather than accept his leadership and/or were openly critical of him. The word is that the party is still divided, but most concede that he will stay leader as long as he chooses.
5. Mutually assured destruction (MAD)
A reasonable question in relation to the North Korean situation is, which kid has the most dangerous toys, and is the most erratic? I’m afraid it’s not dear leader Kim Jong-un.
Stan Grant makes the case that he’s brutal, he’s petulant, but he’s not stupid. Nor is he irrational or unpredictable.
The key value, says Grant, is “juche” or “self-reliance”. In simple terms he wants the US out of the area, and so do the China and Russia. But the US anti-missile shield is essential to the security of South Korea.
It’s basically a stalemate. North Korea has up to 10,000 underground sites where they can hide their nuclear facilities. Aside from their nukes they have massive artillery pointed at Seoul, a city of 10 million. Neither the US nor North Korea could start anything, and they would know it. China could choke the life out of them, but doesn’t want to push them to the edge.
The US has talked about sanctions on China, but would come off second best.
Then for a proper perspective, listen to Phillip Adams talking to Dr Peter Hayes of Sydney University. The missile was in fact only intermediate range, not yet intercontinental. Turnbull would know that, so would Trump if he’s listening to his security folk and not too occupied tweeting.
So why are they over-egging the situation?