Voice Special Edition

The Sporting Codes’ Own Goal

As they become more successful, enterprises of all types invariably expand. The ever-growing Australian Football League may be an emotionally exploitative, politically compromised, horribly woke monstrosity of a thing, but its monstrous dimensions are due to consistently high market achievement delivering huge financial power.

The AFL is a success, at least in economic terms, and thus it expands: beginning with twelve teams during the Victorian Football League era from 1925 to 1986, then growing in stages as a national competition until reaching the current eighteen teams. Next for the AFL is a team based in Tasmania, but this may be a rare financial misstep from Australia’s wealthiest code. As the old joke goes, everyone at a Tasmanian sports event gets in on a single family ticket.

This essay appears in our Voice online-only edition.
Subscribers and non-subscribers alike can download
the entire August issue by clicking this link

Naturally, being emotionally exploitative, politically compromised and horribly woke, the AFL in May joined the NRL, Football Australia, Netball Australia, Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia and Rugby Australia—plus various golf, boxing, basketball and baseball groups, and everything else with an “Australia” suffix in its title—to back the Yes vote.

“We, as a collective, support recognition through a voice,” these sporty people announced, having in the overwhelming majority of cases previously ignored constitutional issues and instead devoted almost the entirety of their waking lives to football, rugby league, soccer, netball, tennis, cricket, rugby, golf, boxing, basketball and baseball.

(You should hear, by the way, how some athletes absolutely scorn non-specialist commentators who dare venture opinions on their various games. Why, it’s almost as though Australian sports stars prefer the views of people who know what they’re talking about.)

Credit where it’s due, though. Many Australian sports stars—a not altogether dim bunch, by any means—have a fine grasp of both the theories and realities behind competition expansion. In a great many cases, especially in the AFL, they have lived expansion by joining newly-formed or admitted teams. Older players with families, especially, consider all manner of financial factors before signing on with an expansion outfit.

If they do sign, it will usually be because they recognise that the code overall is healthy enough to sustain an additional element. They recognise, then, that the code’s previous structure has served so impressively well that it deserves an expansionist reward.

As all Quadrant readers will agree, Australia’s political class deserves a lot of things. Reward in the form of an entire extra Canberra team is not one of them.

Consider the reverse accomplishments across recent decades of our federal political class. Above all, they have delivered one astonishing result. They have through sheer force of idiocy turned our nation from an energy powerhouse into an energy poverty pit.

It is not inconceivable that a government composed of randomly selected athletes would have done better on power availability and prices than have our elected representatives. Those representatives, of course, have at their disposal mountains of alleged expertise from all sectors, financial through to environmental. And they have brilliantly converted all of that wisdom into the notice I received as this column was being written: “Your electricity rates are changing from 1 August 2023. We estimate it’ll cost you around $362.05 more a year.”

That’s for two people living in a not-gigantic house in Victoria’s countryside. We’re not exactly running an aluminium smelter in the backyard, yet we’re copping bills that for people less well off could be punishing to the point of pain.

Someone without access to energy expertise—your average AFL footballer, perhaps—may consider Australia’s ludicrous abundance of energy resources and wonder why we even have power bills at all, let alone why they’re increasing.

That hypothetical footballer might wonder further about rewarding the economic and social madness known as a net zero emissions target by granting our political class another layer of power. He might wonder as well about following the directions of our Prime Minister to vote Yes when that same Prime Minister promised in the federal election campaign he would slash power bills.

Economically, successive governments have delivered generational debt. On energy alone, we’ve been hobbled for purely political reasons by huge prices despite our stocks of coal, gas, oil and uranium. Socially, governments paralysed us during the Covid pandemic.

And now that same wastrel class, those same destroyers of ambition and growth, want us to vote for and finance a new expansion team called the Canberra Voice.

No. No, we will not.

13 thoughts on “The Sporting Codes’ Own Goal

  • lbloveday says:

    “Economically, successive governments have delivered generational debt.”
    Despite that, the Federal Government hands out Australian taxpayers’ money to the USA, the richest country in the world – The Weekend Australian reports that as a result of the Maui bushfires: “Australia’s consul-general to Hawaii has offered financial assistance to the state’s governor”.
    Meanwhile we have people unable to afford electricity, or even a bed to sleep in!

  • Stephen Due says:

    “Emotionally exploitative” describes the AFL perfectly. After all, what is football about, if not emotion? Indeed, the emotions have become a surrogate marker in our benighted society for sincerity – and ipso facto, in this age of relativism, for truth itself. As we each have our own emotions, so we have our own truth. And woe betide that person who denies my truth – look what happened to Israel Folau.
    It is a commonly recognised problem with democracy that the people are too fickle to run things, and should not be put in charge – precisely because they are liable to emotional manipulation. Of course we tried monarchy, and that did not seem to work either, as kings could turn nasty. Plato’s solution – putting the philosopher in control – has not won much popular support either.
    When all is said and done, government is fraught with peril. We need a lot more limits on what government can do. No sane person would allow government to control education or health, for example. Less government is what we need. The Voice is therefore a step in exactly the wrong direction. The result will only be more trumpeting of emotions, more disconnection from reality, more graft and corruption, and more bad outcomes.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

      Bread and Circuses to keep we peasants occupied whilst blokes like that nice mr. andrews in Victoria run amok behind the scenes and what mr. albenese and his mates are trying to do with the voice. Aussietom below has nailed it as in –cobbler, stick to thine last– for being able to kick a ball, drive a motor cycle, belt a tenins ball, or make a living pretending to be someone else doesn’t qualify someone as an expert.

    • Rebekah Meredith says:

      August 14, 2023
      Radical thinking, Mr. Due–not having the government in charge of education and health? You don’t mean, do you, that we should actually directly PAY for them?

  • Aussietom says:

    Just shut up and throw the ball or whatever you do, sporties. What qualifies you to give an opinion on anything else?

  • john mac says:

    Yes Tim , a topic I’ve been railing against for quite a while . Moe Sizlak has turned the AFL into his personal Trojan horse , remember a few years ago when he sacked two male administrators involved in affairs with two female co workers , who kept their jobs – being the designated “victims” in the Me-too era ? , and ushering in divisive “pride” rounds to go along with the ever expanding Indigenous rounds , women’s rounds , charity rounds . They will have to lengthen the season to accommodate their hobbyhorses. And woe betide any team not endorsing a “yes” vote , who can be assured of their aboriginals refusing to play , other teams boycotting them , and financial sanctions from Gillon and co . I’m embroiled now in a nasty stoush on facebook for putting my “No” case out there , but do not care one whit about the name calling , a price I’m willing to pay for freedom of speech .

  • Brian Boru says:

    A long time ago football was a sport of local teams consisting of local players that we followed with pride because they represented our town.
    Now the AFL is just another business. It presents a gladiatorial display that people who like to watch that kind of thing will pay money for. The “players” are no longer the sportsmen of old. They are now full time professional money making machines prepared to risk their bodies for lucre (even after multiple knee reconstruction).
    I last went to a game in Kalgoorlie in 1967. That was then real team football. Maybe they still have it in Kal.
    The money grubbing AFL can go to hell. I am voting NO.

    • pgang says:

      It’s not that bad. Aussie Rules footy is still very much alive at the local level. For those of us who get to local games and are still involved with local clubs, the AFL is a secondary consideration which is really there to satisfy the non-footy public, or those who can no longer be involved directly in the game. One thing that does irk me is that the game is now universally called ‘AFL’, which is nothing but nonsense.

    • SimonBenson says:

      Gladiatorial? I think not. Successive rule changes under Gillon McLachlan’s tenure have rendered AFL nothing more than unjustifiably glorified arial tag footy. AFL used to be, as you say, a local affair played by local men who grew up learning the game in the league club’s catchment area and local feeder clubs. It was 100 minutes plus injury time of compelling, intense football, where 80 yard drop kicks by the likes of Allan Quartermain and legendary hand passes of giants of the game like Polly Farmer, who hand passed longer than most could kick, were a regular feature, as was the Leigh Matthews biff. Now it’s 80 minutes of vanilla tag where every ‘tackle’ – where tackling is allowed – is put under a legal microscope and any kind of contact between two players with eyes only for the ball will result in a free kick for the one who comes off second best. The players of yesteryear were real men who played as they spoke: with humility. They were not the ludicrously tattoo-adorned, overpaid prima donnas of the current generation. Vale AFL.

  • ASM says:

    Gave up on leftists endorsed sport along time ago. There is still the UFC, BattleBots and World Chase Tag

  • SimonBenson says:

    And there we all were thinking tied grants under section 96 were only for State funding; it now includes pork barrelling football stadiums. Maybe that should be referred to federal ICAC. As should the federal Attorney-General for paying a liar several millions in a dodgy settlement. And as for Labor “hearing and believing” every lunatic who cries “rape”, why hasn’t Bill Shorten’s rape accuser been “heard and believed”? Or does that silly slogan only apply to those who don’t vote Woke. Just on sport, you are all of course forgetting one vital fact: sport isn’t sport, it’s sheep stations, and the ‘legends’ who participate are making ‘history’. And let’s face it, many of the brain dead morons who ‘make’ that ‘history’ need all the help they can get. The Tassie stadium will be a white elephant (if one is allowed to call an elephant ‘white’ nowadays). Apologies in advance to the elephants.

  • john mac says:

    Couldn’t agree more , Simon . OHS and the legal fraternity run the AFL now , helmets to come . Moe Sizlak (Mclachlan) is Gramsci’s poster boy , and not one media personality willing to lose their job by swimming upstream . That so many highly paid players of the past are lining up for compensation for head knocks , is disgraceful , and will be the nail in the coffin for our once magnificent game .I played amateur footy in the 80’s , got what the surgeon said was the worst head injury he’d seen in footy , spent a week in hospital , fronted up the next year ready for action , to this day still have pins and needles on one side of my face but no regrets , and no pay or compensation . We’d all play for free if there were no AFL !

Leave a Reply