Labour are so neoliberal, it even extends to our Rugby (plus a twist at the end you won’t see coming)

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Look, I don’t care about Rugby.

I appreciate YOU might think it’s important. I appreciate that for some Kiwis their entire lives revolve around Rugby and I appreciate that it takes skill to kick a ball, catch a ball, run with a ball, throw a ball, hit a ball, pass a ball.

Buuuuuuuut.

It’s still just fucking around with a ball right?

I mean in terms of human development, there’s not really that much difference between kicking, running, passing, catching skills now than when prehistoric cave people did it.

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It’s literally not rocket science or brain surgery is it?

That all said, I get that many of my fellow New Zealanders love Rugby and I will put aside my deep cynicism about a country that defines itself by playing a game that barely anyone else plays to watch the World Cup once every 4 years.

My favourite bit is the Haka. I don’t care much about the game.

But I get that you all love it, and that it is a disproportionately enormous part of how you all define yourselves as New Zealanders. Disappointing as that is, it’s part of our cultural identity and as such it deserves to have some type of broad based access, that’s why I’ve always supported the NZ First policy to make the big matches free to air on public broadcasting.

Winston has fired up and is screaming at Spark because old people get frustrated, confused and angry about the internet the way they do when confronted by Sikhs, Burqa and Women who vote for the Green Party.

It’s funny how quickly Labour have shot down the idea of making big Rugby matches free to air…

New Zealand First has put forward a free-to-air members bill which would have free broadcasts of all rugby, cricket and football world cup events played by New Zealand, domestic rugby tests, and the Olympic and Commonwealth games.

A similar measure is already in place in the United Kingdom, where FIFA men’s World Cup matches, Wimbledon, and the Rugby World Cup final are included. 

Across the Tasman, an “anti-siphoning” scheme prevents a pay television company from buying the rights to a major sports match before free-to-air broadcasters have an opportunity to. 

But Labour wasn’t willing to back the bill in its coalition agreement, and it hasn’t gone anywhere since it was introduced to Parliament in August 2018.  

National party leader Simon Bridges has questioned why Peters is talking a big game, and won’t push the bill forward. 

Broadcast minister Kris Faafoi has the answer. He said on Tuesday the “horse had bolted” and there was little interest in pushing free-to-air. 

“Times have changed and rugby has become professional. It’s going to be difficult to unscramble that egg.

…Labour are so neoliberal, it even extends to bloody Rugby!

If we all begrudgingly acknowledge that Rugby is part of our cultural identity then allowing corporates to milk that for their own profit margins while robbing the public who make it such a powerful cultural phenomena their connection to it is outrageous.

Make the big games free to air and let’s start investing large sums of money into an Artists Benefit where artists, musicians, writers, poets, dancers, sculptors, carvers, actors are all paid a weekly benefit to produce and make art.

An explosion of art and people paid to produce it would do more for the depression rates, poverty rates, inequality rates and pull us away from the never ending economic growth model fantasy than anything else.

We started with Labour’s neoliberal attitude towards rugby and ended up with an Artists Benefit, I said you wouldn’t see that twist coming.

25 COMMENTS

  1. But it does demonstrate corrupt Capitalism. How a company can promote a product at a price and then deliver to the customer a turd and then when the company tries to polish that turd and convince you the customer
    its still a top shelf product.
    By the way that ref of the Wales and Georgia game was shite!

    • Y’know I saw this one guy who had payed for a sparks subscription take his phone and point it his TV so he could stream the All Blacks Vs Bokke on Facebook and the quality was absolute shit. And he had a thousand people watching it and they where cheering and happy. I mean geezus it’s just a bloody game.

  2. The last Artist’s Benefit under the Clark regime was bullshit PR. Workers were only eligible for six months and still had to report to a WINZ appointee once a month to explain their existence. Any new one needs to have actual substance this time around so that a solid platform for a genuinely fruitful, contributive body of work can be established. But considering kids are still starving and the rentier class are still making out like bandits there’s no breath being held this end.

    • Exactly @ Stank Sinatra.
      I’d know labour was on the move if they made Kiwi multimillionaires and billionaires report to IRD once a month to explain how they managed to amass such vast sums of money when all the appear to do is sit on their shiny arses in their Bentley’s. ( Now Tesla’s. Because, as we all know ; Ludicrous Mode, unlike thinking that vast piles of money did the trick, actually makes the penis bigger. Fact. Look it up? )

  3. Rugby Union has always been a game in this country that has succeeded by denying any other entertainment any light to grow. Its mortgaged entitlement to be THE only winter sport of the ball in hand played at the expense of any other at secondary school is just one of many things it’s tradition inflicts upon us still.

    Then there’s the never ending subtle bitching about too many “Islanders” playing the game over beers at the barby being the death of the game owing to their genetic inferiority and not so subtle whining, once a staple of Newstalk ZB, of the the same denying skinny white boys who are not so physically advanced, the God given right their forefathers had to play the game. There’s even unofficial club censuses measuring the ethnicity of players at Auckland clubs at least. It’s hard to miss the conclusion, if only we can get the intellectually superior white guys back to their rightful places and get those coloured folk back to a minority, everything will be just right. It’s cross burningly repulsive!

    Or the the old slight that deemed any male “a queer/homo/poof”, who didn’t man up and play it has been boring the shit out of the rest of us for far too long.

    And of course being professional, profit is THE be all end all. That the Union executives myopia prevents them from the realisation that this is poor medium term and dire long term for supporters is fine by me.

    And let’s not forget the horrendous serious life changing injuries it creates that have always been purposely hidden from view.

    So I’m personally pleased to say it’s popularity is dying out there and has been for sometime. And equally that the government is staying right away and allowing this game to deservedly fade away all on it’s lonesome.

    To me Union belongs to a long past era of 6.00 closing, chain smoking non filter cigarettes, quart bottles of Waitemata Pale Ale with mandatory drink driving and disciplining the Mrs. Keep it there!

    • Kia ora Xray,
      Did you write this opinion in 1975?
      If not, were you abducted by aliens about then and have just been returned to Aotearoa?
      Hoki mai ehoa.
      (You weren’t missed)

  4. I too cannot claim to give a hoot about the oval shaped ball. However that is my personal choice, I prefer football, despite it being corrupted beyond redemption by fifa and tax dodgers, and appreciate being able to watch it. Not sure that I can however. But certainly given the popularity of rugby in this country, surely any sensible government would recognise it as at least a popular move, if not entirely “fiscally responsible”, err, austerity anyone? I guess that is why NZ First proposed it, they are after all very observant of popular policy. But why Labour seems hellbent on proving they don’t need to be popular to be good is beyond me, particularly given their other policy un-success.

    • “But why Labour seems hellbent on proving they don’t need to be popular to be good is beyond me”

      Faafoi dropped the ball. Yes, Labour need to start fighting now, for every damned vote they can get! Or they will become a brief blip in our history. And anyone who recognises the opportunities that we have right now needs to join that fight.

  5. “Labour are so neoliberal, it even extends to bloody Rugby!” Yes I agree they are, so why don’t we see more investigative journalism from across the MSM exposing their failings?

    I’d say the shortcoming of the much of journalism in NZ is the result of a culture focusing on personalities rather than policy.

    When and if we ever see a majority shift to the kind of standard of journalism we used to know and love, then we might start seeing an end to the neo liberal element inside our governments and political parties.

    • “Labour are so neoliberal,”

      The headline, the concept, will stay in people’s minds and sway voters. It stinks. Who needs uber-wealthy exploitative enemies, whether individuals or multi-nationals, to sabotage our government when we do it so sweetly from within our own ranks. If we don’t value what we have, we will lose it.

  6. Nah fuck. Sparks mistake was assuming that anyone would watch a stream in 1080p. I mean 13 year old kids streaming out of there moms basement has better record of streaming quality content than Spark. I mean of all the things that would dominate the morning news, Y’know they have to broadcast how shit NZ is at streaming. This is a joke.

  7. I have no interest in rugby or any other sport, but understand how important it still is for many Kiwis. I also remember when there was coverage of the arts on free-to-air TV, but don’t expect that to return unless the government brings back real public service TV. The worst of this debacle is that people have paid for a product Spark can’t deliver

    • Dont EVER let a Govt organisation anywhere near the media.
      A; they’ll eventually require favorable editorial (ref. Muldoon and Mugabe).
      B; an intellectual elite will soon dominate.
      C; TV will be boring as fuck.

    • What happened to the public service TV policy? Labour minister shot themselves in the foot and it disappeared without a trace. It was going to be some radio with pictures malarkey. No one told them that is actually TV.

  8. Seems only 3% of NZ watched the first ABs livestream (120,000 viewers) so could it be there are more Green voters than rugby enthusiasts? I think I saw that the flickering live feed first came from Japan through NZ over to America for some sort of ‘real time’ pre production then back to NZ for broadcast. Spark would need to distribute say 5GB of HD live stream over two hours to every subscriber, 6Mbps to each household or 666Gbps in total from Spark in two hours. For reference I read a two hour concert with four times this number of viewers was successfully live streamed via Youtube in 2018. You’d think our national carrier ISP could match a corporate capacity.

  9. Yes, and Question Time in Parliament was a real silly kindergarten party today. Rugby and the All Blacks are almost all that many NZers can feel ‘proud’ of, as there is a dearth of culture, of purpose in life, of higher education and deeper insight into almost anything of substance in this place.

  10. Cheap politicking from Winston First to try and get some rugby World Cup to rub off on him.
    Rugby is a game more fun to play than watch IMO and various all blacks and John Key on the cover of a certain magazine politicised our national team (or should that be National team) and spoiled most of the last of the feel good some time ago.
    Not surprised interest is waning.

  11. Any sport which attracts merchandising deals and advertising revenues will always become a dead sport walking. Advertising turns sport into a Zombi pastime. Once was Westpac Stadium? Forsyth Bar Stadium? Adidas? Nike? All the banksters are into it.
    How about those awful stand-up-and-shout ads painted onto the field?
    Our media overall is like a neutered tom cat. All hiss and no business. RNZ’s just dreadful. Look at it’s bleak little website? Our TV’s unwatchable. Literally unwatchable for me at least. Celebrity Desert Island??? What the fuck is that about?
    As the rugby world cup loomed I received a junk mail flyer advertising TV’s showing images of huge, scary All Black fellows all bulging tattooed muscles and smouldering, broad shouldered malevolence. I had to poke it with a stick to make sure it was dead enough to bury.
    Without an enduring government initiative to protect us from the ravages of the toxic effects of ‘money’ dropped on us by banksters and their minions our worlds are going to deflate then die. As they, and we, are doing.
    On a more somber note.
    If you think that winston peters or anyone else who can proclaim to be a politician has OUR best interests at heart, you’d be sorely mistaken.
    We have no one going into bat for us ( No pun intended. ). No one. Our government and our mandates are entirely parasitised by greedy narcissists and all they want is $-more and they can, and will, do what ever it takes to get $-it and once they get $-it, they’ll do what ever it takes to keep $-it.
    AO/NZ was taken from us in a bloodless coup. We need to take it back off $-them in a bloodless revolution.
    And I think that’s our job. You, and you and you. We need to engage the masses. That’s why I’ve always said “ Lets employ an A-lister actor? ”
    Sorry. I rambled off-topic there a bit I think. But you get my drift, right?

  12. Any sport which attracts merchandising deals and advertising revenues will always become a dead sport walking. Advertising turns sport into a Zombi pastime. Once was Westpac Stadium? Forsyth Bar Stadium? Adidas? Nike? All the banksters are into it.
    How about those awful stand-up-and-shout ads painted onto the field?
    Our media overall is like a neutered tom cat. All hiss and no business. RNZ’s just dreadful. Look at it’s bleak little website? Our TV’s unwatchable. Literally unwatchable for me at least. Celebrity Desert Island??? What the fuck is that about?
    As the rugby world cup loomed I received a junk mail flyer advertising TV’s showing images of huge, scary All Black fellows all bulging tattooed muscles and smouldering, broad shouldered malevolence. I had to poke it with a stick to make sure it was dead enough to bury.
    Without an enduring government initiative to protect us from the ravages of the toxic effects of ‘money’ dropped on us by banksters and their minions our worlds are going to deflate then die. As they, and we, are doing.
    On a more somber note.
    If you think that winston peters or anyone else who can proclaim to be a politician has OUR best interests at heart, you’d be sorely mistaken.
    We have no one going into bat for us ( No pun intended. ). No one. Our government and our mandates are entirely parasitised by greedy narcissists and all they want is $-more and they can, and will, do what ever it takes to get $-it and once they get $-it, they’ll do what ever it takes to keep $-it.
    AO/NZ was taken from us in a bloodless coup. We need to take it back off $-them in a bloodless revolution.
    And I think that’s our job. You, and you and you. We need to engage the masses. That’s why I’ve always said “ Lets employ an A-lister actor? ”
    Sorry. I rambled off-topic there a bit I think. But you get my drift, right?

    • Geez Cuntry Boy did we have to read all that rubbish twice?
      Really, what have we done to deserve that double assault?

  13. “Let’s start investing large sums of money into an Artists Benefit where artists, musicians, writers, poets, dancers, sculptors, carvers, actors are all paid a weekly benefit to produce and make art.”

    The most environmentally friendly and socially responsible art is poetry and it uses up nearly no physical energy and material. Music probably comes next. The worst are the visual art.

    The world is already awash with paintings etc and yet the standard never ever goes up, and arguably has been going down for many decades. In 1900 in Paris there is estimated to be around 6000 professional artists. There would be that many people who call themselves artists in Wellington City alone today, let alone the Hutt Valley.
    Every artwork that is made in New Zealand today, and I would wildly speculate say that would be 20 to 30, gets added to the pile of artwork already made in the last five, ten, 20, 30, 50 years.

    It’s time for visual artists, in particular, to stop pumping out so much art, or at least destroy a portion of it when it is complete.

    That said, I totally agree that big matches should be real time free-to-air. Rugby lost me, more ore less, when you had to start paying for it.

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