The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

리쌍 ft. 정인- Rush 

and an oldie from the Land of the Morning Calm (it sure as fuck ain't calm in the afternoon).


From Korea...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Your Numbers Up! 

After taking an interest in Hadyn Greens post over at Public Address on the unpredictability of various professional sports I thought I'd check it out for the 2008 NRL season using roughly the same formula. I couldn't quite get it exactly right because I'm just not that smart but it's near enough.

According to this study done by Naim, Vazquez and Redner from Boston University of the EPL (or FA rather), MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL the number of upsets by percentage is
FA: 45.2%
MLB: 44.1%
NHL: 41.4%
NBA: 36.5%
NFL: 36.4%

There are some very clear trends (you can see them on the graphs on the above link) in each of the competitions since about 1980 which I guess is the dawn of crazy (read: mo' money) professionalism. NFL, NHL and MLB are becoming more unpredictable with more upsets while the Premier League and NBA are becoming more predictable with fewer upsets. The FA probably largely because of the obscene money flying around at the top end of it in the last two decades and increasingly since 2000 which has killed it as a 'contest' while in the NBA they have this 'interesting' thing where top players sign with sides with a good chance of winning them a championship ring thus concentrating the best players on a fewer number of teams. What would be nice in football is if the Saudi Arabian league takes off and they sign every single top player so the EPL chills the fuck out a bit.

So anyway, the results for this seasons NRL are in and they say... 39.2%

Which is a bit lower than I thought they would be but there's the entire possibility that I fucked it up. In fact I know I did because there were 4 teams at the end of the year that I had the incorrect points tally for (2 points too many for each of the 4 teams) which means somewhere going through the year calculating the weekly tables I ballsed it up which may have messed up a couple of results. Either way though the 39.2% figure will most likely be less than a percent out (margin of error +/- 0.6%) which would still put it after FA, MLB, NHL but ahead of NBA and NFL.

I discounted the one and only draw during the year between the Broncos and Panthers even though I know they count them. Apparently it makes jack all difference though.

There were 192 games played, with 58 results where the lower ranked team won and 90 where the higher ranked team won with 44 matches played where both teams were on the same number of points and so no favourite tags were handed out.

It's interesting to see a bit of a pattern. There tended to be 3-5 upsets one week and then only 1 or 2 the next. I'd suggest this is because the higher ranked teams refocus after seeing a lot of upsets in a round. Also in the last 3 weeks of the comp this year there were 19 results that went to the higher ranked team and only 2 upsets on paper. The old motivation factor coming into play there. After a few weeks there had been more upsets than favourites winning but that gradually crept down all year until those final weeks. If they shortened the season to say 20 games then the figure would probably be around 42-43%.

On this weekends game I think I'm edging towards the Sea Eagles. There's the old cliche about needing to lose one to win one. It doesn't always hold true. The Broncos have played 6 and won 6. The Storm have played 2 and won 2. But there does seem to be a kind of deathly serious focus about the Sea Eagles and a no prisoners attitude. It should be an excellent final and could go either way based on a refs call, a bit of luck or the proverbial moment of brilliance but I think the Sea Eagles have probably got a touch more desparation. Although that might be countered by the siege mentality running through the Storm who have been there, done that and would like nothing more than to ram rod it back up.... well everybody, actually.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dithers and Dipper 08 

This is too rich:

Reporter: Explain to me why [Alaska's proximity to Russia] enhances your foreign policy credentials?

The Big Dipper: "Well it certainly does...because our next-door neighbours are foreign countries."

The rest is just too pathetic to bother writing down.

Well she is an entertaining circus act for us to chew on while Dithers is in Washington trying to put a little space between himself and the deregulation cluster-fuck that is the U.S. economy.

"I don't know, you know?"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Go the mighty Warriors 

Much cheering here from the team at BIR. I got to five or six home games this year, including the awesome win over the Storm in the, err, storm ... A rational tipster might say it's a "bridge too far" for you against Manly tonight. Mind you, the same tipster might have been picking Cronulla over Melbourne. (Come to think of it, I was informally picking Cronulla too).

But, moving right along, it would be great to have a grand final free from the malevolent influence of Sydney teams, so I'm picking the Warriors. This is totally a heart-over-head decision, but fuck it. If they play really well, they'll win.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

An ass until the end 

So, farewell, then, to the idiot who built nothing except a reputation for being a scrotum-scratching monstrosity.
One of his last acts as an MP illustrating his ongoing value as the representative for Tauranga.
He's welcome to go back there, or indeed "to Islam", at his earliest convenience.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


How predictable: a government agency telling us neither to follow nor swallow the white rabbit!

Free your minds.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Too many Kiwis making money overseas: ex-pat making money overseas 

So some crony capitalist ex-pat making a killing in Russia is returning to preach to the converted at the Business Roundtable, and in advance offers the standard far-right prescription for enriching people like himself: 'reducing the size of government, changing the welfare system, reducing taxes and debating "sacred cows" such as the health system.'

The irony of this right-wing mouthpiece decrying New Zealanders working overseas, while himself waist-deep in rubles, is apparently lost.

Hey, here's a message for you Stephen Jennings: Fuck Off. The last thing New Zealand needs is more of that crap.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NRL Playoff Upsets and other odds and ends 

First off on the scalping, my mates and I tried in vain to buy tickets this morning. And the bogus reasons for onselling tickets is pathetic. Also apparently the tickets state on them that it is illegal to onsell them without written consent from the NRL. Trademe say they can't stop them as they aren't breaking any laws but surely tickets on trademe which have that as a legal condition on them should have to display the written consent from the organisation in a photo with the auction. If not then trademe is aiding and abetting and I'd like to see the NRL or anybody else for that matter take a stand and take trademe to court. I realise it would be like asking for proof of ownership of everything on trademe but this is a bit different as the tickets state on them what the legal requirements are so by appearing for sale on trademe they are breaking that 'law' then and there, clear for all to see.

And for the record I've changed my mind on the injustice to the Storm. They should have been eliminated altogether with that loss. If Wellington lose to the 8th placed team in the quarterfinals of the NPC in a months time they won't be complaining about a semi away from home. They'll be in the pub watching on TV. All other sports where one plays 8 like the American football (1 v 6 in each conference actually), NBA, MLB etc all have straight elimination. Fuck losing and staying alive.

Anyway, I thought I'd do a bit of research on the number of upsets in week one since they went to the McIntyre System in 1999 (incidentally the Storm won the comp that year, just their second effort).

1999: Bulldogs (5) beat Roosters (4) 12-8, Dragons (6) beat Storm (3) 34-10.
2000: Eels (7) beat Roosters (2) 32-8
2001: Dragons (7) beat Bulldogs (2) 23-22
2002: Dragons (7) beat Knights (2) 26-22
2003: Storm (5) beat Raiders (4) 30-18, Warriors (6) beat Bulldogs (3) 48-22
2004: Storm (6) beat Broncos (3) 31-14, Cowboys (7) beat Bulldogs (2) 30-22
2005: Storm (6) beat Broncos (3) 24-18
2006: Dragons (6) beat Broncos (3) 20-4
2007: Eels (5) beat Warriors (4) 12-10 cheers Logan Swann.
2008: Broncos (5) beat Roosters (4) 24-16, Warriors (8) beat Storm (1) 18-15

So to get my highlighter pen out, the most upsets have been in the 6v3 game where there's been 5 upsets from 9 games. There's been 4 upsets in the 4v5 and 3v6 games and only the one in the 1v8 game. So 14 upsets all up in 36 games. A reasonably high ratio but probably about right for the NRL with the salary cap. Interesting though how the 3rd ranked team has bottled it more times than not. Possibly because they assume that teams 1 and 2 will win and they are effectively playing for nothing. And until the Storm loss in the weekend they would have been right in each of the previous 3 years. Biggest bottlers are the Bulldogs (3), Roosters (3), Broncos (3) Storm (2) and the Warriors, Knights and Raiders 1 each.

The 1 v 8 clashes have all been won by the number one ranked team until this year as has been constantly mentioned. Here's the results:

1999: Sharks 42 Broncos 20
2000: Broncos 34 Sharks 20
2001: Eels 56 Warriors 12
2002: Warriors 36 Raiders 20
2003: Panthers 28 Broncos 18
2004: Roosters 38 Raiders 12
2005: Eels 46 Sea Eagles 22
2006: Storm 12 Eels 6
2007: Storm 40 Broncos 0
2008: Storm 15 Warriors 18

And the finalists for each year are the teams with the following rankings (bold teams won the premiership):
1999: Storm (3) Dragons (6) - The Storm got dicked in week 1 but then had 3 consecutive 2 point wins to take the title.
2000: Broncos (1) Roosters (2)
2001: Eels (1) Knights (3)
2002: Warriors (1) Roosters (4)
2003: Panthers (1) Roosters (2)
2004: Roosters (1) Bulldogs (2)
2005: Tigers (4) Cowboys (5)
2006: Storm (1) Broncos (3)
2007: Storm (1) Sea Eagles (2)

So the higher ranked team has won the final 5 times from 8.
Winning teams ranking:
1 - 3 wins
2 - 1 win
3 - 3 wins
4 - 2 wins

So the 3rd ranked team has been as successful as the minor premiership winners and team 2 always seems to do it tough with just 4 grand final appearances from 9 and 1 win. Grand final appearances as follows...
1 (7 appearances)
2 (4 appearances)
3 (3 appearances and has won them all)
4 (2 appearances and has won both)
5 (1 appearance)
6 (1 appearance)

That adds up to teams 3 and 4 having more grand final success than teams 1 and 2. Go figure.

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Economic crisis and National's "promise anything" approach 

The company that used to pay John Key's salary, before you and I started picking up the bill, is all but bust.

I haven't quite been able to find the right words to characterize the crisis, and the ongoing absurdity of National doing the old "massive tax cuts for all, and more social spending in your favourite areas", but luckily others have done so for me.

First, Blake on PA_system offers some insight into the US situation:
The USA has been borrowing to consume [ed- and wage an entirely 'voluntary' war]. Nobody has loaned the USA money to build factories, to build infrastructure. They have nothing to show for the trillions of dollars the world has loaned them except empty houses, plasma TVs, SUVS.They have blown the money on consumption and this is the problem. Ultimately the solution for the rest of the world is to stop lending them money, let the dollar collapse, let the US economy implode, and the rest of the world just try and go about its business.

There is relevance to the NZ election campaign, as Steve, also on PA_System points out:
National is promising tax cuts even though they are predicated on the formerly prosperous environment applying PRIOR to the implosion of the property bubble, the consequent finance company crashes and the recession now underway.

And a private correspondent offered this measured but nevertheless incisive analysis:
The credit crisis is quite similar to many other financial crises in that it was caused by greed and speculation, and that it was perpetrated by professionals and corporations who knew better but were blinded by the prospect of enrichment. The fact that Wall St's great investment houses have fallen is due process as far as I'm concerned.

I hope we can now say that John Key's "real world experience" casts him firmly as part of the problem rather than as a solution to our problems.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

To the Lions 

Barack Obama did a bold move this week. He went on FoxNews to have an extended interview with that smart-mouthed, stupid-ass, Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly, voted the world's worst human on several occasions for his natural ability to repeatedly say G.O.P. talking points as loudly as he can, is somehow a popular guy with Fox viewers.

When Clinton and Obama were running against each other, Obama refused to deal with the Fox people. Because we know that at Fox it is less about journalism and news, and more about propaganda and Republican opinion. When Clinton went on Fox it upset many democrats who felt that it was a sign of giving legitimacy to Fox. The Obama camp has, from day one, rightly laughed off Fox as a bunch of lunatics, and never gave them any time.

But in the middle of the Republican National Convention Obama decided to do the audacious and sit down with Bill O'Reilly. It's the lion's den, because O'Reilly, not a smart man by any stretch, is a loud man, and he has a strong ability to spout out stupidities while cutting off his guest, that is can really make his opponent look weak and broken.

Senator Dithers, knowing that Obama was entering a lion's den, chose to enter a coliseum as well: The View. John McCain being interviewed by five centre-left women at once. I'm sure that for a minute in between fits of senility, Dithers thought that it might just bolster the soccer-mom vote on the Palin band-wagon.

Well loyal readers I offer you the links. The first clips are from Obama and O'Reilly and the last one is Dithers vs. the View.

You tell me which gladiator survived the coliseum.

Obama vs. O'Reilly pt. 1; Obama vs. O'Reilly pt. 2; Obama vs. O'Reilly pt. 3 (rt: 27 min)

Dithers vs. The View (rt: 5:30)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Freakin awesome. The first time the number 8 team has ever beaten the first placed team in the 10 year history of the Mcintyre playoff system that that has happened.

I'm so stoked. Jumpin round the house, making my daughter cry, annoying my wife. Good times.

The playoff system is really, really silly with too many unfair anomalies and a format that makes it difficult to understand.

They should just go with the AFL format where 1 plays 4, 2 plays 3, and the winners get week 2 off. 5 plays 8, 6 plays 7 and the losers are eliminated. The winners progress to week 2.

You would get 4 games that are relatively even and its simple as hell to understand with no real possibility of "unfair" matchups in week 2.

Anyway, something to worry about for next year.

We're off to week 2!!!!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The IRD 

Just to get a blog out there because there's a lot of popular demand for me to post.

What the fuck is with the IRD who have continously for three years ballsed up the amount that I get paid. Here's how it usually goes, I get a pay rise and call them up to tell them the new amount, they change my details and then send a letter confirming this. Then a month or two later they send me a letter saying according to their figures I am getting paid x amount a year which is always a totally bull shit amount.

This has happened once or twice a year EVERY YEAR. I call them up, ask them wtf? and they say "oh, yeah, we have a record of you contacting us and telling us what you get paid". Today I got a letter in the mail saying I earn 8,000 a year more than I actually do according to "the information we regularly receive". I don't know what information they regularly receive but a simple fucking calculator that can multiply my bi-weekly pay by 26 will tell them that I get paid EXACTLY what I told them I get paid.

And that's not all. Their website login NEVER works for me. So I can't update jack shit on line. I gave up with my first efforts and today I try to do it again, call up, get it verified and straight away try to log in but of course it tells me it can't. And then what do you know, the website is now down for a day while they do major maintenance work on it.

I suppose I could call them but I did try that already today and the "more than ten minute wait" was 'right'. I gave up after being on hold for 26 minutes. But who's counting, because they sure as fuck can't.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

That's more like it 

I knew I was in trouble when DC Red asked me about my recent Pacific holiday and then suggested that my response could be a blog.
I've been engaging in a new form of blogging since my last post, I'll call it anti-blogging, whereby MY SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES!

I think Yamis is anti-blogging too, or else he's in shock that the Warriors made the finals series.

I've been anti-blogging because I'm fuckin disgusted! With everything! I came back from holiday into BULLSHIT. Look, I not going to carp on, not why I'm here tonight all cut and hazy. I am here because out of the crescendo of DISGUSTING AWFUL NEWS came a reminder of why I bother at all. Good news came to me today. Something to care about that isn't going to really break my heart. A lighter tragedy than the human tragedy, but one in which the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit are equally on show and at odds. Yes, today came the happy reminder that more cricket is coming! Ahh yes indeed, that's more like it!

So, today, Dion Nash named a squad of 15 (with two spots trading places for the later Tests) to travel to Bangladesh for three ODIs and two Tests.

Missing from the contracted 20 players is James Franklin, Peter Fulton, James Marshall and Michael Mason. The squad is completed by the winter contracted Grant Elliott.

My most pressing query is the omission of Franklin, who had a full tour with the Emerging Players in July and seemed, I was sure, an automatic recall.

I reckon too that Peter Fulton, especially given his recent ton for the Emerging Players, deserves another shot in the squad, although we have a several young and talented batsmen in our second XI growing hopeful for a spot in the BCs.

Starting at the top Jesse Ryder returns, likely to partner McCullum at top, with How to kick on in his successful no.3 position, allowing Taylor the comfort of a no. 4 role. From there I assume that Styris comes in at five ahead of Flynn at six, Oram seven and Vettori eight. Add a Mills and Southee to those and you're left only with the choice of Martin, who's back in the ODI frame, Patel or Gillespie.

Redmond swaps with Styris to get another chance to 'cement a spot' and How looks the best long-term bet going as the other opener, leaving scant resources to flesh out the top order. Best results are likely to be achieved from Taylor at three giving Ryder and Flynn options at four or five. The Oram, McCullum, Vettori combination is the best lower-middle order in the game and again Mills and Southee* are most likely to follow. This time the choice of bunny is either O'Brien (swapped with Gillespie for the slightly longer games), Patel or Martin.
*I have Southee as an automatic choice as he's our greatest whitest hope, and should be playing all the cricket he can handle as he is developed into our long-term no.1 bowler.

I'm quite positive about Bangladeshi cricket. The last time we played the Bangles at the Basin I bought a match pass which allowed me to be there for all seven sessions. At home they'll have their moments of brilliance in the ODI's, which may make for interesting games. Although we'll fill our boots in the tests we'll have another look at our fringe batsmen.

Thankfully there is no requirement to grow the 20/plenty game in Bangladesh so roll on the first ODI on October 9! It'll make me happy.

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Breaking news: Soccer Mom looks like Sarah Palin 

This is why democracy, and most likely modern society, is completely fucked.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Political hurricanes 

Cuba is getting hammered by hurricane Ike. This couldn’t be worse. The damn thing hit Santiago de Cuba (major city in the South East) and then travelled all along the length of the island to only come out just to the west of Havana.

A quick lesson on hurricanes: When eye is to the west of you….you’re in trouble. When it is to the east of you, it’s not that bad. Havana is in trouble. 2 million evacuated, the power is off, as is the gas and the running water. But at least they’re prepared.

And that’s the thing about hurricanes in Cuba, they are often incredibly prepared. Cuba has somehow defied Mother Nature, and typically the storms are not deadly events. The problem is the clean up afterwards. That takes time, resources and money to get it done, and there we have problems.

The U.S. has offered aid to Cuba during this terrible hurricane season. Thomas Shannon, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs expresses "his profoundest concern at the destruction caused by Hurricane Gustav," and affirms that the United States is prepared to offer immediate and initial "humanitarian aid" to the people of Cuba in aid supplies via an appropriate international aid organization."

Sounds pretty fair. But that suggestion of humanitarian aid is where the Cubans say “no thanks.” They have seen what humanitarian aid looks like from the United States in other countries, and time and time again it is an open door to get military personnel on the ground in a post-disaster region and to flood the local economy with U.S. foodstuffs that undermine local growing capacity.

Shannon also asked the Cuban government to allow a humanitarian assessment group to visit the island to inspect the affected areas and make a suitable evaluation of the damage.

Ooops. This is a bit of an insult to the Cubans, who again are experts at surviving and recovering from hurricanes. The official response from Havana went something like this:
“Cuba does not need the assistance of a humanitarian assessment group to evaluate the damage and needs, because it has sufficient specialists who have virtually completed that task.
Moreover, the Foreign Ministry note says that if the U.S. government really has the will to cooperate with the Cuban people in the face of the tragedy of the hurricane, it would ask it to allow the sale of essential materials to Cuba, and to suspend the restrictions that are preventing U.S. companies from offering private commercial credits to our country in order to purchase foodstuffs in the United States.”

Good capitalists those Cubans are wanting to buy food and medicine at fair prices and even asking for credit to do so. Who wouldn’t win in that situation? The Cubans purchase U.S. goods, some U.S. businesses do well, more material resources get to Cuba, and there are no mucky politics about the politics of humanitarian intervention.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is less about doing good business and more about hegemony these days. And even though Senator Obama asked for a suspension – for no less than 90 days – of the restrictions on travel and the sending of remittances and aid to their families by Cubans resident in the United States, the last vestiges of the Bush administration remain deaf.

Obama’s fighting gravity on this one, just as he is on most issues. The popular phrase after the U.S. – Mexico war in the 19th century was, “we take nothing by conquest…thank God.” Today, it’s the only way American interests do business.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fish food 

More sympathetic Sunday newspaper coverage for "disgraced" Tony Veitch, although in this case it's probably noteworthy. Reading between the lines - and noticing the conspicuous absence of the "s-word" - it sounds like he was reasonably close to becoming food for the fishes at nearby Goat Island (depending on a southerly current).

This said, there are more sympathetic characters around, like this poor bastard - the only NZ First MP I would have considered giving my electorate vote to.

And in other Sunday news, the media metaphor of the month is back again: now Coddington is complaining the critique of her miserable "Asian angst" article was the "media equivalent of gang rape." Err, no, you just fucked up big time ... and today's two-years-too-late apology to "those members of the Asian community who are not engaged in criminal activity" (all 4% of them, presumably) just doesn't cut it. Yet again, anonymous bloggers are partly to blame in Coddington's fevered imagination - y'know people who hide behind pseudonyms, like her chief blogging critic, Keith Ng.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Herald gets it wrong on race 

The Herald makes out that Louisa Wall misses out on a higher placing on Labour's list because of its desire "to ensure different ethnicities are well represented in Parliament." The strange part is ... she's Maori, and therefore would be expected to benefit from any racial "quota" system. Helen Clark doesn't use the word "quota", but is quoted as saying ""on average, in every sixth or seventh or eight place or so there will be a Maori candidate ranked".

So, there's no way Ms Wall is the victim of any system which prefers ethnicities other than her own. She is no Kevin Pietersen. It seems probable that she's just about the 43rd best candidate that Labour has.

The Herald also neglects to mention she's moved up 3 places since last time, and thus fared better than plenty of sitting Labour MPs.

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Very cool 

The redesigned New Zealand passport is actually, like, distinctive and highly reminiscent of New Zealand.


Monday, September 01, 2008

You, Sir, are an irresponsible cock 

Richard Boock highlights the inadequacies of Brian Lochore's rabble-rousing speech in a manner approximately 37-times more eloquent than my own effort. In fairness, he is paid to write, whereas I just dabble in my spare time.

I offer up the following highlights from Boock's article (thanks to Yamis for the link):
Sir Brian's comments were a reminder that great rugby players don't necessarily make great social commentators. In fact, they were a reminder that great rugby players sometimes have nothing to offer at all, apart from reminiscing on how things happened in their day. In SBL's world, that included children being physically chastised by all and sundry, children being left in the car at night while the parents were boozing, and men ruling the roost.

... on using an unsupervised motor vehicle as an overnight creche ... [i]t's as if he sees nothing wrong with the practice.

... His speech to a reported 1000 fathers carried a whiff of physical intimidation throughout. Consequences, lines in the sand, putting the hard word on people, and, of course, smacking but not hitting.

... another confused soul who doesn't understand the difference between violent and non-violent behaviour. "Yes, I smacked my children, but I've never hit them," said Sir Brian. "Yes, I smacked other people's children, but I never hit them." I know, that was then and this is now. But if he still genuinely believes that smacking is not a form of hitting, he needs to try it out on an adult some time. May I suggest Beatrice Faumuina for size? It might do them both the world of good.

...the shame is that he didn't take the chance to reject his own generation's misguided ways last week and reinforce to the many rugby players who hang on his every word, the need for tolerance and a completely non-violent approach to parenting. He could have urged young men to work closely and equitably with their partners, rather than trying to dictate proceedings throughout. Instead we heard only the anti-women slur: "our society is trying to turn fathers into male mothers". Why is that? Because intimidating, violent or wilfully reckless behaviour is now being discouraged?

Very well said, Richard.

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