Politics as cricket

Peter Costello has a useful analogy going:

In cricket there are endless arguments about whether bowlers or batsmen win matches. In politics, there are endless arguments about whether oppositions win elections or governments lose them. I can’t settle that question. But I do know one thing. The Government is batting – they are in. And the Opposition is bowling – they have to get them out. To do that they need a few strike bowlers.

What Bill Shorten needs is a Mitchell Johnson who can keep the Government on its toes for the well-pitched delivery, yet send down enough hostile deliveries to have them ducking and weaving. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen rather fancies himself for the task. But his previous ministerial career has been a disaster – first in immigration and then an ill-fated spell as the (real) treasurer. He needs to learn about line and length. A little bit of humility about his previous form and a little bit of respect for his opponents would suit him well.

As captain, Tony Abbott still needs a Dave Warner who can crack a big innings or a Brad Haddin who can step up to the crease and deliver when the top order has fallen over. Hockey and Cormann come to mind but there are other accomplished performers, like Bishop, Morrison and Dutton, looking to build big careers. The best teams bat down the order. Abbott would do well to nurture his young talent, including those who are not yet in the first XI. This game is going for a while. Sooner or later the bowlers are going to get into their stride. Someone will play a poor stroke. Something always happens in cricket.

Then there is this gem:

If politicians were funny, television ratings for parliamentary Question Time would be a lot higher than they are. There hasn’t been a moment of wit in that place for a long time. Narcissists and stern feminists are not a recipe for sitcom.

Whoever could he be talking about?

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31 Responses to Politics as cricket

  1. Percy

    Narcissists and stern feminists are not a recipe for sitcom.

    I beg to differ, The Life of Plibs could be hilarious if viewed with the right mindset

  2. Badjack

    What a pity he (Costello) did not have the balls to hang in when the going got tough. He is far to smart and clinical for the current bowlers. Another pity is that his long time ‘supporter’ Nikki Savva has to keep trying to belittle the current Aussie captain while still promoting the ‘likely lad’ who never made it.

  3. Lloyd

    The last Government reminded me more of Big Brother reality TV than a sitcom. It had all the necessary ingredients low rent trashy “stars”, inane dialogue and cringeworthy antics (courtesy of clowns such as Emerson). In the end, it was a relief to see them evicted from the House.

  4. Anthony

    We can take the cricket analogy a lot further: a winning team needs a good coach, a courageous captain and (Peter does not note) good team spirit. Imagine the Australian test team if we had Clarke captaining the first test, then bringing back Ponting for the second test, then sacking him to bring back Clarke for the third? Then getting Benaud out of a sickbed to advise both the captains of Australia, immediately past and present, telling them not to do what the previous captain did but to copy what he did in the dim past. Then to read the cricket writers from both the Age and the Australian to discover that they seem to be writing about what happens in two diametrically opposed universes. And all of the media treating test cricket in the same way they write about the Big Bash. To paraphrase the noted athiest, Gillard: God help us.

  5. That’s the problem with politicians. It’s all a game to them, and the reward for winning is getting to boss people around for a few years. John Howard won and took everyone’s guns away. Gillard won and ruined the business of thousands of beef exporters. We would be much better off just paying them $250k a year each to play cricket so they would leave us the fuck alone.

  6. Alfonso

    “and took everyone’s guns away’….an Australian urban myth commonly believed by Americans.
    Semi auto and pump buy back money was converted into bolts, levers and OUs. More citizen owned firearms in Australia now than 1996. Excellent.

  7. JohnA

    Since there is no Open Forum thread yet, this is the nearest place to inject some sardonic humour.

    Just received this from the monthly ATO email update service:

    Charities Act 2013

    This Act among other things:

    – for the purposes of all Commonwealth laws, defines charity and charitable purpose
    – describes 12 categories of charitable purposes derived from principles in common law
    – extends charitable status to funds contributing to an entity that would be charitable were it not a government entity.

    Note the last point referring to “an entity that would be charitable were it not a government entity”.

    Now, does that mean that government entities can’t be charitable (fairly logical)?
    Or does it mean the opposite: that a government entity could be charitable?

    Compare and contrast. You have 30 minutes for this exam. All answers are eligible. :-)

  8. Makka

    Agree fuly with your sentiments Yobbo.

    However this;
    “Gillard won and ruined the business of thousands of beef exporters. ”

    I don’t believe she did “win” in the electoral sense, but she did win her prize. And she did a lot more damage to Australia than was inflicted on the beef exporters. Without the advent of a very strong and active Conservative Govt, Australia under Gillard has taken a turn Left for the significant worse. Conservatism is in fast retreat now. Compromise, bi-partisan are cooperation are the strategies of current Conservative elites. You could read it another way; Conservatives are more concerned with self- preservation than in advancing their agenda.

  9. The Pugilist

    Anthony and Yobbo, well said…

  10. Depends what you mean by conservatism I suppose.

    I’m personally not too excited about the prospect of conservative rule. I’d much rather have Peter Costello back than Tony Abbott.

  11. Makka

    “I’d much rather have Peter Costello back than Tony Abbott.”

    Yes, I agree with that. I was very disappointed with how Costello caved at the end. He is exactly what Conservative politics needs now as a Leader. Abbott unfortunatley is turning into a disappointment also.

  12. blogstrop

    You have to also blame the Liberal Party at that time for Costello’s departure, not just him for saying he’d had enough. They had plenty of opportunity to replace Howard with Costello during their last term, if not sooner, which would have had much better consequences than staying with Howard to the bitter end. The media knew Costello was the main danger, and tried all the usual tricks to make him seem unsuitable (the supposed friggin smirk, FFS!), as well as boosting Malcolm, but his own party should have known better.
    Howard himself, and perhaps Malcolm (with his own ambitions), should look hard at themselves over the wasted six years and the damage it has done. But the whole party failed to ensure a viable succession.

  13. Brett_McS

    What I like about the current situation is that the IPA seems to have a lot of influence and are clearly respected within this administration.

  14. will

    Note the last point referring to “an entity that would be charitable were it not a government entity”.

    JohnA. that seems to be saying that the funds are charitable, not the entity, i.e. it deems the funds being donated to a government entity as a charitable donation, and presumably deductible.

    In all these cases, you really need to examine the actual provisions of the Act, rather than an explanatory memo.

  15. Empire Strikes Back

    We would be much better off just paying them $250k a year each to play cricket so they would leave us the fuck alone.

    Why pay them two-fiddy-large? We could construct an ostracism tent city near Upper Come Back to West for that. Add say another fiddy large for Les Hiddins to spend 3 months teaching them how to feed themselves. Then we could conveniently forget about them forever.

    Howard himself, and perhaps Malcolm (with his own ambitions), should look hard at themselves over the wasted six years and the damage it has done

    A cognitive impossibility.

  16. Abbott would do well to nurture his young talent, including those who are not yet in the first XI.

    Not always a good move. I have heard it said that Howard’s WorkChoices was the product of ‘advisers’ who were so young as to still be in nappies.

    But the problem is compounded with young politicians. Because of the ‘lion pride syndrome’ (the dominant male wanting only females and younger males, whom he feels comfortable with because he believes he can dominate them, in his pride) young politicians will tend to surround themselves with even younger ‘advisers’, thus compounding the problem. Think of the coven that Gillard surrounded herself with and the problems that led to, such as the absurd ‘knitting’ ad. Rudd had a similar problem. Remember the stories about staff turnover in his office.

    Perhaps this is one of the reasons Abbott is cracking down on MPs’ staff hiring practices. Like all managers, MPs have to move out of their comfort zone in the interests of the bigger picture.

  17. Jessie

    John A @9.28am

    re Charities Act 2013

    It would appear that the 2001 Charities Definition Inquiry went off the radar? This inquiry, in my cursory reading this morning leans towards a category of Altruistic Community Organisations requiring a definition of altruism.

    As to your question on comparing and contrasting I have yet to find the section describing 12 categories of charitable purposes derived from principles in common law (?this draft lists the 12 categories?). And now respond poorly to your challenge with the questions below:

    Now, does that mean that government entities can’t be charitable (fairly logical)?
    Or does it mean the opposite: that a government entity could be charitable?

    Whether one lean to Mauss (studied reciprocity in sociological/anthropological closed ecologies), Western Civilisation virtues and development (IPA) or Prisoner Dilemma (Origins of Virtue, Matt Ridley 1996) I do not know. An informed understanding and decision may be difficult for many as adequate and/or sound data is simply not available for some of these taxonomies. A logical response could be made? Or the question left to the economists.

    Kevin Andrews Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013

    Charities
    The Charities Act 2013 defines charity and charitable purpose for the purposes of all Commonwealth legislation.
    The Bill delays the commencement of the Charities Act 2013 by nine months, from 1 January 2014 to 1 September 2014. The delay will allow for further consultation on the legislation in the broader context of the Government’s other commitments in relation to the civil sector.

    [bold added]

    It seems this delay did not occur, the Charities Act 2013 being passed in June 2013 at insistence of the Greens and due for implementation on 1/1/2014. ?We need to return to the definitions?

  18. Jessie

    2010-2011-2012-2013
    The Parliament of the
    Commonwealth of Australia
    HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES/THE SENATE

    11 Definition of charitable purpose 3
    (1) In any Act: 4
    charitable purpose means any of the following: 5
    (a) the purpose of advancing health; 6
    (b) the purpose of advancing education; 7
    (c) the purpose of advancing social or public welfare; 8
    (d) the purpose of advancing religion; 9
    (e) the purpose of advancing culture; 10
    (f) the purpose of promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and 11 tolerance between groups of individuals that are in Australia; 12
    (g) the purpose of promoting or protecting human rights; 13
    (h) the purpose of protecting the safety of the general public; 14
    (i) the purpose of preventing or relieving the suffering of 15 animals; 16
    (j) the purpose of advancing the natural environment; 17
    (k) any other purpose beneficial to the general public that may 18 reasonably be regarded as analogous to, or within the spirit 19 of, any of the purposes mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (j); 20
    (l) the purpose of promoting or opposing a change to any matter 21 established by law, policy or practice in the Commonwealth, 22 a State, a Territory or another country, if: 23
    (i) in the case of promoting a change—the change is in 24 furtherance or in aid of one or more of the purposes 25 mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (k); or 26
    (ii) in the case of opposing a change—the change is in 27 opposition to, or in hindrance of, one or more of the 28 purposes mentioned in those paragraphs. 29
    (2) Paragraph (l) of the definition of charitable purpose in 30 subsection (1) is the only paragraph of that definition that can 31 apply to the purpose of promoting or opposing a change to any matter established by law, policy or practice in the 1 Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or another country.
    Source: Exposure Draft
    Definition of Charitable Purpose Part 3 Section 11 p14/17

  19. Jannie

    The Government is batting – they are in.

    It looks like TA is warming up for a five day innnings, but this could turn out to be a 20-20 bash. The Libs may win the political tragics, but the punters on the hill have come to expect lots of colour and excitement; not only falling wickets but extreme fighting on the pavilion and murder in the changing rooms. The Libs have to score something like 350 runs before morning tea on day one. So far the the only boundaries they have made are knocking out Flannery and appointing Wilson. Its nearly tea time.

  20. Andrew

    You have to also blame the Liberal Party at that time for Costello’s departure, not just him for saying he’d had enough. They had plenty of opportunity to replace Howard with Costello during their last term, if not sooner, which would have had much better consequences than staying with Howard to the bitter end. The media knew Costello was the main danger, and tried all the usual tricks to make him seem unsuitable (the supposed friggin smirk, FFS!), as well as boosting Malcolm, but his own party should have known better.
    Howard himself, and perhaps Malcolm (with his own ambitions), should look hard at themselves over the wasted six years and the damage it has done. But the whole party failed to ensure a viable succession.

    If Costello had the support and if he had put Howard to the sword, he would have. Howard’s personal ratings were always higher than the actual Liberal Party’s. He was an asset to their chances in 2007. I don’t believe the result would have been better under Costello in 2007. The Government was old and tired.

  21. The Government was old and tired.

    Andrew,
    I think you mean people were bored and looking to be amused by someone else.

  22. jumpnmcar

    In cricket there are endless arguments about whether bowlers or batsmen win matches.

    Neither.
    Batsmen can only win matches if 20 wickets are taken first.
    Bowlers are only a part of a fielding side that can take those 20 wickets.
    It takes a disciplined team effort in the field by all member under a strong captain with good tactics, that was what got LNP into bat.
    Now the batsmen have to rely on experience and hard work done over many years to bat long and well. Score as many runs for the electorate as they can and hope the selectors name them next time.

    On Costello, I think it’s dirty pool, but , they can always do a ” Carr ” and graft him into a Ministerial job via the Senate.

  23. jupes

    So far the the only boundaries they have made are knocking out Flannery and appointing Wilson.

    Don’t forget they also hit a six with the approval of 195 (IIRC) resource projects which had been tied up in green tape, including the hilariously named Abbot Point.

  24. Andrew

    Andrew,
    I think you mean people were bored and looking to be amused by someone else.

    True, but I don’t think the Howard Government was at it’s reformist best years from 2004-2007. I approve many parts of WorkChoices, the abolition of compulsory student unionism and the Future Fund but I think it became quite lazy on many policy areas because the economy was so strong.

  25. james

    Seriously, looking at the last three years of ALP rule it is astonishing the level of defence and rationalisation the various media arms created to defend their favourites.

    Imagine the response from all quarters of the media landscape if the LNP put Costello into a senate spot in the same fashion as Carr.

    The screams would still be audible when our Sun dies.

  26. Jannie

    Yep you’re right Jupes, they probably have scored a few more runs than I have noticed. But they are not getting much cheer from the crowd, and I rely on the noise of the crowd to prompt me to look up from my book and watch the replay. (What about the place they nailed OBL – bad bad Abbot).

  27. james

    It looks like TA is warming up for a five day innnings, but this could turn out to be a 20-20 bash. The Libs may win the political tragics, but the punters on the hill have come to expect lots of colour and excitement; not only falling wickets but extreme fighting on the pavilion and murder in the changing rooms. The Libs have to score something like 350 runs before morning tea on day one. So far the the only boundaries they have made are knocking out Flannery and appointing Wilson. Its nearly tea time.

    It’s a three year game unless we get a declaration [DD election].

    The openers look shaky as hell and the entire batting order is coming in behind the eight ball and under pressure due to the media providing an amazingly hostile away crowd.

    Abbott needs a good showing from such top order batsmen as Hockey and Pyne, the latter of which has sadly already been dropped in regards to the education funding issue.

    Bishop is a good solid choice at third drop, while Turnbull is the equivalent of Kevin Petersen, excellent at times but not entirely committed to the cause.

    The LNP is not batting deep however.

    Thankfully the only fast bowlers the ALP has left are Albo and Tanya, and they have no competent spinners at all.

    The LNP needs to play the long game, but continuing to fund the ABC and HRC is like scoring runs for the opposition.

  28. Jessie

    Not sure what Australia has to stop play but………………………..

    9th November 2012
    Extra cover: England were forced to wait as the monkeys took up fielding positions

  29. JohnA

    Will:

    “In all these cases, you really need to examine the actual provisions of the Act, rather than an explanatory memo.”

    Yes, I did that Will. The email I got was an alert. The link sent me to the legislation. Fortunately I am fair to competent in Legislation so I could understand it. And now see Jessie has posted the relevant provisions.

    I was always agin this Charities and Non-Profits Commission, as another ALP intrusion into church affairs. More b…y paperwork, more registration numbers, more fine print in letterheads and the like. Those socialists seem to spend all their time dreaming up ways to meddle in things and places where they should not be bothered.

  30. jumpnmcar

    Costello wasn’t a bad sledge at the crease either.

  31. egg_

    james
    #1131499, posted on January 2, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Totally agree.

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