RWC final highlights inequalities

Written By: - Date published: 12:54 pm, October 21st, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: class war, newspapers, sport - Tags: ,

A very thoughtful piece from Simon Collins in today’s Herald:

Deep divisions over $1000 for a Rugby World Cup game as poverty grows

Have we gone a bit mad? Or is it all worth it to bring a touch of joy into our lives in tough times? Our moral authorities, as usual, are divided.

About 60,000 people have shelled out $56 million, an average of almost $1000 each, to watch a rugby game at Eden Park on Sunday. That’s seven times the Auckland City Mission’s $8 million budget, which assists 250,000 people in a year with food parcels, drug and alcohol and other social services. Anglican Church social justice commissioner Anthony Dancer says it’s “crazy”. “I think we’ve gone a bit mad,” he said. “Selfishness is the word I’m looking for. Things like this reflect an income gap that is becoming even more clear in this country. These are not normal rugby-loving people.”

But Catholic Bishop Pat Dunn said that if people could afford to pay $1000 for seats he hoped they enjoyed it, and everyone else could watch on TV. …

Auckland University philosopher and theologian Dr Matheson Russell … “The real question for each fan is this: Is this $1000 ticket part of a life-pattern of indulgent and self-centred behaviour that has little regard for the welfare of others? “Or is this a cherry on the top of an already meaningful life, a life lived for others, a life of compassion and generosity?”

48 comments on “RWC final highlights inequalities”

  1. ak 1

    Sickening from Dunn. The sleek leaders of the dying religions embrace the new idols, ignore the poor, and whore for new gilded palaces; while across the globe other gormless spawn of a withering Christendom incite, arm, and cheer from afar obscene acts of hysterical, murderous savagery. And wonder why they are not blessed.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.1

      Hey, it could be worse. Jacque Rogge (just another of the rich buggers here to use our hospitality) thinks we could stage the olympics!! Imagine that.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      I believe he was simply trying to keep the peace, and avoid causing offence. I somehow suspect he would not have been able to win, by you, whatever he’d said. 🙁

  2. Mighty Kites 2

    Those filthy bourgeois! Spending $1000 of their hard earned money to watch a rugby match. Their wealth must be forcibly redistributed among proletariat!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1

      They can spend it how they like. I’d only ask that cricket get the same of my tax funding rugby does. In Auckland as more play cricket than rugby (both league and union).

    • Blighty 2.2

      They’re not saying people can’t spend on what they want to. They’re questioning the morality of their choices.

      Nothing wrong with that.

    • lefty 2.3

      No we, the taxpayer paid for the cup. Those same people who fork out the $1000 have probably stolen it from the labour of hardworking wage slaves, diverted it from the tax man or got it through one of the other scams the rich pull.
      When they are not in the corporate box they are probably campaigning for youth rates or benefit cuts.
      At the match they will boast about how hard they worked to get rich and deny they get any form of subsidy, conveniently forgetting the huge hidden subsidies business gets in the form of taxpayer funded infrastructure, cosy company and trust laws, very little regulation, voluntary compliance regimes, Working for Families and other handouts from the political parties (National and Labour) that cater to their every whim.
      Hard earned money!
      Bollocks!

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        Exactly. Without tax payers and rate payers subsiding the frakin thing, tickets would have been $5000 each,

        So in fact, each rich prick who went stole $4000 from the country to do so.

    • logie97 2.4

      … probably writing the cost off against entertainment tax. (if they have a good accountant)

  3. This is an old post of mine, but still relevant. The RWC is actually a Trojan horse that will have few long term benefits for most New Zealanders. In fact many will continue paying for the hosting of the competition for some time despite not being able to afford attending any games.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2011/07/rugby-world-cup-has-exposed-our.html

  4. djp 4

    If one is going to make moralistic judgements on those who buy RWC finals tickets then one should be prepared to have ones own spending scrutinized similarly (I bet these clergymen and philosophers aren’t poor by any stretch).

    In short “let him who has no sin throw the first stone…” and there is always some poor bugger worse off so can we justify any of our “indulgent and self-centered” lifestyle we enjoy in this country?

    • Crashcart 4.1

      What like controlling the spending of beneficiaries? If someone working minimum wage these days needs assistance to put food on the table then they have submit a budget to WINZ. The fact is the poor are subject to much more scrutany of what they spend their megar wages on than the rich. They flaunt. Very different.

  5. Uturn 5

    I think Dr. Matheson Russell let his philosophy get in the way of his theology when he worded his question.

    If he reads the book of Job, he’ll find his own God is unabashedly unrepentantly self-interested! But’s that’s the whole point, according to Old Testament “hard-road” Christian religion. The disciple surrenders to God completely. Everything, every part of his psyche and being. They must accept the inequalities and the goodness as the same whole. They must accept that the Christian God will make the rich richer and the poor poorer – should he choose – and life shows us that he regularly choose to do so. They must accept he will not intervene in times of gross unfairness unless it suits his larger plan. They must not expect reward for good deeds. The disciple must not questions this, or try to justify his self-righteousness to God. And they have to accept they will fail to measure up. All these things must happen for good theological reasons.

    It is not until the disciple surrenders opinion, hope, health, ethics, morals, logic and thinking, memory and imagination and is still able to profess faith, that God will grant Divine Grace: A doorway into that state which all religions look for that is enough for everyone and more.

    Modern variations on Christianity take a wide track away from the hard-road style and I don’t blame them. It isn’t in any way hedonistic. But a theologian understands this and should praise his God for the opportunity to suffer. Chin up, Dr. Russell, you are near the door to heaven.

    • djp 5.1

      ha, you should write for the colbert report, actually scratch that I think he is a sunday school teacher

    • Vicky32 5.2

      But’s that’s the whole point, according to Old Testament “hard-road” Christian religion.

      Point of order… The Old Testament has been superseded. It’s sad that some people, including some Christians (mostly the American ones) don’t recognise that.

      The disciple surrenders to God completely. Everything, every part of his psyche and being.

      That’s what we choose (oh, and generic he, here? Tut tut..)

      They must accept the inequalities and the goodness as the same whole. They must accept that the Christian God will make the rich richer and the poor poorer – should he choose – and life shows us that he regularly choose to do so.

      No, God is not to blame for that, no matter what some of his American disciples say…

      They must accept he will not intervene in times of gross unfairness unless it suits his larger plan. They must not expect reward for good deeds. The disciple must not questions this, or try to justify his self-righteousness to God. And they have to accept they will fail to measure up. All these things must happen for good theological reasons.

      All of these assertions are highly debatable.

      It is not until the disciple surrenders opinion, hope, health, ethics, morals, logic and thinking, memory and imagination and is still able to profess faith, that God will grant Divine Grace: A doorway into that state which all religions look for that is enough for everyone and more.

      I think that paragraph shows your bias, and I won’t waste time unpicking it.

      Modern variations on Christianity take a wide track away from the hard-road style and I don’t blame them. It isn’t in any way hedonistic. But a theologian understands this and should praise his God for the opportunity to suffer. Chin up, Dr. Russell, you are near the door to heaven.

      It’s all much more complex than you think…

  6. Caritas has an excellent site using rugby as a way of highlighting inequality.

  7. tc 7

    More of the same from the thugby elite and global sport elitism in general….move on people.

  8. Nick C 8

    If anything this shows how little inequailty matters in our society these day. 100 years ago the only way to get entertainment was to watch it live. Want music? You have to pay to see the orchestra. Want sport? You have to buy a ticket to a stadium.

    These days, just like the old days, its only the rich who will have the money to go to the big sport event. But the thing is, it doesnt matter! You can go down to the pub with a big screen TV, buy a beer and get pretty much the same atmosphere and viewing pleasure as the guy who paid $1000 for a ticket. Same with music. Cant afford to go to the concert? Buy and ipod for $100 and put all the music you can dream of on it.

    And who we thank for this wonderful technology? The wealthy technological designers at Apple/Sony and their corperate executives (Steve Jobs etc) who keep these enourmous companies running efficiently and innovativly. More generally we can thank the capitalist system which incentivised this innovation.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      More generally we can thank the capitalist system which incentivised this innovation.

      Too bad high tech industrial capitalism is dead, replaced by crony cartel capitalism.

      That iPod you speak of and that giga-cash rich Apple you speak of, they fucked over their workers in China and in the US to get that product into your hands.

      These days, just like the old days, its only the rich who will have the money to go to the big sport event. But the thing is, it doesnt matter!

      It must matter because tickets are being sold at $1000 a piece and rich bastards are snapping them up. So they are getting something that no one else can afford. Interesting you think that is ok.

      Bet you there were 1987 world cup final tickets for $50. Whats changed in NZ since then? Oh yeah, we’ve become a much more unequal, cash kowtowing society.

      Amazing you think its ok to have rich only zones in our society because “it doesnt matter”.

      Well it seems to matter to the filthy rich because thats the way they like it.

      • Nick C 8.1.1

        “It must matter because tickets are being sold at $1000 a piece and rich bastards are snapping them up.”

        Did you even read my comment? The point is that there is a close substitute to the $1000 ticket which is practically free. That didnt exist 100 years ago, but technological innovation has changed that.

        “Bet you there were 1987 world cup final tickets for $50.”

        Adjusted for inflation? Very much doubt it.

        “Too bad high tech industrial capitalism is dead”

        *facepalm*. The market for new technology in the tablet area in particular is now more competitive than ever (dubious use of competition law aside). Heard of andriod?

    • MrSmith 8.2

      So Nick C they have now found a way to not only fill the stadium but get us (their slaves) sitting in-front of the idiot box as well, Hooray! for a moment there I thought you where implying they where giving away TV’s, beer, Sky subs, ipods etc. Nick We sit there blindly watching nothing more than state sponsored social control, it sickens me and sorry I used to play the game, the worthless game that produces nothing material, just something for the masses to follow because they the church and the politicians know what would happen if we where encouraged to think for ourselves.
       
      Innovation and technology are fine by me, but please don’t put Sport in with the them, sport is one of the human races biggest wastes of energy, time and money, sheep sheep fucken sheep everywhere I look…. but lets all bow down to the mighty capitalist system that only exists in your mind Nick.
       

      • Nick C 8.2.1

        Personally I take the view that individuals are best able to determine what makes them happy based on their own conception of the good life, whether it be sport, material possessions or one of the many other joys of life. But I suppose if you claim to know what is best for all of humanity then preach away..

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          Individuals are constrained by society and environmental factors, Nick C. “Choice” in our particular political-economy is too often a fake cheerleaders concept.

          Would you prefer to be shot or stabbed? Would you prefer to pay the power bill or have enough groceries for the weekend?

          Some choice.

        • MrSmith 8.2.1.2

          “Personally I take the view that individuals are best able to determine what makes them happy based on their own conception of the good life, whether it be sport, material possessions or one of the many other joys of life”
          And I agree Nick But Rugby was brought here and promoted by the British oligarchy that controlled early New Zealand, with the early population being mainly male Rugby was promoted as a way to keep them busy on saturday and of course the church took care of sundays.
           
          Rugby League though has always been Rugby’s poor cousin in NZ I suspect because it was played on God’s day and for money as well, (didn’t I read somewhere collecting sticks on sunday was punishable with death) so playing League for money on God’s day must have been a far worse crime, so League was always held back by the oligarchy and still is today, Rugby receives huge hand outs along with the church still. 
           
          So Nick can you see what I mean by social control, hard work for five and a half days then Rugby or Cricket, then Church on sunday, keeping the slave occupied seven days a week with little time to think and no time to  question the system, you may have also noticed that rugby and cricket have lots of rules, the oligarchy most likely saw this as great conditioning for the slaves as well, obey the rules, work hard then pray to an imaginary God on sunday, Social Control of the masses easy as that.

      • Vicky32 8.2.2

        because they the church and the politicians know what would happen if we where encouraged to think for ourselves.

        Bleep! I almost used the word, I am that cross… Ther church has nothing, less than nothing, to do with it. Show a little self control please, and curb your prejudices.

        • MrSmith 8.2.2.1

          Vicky32 before jumping to the churches defence read some New Zealand history and the roll the church played in controlling and manipulating early NZ including trying to convert most of the Pacific to the christian beliefs.
          But I suspect you won’t because the truth doesn’t suit the churches view of history. 

          • Vicky32 8.2.2.1.1

            and the roll (sic, you mean role) the church played in controlling and manipulating early NZ including trying to convert most of the Pacific to the christian beliefs.

            There’s nothing wrong with trying to convert anyone… they can listen or not as they choose. As for manipulating, be specific please, I would appreciate it. 🙂

            • MrSmith 8.2.2.1.1.1

              “There’s nothing wrong with trying to convert anyone”
                 
              Well that would depend on how you go about it.
               

              “As for manipulating, be specific please, I would appreciate it.”
               
              Manipulating:
               
               
              2: control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously : the masses were deceived and manipulated by a tiny group.
               
              • alter (data) or present (statistics) so as to mislead.
               
               
               
              I would say this is a fair summary of the churches behavior over the centuries here and world wide, you will probably disagree, read my comments above for some insight into the churches early roll in control of the masses in New Zealand, the churches wouldn’t have seen it that way  they where just saving souls of-course (cough,cough) not feathering there own nests, keeping the masses subservient was in the churches and 1%’s interest, as it is to this day.
               
               
               
              One of my favorite quotes:
               
               
               
              “The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself”

              • Vicky32

                Manipulating:

                2: control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously : the masses were deceived and manipulated by a tiny group.

                • alter (data) or present (statistics) so as to mislead.

                I know what the word means! When I asked you to be specific, I meant for you to give me instances… Can you do that? 

                “There’s nothing wrong with trying to convert anyone”

                Well that would depend on how you go about it.

                Once again, please be specific. That is, give instances of what you see as the wrong type of conversion, or the wrong method.

                • MrSmith

                  “When I asked you to be specific, I meant for you to give me instances… Can you do that?”

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Mission_Society 

                  “That is, give instances of what you see as the wrong type of conversion, or the wrong method.”

                  Put down you Bible for a minute and do some reading, I could find thousands of instances where people have been duped in the name of God, converted into cults, killed for there beliefs, gone to war against the heathens, blown them selfs up , but see little point in continuing this discussion till you answer a question for me ‘Who created God?’

                  • Vicky32

                    Put down you Bible for a minute and do some reading, I could find thousands of instances where people have been duped in the name of God, converted into cults, killed for there beliefs, gone to war against the heathens, blown them selfs up , but see little point in continuing this discussion till you answer a question for me ‘Who created God?’

                    Hello Mr Angryman! Please stop being so abusive, thanks in advance. I read much more than the Bible, as anyone who knows what I do for a job, already knows. Hint – English teacher.
                    Your question is of course meaningless. No one created God. I know Herr Professor Sir Lord Dawkins says that question will stop a Christian in her tracks at 100 paces, but as is not unusual, he’s wrong.
                    Ok, I am reading your link, but unless you think the very act of being a missionary is a capital offence, I just don’t get what your problem is with them?

                    (Memo to selves – must resist desperate urge to correct spelling, grammar and syntax..) 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      (memo to self – smiley face at end of sanctimonious claptrap  does not make it less pathetic)
                       

                    • MrSmith

                      The first problem is they where all men Vicky, secondly they came into someone else’s house and went about trying to change them into carbon copies of them-selfs. If you agree they had some license to do this because they had a bible in there hand then I feel sorry for your students.

                      Also correct my grammar and spelling all you like, I am here to learn to spell and write mostly.

                      ” Your question is of course meaningless. No one created God.”

                      Great we can agree on that then! 

                      Good night 

                  • RedLogix

                    ‘Who created God?’

                    What if you considered that creation has no beginning and no end? What if the universe itself was ‘uncreated’?

                    The idea that things must have a beginning and an end is just a reflection of the time and space constrained world we currently live in.

                    McFlock… I’d suggest that for an English teacher, Vicky’s been remarkably restrained.

                    • Vicky32

                      What if you considered that creation has no beginning and no end? What if the universe itself was ‘uncreated’?
                      The idea that things must have a beginning and an end is just a reflection of the time and space constrained world we currently live in.

                      Well-said, RedLogix! Brilliant..

                    • McFlock

                      All I’m saying is that back when I was in security, patronisingly calling someone “angry” (with or without justification) was not usually constructive for the situation, and was generally even less constructive when one finished with a little dig at the punter’s communication skills. 
                      I must confess this almost never occurred in a medium that involved emoticons, so maybe that made it all better.

                    • MrSmith

                      “What if you considered that creation has no beginning and no end?”
                      I have no problem with the question (apart from I don’t believe in creation) except your next question contradicts it, first you ask me/us to consider that creation has no beginning and no end? then you go on to say what if the universe itself was uncreated? 

                      Which is it? or I suppose you believe in creation in an uncreated universe. 
                      “The idea that things must have a beginning and an end is just a reflection of the time and space constrained world we currently live in.”
                      True but has nothing what so ever to do with the question ‘Who created God?’


                  • Colonial Viper

                    but has nothing what so ever to do with the question ‘Who created God?’

                    Just as the universe needs no creator, neither does God.

                    All it requires are the necessary causes and conditions for the arising of the construct, whether it be the universe, or God.

                    • MrSmith

                      “Just as the universe needs no creator, neither does God.”

                      Looking at the evidence so far, there’s plenty that tells us the universe exists and is even expanding, and as we understand the world and the universe more every day God’s looking more and more like something we created in our own imagination.

  9. millsy 9

    Would not matter if taxpayers didnt contribute to this event…

  10. Afewknowtheturth 10

    RWC is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

    1. Keep the dumbed-down general public distracted so they don’t look at the real acrtion.

    2. Provide opportunties for global corporations to extract money from NZ and fom NZers

    3. Get public money spent on infrastructure that has no future, and get communities into greater debt.

    Anyone stupid enough to participate in this huge scam deserves whatever they get.

  11. Shazzadude 11

    If Anthony Dancer or Dr. Matheson Russell, or anyone else criticising the expenditure on what is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most people at the game, has ever spent more than $1000 on anything that wasn’t a donation to charity, then they’re hypocrites.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      $1000 rugby tickets are not somehow equivalent to donations to charity.

      In fact, they are a sign that our national game at the highest level now represents our larger society – the haves and the have nots, the priviledged and the un-priviledged.

      The elites do not want to fraternise with the working class and the under class; high ticket prices are a way of ensuring that.

  12. Maui 12

    Once they had discovered the resilient properties of rubber, Mesoamericans created different versions of a ball game still played in parts of Mexico today. The object is intensely territorial with two teams volleying the ball back and forth until one side is no longer able to keep it in the air. At the point where the ball hits the ground, referees mark territory lost to the opposition. By late Aztec times the game bordered on social mania with elite and peasants alike wagering their entire fortunes on the outcome of a single game.

    Axayacatl provoked the king of Xochimilco into playing a ball game and wagered the tribute of a number of kingdoms around Lake Texcoco. When his opponent won the match, Axayacatl attacked and executed him.

    English and Goff could do the same and spare us the cost of this election.

    Maui

    Pohl, J., and Hook, A., (2001). ‘Aztec Warrior 1325-1521’, Osprey Publishing, pp 14-15.

  13. Maui 13

    I intended to write ‘Key and Goff’ .. but perhaps it’s prescient. Key must be wondering if he needs more aggravation for the next few years.

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