The politicisation of the All Blacks

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, August 31st, 2015 - 223 comments
Categories: john key, Minister for Photo-ops, national, sport - Tags: , , , , ,

John Key All black

Back in the 1970s and early 1980s National’s rallying cry was that politics should be kept out of sport.  This was said in the context of National’s refusal to ban sporting contact with Apartheid South Africa despite agreeing to when Rob Muldoon signed the Gleneagles Agreement.  National issuing visitors permits to the Springboks for the 1981 tour of New Zealand was a desperate calculated attempt to hold onto marginal provincial seats by attempting to wedge swinging voters against Labour.  The politics was extremely cynical and Muldoon was happy to breach international obligations and risk widespread disorder so that he could hold onto power.

Back then Rugby was king in New Zealand.  All Blacks were deities and were instantly recognisable.  Test matches were waited with anticipation for weeks in advance.  The whole country used to shut down while test matches were being played.  And provincial and club rugby was watched by huge numbers.

Now things are different.  More kids play soccer than Rugby.  The game is highly professionalised and commercialised and the All Blacks suck huge resources out of the game.  Club rugby, once the backbone of the game, is now nothing more than a talent spotting opportunity.  Provincial rugby is nothing more than Sky TV filler.  And All Black games can only be seen if you have large amounts of money to buy a ticket or can afford a Sky TV subscription.  Watching the All Blacks is no longer a working class pursuit and is more entertainment for the wealthy.  And you get the feeling that, like society, more and more resources are being sucked out of the grassroots game and being squandered on the top tier.

Things have also changed for National.  Instead of keeping politics out of sport they are now happy to politicise the All Blacks on every possible occasion.  Yesterday’s announcement of the All Black team for this year’s world cup is a classic example.  Parliament was opened up at the request of the Rugby Union.  Ministers were there en masse seeking every opportunity to take selfies with All Blacks.  And John Key was obviously in his element.

It is a sad thing but our sense of worth as a nation appears to depend on how well the All Blacks are doing.  I can remember the collective sense of despair in 1999 when the All Blacks were knocked out of the World Cup by France.  A similar sense of gloom happened in 2007 when the same thing happened.  We need to do better as a nation than celebrate or curse the random bounce of an oddly shaped ball.

John Key’s treatment of the All Blacks is as cynical and calculating as Rob Muldoon’s treatment of the All Blacks in 1981.  And Key’s claimed failure to remember his views of the 1981 Springbok tour jar with his fanboy celebration of all things All Black.

And we live in a nation where urgent legislation can be passed so that at 5 am in the morning people can drink beer in pubs while watching rugby.  And pubs could be open continuously for 69 hours.  But a proposal to increase the pay for the poorest amongst us by $25 per week is delayed by ten months.

It is regrettable that at a time the nation faces more and more difficult and complex issues this Government is obsessed with a group of highly paid professional sportspeople.  And the bounce of an oddly shaped ball.

223 comments on “The politicisation of the All Blacks”

  1. Detrie 1

    As you said, “at a time the nation faces more and more difficult and complex issues this Government is obsessed with a group of highly paid professional sportspeople”. It’s another obvious, simple ploy by John Key to take whatever ‘good news’ [or distraction] he can find and put it into the picture. We humans [and voters] are gullible.

  2. scotty 2

    With pro Nat Brent Impey as chairman of NZRU
    politicisation was inevitable .

    • Saarbo 2.1

      Yep, Impey and Joyce…the 2 people behind Media Works hijack the AB’s for their own stupid egos.

      As a Chair of 2 rugby clubs, Ive got to say that “working class” are still very predominant at the Club level but as rugby moves up into the Professional level, i.e Super Rugby and AB’s you end up with wealthy and desperate business people governing the game, these people have doubtful links to the grass roots of the game.

      Personally Im a bit annoyed that Politian’s and the “rugby elite” decided to announce the AB’s in parliament, not a good look from the perspective of the grass roots of the game.

    • Tracey 2.2

      I agree and he of course is (or was) deep in Media Works too

  3. Alan W 3

    Andrew Little got about the same amount of attention and camera time; he seemed quite in his element too and good on him I say
    Despite what you seem to think RWC is a significant event and deserves recognition, glad AL feels the same way.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Despite what you seem to think RWC is a significant event and deserves recognition,

      It’s a bit of fun for a few people so I won’t call it a waste of time and resources but it’s not a significant event in any way, shape or form. Significant events actually affect societies and the All Blacks winning or losing won’t affect society at all.

      • shorts 3.1.1

        I reckon more kiwis tune into the Football World Cup than the rugger, but rugby is king in NZ for now at least – especially for those of a certain age

        For many we just wait for RWC 2015 to end… so the sports presence is out of our faces

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          Shorts

          Seriously? Do you really believe more NZer’s are interested in the FWC rather than the RWC?

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1

            Do you agree with Mr Key that “everybody loves the All Blacks”? Cos that is false isn’t it Wayne?

        • James 3.1.1.2

          And you would be totally wrong:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_watched_television_broadcasts#New_Zealand

          7 of the top 13 most watched broadcast in NZ history are Rugby games – with soccer getting none.

          • shorts 3.1.1.2.1

            I believe TV ratings as much as political polls…. but even so I may have jumped the gun. Still I do still believe rugby is on the decline and football is most certainly on the incline (especially the world cup)

            “Analysis of the FIFA World Cup television ratings show that more than 3 million people or 76% of the population aged over 5 years tuned in to TV ONE to watch the football during the month long tournament.”

            http://tvnz.co.nz/tvnz-corporate-comms/more-than-three-million-viewers-turned-tv-one-fifa-world-cup-4904446

            http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/paulhenry/poll-is-nz-too-obsessed-with-rugby-2015083105#axzz3kLFhc0mi

            • Morrissey 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Still I do still believe rugby is on the decline and football is most certainly on the incline

              So…. football’s on the decline—and it’s also on the incline.

              How much have you had to drink today?

          • dukeofurl 3.1.1.2.2

            Thats a historical list- mostly from the days before 100 channels on Sky, smart phones etc.
            Plus take out the RWC 2011 as it was staged at home. that takes out 5 of the 7 rugby events in that list.
            Thanks for proving Waynes point

            • James 3.1.1.2.2.1

              How does that prove Waynes point?

              For example – why remove the RWC2011 – simply because it was hosted here?

              We are talking about viewers – and the fact is that people tuned in and watched it.

              You are effectively saying – please remove anything in the dataset that goes against what “I” want to say then look at the remaining data and make an assumption that it will be filled by something “I” agree with, and we will use that to prove my point.

              FFS.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.2.3

            It should be free to air then James, right? The AB games I mean given “everybody loves” them and it is the cornerstone of who we all are as NZers?

        • Morrissey 3.1.1.3

          Nobody in this country, except tragically, defiantly on-message soccer fans, calls the FIFA World Cup the “Football” World Cup. Again: how much have you been drinking?

      • The lost sheep 3.1.2

        Just a bit of fun, like Netball, Golf, Soccer, Cricket, Athletics, Basketball, Rugby League, Yachting, Equestrian, and all the other multitude of Sports that ‘The People’ choose to participate in, and watch, and spend their hard earned income on?
        Which for many is an involvement that starts in childhood and continues for life, and for which they invest large amounts of their free time, including the countless volunteer hours that go into coaching and administration and fundraising to make those sports available for others who choose to participate.
        And which for large numbers of citizens represents one of their primary sources for physical and mental development, community involvement and identity.
        Not to mention one of their major sources of pleasure, and emotion, and even passion?

        ‘not significant / just a bit of fun’.
        So you don’t think that all the above add’s up to anything that actually affects societies then? What shite!
        And don’t you just hate the idea of people having fun Draco?
        What a shitty miserable world it would be if you and your killjoy doom mongering hard left conspiracy theory ideologues had their way with ‘the people’ aye? FFS.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1

          So you don’t think that all the above add’s up to anything that actually affects societies then?

          Nope because it doesn’t affect the running of the country. It is, quite simply, insignificant – as sport should be.

          And don’t you just hate the idea of people having fun Draco?

          I didn’t say that now did I moron.

          What a shitty miserable world it would be if you and your killjoy doom mongering hard left conspiracy theory ideologues had their way with ‘the people’ aye?

          Why? I didn’t say anything against people having fun. In fact, I my words were in support of it.

          Really, you should try taking a remedial reading course so that you don’t make these basic mistakes.

          • McFlock 3.1.2.1.1

            But if the lost sheep actually read what people wrote, it might get in the way of proving how brilliant the lost sheep actually is.

            • The lost sheep 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Is that another post that consists of nothing but a pointless personal attack, McFlock?
              Are you now going to attempt to derail my discussion using flame war tactics as you have consistently done in the past?

              If so, I politely request that you don’t. If you have nothing of substance to contribute, please don’t waste your valuable time contributing meaningless bullshit.

              [lprent: I believe he was describing an observed behaviour. Since many others have commented, groaned, and whinged about the same behaviour since I first noticed you – I don’t think it is an uncommon observation.

              It could be construed as being pointless is because you appear to have a curious blindness when it comes to criticism of your style of commenting. You either whine about it or you ignore it.

              But it was a very pointed “abuse”*. That you don’t appear to understand it reflects more on a probable upper bound of your ability to be self-aware than it does on McFlock’s ability to barb you with pointed observations.

              Politely requesting is a completely meaningless concept in this “robust debate”. In my view it is tantamount to someone other than the authors and moderators setting the rules of the site, because is in effect what you are trying to. It will probably come as a shock to you. But you are neither invited to participate in those debates, nor are you welcome to politely or otherwise order anyone else around on this site.

              Since we provide all of the work that keeps this place going, and you provide fuckall apart from that of a idiot critic, I’d just boot you off for a long periods of time to remind you who makes the rules here.

              Incidentally, if I have to write too many of these notes explaining basic policy to you, then I’d invoke the sections of the policy about wasting moderator time. Since I think I have already explained this to you previously. I think I’d start with a couple of months of peace for myself.

              * And where was this “abuse” anyway – he didn’t call you a pedantic time wasting git for the pointed reasons above. ]

              • McFlock

                Your discussion?
                It’s not yours or mine, it’s mickysavage’s.

                The trouble with you is that your original contributions to a “discussion” frequently involve inventing everyone else’s positions.

              • The lost sheep

                Excellent clarification thanks.
                Sure you or any other moderator won’t need to waste any more of your time explaining any further fine points to me.

                [lprent: Awww.. Depriving me of my fun. That’s ok. Nice when someone listens without having to beat the understanding in. ]

          • The lost sheep 3.1.2.1.2

            DTB

            “Nope because it doesn’t affect the running of the country. It is, quite simply, insignificant – as sport should be.”

            You have completely missed the crucial point here Draco, which is that sport is part of our cultural fabric, and so for many people sport is a very significant influence in their lives.
            This includes many people who actively run Countries, and it most certainly includes a very significant % of those who elect the people who run Countries.
            Sport not only has meaning and significance to them in itself, but by participation from an early age, and contact with the ethos of sport, it is one of the factors that shapes how people come to be what they are. How they think, how they act, and the philosophies they hold.

            You may have noticed for instance, that sports are fundamentally competitive in nature? And that much of the emotion and passion of participants and followers revolves around that competitive nature?
            And you may have noticed that competitive sports are a huge preoccupation for the people of most of the World’s countries?
            And you may also have noticed that most of the Worlds Countries are running political and economic systems that also have competition as a fundamental part of their nature?

            You can join up the dots from there? How can there be no significant inter-relationship between how we choose to play our games and how we choose to run our societies?

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.2.1

              How they think, how they act, and the philosophies they hold.

              You mean, like being absolute arseholes down at their kids games at the weekend?

              You may have noticed for instance, that sports are fundamentally competitive in nature? And that much of the emotion and passion of participants and followers revolves around that competitive nature?

              I have noticed it’s anti-social aspects, yes.

              And you may have noticed that competitive sports are a huge preoccupation for the people of most of the World’s countries?

              Actually, I think you’ll find that it isn’t. The fanatical obsession appears to only apply to rich countries.

              How can there be no significant inter-relationship between how we choose to play our games and how we choose to run our societies?

              Well, I suppose that could explain why so many people vote National.

            • Instauration 3.1.2.1.2.2

              Why do people see value in Beating other people ?

        • Instauration 3.1.2.2

          Yep – some people participate in “Netball, Golf, Soccer, Cricket, Athletics, Basketball, Rugby League, Yachting, Equestrian, and all the other multitude of Sports”
          This is good for them – they have an active participation in outcomes. The latter differentiates them from the masses who ”follow” a sport – say Rugby.
          Those 5am big screen boozers likely have no more influence or control over the outcome of All Black games than me – and I don’t give a shit.
          All Black success (or failure) has nothing to do with me – and probably nothing to do with Lost Sheeps.
          I bask in the glory of my own successes – not others.

          • The lost sheep 3.1.2.2.1

            It is a bit of a rapid series of leaps to go from ‘active participant’ to ‘follower’ to ‘5am boozer’?
            So how about my dear old Mum who has never played Rugby (and Tennis /Bowls/ Cricket/Netball), but has ‘followed’ those sports passionately for 60 years?
            Not to mention all the other people who don’t ‘participate’ for various reasons, like ‘age’ or ‘disability’ say, but are still passionate about a game?
            That all means ‘shit’ to you i guess. They are just lumped in with ‘5am boozers’?
            I encourage you to concentrate fully on your own ethos, and don’t waste your time imposing your bigotry on others who find different meanings than you.
            I’m sure they don’t give a shit what you think.

            • Instauration 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Your Mum (from your description) has no more influence over the outcome of All Black games than me – same for the majority of others who express “passion” – so obviously misplaced.
              Tell me – does she like to bask in the glory of achievements that have nothing to do with her ? – you’re her son or daughter – such an inherited ethos will likely render you impaired.

      • Nessalt 3.1.3

        Seriously? you don’t remember the malaise that settled over the country post quarter final knockout in 2007? maybe in your little bubble, but go anywhere in the country, talk to ten people and 8 of them will have a rugby opinion.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1

          you don’t remember the malaise that settled over the country post quarter final knockout in 2007?

          Was it truly over the country or, more likely, just over your social circles?

          There are many communities within our society and most of them just on with living. The ABs losing meant little or nothing to their daily lives.

          • Nessalt 3.1.3.1.1

            everyone “got on with living”, very few weren’t dissapointed with the result.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1.1.1

              [citation needed]

              Really, I think you’re projecting what you felt across the entire nation.

        • lprent 3.1.3.2

          What happened in 2007 ? The Standard started in August. But that was a good thing… (Hey I just realized we passed the 8 years on the 17th).

          I have been in 5 companies since 2006, working with hundreds of people. I might have heard 10 or 20 conversations about sport in that time. Most of them were about soccer. That is because their kids play it, and they coach it.

          The only time I ever see rugby being talked about is when I am around my brother and father together. That happens every few years.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Alan W

      How do you feel about our Parliament being used to advertise Adidas logos?

    • maui 3.3

      I was surprised to see that Little got the invite. But he got to go to Samoa too. Obviously something like this is going to help the incumbent Key more than Little though.

      • BM 3.3.1

        Actually, it’s a win for both.
        Just different amounts, it’s the way the world operates these days.

        Key looks like a statesman, Little looks like he can put aside political rivalries and unite behind the allblacks for the good of NZ, etc etc.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Rugby has obviously become the New Zealand equivalent of the gladiatorial blood sports of Ancient Rome – just prior to it’s collapse. It’s a distraction from the reality of increasing poverty and inequality, a distraction from the fact that the rich are ripping us off and destroying our society.

  5. Glenn 5

    Bread and circuses.

  6. Coffee Connoisseur 6

    I remember a time where to get to pull on an All Black Jersey and to be in the spotlight wearing it, You had to have earned it.

    • GregJ 6.1

      As an aside I can’t believe how much people will pay for a souvenir Rugby Jersey both for the ABs as well as the Super 15 & provincial sides! And the bloody things change every few years so they dutifully trot out and buy the “new” one! (leaving aside scarves and hats etc.)

      I enjoy a good game of rugby but man it really is an industry now…

  7. Alan W 7

    Mickey,
    I am a mere punter who watched the team announcement on tv. AL was there in person, why don’t you ring him and ask how he felt about it?

    • mickysavage 7.1

      He did not set the arrangement up. He could have boycotted it and been criticised as being churlish or gone along. How about you address the decision that was made. And how do you feel about Parliament having a big Adidas logo displayed on it’s walls?

      • BM 7.1.1

        I didn’t watch it, but seriously who cares.
        A lot of people like rugby, it’s world cup year and Adidas is the All black sponsor.

        Andrew Little must despair when he sees posts like this.

        • dukeofurl 7.1.1.1

          Will you say that when you find out how much money the government is putting into this RWC campaign.
          The parliament thing was obviously for the ‘sponsors’ and Im thinking the NZ taxpayer has become one- just we havent been told yet.

          • Dave_1924 7.1.1.1.1

            You got some facts to back up that assertion?

            Last I looked the All Blacks received zero dollars in funding from Government agencies.

            Development teams yes, 7’s iirc yes. But not the top side they generate their own revenue

            Happy for you to provide some evidence to prove me wrong though of course

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Last I looked the All Blacks received zero dollars in funding from Government agencies.

              Meh. The last Rugby World Cup in NZ received hundreds of millions in public money, tax exempt statuses etc.

              • dv

                Who paid the airfares of the Polies at the announcement?

                • Colonial Viper

                  And the pollies who travelled around to see the World Cup last time around.

                  • Nessalt

                    remember helen clark and t mallard taking the credit for winning the hosting rights? spending those public dollars to get it to NZ?

              • Dave_1924

                CV – you know very well that was a one off thing justified on a Tourism boosting basis.

                And what government largese did the FIFA age tournament played here last year receive?

                Governments support sports tournaments. i would prefer the private Sector did it all but I would wouldn’t I?

                On the topic: Duke has implied the Government is putting money in to the AB’s. Where is his evidence? Not there because its not true.

                • Colonial Viper

                  CV – you know very well that was a one off thing justified on a Tourism boosting basis.

                  That’s what it was sold to us as. A one off short term shot in the arm. Basically the way NZ thinks.

                  On the topic: Duke has implied the Government is putting money in to the AB’s. Where is his evidence? Not there because its not true.

                  Widen the question then. Public monies have been poured into the Rugby World Cup. Into stadia. Into tax breaks and charitable status.

                  How much profits a year do the AB’s make? How much taxes are paid on that?

                  • Dave_1924

                    Nice – can’t answer the question, so change the question and therefore the discussion…. cheers CV have a nice evening, I’m off to have a beer and contemplate the happiness sport provides for people all over the country in their government funded sports fields and stadia… kind of like all the joy publicly funded art galleries provide for lots of people

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The thing is, you’re not actually interested in having a discussion to uncover how much $$$ is being poured into corporate rugger.

                      Run away then.

                      kind of like all the joy publicly funded art galleries provide for lots of people

                      What a dick.

            • dukeofurl 7.1.1.1.1.2

              AS I said “we havent been told yet”

              At the moment its only speculation, but the Rugby Union are hard nosed enough to ask for appearance money to turn at the ‘pollies place of business’
              Every one else gets a couple of mill for their ‘big event’ why not ABs ?

              Just looking at the Sport NZ web site:

              “We want to see:

              more young people engaging in more sport and recreation
              more adults engaging in more sport and recreation and
              more winners on the world stage.

              I can see $5 mill going on the last one easy peasy

      • mary_a 7.1.2

        @ mickysavage –

        The Adidas logo displayed on Parliament’s walls? Now there’s an idea for a flag! The rate corrupt, corporate clown FJK is going at the moment, using every opportunity to hang around Richie McCaw (poor Richie), that wouldn’t surprise me one little bit!

        Rugby has its place and is enjoyed by many Kiwis, but hell’s bells, why do two political leaders have to be present when the RWC team is announced? It’s all BS to me, when there are far more serious issues the politicians should be focusing on … increasing poverty and its effects for one!

        And why was the announcement made in Parliament anyway? Wasn’t it a Rugby Union selection? Or was the decision that of a political nature?

  8. The gripe from this old man is about the nailing home that the game is not a game of and for the people, it is a commercial product.

    Whereas there is a mantra of getting out amongst the people, being accessible and identifiable and boosting the ‘stadium of four million’ there are instances where other priorities rule.

    The priority of sucking up and seeking to capitalise on the pathetic gratuitous relationship with John Key was more important than that of relating to those who actually got the game to the position where it could even be a ‘product.’

    The decision to announce from Parliament showed a lack of courage, imagination and confidence in us as rugby people by New Zealand Rugby. A slap to our faces.

    Relying on the Act leader to go into his traditional chant of ‘getting politics out of people’s lives’ was no good either. Maybe he was overcome by the whiff of liniment.

    • Chooky 8.1

      John Key in the All Black jersey!?….how genuine is that ?

      ….now John Key playing in a hard game of rugby…that I really would like to see!

      …I think it would be pure comedy

      Really the All Blacks don’t do themselves any PR favours by being seen with him….and in particular in an All Black jersey!

      Helen Clark was pilloried for signing a painting for charity which she hadn’t painted….how is this worse than John Key’s absolutely phony picture posing in an All Black jersey?!

      …Helen Clark did her signature for charity

      …John Key does his phony posing for himself and his PR

  9. Richard Christie 9

    It is a sad thing but our sense of worth as a nation appears to depend on how well the All Blacks are doing.

    A sizable proportion of the country couldn’t give a toss about the all blacks.
    But as with any huge corporation this business’s marketing ensures we all have to endure saturation advertising and promotion in print and over the airwaves as they endlessly promote the myth of their universal appeal.

    There is no escape.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      But as with any huge corporation this business’s marketing ensures we all have to endure saturation advertising

      Just remove yourself from the advertising.

      • Richard Christie 9.1.1

        Just remove yourself from the advertising.

        Yeah right.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Don’t watch TV, don’t listen to the radio, don’t read the newspaper and install an ad-blocker of your choice in your browser – you have now successfully removed yourself from the advertising.

          • Richard Christie 9.1.1.1.1

            Yes, yes, yes, or I could find a stone hut on a mountain side.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Why would you do that?

              • Richard Christie

                As a equally practical alternative alternative to your suggestion.

                What you suggest doesn’t come close to removing exposure to significant PR and advertising in relation to rugby and the all blacks. A few years in a provincial town or parochial centre such as Christchurch (e.g. when a Bledisoe or Ranfurly cup, or whatever it’s called, is on) should open your eyes.

                Mind you, I’d have to concur with you if you tell me I could choose to walk around with my eyes closed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A sizable proportion of the country couldn’t give a toss about the all blacks.

                  There is no escape.

                  I made a suggestion of escape that, more or less, works. I know it works because it’s what I do. There’s a few signs around that I can’t miss but can ignore so resulting stress levels from the attack of advertising is seriously lowered.

                  • lprent

                    I made a suggestion of escape that, more or less, works.

                    Probably close to mine. Stop watching TV with advertisements. Read newspapers online and skip everything except things to do with the real world – ie no celebrities and no sports. Pay for decent reading and viewing material. Then the only thing that I have to put up with is Lyn’s lapses into slock romantic comedies, and her barely concealed intolerance for my scifi viewing habits.

                    I haven’t given a damn about the All Blacks or any other sporting group since I stopped playing sports myself. That was when I was a teen. Living vicariously in someone else’s sporting performance seems to me to be like getting locked into someone else’s advertising nightmare. I have better things to do with my time, things that I can do that seem to me to be a whole lot more important.

                    Join the army. Do a degree or two or three. Become barman in a public bar. Get involved with women of interest. Go tramping, kayaking, diving, parachuting, or whatever until you get bored with each in turn. Get involved in politics. Start businesses. Go through several careers. Change businesses. Learn to code, write code, and ship projects and products. Read books. Write books (badly). See dramas, movies, and other performances until you can guess the plots. Anything apart from mindless drooling over sport wasting your life on other people’s performances…

                    Why in the hell would I want to blob out on the couch, or head down the road to Eden park to watch other people playing? I did all that when I was a kid and my brain wasn’t fully formed.

                    To me watching sport is simply not interesting at any level past that of a juvenile, someone playing sport themselves, someone in the sports industry, or when I turn my brain off and mindlessly drool in front of a TV with the rest of the sports fans mindlessly mumbling what someone said on the program last week – in other words if I get a terrible brain disease.

                    And I haven’t noticed anything interesting in adverts in years unless I am specifically looking for something.

    • Anne 9.2

      It is a sad thing but our sense of worth as a nation appears to depend on how well the All Blacks are doing.

      And guess what… I’m hoping the ABs lose. That would be a triumph to me. Watching them all crying into their beers would give me pleasure. Why? Because it’s as much the Rugby Union’s fault as it is Key and his govt. If they had any integrity they would have insisted the team be announced on their terms at their headquarters. The pollies could be present but outside of their political territory. It is yet another measure of Key’s corrupt motivation… and Andrew Little should have the gumption to say so now that the function is over.

      • Anne 9.2.1

        The edit function is effed up again.

        I wanted to change the wording to;

        … team be announced on neutral territory rather than parliament.

      • Mrs Brillo 9.2.2

        Oh, how I agree. Bl**dy men insisting they are the centre of the bl**dy universe and that their hobbies must become everybody’s national obsession. How arrogant.

        And bl**dy politicians leaping into bed and prostituting themselves with whatever bl**dy sport/industry/celebrity is currently hogging the headlines. How cheap.

        It’s all perfectly bl**dy. (How demeaning, for rugby as much as for the nation.)

      • Crashcart 9.2.3

        A little bit of schadenfreude going on there.

        It would be harmless if it wasn’t for the fact that there are probably quiet a few wives out there who would dread what would happen when their drunk husband comes home angry after they lose.

        I’m not saying that it is right by any means. However in no way would I hope that it happens.

        • Anne 9.2.3.1

          Yes, Crashcart you’re right. And Key – whose cynical, shallow, jokey, blokey persona helps to inflame such outcomes – will probably blame Andrew Little and the Labour Party.

      • Richard Christie 9.2.4

        +100%

  10. infused 10

    Nothing more than this post shows how out of touch you are with NZ.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      And you’ve just proved how disconnected from reality you are.

    • tinfoilhat 10.2

      I have to agree with infused.

      From the perspective of schoolboy rugby it has never been stronger and more followed in the auckland region.

      Also the comment that ‘All Black games can only be seen if you have large amounts of money to buy a ticket or can afford a Sky TV subscription.’ is rather silly as most people i know go to watch the games at their local pub rather than sit at home by themselves.

      Certainly having the announcement at the Beehive was OTT in my opinion but then again where else would you have it on a Sunday in Wellington.. and let’s face it when would a politician in NZ not scramble at the chance to be associated with the All Blacks ?

  11. Adrian 11

    I never ever thought that I would ever agree with Infused but he is right on the money.

  12. cogito 12

    I just wish one of those ABs had the guts to use their kicking skills to propel Key out of parliament and out of NZ. The stench is getting too much.

    • North 12.1

      Piri Weepu a pretty good guy. Real. Not your arse corporate tool like exuberant tweety-boy Israel Dagg. Who’s probably weepy-boy right now. Ne’er mind Issy…..there’re heaps of mothers and fathers who weep every day at not being able to explain to their kids why they’re living in poverty. At the same time as you and Jokey Hen wank…..had an email from Jokey Hen telling ya how saddened he is have ya’ ? Be the last you’ll get. Ya don’t matter anymore mate…..not to Jokey Hen.

  13. les 13

    with Little putting in a cameo…all indignation is moot.Cullen accepting a knighthood,now mixing sport with politics for photo ops..Groucho’s …’if you dont like my principles…I have others’…prevails.

  14. Adrian 14

    Bullshit Draco. I have no time for the politicisation and even less for the ruling arsehole but spend all your time in a bunker and all you can see is your own writing on the walls.

  15. Anno1701 15

    more rugby ?

    yawn…..

  16. Vaughan Little 16

    to be anti all black is just dumb. to moan about rugby is plain weird.

    professionalization does bad things to any sport, and it’s sad to see the gulf between rugby at the top levels and the club or even provincial levels. that does symbolize what’s happened to the nation, but then that’s the fascinating thing about sport – there’s an honesty about it that means it organically represents what’s happening in the wider culture.

    as with so many other things our pm shows poor judgement in how he sucks up to the all blacks. he leaves the dignity of both institutions worse off in a creepy sort of way – there’s a continuity between stuff like the three way handshake or appearing in a magazine wearing the jersey and his appearance on letterman. politics arouses excesses of passion that cloud people’s judgement, and some of the criticism is excessive, but there is something genuinely creepy about john key.

    in related news, I don’t understand why Labour politicians go anywhere near corporate boxes, especially ones that stinks of banksters. they should be as unpopular amongst that set as fdr would have been.

    • Paul Campbell 16.1

      Moaning about rugby is not weird, it’s completely understandable, here in Dunedin rugby has forced our city’s debt to the point where the city will not be able to afford to protect St Clair from sea rise due to global warming (there’s just a sand hill between it and the Pacific).

      These days rugby is a business and should act like one, pay its bills and not run up millions of dollars of debts and then expecting the local citizens to bail them out – they should go bankrupt and slink away with their tails between their legs when appropriate just like any other business

      • Corokia 16.1.1

        “to moan about rugby is plain weird.”
        FFS, some of us really just don’t care about the game , but we DO object to our Parliament being used to promote a business.

        • GregJ 16.1.1.1

          Some of us even like the game (despite the commercialization) and still object to our Parliament being used to promote a business.

      • vaughan little 16.1.2

        i’ve got plenty of time for people who want to moan about bullshit investment decisions.

        the perversion is, as with many other things, rugby is more than just a business but it’s had a business paradigm thrown onto it.

  17. dv 17

    Be a bugger when we are knocked out in the quarter final.

    • tc 17.1

      No that would be predictable based on how we performed in 91 as the holders playing in the nothern hemisphere where we took a number of AB’s past their best.

      McCaw, Carter, Mealamu, SBW are brand decisions that sell merchandise and reflect a lack of quality we don’t have to take their places.

      You want to win a world cup in a professional era you need to look at all your players not just the few creaming large super15/NZRU contracts.

      Soccer has no issues picking the best players regardless of if they have moved offshore or not, brazil/Argentina haven’t won 8 world cups between them using only locally based players.

    • Richard Christie 17.2

      Be a bugger when we are knocked out in the quarter final.

      We live in hope

  18. Sabine 18

    Panem and Circenses

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses

    ” Rome[edit]
    Further information: Grain supply to the city of Rome and Populares
    This phrase originates from Rome in Satire X of the Roman satirical poet Juvenal (circa A.D. 100). In context, the Latin panem et circenses (bread and circuses) identifies the only remaining cares of a Roman populace which no longer cares for its historical birthright of political involvement. Here Juvenal displays his contempt for the declining heroism of contemporary Romans.[5] Roman politicians passed laws in 140 B.C. to keep the votes of poorer citizens, by introducing a grain dole: giving out cheap food and entertainment, “bread and circuses”, became the most effective way to rise to power.
    … Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses[6]
    […] iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli / uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim / imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se / continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, / panem et circenses. […]
    (Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81)
    Juvenal here makes reference to the Roman practice of providing free wheat to Roman citizens as well as costly circus games and other forms of entertainment as a means of gaining political power. The Annona (grain dole) was begun under the instigation of the popularis politician Gaius Sempronius Gracchus in 123 B.C.; it remained an object of political contention until it was taken under the control of the autocratic Roman emperors.”

    • tinfoilhat 18.1

      @sabine I think football in the UK or many of the European/South American countries would more closely fit the bill than rugby in NZ.

      • Sabine 18.1.1

        nope.

        in nz its just that, bread and circuses……with less and less bread for the masses and more and more circus for our ruling class.

        Rugby…..soccer…..and any of the other sports where some overpaid men are running after a ball…..like religion a bane on humanity, where nothing of value is created, but a lot of money is charged, and man with little brains and little penises and no courage get to pretend to be warriors.

  19. Bill 19

    If/when the All Blacks lose, a lot of pissed, pissed off peeps will be getting off back home from the pub to beat the shit out of their partners. I guess an impromptu session of parliament will be held to rush through extra emergency funding to the likes of women’s refuge.

    Why the fuck does a government condone and ride emotional hype around something that always results in an uptick of domestic violence when it all ‘goes south’?

    And why, oh why, oh why are they throwing hot oil on a potential fire with extended opening hours?

    Can we expect a post RWC photo op where John and other pollies stand in front of a ‘first fifteen’ of bruised and battered women?

    • mac1 19.1

      “Can we expect a post RWC photo op where John and other pollies stand in front of a ‘first fifteen’ of bruised and battered women?”

      That is actually a very good suggestion, Bill. As part of my Grey Power duties, I’ve been adopted onto a local Violence Intervention Project group, so my awareness of this issue has just been mightily increased.

      I like the idea, if privacy issues were addressed, and I also like the fact that ‘other pollies’ be involved so that it be seen to be an all Party issue, with common accord.

      In fact, it’d be a good idea to run such a campaign before the RWC, to lessen the impact of disappointed, alcohol-fueled men venting their anger on partners, kids, and colleagues.

      • Bill 19.1.1

        I agree that it could be a good campaign. But it won’t happen though, will it?

        Politicians want to be associated with glamour and winners and whatever, not real people in real life on the short end of any stick they might have helped to raise.

        • maui 19.1.1.1

          Associate themselves with the upside of everything. On the downside however…. can you imagine Parliament hosting the ABs as a welcome home event if they’re knocked out early?

          Would be great if societal violence got more visibility too as you guys point out, hopefully someone can shine some light.

        • Puddleglum 19.1.1.2

          Yes, it’s telling that associating yourself with the All Blacks, according to Key, is not being political (on Morning Report today he said he ‘didn’t think it was political’ and ‘hoped it wasn’t’ in reference to announcing the team in Parliament).

          And of course David Seymour’s own Bill concerning opening hours during the RWC was no doubt also not remotely political – just ‘common sense’ or something.

          Yet, according to Seymour (also on Morning Report last week), associating yourself with families that had a member who died in industrial accidents is cynically using victims for political purposes.

  20. Vaughan Little 20

    in response to tc’s message above: nothing could be better for a “brand” than winning the cup, so it don’t make sense to talk about arguably poor selection choices as being about branding. in defense of the selectors , world cup rugby tends to be stodgy and defensive, which favours brains and nerves over youthful energy. the number of tries scored in world cup finals is about one per game.

  21. George Hendry 21

    This needs to be seen for what it is. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Pubs are to be open extra hours so more customers can enter, but nothing has been said about releasing them after the games. They will just go on living there, drawn by the lure of fight clubs. This will reduce in-home violence.

    Pub TVs will be permanently connected to In The House. Having seen the inside of Parliament, the world cup squad will be ready to take their places there, some in the forward benches, others in the backbench and flanking positions. Pub residents will get to see their heroes in action every day, and will vote for everything they want.

    I almost forgot. – selection to the All Blacks will constitute election to Parliament,* to take effect immediately after each world cup. I think this will have to mean that NZ’s selectoral cycle will change from three years to four.

    Parliamentary duties will include smiling for photo ops in the new parliamentary uniform, raising the simultaneous handshake level to four, and tweeting on election day to vote for National. In the meantime care will need to be taken to remain alert every day to see which way the oddly shaped inflated PM bounces, to be ready with instant support as he passes on questions, drops important goals, blindsides the opposition, needs a tighthead prop for his latest ponytail so he can kick it in to touch, mauls the environment, gives the poor only scrums and generally tells the electorate to get rucked.

    * It should be noted that happening to have been knighted prior to beginning a career in professional rugby, though it will be taken into consideration does not guarantee selection for the world cup squad.

  22. North 22

    We’re going into the RWC silly season, a feature of which is “New Zealand’s rugby-loving PM…..” (breathless burble on TV news recently)…..behaving like a beamingly unctious half-pissed wannabe hanging around any rugby club 4.30 on a winter Saturday afternoon…..greasing up ‘the boys’ and aching for the glory reflected off them. Shades of the “Lomu Lomu Lomu” guy on the Visa/Mastercard ad. “New Zealand’s rugby-loving PM…..” ??? Face palm.

    Recently asked by a mate of mine – back in the day he a feature of Auckland senior grade and colourfully described by Loosehead Len (“8 O’Clock” of yore) as having a mother who “feeds him bones for breakfast”….. as asked….. “What the fuck’s that showboat’s provenance in rugby ?”

    • marty mars 22.1

      Yeah you’d think any genuine rugby loving person would grimace to see key in the jersey and feel bits of dinner come up into their mouths as their bodies contort with the effort of choosing whether to laugh or be sick.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 22.1.1

        We do.

        No-one I know who likes rugby thinks he has any credibility in a rugby jersey regardless of who they vote for.

        I do have fun teasing my national voting mates about it though and watching their unease and slight embarrassment.

        Saying things like “Wow didn’t John Key look manly in that All Black jersey” causes me some amusement.

  23. Corokia 23

    “Things have also changed for National. Instead of keeping politics out of sport they are now happy to politicise the All Blacks on every possible occasion”

    Yep, and with All Blacks breaking electoral rules to tweet support for National on election day,these days its a win-win relationship for the National party.

    Didn’t Key suggest recently that McCaw might go into politics after rugby? After? Already well in.

  24. Westiechick 24

    Yes to the adidas logo as the new flag. Yes to not liking MPs and particularly the PM associating himself with the ABs. Makes me want them to lose. Weird how much JK likes rugby these days. I had believed that he did not remember his stance (if any) on the 81 tour. That seemed to fit with his lack of values but given his obsession with the game, it is starting to seem a bit strange.

  25. Sirenia 25

    I dislike the All Blacks and its xenophobic brand. I dislike the PM even more.

    • tinfoilhat 25.1

      “xenophobic brand” ?

      Can you explain, I’m genuinely interested.

      • maui 25.1.1

        xenophobic synonyms: ultranationalistic, ultranationalist, nationalistic, nationalist, isolationist, jingoistic; parochial, insular;

        What do you need explained?

        • tinfoilhat 25.1.1.1

          @ Maui, for some reason you left out the more usual synonyms such as racist, racialist, ethnocentric, ethnocentrist; prejudiced, intolerant, and bigoted.

          Why is that ?

  26. swordfish 26

    A few pertinent points:

    (1) Herald-DigiPoll (Aug 2015)
    Men NAT 56%, LAB+GREEN 36%
    (Even greater disparity with middle-age and older men)

    (2) Like Dan Carter, Richie McCaw is known for his Tory proclivities. He made that clear in a couple of off-hand remarks that received some publicity a few years ago. Hardly surprising given his highly lucrative commercial interests and his rural South Canterbury background. They weigh the Blue votes down there, always have, probably always will. Presumably he’s being lined up by the Nats for a list spot or geographical seat as we speak.

    (3) The ABs – and in particular the deeply conservative NZRFU* – have always been associated with the National Party (much like the close relationship between Broederbond Springboks and the SA National Party of old). Despite the myth of rugby’s social inclusivity, ABs and NZRFU members have traditionally come disproportionately from private boarding-school backgrounds. Maori and (more recently) Pasifika players being something of an exception (although even they are as likely as not to be Tory).
    My great-grandfather was a bit of an exception – an All Black in the very early days, from a poor background and voted Labour all his life (in fact, family legend has it he was voting for Socialist and Independent Labour candidates in Wellington in the years before the Labour Party was even formed).

    * These days shortened to NZRU or simply NZR

    • Saarbo 26.1

      The independent directors of NZRU and Super Franchises are pretty much chosen on the size of their cheque book. A bigger pack of desperate, suck-up, try hards you will not find. The directors corporate boxes are the most un-fun places to watch a rugby game, I can assure you.

    • Paul Campbell 26.2

      I think these days with rugby the FU is taken as given

  27. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 27

    Why are we ignoring Andrew Little’s involvement in the announcement?

    And, as any Year 11 history student knows, the Gleneagles Agreement didn’t “ban” sporting contact with South Africa. It required governments to discourage it.

    • maui 27.1

      Because he’s not the problem, at least not a fawning sycophant.

      • North 27.1.1

        Because Little’s not an effete, half-arsed “Lomu Lomu Lomu” creep/wannabe like Key. Little around rugby…..OK, seems real enough. Key around rugby, particularly Richie…..he’s positively spoofing. It’s outrageously face-palm and very, very notable. That’s why.

  28. North 28

    Here’s a little bit of doggerel from a few years ago……prescient if not as to the final madness –

    ON KNIGHTS AND DAMES
    AND OTHER BULLSHIT

    I heard a dirty story
    It’s truly damned horrific
    Shyster Boy Smiley Key
    Is hocking honorifics

    First he went to Richie
    ‘cos he’s a real man
    Said Shyster Boy to Richie
    Help me if you can

    Take this crappy medal
    It’s such a thing to show
    And ‘cos I gave it to you
    I’m basking in your glow

    Richie he’s a cagey guy
    He sussed the slimey game
    Loud he yelled “Piss off you ponce…
    Go find yourself a Dame !”

    Tari’ proved no problem
    For this she’d always itched
    Dame Toryana Torya
    The Whispering Old Witch

    Pita/Peter take your pick
    Demands he had a few
    Pension with the knighthood
    And Bee Em Double U

    This was getting crazy
    And people thought it stank……
    Shyster Boy pulled out the sword
    Sir Botox Bloody Banks……!!!

    Anon

  29. Grantoc 29

    A somewhat of a mean spirited and biased opinion piece Micky. It almost, but not quite, in the same league as Gary Moore (ex ChCh Labour mayor), who boorishly and ungraciously called the All Blacks ‘prostitutes’ on The Panel last week.

    Just for the record Andrew Little was quite happy to attend the function last night, and to make a speech (right after Key as I understand it). Does that make him ‘cynical and calculating’ along with Key for playing the politics linked to sports card? Or, because he’s Labour, does it make it ok?

    Which ever way you cut it, your view will be very much a minority view. The majority of the population from across the political spectrum will have celebrated yesterday’s event.

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      Which ever way you cut it, your view will be very much a minority view. The majority of the population from across the political spectrum will have celebrated yesterday’s event.

      LOL! In what dream world?

      • infused 29.1.1

        It’s called reality. Something Labour and the left don’t seem to be able to get a grasp of, hence their polling. Something the right have been telling the left for years now but constantly dismissed. Hence my first post above.

        • Colonial Viper 29.1.1.1

          Reality is not defined by the right wing; a large number of people will have seen the event for what it is – another National Distraction.

    • mickysavage 29.2

      A somewhat of a mean spirited and biased opinion piece Micky. It almost, but not quite, in the same league as Gary Moore (ex ChCh Labour mayor), who boorishly and ungraciously called the All Blacks ‘prostitutes’ on The Panel last week.

      How is that? Do you think that Parliament should be used to display corporate logos?

      Just for the record Andrew Little was quite happy to attend the function last night, and to make a speech (right after Key as I understand it). Does that make him ‘cynical and calculating’ along with Key for playing the politics linked to sports card? Or, because he’s Labour, does it make it ok?

      It means he had no choice. If he did not attend then he would have been described as boorish by the Nats.

      Which ever way you cut it, your view will be very much a minority view.

      Which no doubt is the intention although I doubt many people celebrated the event. If you are so keen on the All Blacks do you agree that their brand should not be tarnished by publicity grabbing politicians?

      • Grantoc 29.2.1

        To your points Micky:

        Its a parliament of the people and so it makes sense for it to display a wide range of logos, which it does. I’ve seen logo’s from Amnesty International to NZ Post (actually I think this was on the same occasion). So I see no big deal in it displaying so called ‘corporate logos’ last night.

        Andrew had ‘no choice’ to attend last night? Really! Do you know that for a fact? I imagine he quite enjoyed himself. I recall Helen Clark (not known for her love of rugby) attending All Black events and matches. Maybe because of realpolitic considerations no NZ politician has a choice. Bu that’s politics in this country for you.

        I don’t consider that the AB’s brand is ‘tarnished’ by publicity grabbing politicians. Its neither here nor there; its simply something that happens in the 21st century. Equally I don’t think it was tarnished by Helen back in her day, or by Andrew Little last night either.

        • Reginald Perrin 29.2.1.1

          I remember one particular match where there was a bit of a to-do in getting Helen Clark to the plane so she could fly to Wellington to watch the All Blacks. I also remember some very good police officers being thrown under a speeding motorcade.

          • Anne 29.2.1.1.1

            Your memory is faulty but you know that. No police officers were thrown under any motorcade. The court case – brought by the police from memory – deemed the officers innocent and they suffered no consequences. Helen Clark publicly applauded the court out-come as the correct one.

            And to jog your faulty memory… prior to the motorcade leaving Christchurch Helen Clark and been exposed to a dangerous threat. The police were correct to get her away from the city as fast they could.

            • lprent 29.2.1.1.1.1

              You are arguing facts with a rightwing fuckwit addicted to myths? Good luck… He probably can barely remember his name without having a quick wank to bring his real brain up to working temperature.

              Sure it’d be nice if one of these morons could be bothered actually reading court reports. But usually they have their kissing tools far too stuffed into the cheeks of a DonKey to have their eyes free. It is like trying to talk to fossil wall of stupidity.

      • BM 29.2.2

        Were you born in the UK ,ms ?

    • sirpat 29.3

      please make available the stuff you are taking to the rest of us……….

  30. Clean_power 30

    Micky Savage, you are out of touch with a large percentage of NZ population on this. Andrew Little was there and good on him for that.

    Go the All Blacks!

  31. rob 31

    Mickey savage i think you are spot on.
    the pm is a photo op whore and the nzru need their head read.
    i hope all this hype bites them fair in the arse, and they cut loose the flaky pm mascot

  32. Tory 32

    Hard up for things to post about this am?
    Please refresh my memory and remind me how fast the previous leftie PM was travelling at to watch a rugby test, cash provided to Team NZ at Valencia? Hypocritical is the word for the Left this week, like every other week…

  33. RRM 33

    The more the world changes, the more The Standard’s and the Facebook left’s fanatical hatred of John Key remains the same.

    And real people keep voting for National.

    Please don’t change anything. It’s good for the country.

    [lprent: As you say, the more the world changes, the more it stays the same. I haven’t seen you around for a while. But why did you think that you can break our policies with impunity?

    The Standard doesn’t have a brain. It can’t think, can’t have opinions, and can’t ‘hate’. You know this because I have pointed it out to you many times before. Seems pointless doing it again because you are clearly too thick to understand. But banned until the end of the year. That may give you time to read the policy. But I wouldn’t bet that you can achieve that even in that time frame. ]

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 33.1

      It’s not hatred. It’s the ability to see through the BS and lies and to assess the damage that he and the current Government are doing to the country. We are embarrassed by his insincerity as he milks certain occasions for his own personal benefit, We despise the unfairness of the policies, the wasting of money which could be better spent, the avoidance of being accountable either in Parliament. We resent the risk of losing our sovereignty if the TPPA is signed, of not being able to put the considerations of our people, the environment, our tangata whenua first. We resent the fact that some of our SOE’s have been run down, that our public service has been progressively gutted and contracted out to private providers. It’s not hatred of the man, RRM. Personally, I have zero respect for him, but I don’t hate him.

    • Draco T Bastard 33.2

      And real people keep voting for National.

      I figure that there’s two types of people who vote for National:

      1. Real idiots and
      2. Real psychopaths

      The psychopaths vote for National because, although they know that the country will be worse off under National, they themselves will be better off (National governs for them). The idiots vote for National believing that they’ll be better off and, when they actually end up worse off, blame Labour thus avoiding that nasty concept of personal responsibility that they’re always going on about.

  34. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 34

    …and the evidence of the last three elections is that working class has had enough of Labour Party elites telling them what they don’t like. I think they would be surprised to hear that watching rugby was something they no longer enjoy.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 34.1

      Funnily enough I still enjoy the rugby but no longer enjoy the Labour Party.

  35. maui 35

    The more the world changes the more the one trick National pony remains the same. Sport, beer and selling whatever is to hand will get NZ to the promised land just wait!

    • Draco T Bastard 35.1

      Sport, beer and selling whatever is to hand will get NZ to the promised land just wait!

      Of course it will – just as soon as National have sold it from under us to the filthy rich and then we pay the entrance fee (The filthy rich have to make a profit from that which we used have free access to don’t ya know).

  36. rob 36

    tv3 news about flag design with Richie etc
    makes me feel physically sick! just disgusting. the national bull shit just keeps hitting new lows
    feeling very sad about being a kiwi born and bred at the moment!! how far down can this govt go. Richie you just lost my respect.

    • Paul 36.1

      Looks like its a concerted effort by the right wing media.
      This has a ring of Dirty Politics to me.
      The Herald leads with the story online.
      The politicisation of the All Blacks…….

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11505765

    • North 36.2

      Just before the next election, they’ll jet off into the north eastern skies aboard the aptly named ‘Lear’……first stop Hawaii, en route to Wall Street. Sir Jokey Hen and Sir Richie Exotic Parrot……fabulously together as is God’s Plan……their ‘work’ in New Zealand completed. Oh Hail !

  37. Morrissey 37

    I can remember the collective sense of despair in 1999 when the All Blacks were knocked out of the World Cup by France.

    No you can’t. There was no “collective sense of despair” at being beaten by a far superior French team that day. You’re conflating a few loudmouthed sports commentators—Murray Deaker, Martin Devlin, and Doug Golightly above all—-with the mass of fans, who were NOT in despair at all. If there was any dominant emotion, it was shock that the All Blacks had been so comprehensively outplayed, and then admiration (even if begrudging) for the quality of footballers such as Lamaison, Dominici, Ntamack, Benazzi and Magne.

    A similar sense of gloom happened in 2007 when the same thing happened.

    Rubbish, Mickey. Again, a handful of unpleasant loud-mouths—-the same three leading the way as in 1999—does not equal mass sentiment.

  38. adam 38

    I thought this might help put it in perspective for some. POME tv show mock the week.

  39. weston 39

    i cant get excited at sport either it was fun at primary school cause we actually had fun but later on it got serrious and compulsory when at high school if u didnt play you had to watch ! so sitting out in the blazing sun we wernt allowed to sit in the shade watching fucking cricket for hour after hour …. i wonder if key is smart enough himself to think up this pr stuff or weather its our old friends csbytextor i wonder if abotts doing the same ova in oz in between valiently fighting off the terrorists and getting tough on visa iregularities .i get the impression abott is quite a bit more stupid than key but when u pay big money for >good> pr is guess intelligence isnt so vital. every now and then i wish the sports profesionals would put on a game for fun like play a game where they had to play in bare feet preferably on a really wet field ditto americas cup for one race the captains have to sail a p class ditto motor racing one race they all drive a morri minor or a scoda. do we hve to be sooooooo serious about sport surely a bit of fun and laughter wouldnt hurt ?

    • Morrissey 40.1

      That’s what the protests were about, of course: keeping politics out of sport. The South Africans were the ones who put politics into sport, not the protestors.

      At the end of 2013 you affected to have been upset at the death of Nelson Mandela; such a comment as you have just made shows you didn’t really get what he devoted his life to.

      • Matthew Hooton 40.1.1

        I think elite sport and national politics tend to be inseparable. Certainly President Mandela thought so.

        • North 40.1.1.1

          Hey, Matthew’s on board…..proof if you still needed any that Key’s making a complete arse of himself with his fraudulent posing as a hard-out rugby lover (no one’s fooled particularly Matthew) since before The Invincibles.

          There’s further proof in the cartoons appearing over the last few days depicting number 16 as an excruciatingly embarrassing Richie suck-arse. What moves that ? Yeah I know, vote-slutting, but apart from that ? There’s something pathological here I’m sure. Maybe he’s trapped in a 50s time warp with painful memories of never being rated by the big boys ? John I mean…..not Matthew.

          The latter’s working…..business as usual…..gecko-smiled….. clipping a ticket over the PM’s weird stuff, again.

          PS – you can tell Matthew’s bullshitting…..this “President Mandela” business…..anyone who truly respects the memory of that man uses “Nelson Mandela” – the name the moral giant went by when he did the stuff his memory is rightly famed for. Matthew natters “President Mandela”. What ???

    • mickysavage 40.2

      Mickey, did you argue politics should be kept out of sport in 1981?

      Actually no I did not because the Gleneagles agreement said that Commonwealth nations should not have sporting contact with South Africa because its teams were being selected based on race.

      I know, here we are complaining about John Key getting political support because he hosts the All Blacks and the left is complaining about it but back in the 1970s the left injected politics into sport.

      The difference is that back then we wanted to change an utterly racist society in the hope it would treat all of its people better. And now we have one guy who is my age and cannot remember what he thought about the 81 Springbok tour (as if) and he is trying to gain political support by allowing corporate interests into Parliament.

      • sirpat 40.2.1

        and did it not feel good…………off ones arse……into the fray……hoi officer that’s not very nice!!!!……..bash bash… run… blood and ole ladies and clowns being smashed to the ground.
        its what we need to see now……..not the bashing and the blood but the massive protests……..if all one does is puter protest then the issues cannot be that worth it.
        at the very least the “passion” that drives folks to comment here or protest need to be used to further the needs of the WHOLE COUNTRY/WORLD…….in reality these f$$$$$ers don’t give a shit….they want us quiet and frothing at the mouth ….ooooo look theres an all black…..pass the cheese Grommet.

    • Anne 40.3

      In 1981 the only people who got their knickers in a twist about politics and sport not mixing were the pro-tour mob… almost all of whom were National supporters. The screaming and the carry-on about it was coming from one side only – your side.

      Funny isn’t it that when it suits them the Nats change their spots and are happy to embrace the politicising of sport.

      And don’t argue the toss because you were not there. You were either not born or were still soiling your nappies.

    • lprent 40.4

      Also, Mickey, did you argue politics should be kept out of sport in 1981?

      Huh? Tell me did anyone explain to you what the springbok tour protests were about?

      Politics was all over the 1981 springbok tour. Both in South Africa, here, and throughout the Commonwealth. That was what we were protesting about.

      Consequently we made damn sure that the lesson was driven home to every numbskull national supporter, that if you play politics with sport, it was going to hurt.

      That was the damn problem. For someone who claims to know a bit about politics, you seem to live more with sprouting simplistic slogans than using your brain. You’re starting to sound politically simple – like a bad clone of David Farrar

    • Instauration 40.5

      Yep me – in 1981 – all bluster and confrontation to Minto’s “we know who you are” on Ponsonby Rd
      But then I grew up – endured the delivery of two kids to independence.
      I learned that to teach your kids to see value in Beating other people is wrong.
      “Hey kid – set your goal and go for it. Don’t give a shit about what others do.
      Achieve – don’t win. Winning is just achievement with relativity.”
      Winning is for losers !

      • lprent 40.5.1

        In 1981, the only beatings that I saw were respectively by

        1. the dickhead drunken thugs pouring out of the pubs in Hamilton and beating the crap out of students at Student Village and the Halls of Residence – very few of whom had been at the protest. Just another case of rightwing fuckwits acting “responsibly”.

        2. blue squad hammering their way out of Eden Park at the 3rd test against people with no armour, no helmets, and a urge towards peaceful protest.

        In the latter case, some arsehole cop bravely attacked me with baton, deliberately smashed my teeth through my upper lip, and than beat the crap out of me. Needless to say the police report after I complained was that the officer whose badge I carefully remembered was in the south island that day. Yeah right – the coward had almost certainly swapped badges for the day.

        Consequently, the police have been on my institutional liar’s shitlist for nearly 4 decades and will be on there until I die. I don’t expect them to be anything except lying arseholes and quite irresponsible about how they perform their duties. I am always surprised when I find the ones actually who do perform their duties professionally and with a natural instinct about how the law operates. But I try to inculcate others with this same expectation – the police aren’t there to help change. They are there to impede it, and they will be institutionally brutal and outright liars when they do so.

        But I guess that was the grand design of Muldoon’s 1981. It seems to have worked.

        Basically you sound like a similar lying idiot as one of the arsehole police. But, giving you the benefit of the doubt, if you were at the protests, then I’d guarantee that you were one of the testosterone driven idiots who were carefully isolated into Patu squad, where they put the other sociopaths and the people with grudges against the police.

        • Instauration 40.5.1.1

          “Basically you sound like a similar lying idiot as one of the arsehole police.”
          That’s a bit off Lynn !
          I was saying that in 81 “Yep – I was a shithead” (even voted accordingly) – but life and family have since influenced me opposite.
          I don’t understand the reasoning of your assertion.

          • lprent 40.5.1.1.1

            I learned that to teach your kids to see value in Beating other people is wrong.

            I don’t think that works. My credo runs more like

            Kids, prepare to defend yourself. Because if you don’t then some lazy arsehole will come and beat the crap out of you to extract whatever you achieve. Prepare to defend the values you wish to defend, but make up your own god-damn mind what they are.

            Respect others rights to disagree, but have the arguments that make them second-guess their beliefs if they claim that they are right. Accept that sometimes you are wrong, but generally figure that out in your own time rather than letting some silver tongued arsehole slide a nice sounding slogan over you like a wet blanket.

            Preferably out-think them so they find themselves losing when they think they are winning, because they use their strengths against themselves.

            Don’t attack unless you absolutely have to. But make sure that it is extremely effective if you do. And do it early enough that you don’t lose through the effect of surprise.

            Violence should be last solution. But make sure that you maim rather than kill. You can’t demand respect from a corpse.

            I find that being an intelligent aggressive pacifist with a killer instinct generally works well. Most people respect what they cannot predict.

            But I’m probably feeling a bit cynical tonight after watching the barbarians from the sewer erupting here tonight. Feels like some greasy pipe from 2008 refluxed.

        • Instauration 40.5.1.2

          I detest the current obsession with being the best;
          The best renovator
          The best dancer
          The best chef
          The best survivor
          The best apprentice
          The best loser
          The best singer
          The best choice of the bachelor
          The best quizant
          The best golfer
          The best NRL team
          The best rugby team
          The best dog in show
          The best politician in show
          The best New Zealander of the year
          The fastest driver
          All monetised via the media and subscription.

          • lprent 40.5.1.2.1

            I’m the very best at being Lynn Prentice and the best I can be at whatever I believe is worth supporting. Can’t be bothered with anything else.

            After you drop free-to-air TV, commercial radio and newsprint, you don’t get the yammering by the marketing clowns trying to tell you how to live your life. A lot more relaxing concentrating on what you’re interested in being good at (or indeed what you think is good enough).

        • sirpat 40.5.1.3

          you should have joined patu squad mate….at least we had some gear…..and yes there were some dicks but some of us beat off the police who were beating up protesters…….formed shield cordons around the more defenceless and yes we gave some stick back….my bloody oath if you come at me swinging I ain’t gonna take it lying down…..the cops came loaded for bear and they found some so don’t go putting down Patu mate…. a lot of us gave our all

          • Anne 40.5.1.3.1

            The day of the final test match at Mt Eden is so etched on my memory, it seems like it only happened a few years ago. That was the day I grew up. There are good people in the Police Force I acknowledge that, but there are a lot of sociopaths and psychopaths as well. Watching them in action on that fateful Saturday in 1981 was a very sobering experience.

  40. vto 41

    in the words of john key himself …

    the all blacks have become a bit gay

  41. BM 42

    Rugby no interest.

    Cricket though, best game ever.

    • GregJ 42.1

      Shit I agree with BM on something! 😯

      (Checks outside to make sure Sun hasn’t exploded and world is still revolving). 👿

  42. rob 43

    cricket is great but keep Collins etc. away from Brendan and Co.
    and don’t be fooled that Brendan approached her! sad nats.

  43. Ad 44

    John Key is Parliament’s Richie McCaw. The superior player of our generation.

    Key is going to seal the flag debate in the middle of the Rugby World Cup. Occasionally I think surely this guy can’t be so perpetually lucky.

    But most of the time, I’m certain:
    John Key and his office really do know how to read the plays, plump up the patriotic fervor, make their luck, fully merge the political with the commercial with the social, and play our politics with the skill the All Blacks play at Rugby …

    … and reap consistent rewards in the polls.

    Not saying I like any of their policies, but one day we will look back on John Key’s era as our masterclass in orchestrated spectacle.

    • Kat 44.1

      Yep! the great charade,

    • maui 44.2

      I liken the game they’re playing to the one the French have played in the past, dirty play – think Buck Shelford rucked in the nether regions. Taking drop goals and performance drugs to win at all costs and just general arrogance. (Sorry to the french people out there but we’ve never had an easy relationship on the rugby field).

      As much as I hated it, seeing tonight the AB’s talking about the flags they want before they go to the world cup was a master play in our dystopian state of current politics.

    • North 44.3

      Not saying it’s the same exactly but history does routinely record orchestrated spectacle – Olympics, Berlin, 1936. You do seem to focus somewhat flatteringly on successful heist Ad. I believe that history will look back on Key not for orchestrated spectacle but rather thoroughly corrupting influence.

      • Ad 44.3.1

        Your “corrupting influence” is my “superior player of our generation”.
        So far, most people just love it and aren’t even tiring of it.

        Clear as day Key is preparing to launch a great wave of patriotic fervor, aided by Adidas, the All Blacks, and the entire global television industry covering it all.

        This is a field Labour or Greens aren’t even trying to play on.

        • dukeofurl 44.3.1.1

          Once the games have started…. do you honestly think there will be anybody interested in Keys photo ops ?

          And if the ABs win at the end, there is no place on the field for him, maybe a spot in the grandstand with people who are far richer and probably own a whole rugby team

          • GregJ 44.3.1.1.1

            do you honestly think there will be anybody interested in Keys photo ops ?

            In the rest of the world…no…in the NZ media you bet you last dollar they will be.

      • Heather Grimwood 44.3.2

        I suppose, North, that not many remember what happened to the poor German girl who dropped the baton in the women’s relay at Berlin…a salutary reminder of the danger of rabid patriotism encouraged from the top, developed over years of indoctrination, and involving major sport.

  44. North 45

    Aren’t we seeing in stark relief exactly how destructive The Ponce Key is to yet another significant aspect of this nation ?

    Presently, rugby. In reaction to his weirdo ‘wetting-up’ at all things AB’s…..people actually saying out loud they hope the AB’s lose…..people mocking Richie (macaw) as a parroting Tory puppet. Not that he doesn’t deserve it frankly…..just tonight – “I love the silver fern on my jersey” – so…..re John’s choice of flag, la la la ?

    This is 100% about The Ponce Key and his lust for reflected celebrity, wherever it is found. A slavering little non-man busting his guts to bathe in the glory of the AB’s. Bringing them into disrepute accordingly. AB’s guard your brand. Tell this effete prick to fuck off outa your changing shed. He’s using you.

  45. rob 46

    macaw becomes mac- used but sir prick might be all he is remembered for after key has shafted the country! maybe macaw, Smith have been promised Hawaii properties

  46. Smilin 47

    A very polite article about a sport that when it comes to producing prime ministers of the gutless on odious type of Key and Muldoon and their abuse of power to add a few more status points to the privileged 1%
    And the fact that the under privileged will come under mores social pressure to support gambling and drinking just to do something that only hardened alchies do, get up for an early morning drink to block out the pain of loss so I suppose there’s some commonality with sport which is inevitable and is no longer a sport but corporate culture which like the Americas cup will cost us more than its worth

    Spin to Win might be a slogan the Nats can use in partnership with the AB’s
    Anyway there’s only 1 All Black MA’A NONU probably the greatest since Colin Meads and Brian Williams

  47. Mike the Savage One 48

    Ritchie McCaw favours a new flag, one with a silver fern in it:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/71614229/richie-mccaw-backs-new-flag-for-new-zealand

    And Paddy Gower, Chief Media Reporter for the Nats and Key, has loyally put his spin to that in the TV3 News last night, suggesting, that is a big boost for the PM.

    So it works, the election campaign 2017 has already started, and the timely introduction of a bill into Parliament, by loyal sonny boy Seymour, enabling pubs and clubs to open extensively and during early mornings to screen all games of the Rugby World Cup, is part of the “excellent”, fine tuned campaign strategy.

    Nothing much else will matter for most New Zealanders, it seems, over the coming months and a bit, it is ALL about rugby, “our boys” in black, and the flag debate is being finalised in tandem.

    Who could have organised all this any better?

    There is no crisis in China, there is no crisis in New Zealand, there is no refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe that Kiwis need to be bothered with. All is in order, all are focused on what REALLY matters, leave it to our Grand Leader, Kim John Key and his loyal army of NatACT servants. We are in “good hands”, and heading into the “brighter future”, “the sun is shining, and the mugs will be filled, the people are singing and chanting, cheerio, hooray, hurrah, one people, one country, one leader, loyally we follow thee, through the thick and thin of it”.

    • Ad 48.1

      No-one could have organized this better than the Prime Minister.

      That little tv launch was a tiny foretaste of the whole of September.

      This is a spectacular planned third-term political renewal programme for National.

      • dukeofurl 48.1.1

        best laid plans of mice and men…..

        While the last RWC was just months before the election… this time its a far off event in merry England 2 years before the election ?

        me thinks you have ascribed supernatural powers to your pinochio… the public will see him as a hanger on rather than a long time participant/ supporter.
        AT high school he would be the sort who played hockey!!!!

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 48.1.1.1

          Hockey guys are not wisses. I recall the terror in the eyes of the First XV Rugby players in the annual game against the First XI hockey girls. Small hard balls and sticks made them feel particularly vulnerable.

  48. Tory 49

    Reminds me of the previous labour PM hopeful, Cuiffe, who posed for a photo at QTN airport prior to the last election. That showed the intelligence of the left when it comes to photo opportunities and seeking support from “sporting identities”

  49. Neil 50

    Sports & politics should never be allowed to be mixed.

  50. John 51

    Seems this latest round of AB announcements and politicisation of rugby started with a certain PM speeding through Canterbury to get to a game, Followed by that same PM hosting the announcement of the team at parliament in 2007.

  51. Just Me 52

    I am going to be crude here in regards to the photo above showing Key in a black jersey. Hasn’t he gained the bad reputation of chasing pony tails instead of balls???!!!!Especially as he seems now intent on chasing Richie McCaws ones(balls).
    Just recently Key, in his typical arrogant manner, said this: “Parliament is the House of Representatives and it represents every New Zealander, and the All Blacks are admired by every New Zealander”.

    What a load of bullocks Key. Not once(and reference be made to the families of the Pike River 29, has your form of government ever ‘represented New Zealanders(or as you insultingly call us New Zillanders)’. You balked at paying compensation to the families of the Pike River 29 and yet gave every All Black and their support crew $100,000 to win the 2011 RWC. That shows your so-called priorities doesn’t it???

    And not once have you ever knocked at my door in low-income NZ and asked me if I admire the All Blacks.

    Perhaps you deem yourself as the Captain of New Zealand but you should know by now not one NZer who is not on the National Party pay-packet respects you or admires you.

    So go back to the US Key and chase Obama’s balls especially around the golf course whilst you holiday in comfort whilst Canterbury residents are still waiting for insurance pay-outs 5 years after the 2010 and 2011 quakes.

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