The FFA has just terminated the A-League license of struggling Gold Coast United. This comes after a massive war of words between Franky Lowy and Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer, the latest instalment of which came today when Palmer tweeted: We intend to fight this ludicrous decision by incompetent FFA in the courts. Frank Lowy is an institution who now belongs in an institution.
As the battle rages on, here’s a nice wider perspective on the battle of the billionaires from first time Puncher and soccer nut Stewart Prins.
A-League football had one of its more mysterious moments on the weekend when colourful franchise owner Clive Palmer sent his Gold Coast United (GCU) team out onto the field with the message “Freedom of Speech” plastered across the front of their playing strip.
Neither Mr Palmer nor his Gold Coast United CEO Clive Messink offered an explanation for the late change to the playing strip, or for the advertising billboards quoting the same slogan.
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Here’s a tip for Yumi Stynes and George Negus. When you stuff up by calling a Victoria Cross winner a brainless dud root - it’s best to say “I’m terribly sorry.” Then stop. Right there.
Don’t crap on about the reaction to your lighthearted slur making you “feel sick”. Don’t use the old “If I’ve offended anyone…” caveat, and never, ever pull the “you should know us all better to think we would ever deliberately try to hurt people” cop out. Because here’s the thing - it’s not about how you feel.
We all get things wrong sometimes. We all need to apologise sometimes. But people seem to have forgotten how to do it.
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If you break the law overseas, don’t expect government to bail you out. Julian Assange hasn’t been charged under any laws for Wikileaks and that’s what makes Julia Gillard’s abandonment of an Australian citizen so disappointing.
The Wikileaks founder is a divisive figure, evoking reactions of admiration, loathing, love and horror for releasing a mountain of classified US cables. But whatever picture painted of Assange you subscribe to, he deserves to be treated fairly. No matter how much you hate the release of cables, it doesn’t make it illegal.
Like most major media outlets, Wikileaks operated an anonymous drop-box for information and US marine Bradley Manning is alleged to have filled it in spectacular fashion. Through a possible plea bargain, the US appear intent on establishing that far from voluntarily offering up the cables, Manning was coerced to do so by Assange. That case seems even more implausible following last year’s revelations that Manning googled Assange and Wikileaks over a hundred times on his work computer before he allegedly handed over the material to Wikileaks.
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Australia is a proud and beautiful country. The people are warm, progressive, well-educated and known across the globe for their outstanding hospitality. It is no wonder that Australia ranks No 2 on the global human development index.
This is why the world watched in shock last year when we became aware of the horrific circumstances that Australia’s live export industry was willing to supply animals to Indonesia.
While Animals Australia’s investigation and the subsequent award-winning ABC Four Corners program generated outrage across Australia, the images of Australian cattle being eye-gouged, kicked, whipped and tortured created a similar outpouring of rage across the globe. The vision that we had of Australia as an ethical and forward-thinking nation changed in that moment.
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As I took my seat at Alain de Botton’s “Religion for Atheists” last week, I caught sight of a postcard promoting the upcoming Global Atheist Convention.
It listed the usual suspects - Dawkins, Harris, Myers (and sadly not Hitchens). But then I was confused. Was the Atheist Convention trying to save money by co-advertising with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival?
Out of the 34 speakers, 10 are comedians: Ben Elton, Mikey Robbins, Lawrence Leung, Jim Jeffries, Catherine Deveny, Simon Taylor, Tom Ballard, Stella Young, Craig Foster and Mr Deity. Sounds like good news for Melburnians - buy one ticket, get two conferences.
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Over its 122-year history, the Labor party has suffered three major internal cataclysms. In 1917, the issue of conscription saw leader Billy Hughes take many Labor members with him across to the Liberal party. It took years for Labor to recover.
In 1930, the depression saw Jack Lang leave the party, form his own, and wreak havoc with Labor support for a decade. In 1955, the issue of communism saw many Catholic members of the Labor party defect to the DLP. This kept Labor out of office for a generation.
The Gillard versus Rudd affair reached a preliminary climax on Monday. The 71-31 vote appears conclusive. But the word “preliminary” is necessary, as some fundamental issues are left hanging.
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There’s a steaming pile of rubbish out there about health. There’s plenty of money to be made from offering too-good-to-be-true remedies.
Yesterday I was writing a couple of news stories about ways in which people get bamboozled by health-related information and then I started firing up a Punch piece on them. Then I realised I’d written it all before. Bullshit is everywhere, and it’s a billion-dollar industry and people want magic pills.
So rather than repeat myself I thought I’d just list five of the stories that have crossed my desk recently and made me want to tear out my hair and run screaming into the street. And if you know of others, let me know. It’s not that we ever run short of subjects for The Punch’s regular I Call Bullshit column, but there’s a sadistic pleasure in seeing that particular cup runneth over.
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With the ALP’s leadership tussle over for now, it’s time for the Federal Government to get back to the much needed policy work on competition, small business and consumer law issues.
These issues are fundamental to the ALP’s re-election hopes as the sky-rocketing cost of living will make struggling Aussie families think twice at election time.
Those Aussie families are sick and tired of the gimmicks or, even worse, the lack of policy direction from federal Labor. Take, for example, small business concerns about the growing market and contractual power of larger businesses. And what about the concerns increasingly expressed by farmers about their dealings with food processors and the major supermarket chains?
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Last week Tory Shepherd explained the seven things she’d miss about men if they vanished from the earth. Punch regular Erick commented this piece earlier in the week. Since it may have been overlooked amongst this week’s leadership clusterpunch, we’ve republished it here.
A few days ago, Mahhrat, Emma and others asked me if I could come up with a list of seven things I’d miss if all women disappeared from the world. That’s not something I’d ever considered, so it took me a while to come up with an answer.
Of course it would have been trivially easy to list seven things that I find sexually attractive, but that’s a rather shallow view. It would be equally easy to just say the human race would end, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true since biological science could probably find a way.
So what’s left are those nice things that men just can’t provide in the same way. In no particular order:
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It’s the 29th of February, the day that gets added to a leap year. It only comes around every four years.
Was anyone you know born on this day? Will February 29th be particularly special for you?
It’s Tuesday. You know what to do.
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