Sport and politics shouldn’t mix. But they do. And that is why the Socceroos, Australia’s national football team, shouldn’t play North Korea as planned on Wednesday night.

Proclamation from The Supreme General: LUCAS NEILL MUST BE DESTROYED

North Korea’s communist government has been brutalising its people for decades. Human Rights Watch reports that North Korea is virtually an open air prison where the people are forced to work for no remuneration of any sort, the state owns all property and freedom of expression is non-existent.

Dissenters are sent to forced labour camps called gwalliso where they are tortured and executed. The state controls food distribution and is currently in the process of starving its people with its “military first” policy.

And then of course there is the fact that the regime is planning to test long-range rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads this month.

In terms of vile governments, North Korea is as evil as any in history.

But so what? What’s that got to do with a football match?

The reality is that awful governments such as North Korea’s use sport to legitimise their rule – both to their own people and to the rest of the world.

After narrowly losing to Brazil in the opening match at the 2010 World Cup, the regime decided to televise North Korea’s second match to the nation, in what is believed to be the first ever live sports telecast in the Hermit Kingdom. After their 7-0 drubbing in that game, the event was simply not reported in the state-controlled media. 

But the North Koreans aren’t the first to understand the power of the reflected glory of sport (and the opposite in defeat). Throughout history, nefarious regimes have used sport to consolidate their power and butter up the international community.

Famously, Hitler enthusiastically hosted the 1936 Olympics to showcase Nazi rule and Argentina’s military junta spent 10 per cent of their national budget on the 1978 World Cup.

On the other hand, boycotts and bans have been shown to put a dent in the power of repressive governments. When sports-mad South Africans describe being “closed off from the world” as a key factor in the downfall of apartheid, they aren’t just talking about trade.

Some will argue that athletes shouldn’t be punished for the activities of foreign governments and that they personally don’t have any higher moral obligation, other than to do their best.

That’s not quite true. Soccer, along with many other sports, receives an enormous amount of public funding in Australia. National team manager Holger Osieck is among Australia’s highest paid public servants and the players themselves were the beneficiaries of extensive government support as youngsters developing their skills at facilities like the AIS.

Given the way any success the North Koreans have on Wednesday night will be used by the communist government, Australian taxpayers are effectively picking up the tab for Kim Jong-un’s PR campaign.

This will no doubt raise questions about some of the nations Australia is regularly pitted against as a member of the Asian Football Confederation. If we’re not going to play against North Korea, then maybe we shouldn’t play Saudi Arabia, given the disgusting treatment of women in that country? Or Syria? Or Iran? Where do we draw the line?

That’s a great question, and it’s a debate we need to have. The government, sporting bodies, the media and fans need to face up to the reality of what sport is and how it’s used.

But Australia has form in this area. In 2004, cricketer Stuart MacGill ruled himself out of a tour of Zimbabwe as a protest against Robert Mugabe’s murderous regime.

And in 1971, debate raged over whether Australia should play the South African cricket team, in which black players were prohibited to play. Cricketing icon and the Australian Cricket Board Chairman at the time, Don Bradman, flew to Johannesburg to meet with the South African Prime Minister B.J. Vorster.

When Bradman asked Vorster why blacks were banned, Vorster replied that their inferior intellect meant they couldn’t cope with the complexities of the game. Bradman asked him if he’d heard of Garry Sobers, promptly concluded the meeting and Australia didn’t play South Africa again for over 20 years.

Australia’s soccer players have been an incredible source of pride for the nation over the last decade. But while their heroics in Sydney andKaiserslautern and Nelspruit at the World Cups will never be forgotten; they would have no finer hour than if they refused to play North Korea this Wednesday night.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

Most commented

65 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • ronny jonny says:

      05:19am | 04/12/12

      Oh, c’mon, is he any worse than FIFA?

    • Sepp Blatter = Corrupt pig says:

      06:50am | 04/12/12

      Why on Earth would you give the World Cup to Qatar ???  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • blarney says:

      08:28am | 04/12/12

      What rubbish -  we have contct with Vile regimes all the time , wake up .

    • DocBud says:

      08:37am | 04/12/12

      “What rubbish -  we have contct with Vile regimes all the time , wake up .”

      Too right, Tasmania is in the Sheffield Shield.

    • Pedro says:

      11:47am | 04/12/12

      We continue to play cricket against Zimbabwe - even more brutal and just as corrupt….

    • The Hand of GOD says:

      06:46am | 04/12/12

      Football is the only thing that holds the world together.

    • Al B says:

      08:59am | 04/12/12

      The sporting field is a better sphere of battle than a ‘theatre of war’...even if the war games are usually played ‘away’ ...one day they’ll want to play on our home pitch…would rather our home ties be played on a football pitch…

      On a societal level…for nations not as supposedly free or advanced as ours…engagement thru sport has plenty of positives. Which is why its great Qatar was awarded the ‘22 world cup…young people are the main demographic in the mideast. Better they get hooked on football ultra support than other forms of extremism!

    • JoniM says:

      03:12pm | 04/12/12

      Spot on Hand of God !
      Football certainly has more influence on generating world peace than the United Nations will ever have !

    • sunny says:

      06:52am | 04/12/12

      That bloke sings Gangnam Style doesn’t he?

    • Daemon says:

      08:17am | 04/12/12

      He is actually South Korean.

    • sunny says:

      09:16am | 04/12/12

      Kim Jong-un is South Korean? Is he originally from Gangnum?

    • JP says:

      12:03pm | 04/12/12

      well played sunny, well played.

    • Chopper knows says:

      02:04pm | 04/12/12

      well, they are both chubby koreans and they both ride horses, one rides a real one and the other rides a invisible one raspberry

    • GGGOOOOOAAAALLLLL !!!!!! says:

      05:59pm | 04/12/12

      Thanks Sunny now I have that annoying song stuck in my head.

    • Kelv says:

      06:58am | 04/12/12

      FIFA and other sporting bodies should kick them out, a loss here by forfeit would just punish Australia.  No point in it.

    • gobsmack says:

      07:01am | 04/12/12

      “this vile man”

      Is it really necessary to have to personify the appalling nature of the North Korean regime?

      Kim Jong-un has been in power for less than two years after inheriting the leadership from his father.  Having been born and bred into the system, he probably sees it as a normal state of affairs.  Even if he did have a mind to change things, there are probably considerable political obstacles.

      There is a tendency by politicians and journalists to point to a single villain, in this case the “vile” Kim Jong-un, as if simply getting rid of that person will solve all problems.

    • Doc says:

      08:13am | 04/12/12

      I personally got the impression that the author is unaware of the recent death of Kim Jong-Il and the ascension of Kim Jong-Un to power, just labelling them all together.

      Unresearched and emotive.

    • morrgo says:

      08:23am | 04/12/12

      Kim Jong-un was schooled in the West, he would know full well that a hereditary communist dictatorship ruling over an impoverished, enslaved nation is not a normal state of affairs.  His brother bailed out, he was happy to inherit the red crown.

      There is no single villain in North Korea, but Kim Jong-un is the head villain leading the ruling clique, with enough power to have lesser villains executed on a whim.  If he were removed, that would be a major crack in the facade, with some chance for change.

    • Jane says:

      06:04pm | 04/12/12

      Morrgo, actually it isn’t communist. Also, to describe him as the major villain is false. If he were removed, nothing would change, as his military ‘advisers’ wouldn’t allow anything to change.

    • Gregg says:

      07:05am | 04/12/12

      They could always take balls out on to the field with Kim’s face on one side and something like Kick my A on the other side for a bit of a hoot but really, why are we throwing millions of $$$$ at a game like soccer when we as a country have much more interest in real football codes and the likes of cricket at least when doing better.

      As for
      ” Dissenters are sent to forced labour camps called gwalliso where they are tortured and executed. The state controls food distribution and is currently in the process of starving its people with its “military first” policy. “
      Probably with a country that has such a harsh growing food climate, having state control of food is not such a bad thing and you cannot help them feeling somewhat suspicious of the likes of the US and thus spending big on military pursuits.

      ” And then of course there is the fact that the regime is planning to test long-range rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads this month. “
      They just want to join the club and so perhaps should Australia so we can have a bit more self protection capability.

      ” In terms of vile governments, North Korea is as evil as any in history. “
      Despite their problems with sustainable food production unless we do get an international dislike ratings system going and adhere to it, we will just be in a mess rather than consistent so far better just to ditch soccer attempts and stick with Rugby and Cricket for international forays.

      Meanwhile, people like Kevin will no doubt want us to blow more $45M’s away on the strength of warmth and fuzziness.

    • Darren says:

      10:59am | 04/12/12

      Gregg.  Do people really care about Union?  Only when Australia plays.  Do people really care abour league? Club level yes but not really when Australia plays.  AFL.  Some top teams yes but the lower teams no.  I would say that Australian support all codes.  Difference is 3 of the Codes are played around the World & those that play in Australia can represent our country.  Their supporters also get to see their country represented.  The other code cannot do so as no other country cares about that code.  The only time these players get to play in another country is when they have their end of season piss up & show the sport for what it really is.

    • Rob says:

      07:12am | 04/12/12

      Agreed, it does seem that to play them is an acknowledgement in some way of their legitimacy as a nation.

      It is a country partly supported by slave labour and their athletes may well be subject to torture, execution or imprisonment if they do not win (if you doubt that, a general was recently executed outside Pyongyang by mortar fire - the leadership is mentally unhinged in new and exciting ways).

      Can’t blame the athletes if they have no one to play, though.

    • Tayug says:

      07:49am | 04/12/12

      they are a legitimate nation, you may not like their politics etc

      but that does not make them a nation

    • Rob says:

      11:52am | 04/12/12

      A cabal of psychopaths faithfully re-enacting the practices and procedures of governance in Orwell’s Eurasia does not a country make.

      If you consider North Korea to be a country, and not a military occupation, then you should also, rightfully, accept the Pashtun Taliban in the Swat valley, the AQIM in Mali and that Prince fellow in South Australia.

    • JoniM says:

      03:29pm | 04/12/12

      Seems we love the idea of pontificating and abstaining these days !
      If we have no problem abstaining from a UN vote to the benefit of known active terrorist organisations wanting a better deal on the UN, I see no reason to rile against a country that keeps pretty much to itself these days from what I can see !

    • Jane says:

      06:00pm | 04/12/12

      Rob, it is a country. That doesn’t legitimise them, it’s stating a fact.
      The leadership are horrible (although the only country to have tortured athletes in recent years was Iraq) but to comoare to a South Australian Prince is just silly.

      JoniM, way to go on understanding little about the UN vote.

    • fml says:

      07:18am | 04/12/12

      No Way,

      Football is supposed to transcend boundaries. Football should never ever be used for political purposes. All the federations do and it is a disgrace.

      We should play North Korea, give them a good ‘ol hiding and show them what Australian football culture is about.

    • Chopper knows says:

      08:53am | 04/12/12

      Australia hardly won convincingly against HK, and you think Aus could give NK a hiding? Brazil only beat them 1-0 at the world cup and NK is a lot better then HK. I would’nt be surprised if it ended up a draw or NK win. As for the Aus socceroos, they are not capable of giving a hiding to anyone, see Iraq, Kazakstan etc…

    • fml says:

      09:54am | 04/12/12

      Well, recently we have drawn against japan and beat south korea. Two Asian power houses. They are decent results.

      I hadn’t seen the HK game, but the socceroos always have a hard time breaking down teams who pack the back line. We have no imagination and seem to continue to use brute force to get through the middle. We really need a coach that will start using the wings more and aim for the big man in the middle with a little pacey striker playing just off him picking up scraps.

      It seems like we have gone away from using our strength and pace and are now just playing boring slow tempo football. If that is the direction we are going to go we need to start being more creative.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      08:12am | 04/12/12

      The North Korean Leadership are communist Dictators who violate human rights. The Chinese are the same but we trade with them and worship their money. What’s the difference.? Where is our moral code in trading with the Chinese and also selling our farmlands to them as well. They are as bad as each other. Anyone remember the Tibetans.

      America has violated their peoples rights in the past. Shooting students back in the 70s for protesting the vietnam war. Yes, they’re not squeaky clean either but we trade with them don’t we. The Americans go around the world as world police and interfere with the running of countries and start wars to try out their weapons of mass destruction and steal from the so called evil regimes. The pot calling the kettle black sort of thing i think.

      The world is full of evil with some good but it depends on which side of the fence you are viewing it from. We think that we are the good righteous ones and that the others are the evil ones. That’s the way it works. But we also need to lift our game re human rights etc., as well. They think the same of us. Who is right.!

      There has to be a place for evil to live and i do think that North Korea and China are more evil than us. So, evil chooses to live in North Korea and China and the Middle east. That’s where evil lives and because they are alive then that is what happens. Otherwise, should we drop a nuc. on them and guess what, evil gone for the moment until more evil people turn up. And they will.

      Sport is supposed to bring countries together and is supposed to be independent of politics. What do sports people have to do with politics. Although people may say don’t play with them because they hurt their people, we could also say that playing with them may open up the field of co operation between cultures and i think that is the reason for sport in the first place. By building some type of better comradeship between nations and hopefully bringing change in socio political situations. It can work that way as well.

      If this Kim Jon whoever he is was removed by assassination then someone else would take his place or they may decide to war against everyone and they can because they have a huge army and don’t care how many of themselves or us they kill as they place no value on human life or animal life. We have to remember the poor animals that get killed as well when there is war. It is not just the humans that lose their lives.

      Now, the Afrikannas, don’t worry about them because most of the black haters are living here, anyone noticed lately. Yes, they took off over here and probably got the money from their diamonds they moved internationally which is against South African law and is severely penalized there. Yes, since the last war many evil people duck shoved their way around the world so they wouldn’t be caught. We have Nazis in Australia, we have them all and they live in our suburbs.

      What to do, well i don’t know, it’s a two edged sword isn’t it.! I don’t follow soccer and don’t really care for it. It is just another football game, not important really. It’s importance if any is probably like others where feeding to the sports mad may bring some joy to some and may at the end bring better relationships between nations. Don’t go, go, will make no difference to our lives. But winners are grinners as they say. We have to decide whether we want to be the Grinners and North Korea the loses. But if they shoot off a Nuc., we will all be losers and we should all think about that possibility. Maybe it’s best to go and not get them upset and isolate them further from the west.

    • Harry Cool says:

      08:15am | 04/12/12

      Peter, your view is as myopic as an owl in daylight.  Athletes have little to do with politics and if anything at all, sport brings people together. (Watch Invictus, if you haven’t as yet). Further, if you had to pick a grudge with every nation - besides Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Qatar (for piping us to host the WC), Afghan (for Blowing up our diggers), US (for damaging our economy), China (for buying up our agrcultural lands), NZ (cause we can’t beat them at Rugby).. the list is endless and we land up as mollycoddled sycophants with a mind as mature as a hormonal teenager. (No offence to teenagers). Hopefully you wont want to stop the kids in junior league play football with a QLD schools cause their Maroons have beat NSW 7 times in a row next. Grow up; leave the mindless nanny state thinking for philosophy sessions at the local pub and let the Asian Federation of Football (under whose auspices the games are held and played) make the decisions. You probably have other pressing issues to worry about.

    • Harry Cool says:

      08:15am | 04/12/12

      Peter, your view is as myopic as an owl in daylight.  Athletes have little to do with politics and if anything at all, sport brings people together. (Watch Invictus, if you haven’t as yet). Further, if you had to pick a grudge with every nation - besides Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Qatar (for piping us to host the WC), Afghan (for Blowing up our diggers), US (for damaging our economy), China (for buying up our agrcultural lands), NZ (cause we can’t beat them at Rugby).. the list is endless and we land up as mollycoddled sycophants with a mind as mature as a hormonal teenager. (No offence to teenagers). Hopefully you wont want to stop the kids in junior league play football with a QLD schools cause their Maroons have beat NSW 7 times in a row next. Grow up; leave the mindless nanny state thinking for philosophy sessions at the local pub and let the Asian Federation of Football (under whose auspices the games are held and played) make the decisions. You probably have other pressing issues to worry about.

    • Mark says:

      08:16am | 04/12/12

      Good to see all the commentators toe the westernised line on DPRK. Propaganda is hilarious, no matter which side of the compass it comes from

    • morrgo says:

      08:27am | 04/12/12

      So, Mark, YOU tell us how it really is in the DPRK.

    • Chopper knows says:

      01:57pm | 04/12/12

      This is eactly what the video was talking about, after watching this video and story behind it, then you will release how many of the comments in here are directly on that side of the compass..its funny how so many people are proud to be foolish

    • rajend naidu says:

      08:25am | 04/12/12

      Peter Gregory I agree with what you say here 100 percent. There should be no dancing with dictators . Not in North Korea. Not in Fiji. Not anywhere. And no dancing diplomatically either. It should be made absolutely clear to dictators that there is no place for them in today’s world where every human being has the inalienable right to live in human dignity and freedom .

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      08:49am | 04/12/12

      Daemon,
      Where do you get the idea from that he is South Korean?
      He was born in North Korea of North Korean parents so he’s North Korean!

    • SAm says:

      01:51pm | 04/12/12

      He wasnt born.
      He was delivered on a shooting star while the heavens opened up and rock music blared from the skies

    • DocBud says:

      09:10am | 04/12/12

      According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2011, over one third of the world’s population lives under an authoritarian regime. Admittedly North Korea is at the very bottom of that list in 167th, but this year the Socceroos have already played Jordan (118th), Oman (134th) and Saudi Arabia (161). Last year they played the UAE (149) and Uzbekistan who are right down towards the bottom at 164th. So, Peter, how do you draw the moral dividing line between authoritarian regimes we do play ball with and those we do not?

    • morrgo says:

      11:25am | 04/12/12

      North Korea is not an authoritarian regime, it is totalitarian.

      Just a simple test: you may be told what to do in an authoritarian country, or else -  but you can get a passport and leave.

    • DocBud says:

      12:50pm | 04/12/12

      @morrgo

      Both Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia use travel bans to control opposition to their rule and are widely regarded as totalitarian.

      Is it your position that the dividing line between who the Socceroos play against and who they don’t can be drawn between countries that allow their people to escape oppression, persecution and torture and those that don’t?

      PS I’d really like Peter Gregory to explain where he draws the line.

    • Josh says:

      09:25am | 04/12/12

      Australia wants to spy on its citizens, the USA commits censorship and is using drones to spy on their citizens.

      At least Iran and North Korea don’t try to hide their stuff…

    • Baloo says:

      10:54am | 04/12/12

      You’re right let’s all go move to North Korea.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      09:30am | 04/12/12

      Its hilarious that sports fans take their pastime so seriously, they think it actually matters in the real world.

    • fml says:

      10:39am | 04/12/12

      IT does. It is more important than religion, politics and various international civil struggles. It is up there with beer and coitus.

    • Kim Jong Psy says:

      09:55am | 04/12/12

      Gangnam style.

    • nasal hair on fire says:

      10:04am | 04/12/12

      North Korea is a giant prison. Competing in international sporting competitions is probably one of the few ways North Koreans can escape and claim asylum

    • morrgo says:

      10:26am | 04/12/12

      They cannot, because their families are kept back.  If anyone defects, their families are sent to the gulag.

    • Bruno says:

      11:54am | 04/12/12

      The FFA would be best not to take any notice of the opinions of non-football types. I suspect they would love for us not to make the World Cup.

      The best way to show their leadership how inferior they are is to put 4 of the best past them. I suspect you also fear defeat for if we are so better off then surely eleven of our best should be eleven of theirs. Thankfully our

    • J.t says:

      12:11pm | 04/12/12

      The author needs to go and read a book on Korean History.

      The International Community has taken an isolationist position on North Korea, affecting both its people and its leaders. The history of how North Korea became North Korea, the Southern Aggression, the Sino war, the US & China involvement, the Gwangju massacre, Bill Clinton playing golf on the graves of Gwangju victims, Japan, USSR…

      Most history paints them as isolationist, however that’s mostly international spin, they are a member state of the UN and its only intervention by foreign powers that has led to their suspicion of outsiders. Similar to the US in the middle east, or the UN in Africa.

      They are not blameless and certainly their leaders aren’t perfect, but after the way the USSR and the USA bled the country and divided it up after WW2 it’s not solely their fault.

      Most history on North Korea written by Western writers paints North Korea as some monstrosity of a regime that has chosen this path for itself. This position does not do the situation justice and any closer reading of the history of North Korea certainly lends itself to better understanding of their current position.

      The Author of this piece would do well to read: Blow Back, by we well regarded Korean author and authority, Chalmers Johnson. In this book he helps readers understand how the North became the North and the very dodgy beginnings of the South Korean Government and how in all of this it’s not always the “North’s fault”

      Pieces likes this and the comments above make you realise the punch isn’t an intellectual news site.

    • Chopper knows says:

      12:32pm | 04/12/12

      Excellent JT, your post is pretty much the one and only post that shows intellectual knowledge of what North Korea actually is. The rest is just innuendo and uneducated opinion of another country they know nothing about. I’m not advocating NK to be good in any way shape or form but do we really know about athletics being sent to torture camps and families sent to the gallows for defectors, this is all western propaganda CNN, New York times etc..you dont really know the truth unless you have been there, I haven’t myself but I do have relatives that have gone there on missionary camps and some is true and some is so far fetched that you want to know whose horses mouth spun such ridicule. As for food, one thing I’ve been told from people going there believe it or not is North Korean Cuisine is the most delicious cuisine in most of Northern asia…believe it or not (cultural perspective- it counts)

    • NotSoSimple says:

      03:45pm | 04/12/12

      The history lesson changes nothing, laudable for knowledge sake though it may be. Why a state has become dysfunctional towards it’s own populace does not alter the facts of the effects of it’s detrimental domestic  policies, nor it’s threatening rhetoric towards the international community.

      Some of the reports may well be propaganda, however on balance of probabilities, it is perfectly feasible they are mostly correct. Videos of uber -obedient synchronised masses tend to bespeak a totalitarian state where the goals of the Dear Leader (and his faceless men) outweigh the welfare of the population. Other vids of starving citizenry tend to reinforce that impression. The cuisine may be delicious in NK if one happens to be a rich-by-comaprison guest in the country. I daresay the reality is somewhat different in the rural provinces.

    • Yak says:

      04:06pm | 04/12/12

      @ NotSoSimple.

      You could post your response in an article about the good ol’ US of A and it would still ring true. After watching some of the US election footage, your “uber -obedient synchronised masses’ fits in perfectly.

      Just saying.

    • NotSoSimple says:

      04:40pm | 04/12/12

      @Yak. You win the prize for the most predictable reply today! Go you!
      LOL!

    • J.t says:

      04:48pm | 04/12/12

      “The history lesson changes nothing”

      It changes everything. Change the names from Australia to the USA and North Korea to Iraq and their “WMD’s” (lol) and you get the idea.

      The North hasn’t chosen its path, it was put on this track, by the major powers who used it as a geopolitical football.

      Are the leaders wierd, paranoid, cruel? Of course, but that mirrors their experience with the major powers…being taken over, mainpulated, betrayed and then left holding a dog bag of poop for a divided country.

      “Why a state has become dysfunctional towards it’s own populace does not alter the facts of the effects of it’s detrimental domestic policies”

      Of course it does, its whole national identity has been shaped by the events and actions of world powers. Its communism was forced up it by the former USSR and confirmed by China.

      “nor it’s threatening rhetoric towards the international community”

      Don’t start nothing, their won’t be nothing. They have not been the agressors, the South backed by the US has been the agressor throughout its history. Again your statement shows a fundemental misunderstanding of the history, peddled in a revisionist manner again and again by the US and its allies. Have they been agressive, yes, has it been in response to people stepping on its soverignty..oh hell yes.

      Also a bit hypocritical of the US to be winging about the North given their intervention into Iraq, Iran, South America, the middle east….need we go on to the worlds #1 agressor nation.

      “Videos of uber -obedient synchronised masses tend to bespeak a totalitarian state where the goals of the Dear Leader”

      Oh its an authoritarian dicatorial state, but don’t let the PAID masses do you wrong, this is them showing the world they arn’t afraid. As others have mentioned, get outside of Peyong Yang and you get anothe world. North Korea is a beautiful country, whose people have been raped, killed, murdered and trumatised by nearly a full centry of emperial, geopolitical and only relatively recently, domestic power games.

      “I daresay the reality is somewhat different in the rural provinces. “

      This is what I mean about you not knowing what your talking about. If anything, the central power of Peyong Yang sucks the life out of the surrounding city, but outside of that the people live mostly, independant of the shenannigans of the capital.

      Read before you write.

    • NotSoSimple says:

      12:33pm | 04/12/12

      Bread and circuses - sans bread.

    • Big Jay says:

      12:38pm | 04/12/12

      Let’s hope noone has any problems with the Sri Lankan govt, that might interfere with the cricket!

    • jac says:

      12:42pm | 04/12/12

      its meant to be a joke.  thanks for the history lesson tho lol

    • max jonston says:

      01:31pm | 04/12/12

      Yep, another cracking idea from the IPA. boycott the match against north korea and give them more publicity - and a clearer ride into the final round… genius Peter

      you should encourage a name change from IPA to to the IMA Institute for Muppet Affairs…

    • biff says:

      02:18pm | 04/12/12

      Anyone brave enough to suffer through what is humourously referred to as Australian soccer might consider a 1 week holiday in North Korea as a pleasure. Australians CANNOT play soccer. It’s a simple fact.

    • Darren says:

      03:48pm | 04/12/12

      biff.  Guess you are from AFL with a name like that. Do you know anything about the team or the players?  I’m guessing not.  I would say that Australia can’t play AFL but…....Oh yeah they can’t.  No Australian team as no one else cares about the game to play against.

    • Baloo says:

      04:39pm | 04/12/12

      Darren did you read through what you just typed out before hitting submit?

    • TheRealDave says:

      02:46pm | 04/12/12

      He would do Bolero totally way hotter than Bo Derek…..

    • Jane says:

      06:12pm | 04/12/12

      Human Rights Watch- who supports torture. I should care what they think because?

      Oh and North Korea isn’t communist.

 

Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

28 comments

Newsletter

Read all about it

Sign up to the free News.com.au newsletter