Gillard damages sport more than steroids

A government that shames the national character does not deserve to be in office. Surely that’s a reasonable rule of thumb? And it is an indictment that deserves to be levelled at Australia’s current Gillard government.

The basis of this philosophical questioning is a very serious issue on which I have commented previously. It concerns allegations – made by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) – that major sports across the nation have been infiltrated by organised crime; that matches have been fixed; that players have consumed illegal drugs; and that club managements have been complicit if the whole sordid mess.

It is a shameful scenario and it has now been broadcast around the world though it hardly ranks alongside nuclear tests by North Korea and that nation screening videos of a place fearfully like New York being consumed by nuclear holocaust. Even so, in a rational world, the demonisation of sport in Australia is a very serious issue, given that our given our fairly frequent world-beating prowess is a defining national characteristic.

So, it was passing strange that when the ACC made its shock announcement at a major, national media event, the prime ‘player’ and lead speaker was the federal government’s Justice Minister.

Most Aussies were so perplexed – indeed, poleaxed – by the allegations that we did not initially question of the Minister’s involvement. But, given time for reflection, it raises a number of unsavoury hypotheses. Prime of which is why the Minister was there at all?

In the cold light of day, there is little option but to conclude that – since the Minister’s involvement was not in any way essential – it was intentional and designed to garner publicity. And that raises a frightful prospect.

It is that the incumbent Gillard administration deliberately grandstanded at this event. The bastards!

Bear in mind that the ACC has not proffered one skerrick of evidence against anyone – despite the immense seriousness of the accusation. Consider that the ACC has ‘star chamber’ legislative powers to compel anyone to answer its questions behind closed doors without recourse to anyone or anything.

But no charges have been laid and no evidence produced.

It smells worse than a fish left to rot in the harsh noonday sun. And there is the government’s Justice Minister leading the chorus.

It is entirely pertinent that the government is so on the nose with voters that its future hangs by the most slender thread. How desperate could it be to use a connivance like this – which has tarnished the nation’s international reputation – to shift focus from its own foibles?

Consider that the reputations of thousands of dedicated sports people, administrators and associated personnel have been blackened without a shred of evidence or any official action taken.

It is obscene. And there was the Gillard government orchestrating it. Something smells and it is not Australian sport. It is the Australian government. May their memory rot in hell if they cannot produce anything of meaningful substance.