Football guy kicks australia

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Looks like AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou wrote his Australia Day speech (theme: we are bad) before the Asian tsunami, and our subsequent massive donations. Some awkward changes seem to have been made:

We have just come through a terrible time – the tsunami of December 26. But that disaster has brought out the best of us as a nation. We have been, and continue to be, the most generous of nations, giving so much to support the massive task of rebuilding communities ripped apart by a freak of nature. As that renowned philosopher Ron Barassi said: “We have played well above our weight.”

This is the Australia I love: instantly reacting to the needs of others. We asked no questions, we reacted immediately, we provided everything we could.

But does this outpouring represent what we really are as a nation? I’m not sure if it does.

Despite our response to the tsunami, we remain the conservative country we have become in recent years. When we, as a country, reflect on where we come from, we look narrowly, inwardly, rather than considering all the influences that have made us the country we are. Notwithstanding the massive support we have given to the tsunami appeal, we are more inclined to self-interest than sharing; more interested in surpluses than what we do with them, more interested in the stockmarket than the state of education and equality of opportunity.

We seem to have lost our sense of adventure, our sense of backing ourselves, our sense of looking towards tomorrow, preferring to worry about today …

All I can do is hope that the next generation of our leaders – whether Liberal or Labor – will think broadly and challenge their values and our values, rather than building barriers between us and a world in need.

Naturally, because Demetriou’s speech was negative, today The Age published it. Happy Australia Day.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/26/2005 at 07:01 AM
    1. What bulldust. Read the whole piece, its full of rose coloured revisionism from a fellow who was probably not even born in the time he is commenting upon. If anything, Australians are more tolerant and accepting than they were in the 1950’s,

      what tosh, probably a closet Collingwood supporter 🙂

      Posted by Nic on 01/26 at 07:22 AM • permalink


    1. Andrew Demetriou has as much credibility as Margaret Pomeranz who today won an Australia Day gong. For ‘film criticism’.

      (PS: I used PMcode or whatever it’s called, with the link in between URL on and off and it still doesn’t work on preview. Whatever. Happy Australia Day.)

      (ilibcc: you didn’t use the code correctly. The directions are not difficult to follow. Pay attention! Anyway, I have fixed your link; but I’m not going to do this for everyone! Andrea Harris, Administrator.)

      Posted by ilibcc on 01/26 at 07:25 AM • permalink


    1. Socialism is to Sharing as Prison is to Home.

      When the State steals the majority of what you work for, you become selfish.  Just look at the Russian experience of “sharing”.

      I hope to see the end of socialism (coerced collectivism) in the same way we have eradicated slavery in the free world.

      In the same way that Individuals are no longer allowed to own other people, states should no longer be allowed to own people.

      Posted by Rob Read on 01/26 at 08:40 AM • permalink


    1. Why is the CEO of a football league asked to publicly comment on the state of Australia anyway?

      Does he know something that the piss soaked wino who lives in my local railway station doesn’t?

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 01/26 at 08:49 AM • permalink


    1. Some of us wish to build barriers between us and a world in need precisely because we have been considering all the influences that have made us the country we are.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 01/26 at 09:39 AM • permalink


    1. Greek asshole should stick to footy

      Posted by jlc on 01/26 at 10:51 AM • permalink


    1. Doesn’t he see the irony of calling People ‘narrow’ and ‘inward’ when he presides over a sport that is not played anywhere else in the world?

      Posted by Craig UK on 01/26 at 10:57 AM • permalink


    1. Well, we played well above our weight, now sit down Andrew have another souvlaki before you get all silly and emotional.

      Posted by rog2 on 01/26 at 05:09 PM • permalink


    1. Amazing stuff.  Not a shred of evidence offered for his opinions.

      An objective examination shows a whole institutional framework of “tolerance” in modern Australia that simply didn’t exist in earlier times, while an honest assesssment of our attitudes reveals modern Australians as vastly more open and accepting.

      Young Australians travel the world more than ever while our immigration intakes remain high.  We settle more needy *genuine* refugees per captita from the worlds refugee camps than virtually any other country.  We give these people huge public support to make new lives for themselves in this country.

      The only fact he can focus on seems to be the Tampa.  An entrirely rational and just response to the problem of people-smuggling and the wasting of our limited capacity to resettle refugees that it implies.  An example – eg offshore processing under UNHCR rules – now being adopted in Europe.  Far from being inward-looking, Australia has provided an example to the world of a rational and just approach to refugee resettlement and asymlum-seeker policy.


      Posted by TFK on 01/26 at 06:01 PM • permalink


    1. Costello (that’s Peter) had a crack at him yesterday (with nice understatement)

      “Andrew’s stregths are probably more in the AFL area than in political history”

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 01/26 at 07:29 PM • permalink


      And what appalling editing! Even a blind man could visualise the frantic cutting and pasting of that adolescent rant just by listening to its incoherence. This Nation has been anything but “conservative” or “inward looking” in the last few years. I consider myself to be progressive. With that in mind I have mistakenly voted Labor in every election, at every level of government since turning 18, all except the last Federal election. In the last few years I have come to realise that the Left is by far the biggest obstacle to progress. The irrational debates over G.M. technology and globalisation, two trends which I regard as progressive and essentially positive, have largely been opposed by the Left who appear to want to turn the clock back, or at the very least, to stop it.
      I used to rely on the public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS for most of my information until access to the internet in 2000 really opened my eyes!!
      Trust me, the next two trends the Left will take on, and by that I mean oppose naturally, will be the issues of nanotechnology and A.I., but first there will have to be a paranoid Hollywood movie to set them off.
      Mark my words, that clown’s prattle yesterday was merely a prelude to his political career…no prizes for guessing which side…which I’m sure will be as clumsy, contrived and ill-conceived as that silly speech of his.

      Posted by Brian on 01/26 at 08:04 PM • permalink


    1. I think Brian’s right.

      He’s warming up an old can of self-flagellation chunks with misery sauce as an offering for a career in loathing-left politics.

      Posted by Hamish McFootpath on 01/26 at 08:14 PM • permalink


  1. I’ve been to Australia twice.  It’s about the least inward-looking country I’ve ever been to – remarkable considering its size and geographic location. It sometimes seems that half of Australian 20-somethings are in London and most of the rest are backpacking round the world somewhere.  Sure, most eventually return, but at least they’ve had the invaluable mind-broadening experience of living and working in a foreign country.

    And its response to 9/11, Iraq and the tsunami showed that Australians are actually obsessed by the world beyond their country.  There are plenty of inward-looking countries in the world (e.g. France, China, Brazil), but Australia isn’t one of them.

    Posted by PJ on 01/27 at 09:02 AM • permalink