Monday, 19 September 2011

Sir Henry's Hair

# Big Farming Story of the Week: Sir Henry’s Hair.

The chairman of Fonterra’s remaining thatch must be thinning on a daily basis as he pulls his hair out over that hoary old chestnut – capital structure. Everyone agrees Fonterra must remain a cooperative under 100% farmer control. But now it would appear some farmers have decided Trading Among Farmers (TAF) is putting a cat among the pigeons due to changes within the TAF proposal that might put farmers’ ownership and control at risk. This week Fonterra announces it annual result and next week it hits the road to update shareholders on TAF. Personally, as a small shareholder, I’m all for TAF and would happily increase my shareholding given the opportunity because I reckon Fonterra’s a good bet.

# Big Political Story of the Week: Len the Loser.

The Rugby World Cup is supposedly an apolitical event. Pull the other one! If Dan Carter’s boot is as good as the one the National Party put into Len Brown, then we’ll have no problems with drop kicks at the RWC (apart from the obvious ones on the Auckland City Council).

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: The Three Unwise Men.

I write without knowing the score of the Japan RWC game. Rest assured the All Blacks will have run up a score more akin to cricket than rugby. But what will Messrs Henry, Hansen and Smith have learned from the exercise? A predictably strong performance against weak opposition from the likes of an Andy Ellis will only further confuse a confused selection process.

Despite having had eight years to figure it out, it appears the three wise men can’t make up their minds about their top fifteen. So I’m going to freely bestow upon them my four decades of experience in selecting the All Blacks. Trust me Ted, this team will win the RWC, if only you’d stick with it:

Dagg, Jane, Smith, Nonu, Kahui, Carter, Cowan, Read, McCaw, Kaino, Whitelock, Williams, O Franks, Hore and Woodcock. Reserves: Mealamu, B Franks, Thorn, Thomson, Weepu, Slade and Muliaina.

# Brickbat: Flash Mob Haka.

If, like Dancing Dave Currie the chef de mission, you hanker for haka at the drop of a hat, then you’re going to love the Rugby World Cup. Less than a week into the tournament though, I have to admit to haka fatigue. We’re in danger of overdoing a good thing and that’s before we start counting the latest dance craze – the flash mob haka – when a group of people assemble suddenly in a public place and perform a surprise routine which has usually been organized via social media. An organized surprise routine! Go figure?

An honourable mention goes to Happy Feet and Clayton Weatherston, both of whom have needlessly cost the country a fortune.

# Bouquet: TVNZ 7.

Even though the commercial-free, free-to-air 24-hour news and information channel is going to be chopped in June next year due to poor ratings, I for one will miss it, having only just switched on to some of its excellent programming.
Last week I watched a superb documentary on how the food industry makes billions from breakfast cereals. The story started back at the turn of the 20th century when two brothers, John and Will Kellogg, started making breakfast cereals from the excess corn that abounded in Battle Creek, Michigan. They later argued over the recipe for the cereals, with the younger brother Will wanting to add sugar to the corn flakes so they would be palatable to the masses. In 1906 Will formed his own company, the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, which eventually became the Kellogg’s company.

Meanwhile older brother John, a devout Seventh Day Adventist, teetotaler and Doctor of Medicine set about righting the wrongs of the world by running a sanitarium (that name rings a bell) with a particular focus on vegetarian nutrition, exercise, painful anal enemas and the rehabilitation of masturbators.

One can only wonder what he might have made of English referee Wayne Barnes?

Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB.


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