Monday, 12 December 2011

A good week for farming

# Big Farming Story of the Week: A good week for farming.

The Fonterra Global Dairy Trade Event up 2.6%! Kiwifruit Green showing some much-needed resistance to Psa! Good rains where it was dry! Grass for Africa! A good week for farming!

# Big Political Story of the Week: The Labour leadership wrangle.

No one quite does in-fighting and back-stabbing like the Labour Party. Just think back to the Lange-Douglas rift or the attempted Cullen coup to unseat Clark. So it’s nice to see the tradition continuing in the current leadership scrap between the two Davids, Cunliffe and Shearer. I’ve no doubt Cunliffe’s a very smart man. But he’s also a very smarmy man. Most of us never get to meet our leading politicians face-to-face. If we did, most of us would probably adjudge them to be personable and, in some cases, charming. However, perception is reality and what we see on television is how we judge them. Cunliffe is not a man you readily warm to. If you believe rumours then that lack of affection for him is an emotion also experienced by many of his caucus colleagues. For that reason alone, David Shearer will be the Labour leader announced this week.

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: The Black Caps.

No other New Zealand sporting team, not even the Warriors at their woeful worst, suffers anything near the derision and scorn that is heaped upon the Black Caps. Their self-destructive capitulation in the face of a reasonably average Australian side in the Brisbane test saw the rabid and feral, whom constitute a good portion of the talkback population, go into overdrive. The Black Caps’ cause was not helped by the pre-match expectation they would match the Baggy Greens or maybe even beat them at the Gabba for the first time since Richard Hadlee’s virtuoso performance in 1985.

The other problem they face is, for some illogical reason, cricket seems to be our second national sport behind rugby. This despite the fact we’re patently not much good at test cricket, if you excuse brief periods under Geoff Howarth and Stephen Fleming’s stewardship when we were genuinely competitive on the world stage. Add to that the envy factor of the bizarre money some of them get in the Indian IPL and you have a recipe for talkback “open season” on the Black Caps.

# Brickbat: The SBW Tail wagging the NZRU Dog.

I know I sound like a broken record but I wish Sonny Bill Williams would make up his mind whether he’s an All Black or a boxer? He’s a brilliant athlete, not a bad All Black but an average boxer fighting pretty average punch bags. And that’s a very generous description of the underwhelming, overweight, sickness beneficiary who was his last victim. SBW will never be taken seriously until he climbs through the ropes and goes toe-to-toe with someone who can hit back. Shane Cameron was once a heavyweight contender. These days he’s dropped a weight division or two and some would say he’s dropped his punching power as a result. There’s nothing to stop him moving back up even if his weight doesn’t. The Mountain Warrior versus SBW? Now there’s a fight I would pay to watch.

# Bouquet: Girl Power.

I had the very good fortune to be invited to Fight for Life in Auckland. Although the food and the booze could have been of a better quality considering the price of the tickets (in excess of $10,000 for some tables of 10) the boxing entertainment could not be faulted. Unlike previous years where some media hacks and wannabe celebrities were woefully underprepared to enter the ring, the combatants this time round were all athletes in their own right who had prepared superbly. Fight of the night though, was Hayley Holt up against Paige Hareb. I’ve always been skeptical of female boxing, a bit like blokes playing netball, not really the “done” thing. However, Holt and Hareb had me eating humble pie, which could well have been a tastier option than the overpriced lamb shank I chewed on! I doubt there’s a gutsier athlete in the country than the diminutive surfer Hareb. I wonder if she can bat, bowl or catch? Perhaps she should catch a wave to Hobart!

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


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