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Monday message board

June 27th, 2005

As usual on Monday, you are invited to post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. michael.burgess
    June 27th, 2005 at 10:25 | #1

    The election results in Iran are a worry. On one hand, genuine reformers were not allowed to stand. On the other, Rafsanjani and other pseudo reformers were tainted by factors such corruption and by the perception that they were out of touch with the rural poor unlike Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    The west is now facing a real problem in relation to Iran’s apparent determination to develop a nuclear bomb – which simply cannot be allowed. We have already seen with Pakistan how members of its nuclear elite are sympathetic to the views of Islamic extremists and have met with senior Al Qaeda figures. They have also shared (both for profit and ideological reasons) the country’s nuclear know how with other countries who pose a major potential threat.

  2. Paul Norton
    June 27th, 2005 at 10:47 | #2

    Today’s Australian carries, as an opinion piece, an edited version of a submission by Trevor Smith and other forestry union officials to the ALP National Executive on how to revive Federal Labor’s electoral fortunes.

    It contains all the predictable cliches (there are three pejorative references to cafe latte and those who imbibe it in the space of a 900 word article). In substantive terms, it effectively calls for Labor to repudiate all those policy trends which were most pronounced when Bob Hawke was Federal ALP leader, and reinvent itself as the kind of party it was when Arthur Calwell was leader (not dissimilar to the clarion call of Michael Thompson in “Labor Without Class”).

    One wonders whether Smith & Co. are familiar with Labor’s electoral fortunes under the respective leaderships of Hawke and Calwell.

  3. Homer Paxton
    June 27th, 2005 at 11:18 | #3

    The confederations Cup has been a disaster fro Australia.
    We should have beated Germany and Tunisia and had a respectable defeat ith Argentina.

    On the surface the problem is easily sorted out. Get the central defence and midfiled to plug the defensive holes. the major question is whether this can be done.
    Admittedly we were without Grella, Brescanio, Kewell, Lazirides and to all extent and purpuses Viduka.
    Although most are attacking players the old maxim that attack is the best defence is true.
    However if we continue to give away goals we certainly won’t go to Germany.

    The only bright spot I can think of is that we were playing damned well the last two times the World cup came up.
    Against Iran we played superbly and it just happened that Vidmar didn’t have his scoring boots on that night ( he could have had a hatrick before half-time).
    Against Uruguay the team picked the last game to play a shocker.
    This also happens. After conceding less than a goal a game against higher rated opposition it just happened the only day it mattered was the day they decided to play badly.

    Perhaps this time it maybe the day they decide to play a blinder and Dukes and Cool have their shooting boots on.

    I hope so!

  4. June 27th, 2005 at 11:48 | #4

    “Genuine” reformers. The catch is, mo democratic process can recognise those committed to the overthrow of the basis of consensus as mere reformers. It’s like “social democracy”; the ultimate objective only compromises on the means of reaching the end, a fundamental change. That’s not “reform”; the only question is, who is kidding themselves, the people who think the social part will prevail, or the ones who accept them in the system expecting that the democracy part will stave off the social part indefinitely? The only gainers are those not caught in the cross fire after all, and that’s only a relative gain.

    In the same way, these “genuine reformers” of Iran aren’t really reformers. They just want to achieve fundamental change with no fuss. Trying to avoid a fuss isn’t a measure of reform, it’s the essentially supportive nature of the change – the kind of tactical but not fundamental change true conservatives acknowledge as convenient on occasion. But they are never convenient when made in times of crisis, which thanks to external forces are what Iran has now. So – those are no reformers, and we don’t even have to enquire into whether they accurately or inaccurately suppose their proposed changes are supportive, or if they are secretly after fundamental change after all.

  5. michael.burgess
    June 27th, 2005 at 12:05 | #5

    Homer, the positive side is that without a number of our more creative players, Australia passed the ball around extremely well and scored goals. Unfortunately, none of the players missing were defenders and, with the exception of Grella (who I have not seen enough of) are not defensively minded. There are too many good attacking players (and goalkeepers) competing for the same positions. Another problem is that many of the goals conceded came about through basic errors rather than through a lack of speed (which is a problem), etc. So does Australia stay with the same defensive plus Grella in the defensive midfield role and hope this is not repeated or do we do something more drastic and upset the flow of the team.

    Much as I hate to admit it, I don’t agree with you that the problem was that we played below par against Uruguay. I think we were beaten by a better team. While, I would not expect to lose by 3 goals again, I also think Australia was fairly fortunate to win at home. An additional factor is the crowd. While Latin crowds are very intimidating, Australian crowds are fairly quite. In fact, the away supporters are often more noisy.

  6. Homer Paxton
    June 27th, 2005 at 12:46 | #6

    sorry michael but I atched Australia either live or by tape before the last qualifiers.
    I thought given our defence ,this is what Johnny Warren and Les said at the coffee shop before the match, our defence would put so much pressure on them they would crack.

    It just so happened that in that match our team had a horror. up to that match the defence was very solid.

    Unfortunately this time round it isn’t.
    There is no point scoring 3 goals if the other side scores 4.
    I am wondering whether the disappearnace of Okon provides some of the answer.

  7. michael.burgess
    June 27th, 2005 at 13:05 | #7

    Homer, They certainly need an effective defensive midfielder in front of the defence –Okon is not though playing now at a high level. I thought Ljubo Milicevic looked good given that he is new to the team. Grella will probably the one chosen though –along with Brescanio and Cahill in midfield. Kewell, Viduka and Emerton/Elrich in attack. The defence will be Lazirides, Popovich/Milicevic, Moore and Neill.

  8. sien
    June 27th, 2005 at 14:02 | #8

    Have people noticed the Age has run 3 articles on nuclear power on Saturday in a row? Is there a push someplace to get this discussed in Australia or is it just a desire to write about something controversial to get people to notice.

  9. Homer Paxton
    June 27th, 2005 at 14:28 | #9

    I think Grella is better than okon at this stage and plays asimilar game.

    I don’t think we can afford Brescanio, Skoko and Cahill in the same team.

    I would ditch Cahill and have Chipperfield.
    I also prefer elrich to Emmo.
    Emmo has for some unfathomable reason lost the ability to beat a man and therefore is always coming inside.
    Elrich doesn’t and has dynamic pace.
    Whether this will continue after a season with Fulham is moot

  10. Albatross
    June 27th, 2005 at 14:28 | #10

    Iran’s “guided democracy” should not be too much cause for alarm.

    Things there seem to be a good deal positive democracy development wise than in a lot of other countries. Bear in mind that whilst anyone at all can stand for Prez in the US, only a white male millionaire is likely to be even a candidate and not every state has every candidate on the ballot. AND they don’t seem to be able to ensure that elections are conducted in a fair and above board way.

    Whilst I agree that yet nuclear armed state is to be deprecated, we should attempt to look at their situation from their POV ie. a Shi’ite majority state stuck as they are between nuclear armed Israel and an unstable nuclear armed Sunni Pakistan on the other. Not to mention the aggro Seppos poncing around next door. Personally, I’d be looking at my deterrent options too.

  11. michael.burgess
    June 27th, 2005 at 14:34 | #11

    Homer, I agree with you on Elrich and Grella. However, Cahill was not no reason voted the best buy in the premier league last season. Apart from scoring goals and being good in possession, he covers a hell of a lot of ground during a game – A Paul Wade with a lot more skill.

  12. Homer Paxton
    June 27th, 2005 at 14:44 | #12

    okay I will put him in ahead of skoko

  13. dave
    June 27th, 2005 at 15:47 | #13

    I watched the NZ game at Craven Cottage and was genuinely concerned about how poor we were against substandard opposition in the Kiwis. But in the second half either Emerton was fired up by Farina or fired up of his own accord, since he started taking the ball up to and around players. Suddenly we looked a lot better.

    But I had some trepidation about the Argies game based on that performance. In Nuremburg it was a different story. Certainly we were outclassed in technical terms, but our passing was crisp and we got wide and caused a few problems. Then we conceded a soft goal as they walked through the defence. Where are the new Tobin and Ivanovic?

    Then, a penalty that wasn’t … the locals were on our side by now, although I suspect they wouldn’t generally cheer for Argentina anyway.

    In the second half, Viduka came on and held the ball up front with his size and skill, and Argentina probably relaxed a bit. For about twenty minutes or so, we had them under the pump, and should have equalised via the spot just before they went ahead 3-1.

    (An aside: I know it is poor form to complain about the ref, but the chap from Singapore wasn’t up to the job. He made some shockers, both ways. Surely FIFA will learn the lessons of previous tournaments and pick more referees from the top leagues. Or at least draft a few of these characters into the top leagues and give them some experience at the highest level? Poor-form-digression over …)

    Not sure who our holding player in midfield will be but we need one for the sake of our defence. I still think we will get done by the 5th placed South Am team but there is always a chance that in Australia we can score a big win one of these days.

    Exc ellent game by Skoko I thought, and Cahill covers a lot of ground as MB says. But for me the key question is the coach. When will he learn that he needs to play an attacking game from the start??

  14. joe2
    June 27th, 2005 at 16:07 | #14

    Speculation on Sunday, by Terry Lanes’ guest Robert Mann on “The National Interest” ,is that the 10 Network is to become our own Fox Network under relaxed/reforming media rules.

    Should we be concerned or just buy the shares ? Clearly that company knows how to do interviews in the Murdoch style.

    Any comments?

  15. michael.burgess
    June 27th, 2005 at 17:12 | #15

    Dave, I agree with you on the coach. I am not a big fan of his. On what I have seen so far of Littbarski, I go for him. Even bad German teams often get to finals on the basis of organisation and teamwork. A hard taskmaster it just what the defence needs. He would also be less likely to let the likes of Kewell choose the position they want to play in.

  16. joe2
    June 27th, 2005 at 18:11 | #16

    Yes, Sien, the push for nuclear power is on and not just “The Age”.
    Presumably, the ‘value adding factor’, has clicked into the minds of the POWERS THAT BE. While pushing for the selloff of most other resources, at bargain basement prices ,they have finally seen the light.

    While lecturing Iran, about the dangers of them having reactors, they reckon it would be O.K. here. We are a footy loving nation that would never think about creating bombs and those blokes in Iran will understand.
    It is all good.

  17. Homer Paxton
    June 27th, 2005 at 19:58 | #17

    too late for anyone now.
    We have to stick with Frank

  18. Dailys
    June 27th, 2005 at 20:44 | #18

    Thanks Homer,Dave, Michael.
    It has been a fun evening but we have to go.

    Try Lou Reed song about wanting to play football for the coach.
    It may help, but we doubt it, to be completely frank.

  19. Ros
    June 27th, 2005 at 22:47 | #19

    Nick Minchin on nuclear power
    But Senator Minchin says Australia is blessed with cheap coal and there is no economic case for nuclear power.

    “We would be very, very unwise to allow our opponents to lumber us as the party favouring nuclear power when in my view it’s not going to happen in this country in my lifetime or my children’s lifetime,” he said.

    “It is unviable and if we allow the Greens to suck us in on the greenhouse argument over nuclear we really are mugs.”

  20. June 27th, 2005 at 23:10 | #20

    I think the Australian public might just think that a Fox-style channel was a brutal and ridiculous parody.

    Might.

  21. June 28th, 2005 at 16:10 | #21

    I don’t know why this fellow thought he was going to get justice. It’s not as though this sort of thing was unusual; it’s pretty much what the Italians got when a US marine pilot chopped up a ski lift and sent tourists tumbling to their deaths.

    That case, by the bye, is also why the US shooting up the freed Italian reporter didn’t cause much surprise in Italy when there wasn’t a proper review of what the US soldiers did. The Italians already know just how independent US reviews of their own actions are.

  22. joe2
    June 28th, 2005 at 16:14 | #22

    Ros,
    An extraordinary comment by Minchin. Pure distortion and disinformation of Greens position on nuclear power and an election is not even imminent.

  23. Homer Paxton
    June 30th, 2005 at 16:28 | #23

    bugger me and just when I thought the FFA was sensible.
    goodbye Frank

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