Politics Analysis

It’s only right if it's done by the Right — otherwise it’s just not cricket

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

For those who move in elite circles, there is really only one rule: it’s never wrong if it’s done by the Right.

This rule has been borne out throughout the upper echelons of British society and filtered out to the far corners of its Empire since the beginning of the current and very established class system.

In the colony of Australia, despite the fact that we are still a colony under British rule, we like to think we are egalitarian. And in some ways, at least when compared with the mother country, we are. However, this one rule, or more accurately, belief system, of the Right always being right, has certainly endured. 

This week, it was played out in full and vowel-enunciating focus when Australia won the second Ashes test against England. Stay with me as this is interesting, even for a non-cricket fan like me and for most other "right-thinking" people, not because Australia won, which is all very nice, of course, but because the Poms, at least those who belong to the English Establishment, are so affronted with their loss they can hardly contain their indignation and in fact, did not.

In the comical fracas that ensued, the lords at Lord’s booed their collective lungs out and even tried to trip up the Aussie players back in the Long Room — the dining room of the "gentlemen's club" established back in 1737, which didn’t even allow women entry until 1998 (its Australian counterpart, the Melbourne Cricket Club, was only 15 years ahead in the gender stakes) but let’s not get stumped by the many elitist details.

Even the British Prime Minister has weighed in on the topic. Outraged, PM Sunac suggested the rules – which, incidentally, were created and are maintained by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the ungracious hosts of the Long Room – are suddenly unfair.

And another quick stoppage for "bad light", here, as this is also the club with a culture that has been found by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket to be:

'...A culture in which overt discrimination often goes without serious challenge... 

These behaviours include ... racist, misogynistic, homophobic and ableist comments and actions, and a ‘laddish’ drinking culture that can sometimes make women vulnerable and at risk of unwanted or unwelcome behaviour, as well as alienating others due to religious and/or cultural beliefs.'

Who wouldn't want to be part of that club?

But back to Sunac's outrage over the Aussies and the Ashes. Apparently, this is all because the rules didn’t assist the British team to win – an obvious entitlement of making the rules – and so, according to the Tories, the rules are no longer “in the spirit of cricket”. Yes, they made the rules but that's well, by the bye.

This prompted Prime Minister Albanese to suggest Sunac should:

 “Stay in your crease.”

So now, it’s an international incident.

This brings me to the point of this foray into cricket and the rules as they apply to Tories in general.

The great irony of the NSW ICAC is that the Liberals only love it when it’s axing Labor politicians, like Eddie Obeid. Not so, when it claimed the allegedly forgetful and misleading Liberal Premier Nick Greiner in 1992, the "Penfolds" Premier Barry O’Farrell in 2014 or the wilfully whimsical Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her undeclared, sickeningly deferential affair with her boondoggling “boss”, the corrupt Daryl Maguire. ICAC of course, declared Berejiklian’s conduct seriously corrupt.  

Like the Marylebone Cricket Club rules, the NSW ICAC was set up, by the Tories, in order to declare corruption for Labor Party representatives only, obviously.

This also clears up why, despite Victorian Labor Premier Dan Andrews not being found to have engaged in corruption by the Victorian corruption body, this can never, under any circumstances, be accepted. Ever. IBAC must have made an egregious error and the concocted corruption against Andrews must be regurgitated at every opportunity — especially when discussing Berejiklian’s actual corruption.

It’s the reason that Bridget McKenzie’s "sports rorts" fiasco, Christian Porter’s "blind trust" or Stuart Robert's corruption rap sheet, still saw them returning to senior positions within the Morrison Coalition Government. 

And it's why Dutton and Morrison before him continue to oppose a federal anti-corruption body with teeth, which, hopefully, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), established just four days ago (and already inundated with over 300 referrals), will be.

Because, even when you are the ones who make the rules, even when those rules have been in operation since you received your very first silver spoon, they are only to be observed when they serve Tory interests. Because there is really only ever one rule: it’s never wrong if it’s done by the Right.

This editorial was originally published as part of the Independent Australia weekly newsletter – usually only available to subscribers – and may be read online in the IA members-only area.

You can follow IA managing editor Michelle Pini on Twitter @vmp9Follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus and on Facebook HERE.

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