In the last two or three decades, I can’t remember a single Commonwealth Games which our journos (apart from those specifically linked to Athletics) have ever supported, let alone enthused over.
The forthcoming (or maybe only scheduled) Delhi Commonwealth Games have once more, and on cue, evinced the now customary sneering, jeering, and other forms of journalistic dissing seemingly reserved specifically for these quadrennial Games.
No other international sporting event seems to get targeted by Australian journos in the same way; perhaps only the rather more justified shots at Melbourne’s F1 Grand Prix are vaguely similar.
On TV, you can almost smell the sense of going in for the kill with every journo update on Delhi’s difficulties.
(This is not to deny that these difficulties - ranging from infrastructure stuff-ups & traffic gridlock through pervasive corruption to health & security scares - are actual and important, or that both local & overseas participants may be putting themselves into ‘real and present danger’.
Nor to deny that various levels of government in India could have done a far better job, with earlier planning, for a start. Nor is it in any way whatsoever to endorse one-party authoritarianism over Indian democracy because of inevitable comparisons with how efficiently China prepared for & hosted the Beijing Olympics.)
But there is a palpable sense of journalistic triumph that the Delhi Games, whether held or not will kill of these ‘irrelevant’ Games for good.
Then along comes Fairfax’s Andrew Stevenson with this -
Stevenson is an exception with his “But that world beyond ours is still a world of people whose hearts beat with the same dreams as ours and who take great pleasure from the nations of the Commonwealth taking part in their games”, highlighting that competitors from, say, sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, who would never qualify for the Olympics, couldn’t understand why our sad cultural cringe about our national origins should deprive them of this international event.
Shouldn’t dissing these Games because of their early history also mean dissing English, habeas corpus, trial by jury, parliament, and a host of other items of British, or Anglo-Celtic heritage & tradition, including cricket, especially Test, cricket?
No more Ashes Tests and series - nasty old racist, fuddy-duddy Anglo pastime, just so NOT our newly grown-up & mature Australia.
(BTW, guess the three countries where cricket is indisputably the national sport?)
This continual agonised whining by some of our clever & credentialled about being British in origin is way beneath being merely adolescent or juvenile - moronically “infantile” is a more apt description.
So, guess where these places are:
King George County,
King William County,
King and Queen County,
Prince Edward County,
Prince George County,
Prince George’s County,
Prince William County,
Queen Anne’s County,
In the United States, that’s where.
They are county names from some of the Original 13 States which were retained after their War of Independence. The juvenile thing to do would have been to ‘get rid’ of them (as some sad sacks urge for our ‘Victoria’ and ‘Queensland’, as well as for ‘Tasmania’, on the grounds of its being derived from the name of an ‘irrelevant’ old Dutchman who was probably very racist to poor little brown people to Australia’s north).
But they didn’t.
Therefore, so what if the Commonwealth Games are née Empire Games?
Journos, grow up, get over it, and shut up, if all you can do is emote with glee if the Delhi Games go under.
And you keep wondering why you’re down with used-car salesmen and drug traffickers!