I never thought that I’d find myself on the same side of an argument as the Chair of Fosters. But when his antagonists are the rabidly right wing media, led by a bunch of so-called journalists claiming to speak on behalf of the people of Australia, it’s impossible just to sit silent and observe the blood spatter.
The Report of the Independent Sport Panel does not recommend reducing government funding to ‘elite’ sports (even so, Coates called its members ‘ignorant and disrespectful’ – which means they must be doing something right) BUT it had the temerity to suggest that community sport and physical activity in schools might possibly be higher priorities than winning more Olympic medals than every other country in the world bar four.
They even went so far as to propose ‘a broadening of the definition of sporting success to include measures of our nation’s fitness and participation in activity’. And, unlike in the arts, when they say participation they mean the people on the field, NOT in the stands.
Outrageous really. London to a brick, the Murdoch backed hacks will whip enough of a frenzy to ensure that the FedGov declares a foul and Coates and his cronies will fill their snouts to the fullest.
Nevertheless there is some sweetness in reading a report where every mention of ‘sport’ could be replaced with ‘art’ and we’ve have something approaching a decent arts policy.