Sunday, June 25, 2023

Benjamin Macintyre: What really matters

Too many minutes are lost every day pondering trivial matters. We think too much about who the next Prime Minister might be, how crime is hurting our businesses or whether our children are being taught the skills they need at school.

Thankfully, on Sunday night, New Zealand’s most important public official – Ian Foster, protector of the realm, decider of fates – appeared on our TV screens with a timely reminder of what really matters.

Had you forgotten? The World Cup is less than three months away and the first All Blacks squad of 2023 has just been named. It is undoubtedly the most important news story of the year so far.

Yes, we all enjoy gossiping about which Chris will be picked to the country. But Dallas McLeod has been picked as an option at centre when he might struggle to get into a fully fit Crusaders team, let alone the All Blacks!

You might be fretting, if you’re a small business owner, over whether you’re in danger of being ram-raided. It’s tempting to spend time worrying that your life may be threatened by a group of teenagers for the sake of a pack of cigarettes and an energy drink.

But consider how little these concerns are of consequence compared with Shaun Stevenson being robbed, in broad daylight, of a place in the squad. Sure, he’s injury cover, but didn’t he deserve more recognition for the season he’s just had?

These are the issues that really matter in New Zealand. It is high time that we abandoned our fascination for “politics”, “current affairs” and “our children’s futures”. We must focus on how the hell we’re supposed to stop Antoine Dupont from scoring four tries on the 8th of September.

Don't ask why our kids aren’t learning to read and write at school. Instead, ask yourself: why doesn’t my eight-year-old know how to jackal and counter-ruck yet? Rugby World Cup 2035 is just around the corner and the blindside flanker spot is wide open!

Forget about elections, the economy and unruly backbenchers. Between now and the World Cup, it should all be about back rows.

Benjamin Macintyre is a Research Assistant at The New Zealand Initiative. This article was first published HERE


mudbayripper said...

Pretty much sums up the attitude of many New Zealanders, unfortunately a lot of them are of voting age. According to the polls it looks very likely that the future of our democracy and hard earned enviable standard of living comes whey down on the list of priorities, currently lead by self interest and Rugby.

Anonymous said...

Rugby is a lovely diversion from the political shenanigans we are having to endure.
It would be interesting if we could only have former All Blacks as politicians. They couldn't do any worse than the current lot. At least they could get stuck into each other and maybe challenge the opposition a bit better.

Anonymous said...

All by design. Bread and circuses, Roman empire ect.

Anonymous said...

I am a 4th generation NZer and I actually hate rugby. I had my sons participate in any activity bar this brutish sport that causes brain damage, concussions and then has obligatory boozing and consequent drunkenness and brutish finish with.
I hate the way it takes up so much of news when I would like to read of more science news or overseas news.
I hate the belligerent hakas at the beginning of the match.
I hate the way key players are turned into role models for children .
I hate the waste of time spent by children learning to play it when they could be learning how to trap or skin possums or gardening or something else useful.
I hate the way , as mentioned, it is considered of more importance than academic achievement to the average psyche.