Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 09/02/2001

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Friday February 9, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down!]

It was heartening yesterday to field your calls on the state of New Zealand cricket. Most of you felt as I that the Black Caps' lamentable performances of late have a lot to do with the Political Correctness that has crept into this, as into other sports - the lack of perfectionism, the lack of practice, the lack of commitment, the lack of "attitude," the plethora of psycho-babble-spouting sports psychologists & counsellors, the touchy-feely bonding sessions, the New-Ageing of the competitive impulse out of existence. It puts me in mind of my late father's response when he attended some athletics events at my niece's primary school & found that those who came last were being patted, hugged & congratulated while the winners were being ignored by the teachers - he went home in disgust. It puts me in mind of the Taranaki school that refuses to keep the score in netball games lest the feelings of those on the losing side be hurt. How long, one wonders, before medals are awarded to losers?

Now it's true that we can't all be winners - but we can all do our best, & competition is a powerful inducement to do just that. How long can it remain so if it's the losers who are applauded & rewarded? More broadly, how can we cultivate a culture of excellence when society steals from the productive to subsidise the irresponsible? Is it reasonable to expect our cricketers to excel when the culture around them encourages mediocrity? Tennis ace Chris Lewis captured the situation perfectly in his article, Sports Funding vs Freedom in the last issue of The Free Radical. We would do well to heed his words:

"Whether itıs a gap-closing, egalitarian, envy-motivated tax regime that punishes ambition and success - while rewarding sloth and failure - or a state education system that encourages mediocrity and participation - while discouraging excellence and competition - the insidious effect is the same: it sends an implicit message that to stand out from the masses by rising above them, or earning more than them, or doing better than them, is bad, but to remain as part of an anonymous throng is good.  It is why the best New Zealanders are leaving the country in droves, and why our best and most talented athletes, with few exceptions, have had the passion to excel knocked out of them since they were children.  It is not only whatıs wrong with New Zealand sport, but also whatıs wrong with New Zealand.

"If ever there were a problem that desperately needs fixing, this is it - and I say that the government really should do something.  It should get out of the economy and out of our lives as soon as possible.  What would soon follow is such a massive flourishing of the gold medal-winning character virtues - virtues of independence, ambition, determination, self-reliance and pride - that New Zealanders would soon lead the world in the most important race of all: the race of life."

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe?