‘Australia versus a World of Judgment where Judgment is Taken Too Far’
In1994 when the England cricket player Michael Atherton carried dirt in his pocket, to rough the side of a ball that was least shiny, it wasn’t an instantaneous global news story. He was fined. That was the sanction.
In 2018 when Cameron Bancroft did the same with a piece of tape with some dirt attached to it from the detritus on the pitch, it was a global news story.
The fact that it was Australia versus South Africa with a 22-match record of 14-losses and 7 wins and 1 draw, in South Africa, with a character, Graeme Smith, whose first argument to deflect from his own whingeing personality, recorded 50, 60, 70 times in the media, is to accuse the other side of whinging to be pro-active in the war of the media in the mental game of delivering misinformation to unsettle the visiting team. Graeme Smith was good at doing it but not in making it effective. His team mostly lost to Australia but did well elsewhere. But he kept on whinging anyway. Mostly a mean-spirited person- a talented one by any measure – whose team can’t back up the verbals.
When he came out to bat with a broken finger at the SCG, having retired hurt earlier – the little girl that he is – I applauded when he took balls on his gloves and I applauded louder than anyone when he was dismissed. There are few completely terrible people in the world of cricket but he and Nasser Hussain are the ones I would put at the top of my list. Then when they complain about being misunderstood I can see that they’re just trying to be their own spin doctors when they should have left it to the experts. In contrast Andrew Strauss took the defeats and accepted the victories as did several South African players and captains. Graeme Smith, a little boy who can’t stand being made to look ineffectual, comes out with heavy statements against every Australian cricketer and the sanctions he would employ against this team. There’s never been a greater cricketer than Graeme Smith who has a smaller brain than any other human being. He’s a creature who the rest of the world has pushed aside as an idiot who doesn’t know when to talk and when to shut up.
Then there’s the Australian media.
The Australian media love to kick a person when they’re down, even before there is a trial or a verdict. They react from the perceived evidence and tell everyone what they should because there are images which are damning, but before a trial.
Peter Fitzsimons comes out quickly to be judge and executioner. He judges what happened in the Australian team and he hasn’t heard any evidence other than images shown worldwide and a press conference of the captain and the player, Cameron Bancroft, and then a response from Cricket Australia. What is actually truth, and what are lies said in front of a camera are – in no court of law – nothing more than visually and verbally captured electronic moments of what has transpired. The people talking were not under oath and they may not have been fully forthcoming, or they may have intended the words that they spoke to mislead people from the real truth.
The idea of a trial by a jury of their peers, presented by their counsel, and opposing counsel, with opposing witness and evidence has been jumped by a large Australian kangaroo.
Where did the term kangaroo court come from? Clearly not a label Australians gave themselves. So where from?
Australia has the well-documented Tall-Poppy syndrome. It usually applies to people who are very successful and the people and the media of Australia attempt to cut them down.
Then there’s the Famous-and-Accused sydnrome where the media or commentators bash people who have committed (supposed) crimes, without a trial. Despite an accepted, common belief, in democratic counties, that there has always got to be an assumption of innocence until there’s a guilty verdict, we have this. As we all know from court cases, even a guilty verdict by a jury or a judge doesn’t always mean that they’re guilty – just that they’re been found guilty. The same with a verdict of innocence. Many times those found innocent are not really innocent, but haven’t been found guilty.
Now, there is a trial by media which results in people being dismissed because the bad press is of such enormous proportions that it is better to dismiss the person accused, than have a swing against them, rather than dealing with the here and now. Better to deal with the lawsuits as they march in one by one, later, after dismissing the accused people with no other evidence than a number of similar claims.