- Liverpool Confirm the Signing of Lallana July 1, 2014
- No Royal Commission; but banks not too big to be held to account June 29, 2014
- Suarez Outrage, You’re Doing it Wrong June 27, 2014
- Liverpool’s deal for Moreno is Off June 26, 2014
- Palmer will repeal carbon tax but rejects other parts of Abbott’s package June 25, 2014
- So Suarez Does Stupid Things June 25, 2014
- How Australia connected to the internet 25 years ago June 24, 2014
After a summer worth of will he won’t he, Adam Lallana has been confirmed as a Liverpool player.
He will be given the shirt number 20 and the man himself is over the moon. Speaking in his first interview Lallana was asked what this move means to him.
“It’s a huge step. Liverpool have got so much history and after the season they had last season, I can’t wait to get started and carry on and build on that. Champions League football is back; everyone is telling me that the atmosphere on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Anfield are something special. Lambert is up here already and he has been telling me all about it. It’s great that I can continue my career with him as well. That’s a special moment.”
He also had some great words to say about Steven Gerrard.
“There’s no limit to what I can learn playing with him. I grew up watching him. My best mates, he’s their legend. For me to be playing alongside him, not just at England but at club level, is quite surreal really. They’re always asking me what he’s like. He’s got that aura around him. But I need to quickly get used to it because I’ll be playing with him week in, week out.”
For a fee around £23 million Liverpool are signing a player that is in his prime, something we’ve all been calling out for over the last few years and he will be expected to make a significant impact straight away.
So Adam Lallana, welcome to the greatest club on the planet and I am sure all the fans will wish you nothing but success.
No Royal Commission; but banks not too big to be held to account
The Senate inquiry in the actions of the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission has drawn a line in the sand, holding the banks and financial advisers to account for their actions in advising clients.
The Senate Committee’s final report which describes a “reckless sales-based culture “at the Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL), roundly condemns the apparent inability of ASIC to intervene.
But the government has effectively rejected its most controversial recommendation of a Royal Commission, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann this morning noting the dissenting report by Liberal senator David Bushby. When asked if he supported a Royal Commission, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said:
Obviously some terrible things happened and it’s good that the Parliamentary Committee enquiring into this has been able to expose some of the problems. We will carefully consider the recommendations of the Committee. We do obviously have an inquiry into financial governance going on now. We want to get to the bottom of these things and we want to ensure that investors are as safe as they can be in a market economy.
All eyes will now turn onto former CBA chief executive David Murray, who is preparing his final report into the financial system, due on July 15.
Most immediately, Murray needs to come up with more than platitudes about the future integrity of Australia’s financial services, to address the blight revealed on Australia’s banks and financial services and assure Australians immediate action will be taken to resolve it.
In the United States, despite the passage of the voluminous Dodd-Frank Act, the consolidation of the big investment banks, and the apparent lack of any behavioural changes among the toxically incentivised finance executives, a sense has developed – in the words of US Senator Elizabeth Warren – that they are “too big to fail, too big to manage, too big to regulate, and too big to jail”.
The cross-party report in its robust attack on bad practices in the financial services industry, and its determination to pursue the perpetrators, insists this is not going to happen in Australia.
The “unethical and dishonest” treatment of “vulnerable trusting people” involved a “a callous disregard for their clients’ interests” by CFPL financial advisers, while the Commonwealth Bank “tolerated for so long conduct that included apparent criminal activity”, in the resounding words of the inquiry Chair, Senator Mark Bishop.
ASIC is excoriated for “complacency” and placing too much trust in an institution that “sought to patch over its problems”. Now “rogue advisers” need to be identified and any breaches of the law pursued.
A Royal Commission would mean there will be no early burying of this scandal and its implications for the whole banking sector : “Firms need to know that they cannot turn a blind eye to rogue employees who do whatever it takes to make profits at the expense of vulnerable investors.”
The demand for ASIC to become “a more proactive regulator” means that if the banks do not clean up their act, they will face further intervention.
The timidity of ASIC
The inquiry’s portrayal of ASIC as “a timid, hesitant regulator, too ready and
willing to accept uncritically the assurances of a large institution that there were no grounds for ASIC’s concerns or intervention”, will haunt ASIC in years to come, and hopefully spur it into action.
The catalogue of condemnation of ASIC and the CBA’s behaviour will not easily be erased from public memory. While defrauding innocent retirees of their assets is truly appalling, it is topped by the cynical indifference and meanness of the Commonwealth Bank’s response once the problem was unearthed.
The Inquiry reports CBA intimidated clients, obfuscated, was reluctant to provide files and provided no representation of clients interests when files were being checked and reconstructed. There were also numerous instances of missing documents, fabricated documents, forged signatures, and manifestly inadequate compensation.
The picture is one of an enormous and cruel “power asymmetry between unsophisticated, and in many cases older and vulnerable clients, and CFPL.”
This is far from the reassuring picture of a well-managed, well-regulated, and healthy banking and finance system in Australia that we have been encouraged to believe in as the best of all possible systems in recent decades.
Thomas Clarke does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
Suarez for the third time, that we know of, has decided to use his teeth to gnaw at an opponent and this has lead to all the outrage in the world to come piling down on him as though he had just committed the kind of atrocities that Jimmy Savile committed for decades with no one in power ever and I mean ever thought of pursuing while he was alive.
Justice you see is blind, it is consistently looking in the wrong direction and it never seems to want do the right thing at the right time, just ask the victims of that disgustingly abhorrent man Savile or the families and friends and neighbours and the entire city of Liverpool as they fought tooth and nail for over two decades to see justice being done. The justice for the 96 campaign is only now almost at the point where justice may finally be opening her eyes to the sheer bastardry that occurred on that fateful day many many years ago.
Before people start to portray this piece as a justification of Suarez’s actions or an excuse for punishment not to be handed out to our man Luis Suarez, let me just say, there is not a single rational Liverpool fan anywhere that does not believe he absolutely MUST BE PUNISHED. This is not in any way shape or form me saying anything otherwise. Let me repeat that one more time Luis Suarez absolutely MUST be punished for his actions. Now we can all debate what is and what is not a just punishment and that may or may not be a discussion that will lead to some kind of steadfast resolution by you lovely readers but even though I am not a betting man, I would bet on that resolution never coming to fruition. The world you see has many different points of view and with those points of view come opinions that may or may not be valid and whether you are to see them as valid for the most part is dictated to you by how you come at the problem in the first place.
This piece is not even about that, this piece is about the over the top outrage that has been spewed by many pundits and fans and officials from every corner of the globe. The outrage that comes thick and fast and automatically ends up escalating in a way that has managed to portray Suarez as the man that ruined Christmas.
Look at the examples I gave above, that is outrage worthy, that is the kind of story that deserves to be splashed all over the front and back pages of newspapers across the world, not this. I am absolutely sickened by the way our society decides to make villains out of celebrities and heroes out of those that for the most part are the least deserving. Take a long hard look at yourself and ask, have you really got something to be outraged over with this particular incident? Like seriously? Did he just rape your sister while she lay sick in hospital? Did he just use your dead aunts corpse to perform oral sex on? Is that why you are so outraged? Is that why you can not sleep at night until he is shot in the street and his corpse is dragged throughout the mud and filth until there is nothing left of him but a dangling achilles tendon?
Outrage you see, is best reserved for acts that DESERVE outrage, and here it is, the point of this whole sorry affair.
A little less than a week ago I wrote this piece titled “Genocide of Today” It WAS a fictional short story about what is actually occurring right now as we speak, as you read this piece, in the northern territories of Iraq. You really should read it, because when I wrote it, I felt sick in my stomach, I was genuinely sick and it is something that many people will never comprehend. It is the writer that understands pain and understands that sometimes you must write something that you do not feel as though you are capable of but you do it anyway because the story MUST BE TOLD.
Within the piece I write about a young Christian family who are stuck within the war torn region that their ancestors called home for over 6000 years. The Assyrian people the indigenous inhabitants of what is now called Iraq have for the last century been slaughtered at the hands of mad men who use the fact that they are Christians to attack, rape and pillage. While the rest of the world only found out about the term jihad after 9/11, the Assyrian Christians living in their homeland have not only known what the term means but have been at the wrong end of its foul stench for hundreds of years now.
“In a world where your brother is slaughtered and your father is left to fend for himself in a refugee camp because his dearly beloved wife was killed walking home from the local shop, there is no real cocoon that can shield you. In this scene, I fall asleep hoping for rest yet, my mind races at the possibilities that are now as good as a sure thing.
I will be killed at some point.
I will be made to denounce my faith in Jesus Christ.
I will be made to repent for being born.
I will be forgotten by the world.
We are all to blame, each and every one of us.
That is the truth.”
Can you see my point? Outrage, genuine or otherwise at the actions of a footballer is outrage wasted on something that will not have any bearing on the life of you or your loved ones. It achieves NOTHING. It is energy that should be put into something that actually deserves your sense of outrage and injustice.
After writing that piece, at the back of my mind I always knew that it was not going to be something that would stay fictional for very long. The world that my brethren now inhabit has been ripped to shreds and within the boundaries of those ancient walls, they are left to fend for themselves as the bastards that call themselves ISIS run amuck at their expense. The world does not care as this happens because the world is too busy being outraged at the actions of a professional footballer at the God damn World Cup. Seriously.
If you can’t make yourself understand that their are just more important things in life to be outraged at, well I hope for your sake you never find yourself in the same position as that father who had to witness the most heinous acts being committed on his wife and daughter in the name of religion.
Think about that while you fall asleep tonight.
Imagine being in the position of not only that poor father but most importantly that poor mother and that young girl that have now literally got nothing to live for. Nothing.
And then while you’re at it, why don’t you think about the Australian Federal Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison and his despicable actions that WILL result in more genuine refugees being led to their torture and death because he wants to live up to his God damned three word slogan “Stop the Boats!”
That is outrageous. That is worth getting out of your armchair for, Luis Suarez biting an Italian when viewed from that vantage point just does not seem to matter all that much now does it?