Rugby is the opiate of the masses

The other day I was talking to some of my politico friends about how the Springbok Tour of 1981 and the resulting mass civil disobedience was the most the political turbulent time in modern Aotearoa history. More than 150,000 people took part in over 200 demonstrations in 28 centres, and 1500 were charged with offences stemming from these protests.

But what was it about this event that provoked the masses in such a visible way when the average kiwi would not get off the couch over the slaughter of Palestinian innocents in Gaza or even lift a finger with what is happening in West Papua (which is right on our doorstep).  

I think it was something more basic than that, something more primal and fundamental to the NZ psyche. Rugby. And for sure Grown men frolicking up and down the field chasing an oval leather object while engaging in homo-erotic banter such as the 'maul' and the 'scrum' might not be for everyone. But Goddamit this is New Zealand and its religion. It wasn’t that Kiwi outrage of the oppressive racist regime that was apartheid South Africa was particularly unique or profound. Instead a critical mass of usually pliable parishioners pushed against the twin pillars of Rugby and State - those things that make this great Nation of ours what it is. Minto was Calvin/Luther rallying against the rigidness of the then religious order.

The lesson here? If you want to shake the shit out of sleepy olde Niew Ziland - you have to strike at the fundamentals of what makes this country what it is and it doesnt get anymore fundamental than rugby - its up there with pavlova, cows, sheep and mansplaining.

the apostle John Key with his holiness Richie McCaw
the apostle John Key with his holiness Richie McCaw

Theres a world cup going on you say? I honestly havent dutifully followed the holy proceedings as a good citizen should - its just that - well too many All Blacks or ex-ABs are to chummy with the PM and/or are National Party supporters ( McCaw, Dagg, Lomu etc ) and none of them are like my man Piri Weepu

Say no to TPPA.. We are not for sale!! @johnkeypm
— Piri Weepu (@piriweepu) August 3, 2015

or next level Aussie rugby player David Pock who chained himself to a digger to protest against climate change and has been vocal about supporting gay rights on the rugby field

No. this current crop of ABs are complete Tory Toadies - many of whom have forgotten where they have come from - 
So I hope Tonga crack them a good one next Saturday. Amene.