Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Big Farming Story of the Week: Colin Armer Quits.
I don’t know Colin Armer, but I generally only hear good things about him.
I’ve only talked to John Wilson once and he seems a very personable bloke.
The latter is Fonterra’s chairman-elect. If we’re to believe the rumour mill, the former wanted the job.
Armer’s shock resignation from the Fonterra board of directors certainly got tongues wagging last week. Conspiracy theories abound about his sudden departure but, at the time of writing, Armer was staying mum about his reasons.
There can be no denying Wilson was Sir Henry’s anointed successor, and no denying politics is behind Armer’s decision.
The real shame is Fonterra has lost the country’s most successful dairy farmer from its board.
Big Political Story of the Week: Romney looks sheepish.
You should never write a man off on first appearances, but US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s first major appearance on the international stage left a lot to be desired.
What was supposed to be a diplomatic mission to show the world he’s ready to take on the mantle of the planet’s most powerful man, disintegrated into a PR gaffe as he insulted the Poms, the Palestinians and the Russians in quick succession.
Romney has that George W Bush accident-prone look about him.
Barack Obama has presided over the worst economic times since the Great Depression. He should be ripe for the picking.
Come the first Tuesday in November, we’ll not only see a race that stops a nation in Melbourne, we could also see a race in Washington won because one of the runners lost it before it started.
Big Sporting Story of the Week: The Olympics and Surly Sir Graham Henry.
The big question on the Olympic track will be whether Valerie Adams and Nick Willis can repeat their heroics.
And in a week where all the rugby attention should have been focused on the Chiefs, the limelight was hogged by Graham Henry’s explosive suggestion of match-fixing surrounding the disastrous 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final capitulation to France.
While I agree with Henry’s assertion something was terribly wrong in the game, I think he needs to look beyond the referee.
Yes, Wayne Barnes was diabolical and put on, arguably, the most vile display in the history of whistle-blowing.
But he wasn’t alone on that cold Cardiff night. The All Blacks were almost as inept. Four million of us sitting at home could see they weren’t going to get a pushover try or a penalty any time soon and that a dropped goal was the order of the day.
Ted’s team, it seemed, could not. Henry was rewarded with the ultimate redemption four years later in Auckland. His legacy was secure. I’m just not sure whether selling a few extra books was worth tarnishing it.
The most interesting revelation in the book for me was when Henry took the reins of the All Blacks the first thing he did was cut the reign of Justin Marshall, whom he deemed ran the team on and off the field and was responsible, along with the likes of Andrew Mehrtens, for the binge-drinking culture that prevailed in John Mitchell’s era.
Bouquet: Mark Todd.
He might have had to deal with the odd “curly” issue along the way, but there’s no disputing Mark Todd’s place in the top echelons of our sporting history.
To have appeared in seven Olympic Games and to have won medals over a period spanning 28 years, is nothing short of chronologically incredible.
Sure, he doesn’t fit the archetypal rugby, racing, beer and No.8 wire stereotype of a Pinetree Meads, but for pure longevity of excellence, he leaves even our most iconic sportsman in his wake.
If the average age of a farmer in this country is in the fifties, then the 56-year-old Todd is an inspiration to us all.
What’s more, at an age when many are considering retiring from the workforce, Todd is considering competing as a 60-year-old at Rio de Janeiro.