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John Passant

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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Reflections on a game

Sometimes in life you have to do something different. This is a special report by our sports writer on a game of Australian Rules played last weekend – Collingwood against the WesternĀ Bulldogs.

Like Kerry Packer, I’ve been to the other side.

Unlike Packer, it was the Pies that did it, not polo ponies.

Collingwood by a point, having got out the deck chairs in Q4 to watch Footscray practice goal kicks.

Me with a pocket full of tote tickets paying $2.40 about the Pies.

And, no, there is nothing out there. When you’re dead, you’re dead, as Kerry correctly observed.

I note here my employ as the offsider to a legendary Sydney turf identity called Clarence the Clocker (Arthur Davies). Arthur had clocked for TJ Smith. Add a bit of alliteration and you’ve got both a character and the name of a tv program.

Arthur would appear on Channel 9 on Saturday mornings, hat, field glasses, form guide.

At a midweek meeting at Randwick, we stepped out of the press box at the back and top of the member’s stand and directly opposite the winning post to watch a race. We found ourselves standing either side of a bloke who told Arthur he owned a horse in the next, Cliffy’s Dream.

Coming over the rise and 200 metres from the post Cliffy’s Dream hit the front. And Cliffy, the bloke standing next to us, dropped stone dead. Dead before he hit the floor.

This was a bit of a shock all round, what with this bloke taking permanent leave, his horse winning, and his pockets full of bookmakers’ tickets. In a philosophical moment later at the Racecourse Hotel, Arthur and I agreed there were worse ways to go.

My word there are. After Pies v Footscray, I can commend Quick Departure Last Flights.

Excitement, anxiety, hope, fear, loaded with TAB tickets, bang! off to the Great G in the sky. With the ashes of your mortal remains sprinkled over Victoria Park, or a ground of your choosing.

Should you wish to terminate the flight, buy a Packer Wacker or grab hold of any loose wiring.

Thoughts. I was surprised Collingwood was not battle hardened, that come the final quarter the Pies couldn’t finish Footscray off, ran out of ideas and nearly out of stamina, and almost fell before a relentless and persistent opponent.

The Pies will be the better for that game. It has toughened them up for their encounter with the Hawks next weekend.

I now have to allow Collingwood is a serious contender for a four spot. St Kilda and the Cats will fill two spots; the remaining two will come from among the following: Collingwood, Footscray, Adelaide, Essendon, Brisbane and Carlton.

A final observation. Mark Thompson is playing a very clever game with the Cats. He rested half his side on Saturday night, including Ablett, Scarlett and Ling. To my eyes, the Cats were becoming stale.

Thompson recognised the Cats can afford to lose a game or two while spelling players and has used this like Mick Malthouse employs the interchange.

I still think Geelong is the side to beat.



Comment from Sinead O’Neil
Time July 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Yes, your sports writer may be obstinate. She / he is certainly obscure to all save those who, in part at least, define ourselves by the code and team we follow. This is particularly so for we who grew up in Melbourne and went to games for tribal reasons. If others don’t know who Footscray and the Cats are or what Q4 means, that’s their problem. I’m not interested in writings on AFL, or any sport, that bow to the lowest common denominator, that are mindless in their banality. Such reporting and commentary requirements would rob your sports writer of her / his idiosyncrasies and gift for story telling with Australian wit and in an Australian voice.

Comment from John
Time July 19, 2009 at 8:14 am

Hmm. Sinead, I think you are right. It’s a bit like putting a fig leaf over David. I’ll remove the explanations.

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