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Tamou didn't toe the line

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by SeaEagleRock8, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    On the eve of one of our most significant national celebrations, ANZAC day, James Tamou has put many of the game's leading noses out of joint with his brazen switch from Kiwi to Aussie allegiance.

    James is the rising Cowboy front-rower who has suddenly announced his availability for Australia. Only last year he was picked in the New Zealand train-on squad for the 4 Nations tournament, but didn't make the final cut. Now he has been selected for Australia, and played strongly in the Green and Gold during last night's Test match - against New Zealand. He was born in New Zealand, and lived there until his early teens.

    What has upset some big names in the rugby league fraternity is that he hasn't gone to any great lengths to disguise his motivation in changing allegiance. He hasn't pretended to have experienced any revelations about higher values, or a dawning deep love of this land or the people. He didn't hide behind or pay lip-service to any conventionally noble ideals at all.

    Tamou simply says it was a decision he felt was in the best interests of his football career. This includes the fact that as an Australian he would be eligible to take part in the prestigious - and relatively lucrative – State of Origin fixtures each year.

    Now young James is under fire for his lack of nationalistic fervour, either one way or the other. His sin is that last year he was prepared to play for New Zealand, but this year he's decided to play for Australia.

    However, I suggest Tamou is a man of our times. He is 23 years old and the world nowadays is a place where it is increasingly obvious that national boundaries don't always stand in the way of anything important.

    Especially money. For many decades big money has transcended national boundaries. Multi-national corporations stick their fingers not only into pies, but also into quiches, hot dogs, curries, nachos, sushi, and anything else where there are profits to be made.

    Of course, our national history and historical alliances continue to be drummed into us, and rightly so. It is rather important to understand how we got to where we are. However the real reason nationalism is still promoted politically is because it suits the interests of big capital. For example, we are frequently told we need to support some mega-rich multi-national corporation because it is employing some local workers … and we sure don't want them to employ some foreign workers instead.

    This type of appeal to our sense of national interest is merely a device, founded on racism and fear of foreigners. It is designed to keep local workers identifying with the local rich, instead of with other workers elsewhere. Clearly, 'the local rich' nowadays often just means the local brand – but a brand still owned by international interests. Big capital knows no national boundaries, and has absolutely no qualms about dealing equally with all nationalities and races, limiting its reach only according to where the most reliable profit streams are to be found.

    Now young James Tamou is no billionaire stakeholder in a multinational corporation. He is just a young man with great athletic and sporting prowess who wants to maximise his career opportunities in a ruthless commercial world. He is patently fearless, possibly unsophisticated, and maybe even a little naïve.

    This combination of characteristics has led him to his decision, and also to come out openly and say what his decision was based on. Unwittingly he has given us cause to again ponder what our national identity means to us, and indeed, why we should even cheer for one team instead of another.

    So is this what sticks in the craw about Tamou's choice: the reminder that there is something fundamentally distasteful in acting against the interests of one's own people, simply for personal gain?

    In James's case, criticism of his choice is mostly unfair. For one thing, he was brought up in two countries, so whichever way he went he was bound to disappoint some. Why shouldn't he be proud of his connection with both? Given that he has to choose, what should he instead have based his decision on?

    More to the point, why should he be criticised for changing allegiance based on what best suits his personal ambitions, when that is exactly what the richest people in the world have been doing for decades? How many Australian businessmen routinely take their factories offshore at the expense of Australian jobs? We apparently accept the right of the rich to use multi-national company structures to cross any national boundaries they choose, in search of maximised profits.

    James Tamou has offended some sensibilities, and drawn attention to inconsistencies in how we perceive our responsibilities as citizens of this young nation. In particular, the embarrassing question is raised as to whether the proletariat is the only class still required to be constrained by its sense of national identity – and if so, why? What is certain is that the Independent Commission will respond to pressure, and take steps to ensure this awkward scenario does not become commonplace.
     
  2. The Who

    The Who Well-Known Member

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    Weren't there eight players born in Australia playing for the Kiwis last night?
    Why the fuss about one 'turncoat' and nothing said about the Aussie-Kiwi eight?
     
  3. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Very good point. Maybe they didn't 'disrespect' anyone by giving the reasons for which country they chose. Or maybe they just made one choice and stuck to it?
     
  4. swoop

    swoop Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    What about Nathan Fien, Tony Carroll and Brad Thorn. Fien has a distant relative way back that makes him eligible to play for NZ.

    Brad Thorn played for Aust in league and the all blacks in union. Didn't Carroll play for both aswell?
     
  5. The Who

    The Who Well-Known Member

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    Commentators keep saying you should play for where you are born, but this is not always practical. Plenty of people are born overseas ie. Bob Fulton, yet come to a country at an early age.
    What if you are born in, say, WA - who do you play for in SOO?
     
  6. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Tallis and Geyer slam Tamou in this linked article. These blokes are hardly intellectual giants of the game, but they are handy mouthpieces because they aren't afraid to say what they think (and think what they have been told).
    http://www.sportal.com.au/league-news-display/tallis-tamou-in-it-for-the-cash-172271
     
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  7. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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  8. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I did, tried to submit it as an article but didn't work.
     
  9. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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  10. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Thanks. I saw Tallis on his high horse on fox a few days ago, and that got me thinking.

    Tamou didn't toe the line that says your national identity is so vitally important, it's almost sacrosanct. The luxury of being a citizen of the world is not designed for his ilk.
     
  11. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    The human race has such a long way to go. National identity in this country has a fair few changes & challenges ahead in this century.
     
  12. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Great write-up SER8.

    National jingoism keeps the populace focused on self interest. I love Australia, am proud to be Australian, but SER8 rightly points out that we are all global citizens whether we like it or not and certainly big business never differentiates those boundaries unless it is to their advantage.

    With the exception of players with deep character of the calibre of Beaver, we see even tribal team loyalties disappearing every day. In fact we have offered up a culture to the generation coming through where fame and fortune are prized above everything else. Heady **** I know and I actually don't pass judgement on it.

    But for the kiwis, who have a small population, who have stood up to nuclear ships visiting their shores, who have a strong cultural identity of bulging eyes and sticking their tongues out, it is understandable that pride overrides reason and they take offense to someone wearing a colour other than black. "She'll be right" here in Oz but the kiwis are busy clearing rubble and currently stealing our jobs. It would be easier if we were all just sheep.

    Looking forward to Rex coming back for this one :)[hr]
    I think someone slipped some strange mushrooms in this bowl of soup Jatz :)
     
  13. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    It adds something doesnt it.
     
  14. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    The only thing I find surprising about this whole affair is that he is eligible for NSW. It is normally Queensland that is the home of the international or interstate "local"......Lam, Carroll, Thorn, Inglis, Folau ...they are the ones who are normally prepared to cheapen their jersey, not us.
     
  15. Ian Martin tragic

    Ian Martin tragic Well-Known Member

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    too well considered and acute take on the function of national identity in sport in the media age. please its the weekend I'm trying to relax!
     
  16. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    How true, we all need to relax.

    Problem is, when players are even choosing national allegiance based on their personal ambitions, where does that leave our tribal club associations? The manifest stress visible in 95% of posts around here these days is testament to the unease generated when we don't know with any certainty who is with us, and who is (or will soon be) against us.
     
  17. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    Based on SOO rules as i understand he is a NSW player having first played grade in the eastern suburbs
     

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