It was Only Concussion diagnosis dogs brutal nation building team sport
Like a storm cloud gathering over a grandstand long dated football injuries liability looms over the professional contact sport.
Professional personal injury sports liability is the last taboo. It is literally too painful to contemplate.
This threatening cloud began in the United Kingdom with a group claim on behalf of 40 retired professional football, soccer version, players all said to be victims of early onset dementia, suddenly turned ominous also in the football, rugby version.
It emerged that well over 100 former professional rugby players were going down the same litigation claim route and for the same reason. That of early onset dementia.
Still more ominous was the indication from lawyers acting on behalf of these groups to the effect that it was probable that 50 percent of former professional rugby players suffer with dementia.
Professionalization of rugby football placed the game in a corporate framework in which players became employees.
The already intense nature of the sport accelerated and so did the phrase on the contemplation of a star groggy player that he was all right because “he’s only got concussion.”
Professionalization also drew into its slipstream a number of other elements that made rugby players increasingly prone to injury and especially to head injuries.
In the amateur era players had another job to go to, farming is the obvious example, and so could quit the game early if they wanted to.
In the new professional era players with no family business or skill or career to fall back on are compelled to keep on playing an increasingly physically dangerous game for as long as they can stay employed.
One reason that all this has been muted in New Zealand is the Accident Compensation Claims Act which precludes suing for damages over personal injury. A maturing flood of rugby claims on the Accident Compensation Commission will be carried by the community at large.
The class actions brought by lawyers elsewhere is based on the tort of negligence. The claims allege that reasonable care was not taken by the responsible governing bodies to protect players from reasonably preventable brain injuries sustained as a result of concussion.
Pending rugby injury legal actions in the UK evaluate whether rules and strategies imposed were sufficient to protect players against concussion incidents and whether those same rules and strategies were also implemented to allow players the time needed to recover from concussion incidents.
The growth of British class actions is having a snowball effect in the case of the rugby internationals diagnosed with early signs dementia. Lawyers involved say a further 80 former players ranging in age between 25 and 55 also show early signs of dementia.
The gathering litigation momentum in the UK will also embrace the sports medicine fraternity and especially so in the team doctor role in return-to-play decisions.
Clinicians tend to avoid the word concussion, preferring to describe it in terms of brain injury, trauma, and perhaps because of this the word concussion does not generate the sense of alarm it once did.
Before the introduction of seat belts and air bags concussion was a feared outcome of any vehicle collision just because it was not obvious. Those involved in sudden head impacts with steering wheels, dashboards and windscreens were kept under close observation for days after the impact.
So coincident with the advent of the professionalization of rugby football the generalised public fear of concussion began to recede as a threat to anyone involved in any head injury at all and this was especially so on the sports field.
Only in quite recent times has concussion as a trauma re-entered the public medical consciousness and it has done so in concert with the wider perception of dementia and its early onset.
A reason for the scheme of putting rugby management and proprietorship in the hands of a United States-bases corporate entity is that professional sports injuries claims processes began in the United States and so management there has the experience to deal with them.
The matter of an essentially amateur organisation being responsible for a professional sport is one that few wished to confront even though professionalism meant increasingly violent jolting among players who now also started to become much bulkier as the pressure came on them to win.
Many are perplexed by the popularity in this era of gender fluidity of collision sports at a time of the swelling sensitivity and debate on the cult of exaggerated masculinity. The clamour for bigger, and still more capacious publicly-funded stadiums the better to view the spectacle underlines its ancient ritual origins and thus its immunity from gyrating trends, however pervasive they seem at the time.
In Commonwealth nations such as South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand rugby football enjoys a priority institutional status based on its role in social cohesion.
Islamists understood that professed horror of imperialism was priority among posturing virtue influencers
The Taliban understood the total preoccupation of United States influencers with their need to exhibit a revulsion for colonialism and imperialism. The Taliban knew that given this constantly-expressed righteousness they would be believed in any undertakings they gave over the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan.
They knew that the political class requirement to display at any opportunity at all this contempt for a colonial past outweighed other contemporary human rights attitudes, most notably even those centred on women, and especially their education.
It was hardly even a coincidence that just prior to the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan that its military high command had itself become preoccupied and thus diverted by issues such whether or not teachings as critical race theory should be integrated into career training.
Overlooked remains the way in which the Taliban exploited the United States cultural class guilt about a perceived colonial history by using it as a psychological weapon to erode confidence in the US presence in Afghanistan as an occupying power i.e. neo-coloniser.
It managed to place in the New York Times a produced piece claiming that really the Taliban only wanted to be like everyone else. It was perhaps the greatest propaganda coup in wartime history. Yet the way in which it revealed the Taliban mastery of the United States invented pr techniques went unobserved.
Whole countries, part of the US-led occupying coalition, now became conflicted about the conflict.
None more so than Australia, an immigrant nation and one much more recently colonised than the United States and with a proportionately even greater imperialist remorse industry.
Here an attenuated government inquiry into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan has become part of the rhythm of public life. It flares up now and then into wider consciousness over things like campaign medals and official public notices designating appropriate counselling services.
The effect of the Taliban in adapting modern spin techniques against the inventors and exponents of those same techniques is itself an adaptation of the exercise of eastern martial arts.
It is that of using as a weapon against an opponent the very strength superiority possessed by that opponent.
Indications keep growing that United States officials believed that the withdrawal would be an orderly one.
Why were US coalition listening posts closed down prior to the withdrawal? Ever since the imperial era of the Romans the dangers of being ignorant of what is going on beyond your own front lines has been understood.
There remains the worry for the United States and also for its allies, especially those in the Five Eyes category, as to how there appeared to be this conviction that a scheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan was going to be measured in months rather than days.
Can this horrifying miscalculation be sheeted home perhaps to Centcom? What about the CIA whose hand has sometimes been less than sure in tribal societies? What about the NSA? Then of course where were the already distracted Joint Chiefs?
What remains though is the way in which the notion of an orderly withdrawal permeated from the Oval Office all the way through to an already distracted allied coalition.
Why was the Taliban so certain that the US and its occupying coalition would believe what the Taliban told them?
There are already indications that the US administration in raptures of post imperialism ideology was as part of a scheduled withdrawal contemplating aid packages of the type afforded to Germany after World War 2.
History in the region is rather more severe. When Islamists command a country they do so under Sharia, a methodology always deadly to the western interpretation of human rights.
The Taliban effectively sowed confusion in the United States. It did so by applying pr techniques to lever on the need, the craving, of opinion-formulating society elites there to politicise its abhorrence of colonialism, and do so demonstrably.
The Taliban understood also that this moral requirement, an historical one, trumped (it is the only word) other face value seemingly superior imperatives such as those centred on free speech, womens rights, and gender classifications.
How did they achieve such an insight into this mind set? Then understand how to apply it?
A clue is contained in the Taliban New York Times placement coup.
Public relations, spin, are component elements of marketing.
In marketing an enduring rule is to tell the target audience what you believe that it wants to hear.
Winston Churchill Cancelled in big chill-induced doctrinal diversions
The iron grip that United Nations has on the body politic became evident in the aftermath of the coldest day in New Zealand’s year during which there were widespread power failures, outages.
These were caused by power shortages. But attention instead was focussed on the IPCC report centred on global warming.
The government’s own broadcasting channel TV 1 sidelined both the coldest day and the ensuing power cuts to give a triumphant priority to the IPCC report on global warming.
In the ensuing debate in the nation’s parliament politicians of all stripe dodged the freeze and power cuts and competed among themselves in bestowing the most flowery speeches on the nation’s athletes who competed in the Japan Olympic s.
The United Nations doctrines so ardently and so unchallenged under the omnibus climatic banner were then capped by news that the nation’s Green Party had cancelled Winston Churchill. His portrait was unhooked from the parliamentary portrait gallery.
The United Nations syndrome in New Zealand and its success has much to do with applying a civil service bureaucratic theory to the effect that consistent failure and misguidedness is a more successful survival technique than a continuous display of efficiency which may frighten people.
This syndrome became evident when the Opposition National Party seeking to find a hole in the Labour-Green ruling parties turned on the individual most responsible for managing the nation’s evasion of all but a fringe contamination from Covid-19
Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the nation’s chief health official, was described as a showboater by the National Party Opposition leader after he became drawn into some United Nations-inspired boondoggling involving Oceania quarantine preference. The director general of health Ashley Bloomfield was described by the National Party’s Judith Collins as a “one trick pony.”
It was clinician Dr Bloomfield who masterminded the nation’s initial Covid cluster infection track and trace operations that deftly isolated the nation from any serious infection outbreak, an outbreak which internationally United Nations agencies should have intercepted
United Nations in New Zealand enjoys a sanctity and untouchability that was once conferred only upon the Vatican.
Advocates are well placed. Former prime minister Helen Clark who was unsuccessful in her campaign to become secretary general of United Nations is one. She is the mentor of the current prime minister Jacinda Ardern who is sometimes said to be a prospective candidate-in-waiting for the same job.
What also froze was the voices of the officials and the institutions in identifying the cause of the outage which was the unquestioned adherence to the United Nations climate warming doctrine.
Paralysed still are voices that might dwell on why, for example, China responsible for more emissions than the entire OECD put together is not bound by the United Nations doctrine even though it was a founder of United Nations
Instead, there is murmuring about it being a “developing” nation, albeit one that Western defence strategists point out is a nation that could emerge victorious in any conflict with some of its fellow UN members such as the United States, and indeed the whole of NATO.
To what extent did the United Nations hysterical focus on climate divert and distract constituted governing authorities everywhere from the true evolving crisis/emergency, the pandemic?
United Nations like the old bureaucratic monolith it is knows the dangers of being seen to back down on anything. So it continues to pour out alarm on the climate and encourages its many acolytes in places like New Zealand to insist on giving climate priority over plague, the real crisis, the one it only discovered at the same time as everyone else.
United Nations failings started to become evident in its core business of peace keeping in places like Rwanda and the Balkans.
Its spectacular failure in being caught off guard by the pandemic has by a stroke of bureaucratic genius been turned into a triumph. Thus it convinces small countries such as New Zealand and its politicians that this blunder was in fact a godsend in that it will build a world less prone to the climate emergency/crisis/extinction.
Immediately after the coldest-day and concurrent power cuts, United Nations indoctrinated acolytes in New Zealand instantly and unknowingly delivered a slick cover up set-piece in turning UN bungling into brilliance.
The pandemic it was widely announced through channels available to the government, which is most of them, had delivered a signal advantage. It had reduced the nation’s “emissions.”
New Zealand’s emissions in UN climatic terms are said to be somewhere between 0.2 and 0.17 percent. A miniscule fraction in other words.
Here though is the centrepiece of United Nations slickness which is use of selective data. New Zealand, a sparsely populated country, is UN disciples declare a polluting threat on a per-head basis.
How did United Nations become the policy high altar for a country such as New Zealand? How did it become a shining city on a hill for so many in a position of power, causing them to suspend any critical judgment?
Why does it inspire such fear and trembling and general paralysis among those charged with holding bureaucracies to account and however gigantic they are?