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Thread: The Mocker leaks the RA's board minutes

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    The Mocker leaks the RA's board minutes

    Some rugby codes do ’ave ’em
    ‘That’s the best I can do for you today, sir’. When reflecting on Raelene Castle’s leadership, I can’t help but be reminded of Frank Spencer in a brilliant 1970s British sitcom.

    By THE MOCKER


    From CommentaryAn hour ago

    Just pause there for a moment and reflect on what images come to mind. I am thinking of a scene from that 1970s British sitcom “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em” in which Frank Spencer tries his perpetually useless hand as a boiler repairman. His first and only job in that trade ends with his emerging from a house blackened and dishevelled after a massive explosion, while the speechless occupants watch in disbelief. “That’s the best I can do for you today, sir,” he says apologetically as he departs.


    It is a fitting comparison to sum up how RA has handled the Israel Folau affair. Having finally settled unfair dismissal action after terminating its star player’s contract for posting on Instagram that homosexuals, fornicators, idolaters, drunks, thieves, atheists and liars would go to hell, RA must now feel like it has done time there. The sum it paid to Folau remains confidential, although The Daily Telegraph has reported it was around $8 million — a figure Castle claims is “wildly inaccurate”. Whether or not it is, there is no doubt which one of the parties was grinning after the settlement. It certainly was not Castle.

    Disappointingly there will be no judicial determination regarding RA’s claim that it acted lawfully and Folau’s submission that his termination was due to his religious beliefs and thus unlawful. For better or for worse, we can no longer look forward to the spectacle of a full hearing next February.

    On that note, a barrister acquaintance once mentioned the subject of “lobster witnesses”. This was his term for a witness who performed spectacularly badly under cross-examination. “Their face goes bright red and they wave their claws furiously,” he explained. If you are a lawyer in proceedings and you think your client will behave so, then you do everything possible to stop that matter from going to trial, even if it means a painful settlement. Oh to have been a fly on the wall when RA’s lawyers gave Castle and Co frank advice about the reality of their situation.

    Another characteristic of lobster witnesses is their verbosity. Conversely, a credible witness knows not to ramble, and a smart client knows to heed the advice of counsel. When RA released a media statement in June to the effect it would “not engage in a running media commentary” while the Folau proceedings were current, it was no doubt acting in accordance with legal advice.

    Castle, to the detriment of RA, gave this undertaking lip service. In the wake of the Wallabies’ humiliating exit in the World Cup quarterfinals, she said Folau’s sacking was “a positive thing from a culture perspective”. When asked in June by journalists what she thought of Folau’s request for crowd-funding his case, she stated “It is not a strategy we thought was appropriate”. Not a smart choice of words given Folau’s legal strategy was essentially to portray RA as an overbearing mother.

    Last month she denied rugby was in “crisis”, saying she intended staying as CEO for the next four years. Last week The Australian reported former RA boss John O’Neill had been sounded out to take over as the code’s chairman, but that he had flagged picking his own CEO and board. Just imagine RA’s next weekly meeting.

    Raelene Castle: Good morning to all. As painful as this subject is, I must begin with Israel.

    Hayden Rorke: Otherwise known as Lee Majors.

    Castle: Why’s that, because he runs so fast?

    Rorke: Nah. Because he’s the six-million-dollar man!

    Castle: Aren’t you hilarious. I want to emphasise our conduct in this process has been faultless and that we paid Israel out only because of feedback from the community that they wanted this matter settled. I also want it on record that on ABC Radio National last week a respected author and commentator said about Folau’s case: “If it had gone to the High Court it would have been a slam dunk for Rugby Australia”.

    Tim Gavin: Who said that?

    Castle: A very respected commentator.

    Gavin: Which one?

    Castle: Peter.

    Gavin: Peter Wilkins?

    Castle: No.

    Gavin: Peter Meares?

    Castle: No.

    Gavin: Peter who?

    Castle: Peter FitzSimons.

    Lawyer: If ever there was vindication for us settling, that prediction was it.

    Gavin: You know he also wrote of the settlement: “I have no inside knowledge of the terms, not even a hint, but my bet is it will be about $200,000 to $300,000”?

    Castle: Details, details. Next item on the agenda is a request for funding an in-house training course titled “Silence — The Fundamental Urgency: What to Say When Asked to Comment on a Matter Before Court”.

    Lawyer: That’s mine.

    Castle: What’s involved?

    Lawyer: Basically, teaching witnesses in a civil suit not to comment publicly whilst the case …

    Castle: Why can’t they comment publicly?

    Lawyer: ... is before court. Because trying to defend yourself outside court is never wise, even if….

    Castle: Except if you’re the CEO.

    Lawyer: Especially if you’re the CEO.

    Castle: Yes, but only if the CEO is verbose, defensive, and has a tendency to say the first thing that came into her head. Sounds like unnecessary expenditure. As for ‘Silence — The Fundamental Urgency’, it’s a bit of a longwinded name for a course don’t you reckon?

    Lawyer: We’d be using an abbreviation.

    Castle: I’ll have a look at it, but I do want to stress that money’s a bit tight right now and we can’t be splurging on luxuries. We must save that for essentials.

    Phil Waugh: You mean for players, coaching staff, equipment and the like?

    Castle: Yes, essentials like that four-day tour I did in New York in September to brief the United Nations on what we are doing about expanding gender equity and LGBTI programs to other countries. That sort of thing. Next item. Now as you know I’ve directed that all meetings from now on will have a fans’ representative to give their perspective. Welcome, Joe.

    Joe: Thank you.

    Castle: As I said the other day, spectators are of immeasurable importance to the game, second only to sponsors. I understand you’d like to talk about updating our values.

    Joe: Yes, I’ll just read them out: discipline, integrity, respect, passion and teamwork. Have you ever thought of adding “winning” to that list?

    Castle: Excellent point. Can we have that as an action item please: form working group on the question of winning over the remaining 64 genders to rugby.

    Joe: I was talking about the scoreboard.

    Castle: Further action item: all scoreboards to be rainbow coloured. I want that actioned before the next AGM. Thanks for coming in, Joe. Who’s your team by the way?

    Joe: Yeah, it’s the Western Force.

    Cameron Clyne: Is that the time already?

    Joe: Unfortunately Rugby Australia wasn’t as inclusive as it made out.

    Clyne: Allow me to show you out, Joe.

    Castle: Just to clarify what I said about having a spectators’ representative at all meetings, that was more aspirational rather than obligatory — actually let’s just forget it altogether. Next is the standing item on the agenda, the compiling of the Rugby Australia bible. HR, how are going with rewording Corinthians 6:9?

    HR: Revised wording as follows: “Do not be deceived: Neither the Instagram nor Twitter dissenters nor those who fornicate with our lucrative sponsorship deals, nor those who put God before their employer, nor those who disagree with any policy issued in the name of ‘Inclusiveness’ shall inherit the kingdom of God unless they repent.”

    Castle: Lose the “unless they repent” clause. No more second chances.

    HR: Got it.

    Castle: While you’re there, make sure you highlight Ephesians 6:5: ‘Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.’ That one can stay as is. Moving on now, I understand David asked to attend this meeting to give an update on what’s happening from the players’ perspective.

    David Pocock: Thank you, Raelene. I will be brief. I just wanted to announce that Emma and I have decided not to have children as we are devoting our lives to saving the planet.

    Castle: Thank you, David. Anything else?

    Pocock: That’s it.

    Castle: Final agenda item, the AGM in March. Can I just say I intend staying as CEO for the next four years and that rumours to the contrary are …

    PA: Sorry to interrupt, but there’s a Mr John O’Neill in reception who wants to speak to you urgently. Something about a positive thing from a culture perspective?

    5 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Love it.

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    Particularly the bits about FitzSimons and Pocock.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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