What a great day to be an Aussie with Cadel Evans set to win Le Tour de France. It's been an epic battle and I am completely spent from the late nights of the last week - of course my fatigue is nothing compared to how wrung out every rider must feel.
At least Cadel Evans has the Yellow Jersey and another trophy to add to his collection of world best wins on road, track and mountain biking.
He deserves every accolade as he fought back time and time again often dragging the peleton and chase single handedly up incredible mountain stages in pursuit of the daring attacks mounted by his rivals.
Cadel has often suffered some bad luck and hasn't had the full support of his team until he joined BMC.
This year was his year through thorough preparation, great team support to help him and the mental and physical depth to fight and fight against every challenge thrown at him.
He is an incredible athlete and a product of the Australian Institute of Sport - that's Aussie's taxes doing their job.
- The first Australian to win the tour
- The first from the Southern Hemisphere
- Only the 4th in 50 years to win from behind
That time trial was the ride of his life and he completely smashed his opponents.
Hats off to the Schlecks and all the Tour riders - they're all incredible athletes and just continue to race incredibly hard day after day after day. I can't think of a more challenging sporting event. But this year was Cadel's year and all of Australia should applaud his success - just incredible.
Here's a great comment from this article
One of the things I love about bike racing at this elite level is that Australia gets to celebrate Cadel's victory. The Americans get to celebrate the great work of Hincapie, Bookwalter and the staff of the American registered team BMC. The Swiss, get to celebrate that a Swiss bike company, Morabito, Schär share in this Tour victory, as well as the Germans because of Burghardt, the Italians because of Quinziato and Santaromita, and the French for Moinard. A Tour victory can become a celebration around the world.
While we're united as a nation on Cadel's win we're all over the place when it comes to where we're going as a nation.
I am sick of the negativity and the political point scoring. Politics is the art of compromise and I don't think there's enough recognition of the successful negotiations our PM has achieved in getting a carbon tax which has the support of the majority of parliament. Is it perfect? No. It is a belated recognition that we do need to take the initiative to curb the human impact on our planet. Personally I am getting no compensation and have no problem with that - it's a small price to pay now to avoid a massive cost later.
I am also suspending my usual grumbles about Government advertising. It's a crazy situation that Government has to spend up to fight for the interests of people over the mis-information campaigns run by some business interests. We saw what happening with the mining super-profits tax - mining billionaires spent $20+M in TV ads to attack the government and thus the interests of the people. Result -
The PM of the day was rolled and tax was watered down saving these mining billionaires hundreds of millions in tax each year - great ROI on their advertising spend but a significant loss of tax collections and thus money for the people. We have an aging population and growing costs if government services - unless their is a rise in government revenue something has to give.
I have concerns about how tax collections are spent - we should be creating a sovereign wealth fund to build Australian prosperity over the long term, to sustain our commonwealth when our finite mineral wealth is exhausted. But that requires leadership and long-term thinking - only Malcolm Turnbull seems to be articulating views beyond the short-term.
What a sorry state of affairs that it appears that Mr Negative - Tony Abbott - is winning in the polls. Let's hope the Government has the guts to say "bugger the polls" let's do the right thing for the future.
As for my fellow Australians ... Is it too much to ask that we stop rewarding scare campaigns and seeking a short-term kick back (in the form of middle class welfare) and be prepared to let our Government govern. The next election is 2+ years away - the time for judgement is then.
A good starting point is to skip the reactionary tabloid journalism - News Limited is on the nose already - and look for some considered rational discussions. I favour the independent journalism of Alan Kohler's Eureka Report or the ABC.
The ABC could also take a stance by not reporting on polls or querying the PM on her reaction to the latest polls. We know she won't respond to questions on them.
We should not allow the serious business of government to be dumbed down by incessant polls.
The latest from Alan Kohler's Eureka Report sums up Australia's current domestic tussle ... As Alan says "Tony Abbott has severed all connection with the truth." it's a sorry state of affairs.
> Australian misery
> In Australia the politicians have got their pistols out and are firing round after round into the nation's feet. We have a terms of trade boom and the potential for a great period of prosperity but the gang in Canberra are trying hard to stuff things up.
> Whether you agree with the pricing of carbon dioxide emissions or not, it has emerged years of intensive work by various task forces, study groups and think tanks and used to be a bipartisan policy. As Malcolm Turnbull pointed out the other night (see link to his speech below) the vast majority of scientists and economists agree with it and so does he and most other politicians.
> Yet the bumbling idiots in the ALP went into the last election without a climate change policy of any sort let alone emissions trading. They then had to enter a formal alliance with the Greens to stay in power and quickly did a full pirouette on the subject, as a result of which we are now going to have a $23 a tonne carbon tax and a massive wealth transfer from exporters to households.
> By aligning with the Greens, the Labor Party has severed all connections with business. Relations between them are now rapidly breaking down completely. I attended a forum in Melbourne yesterday with Lindsay Maxsted, Ziggy Switkowski, David Knox and Leigh Clifford and they took it in turns to sink the boot in. At one stage Ziggy plaintively cried: "Why is the nation's economic strategy being defined by the Greens? How did this happen?"
> Meanwhile, Tony Abbott has severed all connection with the truth. As Annabel Crabb amusingly wrote in the ABC website The Drum yesterday (click here): "In one sense, he's living the dream. A political campaign that is 100% rhetoric is – to any politician – as a milkshake that is 100% Milo would be to any child … Once you've severed the guy ropes of obeisance to empirical evidence, many happy hours of ballooning lie ahead."
> He deplores Australia's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 5% by 2020 as "crazy" while simultaneously maintaining that as Coalition policy. This he week he claimed to have never supported emissions trading, even though the evidence is clear that he did. Then he claimed that the Coalition would reach its target of 5% reduction in emissions without closing any brown coal power stations in Victoria, which is in direct contradiction with the Coalition's stated policy of closing at least one generator and paying it to move to gas.
> With Julia Gillard going down the popularity plughole lashed to Greens, and the Coalition going off on increasingly wild flights of spin and lies, God help us all.