Have You Realised Yet That We’re The Bad Guys Now?

In order for a person to be found guilty of a crime, the Police first have to be presented with enough evidence to justify an arrest, and then that person has to be tried in front of an impartial jury summoned to examine the evidence. In realpolitik however, as this essay will examine, such trivialities can be cast aside at the first sound of the war drums – provided you accept you’re the bad guys.

The leaders of the Anglo-French alliance just started a war without the approval of the representatives of their people. The US Congress, by law, has to give its approval before wars can be started. The precedent set by George W. Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, is that the American armed forces will do whatever the fuck they’re told to do. Donald Trump, in ordering airstrikes in co-operation with British and French forces, is simply following this precedent.

Supposedly the reason for the missile strikes was to respond to a chemical strike allegedly ordered by the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the civilian population of Douma. The difficulty comes from the fact that the leaders of the Anglo-French alliance did not wait for widely accepted proof of the chemical attack to be made public. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has yet to complete its fact-finding mission, meaning that there is no expert opinion yet on who was responsible.

Proof doesn’t matter for those leading the Anglo-French countries. Proof only matters to those who care about their reputation, and bad guys have no need to care about their reputation, long since lost. Worst of all, these countries have no credibility when it comes to claiming that the actions of a second party were heinous enough to justify military action – they’ve gone to war on utterly fictitious casus belli several times before.

New Zealand says it “accepts” what has happened, on the grounds that any attempt to go through the United Nations Security Council for approval would have been vetoed by Russia. This threat of veto is considered justification for ignoring the UN entirely. No questions are asked by the mainstream media. Neither do they mention where the New Zealand special forces are right now, or what they are doing there, or how long they have been there.

Nobody in any of the countries whose armed forces just committed an act of war without Congressional or Parliamentary approval (i.e. legal approval) will take any action to hold the politicians who gave the orders to account. We don’t care that our countries are run by war criminals. We didn’t lift a finger to make either Bush or Tony Blair pay for Iraq, and we won’t lift one here either.

It’s time to chew on a bitter realisation: we are now the bad guys. The Anglo-French alliance is not fighting for freedom or liberty or human rights or anything like it. We’re not fighting to reduce the amount of human suffering in the world. Such considerations are inconsequential. What matters is silver and iron – i.e. money and strategic positioning.

We’re fighting for power, or what of it we can hold onto as the West slides into irrelevance from our own greed, hubris and crapulence. We’re not fighting for any higher moral value. Proof for this contention comes from simply reviewing the evidence.

The American soldiers who just fired cruise missiles into Syria don’t get paid in one decade what one of those missiles costs. Some American cities – Detroit the most notable – already look worse than Damascus, without having to get bombed. This decay of physical infrastructure simply reflects the decay in psychological infrastructure that is the root cause of our civilisational failure.

We know this because we can observe how poorly we treat our psychologically vulnerable. We don’t invest anything into healing them, and the collective psychological damage incurred by this negligence has grown to monstrous proportions. America regularly denies housing or benefit coverage to the veterans of its military adventures, and the thought of them getting proper mental health care for their PTSD is a bitter joke. There’s only money for defence contractors.

New Zealand is no better, spending $400,000,000 of its own citizens’ money every year (over $100 per adult) to persecute them for using medicinal cannabis, while thousands of its children go to school too hungry to concentrate on studies. In a double cruelty, many of those children going to school hungry are the same children of the parents imprisoned for medicinal cannabis growing. How could we possibly be the good guys?

This pattern of gross indifference to the suffering within their own borders is characteristic of the fading powers of the West and the cowardice of its population. The political class uses our tax money to build missiles to fire into Syria, and they use our votes to give themselves permission, and we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re too scared, too lazy, too weak – we’re the bad guys now.

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Why Immigration Is a Weapon Of The Parasitic Rich

The parasitic class has many different strategies for destroying the mutual trust among the people – and opening the borders achieves several of them at once

Many were surprised, and many were not, by the news that the New Zealand Bus Drivers Union was opposing the request of Ritchies to import 110 indentured servants in the form of “migrant bus drivers”. Those who were surprised were those who thought that the union, being comprised ostensibly of leftists, ought to support bringing third-world people in to compete with the indigenous working class, because leftists are supposed to be all about solidarity for poor brown people.

Those who were not surprised were those who understand how reality works. The reality is that Ritchies put in such a low bid for the bus drivers’ contract that they couldn’t fill the positions with Kiwi staff, because the supply of people willing to work at wages that they can’t live off is almost nil. There is now an established precedent, however, for Kiwi employers who can’t find enough local suckers to subsidise their parasitic lifestyles: immigration.

Much like American employers with illegal Mexicans, Kiwi employers have cottoned on to the fact that maximising profitability is a function of minimising wages, and that minimising wages is a function of the leverage the employer has in the negotiation, and that this leverage is vastly increased if the worker is illegally in the country or wholly dependent on the whims of the employer for future work.

Not only does immigration give the local ruling class great power by populating the land with people dependent on them, but it also strengthens their economic position by destroying the leverage that local workers have in employment negotiations. This destruction of leverage is achieved by destroying the amount of trust that people have for each other, because solidarity is necessary to resist the depredations of the parasitic class and solidarity is primarily a matter of trust.

Game theory* tells us about the factors necessary for the evolution of trust.

The first is repeated interaction. People rarely trust others if they believe that they will never meet that other again, and for good reason: it makes sense from a game theory perspective to be more likely to exploit a person who you will never see again, for the reason that they will not be able to take revenge.

The greater the flow of people, the less repeated interaction there is. At one extreme end, there is very little solidarity in an airport terminal, for the reason that the vast majority of interactions here will not be repeated. At the other extreme, there is immense solidarity among members of a pioneer family deep in the Canadian wilderness, for the reason that virtually all interactions will be repeated.

The second important factor is the capacity for social interactions to be non-zero-sum games. In other words, trust only develops when social interactions result in clear mutual benefit. If either side feels like they lost out from the exchange, trust will dissipate.

Many people will make the claim here that immigration grows the overall size of the pie, for the reason that each new immigrant, even if they take up a job, creates at least one job’s worth of demand for other goods and services. This argument is often touted as a counter to the “Lump of Labour Fallacy” and, to that end, it has merit. But this argument ignores the impact of social status on a person’s well-being.

Social status is a zero-sum game in the sense that the higher one person is up the dominance hierarchy, the lower someone else must be. Low social status is extremely stressful – perhaps it wouldn’t have to be experienced as such in an ideal world, but we don’t live in one. In our world, a native person having to accept a lower social status than an immigrant is regularly experienced as a humiliation, for the reason that the native feels pushed out, as if by a cuckoo hatchling.

In a social environment where immigration means that the natives have to accept lower positions (such as an unemployment benefit in lieu of a living wage, as in the case of the indigenous bus drivers in the opening paragraph), there will naturally and understandably be resistance from those natives. This means that forcing it on those natives, against their will, will inevitably have the effect of causing those natives to hate the immigrants instead of trusting them.

The third important factor for the development of trust is to have low levels of miscommunication. As everyone who has spent any time on the Internet knows, clarity and precision are the cornerstones of communication, and when you have hordes of jabbering retards you end up having arguments and fights.

The greater the diversity, the greater the levels of miscommunication. This is because you have more languages and dialects to contend with, and any given person has an upper limit as to how many of these various forms of communication they can master. Exceeding this limit – which is guaranteed to happen if diversity keeps increasing – will cause miscommunication to happen.

Increasing the rates of immigration has the effect of bringing a diverse range of different forms of communication into everyday life, which increases the likelihood of someone misunderstanding someone else. So the greater the levels of immigration, the greater the levels of miscommunication and therefore the lower the levels of trust.

Who benefits from all this destruction of trust? The cheaters. The very same parasite class who entreats the Government to let them import indentured servants instead of paying a fair wage to local workers who are looking for employment. They benefit immensely from the destruction of trust, because an environment of distrust makes the people less able to organise to resist the hoarding of wealth, and this shifts the balance of power in favour of the wealthy.

The greatest trick the rich ever pulled on the poor was to convince them to open the net of solidarity so wide that no-one in it has anything in common with each other any more. The circle of trust has been cast so wide that it has fallen apart, and the traditional ways of re-forming bonds of trust have been destroyed or are severely discouraged.

This makes about as much sense as opening your pantry for the neighbourhood rats and mice to come and take their fill, on the grounds that rodents are disadvantaged compared to humans and therefore solidarity with other humans is a form of supremacism.

* For an outstandingly brilliant demonstration of the basic principles of game theory as it pertains to trust, see http://ncase.me/trust/

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Kieran Read Quits Rugby For Cricket, Citing Head Injury Concerns

Kieran Read speaks to the media outside his Papakura home this morning

New Zealand and the rugby world have been shocked this morning by the announcement that Kieran Read is retiring from rugby union effective immediately, and has set his sights on making the Black Caps squad “within the next 18-24 months”. Read, who has 108 caps for the All Blacks, told the nation this morning that several years of minor knocks to the head have made him decide that enough is enough, and he has been forced to make decisions with his long-term wellbeing in mind.

Read, who played for the Crusaders as well as the All Blacks, is convalescing from back surgery for a slipped disc. Spending this time with his family, including his two young children, gave him an appreciation for the long-term risks of brain damage from repeated blunt force trauma to the head.

“Rugby is a great game and always will be a great game, and I have had a great career,” Read explained to a media scrum outside his home this morning. “But I have also had a very long career, and a career in an age where rugby players are heavier and faster than ever before. I’ve taken a number of blows to the head in my dozen years as a professional rugby player, and the past few weeks have made me realise the importance of being there for my own kids, in the future, in good mental health.”

Reading from a prepared statement, Read mentioned the recent news coming out of the NFL about the long-term effects of repeated head trauma, and how this, along with increased attention being given to the issue by way of Head Injury Assessment protocols, changed his previously casual attitude. Recent research appears to be suggesting that up to 40% of former NFL players suffer from brain damage – and they have helmets. Rugby players don’t tackle with the head, but rugby is still a collision sport.

“Spending time playing with my kids, and feeling headaches like I do, forced me to ask whether it was necessary to risk further brain injury. I have given my all for the All Blacks and for the various teams I have been involved with, and on balance have decided that it’s time to put my family and my head first.”

Speaking exclusively to VJM Publishing’s Dan McGlashan, Read says that he’s put out the feelers to New Zealand Cricket but isn’t expecting miracles. “I’ve spoken to Hess [Black Caps coach Mike Hesson] and he’s made clear to me that there are no guarantees about selection. I’ll be judged on my merits, primarily as a batsman and initially for my Papakura club side, and we’ll take it from there. No guarantee about any ‘X-Factor’ weighing in my favour like Jeff Wilson got.”

Read was a useful cricketer in his high school days, going as far as representing New Zealand in Under-17 cricket, but felt forced to make the decision to focus solely on rugby as a demanding professional career loomed. In an age of cricket where the importance of defence is minimised in favour of massive hits, the 6’4″, 111kg Read stands in the same category as Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen as a man who can swing the willow extremely hard.

It’s not yet known who will replace Read as All Blacks captain, but the front runners are believed to be Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock, who has taken more of a leadership role in recent years, and openside Sam Cane, who captained the All Blacks during their 2015 Rugby World Cup match against Namibia.

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Dan McGlashan is a regular contributor to VJM Publishing and is the author of Understanding New Zealand.

Should There Be A Ministry of Men’s Affairs?

Life is so much harder for men in New Zealand that they kill themselves at almost three times the rate of women

Many people were shocked, and many were not, by Julie Anne Genter’s comments this week about old white men. Speaking to Cobham Intermediate School pupils, Genter made the point that some of these old white men “need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent.” These statements were made in her capacity as Minister for Women, but if you look at the statistics, it seems like there’s more need for a Minister for Men.

The reason for a Ministry of Women’s Affairs was ostensibly to close the gaps between the well-being of women and men. Since the advent of Abrahamic religion in the West, women have been forced into a subservient role, being forced to take the blame for the fall of man as well as for invoking the horror of Nature. Biblical passages such as Timothy 2:12 instructed Christendom that “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet.”

Ever since these male supremacist religious cults invaded the West, our women have been forced to endure structural abuse. Divorce was banned, forcing women to endure permanent relationships with violent men. Prostitution was banned, denying women natural opportunity for economic advancement. Abortion was banned, forcing women to carry unwanted children to term or else risk a back-alley abortion from a “doctor” with no licence.

By any objective measurement, women had the worst of it for a very long time, and, when we realised this, we tried to make up for it with things like feminism and Ministries for Women’s Affairs. What we’ve been slow to realise is that, now that advantage is mostly a matter of obedience to the political, educational and commerical authorities, women have it better than men in many regards.

Most obviously, women have a much easier time of things in academic settings. Page 38 of the document linked in this paragraph demonstrates that women get better grades in literacy, and page 42 shows that they also get better grades in numeracy. This disparity is even worse for men at university level, which New Zealand women are 40% more likely to participate in.

When men had higher university participation rates than women, the media couldn’t keep quiet about how sexist and evil this state of affairs was. Indeed, this was one of the stated reasons for bringing in a Ministry of Women’s Affairs in the first place. An inequality of outcome in terms of education and gender was simply impermissible, immoral, outrageous.

In 2015, 527 New Zealanders killed themselves, of who 384 were men (72.8%). That means for every Kiwi woman who feels so rejected by society that she is compelled to take her own life, there are almost three Kiwi men who feel the same way. This is greater than the gap between Maori and non-Maori suicide rates, which is itself considered a large enough gap to be a national tragedy that demands immediate action (indeed, there is a Ministry of Maori Development).

So if society is so bad for Maori people that they need their own Ministry, as evidenced by suicide rates, and if society was so bad for women that they needed their own Ministry, as evidenced by tertiary participation rates, then surely there is sufficient cause to say that New Zealand men need someone looking out for them as well?

It’s absurd to claim that women are disadvantaged compared to men because men earn 20% more, when at the same time men are killing themselves at almost 300% the rate of women. It’s doubly absurd when it’s considered that women are benefitting immensely from the way that the pension system is set up, at the expense of predominantly male workers.

If the experience of being a man in New Zealand is so much less pleasant than the experience of being a woman that it carries triple the risk of suicide, it’s time to take steps to redress the balance by instituting a Ministry of Men’s Affairs to make up for all the privilege that women hold.

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Henry Nicholls is Legitimately Good – Time to Accept It

Hammerin’ Hank Nicholls is inviting comparisons to Andrew Jones with his bulldog tenacity, scoring solid runs despite an ungainly style

Fewer Black Caps players in recent times have come in for more stick than Henry Nicholls. Frequently derided as a passenger, many commentators have been calling for Hesson to get rid of him for good. This article will argue that not only is Nicholls a legitimately good batsman already, but we ought to accept that he’ll be in the Black Caps for a very long time.

Black Caps supporters have been spoiled rotten in recent years. We have Kane Williamson averaging 51, Ross Taylor averaging 47, and a bunch of players like Tom Latham, Jeet Raval and BJ Watling averaging around 40. It’s probably our best ever batting lineup, even surpassing the Wright-Jones-Crowe one of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It’s so good that we’ve failed to appreciate the quality record that’s slowly being established by our incumbent No. 5, Canterbury’s Henry Nicholls. After 17 Tests, Nicholls has 837 runs at 38.04 – not spectacular on the face of things, but if we look deeper there are some very encouraging trends in those numbers, not least an average of 49.25 over his last ten Tests.

The vast majority of quality international batsmen don’t hit the ground running, as it takes a while to adapt to the top level of the game. Let’s contrast Nicholls’s returns after 17 Tests to the great Kiwi batsmen: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Crowe et al. After 17 Tests, Williamson averaged a mere 29.80; Crowe 24.88. Taylor did not get thrown in the deep end as young as Williamson and Crowe, but after 17 Tests he was barely ahead of Nicholls, at 39.46.

Tom Latham’s average after 17 Tests was also 39. All this tells us that, even by way of comparison to New Zealand’s best, Nicholls stacks up pretty good. Some might criticise his style, but he’s scoring the runs. Leaving aside the overall numbers, Nicholls has succeeded in playing a number of excellent innings in tough conditions.

His first excellent innings may have been the 116 he scored in the Second Test of South Africa’s 2017 tour to New Zealand. Nicholls came in at 21/3 after the dismissal of Neil Broom and scored a counter-attacking 116. The Black Caps still lost, but Nicholls’s maiden Test century came against incredibly skilled bowling that had already done early damage.

Less heralded is Nicholls’s 76 in this Test against South Africa in South Africa. The Black Caps lost heavily – the reason why Nicholls’s effort is not feted – but it would have been a humiliating loss were it not for the 76 he scored in the Black Caps’ second innings, coming in at 7/4 after Williamson had edged a cut to slip. 76 runs might not be many, but coming in on a tricky wicket against superb bowling when his team’s top order had been obliterated, it was an innings of exquisite skill.

The crowning work was of course this week’s 145* against James Anderson and Stuart Broad, on a pitch where England had been dismissed for 58 and no other batsman had passed 33 aside from Kane Williamson. Anderson came into the match as the world’s No. 1 Test bowler and with conditions expected to suit him, but neither he nor Stuart Broad succeeded in dismissing the Black Caps No. 5.

If one considers these innings in tough conditions alongside Nicholls’s generally excellent shot selection, it seems like he has all the tools, including the most important one – the right mind for the game. His numbers might not be outstanding, and no-one’s claiming that he’s going to be another Williamson, but if he keeps improving at this rate he could fashion an excellent career.

It’s time for Black Caps fans to accept that Henry Nicholls belongs alongside Williamson, Taylor, Latham and BJ Watling as an established batsman in this Black Caps Test side.

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Could New Zealand Ever Imagine Banning Rugby?

When even men built like this don’t want their kids playing rugby because it’s too violent, you know the sport has a problem

For decades, Kiwis have got used to the idea that wintertime means rugby. Well, we better start getting used to the idea of wintertime meaning soccer, because soon we’re going to have a lot more awareness about the effects of repetitive head injury than we do now, and when we do, there are going to be a lot of shrieking violets trying to get the game they play in heaven banned.

Rugby is popular in New Zealand for two major reasons. The first is that it’s fun as all hell both to play and to watch, the second is that rugby has been an important part of the masonry that cemented white people and Maoris together into a functioning modern culture. For over a century, rugby fields have been the places where Kiwis learned to set aside their racial and class differences and unite of their own free will towards a common goal.

There has always been an undercurrent of concerned mothers, however, who didn’t let their kids play rugby out of fear of head or brain injury. It’s an entirely legitimate concern – rugby is a collision sport, after all, and it’s evident from watching ten minutes of an All Blacks match that not even the best tackling technique in the world is a guarantee that one can avoid head injury entirely.

Perhaps most worryingly of all, even the best of the best rugby players in New Zealand are aware of the risks they are taking. Kieran Read has said that he intends to encourage his children into cricket on the grounds that rugby is too dangerous, and Richie McCaw said, post-retirement, that “I don’t miss getting smashed.”

The question is this: what risk of permanent brain injury is considered too much, given the positive physical and social benefits that come from the game? Because if that limit is exceeded, it may be that the responsible thing to do, from the Government’s perspective, is to ban it. After all, New Zealand schools banned Bull Rush with very little sentiment because of head injury concerns, so why couldn’t they do the same for rugby?

Recent studies on NFL players suggest that the incidence rate of brain damage in adult professional collision sports is many times higher than was previously suspected. It seems that, as brain scanning technology continues to improve, we are gathering a more refined appreciation of how vulnerable the brain really is to repeated blunt force trauma.

Rugby is different to American football, of course, because in rugby the tackle is made with the shoulder, whereas in American football tackles are often made with the head in a manner akin to a charging rhinoceros. But that’s merely a difference in degree, not in category. Rugby is still a sport based around putting the ball carrier on the ground through physical force, and this means the risk of head injury can only be minimised, never eliminated.

Already we’ve been able to observe a change in the culture of the sport in recent years. Avoiding head injuries is sometimes prioritised to an absurd degree, highlighted by the incident in the recent Lions tour when a Lions player leapt into the air to catch a loopy pass from halfback Conor Murray, was tackled before he hit the ground, and then was awarded a crucial penalty for having been taken out in the air.

This looks set to get even more extreme. It won’t be long until a professional match has to be stopped part way through because (for example) two tighthead props on one team have both failed head injury assessments.

This column has previously pointed out that the Government never gives rights back to the peasantry; they always take one new right away for every one they give back. Recent discussions about whether to change the cycle helmet laws have been centred around the idea that forcing people to wear a helmet discourages them from cycling. One can be certain that if we get our rights to cycle without a helmet back, pressure will begin to build to have them taken away somewhere else.

We would never argue for the game of rugby union to be banned, at any level. We don’t even support the softening of the game with the repeated TMO checks for suspected head-high tackles. But there are some wowsers and control freaks out there, and we can confidently state that they would happily ban rugby if they thought of the children long enough. It pays to stay one step ahead of them.

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How Do We Know They’re Not Lying Again?

They lied last time, and they’re not sorry about it – so how do we know it’s different this time?

In 2003, Britain teamed up with America to attack Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on false pretenses, an action that would eventually lead to over 1,000,000 preventable deaths – a war crime by any standard. 15 years later, Britain is again beating the war drums over a supposed Russian assassination of a former Russian intelligence agent on British soil. The question the rest of us have to ask is obvious: how do we know they’re not lying again?

The British Prime Minister in 2003, Tony Blair, solemnly presented to the world a “dossier of death” that supposedly detailed Hussein’s arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, ready to attack Britain within 45 minutes of the Iraqi strongman giving the orders. Even worse, the dossier claimed, Hussein had procured significant amounts of uranium from African sources, enough to build 200 nuclear bombs.

We were told all this, and then told that the international community “had no choice but to act”. It was a casus belli of such strength that it was apparent there would be no talking the Anglo-Americans out of their impending action. Iraq was, in Blair’s words, “a current and serious threat to the UK national interest”.

The trouble is, all of those claims were lies.

Hussein’s Government disintegrated at the first sight of the iron wave coming their way, and the victorious Anglo-American forces scoured every square metre of the country for the chemical and biological weapons that would have been triumphantly paraded before the world’s media. Had they been found. There were no chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

Usually when someone lies to you, and you find out about it, you don’t trust them again until you are satisfied that they have learned the value in honesty. But no contrition has been shown, ever, by any of the leaders who worked to bring about the slaughter in Iraq. Neither George W Bush nor Tony Blair have ever shown genuine regret for the invasion, or even the barest awareness that the invasion was the wrong thing to do.

Both George W Bush and Tony Blair are free men, not wanted by any Western war crimes tribunal. No Western leader openly calls for their arrest or imprisonment, despite that they murdered as many people as Pol Pot. No-one in British politics appears to be willing to commit Blair to trial for war crimes, the minimum acknowledgement necessary that the lost Iraqi lives had some value.

So why should we trust the claims of the British Government this week that the Russian state killed someone on British soil? Nothing appears to have changed since the last time they lied.

Most worryingly for New Zealand, our current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern volunteered to work for the unapologetic war criminal for two and a half years, and after the scale of the destruction wrought in Iraq was widely known, and even after the fact that the invasion was launched on false pretenses was known. This suggests that not even our Prime Minister has the moral fibre to understand that killing a million people with lies is a bad thing and that people who do it should not be supported.

The prospect for world peace is looking grimmer, but, as this newspaper has previously written about, there’s no need to worry until the television starts telling us that Russians are mistreating babies somewhere. Then it’s time to hit the bunkers.

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Tim Southee, Mike Hesson and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Matt Henry has a better ODI strike rate with the ball than even Shane Bond, but can’t make the current Black Caps ODI side over players with much worse numbers

A sunk cost is an economic concept that refers to an expense that has been already paid for, so that this expense is irrecoverable. It sounds unremarkable, but sunk costs do funny things to the human brain. The Sunk Cost Fallacy, and a little game theory, may help explain why Mike Hesson refuses to make the hard call and drop Tim Southee for Matt Henry in the Black Caps ODI playing XI.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is an example of a reasoning error that is commonly made when sunk costs are involved. It refers to when people do something irrational because they have sunk costs (in the form of money, time or energy) into a line of reasoning already.

The common example given is the Concorde project, during which the French and British governments realised that the project would never make economic sense, but which they continued with anyway on the grounds that they didn’t want to waste their sunk cost.

This is a well-known phenomenon in economics because it often leads to horrific waste, particularly when people throw good money after bad in the hope that their initial investment will be recouped (it’s also a well-known phenomenon in poker when players go broke). As far as Mike Hesson is concerned, the same psychological process may be occurring with his obstinate refusal to elevate Matt Henry to the opening bowler’s position alongside Trent Boult.

Southee is only 29 years old, but he has been playing for ages. He debuted as a teenager, and looked incredibly promising with a five-wicket haul and a run-a-ball 77 in a Test against England. Since then, New Zealand Cricket have invested substantial resources in him, giving him every opportunity to take the new ball against all comers. No less an authority than Allen Donald touted Southee as potentially a great swing bowler, but it’s hard to deny the raw numbers.

The numbers argue confidently that Southee is not as good as Henry (in ODIs at least), and probably never has been.

Since the loss to Australia in the final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Southee has averaged 42.77 with the ball. He has taken 45 wickets in this time frame at an economy rate of 5.72. Henry has taken 44 wickets at an economy rate of 5.81, which is similar, but has an average of 28.13 thanks to a strike rate of 29.

This is, amazingly, a better strike rate than Shane Bond managed over his career (29.2), and means that Henry has been 50% more likely to take a wicket on any given ball than Southee during this time.

Southee is striking at 44.8 since the last Cricket World Cup, and has not taken four wickets in an innings since then, despite playing in 38 games. Henry has only played in 25 matches since the final loss but has already managed three four-wicket bags and one five-wicket bag in that time – only one of each fewer than Southee has managed in a 132-match career.

In fact, Southee has not managed to get four wickets in an innings one time in the last three years, whereas Henry took four wickets in his last match.

Mike Hesson might be thinking here in terms of potential, in that, theoretically, Southee has the potential to be another Jimmy Anderson. Like Southee, Anderson is also tall, bowls with an open stance and relies on swinging the ball to nick batsmen out. Also like Southee, the Englishman didn’t achieve anything particularly special in his first 132 ODIs, returning an average of 30.18 for his 179 wickets.

But in 43 matches since the start of 2012, Anderson has taken 65 wickets at an average of 23.97. Hesson might be expecting a similar transformation to come over Southee, but it’s also very possible that he has invested so much time and energy in Southee that he sees this investment as a sunk cost that he is compelled to recoup.

A solution that would save everyone’s face would be to demote Southee to third seamer. This would be the best of all worlds for everyone except for Lockie Ferguson, who would then struggle for a starting berth.

The positives are that it would allow Boult and Henry, with the best strike rates, to bowl with the new ball when they are the most effective, and it would allow Southee to utilise his skill set of varied deliveries at the death while minimising his weaknesses of being slow and inaccurate. Southee also has 33 wickets as third seamer, averaging an entirely acceptable 28.18 (compared to over 35 while opening). It seems like a solution whose time has come.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).