I am very much hoping that there is not a back flip on the withdrawal of the $15m donation to the netball association.
While I am genuinely concerned about all those young girls who like to play netball and whose teams depend, however little, on the funding there is something bigger at stake here. We need to stop this ridiculous business of being told how we must think and what we are permitted to say.
The person who offered the donation had a father who was not in the least "politically correct". He said what he thought and he also said things which were designed to stir up controversy. Social media did not exist in Mr H...'s day. He could get away with a great deal more then than he would now but he still knew how to use the media to get free publicity.
His daughter is different. Yes, she might be an extraordinarily wealthy woman but her values are not her father's values. She is employing many of the people for whom her father had no time. What is more she is much less interested in flaunting her wealth and using it for political influence than are some of her fellow billionaires. (Yes, she is not above using it but there are others who are far more interested in doing just that.)
That is not to say I like the lady. I don't know her. I have never met her. I am not likely to meet her. I have no interest in doing so.
But she would not be where she is today if she wasn't a pretty hard headed business woman. She knows the power of sport. Withdrawing the funding is not a decision which would have been taken lightly. It is for that reason I hope she does not do a back flip and reinstate it.
If it does nothing else then it just might be that, if the decision stays in place, it will be a wake up call to the rest of sport. They need to know there is a price to pay for sponsorship. You can't take the money and then tell the person who gives it to you how to behave.
At the present time our local councils are trying to get the state government to change the rules about who pays council rates. They want universities, schools, hospitals and churches to pay more than they already do. (Officially they are not supposed to pay any but of course there are other ways of ensuring they do pay something.) If changes were brought in then universities, already struggling, would cut more courses. Schools would cease running certain activities and cut back on others. Hospitals would increase the cost to patients and churches would close - and along with their closure would come the closure of the biggest social welfare organisations. More money would need to be spent providing the services that many now volunteer to do through groups associated with such services. It could not be done as cheaply.
I would rather see the Sikh community providing free meals in the present flooded areas than a local council charging for the same.