Having seen the AFA Forums people express some worry about discussion of third parties, and believing that there may be too much insistence on lowering the ol’ Cone Of Silence, I suppose I had better speak out a bit on my own behalf, and nobody else’s.
The Cone Of Silence is not totally a Good Thing. It can be strategically applied to shut off the airflow and make the metaphorical candles dimmer. The common interest might be better served if there was more light shed on the subject, and maybe some room for the equally-metaphorical breath of fresh air.
A whole heap of questions “went away” recently on AFA Forums. Threads were split, shunted, merged… tired with trying to keep up yet? I won’t attribute any motive or point fingers, but it’s probably not my idea of what constitutes “healthy discourse”.
So, here’s my statement of release to you. Interested in AFA Forums and the AFA itself? Sure, discuss me as you see fit, and tell the unpleasant truths if you must. I have seen enough crusty, old lies resurrected: let’s have no more of that.
That Paul of Tarsus guy was right, in a stopped-clock sort of way, when he talked about being “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses”. People are going to watch discussions, and bullshit will be called out. Try to stay truthful, because evidence might be forthcoming when things get mighty untruthy.
Sending a lawyer, or making a rude, shouty phone call? You will be recorded. Sure, I might fold if sufficient lawyer-power is brought to bear, and so might some others, but the genie is out of the bottle.
People know stuff. There are other areas where things can and will be discussed, and not all of them can be conveniently managed.
Like any body undergoing change, the bad stuff needs to be acknowledged, so the mistakes are not repeated. Don’t focus on who was the worst villain, but how to avoid becoming villains yourselves. It might even be nice if there were more smiles and everybody felt loved.
There’s a current Royal Commission or two and some faith-based organisations which could provide a few object lessons in what not to do. Sometimes the brand isn’t as important as the core objectives. Oh, and something a wise General said about the standard you walk past.
A past exists, and that needs acknowledging. I’m not proud of some of my actions, and would not write myself a reference for any committee or exec jobs that are going.
Screw that old movie line about “you couldn’t handle the truth”: you must learn to handle it, or you may remain forever in the territory of uncertainty, ambiguity and flim-flam, where people are easier to exploit.
However the AFA came to be, and however its business has been conducted in the past, give it a chance to be something significant, truly representative, and openly ethical.
Do that, and remember to thank all your past players, and I’ll think well of you, however we started out.
Meanwhile, talk among yourselves. Ask me questions if you want. I can only answer for people who have permitted me to do so, but I am capable of speaking, and writing, for myself.
If my AFA forums farewell post can be found, I clearly stated I was disabling my access. Don’t bother rushing to fix that: I’d prefer to talk where the bloke with the paint-roller doesn’t patrol.
That’s all I have to say unless in direct response to anybody.