Editorial: We've been cheated

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 03/07/2014

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OPINION: Don't Rolf Harris and Lou Vincent look like different people now.

Rolf Harris: National icon once. Depraved manipulator now. And a serial one at that.

Lou Vincent: Classy with a cricket bat, fantastic fielder. Confirmed sports cheat.

How much, though, should their falls from grace affect us personally?

It is their reputations they have ruined. They will pay the price, not us.

Well, not quite. They have cheated us too. Vincent in particular, as we have supported the Black Caps, either in person or from afar. Who would have thought one of our own was playing against us? Was playing for his own pocket? Our support then was misplaced, undermined.

And now as New Zealanders he has soiled all our reputations. Walk into an Aussie bar for confirmation. And now we cast about looking at other players, so we have also been cheated out of our trust in the game.

Australians will have similar feelings about Harris. They proudly applauded him on the world stage, only now to have been embarrassed by him. So, some collective shame, and anger too.

And now the spotlight falls on all of us. We cannot do anything about these two individuals - systems are in place to do that - but our united condemnation of them sends some message to others in similar situations.

We are angry. We have no sympathy. They have cheated us all.

Another thing: The Timaru District Council faces a catch-22 situation with its eternal light atop the clock tower. After being replaced on Monday, it has gone out again.

The trouble now is that it is a rather expensive lightbulb to replace, as the pole it is on can no longer be lowered. It takes someone in a crane to get up to it and cranes do not come cheap. But the light itself is also significant, shining in remembrance to those who lost their lives in war.

It is not right that it does not shine.

It is important then to find out why it has gone out, and put in a bulb that is going to last for, well, not for eternity, but considerably longer than one day.

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- The Timaru Herald

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