Stephen Franks on rugby, rooting and rules


Stephen Franks is spot on with his analysis of the Aaron Smith airport rooting saga.

Have I lost touch with my country? Where am I?

When did it become an obligation on an employer to discipline an employee for what could be a fleeting airport toilet shag with a woman not his ‘partner’, thousands of miles from the ‘workplace’ with no evidence (so far) that it could affect workplace performance.

I’m especially baffled when the nation’s most economically illiterate lawyers (employment specialists) have created rules that block and reverse the most simple and efficient measures by employers to uphold honesty and other ethical standards, and even basic courtesy.  These idiots will expensively second guess the natural disciplinary steps  that have for generations made workplaces civilised (and civilising) places for association among non-kin of disparate cultures and backgrounds.

Yet today our media have been reporting the the Rugby Union’s latest venture into controlling off field conduct without a hint of irony or criticism. I feel for the rugby bosses. Last week the media rage focused on them for failing to give the justice to victims which the justice system denied. Media castigation should have been exclusively on the judging class who think they are therapists for criminals, freed from their duty to do justice by their superior compassion. Instead it turned into a witch-hunt on rugby.

Spot on Stephen.

And even better directed would be a spotlight on the politicians who make the rules that allow the lawyer elite to pervert justice in secret. The government was about to announce that 17 year olds would come under the Youth Court. That court is a secret court. It could not survive without secrecy. If that change had been made last year it would have been illegal for TV 3 to break last week’s story of the unpunished rugby thug. It would have suppressed the subsequent public public debate. The four victims would have been gagged, lest their complaints identify the thug.

Instead of more secrecy, we need less. We only know about the two rugby cases because of the high profile of the protagonists. How many hundreds of other court cases (or “Family” Group Conferences) are telling youngish thugs that they get a free hand until they are 18?

So will the media ask why that government announcement has been mysteriously delayed? Do they not care that they will be effectively confined to reporting the official pap they get on the Youth Justice system’s woeful performance?  Respectfully parroting St Andrew Becroft that the Youth Court is not a milk and milo court is not journalism. It does not defend free speech right of the people to know who is beating up who, and getting away laughing, and which judges are too gullible for their work?

So it is perhaps not surprising that the Rugby Union is struggling to work out how it should respond to demands that it accept responsibility for the morals of its players. The neo-witch hunters now demand tangible denunciations for offences that are not even unlawful. The courts can only punish law-breaking (so far). I guess that means the clerical class must hound others to display their virtue (and to enforce their hypocritical morality).

Quite right…Twitter and Facebook have become the new lynchings, pitchforks and burning torches, as bad as those were back in the day it hasn’t improved with Social Media.

Maybe there is more to come. One suggestion in my office is that it is relevant that it was a disabled toilet. What about the responsibility of the airport company for not supervising access to it? Will we see demands for precautionary modifications of all toilets? Welfare offices must all now be rebuilt because a judge has decided the bosses are responsible for the actions of a mad and bad shooter. Are disabled toilets too inviting? I must confess to liking all that space. Strategically located spikes like those that deter pigeons on statues might help discourage misuse.

In this new country anything is possible.

Sadly it is not possible, it is probably likely.


– Stephen Franks


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  • Sally

    This whole sage along with other 2 rugby beat ups reinforce we have reached the age of social media, aided by main media, being judge and jury. The courtroom is no longer needed just post the charges on social media and leave it to the court of public opinion to decide.
    All we then need is each town to build a set of stocks in the town centre and the public can also dish out the punish.

    • Patriot

      Sadly I must agree about social media being judge and jury. But social media is people and not all using social media make such judgements, So who is it exaclty – I suspect many are the moralistic SJB’s, those who have no quarms about invading privacy because they believe they are always right, whether invading the privacy of bathrooms or the privacy of emails. It is a like a disease and the lazy MSM feed that disease so it spreads, instead of dousing it with antispetic.

      I personally have more concern about the person who waited, listened, and filmed, than I would ever have about what two consenting adults choose to do behind a closed door. Being human, Im sure that person hasnt lived a totally perfect life herself, so shouldnt be santimonious.

      • Sailor Sam

        This person was just a pervert and then letting a child be exposed to their perversion as well. Poor kid.

        • LesleyNZ

          That is a bit off saying they were perverts. The lewd act was done in a cubicle in a public space where anyone nearby could hear. It wasn’t as if Aaron and the girl were in a private hotel, motel, house. What Aaron did was wrong. Why on earth would you want to support his unfaithful behaviour?

          • symgardiner

            He’s not married.

          • LesleyNZ

            That does not mean that it is ok or right that he can play around whenever it takes his fancy. Surely you do not think it is ok to be unfaithful just because you have no marriage certificate? He was in a committed relationship. He betrayed a trust – married or not married.

          • symgardiner

            I think the point is that he obviously wasn’t in a “committed relationship”. Because if he was he wouldn’t have jumped the young lady in the toilet. And if he was, he certainly ‘aint anymore.
            The problem is people are using terms like “unfaithful” and “commitment” for someone who obviously doesn’t subscribe to the same moral values.
            to me its a bit like judging John Key based on his poor batting average. He’s a politician, not a test cricketer. In the case of Aaron Smith, he’s a rugby player. Judge his game. He’s not a priest or a feminist.

    • Sailor Sam

      Would love to see CC in one of those stocks, plenty of rotten tomatoes around I am sure.

    • Kevin

      The whole thing should never had been recorded and made public. But it has and as a highly paid professional representing the country Smith has to face consequences.

  • XCIA

    Why I wonder are our Aussie owned MSM is not mentioning the name of the lady who was the eager and willing partner in this tawdry episode? Career on the wane, set up, needed publicity??

  • Kerry

    I couldnt believe this just made headline news on tv1 frankly who cares, but more than that are we now to run all our lives on the moral whim of any cell phone user.who among us wouldnt be embarassed by a past mistake.Its a complete over reaction and reported by a person I wouldnt like to know.

  • Kerry

    Sally . you are right, dismantle all the courts and hand control to the cell phone lynch mob, maybe have a you tube poll of users to decide punishment and have it dished out that very day.

  • LesleyNZ

    So is Stephen Franks saying that he too thinks it is OK for a person, who should be a good role model to young NZers, to have sex in a toilet for disabled people? I think so. This tells me that good values, standards, morals and decency have long gone down the toilet. This All Black wasn’t at the airport going on a personal holiday. He was with his team ready to depart NZ was he not? He was already in his workplace – at the beginning of his contract wearing the All Black uniform. Don’t try and justify or minimise what he did. He is not fit to be All Black – no matter how talented he might be. He has no self control and is not a team player to the other All Blacks. Apart from the lewdness – pure selfishness to spend 10 mins in a toilet for people who are disabled and he is not even going to the toilet. Disabled people don’t have a choice to toilet in ordinary sized toilet cubicles.

    • symgardiner

      He’s a rugby player… not a priest.

  • Old Man Walking

    LesleyNZ He was not with his team! They are in South Africa (IF YOU CARED TO PAY ATTENTION)
    He was not in All Black Uniform so he was not in his work place.
    You SJW make me sick with your attempt to maximise something that has been happening since airports were invented

    • LesleyNZ

      No need to get all worked up. I heard that he was in his All Black uniform and he left the toilet – adjusted his shirt and joined his team mates afterwards who were waiting nearby.

  • Mick Ie

    Let he/she that’s without sin, illegally record a sexual encounter between two consenting adults. Why is this this not being questioned nor investigated?

  • geoff

    Then begs the question why did Clint Rickards have to resign?

  • Bruno 32

    How does anyone know they had sex?Is there a video recording or an admission?
    He could have been doing pressups and she could have been counting

  • Usaywot

    I’m curious about why everyone was so down on Len Brown for having it off with someone but are now really quick to support Aaron Smith. Len Brown, at least did it in private. Huge double standard I think

    • Sailor Sam

      It was private.
      The whistleblowing bystanders assumed something was going on, then stayed there to listen, I would call that perversion, it was none of their business.
      If there had been a window they would no doubt have looked through and rightly be called “Peeping Toms”.
      The only “crime” was that a toilet for the disabled was used, no more no less.
      Amazing that people today think they are above “sinning” and are so self righteous.
      “Let those without sin, cast the first stone”.

      • LesleyNZ

        If it was private there would have been nothing to record. It was not private. If it were private we would not be posting comments right now.

        • Sailor Sam

          Ask the perverts who recorded it.
          If a public toilet in an airport or anywhere else is not for private use, then no doubt you never have and will never use one.

          • LesleyNZ

            That is just silly talk. Public toilets – the toilets are in a public area. Those who did the recording were not perverts – they were opportunists. There was however a form of perversion going on in the cubicle and opportunism.

  • colinrippey

    I only care how the guy clears from the Base of the scrum, runs, passes, defends and conducts play. I don’t give a brown starfish who he ( consensually ) shags, in uniform or out. The (IMHO) perv who recorded the soundtrack, however, is beyond contempt.

    • JIM cairns

      Your wife or partner might care more if you did the same to her

      • Rosco

        Are you another SJB assuming the mantle of moralist for the world? The SJB who filmed the event is the one that caused the irreparable harm to the partner by getting it to the MSM – oh the faux outrage! The reality is that he couldn’t care tuppence for the two people who matter most in this affair – Smith and his partner. It is only to feed his and his wife’s over inflated ego and sense of importance – I just wish that they were named in this fiasco so some light could be shined in their direction – “Let those without sin throw the first stone”!!

        • JIM cairns

          No not passing judgement just saying he betrayed his partner.
          Don’t care where he did whether it was in a public or private place he betrayed her.
          Hurt her.

          • Rosco

            Au contrare – I disagree, you are passing judgement. You have no idea of the relationship Smith has with his partner – it may be completely open – yet you are expressing outrage on her behalf! The SJB who leaked this to the media has caused injury to Smith’s partner by bringing this unwanted attention, whether she is offended by the act or not! I just love it when others know best!! The true definition of SJB and political correctness!

          • JIM cairns

            The fact he requested to return to NZ to sort this out with her shows he is in a committed relationship

  • Green Gecko

    The point I think most posters on this forum are missing, is that Smith was suspended for a match because he breached team protocol. He then volunteered to go home, he wasn’t sent.The team buys into this protocol as a collective group, and it is this group discipline which has made the All Blacks such a well performing team. Other national rugby teams (the Aussies and the Poms come to mind) have had issues with discipline which have affected on field performance. This self imposed group discipline is the defining difference between the All Blacks and the rest in world rugby.

  • JIM cairns

    The problem is not where it took place but that it did when he was in a relationship with another woman.
    It’s about betrayal.
    Not a good example no matter who you are.
    This is about other people who are affected by his actions.

  • Terence Hodgson

    Mind you, top marks for the TV1 newsreader calling it a “slip up”!

  • Dreadnaught

    Sorry did I miss something. WHAT LAWS HAVE BEEN BROKEN?

  • Mark156

    Aaron’s televised apology speech would have been so much better if he had mentioned the hazards of getting a toilet roll holder up his ass.Eat that,MSM…

  • Bling Bling

    MSM’s female hack journo Victorian [sic] moralism strikes again.

  • Mark

    The civilian does a great article on it, more informative than the MSM