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11 June, 2021

Origin a gladiatorial fight to death

FRIENDS, Romans, footy fans... Think State of Origin Rugby League; think fighting to the death in the Roman Colosseum. Think how a legitimate comparison can be made between the two.


The gladiatorial aspects of the contests are obvious but there’s an even more legitimate reason.

Current day Queensland and the ancient Roman Empire, at least where the Colosseum was concerned, have a lot in common.

I have previously said Queenslanders could be forgiven for thinking the Labor Party election strategists had studied ancient history and employed some of the tactics used many centuries ago by Roman politician Vespasian.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

“The building of the Colosseum is significant in Roman history because, without the Colosseum being there to distract the Romans, there would have been a lot more riots and protests around the empire.

“The Colosseum was built in 80 CE for entertainment purposes so that the public would be distracted from what was happening in other cities around them. This plan was successful too, because the people’s main focus became what events were happening in the Colosseum.

“Vespasian’s plan to distract the Romans was pure genius, and it worked well.” Replace Colosseum with sporting events, Romans with Queenslanders, and Vespasian with Palaszczuk, and 80 CE Rome becomes 2020-21 Queensland. And the comparisons continue:

“When first opened, Titus (Emperor by then) declared a 100-day celebration of games that included gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. Around 9000 wild animals were slaughtered during this event alone.

”The gladiatorial shows or battles were a demonstration of both power and prestige and were very popular with the crowd.”

And in 2020 Queensland? Annastacia The Omnipotent (ATO) declared a 135-day celebration of AFL games (June 11 to October 24) including what AFL fans regard as gladiatorial combats, and some wild animals/birds were also killed off in the process — Lions, Bulldogs, Roos, Hawks, Crows, Eagles, Magpies, and Swans for example.

The Colosseum was built as part of an imperial effort to revitalise Rome after the tumultuous year.

The sporting capital of Australia was “built” to revitalise Queensland during a tumultuous COVID-19 year.

The Colosseum could seat more than 50,000 spectators and was often full. The same goes for Lang Park.

The Gabba can seat more than 40,000 spectators and is often full. Colosseum seats were split into sections depending on what (financial) class you were part of, and often free food was provided. Lang Park and Gabba seats are split into sections depending on which club you support.

The “richer” (or luckier, such as politicians and bureaucrats) get ushered into corporate sections with food and beverage packages included with the free tickets.

History tells us “Vespasian’s plan to distract the Romans was pure genius, and it worked well.”

Labor learnt from history. Have a look at what’s happened in Townsville with the State of Origin.

By the time you read this, Act One of the three-round circus will have been played.

The media was unrelenting in its pre-event coverage and, for those of you not completely enthralled by this major sporting event, there will be no let-up to the media saturation until well after July 14 when the final game is scheduled to be played.

During that time ATO will reign supreme because the peasants will be distracted by the circus acts and the media will feed the football frenzy, ensuring no one will notice Queensland’s gradual but definite slide into an economic and essential service provision abyss


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