Buggers like Willie Jackson – you would think – have plenty to fuel their chronic urge to be combative without having to go looking for more.
But nah. He has has gone all hostile because sportswear giant Nike has produced a new range of shirts for England fans at the Rugby World Cup.
His concern is about Maori branding.
The shirt – which comes in black and white – features a large English rose, with Maori-style designs across the chest.
You might think Willie would be chuffed that England supporters will be wearing jerseys with a touch of Maori in them.
But his dander is up, the SST tells us today.
Broadcaster Willie Jackson described the shirt – marketed as “England Maori tournament rugby” for sales on UK websites – as a sign of “arrogance”.
“I’m bewildered by how cocky these people are, how arrogant,” Jackson told the Sunday Star-Times.
“They think they can do anything because what are those little Maori going to do? And here is the sad thing, it is the reality… there is not much we can do. But I am constantly surprised that they just think they can just take slices of our culture as it suits them.”
The SST reminds us that Nike is already copping flak for its choice of black as the English team’s alternative playing strip.
Oh dear. The jersey business is apt to attract heated criticism.
Adidas is in big trouble in this country over the price it is charging for All Black jerseys, although buying these jerseys is not compulsory and if Alf couldn’t afford one, he simply would go without.
As it happens, he reckons the only people entitled to wear All Black jerseys are All Blacks.
But let’s get back to Jackson. He said he was “sickened” that overseas companies continued to cash in on Maori designs.
He must have a delicate tummy.
Someone sticking Pakeha designs on jerseys without the permission of Pakeha would not sicken Alf, or in any other way get him excited. Life is too short to fret about trivia.
Jackson goes on to say Maori aren’t the only indigenous culture to be used by corporate giants.
This had happened to cultures “right around the world for years”.
“They use our image and name as it suits them,” he said.
Clearly, they wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t suit them
But so what?
If you think hard about this, it would be daft to have to track down and seek permission from the relevant ethnic group whenever you draw a line, squiggle or whatever for use in anything, including logos or rugby jerseys.
Want to incorporate a shamrock?
Oh, bugger. Better ask the Irish for their permission.
Want to incorporate tartan-like checks?
Oh bugger. Better ask the Scots if they approve.
And so on.
Yet the daft notion that someone owns a squiggle has underpinned hours of time and piles of money as the Waitangi Tribunal heard submissions before preparing a report on the Wai262 claim, which alleges the Crown failed to protect Maori interests on culture, intellectual property, flora, fauna and medicines.
Frankly, Alf reckons the so-called rose at the centre of this fuss is not a bloody rose at all. It’s the image of the cerebral organ to found in all our heads (although some of us use it better than others).
Alf hesitates to point this out. Next thing we know, Willie will be off to the tribunal to lay claim to Maori having designed the human brain.