On the eve of one of our most significant national celebrations, ANZAC day, James Tamou has put many of the game's leading noses out of joint with his brazen switch from Kiwi to Aussie allegiance. James is the rising Cowboy front-rower who has suddenly announced his availability for Australia. Only last year he was picked in the New Zealand train-on squad for the 4 Nations tournament, but didn't make the final cut. Now he has been selected for Australia, and played strongly in the Green and Gold during last night's Test match - against New Zealand. He was born in New Zealand, and lived there until his early teens. What has upset some big names in the rugby league fraternity is that he hasn't gone to any great lengths to disguise his motivation in changing allegiance. He hasn't pretended to have experienced any revelations about higher values, or a dawning deep love of this land or the people. He didn't hide behind or pay lip-service to any conventionally noble ideals at all. Tamou simply says it was a decision he felt was in the best interests of his football career. This includes the fact that as an Australian he would be eligible to take part in the prestigious - and relatively lucrative â€“ State of Origin fixtures each year. Now young James is under fire for his lack of nationalistic fervour, either one way or the other. His sin is that last year he was prepared to play for New Zealand, but this year he's decided to play for Australia. However, I suggest Tamou is a man of our times. He is 23 years old and the world nowadays is a place where it is increasingly obvious that national boundaries don't always stand in the way of anything important. Especially money. For many decades big money has transcended national boundaries. Multi-national corporations stick their fingers not only into pies, but also into quiches, hot dogs, curries, nachos, sushi, and anything else where there are profits to be made. Of course, our national history and historical alliances continue to be drummed into us, and rightly so. It is rather important to understand how we got to where we are. However the real reason nationalism is still promoted politically is because it suits the interests of big capital. For example, we are frequently told we need to support some mega-rich multi-national corporation because it is employing some local workers â€¦ and we sure don't want them to employ some foreign workers instead. This type of appeal to our sense of national interest is merely a device, founded on racism and fear of foreigners. It is designed to keep local workers identifying with the local rich, instead of with other workers elsewhere. Clearly, 'the local rich' nowadays often just means the local brand â€“ but a brand still owned by international interests. Big capital knows no national boundaries, and has absolutely no qualms about dealing equally with all nationalities and races, limiting its reach only according to where the most reliable profit streams are to be found. Now young James Tamou is no billionaire stakeholder in a multinational corporation. He is just a young man with great athletic and sporting prowess who wants to maximise his career opportunities in a ruthless commercial world. He is patently fearless, possibly unsophisticated, and maybe even a little naÃ¯ve. This combination of characteristics has led him to his decision, and also to come out openly and say what his decision was based on. Unwittingly he has given us cause to again ponder what our national identity means to us, and indeed, why we should even cheer for one team instead of another. So is this what sticks in the craw about Tamou's choice: the reminder that there is something fundamentally distasteful in acting against the interests of one's own people, simply for personal gain? In James's case, criticism of his choice is mostly unfair. For one thing, he was brought up in two countries, so whichever way he went he was bound to disappoint some. Why shouldn't he be proud of his connection with both? Given that he has to choose, what should he instead have based his decision on? More to the point, why should he be criticised for changing allegiance based on what best suits his personal ambitions, when that is exactly what the richest people in the world have been doing for decades? How many Australian businessmen routinely take their factories offshore at the expense of Australian jobs? We apparently accept the right of the rich to use multi-national company structures to cross any national boundaries they choose, in search of maximised profits. James Tamou has offended some sensibilities, and drawn attention to inconsistencies in how we perceive our responsibilities as citizens of this young nation. In particular, the embarrassing question is raised as to whether the proletariat is the only class still required to be constrained by its sense of national identity â€“ and if so, why? What is certain is that the Independent Commission will respond to pressure, and take steps to ensure this awkward scenario does not become commonplace.