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From the Frontline of the Culture Wars

The Safe Schools Program certainly has the Godly and Righteous in a lather. I would have thought by now they might have realised that they look more like a Monty Python skit than they do a group of concerned citizens from the 21st century.

For months rabid right whingers have been gathering in little digital packs and braying at this subject online. That the rest of the population continues to studiously ignore their antics just seems to further inflame their joint indignation. At the end of each article about how the Safe Schools project is variously turning our kids into gay transgender lesbian Marxist greenie communist traitors who hate god, there is a long thread of responses from furious and indignant readers who are utterly freaked out about the looming social sexual apocalypse. It’s a hoot.

To call this pack of right-wing conspiracy theorists mere ‘nutters’ is to entirely discount how spectacular and awe-inspiring their delusions often are. These are much the same group of people who might also argue that there has been no actual warming of the globe for about two decades, and that the world is only six thousand years old, and that miracles not only do frequently occur but that ‘my friend Margery’ saw God ‘so there’. So they also display the same amazing kneejerk propensity to ignore the need to proffer anything even resembling actual evidence. Instead they simply assemble arguments out of obvious assertions based on obvious god given facts. Obvious facts like ‘all communists want to kill us all’. ‘Children are naturally Christians’. And that hundreds of classrooms and their local teachers are very easily controlled (via some sort of Atheist Radio-wave technology) from Heathen HQ at La Trobe University.

Yes, in the beginning, some of these protestations in the threads did seem to bear some passing resemblance to actual arguments. However in recent times the ‘Safe Schools Conspiracy’ has progressed so far beyond being mere ‘news’ it is now best described as being an ‘all singing, all dancing, right wing, conspiracy extravaganza! Ta Da!’

Remember we are talking here (in the real world) about an optional anti-bullying program where teachers (daringly) ask students to imagine that they might be standing in someone else’s shoes. Using role play and age appropriate discussion materials the project asks students to not only imagine that they are of another gender, but then to consider what the world might look like when considered from this ‘other’ person’s point of view. Racy stuff eh?

Yet while the Safe Schools project material, and virtually all the teachers who are teaching it, say the project is dedicated to reducing the number of incidents of deliberate and explicit bullying, and to also assist in fostering an intolerance of incidental attitudes and behaviours which are oppressive and exclusionary. The right wingers know better. There seems to be no doubt in the minds of both the journalists and the readers of the Australian, and among the hosts and listeners to virtually every right wing talkback station in the country, that the Safe Schools project is actually a fifth column infiltration, directly into the hearts and minds of our children, being undertaken by Marxist communist traitors.

As they say, you just couldn’t make this sort of stuff up.

This comment by ‘R’ in today’s online lynch mob summarises a common-sense viewpoint that Marxists should be (at the very least) crucified in the public square: When did parents become accountable to a Marxist who was able to take advantage of a mindless state government and a university only too eager to fall over itself to accommodate political correctness (aka social engineering), regardless of the wishes of those parents, the majority of the public and the consequences for society, in particular future generations?

Image from smh.com.au. Illustration by Matt Golding

Image from smh.com.au. Illustration by Matt Golding

Setting aside the obvious reality that in our pluralist democracy we are supposed to set aside the fact that we might individually be a Marist, a Keynesian, a Marxist, a lesbian, or a transgender accountant, and also setting aside the obvious irony that at its heart this is what the Safe Schools Project is all about, the instant and obvious response to ‘R’ (and the majority of these commentators) is: ‘What planet are you on?’

For example consider this comment directly from the heart of the cold war (yet published today): Marxists are at least as dangerous as Fascists so should be banned from public office and influence. Marxism has been responsible for millions of political deaths over 100 years and its adherents should have no place in our public life. Just imagine for a moment if this had been the work of a closet Nazi. It almost is.

It makes you want to shuffle your feet and look away. Somehow, in the minds of this small segment of the Aussie population, an anti-bullying class, being conducted by the teachers at your local school, has been captured by an underground clique of Marxist academics (led by a childless short haired white cat stroking international communist femme fatale going by the name of Roz). One reader even helpfully provides a short psychological profile: Ros Ward is a pseudo-academic with serious problems, at best. No way should she be teaching children. For a start, has she got any children of her own? And if so, let’s have a look at them. What’s her own background? It’s relevant if she’s teaching our children. They know nothing of Marxism or the untold millions it’s killed.

Yup. At the end of such a statement you are left in no doubt that right now you are shoulder to shoulder, in a trench, with comrades in arms, even while the culture war rages on around you. In the digital threads of the Australian there are very few who would dare to argue in favour of this obvious attempt at ‘mind-control’ on behalf of Communists. As one says: Prof Mitchell needs to understand that The Australian is a pivot around which sensible people in this country seek to reclaim the education of their children.

So no compromise is possible. Empathy is the enemy. It is righteous and warranted to be bigoted against gay and transgender children, and to label children as good, bad, and/or corrupt. Otherwise all that is Godly and Righteous will crumble. This is why we refuse to teach our children drama! Or allow them to read corrupt and godless literature. Such practices will invariably lead to children experiencing empathy. And empathy will lead to a tolerance of heathens. So anti-bullying is anti-God.

So in the trenches on the frontline of the culture wars the language is triumphant. They might be a tiny chosen few, surrounded on all sides by the seething mass of the ungodly and satanically inspired. Yet they will prevail. In fact. Some of the conspirators even hint that any minute now the tables will turn and the godly will rise and march forth to reclaim the world from ‘these people’. After all: These people seem to always be out there, milking the system with little standing in their way, busily attacking our freedoms. Perhaps it is time that the Right started fighting back harder and played just as nasty – publishing the addresses of where they live, holding raucous protests outside their offices and so forth.

So all of us Gay-luvin heathens have to watch out. The mob with pitchforks and flaming brands is very nearly at our door. The power of our Marxist mind-control conspiracy is about to be broken. Any minute now I will begin to build some protective battlements (based on plans borrowed from the middle ages). I promise.

As soon as I can get up off the floor and stop laughing so hard.

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60 comments

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  1. Peter F

    “These people are out there busily attacking our freedoms’. . . . so let’s remove their freedom. As long as they don’t remove OUR freedom to remove them . Do I make myself clear?

  2. Backyard Bob

    James, did you ever write on Gather?

  3. Backyard Bob

    Michael, Gather was a website for authors of various kinds. A writer’s community, basically. Members sometimes got into political discussions. Sadly it went defunct.

  4. Backyard Bob

    You were a bit worried there, weren’t you? 😉

  5. Carol Taylor

    I never did quite understand that one..how an anti-bullying program (of any description) could be anything but beneficial to children, however it somehow turned into an excuse for substantial homophobic rants..that part I understand as it comes under the heading of anything with the S word being a ‘deviation’.

  6. Michael Taylor

    Not at all, Bob. I somehow assumed that your query was complimentary to James.

  7. Backyard Bob

    Oh, ok, fair enough, because it was. Well, contingently. 🙂

  8. totaram

    All this talk of the marxist conspiracy to brainwash our children is actually projection – a standard right wing technique. They are the ones who have been beavering away to indoctrinate our children for centuries and the moment they see some of their work being undone (even if it is not actually being undone but hey anything is a good excuse) they are up in arms. This may sound like much ado about nothing, but over decades it all adds up. You only understand this if you find out that conservatively funded right-wing think tanks (at least in the US) have actually written children’s books to ensure that the little children would grow up with the right values. And A$250million for “chaplains” (they are not permitted to be secular) in govt schools in Australia is all following in the same vein.

    Those on the ;progressive side of politics have been too complacent and allowed these right-wing culture warriors to infiltrate into the common discourse. When Labor was in govt. from 2007 onwards did they dislodge any of these “implants”? Not at all. Kevin Rudd was a church-going Christian remember? And Julia Gillard was an avowed atheist, but did she dare reduce govt funding for private schools? nOr even move in any way against the “religious lobby”? No way.

    Notice how everything is “taxpayer funded” when taxes actually don’t fund anything that the federal govt. pays for. In the same vein notice how everyone must show how “they will pay for” their plans, means no borrowing to fund investment even though corporations do it all the time. Notice how appointments to the ABC, ACCC, ATO, CSIRO etc. have been stacked with these right wingers from the days of John Howard. The mainstream media was handed over to the top end of town, especially Murdoch, by those early adopters of neo-liberal groupthink like Paul Keating. Treasury has been purged of anyone who does not believe in the neo-liberal orthodoxy. The current secretary was brought in specially from outside because he is not only a known neo-liberal but also an AGW denier. So now even the the three important parties in Australia all faithfully follow that orthodoxy – “when will you return the budget to surplus?”. Budgets have been in deficit for most of the history of any advanced nation and indeed of many developing nations. Why do we need to “return them to surplus”? Yes, yes, because “otherwise our children will have to pay”, even though we have never had to pay for the “debts” of our fathers and BHP has never paid off all its debts. Japan has not disappeared into the ocean in spite of the dire warnings of the neo-liberals for two decades and govt debt there currently runs at around 200% of GDP. And all of Australia’s govt. “debt” is held by the private sector, including my super fund, as financial assets, so I am the beneficiary of those “interest payments” on the debt, which greatly exercises all the neo-liberal commentators on those matters.

    But why bother with facts. It’s all too hard and too complicated. Better to watch Masterchef, in a nation of people who are already overfed, obese, and suffering poor health on that account. You get what you deserve. Truly.

  9. Arthur Plottier

    Well said totaram, we are in the same page.
    I think that our only hope will be to “educate” at university level our future economists to look economy in a different way but to do that we need to educate their tutors as well.
    I pass on Masterchef and go for Shaun Micallef on Mad as Hell

  10. Backyard Bob

    I think sometimes we expect too much of the average person, who is variously often time, attention, and intelligence poor. I wonder how many of us here are in fact, in real terms, privileged in terms of our ability to spend time thinking and investigating the nuances of political dynamics.

    What time do we imagine a mechanic or nurse with a couple of kids and a mortgage have to meaningfully engage in the day to day realities of politics, however much it might effect them? I mean, in the serious stakes, what do we expect of them? Political parties and the media know this exactly, but we seem to be mostly in some sort of ga ga land.

    When I see authors here, like Victoria Fielding calling for more substantive coverage of the campaign I can’t help but think: who the hell for? Who has the time and energy for this shit? Political tragics with no other life or interests? Pensioners? The unemployed? Party mouthpieces?

    I think it behooves us all to keep in mind the reality of the electorate and how much detail they can sensibly absorb. Any simplistic view of such will always make us say really stupid things and cause us to sometimes avoid the inevitable truth that in politics – KISS works.

    Complexity is for government, not campaigns to woo the electorate. For God’s sake Whitlam used a slogan and a song and he had the benefit of an entire national momentum to milk.

    I think Labor is managing the balance fairly well thus far, insofar as keeping the message accessible but having the detail at hand where necessary. Turnbull is playing a political Heidegger; it sounds impressive but no-one knows what the hell is being said.

    It won’t work.

  11. Arthur Plottier

    I just wonder Bob how many of the “average persons” that you a referring to are reading the articles and comments in this site………

  12. Backyard Bob

    The realistic, statistical answer to that is “f*ck all”. That truth doesn’t reflect on the site; it’s just how it is.

  13. michaelattoowoomba

    I like this post as usual and all replies.Slightly off subject.In another post it was noted that ABC Fact Check is going or gone I would draw attention to the fact The Conversation blog has a very good Fact Check section,https://theconversation.com/election-factcheck-is-labor-planning-to-increase-taxes-by-100-billion-over-ten-years-59159. The Conversation is another site I would like to recomend to all AIM readers not already familiar with it.
    Let’s encourage everyone we know to put these LNP bastards last on there vote.Vote for any other,but PLEASE don’t vote for any Failed Abbot or Turdbull candidate.M F.

  14. cornlegend

    Backyard Bob
    A bunch of volunteers have been out in Western Sydney and surrounds and now on the way to Brisbane and Melbourne to entice Senate voters there. They have concentrated on commuter services and entertainment venues, There was a request that if they were to engage in conversation with likely participants to ask 3 questions using acronyms to guage responses.
    The Questions were
    Do you have an opinion on TPP?
    Do you have an opinion on MMT?
    Do you have an opinion on AGW?
    Do you have an opinion on Climate Change?
    Now this isn’t scientific in methodology but wasn’t meant to be and a few hundred commuters responded
    On the first two, the most common reaction was blank stares and bugger all knowledge
    On AGW , a handful, but on the 4th question, Climate change almost all had an opinion {about 70/30 in believing climate change is real and happening}
    The message being reported back is that the LNP is seen by “average voters” as best at protecting borders , stopping the boats and managing the Economy
    Labors strong points were Medicare, Schools , a fair go for workers,{taxes protecting wages} NBN and to a lesser degree NDIS
    With that in mind we have changed the strategy for both Brisbane and Melbourne , to push the most basic bread and butter issues .
    Another surprise was the number who thought Abbott was wronged by Turnbull and Turnbull is just a pretender to the throne
    I am heading to QLD, them Melbourne now for a while and the volunteers aim is to distribute 100,000 HTVs in each city
    Any questions you would like added to the basic 4?
    Those of you who said the average voter has little or no interest other than voting and avoiding a fine seem pretty spot on and on the day, or week leading up will go with the party selling a message close to their personal views

  15. Carol Taylor

    Backyard Bob, I tend to think that the ‘average person’ has to rely on one sided commentary and/or commentary which refuses to acknowledge genuine issues – hence the reason why the ‘average person’ is perceived as having limited understanding. It’s The Great Dumbing Down that we used to talk about during the Howard era which became one hell of a lot worse with Abbott and the rise and rise of politics via shock jock.

  16. Backyard Bob

    I’ve just read on ABC news that Labor is contemplating raising the age of eligibility for Newstart allowance to 25. Someone tell me that isn’t true. Anyone. Please.

  17. Backyard Bob

    Cornie,

    Do you have an opinion on MMT?

    I think that question should be put to the Labor Party, its members and candidates.

  18. Michael Taylor

    ByB, it is only speculation at this stage, however that isn’t to say it isn’t true. Details could have been leaked to the media, so it might have some validity.

    It would certainly be an unpopular move and I’m horrified about it.

  19. Backyard Bob

    Michael,

    I have tweeted Wayne Swan and Labor for clarification. It had better not be true. It’s utterly insane.

  20. patriciawa

    That just can not be true! It’s a rumor out there, a malicious one set up by someone in the Coalition. Imagine the social upheaval of having numbers of young people unemployed and without financial support.

    Labor would lose a lot of members if it even contemplated such a drastic measure. Whatever we think about some young people too willing to go on the dole we know that if they can get a job, most of them will take it. As well, training alternatives need financial support.

  21. cornlegend

    BYB
    “Do you have an opinion on MMT?”
    I do and overall I am supportive from my very limited understanding of it all
    Stuff like that makes me bleary eyed and that is why I hire Accountants and Financial Advisors .
    As for Labor and I’m not speaking for them or any in it but , they seem to adopt change once the broader commmunity at least accepts some understanding of the concept.
    With a less than 3 week battle till the election they need to talk to an understanding public, and that public, through MSM and talk back jockeys are pretty transfixed on debt and deficit .
    Hardly a time for education on MMT but hey, that could come.
    Just as the public were brought along on NDIS and other policy that could well be thecase with MMT, but simple answer, I don’t know

  22. Backyard Bob

    patriciawa,

    I’ve just spoken to Wayne Swan’s office and apparently someone who knows something about policy is going to get back to me. This report better not be true. My GF barely survives on a carer’s benefit and has a working 21 year old. How the living hell is someone like her supposed to manage if he loses his job?

    I’m telling myself it’s just bullshit media speculation. If it were the case that Labor was even passingly, remotely thinking of this I’d be done with them.

  23. Backyard Bob

    Cornie,

    I agree an election campaign is not the time to introduce any new and “radical” economic ideas. It would be utterly disastrous for Labor. It’s the sort of thing you slowly introduce from the position of government. But all this talk of surpluses and reigning in certain aspects of welfare spending to save money doesn’t remotely speak to a favourable view of MMT. Then again maybe all that rhetoric is just politics. I hope so, because it’s kind of disappointing.

  24. James Moylan

    BYB: Gather! Whacko. Haven’t thought about Gather for a very long time. Yes I was once on Gather way back in the days when the internet was new and exciting.

  25. cornlegend

    Backyard Bob
    A couple of quick calls I made indicate the ABC may be way off track but they are only backbenchers and are checking
    They better hurry though, one bunch of volunteers are now awaiting responses in Grafton before continuing to Brisbane the others in Yass and if its true their trip ends and they can come home to watch me burn my ALP membership

  26. Backyard Bob

    James,

    Thanks. Without naming anyone, my girlfriend thought it might be you. She remembers debating gun laws with crazy Americans with you on Gather. I actually met her there (well, re-met; we went to high school together).

    Anyway, back to politics …

  27. Backyard Bob

    Cornie,

    Yes, they need to get on it as a priority. This is not the sort of speculation you want to leave dangling. The longer they leave it to quash the more it’ll look like backtracking if/when they do.

    P.S. I’ve also tweeted the ABC journo to ask for their source.

  28. Backyard Bob

    Godamn arsehole journalists!

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 2m2 minutes ago
    @%%$$$%$%$###&l The article doesn’t say Labor will do that. It is one of the measures proposed by the Coalition that is yet to pass parlt.

    The article might not say it but the lead-in damn well does! Arrr.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/

    Ok, that’s better. Journo says she’ll get that lead-in fixed. I think we’re ok.

  29. cornlegend

    Backyard Bob
    They better hurry up, I just delayed my flight to Brisbane, no fundraiser for me if they are intent on attacking welfare recipients
    It better all be bullshit or LN will romp in

  30. cornlegend

    ok, back to original plans 😀

  31. Backyard Bob

    Ok, so that was curious. The journalist got the lead-in to her story changed to remove the reference to Newstart changes – yay people power! – but she still seems to think Labor is possibly considering it. Announcements later today, apparently.

  32. James Moylan

    Bob,
    I remain fascinated and repulsed at the same time re guns in America and, yes, I worked with the Brady Campaign pretty solidly for about eight months trying to argue that we are not all biologically compelled or culturally obligated to own guns and shoot people with them.
    As or the dole? The recommendation is likely to be that all people under 25 will receive the youth allowance payment rather than Newstart (wait until midday today when the ALP dump this bad news along with any other possibly bad economic news at the same time as the AEC announces all of the candidates and candidate ballot draws.)
    From the ALP’s perspective it makes sense to have two payments as they can then target vocational assistance to the young far more easily and not tie up all dole recipients with a host of ‘how to write a resume’ sort of activities.
    I think we need to add to the base level of our Newstart payment an 80% Rental supplement (capped at about $120 per week) and then slowly extend this payment over time (to subsume all other government payments excepting for the Pension) as a universal low income supplement paid to all people who earn less than 25% of average weekly wages.
    In this context it makes sense to have two payments – with one for those above 25 – but in the context of a revenue saving exercise it is simply silly and heartless.
    PS – I note that the journo got it wrong – yeah people power – but that just means it won’t happen in the middle o an election campaign not that it won’t happen.

  33. Athena

    “I never did quite understand that one..how an anti-bullying program (of any description) could be anything but beneficial to children, ”

    Because Christians like to bully people. It’s something they do very well.

    For some reason when reading this article, I was reminded of all the predictions of the return of Christ that haven’t happened. Last I heard it was the same generation that saw the return of Jews to Israel who would see the second coming of JC. The lad seems to be a no show again. Does anyone know if they’ve got a new theory on that yet?

  34. Athena

    “But all this talk of surpluses and reigning in certain aspects of welfare spending to save money doesn’t remotely speak to a favourable view of MMT.”

    @BYB I was very surprised when I read that in news reports. Way to lose an election if it’s true.

  35. Backyard Bob

    James,

    If Labor places people under 25 on youth allowance and my girlfriend’s son loses his job she is screwed. Totally. She’ll end up in a f*cking caravan park in Caboolture. Labor needs to tread very carefully on this one. I mean, there is a parental means test for dependents, but I’m not sure how much difference that makes.

    As for the ABC journo, they’re not responsible for the lead-in to their stories, but as I said to her, those people are always anonymous so the journo has to cop it. At least she acted as soon as it was pointed out to her, which is kinda cool. A bit odd though, I suppose, that she wouldn’t take a look at the lead-in to her own story.

  36. Backyard Bob

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 1 minute ago

    .@billshortenmp & @Bowenchris to announce Labor’s savings measures at 1pm Sydney time.

  37. James Moylan

    Yup. The only good thing about Labor currently is that it is not the LNP.
    They all seem to have brains like calculators these days and can’t comprehend that they are not engaged in running a business. The job of government is to run the economy not be run by the economy.

    (A poem from back in the ‘Gather’ days)

    The things that really matter…

    In the end the story,
    is not about the fight.
    The endless argy-bargy,
    or the shouting in the night.

    For in the heat of battle,
    the reptile rules the fray,
    and there’s rarely rhyme or reason,
    in the things that we might say.

    And when the dust has settled,
    and the lizard slips away.
    When we contemplate the many things,
    that happened in our day.

    The things that really matter,
    aren’t discussed in any fight.
    In all that tittle-tattle,
    about who was wrong and who was right.

    The things that really matter,
    aren’t about a ‘wrong’ or ‘right’.
    They’re all about the wellbeing,
    of the fighters in the fight.

  38. totaram

    I agree completely that an election is not the time to start telling people about MMT or anything remotely complex. That has to be done as part of the culture wars which are essential if you play the “long game” like the right wing have been doing. I don’t think James Moylan should be rolling on the ground laughing. After half a century of concerted effort, the neo-liberals have ensured that everyone “understands” that anything that sounds socialist is marxist and of course we know what happens then – Soviet Union anyone? North Korea perhaps? Govt. spending is socialist and takes away the legitimate earnings of the enterprising rich through taxes. Where do you think these ideas have come from? They came from the culture wars – the long game. This is not a laughing matter at all. You ignore the culture wars at your peril.

  39. Backyard Bob

    Well, I’ll be damned:

    Oakeshott for Cowper

    I confirm I have nominated to be the Federal Member for Cowper in the 45th Parliament.

  40. SGB

    I have tried and tried and better tried, to have a sensible coversation with those on the Right whom come accross as more sensible than the average extreme Right nut job. Most do not even know about MMT let alone what the word macro-economics mean!
    But the general understanding that ‘you have to earn money in order to spend it’ just will not let anyone even varify the facts I give them ,and I have given them heaps of YouTube, Links, articles and even the actual legislation, they just can’t move beyond their neoliberal brain wash
    I have been doing this for months, because I recognised how important it is to the notion that the LNP are the better economic manager’s bullshot. And quite frankly it puts the whole issue of the current world deflation into perspective.
    Even my freinds has found my comments incredulous and my own very left wing sister thinks I have finally flipped!

    Maybe I have!

  41. Michael Taylor

    I had a suspicion that it might be replaced with the Youth Allowance, which means – if it is the case – that it’s not as horrific as it sounds. But naturally the media want to make it scary, as it’s their job to write crap.

    Before my recent retirement from the Public Service I was a policy adviser for Newstart and YA and worked on social security legislation. I feel confident in saying that replacing Newstart with YA won’t make people worse off.

  42. Backyard Bob

    Well, it seems Wayne Swan’s office is going to find out about welfare policy details about the same time as the rest of us. At least they got back to me. Watch this space, I guess.

  43. Backyard Bob

    I feel confident in saying that replacing Newstart with YA won’t make people worse off.

    So, the motivation for moving them to YA would be …? Hang on, are YA recipients counted in the unemployment figures?

  44. Michael Taylor

    Yes, they are still counted in with the unemployed.

  45. James Moylan

    Michael: I tend to agree. We will have to wait and see.

    SGB: catch me on another day and I may be in the pits of despair re the lunatic notions that human beings cling to. When I wrote this piece I was feeling good. So when I looked at it I mostly felt incredulous that any of my fellow thinking beings could possibly live in such a deep dark cave. What can any single bipedal ape do? This morning when I look about the reef is dying, the corporations own both the MSM and our MSPoliticians, and our media appear more obsessed with Kardashian bums then with the future of the planet. Either I laugh or I cry. Doing both at once is not uncommon. But since existential wailing never makes for a good read at least half of my columns get binned before I finish them.

  46. Kaye Lee

    Generally, you have to be studying to receive Youth Allowance. You may be eligible for Youth Allowance if you are 16 to 21 years old and looking for full-time work or undertaking approved activities but your parents’ income will be taken into account usually (some exceptions). From my reading of the ABC article they are just saying it is one of the Coalition policies that are “still to be resolved”.

  47. Kaye Lee

    James,

    I know the feeling. I just had a few wonderful days off from politics visiting Vivid in Sydney with some very dear friends. But now is not the time to stand down from the fight. I appreciate your articles and I would definitely include you in my vote were I from Queensland. Keep up the good work. There are more people who care than you think 🙂

  48. Backyard Bob

    Bit surprised people aren’t more excited to know Rob Oakeshott is standing for Cowper. Maybe trying not to let their excitement lead to something premature?

  49. Backyard Bob

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 2m2 minutes ago
    Labor to scrap the Private Health Insurance rebate for natural therapies – things like aromatherapy, iridology etc

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 2m2 minutes ago
    Labor will reduce FTB Part A supplement payment for families with an income of more than 100k. Raise 2.1b over decade

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 54s54 seconds ago
    Labor is proposing a 50% reduction in the supplement payment for FTB/A. Labor is also pausing the threshold at which the payment scales down

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 59s60 seconds ago
    Labor now won’t oppose the reduction in the R&D tax incentive, & several changes to HECS repayments.

  50. Athena

    “Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 2m2 minutes ago
    Labor to scrap the Private Health Insurance rebate for natural therapies – things like aromatherapy, iridology etc”

    Good. Whenever I’ve been surveyed by Bupa I tell them to stop paying out on this quackery and reduce my premiums instead.

  51. Backyard Bob

    Awesome.

    Naomi Woodley ‏@naomiwoodley 4m4 minutes ago
    Re #Newstart, Labor confirms it will continue to oppose the Government plan to raise age to 25. #ausvotes @abcnews

  52. Matters Not

    Seems to me the ‘cuts’ announced are fair and reasonable. But then again I’m not into ‘witchdoctor’ medicine.

    Also families earning $100 000 plus are hardly in need of assistance. (But are still getting some,)

    As for the earlier repayment of HEC debt – that doesn’t seem to onerous either.

  53. Michael Taylor

    Yes, ByB, that is awesome. But what appalling, pathetic, disgraceful journalism from the ABC.

  54. Backyard Bob

    Yes, ByB, that is awesome. But what appalling, pathetic, disgraceful journalism from the ABC.

    Agreed. Scared the crap out of people for no reason. Then again, I guess a person ought not take that stuff to heart.

  55. Backyard Bob

    Not quite sure why #Parakeelia isn’t a bigger story than it is. Or maybe I am and just don’t want to admit it to myself.

  56. Stephen Brailey

    I hate to take this thread back to the actual article?! But do people realise it’s not just the much hated The Australian that publishes these hate rants about Roz Ward and the Safe Schools program. The Cairns Post published a cut down Andrew Bolt opinion piece that managed to mangle “facts” and hate into a few short paragraphs. My boss loved it and was outraged that a lesso Marxist was allowed to be anywhere near children. Mind you the same person constantly berates me with the well known fact that scholarly scientific research is just some egg heads opinion.

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