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Pyne must go

If anyone had any lingering doubts about Christopher Pyne being a privileged twat who is completely unsuited to be Minister for Education, unlikely I know, I present irrefutable proof.

Apparently, the government feels a “particular responsibility for non-government schooling” that it doesn’t feel for government schools.

As gobsmacking as that statement is, I shouldn’t be surprised.  It fits in with their predilection for private companies building toll roads rather than the government building public transport.  And their preference for private hospitals and private health insurance rather than public hospitals, medicare locals, preventative health, and universal healthcare.  And their willingness to subsidise the mining industry whilst cutting pensions and welfare.  And employing private security firms to incarcerate and torture asylum seekers.

But back to Christopher Pyne, who is not only suggesting that the Federal government completely withdraw from public school funding, but that parents who can afford to do so should pay fees.

I cannot put it better than John Birmingham from the Brisbane Times:

“And then the laughing stopped and the grins froze in place and everyone realised this jabbering toff from Adelaide was serious.

Serious enough to float a proposal that the federal government stop paying anything towards state school education, while maintaining billions of dollars in funding to the elite private schools that so many members of this government went to, and which so many of them send their own children to now.

Serious enough to float the idea of a punitive charge on any class traitors who dared send their own children to the local state school rather than enriching the coffers of a Churchie or a Knox Grammar.

Could there be a policy more transparently designed to sort millions of school-aged children and their families into a privileged elite, and a much greater mass of the poor, benighted and put upon? Other than using hot irons to brand the foreheads of the poor with the mark of their shame, I can’t think of one.”

The King’s School in Parramatta charges senior students about $31,000 a year ($53,000 if boarding) plus a host of extras like a $3,600 family admission fee and $300 a term bus charge and $1700 a year lunch fee and $275 a term technology fee and a $250 registration fee.

In 2014 federal government funding for The King’s School increased by $176,824 to $5,818,862.  This figure, from the federal Education Department, does not include the state government’s funding for private schools, typically about a third of the federal figure.

As Stewart Riddle points out at the Conversation;

“A two-tiered system of schooling will have devastating effects on our social fabric, widening an already too large and persistent equity gap.

Since the New South Wales Public Schools Act 1866, legislation has enshrined compulsory, secular and universal access to public schooling. This is not something that should be taken lightly, nor should it be cast aside with a spurious argument that it is not the responsibility of the federal government.

Providing universal access to high-quality education that is publicly provided is something we are all collectively responsible for.

Public schooling should not be seen as a safety net, providing limited education for those who cannot afford to go to a private school. Instead, it needs to be celebrated as being one of the most important foundations for a healthy democracy.

Access to education provides enormous benefits to individuals and societies – increasing health, prosperity, social cohesion and political awareness – while also reducing welfare dependency, crime and incarceration rates.”

I propose that we should stop taking taxes from the working poor to subsidise the middle class and the super elites in the form of grants to wealthy private schools.  I know that some parents make great sacrifice to pay for their decision to send their children to private schools.  These people could be compensated by making school fees tax deductible for those on incomes below a certain threshold (or adopt a sliding percentage scale where deductibility phases out for those earning in the top 10%.)

Alternatively, stop government contributions to schools who charge enormous fees.  They are clearly collecting enough to run the school and those who can afford it will still have the choice.  This would protect some of the poorer Catholic and independent schools.

We need everyone to rally to stop this assault on our education system and to once and for all rid parliament of this insufferable popinjay.

65 comments

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  1. Peter F

    I was fortunate enough to have parents who ( with a struggle) could afford to send me to Brisbane to be educated when the State did NOT provide secondary education in rural towns. Then we slept on verandahs of old ‘queenslander’ timber houses and froze in winter. Our education was fairly basic, but I managed to enter university. I considered myself fortunate. The Government paid my fees, but not my living expenses. When I drive past my old school now and see the massive structures which have been made available through Federal funding, I feel that the simple church run school has grown into a monster, and that anyone taught there today would might have very little understanding of what it is like to struggle. I have many friend from those times who were educated in State run schools ( because they lived in the city) and I believe that they received as good as or better tuition than I did.This Government is a disaster with its attitude to the community in general.

  2. DanDark

    Thanks Kaye for this article, I am home schooling my daughter, I buy the curriculum
    so we are in lock step with kids her own age, I am doing this because I can educate her better these days
    than our overworked and underpaid teachers, and there is no bullying, no head lice, no dealing with some teachers who lack
    basic common sense these days.
    Contract teaching in GOV schools puts a competition into teachers to hold their positions over other teachers at the school
    Principals decide who goes and stays, at our local primary school, Ms P got rid of the only male teacher over preference of a woman who then soon after left to have a baby…but MR T was a better teacher than Mrs S, but because Mr T was more popular than the old cow principal with the kids he went, and the principal used the reason being he couldn’t keep up with the paper work, it was a poor excuse
    to get rid of the only male teacher in the whole school….

  3. Terry2

    popinjay (ˈpɒpɪnˌdʒeɪ)
    n
    1. a conceited, foppish, or excessively talkative person
    2. (Animals) an archaic word for parrot
    3. (Archery) the figure of a parrot used as a target
    [C13 papeniai, from Old French papegay a parrot, from Spanish papagayo, from Arabic babaghā]

    How very apt : I just love the English language !

  4. Kaye Lee

    Could I also point out that when I called him a twat I wasn’t calling him a “grub” but

    2. a person regarded as stupid or obnoxious.

  5. paul walter

    On the basis of this, plus Larissa Water’s treatment, not to mention that disgusting display from Ciobo on QA with the misanthropic hobgoblin Morris playing Llittle Sir Echo, that the time has come to strip the government and al who sail on her of citizenship and detain them offshore at a camp for suspect aliens, in sweaty, unsanitary conditions and without recourse to legal rights.

  6. David

    I received an excellent education through the Catholic School system from 7 through to 17yrs of age. My parents raising 4 children in the 50’s had hopes of Catholic schooling for all of us however they were not wealthy, basically we lived from dads pay to pay with mum doing whatever jobs she could manage like some cleaning, ironing etc.
    Catholic Schools even back then in NZ required a fee for attendance, so my mum and dad made an appointment with the Parish Priest to explain regretfully they would be unable to send us to the Church schools and a State education would be the alternative.

    The following day Father Spring the PP arrived unannounced on the doorstep with a letter advising there would be no fees payable for attendance at Convent, Primary and Secondary Schools with the proviso if at any time they were in a position to pay even part fees, then that was acceptable.

    I was never told if fees were paid however I learned much later many many families received that same consideration and I am forever grateful for the education I received along with the sport participation and comradery. I and my siblings all went on to higher education and excellent careers

    Whether that same generosity is still extended today to families without the ability to pay fees I am unaware, however it seems circumstances in the 50’s and today are not so dissimilar.

  7. Matthew

    Such is the digust of social systems, on the Bolt report yesterday Andrew could not fathom some businesses being so grateful to a system that gave them an opportunity to own businesses that they would happily donate to a union. the Class War is in full swing.

  8. Lee

    Pyne has always been preferenced last on my ballot paper and always will be.

  9. Lee

    @ David – I don’t know whether or not private schools today offer tuition for free. However, speaking with teachers who work in private schools, and parents with children in private schools, I do know that some of them weed out the not so bright kids, urging their parents to remove them from the school by year 10. Then they can continue to advertise their students’ impressive year 12 results. The kids I know of in this situation are not special needs or badly behaved kids. They’re just average kids. It beats me why some of these schools are considered prestigious if they can’t teach an average kid.

  10. crypt0

    It is not enough to replace the organ grinders monkey.
    The organ grinder also needs to be thrown out, and his organ suitably dispensed with.

  11. Harquebus

    Adelaide has a perfectly good hospital. I was very annoyed to learn that our new one did not add any extra new beds. Whaat? What’s the point?
    Then I found out that, the public will not own the new hospital but, lease it instead. This from a Labor government.
    I have no idea what is going to happen to the old RAH.

    “the private sector will finance, design, construct and maintain the new hospital facility under a 35 year contract.”
    http://www.sahp.com.au/index.php/about-us/new-rah-ppp

    http://www.sahp.com.au/index.php/about-us/new-rah-ppp/111-whatisppp

    Education might be next on the ppp list.

    A previous Liberal government promised not to sell our electricity assets so, they leased them instead, to the Chinese, on a 200 year lease. Can you believe it?

    Don’t quote me on these two. They are to the best of my knowledge.

    I despise both Liberal and Labor. Both have prostituted themselves to the fascists elites.

    Morons reside at all levels of government and from all sides of politics.

  12. David

    @Lee… I suspect prestigious and average are not words that gel easily in Pyne’s world of ‘the best for the best and stuff the rest’.

  13. Harquebus

    In Pyne’s case, he is stupid and obnoxious.

  14. Kaye Lee

    I know of several kids who have received free tuition at prestigious private schools. They are all exceptional rugby players.

    As far as results go, the public schools in NSW do far better in the HSC with the top 9 schools in 2014 all being metropolitan government schools. There are also studies showing that students with a reasonable pass in a state school often do better at tertiary education than those from private schools with far better results as they are often taught towards an exam and receive extra tutoring but flounder with independent study.

  15. Matters Not

    Pyne is still an adolescent and chances are he will may never mature beyond that stage. In both word and deed, he is an ‘ugly’ Australian. Completely cringe worthy!

    Yesterday, during Question Time he was at his worst. (I tape it so that I don’t have to watch it all – only very, very select minutes). Pyne repeats ‘half truths’ again and again such as ‘We restored $1.2 billion to the Education Budget that Labor took out.’, completely ignoring the fact that the $1.2 billion cited was in fact returned to consolidated revenue (as it must, being ‘not spent’) ONLY after three States refused to comply with conditions.

    He refuses to acknowledge that while Gonski recommended increased funding; at the core of his recommendations was how those existing and additional funds should be allocated. In short, those who had the greatest ‘need’ should get the greatest ‘assistance’.

    With an election on the horizon, one hopes that Labor understands that Gonski’s bottom line was the methodology to be used and not the funds as such.

    Pope got it in one. Pyne is a liar (just to be unparliamentary.)

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html

  16. Matters Not

    Just to stress the point.

    http://www.monash.edu.au/news/releases/show/284

    Mr Dobson said a survey of 12,500 first year Monash University students revealed public school students who left Year 12 with lower marks than their private school rivals overtook them academically at university.

    “Once on a level playing field, students from non-selective government schools tend to do much better,” he said.

    “Private school students have an advantage at exam time in Year 12 because they have access to more resources. However, this advantage evaporates when they reach university.”

    The report found that once at university, public school students performed better academically in their first year compared with private school students who received similar ENTER scores.

    “We found that, on average, government school students performed about five percentage points better than students from independent schools,” Mr Dobson said.

    The study confirmed that private school students generally received higher Year 12 marks than those from the public system but showed that any edge gained was lost in the first year of a bachelor degree

    There are other links as well.

  17. Matters Not

    It’s situations such as this that Pyne should be addressing but simply ignores..

    But the current reality is of education systems that are socially stratified and full of inequalities. There is much evidence to suggest that our schools, rather than promoting equity, are effectively serving as engines of inequality. This is true of schools in other countries that have embraced choice and competition to organise education.

    Social stratification in the Australian education system is sharper than in most countries. Students from wealthy, privileged backgrounds tend to go to high-fee, independent high schools. Kids from low-income, disadvantaged backgrounds tend to go to government high schools

    http://theconversation.com/australian-schools-engines-of-inequality-23979

    Appointing Ken Wiltshire and Kevin Donnelly to do a review of the National Curriculum pretty well soms him up.

  18. Ian D

    I did a medical degree (a long time ago) coming out of the public school system. An analysis was done of how matriculation scores correlated to final year ranking. It was found that in general the better you did at matriculation the worse you did in final year medicine. This caused some consternation – as in what’s the point of using matriculation ranking to determine who gets into medicine. It was suggested they split the data into private schools (well over half the class) and public schools. When they did that they found that if you came from a public school your ranking in the year generally went up and there was a small positive correlation between matriculation scores and final ranking. On the other hand if you came from a private school your ranking went down (often considerably) and there was a reasonable negative correlation between matriculation result and final year rankings.

  19. Trudy B

    I also know a couple of kids who received private school tuition at prestigious schools as they were top notch athletes.

    I tutored a student from a prestigious private school in Melbourne in maths. He was a mediocre maths student and was advised by the school to drop maths in the following year. It was well known and understood by the students that the reason was that it would lower the school results in maths.

  20. Zathras

    Despite his own failings, at least Howard had the sense not to put Pyne on his front bench because he was sure that “one day Pyne would become an embarrassment”.

    Hard to believe but Pyne is classed as a “Power Broker” in his Party.

    I look forward to the day when Pyne’s full involvement in the James Ashby/Peter Slipper affair become public.
    I wondered if “I knew nothing” Tony would leap to his defence, but he may not be around by then.

  21. Lee

    “Adelaide has a perfectly good hospital. I was very annoyed to learn that our new one did not add any extra new beds. Whaat? What’s the point?”

    The current hospital is in need of major upgrade in several areas. I recall when the emergency dept was rebuilt all the staff in my area spent most of the day wearing ear plugs and the noise went on for months. We provide an emergency service and have several phones ringing all day long. It is very difficult to work in that situation and not good for patients trying to recuperate either. The new ED has some very inconvenient limitations due to the structure of the existing building.

    The new hospital will have 40 operating theatres, which is approximately double what it has now and 120 more beds than the current hospital. There will be increased benefits including patient safety from the installation of various technology features and a fleet of automated vehicles to move equipment and supplies around the hospital more efficiently. The emergency department will be capable of treating 25% more patients each year than it does currently. There will be inherent flexibility in the design to allow for future changes and expansion and it will be more energy and water efficient than the current hospital, with an expected 40% reduction in CO2 emissions.

  22. Harquebus

    Thanks Lee.
    I knew someone would come along and set me straight.
    I still don’t like these PPP thingies though.
    Cheers.

  23. Lee

    “There are also studies showing that students with a reasonable pass in a state school often do better at tertiary education than those from private schools with far better results as they are often taught towards an exam and receive extra tutoring but flounder with independent study.”

    Interesting to know it has been studied. When I was at uni the students in my classes from private schools really struggled with independent work and had to be carried in group work, especially in the first year. Some told me they had been spoon fed to pass their exams so the teachers looked good and kept their jobs and they were quite frustrated now with the outcome because they didn’t know how to study. In the years since then I’ve met teachers from private schools who said the same thing.

  24. Lee

    “This caused some consternation – as in what’s the point of using matriculation ranking to determine who gets into medicine. ”

    That could probably be asked of any course. When I left school, a higher matriculation score was required to get into physiotherapy than medicine. I don’t know if that is still the case. The score was based on the demand for the course. A high matriculation score does not necessarily mean that someone is suited to a particular career path.

  25. Matters Not

    score was based on the demand for the course.

    Certainly true at that time, caused by the large numbers of highly qualified females who preferred it to medicine, for example.

  26. Annie B

    I sit here in horror at the realisation of how low a politician can sink. …. Daily doses of shock treatment from this government, to us all – is the main game. …. Frankly this unbelievable monster, wouldn’t even need to open his mouth – for anyone to realise exactly what type of person he is. …

    Not one redeeming feature, is as uncouth as is possible, and his displays of unbridled red faced anger and vitriol, in parliament are pretty damned dreadful to watch. … He was expert at it in opposition, and nothing much has changed. …. The smirking, the ridiculous face pulling, the malice and thunderous looks – something very vile there.

    And the future of our childrens’ education is in this bloke’s hands ?

    Yes – he has to go – – – preferably yesterday.

  27. Kronomex

    Pyne, to me at least, is a raving lunatic.

  28. David

    @Zathras…Pyne a power broker, I can understand it….the choice is full of dumb sh-ts

  29. Kaye Lee

    Christopher Pyne is member for whatever it takes

    CHRISTOPHER Pyne has many enemies, even among his so-called friends. The mention of his name sends certain Liberal MPs into a frenzy of slurs. There is a deep dislike for the man from within quarters of his own party and one senses the intense feelings towards him border on a deep-seated hatred.

    Those close to Pyne describe him as obsessed. Yet others say “there is absolutely no balance in his life at all” and, while he is married to wife Carolyn and has four children, his real marriage is to politics.

    “He is completely obsessed with it, he never stops day or night,” says one federal Liberal, who wished to remain anonymous. “When the last batch of senators was elected, for example, he flew around the country to meet with all of them individually. He travels the whole country seducing people. When faced with a conservative, he boasts about how he’s really a conservative. When he’s faced with a moderate, he says how terrible conservatives are. He will say and do anything to get what he wants.

    “He exhibits the very best of what you want to see in MPs, but also the very worst of everything that gives MPs a bad name. Pyne epitomises the politics of politics, the very best and the very worst of it.”

    Some Liberal MPs say Pyne is known among them as “the politician who developed the art of the double-double-cross”.

    “He is an extraordinary individual,” one federal Liberal figure says. “He is just so driven it scares the living daylights out of people. He also is so well connected with the media, it scares people.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/christopher-pyne-is-member-for-whatever-it-takes/story-e6frg6n6-1225745830858

    Pyne toppled a respected sitting member for preselection when he was 23. He has been sucking off the public teat from the age of 25 when he entered parliament in 1993 – that’s 22 years! Enough is enough. He is a cynical political animal who will say whatever it takes to win then do whatever Credlin and the donors tell him to do.

  30. David

    What has amazed me is how the constituents of Sturt keep returning him as their MP. Either bloody stupid or the other candidates are duds

  31. Lee

    @ Kaye Lee – Pyne is reportedly very proud of his reputation of being one of the most hated, if not the most hated, person in politics.

    @ David – The electorate of Sturt covers some of the most affluent suburbs of Adelaide ( = lots of conservatives) and includes a large population of migrants and their families from continental Europe. Migrants are one of the biggest groups of people in favour of “stopping the boats”. I returned to live in this electorate last year after 9 years elsewhere. I previously lived in this electorate for about 14 years. As I recall, Pyne has been running against relative unknowns for years and none of them seemed to be mounting much of a campaign. It’s as if they expect him to win with a large margin – which he does. It will be interesting to see if they smell the blood in the water at the next election and make more of an effort. Pyne is obviously worried because the Adelaide HQ of the ABC is in his electorate. He protested against the effects of his party’s budget cuts on the local ABC to win brownie points with the electorate.

  32. David

    @Lee…thanks for the info. I read the SA Labor Party are making a concerted effort to put up a decent local candidate. Time they got a wriggle on, whoever it is going to be should be on the ground and running yesterday

  33. brickbob

    Í have read a lot of articles lately that Pyne is in serious trouble in his electorate and is not expected to be re elected,but i can have an educated guess that another like minded moron will take his place

  34. Lee

    Yeah – like Cory Bernardi may try a switch to the Lower House…….

  35. Annie B

    @ Kaye …

    “Pyne is reportedly very proud of his reputation of being one of the most hated, if not the most hated, person in politics.”

    A dyed-in-the-wool, perfect portrayal of the worst form of bully.

    Bullies thrive on being hated – it gives them more impetus / motivation, to do more of the same.

    Actually the abbott doesn’t hold a candle to Pyne in terms of bullying – and the abbott is about as bad and mad as it gets. … Which leave us with ???? …. how bad can it REALLy get ?

  36. silkworm

    You have to question the ethics of the producers of QandA who give him so much airtime.

  37. Geoff Andrews

    Bring back public examinations. They provide a level playing field. University faculties can have confidence in the quality of students applying for admission & schools & teachers can’t rort the system as outlines above.
    Re: Pyne’s alleged proposal for wealthy parents to pay for state school education: until the 1960’s, success in the Scholarship public examination held at the end of primary school (Grade 8) in Queensland entitled one to attend a state high school free of charge. This also applied to the Junior examination (Grade 10), giving the student two more years of free state school tuition to the final Senior examination.

  38. rabiddingo

    Kaye,
    yes, it’s common knowledge in Sydney that certain GPS schools have for years trawled the junior years of rural NSW and Qld high schools for gifted Rugby players. It’s interesting, too, that a number of young islander boys (Fijian, Samoans, Tongans,Cook Islanders) have also apparently been given free boarding scholarships in recent years. And I understand that a number of private schools also offer free scholarships to gifted and talented students from the public primary schools. Guess it boosts the school’s HSC results. Big-hearted of the school authorities, ain’t it? I’m sure Christopher Popinjay-Pyne is heartily approving of this practice.

  39. randalstella

    Lee’
    You are not correct about Pyne’s electoral contests.
    Pyne’s opponent in recent elections has been Rick Sarre – a very able and fair-minded man, with considerable concerns for due process and the rule of law. Sarre would have been a most admirable MP; with definite Ministerial promise. Another talent wasted by electorate dysfunction.
    Pyne cared enough to run dirty tricks campaigns against Sarre- using his Media connections.
    Sarre will not run again: the SA ALP are not that far behind The Bott’s gangsters as reactionary and suppressive.
    For many years, the incestuous extreme right-wing Catholic connection, Pyne has been in close giggly cahoots with the motor-mouthed regressive M. Abraham of Local Radio, ABC Adelaide. It is a festering little mutual admiration nest that includes the abominable C.Kenny of Murdoch/Downer/WMD/Hindmarsh Island ‘dissident women’ infamy. A truly pathological grouping in a town that revolves on vicious gossip and hate campaigns, from the neighbourhood level outwards.
    A gauge on this ethos: Pyne is actually quite popular – among those many who seem to be able still to know nothing much about him. You have to suspect that they do not want to know. He is rightly loathed by the rest.
    He is vulnerable in his electorate, so long as residents campaign together against him. They need to be willing to do it; and not leave it up to the Labor Party machine. A Green or an independent would be nice;like pulling a nail out of your head.

  40. Steeleye

    Pyne is such a complete and utter pillock that I have always thought that he must have a serious dirt file on members of the hierarchy of the Liberal Party to allow him to get away with his repulsive behaviour and his steady ascent of the greasy pole. However, Kaye’s comments about him above (5.27pm – where did you find those?) make him look as if he is really a political addict – politics is an end in itself and he just has to keep getting his fix, whatever it takes and never mind his family. If this is the case, then he has sociopathic leanings.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Steeleye,

    The link to the story in the Australian is given in the comment. It is a copy and paste from that article.

  42. lawrencewinder

    Ohhhhh, Pyne, “The-Whyne-and-Perfect-Prat-of-a-Prefect”… that this vicious mincing dilettante has maintained a seat in parliament is testimony to a really irresponsible electorate.

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “I propose that we should stop taking taxes from the working poor to subsidise the middle class and the super elites in the form of grants to wealthy private schools. I know that some parents make great sacrifice to pay for their decision to send their children to private schools. These people could be compensated by making school fees tax deductible for those on incomes below a certain threshold (or adopt a sliding percentage scale where deductibility phases out for those earning in the top 10%.)”

    I support Kaye’s above proposal because I also want far less or NO taxpayer funding to wealthy private schools – and case by case assessments for other private schools.

    I want a direct transfer of all over-funding to the wealthy schools made to all struggling, moderately or under-resourced schools throughout Australia. That, to my mind would go a long way to leveling the playing field for every Australian student.

    Any Australian, who believes in equal and equitable access to effective education, would see the threat of Pyne’s education plans to our fundamental human rights to quality of life choices that education provides us.

  44. Morpheus Being

    Not only Pyne must go, but so must the rest of the CMOI (Current Mob of Idiots). The problem we as electors face is that the opposition is MIA and no real alternatives who would get the numbers to form a government.

  45. Lee

    “You are not correct about Pyne’s electoral contests.
    Pyne’s opponent in recent elections has been Rick Sarre – a very able and fair-minded man, with considerable concerns for due process and the rule of law. Sarre would have been a most admirable MP; with definite Ministerial promise. Another talent wasted by electorate dysfunction.”

    randallstella, Rick Sarre may well be a very capable MP if he gets the chance. But it’s of no use if he doesn’t run a pre-election campaign that makes him stand out as a viable option. In the 2010 election he got 36% of the votes with a 5% swing against Labor, and in 2013 he got almost 29% of the votes with a further 7% swing against him.

  46. randalstella

    I am well aware of the figures in Sturt. I have written of the results in Pyne’s seat on this site previously.
    Things are determined to a large extent beyond the electorate. Like the last 2 contests in Sturt.

    Yet nowhere in Australia is there such an opportunity to rid public office of a loathsome cheating ponce. But do they? No.
    ‘Viable option’?
    What would that be?
    I don’t know how a considerate, intelligent person could act as an ‘option’ to a fascist prat, because that’s what they keep choosing.
    I want someone smarter and more moral than the electorate. I don’t need prompting that the trick is to sneak someone like that past the voters. But how?
    It can’t happen without the involvement of the worthy voters. Find them. Organise them.

    Labor’s disgraceful agreement with the Bott on the RET should get a few up and stirring.

  47. Lee

    Considering the personalities of numerous Liberal politicians, they’re obviously not being elected on their personal qualities. People are voting for personal benefits. Pyne’s electorate takes in some of the wealthiest suburbs. The Liberal Party panders to business owners.

  48. Michael Taylor

    Yes, I’m beating my own drum, but this is something I wrote a few years ago following a rumour in Canberra that Pyne was making a play for the leadership:

    Christopher Pyne, the Member for Sturt, is a man who likes to indulge in a daily hissy fit whenever he walks into, or is within cooee of, Parliament HouSe. It’s hard to believe that this public character reflects the electorate he represents. The electorate of Sturt is cluttered within the elite suburbs of Eastern Adelaide. Shopping centre car parks are packed with BMWs and the centres themselves with expressionless peroxide blondes sipping on lattes and doing nothing else but look rich. Husbands at work won’t be home until after midnight. The kids are nearby creating havoc. Spoiled, noisy, demanding creatures who will have no friends once they realise that life and society expect some sort of contribution or sacrifice. They present a good case for the return of corporal punishment. They belong to the cohort group that Pyne has clearly been engaging with in his electorate. His behaviour imitates them. I wish he’d talk to their expressionless mums; the ones whose opinions are best kept to themselves, if allowed to have one. Pyne might gain some respect if he imitated them instead. If elected as his party’s next leader he will follow in the mold of a failed previous leader and idol of his, Alexander Downer. He is a serious contender but seriously, is a joke.

  49. randalstella

    Lee,
    I do not think that we can afford the more comforting assumption that what may be repellent to the few of us, cannot be attractive to many others.
    If the Libs had to depend on affluent voting support – that is a vote in accord with the voters’ economic and social interests – they would be a small-interest group, not the Party that has had Government for 21 of the last 40 years since 1975; 44 of the last 70 years since WWII. (That they think as a small and tight interest group is revealed by the comments of the fool they made Treasurer.)
    How do they do it? Or, why do the electorate do it? I cannot remember a Lib regime that has not lied about pivotal policy. And lied obviously; exposed as liars. Yet they get voted in – including by campaigning on the trustworthiness of the Labor Party. Why is the integrity of Labor put as so critical and theirs is an option rarely needed?
    Michael,
    Sturt is a mixture. Most of it is middle class,some of it wealthy. And some of it very much working class.

  50. Lee

    The majority of Australians are in favour of stopping the boats. I saw one survey a few weeks ago that showed 85% of Australians do not realise that it is not illegal to seek asylum. I know people (first generation Australians all of them) who voted Liberal for the sole reason they promised to stop the boats. Migrants have been identified as the second largest group in favour of stopping the boats. Sturt has affluent suburbs and the working class area includes a lot of migrants.

  51. Lee

    Forgot to add, a large percentage of those migrants are Italian. Pyne is Catholic.

  52. randalstella

    It was stop the petrol rationing in 1949, stop the Commies – Russians in 1950s, Viet Cong in the 1960s; stop Gough in ’75, stop Keating in ’96, stop Labor’s waste in 2010 and 2013. And stop the boats.
    ‘Stop’ might just be a theme. We’re onto something!
    Stop Abbott!? Somehow it just does not seem to work the other way, especially if there is serious policy intent that no slogan can reach, except destructively. (So,what is the answer: Labor to stop serious policy development?)
    Just imagine what a brilliant country this would be without these cursed destructive bastards – and without the corporatist Labor trying to be as unrepresentative as the Libs, to pinch their votes.
    The problem lies with the electorate; the culture of manipulation by powerful interests who represent very few.

  53. Lee

    Speaking of manipulation, saw an interesting tweet a short time ago. Why did Labor and Liberal team up this week to pass a net censorship bill? Underneath is a list of 8 donations made by Village Roadshow Limited (4 to each party) over the last 2 years. ALP = $200,000 + $1,500 + $15,000 + $11,000, Liberal = $200,000 + $25,000 + $20,000 + $2,719.

  54. Lee

    The other big group that reportedly voted Liberal were retirees. There are a lot of nursing homes and retirement villages on Pyne’s turf.

    According to this map from ABS (under the People 65 years and older section) practically all of the electorate of Sturt has the highest level of retirees (> 16%). http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/3235.0~2011~Main+Features~South+Australia?OpenDocument.

    I recall reading a couple of stats some years ago now that Glynde had the highest average citizen age in Adelaide (probably still the case given the large Lutheran Homes complex there plus other retirement villages) and the ambulance service picked up more patients from Norwood than any other suburb in Adelaide, due largely to the aged citizens there.

  55. Pingback: Pyne must go – » What has he achieved? | olddogthoughts

  56. David

    Michael you are streets ahead of me in your knowledge of the political scene, but if Pyne is a contender for the Lib leadership then the field must be as wide and contain the same level of stupidity and ignorance as those wannabees in the US Republican Presidential nomination race, or to be more precise nomination ‘crawl’.
    Cheers, enjoy your writing.

  57. David

    @Lee …re the population of retirement homes in Sturt. A good potential Labor MP would ensure she/he were well aware of those numbers (Im sure poncy Pyne is), spend a lot of time getting to know or at least to recognise and say hullo to the residents. Pyne in his oozing sickening false charm, the flashing of the capped molars, the giggles, the obscene wiggling of his closeted hips, all would be enjoyed by the majority as boyish good humour and friendship.
    If my Gran was an indication, ‘apparent’ youth goes down a treat in those establishments. Fight fire with fire, minus the hips, even that sewer refuse has a few points to copy.

  58. Michael Taylor

    David, I was unfortunate enough to live in his electorate.

  59. Lee

    “@Lee …re the population of retirement homes in Sturt. A good potential Labor MP would ensure she/he were well aware of those numbers (Im sure poncy Pyne is), spend a lot of time getting to know or at least to recognise and say hullo to the residents.”

    @ David – I agree totally. A candidate should not just focus on the nursing homes either, but also focus on the high migrant areas. In post-election interviews I’ve often seen politicians interviewed where they said they worked a hard campaign and knocked on many doors. I’ve never had one come to my house when I’m home, nor leave a card in my mailbox to advise that they called. I live in Little Italy (I did last time I lived in this electorate too), English is not the first language of any of the four households adjoining mine, and I’m waiting to see door knocking candidates at the next election.

  60. diannaart

    Must be tricky to be a politician who is into privatise (anything that could make a $) and minimise (governments but remain authoritarian) – poor Pyne, almost feel sorry for him. NOT.

  61. Pingback: Christopher Pyne’s Greatest Hits of 2015: Winner of the People’s Choice Snoutie | Progressive Conversation

  62. Pingback: CHRISTOPHER PYNE’S GREATEST HITS OF 2015: WINNER OF THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE SNOUTIE – Written by PROGRESSIVE CONVERSATION | winstonclose

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