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Pyne Playing Poor Politics

Really, there are times when I cannot believe what I am hearing from various members of our federal government. Never did I suspect that the present level of stupidity and incompetence could be so endemic within this extraordinary collection of misfits and idiots.

The most recent example is Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education and manager of business in the lower house. To the man’s credit he has worked tirelessly to have his bill to de-regulate our Universities passed in the senate, albeit to no avail.

Realistically, his multiplicity of amendments have shown his willingness to negotiate, but today, he made it indelibly clear on ABC’s Insiders when speaking with Barry Cassidy, that he has no intention of backing down on the principle of de-regulation itself. The bill with its changes will likely go before the senate this Wednesday.

De-regulation means increases in fees for students that will, in some cases, render a University education unaffordable, for others, carrying a heavy financial burden into their professional lives, assuming they are able to find appropriate employment when they finish.

This bill, if anyone needs reminding, originally included interest loans for students to be pegged to the bond rate, but has now been linked to the Consumer Price Index. It also contained a 20% funding cut to courses which now appears to be open to negotiation.

Today, however, Christopher Pyne made it clear that failure to pass the bill would mean the sacking of some 1700 scientists and researchers, claiming that if he cannot achieve savings in education, he will reduce funding for scientific research.

“There are consequences for not voting for this reform and that’s very important for the cross benchers to understand,” Mr Pyne told the ABC’s Insiders program.

What an extraordinary piece of audacity or is it blackmail? To hold 1700 scientists hostage and risk Australia becoming the ‘dumb country’ as Senator Nick Xenophon said, must be the most outrageous act of stupidity or recklessness in living memory.

With Labor and the Greens intending to oppose the bill, Pyne needs six of the eight cross bench senators to side with him. But with Senator Lambie in hospital, unable to vote and being paired, that means he requires six out of seven.

Minister Pyne must know that his bill will likely be defeated. To threaten the employment of so many as a consequence is highly provocative and not the act of a responsible minister. It smacks of bullying, it is juvenile and churlish.

To link the research fund to the de-regulation bill is cheap, tawdry politics. The minister has overstepped himself and it could well be his undoing. He plays a dangerous game.

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  1. john o'callaghan

    Good article and also exposes the end product of a private priviliged education,aka Christopher Pyne.””

  2. Vicki

    I truly believe that the characters that make up the front bench of this government see politics as some sort of board game – that their decisions, policies, thought bubbles are a game of one-upmanship. We had morrison blackmailing the senate into giving him extraordinary powers in return for releasing children from detention, now we have poodles pyyne blackmailing the senate by threatening to sack 1700 scientists in order to get his draconian higher education reforms through. The rabbit himself views remote communities as life style choices!!!! This bunch live in a very insular world in which they merely move pieces around on a board with absolutely no idea that they are actually supposed to be governing this country for the well being of the people who live in it.
    I’m finding it difficult to express my feelings about how unreal this whole scenario is to me. I refuse to dignify these characters by placing a capital at the start of their names. I feel we are living in some sort of alternative universe. How did we get here?

  3. CMMC

    They like holding people hostage for political gain.

    Refugees, now scientists.

  4. Bronte ALLAN

    Poor old prissy Pyne,& Joe wobbly & the rabbitt, some one took their bat & ball, & now they can’t play anymore! What an inept bunch of conservative/right wing/tea party/flat earth lying crones they ALL are? I am not sure who is the “stupidest”, but I think the rabbitt still wins! The trouble is we are “stuck” with this lot for some years to come, just watch as they decimate the Pension payments, “forget” about any science agendas, destroy our economy with this TPP nonsense & carry on in their stupid incompetent way! I have never felt so bitter about any of our pollies, (& that includes Howard!) than I do about this lot, & more afraid for our future & for our children’s future as well! Another thing, ALL politicians salaries here in Australia are far too high! Compared to the rest of the World’s politicians,& especially Barak Obama’s our “lot” are paid about double what the rest of them get! And they want the low paid, persons on any welfare etc to get them out of their so-called ‘budget crisis”, which has been proven to be a big phurphy! Just check the newspapers–mine was the Adelaide Advertiser of February 16–where a list of many “major” countries in the world & their respective Net Debts, puts us way, way down the list of billions owed against % of GDP!

  5. Pamela Curr

    This is the Morrison Method to force passage of a Bill. Blackmail- morrison if you don’t pass my Bill I will keep 100’s of children locked up even though it is hurting them. He even organised a begging phone call- please let them out to cross- benchers. What could they do?
    So Pune now says to cross- bench, if you don’t pass my bill- I will sack 1700 scientists. Your choice!
    Both bills have longtermer destructive effects on our country’s future but the Senators face a Sophie’s choice right now.
    What a putrid evil way to govern- God help our kids if this goes through.

  6. Terry2


    I saw Pyne on Insiders and was appalled : how did we ever get to this, having somebody like Pyne lecturing us and holding the Senate hostage.

    The Cross Benches must vote this down and, in the process give the coalition a Double Dissolution trigger which, is the last thing they want right now. As has been said before, you don’t do something this fundamental as a budget measure, you take it to an election with full disclosure to the electorate.

    This has to go down as the worst government in our recent history, completely lacking in leadership or morality. It’s to be hoped that they don’t do too much damage to Australia before they are consigned to the trash can of history.

  7. poindexta

    Seeing as they seem to enjoy using hostages and fear to fulfil their objectives, can we classify the government as a terrorrist organisation and bring to bear all that draconian security legislation to protect us from their “death cult ?

  8. Loz

    I think it was a mistake to give in to Morrison as it would have shown him up to be a blackmailer. The same with this latest blackmail attempt by Pyne, All blackmail attempts escalate if their demands are met. This is no way to govern a country.

  9. Mike

    Someone please just give the poodle some choclate for a week, that’ll stop his yap yap yapping

  10. eli nes

    we must get a different insiders up north? To us pyne made it clear that he wanted to save the 1700 scientists that labor was going to sack but that ministers had firm instructions before spending comes savings and no savings on universities means he cannot commit to spending on science to save these people abandoned by labor’s debt crisis???.
    His ‘clever’ analogy, to explain how universities will not be able to overcharge with impunity, was with pensioners who if they earn money centrelink will cut their pension so if the universities earn money their grants will be cut.
    Admittedly, I was laughing at the most serious looking of the cloth-eared twits in cabinet, so may have misunderstood but ‘pensioners’ who suffer cuts are those who cannot hide their ‘earnings’. A simple 5 minute think will find there are a lot of very rich people who are able to hide earnings, almost all of whom went to university!! Surely xenophon will not be bought and will help the ‘independents understand the awful consequences of this bill? on top of the VET/TAFE??

  11. Pingback: Pyne Playing Poor Politics – » The Australian Independent Media Network | winstonclose

  12. Kaye Lee

    while a student, Mr Pyne opposed university fees, contesting an election on the platform of resisting the federal government’s attempt to reintroduce them.

    “I feel it my duty to stand for election and do everything possible to forestall the introduction of fees and indeed to end any movements by the Federal Government to introduce fees,” Mr Pyne wrote as a first year student.

    In June 2014 he told the ABC’s Fran Kelly: “You don’t get elected as student politician by saying the opposite to what the voters in your university are thinking.”

    So Christopher Pyne Got His Start In Politics Campaigning Against The Introduction Of Student Fees

    In May, it was shown that Treasurer Joe Hockey also protested fee deregulation while he was a student at Sydney University. In 1987, he was filmed opposing the introduction of a $250 administration fee because it would threaten universal free education.

  13. Matters Not

    De-regulation means increases in fees for students

    Maybe yes or maybe no. The influence of ‘deregulation’ is yet to be determined, but what is certain to cause a significant increase in university fees is the proposed cut to the government’s contribution from a 60% contribution to a 50% contribution. A decrease of 16.66%.

    Those monies have to be found from somewhere. A university degree that cost a student (let’s say) $10 000 a year (40% of total cost) plus a government subsidy of $15 000 (60%) will now rise to $12 500 for each student which is an increase of 25%.

    The theoretical figures I quote are before ‘deregulation’. And while the increases after deregulation are still ‘unknown’ one can only suspect the ‘deregulation’ will exacerbate what is already a very unhealthy trend.

    Shorten talks about $100 000 degrees. He is being unnecessarily conservative.

    A medical degree from Bond University is currently quoted at $331 000 with an upfront fee of $74 000.

    Do as I do and email every one of the crossbenchers, every day.

    This is one of the dumbest policy proposals ever. And from people who, on average, received their university education for free.

    Showed they learnt very little except how to be greedy and keep the punters under the thumb.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    This mob’s aim is to deregulate, another name for privatise the tertiary sector. Pyne’s action in saying all he is interested is in deregulations, tells us clearly, is nothing to do with budget, but with neoliberalism dogma.

    They are willing to destroy the economy, to put the IPA/Teaparty agenda in place.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    By the way, how many scientist, across the board, has this government already sacked? I

  16. Rafe Falkiner

    Any cross bencher in the senate that supports this clown should be ashamed to be Australian. Australian scientists will leave this country in droves & we will become the stupid country…….All to fill some mythalogical financial crisis. They will also be out at the next election

  17. Roswell

    They keep plummeting, don’t they?

  18. babyjewels10

    Totally agree. Especially the bit about “this extraordinary collection of misfits and idiots.”

  19. lawrencewinder

    Pyne’s only honest moment on “Insiders” today was when he paused …just for a second, to take in what Cassidy had said to him about the political and electoral damage this insane bribery will effect.
    Pyne then went off on a “Boy’s -Own” rant of fighting the good fight and being the last to fall etc., etc., , blah, blah, bloody, blah!
    This rabble need’s throwing out, now! They have nothing positive for this nation, nothing except the privatisation and destruction of all public services for the benefit of the IPA’s donors.

  20. Matters Not

    ALL GERMAN universities will be free of charge when term starts next week after fees were abandoned in Lower Saxony, the last of seven states to charge.

    “Tuition fees are socially unjust,” said Dorothee Stapelfeldt, senator for science in Hamburg, which scrapped charges in 2012.

    “They particularly discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up studies. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”

    Bloody Germans. Free educations, not only for ‘locals’ but for ‘foreigners’ as well.

    It seems they don’t understand the ‘right’ direction. Undermining our ‘fees for all’ policy.

    Perhaps Tony might consider sending in the troops,

    Seriously, education at all levels should be considered as an investment, both at the individual and societal levels, rather than a cost.

    It’s not rocket science.

  21. ianmac

    This lot are not so stupid as they make out.:/
    They are purposely driving the economy into the worst possible situation they can before they get dumped, for the only motivation they have, it seems, is to ensure the privatisations of every thing they can, to engineer the takeover of australian assets by their syndicated bankster/corporate cabal friends and to satisfy the (american) council for foreign relations and to deliver, carte blanche, as much of australia’s sovereign rights,assets and resources to their overlords who have made the ‘political donations’ (which were referred to by the ex liberal party treasurer )
    And meanwhile, cause as much confusion as possible, by double speak,back flipping, smoke and mirrors,insult, gainsaying, obfuscation, threatening,terrormongering and bastardry AND secrecy over the highly impending danger of the investor state dispute settlements in the TransPacificPartnership of which even the Howard government was extremely wary.
    Well that’s how it looks to this uneducated one.
    Good on you all at AIMN, for too few alternative voices for reason or sense of reality are even entertained in the daily miasma of head- in- the- sand, (or buried elsewhere) journalism available to me, thanks for some sanity! 🙂

  22. Harquebus

    Nothing Chris Pyne does or says surprises me.

    In the U.$., a whole generation is starting adult life well educated and in debt just when they should be starting to contribute to society. They do not buy houses, new appliances, furniture nor cars and a lot of them are unemployed or flipping hamburgers and living with their parents.

    Not all graduates earn fortunes. Scientists for example.

    One scientist commenting on theDrum stated how he wished he’d become an economist and got rich stuffing up the world. Instead, he devoted his life, for no real financial reward, to trying to save it and ended up giving up in despair because of repeatedly being dismissed by politicians. They only listen to economists.

  23. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    How did we come to this?

  24. Terry2

    eli nes

    “To us pyne made it clear that he wanted to save the 1700 scientists that labor was going to sack ………….”

    This is convoluted Pyne talk ; Labor weren’t going to sack anybody. As I understand it, Labor had not ratified the four year funding program for the NCIRS beyond 2015 but clearly, had they been in office still, they would have. The funding should have been included in the Hockey 2014/15 budget.

    If there is any evidence that Labor had defunded the NCIRS I would be happy to see it.

  25. John Fraser


    You know you're living in a dictatorship when the Abbott Party :

    Breaks or ignores laws.

    Threatens its own population.

    Sometimes I yearn for the Liberal Party, before the Abbott Party destroyed it.

  26. Bilal

    Pyne’s performance on Insiders was brilliant. As never before he exposed just what a disgusting cabal is trying to run this government. If any “Liberal” supporters were in doubt as to how far these idiots will go to push their IPA ideology, he clearly demonstrated it today. Destroying the Australian economy appears to what they have been tasked with and were it not for the cross-benchers in the Senate, they may have been able to achieve it. What is the total number of Australian jobs they have eliminated? What number is their target?

  27. Pamela

    Agree with IanMac- Abbott &Eco clearly engaged in what is the phrase
    “bombing the village to save it”

  28. Matters Not

    Re the ‘deregulation’ argument, maybe it’s worth ‘following the money’ trail? You know, who gets what.

    If not ‘leading the charge’ then certainly at the forefront is Glyn Davis the Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University. A ‘deregulated’ system would see his salary rise somewhat significantly. Not that he is currently underpaid.

    While I have no problem with that, provided he discloses when asked, (not that he has ever been asked by the way) I just wonder how many people are aware that his spouse Margaret Gardner, currently Vice Chancellor of Monash University would receive a similar ‘bonus?

    I knew and worked with both Davis and Gardner when they were in Queensland and I was always then impressed with their ‘social conscience’.

    But not now.

  29. Lee

    And still there are working class Australians who support these idiots.

  30. Harquebus

    The dumbing down of our nation is no accident. It is deliberate.
    While we are distracted with celebrity chefs and sport, the powers that be continue the pillaging our resources and the destruction of the natural world.
    With the billions of tonnes of raw materials exported for even more billions of dollars, no one in this country, let alone every government, should be in debt and no one should have to pay for an education.
    We are being ripped off and Chris Pyne is just another pirate.

  31. matters Not

    And be thankful for this development.

    The threats to $150 million of scientific funding, as well as last-minute proposals for new elements of the higher education deregulation package, have infuriated the crossbench, and appear to have left the government with even less support in the Senate for its reforms, which are due to be voted on in the Senate on Wednesday, than it enjoyed previously.

    Crossbench Senators Lambie, Lazarus, Madigan, Muir, Wang and Xenophon, plus Greens Senator Rhiannon are co-sponsoring a Labor notice of motion, to be put forward by Labor higher education spokesman Kim Carr, calling on the government to immediately release the research infrastructure funding

    By the way they are not ‘reforms’.

    ‘Changes’ and ‘reforms’ should never be equated.

    Matters Not

  32. stephentardrew

    A pox on the deranged poodle.

  33. Annie B

    John Kelly … you have said it all … and given an excellent profile of this madman.

    This is out and out blackmail – nothing more, nothing less.

    @ Bronte ALLAN

    You said “The trouble is we are “stuck” with this lot for some years to come, … “

    I doubt that very strongly. At worst – 18 months or so, at best it will end much sooner.

    Don’t give up hope. … That’s precisely what this Government wants us to do – ‘give up’ in every sense of the word … and that vile ambition of theirs, comes with fascist ideologies, fear mongering and dictatorship.

    We all must learn from this wretched state of affairs. … And learn quickly.

  34. CMMC

    Andrew Nikolic, Abbotts new Chief Whip, has singled out a Tasmanian academic who dared to write to the newspapers about the hostage negotiations and is stalking him.

    Labor and crossbench Senators should just go with the traditional disclaimer; ‘We do not negotiate with terrorists/hostage takers’.

  35. Barry Thompson.

    Pyne is a classic example of the privately educated, born to rule, I am superior to you type. He is one of the most despicable politicians I have seen in over 48 years of observing politics in this country.
    It is to be hoped that his electorate will retire him at the next election, which cannot come soon enough.

  36. O'Bleak

    Pyne. Another 1st rate, 3rd rate minister. Abbott’s captain’s pick of ministers was formulated using an old misogynist principle which says “Never marry a woman who is smarter than you”. When an idiot does the choosing, we get? What? Enough said.

  37. Pamela Curr

    Not just German universities free. They have reversed the user pays policy recognising it as a big mistake. USA UNIs is were snaffling their brightest students who once educated in English did not return. US is expensive but extensive philanthropy provides full scholarships to clever students.
    Holland has charges but these are repaid in living expenses. PHd students valued. My daughter is doing a masters in Amsterdam which costs nothing because of pay back living expenses- the equivalent in Australia would leave her with a $60,000 debt.
    Meanwhile in Oz International students are being forced to go home before they finish courses because visas run out- they are expected to fly back to Canada to apply for another visa jump through hoops to come back. They don’t- instead they finish study online from home and Australia gets no benefit of bright PHD students working in industry or chosen field.
    We are fools squandering all these clever young people’s skills- they are in EU, USA, Canada contributing.
    NZ could seize opportunity to become education capital of South Pacific if Australia turns higher ed into a luxury item for a few. Already Australian students can study there as New Zealanders not international.
    Pyne is a fool- well we all know it- will he be allowed to gut this nation’s future.

  38. Zathras

    Pyne is actually considered a “power-broker” within his own faction and in the Liberal Party.

    It’s interesting that John Howard refused to appoint Pyne to his front bench because he knew he would become an embarrassment.

    I suppose every political party needs a token fatuous prat in its ranks. Congratulations to the Libs on such a fine choice.

  39. Pingback: Pyne Playing Poor Politics | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  40. Jexpat

    Apparently, Pyne has now backed down on his threat, delighting Belinda Robinson, chief executive of the grifters known as “Universities Australia” who now asserts that there’s nothing in the way of shafting Australian students out of 100’s of thousands of dollars, to be paid for via many more years of indenture.

  41. Jake

    It’s encumbent on the people of Sturt to demand someone better as their Federal representative. Or are the people of Sturt happy with this arrogant fool being representative of them as he continues to be a smarmy, narcissistic, national embarrassment?

  42. Roswell

    Jake, Pyne is fairly representative of the people from Sturt. He is one of them. He is like them.

  43. Lee

    This resident of Sturt is looking forward to putting him last on my ballot paper, as I’ve always done. I had 8 years outside of the electorate until 6 months ago but nothing has changed with my voting preferences. Some polls have indicated that Pyne now has a large swing against him within Sturt so hopefully by the time the next election rolls around, it will be enough to toss him out. When I returned to my old neighbourhood I noticed quite an increase in migrants from India and South-East Asia here. Whether or not they are benefiting from 457 visas or being persecuted as Muslims I cannot say. It is difficult to know how they are going to vote. The SA headquarters of the ABC is also in Sturt.

  44. Dandark

    Pyne is a “fixer” he reckons, he is a moron that needs to grow up more like it….

  45. paul walter

    Dandark, i’d endorse every word of that and add that he is an irrational, vicious nutter.

  46. paul walter

    Btw, smiled at O’Bleaks comment..if you choose a cabinet on the basis of others being less bright than Eleventy, Abbott or Pyne, is it dumbER than a box full of hammers?

  47. DanDark

    Paul Walters, the bloke is bonkers, as nutty as a fruit cake, he is a fruit loop
    and down right dangerous to our kids and their education…

  48. Jake

    @Lee, good onya. @Roswell, yep, the Sturties put him in, I was just trying to avoid generalisations. As, Lee points out, theyre not all Pyne-sucking idiots, just enough them to make life difficult for the rest of us 🙂 more proof that sheeple don’t think!

  49. Jexpat

    @Jake, et al.

    Don’t look now, but Nick Xenophon is lufting a trial balloon at running an independent in Sturt.

    And perhaps, in certian other SA electorates.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Dear Mr Pyne,

    I know where you can get the $150 million for research funding.

    Scrap the $244 million school chaplaincy program.

    Happy to be of service to my country,



    PS Does it seem a tad incongruous to you that we can find $244 million for untrained scripture teachers but can’t find $150 million to fund 1700 scientists to pursue world-changing research?

  51. paul walter

    Exquisite…Kaye wins again.

  52. pamelac65

    Kaye- Absolutely spot on the mark.

    Another incongruity- Spending $500,000 plus per person per year on Manus and Nauru to house each man woman and child
    but cant provide stable accommodation for 20,000 Australians who sleep rough or couch surf .

  53. Jake

    Kaye – you’re a thinker

  54. Annie B

    @ Jake …

    Death Star … Darth Vader – and all that. …. Whoever made that up is ultra-clever.

    Pyne fits in perfectly, but still would manage to confound common sense with ANY of his statements ( not to mention his flouncing twinkle toed escapes from the H of R, when the going gets too hot ) !!!

    Pyne is not one to waste breath on … any further. ….

    Quite moronic and an utter disgrace.

  55. Faerielights

    I refuse to be threatened by this moron who could not out-debate my 14 year old son let alone scare him…..From the mouths of babes…..”well mum, let’s just hope he never needs me for neurosurgery in the future because you know I have accepted that by wanting to be a doctor I must be prepared to accept my mistakes when I mess up the lobotomy…..”

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