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Stop the culture wars, Senator Hughes

I cannot bite my tongue anymore about the egregious disrespect Senator Hollie Hughes is displaying to the Australian teaching profession.

Previously Senator Hughes remarkably claimed the Coalition lost the Federal Election because of the lessons being taught to school children by ‘Marxist teachers.’ Senator Hughes then doubled down today claiming the ‘Marxist teachers’ had been teaching school children the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes, and by virtue of the erroneous Marxist labelling of teachers the senator was also by way of a strong inference also labelling Keynes as a Marxist. There are a number of issues arising out of this unwarranted disrespect, and ignorance, of Senator Hughes embracing culture wars which I wish to personally call-out.

Let me first address the inference of linking Keynes to Marxism, as that is the height of economic and political ignorance I have not heard a politician express before, and I can easily dispose of the slur against Keynes (my apologies to Marxists, but I do not accept Marxism as a viable economic theory). Keynes did not study Marx, and he did not feel the need for doing so because he identified Marx’s theories with those of the classicists, therefore rejecting both Marxism and classicists. Notwithstanding any criticisms either Keynes or Marx raised about laissez-faire capitalist ideology, Marx focused on the failure within production whereas Keynes focused on investment. Keynesian and Marxist theories are as different as chalk and cheese.

Now I wish to discuss the slur Senator Hughes is making against the profession of schoolteachers. It is both an objective and personal matter I wish to discuss:

1 At the objective level I was educated at both the primary and secondary level by both the private and public sectors of the teaching profession (the secondary level was because I repeated Year 12 after my first occasion was a misguided ‘gap’ year, if I may describe my recalcitrance in that manner). What I can objectively say is schoolteachers in either sector of education work very hard, including a lot of afterhours unpaid work. In either system of education I wasn’t taught to be a Marxist, but the theory was taught to me in economic history classes in both sectors of secondary education.

My private school education occurred at a school in which the majority of students’ parents voted for the Liberal Party, a fact I was personally able to assess as I drew the ire of my fellow students whenever I extolled the virtues of my allegiance to the Labor Party. However, in Year 12 Modern History lessons at that private school we had First Nations representatives come in to speak to us about the racism and other terrible acts they had, and still were (and still are), subjected to. Ponder over that fact for a moment Senator Hughes.

2 On the personal level both my late mum and my stepdad were schoolteachers in the public system of education. I witnessed firsthand how hard they both worked to deliver quality secondary education services in two of the most impoverished suburbs in Brisbane during the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was an extremely difficult time for teachers in the public sector of education, but notwithstanding the challenges both my late mum and stepdad assiduously worked away to deliver a quality service of education for those school students. My late mum and stepdad weren’t/ aren’t Marxists, and they certainly weren’t teaching their students to be Marxists.

I now watch my daughter being educated in the public sector of primary education, and the commitment of her teachers to deliver quality education is simply superb. Today during the school holidays I continued my desire to teach Shakespeare to my daughter (what a fun dad I am). I turned to the sonnets section of my ‘Works of Shakespeare’ book, and as I started to teach my daughter what a sonnet is, she stopped me in my tracks to tell me she had already been taught iambic pentameter in Year 2. My daughter is certainly not being taught by ‘Marxist’ teachers.

Senator Hughes’ disgraceful attacks on the teaching profession in this country by labelling them Marxist is divisive and insulting to teachers. Her ignorance about Keynes and Marx is very concerning. Senator Hughes’ behaviour is the worst level of American style cultural war to try to agitate in this country. Senator Hughes should be reprimanded by her leader Peter Dutton, but I suspect there is a greater chance Shakespeare himself will be teaching next term at my daughter’s school than Ms Hughes being pulled into line.


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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    Like the US and UK, many of these (ageing) cultural warriors of the right whether in politics, media or society are guilty of spreading disinformation &/or misinformation; in the case of the latter many have not been near a school or university for decades if not a generation…..

    Worse, they have many whiffy cultural allies in Putin, Orban, Kaczynski, Erdogan, Bolsanaro, Modi et al.

  2. Canguro

    Hollie Hughes; to the manor born. Adelaidean, with apologies to the good burghers of that city, but some of its folk suffer from the illusion that they’re a better class of person than, say, the convict-descended rabbles of other Australian cities. Catholic-educated, again, not necessarily a bad start in life but one that can certainly bias one’s outlook against the plebian upbringings of a public-educated background.

    A squatter’s wife, a social environment prone to having one look down one’s privileged nose at the lesser folk, the workers, tenant farmers and sharecroppers.

    A resident of Roseville, Sydney, a suburb of privileged white folk, so much so that it’s caricatured for its privileged status.

    None of these aspects of the senator’s background necessarily influence her attitudes, but they might, they just might. I see she’s taken to Twitter to hit back against the criticism she’s receiving over her insistence on wearing an expensive brace of bivalve mollusc derived calcium carbonate balls around her neck, an utterly idiotic insistence derived from the illusory belief that it demonstrates her classiness.

    I’d say she sees herself as a necessary class warrior defending the way of life she sees as her due. With all due respect, an anachronistic idiot, destined to go the way of the dinosaurs and woolly mammoths.

  3. Sully of Tuross

    She is a very dodgy idiot as last night’s 4 Corners showed.
    People like her will guarantee the Coalition will be in Opposition for a very long time, as Australians have moved on from such lunacy.
    I wonder how she can claim to know anything about State Public Schools because I bet the only time she ever goes near one is on polling day when working polling booths. Many Liberals would be the same.

  4. Phil Pryor

    Senator Hughes, a fascist frau and fraud, is a product of St, Superstition High school, a sub standard quasi educational pit of excrement trying to create dummies, loudmouths, impressed idiots and sanctified shitskulled showoff shouters for fictional foolishness. I’d like to front this defective and offer a very loud mouth of condemnation for idiotic, presumably pissed, oratory on behalf of her ignorant hatred, misunderstandings, prejudices and failings, BUT you cannot reason with a superstitious fool as the underdeveloped brain is USELESS except to a political party of perverted prostitutional plodding primitives who LIE and live up to that and hardly much more. The lay Catholic Romanist Ratbag should NEVER be in public life, being UNFIT, BENT, PUSTULAR.

  5. Harry Lime

    Canguro,what else is she going to clutch,if not those calcium carbonate balls,when the peasants demur to her rank idiocy?Prime candidate for a slot in that heinous Sky horseshit.Could be a stand in for Credlin the talking horse.

  6. Kerri

    Only just begun to notice her!
    This one is a real piece of work isn’t she?

  7. wam

    hollie fits the image of a lib ‘party’ girl. Especially if we, men, interpret thorpe’s ‘pot calling the kettle’ comment.
    When she is compared to the likes of Haines and the teal, the libs will be ruing her as No 1 on their ticket.

  8. Henry Rodrigues

    The conservatives seem to have an inexhaustible supply of idiots. Where do they get them from. Do they have a secret cloning factory like Joseph Mengele tried to set up in South America ?

  9. Canguro

    How did this woman get to be such an expert on the education system’s systemic slide to the left & adoption of Marxism as an educational plank?

    She ‘completed a masters degree in public policy at Macquarie University, graduating in 2007, while also working as an adviser to Liberal senators Bill Heffernan (2003–2005) and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (2005–2007).’ [Wiki]

    Who were her primary influencers in this regard? The above-mentioned senators? The nuns at her schools? The commie lecturers at Macquarie Uni? Or is this just some shit she’s made up?

    I’m sceptical about people who seem totally secure in their opinions. Is it simply that she’s enjoying her moment in the limelight, even if it is Sky News, and feels free to let rip?

  10. Mr Bronte ALLAN

    A typical idiotic & untrue statement from this stupid lying liberal woman! Just as in America, anything that is favorable to the working class, such as a medical system like we have here in Australia, is considered to be Marxist or Communist! Where do these fucking right wing zealots get their information from? Probably from the back of a Weeties pack! Sadly ALL liberal idiots seem to be branded with a silly stick when it comes to do with anything welfare or educational that labor does! Good article, by the way Michael!

  11. Arnd

    … (my apologies to Marxists, but I do not accept Marxism as a viable economic theory)

    Indeed, it isn’t! And it was never presented as such – a fact which many of the better informed critics of Marxist theory routinely hold against it, pointing out that Marx only ever offered descriptions, analyses and critiques of capitalism and the resultant bourgeois economic, political and social order, but virtually nothing by way of theories about possible alternative arrangements.

    Fair enough for calling out Holly Hughes’s astonishingly ignorant conflation of Marxism and Keynesianism, and her breathtakingly facile labelling of all members of the teaching profession as “Marxists” (I wish!) …

    … but truth be told, your appreciation of Marxism seems scarcely more elaborate than that betrayed by Hughes …

    … which is fine: we can’t all be comprehensively versed in all philosophical traditions or approaches that ever existed. But do me, and yourself, one favour: go easy on the vulgar denunciation of philosophies you do not understand and are evidently not interested in, lest you make yourself sound just like Holly Hughes.

  12. Kaye Lee

    As I posted on Ms Hughes page, a school, by its very nature, is a Marxist community (or should be) where social class is irrelevant and everyone works together for the common good

    What I want to know is what qualified this obviously ignorant woman to be gifted a position on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after she failed in one of her serial attempts to get elected? She subsequently resigned expecting to be gifted a casual senate vacancy from the citizenship debacle except she had visited the trough once too often and was ineligible.

    She is also spruiking the nuclear power line. In a very rude interview where she talked over the top of Matt Thistlethwaite, she insisted we should get Small Modular Reactors to solve our energy woes…..except they don’t exist anywhere in the world other than one floating prototype in Russia. Construction of another prototype in China is expected to take over 6 years.

    I am so sick of the arrogant certainty these idiots display.

  13. Arnd


    What I want to know is what qualified this obviously ignorant woman to be gifted a position on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal …

    How long have you been traipsing around on this mortal coil, Kaye? It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. A.k.a. Crony Capitalism. Which works very well, and at any rate is much more efficient than either Keynesianism or Marxism! For some!!

  14. Rossleigh

    Bravo! Well said.
    The trouble with what passes for commentary from various politicians is a mishmash of mumbo jumbo and an appalling ignorance of the concepts they’re talking about. The fact that Holly Hughes seems to think that Keynes was somehow advocating Marxism shows that she has little knowledge of either.
    I guess she’s one of those people who critises people for being “woke”, preferring that they should be – like her – completely asleep.

  15. Kaye Lee


    I am old…..and it’s getting worse.

  16. Terence Mills

    It has been revealed in the January 6th Congressional Enquiry in the US that some witnesses have received ‘moral support’ before giving their deposition (evidence) to the Enquiry :

    ‘A person let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.’ “

    This is straight out of the Godfather, I’m surprised they don’t get tagged for plagiarism by Mario Puzo.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Hollie Hughes has asserted that climate change is a “luxury issue” for voters.

    Hughes also confirmed that she’s “not personally in favour” of extending carbon emissions reduction targets, adding that Australia “could shut everything down tomorrow and all go live in trees” and it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

  18. Carl Marks

    Sounds a Trumpite.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Sounds like she belongs in a tree.

    Preferably one in a jungle.

  20. margcal

    Kaye … please keep getting older 🙂
    It’s better than botox – or the other alternative!

  21. Steve Davis

    Arnd, well said.

    “Marx only ever offered descriptions, analyses and critiques of capitalism and the resultant bourgeois economic, political and social order…”

    And that’s why they are so fearful of him still, after all these years. The flaws he exposed are as real today.

  22. Max Gross

    Like so many of her discredited and rejected colleagues, Ms Hughes is an idealogue. Facts and reason do not enter her small, narrow mind.

  23. Consume Less

    Suck it up Hughsy, your just another bad COALition loser with no idea about anything that makes Australia a more equal society with an environment that might survive past 2050. Like Henry sayes…Where do they get them from !!

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