From a very young age, I was always cynical about the wrestling on TV. It seemed to me that it was so obviously contrived.
I mean, you’d have the tag matches where some wrestler with a name like Dead Eye Vampire would be winning, but he’d continue pounding his defenceless opponent, Mighty Freaky, while ignoring the opponent’s partner who’d entered the ring after a tag that Dead Eye somehow missed seeing. Cries of “Look behind you” were ignored, in the style of a pantomime. How could anyone not realise that the tag had taken place and that a new opponent was moving in from behing?
But the past few months have made me wonder. It seems that the Liberal Party are behaving exactly like they’re performing for the Late Night Wrestling. Actually, make that the past four years, but recent events just clinch it.
We have the Liberal Party doing as much as it can to stir up the viewers. Appointments of ex-politicians like Nick Minchin, Peter Costello, and Sophie Mirabella are one thing, but appointing Tim Wilson to the Human Rights Commission is a move clearly designed to get the audience stamping their feet and booing.
Their manager lurks in the background pulling the strings, while the members of Team Liberal and Team National shout out provocations like the referee sucks, and everyone is biased against us. The ABC, for example.
Queen Zodiac even stirred up some of his own supporters by claiming that he didn’t say what the video clearly showed him saying. (Don’t blame me, I used a site called “Pro Wrestling Name Generator”. I typed in Christopher Pyne, and that’s what it came up with. Honestly!) Then, he told everyone that they were stupid and didn’t understand what he said.
“Hulk” Hockey called on GMH to put up or shut up! They promptly shut up shop and left. He then proceeds to claim that everything he does is because of Irksome Pounder (Rudd) and Garrulous Doom (Gillard)
And Team Liberal and Team National keep jumping in the ring to put the boot into Irksome and Garrulous.
But here’s the thing that reminds me of the wrestling.
They seem oblivious to the fact that these two are no longer in the ring, that there are new opponents circling. Sure, there’s been a little bit of trash talk with Bill Shorten’s name, but that’s not what the public want to see.
They don’t want Abbott and company to bang on about how good they are and how bad their opponents were. They don’t want a repeat of last week’s match with an invisible opponent. They want the fresh bout with the new opponent, Major Souljacker (Shorten).
Actually, I suspect what the public really want is for the Government to start behaving like a government, and to stop the theatre. If Souljacker starts to sneak up, I doubt there’ll be many calls of “Look behind you”!
Hands up all those who don’t believe what Christopher Pyne says (image from asopa.typepad.com)
From Lateline November 25th, 2013
STEVE CANNANE: So what do you believe? Is there an equity problem or not?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I don’t believe there is an equity problem in Australia. I think we are very generous to our students in public and non-government schools as a wealthy country like Australia should be.
From The Pyne Online August 21st, 2013:
AEUS (sic) DISHONEST CAMPAIGN
The Australian Education Union (AEU) has this week been caught out distributing blatantly dishonest claims on school funding in South Australia.
At primary schools in South Australia, the AEU has distributed misleading campaign material entitled ‘A message from local principals and teachers’. This ‘message’ is actually from the AEU and is authorised by its Federal Secretary in Melbourne.
The AEU’s dishonest ‘message’ claims that the Coalition would deliver only one third of total funding agreed to in the South Australian school funding agreement.
This is false.
Tony Abbott and the Coalition have confirmed that they will commit the same amount of federal school funding as the Government over the forward estimates. Every single school in Australia will receive, dollar for dollar, the same federal funding over the next four years whether there is a Liberal or Labor Government after September 7.”
From Yesterday’s (December 1st 2013) The Pyne Online:
“It appears everyone in the Labor Party is willing to admit $1.2 billion was cut from school funding for Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland before the election except for the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.
“Questioned today on Meet the Press, Shadow Minister for School Education, Kate Ellis confirmed the $1.2 billion was removed from the Budget, leaving three jurisdictions with no additional funding for 2014.
“This was an unforgivable act of sabotage on the part of Mr Shorten and Labor, but why can’t Bill Shorten admit he allowed it to happen?
“Mr Shorten also hid the fact that both Victoria and Tasmania had not signed bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth and systemic Catholic schools had not sign up either, despite Labor’s claims at the time.
“The Coalition has been working hard to fix Labor’s mess, putting in more funding than Labor, with $230 million going to the states that have not signed up guaranteeing funding certainty for 2014.
“We will then be in a position to work with the states and territories over the first half of next year to bring in a new national, fair and equitable funding model for Australia, fixing the Shorten”
That’s where it stops. I haven’t cut anything out.
I presume that his next word would have been “Shambles”, and I’m tempted to ask why – apart from his tabloid-like obsession with alliteration – is the alleged shambles Shorten’s? I mean, even if you accept that Education funding was a shambles, Shorten had only been Education Minister from June. Three months is hardly enough time to create a shambles, but Chrissy Pyne himself is evidence that against that argument.
Ok, everyone out there,for anyone who’d like to make some money: if you send me $10, I will send every single one of you back $20. Of course, by every single one of you I just mean that I’ll send out twice as much money. To someone. Probably most of it to my wife, but some to my friends. But that doesn’t mean that I was trying to mislead you when I said “every single one of you” because that means the total amount of funds, right?
Put like that, the Liberals’ position is more ludicrous than the possibility of Barnaby Joyce being our Deputy Prime Minister, which thankfully is… um. Warren somebody.
The other argument that somehow $1.2 billion is “missing” because it was removed from the Budget is such a ridiculous proposition that it’s almost as blatant as the actual Liberal lie that “every single school” just means the same as total funding.
To explain this in simple terms: If you were, for example, planning a wedding, and you invite ten guests at $50 a head (I know, cheap wedding!), and it got to the day that the RSVP’s were due and only six people had replied, most people would ring the other four and ask them what their plans were. In terms of Gonski, this more or less what Labor did. Now, if two said they were coming and two said, “Your partner was rude to me last week, so stick your invitation!”, I suspect that you’d feel that it was reasonable to reduce your budget from the $500 to $400 with the idea that if they make up, you’ll put it back later. This is, more or less, what the Labor Government did.
And given the whole thing was going on “the credit card” anyway, the money isn’t missing at all!
No, it’s not really going on the credit card, but some of the Gonski money would have to be borrowed. And borrowing is not really the problem that the Liberals and Paul Sheehan make it out to be. Debt – where it increases one’s future earning capacity = isn’t a problem. Take, for example, a negative gearing or a HECS debt. And for a Federal Government, ensuring that its citizens are better educated and, therefore, capable of more skillful and higher paying jobs is better than sending some to the revenue drain of unemployment.
Some are quick to be concerned about saddling future generations with the repayment of debt, using Greece as the cautionary tale, and, yes, naturally one should take on debt prudently. However, the idea that we can just put off spending on infrastructure and education ignores the fact that we are, in fact, saddling future generations with the necessity of paying more to do the things we should have done ten years ago. While Abbott was making political points about rising electricity prices being because of the Carbon Tax, it was easy to overlook that the bulk of the rises were because of a previous lack of spending on the aging infrastructure.
In a blog a few months ago, I wrote that it was interesting that whenever it’s suggested that maybe some of the richer private schools could get less, we hear screams of “class warfare” and we’re told how some parents on low incomes struggle to send their kids to these schools, but when anyone tries to increase the money to the Government sector, the same people assure us that money doesn’t really improve educational outcomes. (I particularly liked someone who suggested that there’d been 44% increase in Education spending for no demonstrable improvement. Sounds impressive, until you consider that at three quarters of that would be a result of inflation.)
In the end, I don’t know what’s more worrying. Is it that the Liberals are lying to the Australian people when they talk about things like $1.2 billion has “gone missing” from the Education Budget? Or is it that their understanding of economics is so simplistic that they actually believe some of the things that they’re saying?
(For those of you who feel like an interesting read on the economic situation, I recommend “End This Depression Now!” by Paul Klugman.
“We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought we made or the promise that some people would like us to make, we are going to keep the promise that we actually made,” Mr Abbott told the Ten Network on Sunday.
1st December, 2013
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.‘
From Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
‘At the same time in the last election campaign, five days before polling day, Julia Gillard made the fateful declaration: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.
She said one thing before the election to win votes – and did the opposite after the election to stay in the Lodge.’
Abbott’s September 2nd, 2013 Address to the Press Club
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says if the Coalition wins government, it will honour Labor’s funding commitments across the four years of the budget forward estimates.
Previously, he had promised only to guarantee any deals Labor struck for the first year.
Mr Abbott says the decision will help schools plan for the future.
“As far as school funding is concerned, Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket,” Mr Abbott announced this morning.
“There is no difference between Kevin Rudd and myself when it comes to school funding.”
However, the Opposition says it will scrap elements of the plan that it says centralise power in Canberra.
Just yesterday, Opposition Education spokesman Christopher Pyne told ABC News 24 the Coalition would only honour the deal for one year.
“What we will do is give schools certainty for 2014 then undo the damage that the Government has done, by negotiation with the states and the territories [for a] new model for 2015,” he said.
ABC News August 2nd, 2013
So it’s clear then. Saying that there is no difference between Kevin Rudd and himself on this issue was the same as saying committing not to change the arrangements that Labor had in place. And as for honoring Labor’s funding commitments, well, they’re going to spend the same amount of money – just on different schools – but they amount of money committedis the same.
It’s sort of like karma. It all evens out in the end. And money doesn’t improve educational outcomes. Do kids learn better when teachers get a pay rise? No, so all that money spent paying teachers is just wasted. They should all do it for free.
The Gonski reforms would have just spent money repairing class rooms and giving kids access to the sort of facilities that private schools have and this would have been inequitable, because what’s a kid whose parents are poor need with an education?
This is difficult for some people to understand, because the Gonski Report was very complex – even the Education Minister thinks so. In fact it’s so complex that he hasn’t even been able to read it yet. Although, it is believed that privately he has admitted to seeing the big picture, but he didn’t like it, so he’s going to go scrap it, and rely on John Howard’s instinct the way the Government is doing on climate change.
Still Mr Pyne has been suffering some stress lately, due to a fire at his home where the library was burned to the ground. Both books were destroyed.
And, to make matters worse, he hadn’t even finished colouring one of them.
Old photo which shows that Abbott and Murdoch’s relationship goes way back.
TONY Abbott says people are being “hypersensitive” about his comments on housewives doing the ironing.
Although he acknowledged that ironing was not just a woman’s domain, he told a radio station today that in many Australian homes it was still much more common to see a woman with an iron in her hand.
The Federal Opposition Leader said that was the way it worked in his house – because his wife, Margie, wanted him to look neat and he probably wouldn’t do it otherwise.
Mr Abbott made the ironing remark during a visit to a dry-cleaning store yesterday, which he used to warn of higher electricity prices under an emissions trading scheme (ETS).
“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up,” he said.
* * *
Further, a $1.2 billion shortfall means there is not enough money budgeted to go through with $2.8 billion of deals and offers made under Labor, Mr Pyne said.
“Beyond 2014 we have to implement a new school funding model,” he said.
“It’ll be flatter. It’ll be simpler. It’ll be fair between states and territories and it’ll be equitable for students so that the school funding reaches those who need it the most.”
The government has been criticised for reversing on an election promise. In the election campaign, Mr Pyne and Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared themselves on a “unity ticket” with Labor on the school funding formula proposed by a review headed by businessman David Gonski. Mr Pyne said he would keep not only the funding amount but the model for four years.
On Tuesday he denied going back on his word.
“I made it very clear before the election that I didn’t buy up to the Labor Party model,” he said.
“We said that we would have the same funding envelope and we will. But, I also made it very clear that I didn’t support the central command and control features that were coming from Canberra and I won’t have that in the model.”
* * *
“The real reason for the introduction of a new school funding model may well be to transfer more federal government funding to state government schools. That suggests the question – is that what the supporters of change should be doing?
State schools, both primary and secondary are owned by the state government in the state in which they are situated. Every one is operated by a state government. Most of the funds for their activities come from state government. Isn’t that as it should be? Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics notes that 66 per cent of all school students are educated in government schools. The report on Government Services 2012 indicates that 78 per cent of funding from state and federal governments is spent in government schools. So where is the inequity? How does this support the idea that the current system is broken?”
Carolyn Pyne (Christopher’s wife, in a blog before the election)
* * *
In their joint press conference Mr Abbott described her (Aung San Suu Kyi) as an icon for democracy, saying it was a great honour to meet her.
“I was an opposition leader myself for four years; I know that that position has some exhilarations and some frustrations,” he said.
* * *
“The Emissions Reduction Fund has a specific financial commitment, and Tony Abbott suggested to the National Press Club before the election that this commitment is an absolute funding limit, so there will only be a finite number of projects that receive financing from the Emissions Reduction Fund (and such funding will be retrospective).
It may therefore be unviable for some businesses to take action to mitigate their emissions without upfront funding or confirmation that there will be some pay-back (as is the case with energy efficiency schemes which save costs over the longer term). So, it is reasonable to expect that, in the absence of any significant sticks, the carrots must be juicy enough to commit investors to reducing emissions.”
Clayton Utz Analysis of the Liberal’s Direct Action Plan.
Shortly after Christopher Pyne’s announcement that the new education policy would include an abacus for every student, the Abbott Government has declared that it is suspending all contact with other countries.
“They keep causing us trouble,” a spokesman said. “First Indonesia, then China and now, the so-called United Nations. If they’re going to gang up on us like that, we’d be better off without them.”
When asked about the position of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop in the new scheme of things, the spokesman assured us that she would still have plenty to do, because Australia is “full of foreigners”.
“Our new policy will also reflect many of the ideas that our Beloved Leader developed during his time in exile as Opposition Leader, where he wrote his manifesto against class warfare, Battlelines. For example, a back to basics approach when it comes to science,” the spokesman declared. “The USA wasting billions of dollars on NASA and all the public got for it was a few fake photos supposedly taken on the moon. We won’t be making the same mistake”.
“We’re conducting a review, but it’s well known that Mr Abbott has never been fully convinced by Galileo’s idea that the earth revolved around the sun. And not just because of Galileo’s dispute with the Church – if the world was round as he claims, why don’t we all fly off it?
“Our new policy with regard to the world will be more Australia focused, and it will be flatter and easier to understand.”
Asked how this would affect the offshore processing of asylum seekers, the spokesman said that as the people would be coming from a place that Australia didn’t recognise, he saw no problem with sinking the boats.
When it was suggested that drowning people was a little inhumane, he replied by saying that they were not drowning people. “We are simply sinking the boats. If people chose not to swim, that’s their choice. And the Government has a clear mandate to stop the boats. It makes no apology for doing what it promised.”
When one of the journalists suggested that it also made no apology for not doing what it promised, the press conference came to an abrupt end.
The Latest Plan to Stop the Boats Doesn’t Need Indonesian Cooperation, says Government.
Ok, it’s time for some balance on The AIMN. There have been far too many anti-Government posts and I’m taking it upon myself to defend the actions of Abbott and company.
Let’s start with the clear bias being showed by certain media outlets. The ABC have tried to embarrass the Government by revealing the Powerpoint that suggested that we had been spying on the Indonesian President. It was ABSOLUTELY wrong of them to publish this. Stories about what Australian Intelligence is doing should NEVER EVER be published. Reponsible media outlets have frequently surpressed stories that aren’t in anyone’s interest. How much have you read about the TPP, or the Leveson inquiry? As some have suggested, this borders on treason. The second point with this, of course, is the timing. Clearly, the ABC and The Guardian conspired together to wait until after the election. This story should have been published months ago when Labor was in power.
Of course, the media does have a set against the Liberals. As Andrew Bolt points out in his blog, there have been a number of articles in the Fairfax papers critical of members of the Abbott Government. Headlines like “Hockey blows $3b hole in budget” and “Barnaby Joyce says that rugby league expenses were official business” are clearly designed to create a negative impression on the reader. Nothing Barnaby says should be reported unless it’s first cleared by one of the adults.
(The ABC in particular keeps trotting out shows with ex-Labor ministers, and they even tried to make you see Julia Gillard in an affectionate light, with their program, “At Home With Julia” – a sit-com purporting to show Tim and Julia at home. But will they have something like “Hard Times With The Boys” – a sit-com supposedly showing what a ficticious Abbott is doing at the police training academy? I very much doubt it!)
We promised to stop you having to worry about boat arrivals being the front page of your newspaper every day. I don’t think anyone can accuse us of failing to deliver on that promise. But the media are upset because now they actually have to find other things to write about, but why should the Abbott Government get the blame for that?
Then there was the furore over Hockey’s request to raise the debt ceiling to a mere five hundred billion dollars. The way some of the media reported it, you’d think that debt was a problem in this country. Fortunately, many economists and other experts were quoted as saying that we don’t even need a debt ceiling. Unless, of course, Labor is in power, because they put things on the credit card and we have to pay it off, by borrowing more money, so they should have one, but a much lower one. We’ll only be using the increased borrowings to pay off the debts that Labor will be racking up over the next two or three years.
As for the recent attempts by the press gallery to suggest that the recent statements by Christopher Pyne on education were somehow a broken promise, I find it incredible just how stupid some of the media can be. What Pyne said before the election was that they had a “unity ticket” on Gonski and as we all know, just because you have a ticket, that doesn’t mean you have to go to the show. Some people might give their ticket to someone else. Or sell it. There is no compulsion for you to use your ticket and the Liberals can hardly be blamed if the media is too stupid to recognise that.
As for the statement: “you can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school”, it’s easy to see that by “your school” what was meant was overall funding and not specifically your particular school. To try and argue that “your school” means “the school you send your kids to” is the sort of tricky word play that we’ve come to expect from Shorten and his mob, and really you shouldn’t be sucked in by it.
Finally, we have the inconsistency on complaints about foreign aid. First the bleeding hearts want us to help out other countries, then they complain when we give Sri Lanka a couple of boats to help save people from ending up in a place like Manus Island or Nauru. Not that there’s anything wrong with these detention centres. In fact, by the time we may even lease them out as holiday detentions once all the boats are stopped.
“It is not good for schools to be funded through anomalies, outside the criteria. Gonski was going to fix this, and help all schools, but his model seems to be a dud or at least in need of a blood transfusion.”
* Cardinal George Pell (Opinion Piece, September 2nd 2012)
“Since Pinocchio says he is starving, Geppetto gives him the pears and teaches Pinocchio to waste nothing. In gratitude, Pinocchio promises to go to school. Since Geppetto has no money to buy school books, he sells his only coat. Pinocchio heads off to school, but on the way he hears music and crowds. Curious, he follows the sounds until he finds himself in a crowd of people, all congregated to see the Great Marionette Theater. Unable to withstand the urge, he sells his school book for tickets to the show.”
From Synopsis of the original Pinocchio story
Once upon time, there an old word-carver called Abbotto. He carved a wooden puppet which he named Pynocchio. Abbotto was lonely because he didn’t have a son, and he wished upon a star that Pynocchio would come to life.
That night, Pynocchio was visited by a blue fairy – just for drinks, mind you and there was no mention of Cinderella’s Slipper. And the next day, Abbotto was surprised to see how much life there was in Pynocchio.
“Will I ever be a real boy?” asked Pynocchio.
“Not a chance,” replied Abbotto.
“Not even if I’m brave, truthful, and unselfish?”
“You’ve watched too many Disney movies,” replied Abbotto. “You might as well just accept who you are and lie through your teeth.”
“But won’t my nose grow long?”
“Yes, but no-one’ll care. The Murdochio newspapers will photoshop it out. And we’ll just accuse the others of trying to mislead the public.”
“But I don’t want a long nose – I’ll look ugly.”
Abbotto let the silence speak for him.
“Well,” said Pynocchio eventually, “I suppose I’ll need to go to school”
“Why?” asked Abbotto.
“To learn to read.”
“I’ve never read anything, and look how far it’s got me.”
“You’ve never read anything?”
“Well, of course, I read the BHP statement. And all the things that I’m suppose to have read.”
“But didn’t you just say…”
“Look, if you’re going to keep bringing up the past, what hope do have of ever being a real boy?”
Pynocchio was silent.
“Come on, let’s get you ready to meet the press.”
And so Pynocchio, who were all amazed that he could walk and talk and looked just like a real boy even though he was wooden. Over the next few months, Pynocchio showed that he could do many, many tricks that his master had shown him such as say one thing in the morning and another at night. However, he never became a real boy, but, in the end, that didn’t matter. Because he was one of the adults. And there were in charge. They could do anything. Stay up late, drink, lie to the electorate. It was grand!
And he knew he was an adult. Andrew Bolto said so.
I have gone over your press release and made some changes.
“PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE RE-EDUCATION MINISTER, MR CHRISTOPHER WHYNE:
We intend to honour our promise to maintain the arrangements as we promised before the election, but only for the first year because that’s enough to say that we did keep the funding arrangements. All your talking about is how long we kept them for, which is really just nitpicking!
Change this to: “We intend to honour our commitments in full. However, we will be looking to improve the funding model for 2015 and beyond, and no-one should have a problem with that.”
I know some people will try and accuse us of breaking a promise, but when we made the promise, we worked on the assumption that Labor had laid out a very clear plan and that they’d left plenty of money. Imagine my surprise when I found that this plan was far too complicated for me to understand. Now I know some of you will say that as we were suggesting that they were incompetent, so we should have expected the plan to be a mess, but that’s a bit unfair, because even though we said that, we didn’t mean it all the time. Anyway, it seems that they were wasting a lot of money fixing up classrooms in areas where the kids aren’t worth educating, but we’re prepared to cut our losses there. These are the sort of adult decisions that are hard, but necessary. They were pretending to be adults, but we’re the adults, and we’re in charge now, so “Electricity Bill” this is your fault.
Change this to: “The Labor plan was a shambles and unimplentable. We will try to keep the essential features, but it would be wrong to expect us to be bound by what, after all, was a Labor plan.”
Who is this Gonski anyway? As I said before the election, sounds more like a Conski to me. I know that he wrote some sort of report, but no-one’s had time to read it to me. We’re all very busy with the business of Government. And “business” starts with “busy” so you can see we don’t have time for reading old reports. Really, have any of you read it? Exactly. Really, we don’t need a report to tell us that a good teacher can inspire his or her class even if there is a leaky roof or no heating. Kids today are too soft. It’s about time that the cane was introduced.
Change this to: “There are many interesting features in the Gonski report, and we’ll be responding to them in good time, but the most important thing is ensuring that students have a good teacher, because a good teacher can teach anywhere.”
Frankly, if parents really cared about the education of their children, they’d put them in a private school, so I don’t see why they complain when public schools don’t have the same facilities. It’s just class warfare. I went to a private school and look how I turned out.
Change this to: “Education is one of our priorities, and our model will be better. We’ll give the same amount of money, but we won’t have the same central command policies. We’ll allow the states to distribute the money to those who need it the most.”
P.S. Actually, I’ll just get someone in my office to re-write for you. We’ll send you a copy. Whatever you do, don’t answer any questions on it.
At various times over the past few years, I’ve felt enormously frustrated. Not just on social media and reading comments on some of Murdoch’s Media Sites, but listening to the garbage that people have written and said about the Labor Government.
I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool, Labor forever lefty as anyone who disagreed with me wanted to suggest – I even voted for Fraser in 1975 – so it’s wrong to dismiss me as someone who’d justify the ALP whatever they did. But that seemed to be what happened any time I defended anything that the Labor Government was doing.
Over the past few years, I’ve read such wonderful things as:
“It’s time we had something similar to Fox News in Australia to give the shameless ABC propaganda some balance”
“the labor morons have a complete disliking for any persons that have had success in their lives, they cannot understand that 1=1=3”.
One of the pages on Facebook was called “Direct Democracy” and was arguing that citizens should have the right to call an elected government back to the polls if 15,000 people signed a petition. This was particularly ironic given the fact that one of the site’s administrators was David Flint – a staunch monarchist. Another point of irony was that it used a drawing of senators in ancient Greece as its profile picture! Ancient Greece – where democracy was born, but women and slaves weren’t allowed to vote!
Naturally, its followers were of the opinion that not only had Gillard lied about the Carbon tax, but she was lying about the whole climate change thing. It was a UN conspiracy to enable world government AND Australia was going it alone and no other country was introducing a carbon tax AND the carbon taxes in other countries – which, in the space of two comments, now had them – were much lower than Australia’s. Lately, however, it seems to have dropped this concept of citizens being allowed to demand an election, preferring to complain about Paul Keating and suggesting that people want the cane reintroduced to Queensland schools. (Personally, I think that there’s a much better case to introduce it for Queensland voters! Although, it seems that many of them must enjoy that sort of thing given how overwhelmingly they voted for the Newman Government).
When Abbott was first elected, I was concerned. I was afraid that the Murdoch Press would continue to present his failings as insignificant, to magnify any minor achievement and to continue to present him as the strong man (as opposed to a “weak” woman, but then a “strong” woman is just unnatural, so ain’t it great that a real bloke is back in charge, but don’t call us sexist, you politically correct parrots!).
I imagined day after day when I’d have to listen to the gloating of Liberal lackeys who possessed less grace than the Australian Cricket Team after a night out celebrating. I worried about my blood pressure. I was concerned about keeping my temper in check.
But I’ve found the past few weeks surprisingly calming. Oh, for sure, there are things I find appalling. I worry for the future. And I’m sure that as time passes, I will start to shout at the TV again. However, so far, Abbott has given me more laughs than an episode of “The Chaser”. I’m finding it hard to actually believe that he’s PM – as I’m sure he does from time to time – and it’s like watching a re-write of “Yes, Prime Minister” with an Australian setting, and a less sympathetic main character.
Great comic moments include:
His trip to Indonesia, where he apologised for just about everything, followed a few weeks later with his lack of an apology, because we’re not admitting to tapping anyone’s phone and anyway, everyone does it.
Julie Bishop saying that she wasn’t commenting on anything that involved intelligence.
Hockey’s attempt to increase the debt limit by 66%.
Pyne – “We discovered that they didn’t sign anything, so we’re starting the education reforms from scratch”! Actually, just about anything Pyne does makes me laugh. Watching him with the sound down makes me think that I’m watching new episodes of Mr Bean.
Morrison – “There were no unaccompanied minors sent overseas because we thought they were older”! Try that one in court! (No, really, it deserves a trial).
Browyn Bishop – first the idea that she’d restore “dignity” to the role of Speaker, then her ruling that “Electricity Bill” wasn’t a nickname, it was a description.
Barnaby Joyce – our own Basil Fawlty.
So, it’s my turn when smug Liberals point out that they won the election to say, “No, you didn’t – you got less first preferences than Labor and it’s only when you add the National’s vote that you get there and we all know that parties shouldn’t form coalitions! And now, thanks to Tony, no objective person can say that the recent Labor was the worst government ever”.
I suspect that many of you already know the story of Kisch.
He was – after all – one of our most famous illegal immigrants.
Photo: Fairfax media
For those of you who don’t know much about him, he jumped ship in 1934 when the Australian Government refused him entry because he was “undesirable as an inhabitant of, or visitor to, the Commonwealth”. He broke his leg in the process, but he was handed over to the custody of the ship’s captain.
A court case led to his temporary release, ruling that the captain was illegally detaining him. Under the White Australia policy, the Immigration Act decreed that “Any person who when asked to do so by an officer fails to write out at dictation and sign in the presence of the officer a passage of fifty words in length in an European language directed by the officer”. Kisch was fluent in several European languages, including English, so it was only when they hit upon the idea of giving him the test in Scottish Gaelic that he was able to be excluded.
Again those pesky courts decided that this wasn’t within the meaning of the Act. (Probably something to do with the fact that the person administering the test would have also failed it.) Kisch was no longer an “illegal immigrant”.
Menzies had tried to argue that every civilized country had the right to determine who should or should not be allowed in. (Hey, why does that ring a bell??) And that Kisch was a revolutionary and therefore a threat.
But Kisch got in. And he got to speak. He got to deliver his “revolutionary” message, which included:
“I have had three adventurous months since I last saw you. I know the Police Court, the Quarter Sessions Court, the High Court with one judge and the High Court with five judges. But whenever the court let me go I was arrested again. I have learnt to speak English better. Perhaps I do not speak King’s English but it’s Kisch English anyhow. I did not come here to tell there is terrorism in Europe. I come here to tell you how to stop it. I have been an eye-witness. I was arrested the day the Reichstag was burnt down by Göring and his lieutenants. I saw my friend, Erich Mühsam, the poet, whose works I translated, made to walk naked, even in winter, and to lick up the spittle of his captors. All his limbs were broken gradually, and he died.”
Yes, Kisch was trying to warn about the dangers of Hitler. We couldn’t have that, so the Government again declared him an illegal immigrant. He was sentenced to three months hard labour and costs were awarded against him.
But a deal was struck. Kisch had spoken to more people and received more publicity than he imagined, so he agreed to the Government’s offer to remit his sentence and leave.
Now, I wonder if we’ll be learning about this in Christopher Pyne’s new history course. Actually, I can’t even find it in the old “left-wing” curriculum.
It’s a vision of the future – grounded in the past. New Education Minister Christopher Pyne invites us to imagine classrooms where teachers return to old-school instruction – becoming more a deliverer of facts, less a convener of activity-based learning.
He wants young readers to sound out words – and public school administrators to enjoy more of the freedoms of their private education counterparts…
And in an ominous sign for the government body that oversees curriculum development, Pyne warns the agency it is ”not the final arbiter on everything that is good in education” and he will take a much more hands-on role.
It’s a crusade that Pyne appears to relish.
”I don’t mind if the left want to have a fight with the Coalition about Australia’s history,” the minister says in his new Parliament House office, where he has on his wall a 1963 Liberal Party flyer denouncing Labor’s faceless men.
”People need to understand that the government has changed in Canberra, that we’re not simply administering the previous government’s policies and views.
The Age, 28th September, 2013
As part of a budget move, Treasury announced that they’d be using abacuses in all future calculations, citing their potential for reducing emissions, as well as the cost saving of replacing batteries.
In a further move, the Health Minister, Mr Peter Dudton has announced that he’ll also be taking a more “hands-on” role in health. This won’t actually involve him personally. but he’ll be encouraging the “laying of on of hands” as a first step by all medical practitioners.
A spokesman for Mr Dudton said that it was a method that had been successfully applied for thousands of years and was still being used in many parts of the world.
“It’s cheap and it’s easy, and if it doesn’t work we can always apply the leeches later.”
The spokesman explained that Mr Dudton was unable to make the announcement himself due to Mr Abbott’s ban on ministers speaking without prior approval, and also because no-one in his Department had actually ever seen him.
The Minister for Communications, Mr Malcolm Bullturner, announced that he favoured face to face communications and as such would not be taking calls or answering emails. When asked if this would make it difficult for people to contact him, he excused himself and shut the door.
The Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Woman (See above. Apparently misreported as “Women” in some newspapers – a further reason to exclusively teach “phonics” in schools) , Senator Cash issued a recipe book and announced that her department was working on some very helpful tips for keeping your man happy when he comes home from a hard day at work. “A touch-up on your makeup before he gets home can work wonders,” she said.
A press release on Research and Development announced that as the Government knew everything, there was little need for any R & D funding in the future. “If the Government were to ever find itself in a position where it was unsure, Mr Abbott has a hotline to Archbishop Pell, who has the advantage of infallibility on his side.” When it was put to the Prime Minister’s office that it was the Pope who was the one who was meant to be infallible, we were told that we clearly hadn’t talked to George Pell. The Minister for Science was non-existent for comment.
The Ministries for Ageing and Youth have been combined, therefore cancelling each other out, leaving a minister free to ensure the smooth transition to the tried and true practices of the past. while the Minister for Secrecy and Keeping News of The Front Page assured us that he didn’t exist.
“… opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne appeared to re-open the so-called ”history wars” which raged during the Howard years, by attacking the school curriculum for putting Aboriginal and multicultural commemoration days on the same level as Anzac Day.The national curriculum would be reviewed under a Coalition government, he said. ”The Coalition believes that, on balance, Australia’s history is a cause for celebration,” he said.
”It is because of our history that we are a confident and positive nation. We must not allow a confidence-sapping ‘black armband’ view of our history to take hold.
‘That history, while inclusive of indigenous history, must highlight the pivotal role of the political and legal institutions from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”
In the new curriculum Anzac Day is studied in year 3 as one of a number of days of national significance. The Gallipoli campaign is studied in year 9.
Mr Pyne criticised the fact that Anzac Day is ”locked in with NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Day and Harmony Day” in the national curriculum.”
From the Sydney Morning Herald
Ok, the document below isn’t official, but it gives you a taste of what we’ll see under the Coalition.
Draft History Curriculum for Christopher Pyne.
Term 1: The foolish foreigners who failed to discover Australia
Term 2: The great and brave British explorer Captain Cook discovers Australia
Term 3: The first Australians – convicts and soldiers.
Term 4: Early attempts to civilise the Aborigines by soldiers
Term 1: Gallipoli – the ANZAC tradition is born
Term 2: The first soldier to fall
Term 3: Simpson
Term 4: His donkey
Term 1: The retreat from Gallipoli
Term 2: The importance of Anzac biscuits
Term 3: How Australian soldiers gained the reputation of being the bravest ever
Term 4: Anzac Day is the holiest day of the year.
Term 1: Our great British heritage
Term 2: Why the monarchy rules
Term 3: Learning to recite Kings and Queens of England
Term 4: Great people born in England apart from kings and queens and Tony Abbott
Year 7 – Australia’s Golden Years
Term 1: Howard’s election
Term 2: Howard restores belief in Anzac Day
Term 3: Howard saves Australia from invasion by republicans
Term 4: Howard increasing number of Anzac marchers by invading Afghanistan and Iraq
Term 1: Howard creates mining boom
Term 2: Howard’s back to basics in indigenous affairs – let’s use soldiers again.
Term 3: Why the Magna Carta is just an example of the barons’ union bullying a king
Term 4: How ASIO protects us and why we should never question their actions
Term 1: How the descendants of convicts formed the Labor Party
Term 2: Why Anzac Day is still important
Term 3: The Gold Rush – how Peter Costello quickly sold of our gold reserves
Term 4: Free Speech – Why we changed the name of Labour Day to honour Andrew Bolt
Year 10 – Other Wars of the 20th Century
Term 1: World War Two – how we stopped the boats
Term 2: Korea – how we stopped the spread of communism
Term 3: Vietnam – how the hippy student movement tried to destroy Anzac Day
Term 4: Culture Wars – how traitors tried to make us hate Australia and turn us into a republic.