A basketball story
“You missed,” says my opponent.
“No, I was actually aiming at the backboard, not the ring.”
“You’re meant to be trying to get the ball through the ring. It’s not enough to simply hit the backboard.”
“Maybe not for you, but there’s no point in having a target unless you’ve got a clear plan for how to get there and I had a clear plan for how I was going to hit the backboard.”
“Well, that’s all good, but you don’t get points for simply hitting what you’re aiming for. Besides, you missed the backboard as well.“
With all this talk about whether the people who put the coal in Coalition will put the Scott in Scotland, whether the Nationals will agree to a net zero by 2050, whether weather is being affected by the amount of hot air coming out of the federal government’s mouth and whether Dave Hughes used to be funny before he tried to make serious comments, it’s hard to know what’s going on.
However, one thing is crystal clear to me.
Over the past few years, in education circles, learning intentions have become quite popular. This means that teachers are expected to write the learning intention of the lesson on the whiteboard so that there’s a clear understanding of what the lesson is trying to achieve…
Ok, I know this seems obvious but what if I suggested that there’s no way a teacher could agree to what the learning intention is unless he or she has a clear plan of how to get there? Or what if I told you that the teacher had one, but he couldn’t put it on the board until the boy sitting in the back row and the one hanging round the door threatening to go home agreed to it? Of course, they’d need to see the plan of what they needed to do to achieve it, and they certainly wouldn’t be signing up to anything that involved a change in anything that they or any of their friends were planning to do in the next fifty minutes.
Now, I know that some of you are thinking that it’s the teacher’s job to actually know what they want the kids to learn and it’s up to them to set the agenda, but what if they were using our PM as a role model?
Ok, ok. You’re right. We can all hear Scotty saying: “It’s not up to me to be a role model – that’s the state premier’s job.”
But it does strike me as faintly absurd to suggest that we can’t actually commit to something unless we’re sure how we’ll get there. That’s like saying that a gun club can’t put up targets until they’re sure which Coalition MP will offer them a bribe, so just go out there and shoot, and whatever you hit will be a great result.
Still this week has been full of absurdities like the growing attacks on ICAC for daring to investigate Gladys Berijiklian. Now, I could suggest that there’s an element of hypocrisy for people who were responsible for launching a Royal Commission to find out how Julia Gillard paid for her home renovations in the previous century complaining that an independent body should launch its own investigation. That isn’t the absurd thing.
The absurd thing isn’t even that Gladys resigned before the investigation took place.
No, the absurdity is the argument that some are using which is best explained if we use a body that’s not ICAC. Take the police. Generally, if there’s a complaint, the police launch an investigation. Sometimes this could even be a politician, unless we’re talking about NSW police because they already know better than to do that.
Let’s imagine a hypothetical person who I’ll call Vladimir because I’m less likely to get sued by some guy who happens to have the same name and recognises himself by the crime I’m alleging.
One of the neighbours rings the police to say that the person sharing Vladimir’s house hasn’t been seen in several days and there was a lot of noise and shouting one night. The police knock on the door and ask Vladimir if they can speak to his housemate. Vlad asks them if they have a search warrant and they say no, so he says go away. The police then say that they’re pretty sure they’ll be able to get one.
At this point, Vlad goes public telling Sky News that he’s going to leave Australia on the first plane because we’ve reached a point where unelected bodies like the police can just get search warrants and dig up your whole back yard even though they have no evidence and you haven’t been convicted of anything and as such you’re entitled to the presume of innocence, so that means you’re an innocent man… And all right, his housemate was involved with some shady characters and he hasn’t seen him either but there’s no evidence of wrongdoing so it’s completely terrible that the police would question an innocent bystander who doesn’t know what’s in the cellar because he didn’t ask what they were doing and he’s just the victim here.
May I humbly suggest that it’s a brave Sky News person who’d say that this is an outrageous abuse of power by the police and that the more reasonable question is: Why exactly are you leaving the country and why didn’t you let the police look in your cellar if you’ve done nothing wrong?
Ok, Gladys isn’t in quite the same boat as Vlad. But neither can argue that they’ve behaved with absolute integrity.
I heard a newsreader say that there was a growing belief that there’d be an agreement between the Coalition partners to commit to net zero by 2050. I think that it’s a real shame that it’ll take another 29 years for them to reach agreement.
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