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The Pub Test And Summative Assessment…

If you know anything about education you’ll have heard the terms summative assessment and formative assessment. To explain as simply as I can, summative assessment is simple and clear and includes things such as a mark or letter grade. Formative assessment includes suggestions on how to improve during the learning process and explanations of what you’ve done well.

To use tennis as analogy, summative assessment would mean that I simply told you that you served the ball in or out and that you won the point or didn’t. Formative assessment on the other had might mean that I told you to throw the ball higher or stop closing your eyes and hoping for the best.

Anyway, I couldn’t help but wonder when yet another politician told us that something “failed the pub test” whether this apocryphal pub test was always summative when most of the pubs I’ve been in would be adopting something more akin to formative assessment.

“Scotty’s a good bloke.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I dunno. I mean, he was having a beer at the footy the other night, so you don’t get much better than that.”

“I think he’s a lazy prick, and anyway he can’t build a chook shed!!”

“Why do you say that?”

“Someone pointed out that he was holding a drill and he had nails in his mouth…”

“Was he biting them?”

“Nah, roof nails.”

”So how did he build it?”

”He didn’t! Why do you think we never see pictures of the chooks!”

“Shit, what a wanker. I aways knew he was a phony.”



“Your shout!”


Bloody cold, isn’t it?”

”Yeah, so much for that global warming, eh?”

”Actually my daughter is at uni and she says that it’s not just about days being warmer. It’s about climate change.”

“Shit, that’s amazing.”

”Yeah, I always presumed that it was just going to mean that we got weather like Queensland and that I’d get a beach front house without moving, but no…”

”Nah, nah… I mean it’s amazing that you got a daughter at University. Is she one of those know it all academics who think they know more about a subject just because they’ve studied it for a few years?”

”Yeah sort of. I mean, she did say Alan Jones was wrong the other night.”

”Typical. Thinks she knows more than a bloke who once coached Australia’s rugby team.”

”Although she wasn’t talking about rugby.”

”Nah, but the bloke know a lot about other things too. He’s a very educated man.”

”Really, what’s his qualifications?”

”He’s got a show on Sky. You don’t get much more qualified than that.”

”Still I wouldn’t let him perform brain surgery on me.”

”Look mate, I don’t reckon you’ve got anything to worry about.”

See, it’s not an instant thing. It lobs around for a while before a consensus is reached or the subject is changed to something like: “I think that we should go back to my place because I just bought a new Weber and instead of this pub test stuff we should be talking about the latest barbecue stopper.”

Of course, you’ll notice that in both cases, I’ve used males of a particular demographic when talking about the pub test because, well, the very phrase “pub test” doesn’t suggest a group of women drinking chardonnay in a boutique hotel. Neither does it suggest the pubs where the politicians and journalists share their off the record briefings. It suggests people who have little more than a cursory understanding of the issue and who are like to fail the more usual pub test which involves blowing into a bag… (Not that politicians and those in Canberra would necessarily either pass a breath test or have more than a cursory understanding of the issue. Remember when Peta Credlin wasn’t guilty of drink driving because she had a note from the Attorney General saying that she was too important to be considered over the limit.) No, the phrase itself doesn’t have the same gravitas as “round table discussion” or “think tank” or “summit”.

All of which brings me to Christine Holgate and Greg “He really is a” Hunt. Mr Hunt said, “Look I apologise, I haven’t heard directly Christine Holgate’s comments so it’s probably not appropriate of me to speak that (sic). I will just say that if there are any emotional or other issues that any person suffers, we feel for them, no matter what the circumstances. So my response would be one for anybody who has emotional or other forms of challenge. That’s all that I know, that there were issues raised. So it’s just support and care, without being in a position to comment not having heard the specific words.”

Ok, I didn’t hear Mr Hunt’s comments directly so it’s probably not appropriate for me to comment on them, but like the man himself I will anyway. I’d just like to say that so many of his fellow government members seem to be suffering from emotional issues and we certainly feel for them, particularly his leader who was so upset about the fact that he had a two daughters, a wife and a mother, a widowed mother (which has since been clarified is not two mothers but the repetition of the first mother with an adjective) that he was in tears. They all need support and care. But hey, I’m not in a position to comment, but I’ll just say that we know that it’s all about emotion and not to do with the fact that the person running Australia Post successfully on a salary that was a couple of million dollars less than the previous head spent, about $20k on watches instead of giving them a six figure bonus, was summarily dismissed by a PM on the floor of the house in an emotional rant.

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  1. Regional Elder

    Rossleigh, Great coverage of what I hope will be the Australia Post-led Departure Gate for the National Bully in Chief at the next election, who so self-reverentially dubbed himself ‘ ScoMo’ Seems to me the substantive issue is that Holgate wasn’t fulfilling Morrison’s plan to completely privatise Australia Post ….. as he would incidentally also like to do with the ABC.

    Instead, Holgate was highly effective in negotiating with the big banks that have effectively left regional and rural Australia, to provide financial services through Australia Post that the banks used to provide, and should still be providing..

    Her achievement therefore was preventing the closure of hundreds of Australia Post offices in regional Australia, and thus ensuring the continuity of a vital community service and, maintaining continuity of Australia Post employment for many across the nation. But with an Australia Post Board stacked with Liberal Party hacks and appararchiks, Holgate was pushing against the tide of opinion that prefers to make Australia Post a creature of greedy investors, much less so, a community service.

    Of course, Morrison didn’t want her being successful with that. Via his ‘tame’ Australia Post Board of Management, Morrison has now appointed one of his business boys club members, to replace her.

  2. Harry Lime

    The problem for Sooty and his intemperate and ill considered brain farts is how consistently he utters them. A disinterested observer might conclude that he is not nearly as smart as he would like us to think.
    She may then also conclude that he is a loud mouthed dickhead entirely unsuited to the job he stole.
    Some others who ARE interested are getting extremely restive and waiting for this insulting charade to be consumed by a fireball of spontaneous combustion.
    Meanwhile, back at the pub…”Owyergoingmate orright?

  3. Bronte D G ALLAN

    Great article Rossleigh! I think it sums it up beautifully! Sadly, or not, we have to put up with this lying cretin everyday!

  4. New England Cocky

    Holgate was treated abominably by Scummo the Australian Prim Monster and that foreign bastard who was inserted as Australia Post GM … the little balding guy with the belly rash.

    Holgate saved about 5,000 jobs in regional Australia (that is the big bit of the continent around both the ”Canberra Bubble” and the Sydney Metropolitan Black Hole for Government Funding) and won a deal of about $320 MILLION investment from Australian Banks known better for rapid foreclosures when their greed and malpractices are discovered.

    Oops!! Silly Me!! Scummo & the COALition were planning to sell off Australia Post for a bargain basement price to another foreign owned multinational corporation wanting part of the tax free distribution of profits earned in Australia.

    It’s time!! AGAIN!!

  5. Canguro

    The idiot Morrison’s income: ~$549 K +/- additionals
    The departed AP CEO’s income: ~$1.61 M +/- additionals

    Effectiveness as a leader:

    Morrison: Effectively zero. Any private or public sector business that values its reputation wouldn’t have a bar of him. He’d be out the door quicker than you could say ‘how good is that?’

    AP CEO: Highly effective, competent, value for money, a positive asset to the enterprise.

    Could it be that Bluster Man aka the Bully in Chief aka the Man without a Heart or alternatively the Man who Dodged Empathy Training couldn’t cop being shown up by a female who outranks on all criteria?

  6. Harry Lime

    Canguro..all of that,but the most gobsmacking part of his faux outrage is that this,coming from a man who has, and continues to blithely piss billions of taxpayer dollars against the wall in the interests of his mates and clinging on to power.Emasculating and politicising the public service,and stacking statutory bodies with party hacks and otherwise unemployable jerks adding to the insulting way he treats us shitkickers. The IPA must be orgasmic.We won’t even mention the way he’s aiding and abetting happy clappy wankers into the corridors of power.

  7. PeterF

    The whole incident revolves around the ‘government’s’ actions in stacking the board so that the Post Office cold be sold to one of their mates. The manager did not fit into this scenario, so she had to go. Simple.

  8. Ross

    Not to belittle the subject but what will this latest Morrison scandal be called?
    Holgate, Holgategate or Holgated, it looks as if this scandal is just getting started.
    Hard to name a scandal when the person or persons involved has a surname that ends in gate.

  9. Rossleigh


  10. Vikingduk

    No apologies from the sanctimonious smirking jerk, it doesn’t do apologies, no no no, the supreme leader, this fucking black hearted, rotten to the core, morally bankrupt slime sucker too busy conniving, too busy lying, too busy preening the ego, cruelty its default position, praising its god once a week like a good christian should, jeez, those upskirters from laming, how good were they, must ask jen what she thinks, some womanly bullshit no doubt, me old mate, the rat fucker uhlmann, he’ll see me right, good old news corpse, always depend on them. Maaaate, how good is it, smirking me smirk, lying and conniving, spreading me hypocrisy and poison far and wide and I get paid a shit load to do it, suck that up, peasants or perhaps you’d like this shit sandwich instead.

  11. Harry Lime


  12. Frank Smith

    Yes PeterF, “follow the money”. Plans to privatise the parcel delivery business of Australia Post, no doubt with a generous donator mate in mind as the successful purchaser of that lucrative part of the business, is emerging as the real reason behind HolgateGate. Holgate was not being cooperative in this scam so “she can go”! Yet another scandal emerging from the dark corners of the Coallition.

  13. GL


  14. Barry Thompson.

    This LNP mob cannot stand to see successful women. They frighten them and show them up for the pissants they are.Holgate performed better at Australia Post than the blokes that preceded her and they cannot stomach that.

    On another tack, i wish that Fran Bailey would come out of the woodwork to reveal in detail why she sacked the dud from the tourism job.

    I am sick to death of this shower of shite.

    There, i feel a little better now, i’ll go and knock the top off a VB and dream of a massive Labor victory..

  15. Henry Rodrigues

    The creep couldn’t wait to apologize to the crinkled old bastard in case he was dis-endorsed before the next elections. But treats a woman, a successful, competent woman with contempt and ridicule because she didn’t follow the script. That’s all the bullying bastard is capable of. And he and the 52% of dickhead australian voters think he’s doing a great job. I say this with great reservation, but Scummo is defintely is worse than jug ears.

    As for the boss of Aus Post, that guy with the italian sounding name, he looks more guilty that Scummo. The place is being run along mafia’s guidleines.

  16. GL

    Don’t forget that Holgate’s replacement Paul Graham (who was probably already in place and just waiting for Scummo to remove her so he could jump straight in) and is, no doubt, a great Liberal maattee and worked for Woolies, again without a doubt, a big donor LNP donor.

  17. Phil Pryor

    The deficient, superstition drenched, idiotic, devious, chronic lying turd of a P M, a Poxed Misfit, is ruining this nation…

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