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John Passant

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December 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Is it a back flip or 3 card trick on Gonski?

It looks like the biggest back flip since Nadia Comaneci won gymnastics gold. The Abbott government has backed down and will now adopt the previous Labor government’s Gonski model for funding school education over the next 4 years.

Before we break out the champagne, remember this is the fine print government. And the fine print here will sour the celebratory drinks.

When Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory played politics with the Gonski funding and rejected it before the last election to help Abbott win power,  Labor removed the $1.2 billion it had set aside in forward expenditure for those governments.

So by rights the ‘savings’ the previous Labor government had set in place (especially the $2.3 billion plucked from Universities which the Liberals will implement) are already there and all that needs to happen is some book entries to fund the renegade and morally bankrupt governments who put politics before their kids’ education.

The ‘savings’ will come from Pyne’s education budget. Universities will be the obvious target but presumably they could also find (in)efficiencies in the schools’ budget to attack.

The other bit of fine print is that the Commonwealth won’t reduce its funding to the States and Territories for education spending but those governments can then decide to spend the money on something else, like another Casino.

For example Campbell Newman has been closing public schools in Queensland. Giving him extra schools funding is like giving Dracula the keys to the blood bank.

And who will these rich private school premiers spend the money on?

The Abbott government expects the States and Territories to act responsibly. Yeah, educational barbarians do that as they slash and burn. So the 3 card trick is that Abbott and Pyne will outsource education cutbacks and inequalities to the States and Territories.

What caused Abbott and Pyne to back flip? First they upset their Liberal mates in New South Wales and Victoria who had already earmarked the extra Labor committed funds to pork barrel some votes in forthcoming elections. Second, the Catholic Schools Association, who had also signed on to Labor’s Gonski, were spitting chips that this would end up a poor versus rich schools fight over funds and having a fair number of poor schools could see they would lose out.

Then there was the political fall out. Abbot and Pyne would have their equivalent of a carbon tax lie haunting them all the way to the next election.

There may have even been the possibility of the union leadership mobilising against the attacks, although it would have been all verbal huffing and puffing with no industrial action, unless the rank and file seized the day.  Concerted strike action in these circumstances might not only have been popular. It would also have been effective.

Even a bit of huffing and puffing from the trade union bureaucrats might have been enough to turn this into Abbott’s WorkChoices nightmare.

One point that my friend Ray Polgaze has pointed out to me.  He says there is a major difference between Nadia Comaneci’s backflips and Tony Abbott’s backflips. Nadia probably knew what she was doing, had a clear plan and was exercising considerable skill. Tony seems more like someone who can’t swim being chucked around in the waves of public opinion

The back flip says something else about this Government. They are anti-working class and spoiling for a fight. In education they picked the wrong target.

Building unions will be in their sights soon enough. So too ‘dole bludgers’ and other ‘undeserving’ social welfare recipients.

Of course the main welfare recipients in Australia today are big companies and the super rich. But they are safe. It is the little man and woman who these reactionaries will attack next.

The education debacle might give the Abbott government cause to pause and better pick their targets. Their Gonski failure will make them more calculated and hence dangerous.

Building unions will be in their sights soon enough. So too ‘dole bludgers’ and other ‘undeserving’ social welfare recipients.

Of course the main welfare recipients in Australia today are big companies and the super rich. But they are safe. It is the little man and woman whom these reactionaries think they can tar with lies about lawless thugs and bludgers that they will attack next.



Pingback from Is it a back flip or 3 card trick on Gonski? | OzHouse
Time December 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

[…] Dec 02 2013 by admin […]

Comment from Lorikeet
Time December 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I think we all know that Liberals have an agenda to give as much money as possible to elite schools that don’t need it, a situation first put in place by Malcolm Fraser.

Under a National Party government in Queensland, we had the best performing public schools in the nation, which were also highly competitive on the world stage.

If the truth is known, neither Labor nor Liberals are interested in the education of Australian students. If they were, we would have better curricula, better discipline and the government would not be alienating and getting rid of good teachers.

Both of these parties have an agenda to gift the best jobs to foreign nationals, since they are both signatories to the UN’s global flattening arrangements.

Comment from Byon
Time December 5, 2013 at 10:05 am

John, you may be interested in Elizabeth Farrelly’s latest from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Comment from John
Time December 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm


Comment from Jolly
Time December 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Your views are not supported by the results of any international testings thus far (re Queensland). No government (ALP/LNP} can afford to do what your first statement suggests. That would be suicidal for any Party in government.
As far as Gonski is concern, the focus has been far too much on funding and has (almost) ignored the fundamental flaws within our education system. It is so much easier to blame FUNDING. an inanimate idea, than blame school leadership. Lets be honest; if a private company fails to deliver on its promises, the CEO is removed. When a school performs poorly, we blame funding!! Or we blame teachers. What happens to school leadership (principal, deputy principal, curriculum director, faculty heads, coordinators, councillors, student advisors, ete, etc.)
Yeah, lets blame the government and funding instead. This is much more fun!!

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