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John Passant

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January 2014



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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

In Australia the Vandals have replaced the Visigoths, [suggestions for historical accuracy welcome] and their target this week is schools, specifically the National Curriculum.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has appointed 2 conservatives to review the curriculum. In fact some states have not yet implemented the National Curriculum a recent review recommended. So why have another review, undertaken by two people whose qualifications for the job are political more than anything else?

My guess it is to impose a conservative, perhaps even a reactionary, curriculum, one where the great achievements of Western ‘civilisation’ and the Judeo-Christian tradition are lauded and all the bad bits – the racism, the genocide, the destruction, the dispossession, the death – are swept aside.

Capitalist conflagrations like war will become occasions for that special kind of truth telling that turns imperialist slaughterhouses into grand defences of democracy and an integral part of nation building.

That is what the curriculum review will do to history, turn it into a bull horn for empire and Australian imperialism. It will use bias as its reason for doing so, conveniently forgetting that the current history curriculum was accepted not so long ago by both Labor AND Liberal State and Territory governments.

We will end up with a Cory Bernardi curriculum.
Schools will become dispensers of rote learning, of dates in history and formulae in arithmetic (I use the word deliberately) without any attempt to understand the why.

The real problem is money and Gonski may have slightly redressed some of the failures of the past in this regard but it still keeps the rich-poor school divide alive. The Curriculum Review may well stray into funding and undermine Gonski even further than Pyne, the current educational barbarian Minister, is proposing, with the aim of worsening the rich-poor schools divide.

Real funding per student has declined over time and within that overall trend there has been a shift to funding private schools more and public schools less. This review won’t address that fundamental issue. It will continue if not exacerbate it.

This is an ideological attack from a government bereft of real policy ideas. Attacking schools will worsen already declining educational standards to the detriment of capital’s ability to extract even more surplus value and profit from well trained and sometimes even critical thinkers, but critical within the limits acceptable to capital.

The example of commodifying education at University level will spread to and intensify and strengthen in the school sector with the result in my estimation that fee paying schools will become the main providers of education for kids in the years to come, reinforcing class divisions even more in education.

In addition, the Government’s kite flying about a $6 fee to attend the doctor, and now talk abut allowing insurers to cover doctors costs, shows the overall user pays, fee for service direction this government has in mind for health.

This is a government of the market, by the market, for the market and it will do all it feasibly can to undermine and destroy universal health care and public education.

The demonstrations last Saturday and this Saturday in defence of Medicare are a good first start. We need more people to be involved in the fight to defend public health care and public schools. Specifically we need more unions and unionists as unions and unionists with the power to shut down schools, hospitals, building sites, the mines and banks, and public services if this government tries to cut Medicare or further undermine public schools.

Comments close, like all posts on this blog, after 7 days.



Comment from paul walter
Time January 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

Once again, not a word out of place.
The world has gone mad.

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