There’s a place

Following the popularity of ‘Animal Songs’ where we posted only songs with animals in their title, here’s a follow-up: There’s a Place.  The rule is simple, only songs with place names make the cut (although I’ve broken the rule with this one):


We hear every day how bad this PM is.  We hear that the PM is not fit for the role.

We hear that the PM knifed the previous PM.

We hear that because of what was happening at the time.  An acceptance speech was written.  The PM must have known this was happening.

We hear that there was polling at the time, which the PM must have seen.  It was unreasonable of the PM to say that polling goes on all the time and she cannot recall any in detail.

We hear that there was a move made a week or so before the event.  Therefore, it must have been the PM organising it.

We hear that the PM must be lying when said that she was approached but did not make her mind up until the night she challenged Mr. Rudd.

We hear that faceless men got rid of Mr. Rudd, not the members of caucus.

We hear that the PM got rid of an elected PM.

We hear that this is not a legitimate government.

We hear that the PM is paralysed and is not able to carry out her role.

We hear that the parliament is dysfunctional.

We hear the PM is a habitual liar.

We hear the PM breaks promises.

We hear that this government is not legitimate.

We hear that the PM colludes to incite riots that endanger the Opposition leader.

We hear that this PM claims credit for a flourishing economy that is the result of the hard work of Mr. Howard.

We hear that this PM refuses to acknowledge that firms are acting in a pre-emptive way, putting workers off to cope with the carbon tax, which is due in the next financial year.

We hear that the PM insists that it the high dollar and the highly profitable mining industry is leading to a multi-tier economy, not her carbon tax.

We hear that the PM cannot control her office.  The PM is covering up for an officer she dismissed for acting out of place.  The PM is guilty of not answering the Opposition questions about this worker.  The PM should answer, regardless of the fact that there is a police investigation under way, and if the PM did give information, it could discriminate the officer.

The PM cannot change her office because the PM changed the seating arrangements at cabinet meetings.  The PM has asked her ministers not to take notes during cabinet meetings.  The PM does not talk to her FM.

The PM does an hour-long interview in which she described what her govern is doing and has done.  Because only a few seconds that made her look bad gets to air, the PM showed bad political judgement by agreeing to be interview, by what many would hope could be the trusted Four Corners.

The PM is guilty of not interfering in an independent FWA concerning another MP on her side of the house.  This is in spite of two police investigations, instigated by the Opposition.

The PM is guilty of breaking her word to Mr. Wilkie.  It seems does not matter that similar legislation that begins the process is being introduced.

The PM lied when she introduced the Green Energy Future Bill, which has been passed.  This was a lie, even when the PM promises a price on carbon emission before the election.

The latest lie the PM is accused of is the rebate for private health insurance.  It appears that in 2007 she would not support it.  After that, there were two attempts to get it passed.  It was mention before the 2010 election.

What we do not hear is that there have been over 268 pieces of legalisation passed.

What we do not hear is all the promises that have been kept.

What we do not hear is the positive messages about the achievements of the Government and her ministers are espousing each day.

What we do not hear is anything positive about the PM.

What we do hear, is many positives being turned into negatives.

What we hear all the time is, “Mr. Abbott says . . .”

Class or an education

For all, irrespective of background the key to success has always been education.

Through Australia’s early history basic skills were taught to the working classes as other than basic reading and arithmetic was seen as “wasted” for those who would, through class distinction would never rise above their station in life.

Only the elite, the wealthy were considered worthy of a full education and even then women were frequently excluded. Such a waste to educate a female when she was only going to get married, however many upper class ladies were educated to a reasonable standard mostly to increase their prospects of finding someone “suitable”.

Middle and lower class girls were taught necessary skills such as embroidery, and how to knit a baby’s matinee jacket. Typing and shorthand were for middle class girls so that they could aspire to the elevated status of becoming a secretary. Middle class boys could work in a bank or attend a Technical school to learn a trade. Science, music and sport to elite level were the realms of the private schools.

It was therefore the natural order of things that public schools provided little else than a basic education and that private schools provided, due to the philanthropy of the wealthy were, with the exception of small Catholic schools, “halls of learning” with the facilities to enable the best education which money could provide.

The history of far less money available to a majority of Catholic schools goes back to the origins of these; poor Catholic migrants both 19th and 20th centuries.

Post WW2 saw the rise of the middle classes, diggers returning from war and the baby boom. In spite of the demands for increased levels of funding for public schools, little was done by the Menzies government with an exception of an increase in funding for science laboratories and equipment. This marked the Australian Government first substantial entry into funding for private schools.

In 1969, the Gorton government began providing direct per capita grants to private schools; but not to public schools.

In 1974, the Whitlam government introduced the Schools Commission Bill. This legislation perpetuated State Aid, however funding was based on the historical principle that the Federal government’s primary funding obligation was to public schools.

Gough Whitlam: “The primary obligation, in relation to education, is for governments to provide and maintain government school systems that are of the highest standard and are open, without fees or religious tests, to all children.”

Of importance, the Whitlam Labor Government also abolished university fees which enabled many children who previously had to “leave school to get a job”, access tertiary level education.

By the 1980s it was becoming obvious that Australia needed to move away from simply being a mine and a farm, but to where value was added to our other resource: the human resource. In 1990 Bob Hawke restated the Whitlam principle by declaring that if Australia was to compete at a global level, that Australia needed to become “the clever country”.

Funding to private schools increased dramatically under the Howard government, with the direct aim being to increase enrolments in private schools.

This was promoted as, “increasing parental choice in schooling”. Howard also removed all restrictions on the growth of private schools, and the establishment of new ones.

Prime Minister Howard and his subsequent Education Ministers, Nelson and Bishop, have continued to use the justification that the Commonwealth has a greater responsibility for private schools; the states for public schools.

Australian Education Union: The fact is that both Commonwealth and State Governments have responsibility for public education. There is no constitutional, historical or moral validity to assertions otherwise.

In 2004, Mark Latham announced a plan to slash funding to 67 of Australia’s wealthiest private schools and redirect the money to less-well-off schools, and was promptly accused of inciting “the politics of envy”.

Mark Latham: ”Labor has a very, very different approach to the funding of schools than the Howard government, we fund schools on the basis of need, we want equity in action in the Australian schools system.”

Latham’s list of the wealthiest private schools was promptly labelled “a hit list”; this terminology now having been revived by Christopher Pyne.

So successful was the Howard government’s use of class warfare: “the politics of envy”; Howard’s “aspirationals”, that although Kevin Rudd went to the 2007 election with the promise to conduct a review of the schools funding model, he also promised to preserve the Howard government’s arrangements for a further four years while this review was being conducted.

In 2010 the Federal Government announced a major review of the way it funds public and private schools, this being the first comprehensive review undertaken by the federal government since 1973. Funding arrangements were extended until the end of 2013.

Tony Abbott: “You can’t trust these people. They don’t like private education…if they’re re-elected, as sure as night follows day, they will try to cut private-schools’ funding.”