Friday 18th of April 2014




In the 1944 film Gaslight, Ingrid Bergman's character is driven mad by her husband, who toys with her perception of reality by secretly dimming their home's gas lights at random.
When the wife remarks on the strangeness of the flickering lamps, her husband tells her she is imagining things. He is so firm, and so convincing in his denials, that she thinks she's cracking up.

But Education Minister Christopher Pyne - a man who could power entire streets full of lamps, gas or otherwise, using the sole energy source of his ego - appears to be attempting the trick on a much larger scale.

Pyne is gaslighting the entire Australian population.

His array of positions on the Gonski education reforms is so dazzling it hurts the eyes.

During the election campaign, keen to neutralise the issue of education funding, he told voters that the Gonski model (and the Commonwealth cash attached to it) had no greater fan than the Coalition.

In this respect, the pre-election Tony Abbott said, Liberal and Labor were on a "unity ticket".

But once the poll results were in, the flames started to quiver, ever so slightly.

First, Pyne said the Howard government funding model - the one the Gonski review sought to overturn because it was "broken" - was actually "a good starting point".

Wait, hang on a minute ...

A day later, the minister crisply told ABC radio that he had never said the government would adopt the Howard funding model.

Read more:


flickering idiots...

But that's not exactly what ...
"We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought that we made," the Prime Minister clarified.
At this point, the lights were switching on and off so rapidly that some educational experts actually began to fit.
But it seems someone, somewhere had made a mistake, because on Monday the Prime Minister and his audacious minister announced that, actually, the original (Labor-created) funding model would be substantially honoured.
The trouble is that Pyne confuses so convincingly. He pinballs out policy backflips so quickly that even the most ordered of brains are boggled within minutes.
And the very audacity of his ability to say one thing, and then its opposite, and then its opposite again, is so taxing on the senses it's enough to send you hiding under the bedclothes.
It's enough to drive you mad.

Read more:

Pyne is an arrogant pillock...


However, it is clear there is more behind the Abbott government strategy. From the recent weeks it is clear it is also driven by deeply ingrained disdain towards the Canberra press gallery.

The Coalition’s disdain for the Canberra press gallery is by no means unique in Australian public life in recent times. However, it becomes dangerous when the barely concealed belief they can ignore the Canberra gallery and talk over their heads starts manifesting itself as belligerent arrogance and conceit at press conferences.

Prime exhibit was Education Minister Christopher Pyne on ABC Radio last week. ”It’s not my fault if some people in the press gallery don’t understand the complicated nature of the school funding model,” he said.

There can be no other explanation for the public performances of ministers like Pyne and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison other than basic arrogance and conceit. Abbott’s ham-fisted initial response to revelations of spying on Indonesia’s President seems similarly driven by a belief that what matters is not the perspective of political journos but those of listeners to talkback radio. In so doing he completely missed the serious diplomatic implications of his actions.

While many voters dislike the Canberra press gallery, I reckon they hate even more the recent displays of belligerence by Pyne and Morrison. Not a great deal that fascinates the press gallery tends to filter through to average voters. But I bet they would have concluded two things this week: the Coalition has broken its promise on school funding, and Pyne is an arrogant pillock. For a government elected on the promise of no surprises and a pledge to keep its election commitments, Pyne’s efforts this week were just breathtaking, especially on an issue of such high importance to so many voters.

the gonski report


Whatever the motives, the Gonski backflip by Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne has left the country with a failing schools system still in need of reform, writes Barrie Cassidy.

Good work guys. Gonski's gone. Now what?

Years of work by an expert panel, drawing on thousands of submissions, has come to nothing.

For that furious educators and parents can blame the Rudd and Gillard governments for taking too long to address a decline in standards that the OECD now confirms is only getting worse.

And they can blame the Abbott government for finally throwing some of the most meticulous homework ever undertaken into the bin.

The mood in the media all week has been that somehow the Abbott/Pyne backflip solved a problem. It did nothing of the kind.

The problem was not so much money as a commitment to reform. That commitment has been shredded.


Sorry, Barrie, but it was Julia Gillard who commissioned Mr David Gonski (an Australian public figure and businessman... a leading philanthropist and Patron of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation) in APRIL 2010 to find a new way to improve education. It took a year and a half (till November 2011) for Mr Gonski to formulate the best solution and Julia Gillard had then to find ways to finance the scheme and to make sure the States agreed to the new scheme. NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia saw the many advantages, but the opposition led by little shit Abbott and his prancing queen Pyne did all it could to sabotage the plan. Tony and his cronies eventually managed to stop Queensland and Western Australia to sign onto the deal which would have been super-good for them too.. They chose to play play politics. Now, Pyne has tried hard to destroy the scheme and unless we vote his mob out at the next election, he might succeed in his sewer ratty non-solution mostly designed to benefit private schools with the destruction of public education.