We’ve remarked before on the insouciance with which Education Minister
Brendan Nelson discards earrings, principles, wives – whatever – in
pursuit of personal political power, so it should come as no surprise
that he lets the occasional peculiarity drop.

Spot the logical inconsistency in these two releases, for example. Here’s Dr Brendan’s press release on last Friday’s VSU vote:

University students across Australia will no longer have to
pay compulsory union fees or be forced to join student unions, with the
Australian Senate today passing the Higher Education Support Amendment
(Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005.

From 1 July, 2006, no student will be forced to join a student
organisation, union or guild. In addition, no student will be forced to
pay a fee to an institution for non-academic amenities, facilities or
services…

Why is it that a single mother training to be a nurse should be forced
to pay for the canoeing or mountaineering club when all she wants is a
degree? However, any student who wants to be part of a sporting or
social club should have the right to do so and this legislation will
allow those students to pay for those services if they make that choice.

The Howard Government does not believe that students who enrol at
Australian universities to study for a degree should be forced into
union membership and forced to pay compulsory union fees…

Compulsion is bad, m’kay? Well, have a dekko at the statement he put out on Monday on the VSU transitional measures:
“As foreshadowed recently, I will also be requiring university student
unions, guilds and associations to open up membership to apprentices
and TAFE students…”

Compulsion is… is… is what, Doc?

But – as they say in the classics – wait there’s more. The step “will
increase their potential membership pool from 715,000 to 2.3 million
students.” Yay! If the stu’ents are united, they will never be divided,
hey Doc? Solidarity forever!

Presumably this political prostitute doesn’t release what a galoot he is.

Peter Fray

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