Was Jackie Kelly really following her master’s orders to create a
diversion when she used the Sunday media to ask the PM to fix
childcare? Christian Kerr seems to think

consider the facts. Howard’s policy direction has been to reward parents (read:
mothers) for staying at home with their children. So why would he send his
minions to spread dissent over the Government’s child care policy? Christian
suggests a motive; apparently, Howard “has an acute understanding of the
problems of modern parenting that he has gained from his staff. For all his
conservatism on family issues, he realises that things are different now.”

OK. So that’s why the PM’s still encouraging mothers to stay home through
Family Tax Benefit B
and the ridiculous child care rebate that only actually gets paid to parents
once the kids are practically drinking, smoking and eligible to vote?

of course you’re a single mother, in which case, no slacking off at home, to
work with ye, ye foul welfare-bludging wenches. Who knows what they’re
supposed to do with the kids, given that the average cost of child care is
over $200 a week and
average weekly income in a single-parent household is $391 per week. After
rent, that doesn’t leave a whole lot for those luxury items such as food and

harsh realities facing struggling parents put in perspective the frankly
ludicrous suggestion that Howard’s staff have given him an acute understanding
of modern parenting. Who
are these people? Is it his confirmed bachelor principal advisor, Tony Nutt?
Maybe it’s his shambolic press secretary Tony O’Leary? Who on Howard’s staff is
a struggling single parent on $391 a week, yet qualified to educate a PM whose
idea of modern living is to commute from Canberra via executive jet? Name
them, Christian!

So, is
Jackie Kelly creating a clever political diversion for her mentor? Unless
there’s a hidden political Exocet on the horizon, the smart money’s on the former minister having a go because, well, she’s
a mother with young kids, is finding it difficult to access the child care
rebate (and if she can’t work it out, what chance do the mere mortals have?) and
is probably feeling a bit depressed.

And if
she’s actually doing her job, maybe she’s been listening to some of her female
constituents having a go on the same subject – after all, the only people who
appear happy with the status quo are companies such as ABC Learning, probably
since 60% of their revenue comes straight from the Government.

Meanwhile, The Man Who Would Be PM seems confused about whether he thinks
the whole thing is a good idea or not – Treasurer backs childcare boost
while at the same time Costello rejects calls for major childcare funding boost. No doubt he’s busy thinking up an innovative new scheme
whereby he can return yet more of our taxes to the Deserving Middle Classes.