Morris Iemma and his
Education Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, were on Radio National this morning, doing
what could loosely be described as singing the second verse of the National
Anthem. The neighbourhood dogs were howling.

Of course, when a
politician starts “singing,” it always heralds a thoughtful policy – in this
case the idea that forcing kiddies to sing the National Anthem and learn about
Australian values will stop race-related riots like those at Cronulla. Splendid plan. Why learning that our
land abounds in nature’s gifts will help prevent riots is anyone’s guess.

The French also think teaching their National Anthem in
schools will help teach kiddies values – although since the Marseillaise calls
on the French people to let “impure blood water our furrows,” it may be more
likely to incite riots than prevent them.

Anne Davies in today’s
Herald puts her finger on what happens when governments seek to trump opposition
leaders who irresponsibly play the race card.

And if all this
instilling of values in the young doesn’t work? Well, we can just ship them all
off to live in tents. That’ll learn ’em.