Last Monday was Forbes High’s end-of-year presentation day. In it, along with the usual desperate pledges for donations and long, winding speeches, was a guest speech from none other than Federal Member for Parkes John Cobb, who is, much to my dismay, the member for my electorate.
About a month ago he came to the school to award some token “look, we give money to schools that are not private, too” grant. I requested an interview to the Principal, which was, albeit reluctantly, granted. In half an hour I scraped up a few questions including such things as “You claim that you were misquoted when you were alleged to have said that if you had a disabled child, you would put it in an institution. If you didn’t say this, what did you say, and how could it have been misinterpreted?” as well as questions regarding the funding of public schools, the role of the national party in the future, and so on.
After having to say what I was going to ask Mr Cobb, it was announced that “there is not enough time left” and the interview wouldn’t go ahead. I did however get the “honour” of meeting him.
I was introduced as being a “very academic” student, to which Mr Cobb replied, as a sort of bad joke, “Well, I’m not academic”(polite laughter), which was followed by my not-so-well-received “Really? Someone representing us in government who admits to not being academic? That’s reassuring.”
Anyway, back to the presentation day. In an uninspiring speech, the real kicker was the sad attempt to win votes via a joke about the drought, which went like this:
Education is really the most important thing. It is. It is. The most important thing; education. Except maybe the drought.
This was followed by some Labor bashing (their slogan on their town fete stall was “Your other choice is Labor”).
It really is reassuring to have such learned people representing us in parliament.