How wise of Canberra to see in corporate sponsorship the future of education. Julia Gillard, with trademark honker pointing the way forward like a direction-finding duck, shows herself to be a visionary in this.

While students in Tasmania could soon benefit (perhaps they already do) from a school woodwork centre gifted by Gunns, we at Lowbottom must seek for spondulicks from less cashed up patrons. A new Literacy Module, for instance, might profit from a partnership with our local barber who operates under the soubriquet of Sammys Hair. Sammy himself might benefit in return from an induction into the mysteries of the apostrophe.

Craft is something that has been unjustly neglected in the post-feminist age. If tatting and macramé are understandably spurned by the young for Facebook construction and maintenance, surely a cash contribution from our neighbourhood quilting outlet with its g-y window displays which most nearly resemble certain tropical diseases expressed in fabric might help build a Centre for the Decorative Arts.

As the Federal Minister understands only too well, information technology is the go and by attaching a lower-case “i” to a thing — anything — it acquires instant cred. Our principal, on this basis, should be beating a path to the door of Fu King Computers (hard by Sammys and Quilting Corner) in the local shopping strip. The proprietor, famously, is a gentleman of uncertain temper and with an even more unstable grasp of English. Such loveable eccentricity naturally attracts students who like nothing better than to pester him with requests for USB cables and the like.

“You’ve got one? Cool,” they say. “But is it a Fu King router?”

Upon which they skedaddle.

The proprietor might better understand this puzzling behaviour if he were conversant with the old joke about the Bunnings attendant returning to a customer to ask whether she wanted a screw for the hinge. But f-llatio and toasters, come to think of it, are probably even more enigmatic.

One thing our friend must well appreciate is the necessity in the corporate quid pro quo for naming rights. Julia G herself might be persuaded to turn the first sod of a shining exemplar of public-private cooperation — the Fu King iWing.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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