Say what you will about the Ruddites, they encourage inclusion. In the last week alone, hairdressers have been heartened by the special and unique place they have been invited to occupy in the body politic. As a consequence, academies of applied pilatory technology have been swamped with applicants eager to trim the taper of liberty. Or the yulang yulang scented candle at least.

“Oh I know,” they recite the credo of their kind, “Believe me I know. I think you would look super with a highlight.”

Teachers, too, have been invited to join with hairdressers (and very possibly manicurists, body waxers and colonic irrigators) in deciding their futures by responding to the current draft of the national curriculum. Where Ms Bishop wanted to impose a curriculum in the manner of Mosaic tablets brought down from the mountain, Ms Gillard wants to impose a curriculum and have us take responsibility for its imposition.

Since we live in such a wonderfully inclusive polity, we need to consider all sides of the debate? A straw poll of the major parties produced the following response to the keystones of the history curriculum.

LIBERAL

  1. Settlement: a sterling example of Progress; shows what can be achieved by hard work and determination.
  2. Aborigines: a tragic people ill-equipped to deal with Progress; are to be pitied and gently (but firmly) put on the right path to material enlightenment.
  3. Trade Unions: the enemies of Progress; led by economic terrorists resentful of the good fortune of others.
  4. Migrants: absolutely vital to Progress; good factory fodder who have bolstered the construction and banking industries by agreeing to live in remote suburbs with stupid names.

LABOR

  1. Settlement: We are sorry for what we have done.
  2. Aborigines: a noble people who can teach us a lesson in the emptiness of materialism (as we negotiate the next phase of uranium mining). Again we are sorry.
  3. Trade Unions: the heart and soul of working Australia — whatever the hell that is.
  4. Migrants: the bedrock of multiculturalism which is the model of inclusiveness. For calling you wogs, we are sorry.

NATIONAL

  1. Settlement: the genesis (or Genesis) of the exciting opportunities offered to those with boundless energy and a shotgun.
  2. Aborigines: a tragic people and a nuisance frankly. Dot paintings make great designs for tea towels.
  3. Trade Unions: the enemy of the man on the land. Hand me the shotgun, son.
  4. Migrants: absolutely essential — on a seasonal basis. If multiculturalism means some decent take-away — Chinky for preference — then all hail to it.

GREENS

  1. Settlement: sadly, our forebears were not signatories to the Kyoto agreement and unaware of the benefits of recycle bins, dual flush and grey water on the veggie garden. A disaster. We should all leave RIGHT NOW.
  2. Aborigines: model custodians of the land whose traditional ownership we acknowledge at every opportunity.
  3. Trade Unions: the enemies of all things green with their selfish insistence on full employment.
  4. Migrants: a drain on vastly depleted natural resources. Should go home RIGHT NOW.

FAMILY FIRST

  1. Settlement: God did enjoin us He him to subdue the earth and all its creatures and lo! it came to pass and He saw it was good.
  2. Aborigines: the tribe of Shem forever cast from God’s view.
  3. Trade Unions: the sad relic of godless communism; promoters of abortion, homos-xuality, divorce and fluoridisation
  4. Migrants: fifth columnists for the implementation of the global caliphate.

In the lucky country, history is no longer written by winners but participants in the consultative process.

Peter Fray

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