Gillard’s political winner. The publication of the school performance records by the Federal Government is clearly going to be a political winner. The media reaction to the comparison website  last night and this morning has been overwhelmingly favourable. Education Minister Julia Gillard has delivered Labor a wonderful start to this election year.

In both state and federal elections for as long as I can remember, the Coalition parties have campaigned on the theme of the need for bring back the three rs as the lynch-pin of the education system. Labor, under the influence of the teachers’ unions, has had to be more circumspect and suffered a little because of it. That slight disadvantage will apply no more. Ms Gillard has ensured that Labor will in future be seen as the party bringing common sense to education.

And the more the teachers complain and threaten not to allow future testing, the greater Labor’s benefit will become.

A question for teachers. Why is it that school teachers think the parents they once taught are too stupid to work out how relevant the schools comparison tables really are? Did they fail completely to instill  any common sense into previous generations?

A quotation for the day: “Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.” ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 24, spoken by the character Mr. Antolini.

A political sexual obsession


The obsession of politicians with matters sexual seems to be growing by the day. This morning it is the turn of the Labor Federal Member for Kingston Amanda Rishworth.

What will be the next big headline? SHOCK! HORROR! Experts alarmed at little kids playing doctors and nurses! MP Calls for game to be banned.

Running away from change. There’s one thing for certain about the report casting doubts on wisdom of the system of shared custody of children from divorced families: the Government will do absolutely nothing about changing the law until after the next election. The last thing Labor wants is to revive the demonstrations from aggrieved fathers about the unfairness of a system which saw mothers tend to be favoured in custody applications.

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey