Australian columnist Jennifer Oriel reckons funding the Gonski school reforms is the “politics of envy” and that “genes are the most important determinant of maths and reading skills among schoolchildren”. Says Oriel (in an article that begins with Hitler, no less):

“Natural variation in academic aptitude should not be punished by tall poppy policies of levelling or unfair aspirational targets for children whose talents lie elsewhere … Individual talent and enterprise are the twin pillars of generative policy reform.”

So schools only for the ubermenschen while the dumb-dumbs go off to work in the salt mines. How we will identify those genetically gifted children who deserve properly funded schools? Oriel does not say, but perhaps, they are the ones with rich parents who can send them off to expensive, federally subsidised private schools.

You know what else has an extremely strong genetic component? Health. A person’s genetic background is a huge indicator of life expectancy and likelihood of acquiring — and surviving — many life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer. So why not just do away with all these silly hospitals and publicly funded doctors and let the strong survive while the weak take their dumb, infirm genes out of the pool. Better for building a master race anyway.

And while we’re letting people fend for themselves, without properly funded schools or hospitals, maybe we should do the same for newspapers. If The Australian is the intellectual tall poppy it thinks it is, it should be able to survive on its own individual talent and enterprise — and not $30 million a year from Uncle Rupert.

Peter Fray

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