Christopher Pyne said he was expecting a warm reception from education ministers yesterday. Seems it was heated to the point of being downright explosive. According to The World Today, Tasmanian Education Minister, the Greens Nick McKim, says Mr Pyne had thrown a stick of dynamite into the discussions.
(Image via SMH.)
He also spoke of a “bombshell revelation that will rock the public education system to the core”.
Other ministers were similarly unimpressed. According to the AFR:
“All in all ministers are very disappointed,” Coalition NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, who chaired the ministerial meeting, said.
“Here’s a unity ticket for you right here – a Labor minister, a Greens minister, National ministers, Liberal Party ministers, sticking up and unified behind Australian schools and behind funding certainty for Australian schools”
Pyne said “no-one should assume they will get less money”. Seems the government school sectors in the states that signed up to Gonski deals with Labor are expecting exactly that. Pyne seems to be strongly implying that if extra funds are needed for the states that didn’t sign up or for other aspects of his new scheme then it will come from the government school sectors of those states that did sign up.
Adrian Piccoli, the NSW minister, points out that this means that everything that is done in schools in 2014 will have to be done on the assumption that it may not flow through to 2015. McKim says we have “Christopher’s Crisis” rather than a “Shorten Shambles”.
Barrie Cassidy says that the Government assumed that it has a store of goodwill. He warns that it doesn’t.
Geoff Kitney in the AFR asks What is going on with the Abbott government?
The alarm bells about the Abbott government are becoming deafening. And they are ringing around the world. What started as a rumble in Jakarta is now echoing through the capitals of every nation which has any dealings with Australia.
And it’s not hard to imagine that the first question being asked about Abbott’s Australia is: “What on earth is going on?”
In the lead up to the election, Essential Media Communications released research which showed the electorate didn’t think much would change after the election. Their expectations were low.
Even though the Coalition’s primary vote was high, only a third of the electorate thought the Coalition was ready to govern.
That is why the Coalition played negative politics so rigorously. It wasn’t about a brave new world.
Kitney says we are getting a completely new brand of conservative politics.
The new “brand Australia” that the Abbott government is presenting to the world is neo-conservative nationalism, with a populist twist.
Pyne is continually enthusiastic about better teaching performance. His vision is for teachers to use a more didactic approach. As to what they teach, it’s not children apparently, rather traditional facts to be taught to children.
And so it goes.
Abbott’s brave new Australia would be at home in a 19th century world.