Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

so far this week « Previous | |Next »
July 1, 2008

Gippsland one day, the nation the next. Newspoll via Possum says 55 - 45, back to the 10 points off primaries at 44 - 39. At last, the honeymoon is over, the chickens have come home to roost, the electorate has woken from its slumber and the narrowing is narrowing. Kevin's down from 68 to 64 and Brendan has gained a whopping 2 points at 15.

Which news item will take the lead, the poll result or Alexander Downer's retirement? Janet Albrechtson got the interview and produced one of her more cringe-worthy pieces, strewing roses and waxing lyrical about the great man. He's cross because State governments won't let him smoke in pubs. He does have a point though - given the choice between a government that actually does stuff and one the contents itself with pointing out how fat, alcoholic, nicotine addicted and generally horrible we all are, take the one that does stuff.

Downer also had a parting shot for his friends:

“The Liberal Party has to explain why there is a role for government in any particular form of activity, in practical terms, not in terms of Left and Right,” he says. “Just in practical terms.

“What they need to do, which they have not done very well so far, is develop a better narrative: both a negative narrative about the Rudd Labor Government and a positive narrative about the Liberal Party. They need to build policies around that narrative. It is one thing to start barking on about reducing fuel excise about 5c, but what’s your point? Why would you want to do that? The Liberal Party does not have a story to tell at the moment. Just a bunch of ad hoc comments.”

Turnbull also rubbished the 5 cents on Lateline last night

The point of the 5 cent cut that Brendan Nelson announced in his budget reply was that it really showed up the hypocrisy of Kevin Rudd.

I mean the political message was very important, was in fact even more important than the 5 cents, because Kevin Rudd had gotten elected last year saying, or leading people to believe, that he would bring down the price of petrol.

Ah, so the 5 cents wasn't about feeling our pain at all, but a clever piece of politics. You've got to feel sorry for Turnbull, having to spruik nonsense he clearly doesn't believe in.

My personal favourite so far this week was Opposition education spokesman Tony Smith on the computers in schools business.

"All the way long we've said there wasn't enough money to make the computers work in schools," he said.

"Principals have been screaming from the roof tops for seven months, the Labor states have been saying at each COAG meeting since December there weren't the funds to actually make the computers work and without them the computers would simply be sitting at boxes in schools."

How's this for an idea: Assemble the students, back up a truck full of computers, and let the kids show you how to make them work.

| Posted by Lyn at 8:53 AM | | Comments (8)


Turnbull's wings have been clipped.

Downer is wrong on the narrative bit. The conservative movement's narrative is that 'the emperor has no clothes.' It's all spin and process.

Downer is right in that the Liberals have no positive narrative apart from saying they stand for individual freedom whilst the ALP is comand and control.

Their national security state (surveillance, detention centres, law and order) stands for individual freedom?

do the Liberals actually understand digital literacy? Nelson says this:

Everyone knows that you can't just deliver a computer to a school, you have actually got to plug it in, you have got to train the teachers and you have got to maintain those computers.

'train the teachers'? The kids know far more than the teachers about how to use the internet.

Individual freedom FOR THE RULING CLASS Gary.

Not sure that they do Anon, or maybe they just didn't want to scare the masses with geeky terminology like 'remove from packaging' and 'switch on power'.

It seems odd to me that they're talking about maintenance when, surely, that's something the kids should be learning to do themselves, if they don't already.

On training teachers, I think the worst possible thing would be for education departments anywhere to be doing teacher training. Unless your purpose is to bore kids to death.

The Tories' technological illiteracy is a wonder to behold as is their projection of it onto teachers. "We know SFA about computers," seems to be the gist of their nonsense, "so obviously teachers know even less."

The point about maintenance is a good one though ... everyone knows complicated machines need regular greases and oil changes.

The sad thing is that the computer systems that are finally rolled out will probably be out of date and lumbered with all kinds of restrictions to protect the kiddies from MySpace or YouTube or sites with naughty words or any of the other nasties that can crawl up the intertubes and ruin the little ones' lives if you're not careful.

I wonder if they considered giving schools IT accounts at the rate of $1,000 per pupil, to be spent with local suppliers (and I don't mean on overpriced stuff from Hewlett-Packard via Harvey Norman). I suspect they'd have got much better value for money and reinforced links between the school and the community at the same time. But no, bad idea, the teachers would have to be trained in how to buy stuff.

maintenance - grease and oil changes. Oh, I get it.

True, maintenance isn't the sort of word you associate with computers.

There are plenty of down sides to this but the Libs are picking on the wrong ones. They sound as if they've been watching that IT guys comedy, whatever it's called, and imagine a requirement for basements full of weird little guys on hand at all times.

Meanwhile, the real problems lie with the imposition of post industrial technology to be used by a bunch of postmodern kids in a setup designed to provide fodder for industrialisation.

what is meant is that the teachers don't know how to use the computers in the run down public schools starved of funds by state governments.