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class warfare « Previous | |Next »
September 12, 2012

The politics of austerity are alive and well in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. It is the essential services that cater for the more disadvantaged sectors of the community---health and education (including TAFE) --- at a time when income inequality has risen steadily in Australia since about 1980, and Australia’s educational achievement is slipping.


Gonski argued that educational disadvantage is concentrated in the public school system and that the funding of the system exacerbates those inequities. The Gonski Review called for a big increase in funding to ensure that the growing equity gap between advantaged and disadvantaged communities is closed.

The other side of the politics of austerity is the attack on social justice--ie., the redistribution of resources to the poor and disadvantaged --as a form of class warfare and class envy in conservative political discourse. This politics here is to defend private health insurance and private education at independent schools.

So we have a winding back of the welfare state and to tell the poor to adapt to a transition to a health and education system that involves more personal responsibility and individual contributions. The rhetoric is that this wind back is necessary to avoid a debt burdened Queensland becoming like Greece.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:39 AM | | Comments (8)


a wave of assets sales are next in Queensland?

You would not expect the O'Farrell Government in NSW to rethink the “traditional” teaching approaches in the class room or the culture of a “traditional” classroom.

The focus on “teacher effectiveness” and "teacher quality" assumes that students are recipients or clients rather than workers. The only people in schools who can produce learning are students.

As in any other workplace, what and how much they produce depends on the supervisor, of course, but also on how work is organised, controlled, sequenced, evaluated and rewarded.

Rethinking the traditional classroom culture is education reform and the O'Farrell Govt remains wedded to the traditional classroom.

"A week after details of a confidential meeting between the Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, and representatives of the Catholic and independent school sectors leaked, the government revealed wide-ranging cuts.

Funding for independent schools is to be frozen instead of being cut $67 million a year, as originally planned"

Note the last 3 words.
A whispered word or two from the powers-that-be and hey presto the elite schools are given an extra $67 million.

'Gonski argued that educational disadvantage is concentrated in the public school system and that the funding of the system exacerbates those inequities.'

Well yes, that's the whole idea. Where's the value in sending your kids to private schools if you're not buying them a competitive advantage? Attempts to provide true equal opportunity in education will always be resisted by the privileged classes because an unequal education system is required to institutionalise their privilege. If a kid gets the same life chances from Granville Public as s/he would from Cranbrook or Ascham, one of the main props perpetuating a class as opposed to a merit-based society will be removed. You can't expect the people who benefit from the class-based society to co-operate in undermining their own privileged position. They believe public schools should exist to train the masses in vocational skills, while the private schools acculturate the future members of the ruling classes.

Leftist parties have sadly lost the ideological battle, not only here but in most countries. They no longer feel able to discuss political economy as it really is but feel compelled to make stupid arguments based on economic rationalism that they can never make as convincingly as the conservatives. But both sides, of course, are arguing amongst themselves in an alternative reality that ignores the nature of our society as it really is.

The politics of austerity have resulted in the Queensland Government virtually wiping out the entirety of the state’s climate change and clean energy initiatives.

Queensland is a coal state. None of this left renewable energy stuff of The Greens is to be accepted in the coal state.

I expect the Newman Govt will next move to wind back planning laws to allow coastal development.

"the Newman Govt will next move to wind back planning laws to allow coastal development. "

The Newman government wants to promote economic growth, including the extractive resource industries, and wants to “ensure” that growth is “not adversely impacted by planning processes” – which include environmental assessment processes.

We cannot let environmental concerns get in the way of expanding the mining industry in general and the coal industry in particular can we. it is right and proper that business should be allowed to ignore environmental harm to maximise their profits.

"I expect the Newman Govt will next move to wind back planning laws to allow coastal development."

In Victoria as well