The Resurrection of Tony Abbott

Hot on the heels of the spectacular implosion of Malcolm Turnbull in the polls, there is a growing concern inside the Liberal party that Malcolm’s dramatic fall from grace is beyond redemption.

If these reports are anything to go by, Malcolm has until Christmas to redeem himself, or face a leadership standoff that could see Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey jockeying for the top job.

The Liberals, in their infinite wisdom, believe that Tony Abbott could hold the key to their salvation.

Tony Abbott, one of the last remaining members of the Howardesque rat pack, has been praised within Liberal ranks over his performance in recent weeks in pursuing the Rudd government over the “ute-gate” affair.

Of course, there’s nothing new about Abbott’s tactics, they hark back to the days of the Howard government when the modus operandi of the day was to keep repeating the party’s mantra in the hope that constant repitition would help make some proposerous unbelievable rhetoric somehow plausible.

It didn’t work then – think WorkChoices and the so called “fairness test” – and it won’t work now.

The only thing commendable about Abbott’s performance was that it wasn’t as abysmally catastrophic as Malcolm Turnbull’s. Apparantly that’s sufficient reason for Liberal party insiders to consider handing over the reigns to Tony Abbott.

The Liberal party is suffering from a severe identity crisis. If they are to become a relevant force they need to reinvent themselves and clearly state what they stand for. At the moment they are a spent force floundering in a sea of irrelevance.

If they believe that the future lies with Tony Abbott at the helm then they are seriously deluded and more or less conceding defeat.

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96 Responses

  1. Ever get the feeling that you’re being channelled? I’ll transfer my comment on the T’bull thread to here..

    Min, on July 5th, 2009 at 11:33 am Said:
    From reports, Turnbull has less than 6 months to turn things around or face a challenge from the two Tonys, Abbott and Smith. Below was also reported on Sky.

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25733442-662,00.html

    So..what can Turnbull do to turn it around?

  2. Simply a case of The Dwarf trying to pick another winner, which of course would be his first for some time.

    As for Hockey ‘jockeying’ for anything stretches the imagination beyond normal limits.

  3. And I see that Bishop has come out and denied the reports. This is what she says in today’s OO:

    The difficulty with these articles are that the sources of the stories are never revealed, they are anonymous sources.

    In politics, never believe anything until it is denied.

    And Julie – what about those “anonymous” sources that meant that you resigned as opposition treasury spokesperson.

  4. From wiser heads than mine, the trick for Turnbull (a moderate) is going to be how to differentiate himself from Rudd. That is, as another moderate, that he (Turnbull) can prove that he can do it better.

    However, to date T’bull has not shown this, but rather is being perceived as opportunistic..that he will grasp at anything (an email that he should have taken the time to verify as genuine). This action also put a big dampener on the ‘generational change’ in that Turnbull is fully prepared to continue the Howard legacy of fear and smear.

    To me, putting Abbott forward as a potential Leader suggests that rather than trying to beat Rudd on his home turf (moderate) that some want to pull the team to the far right. I must admit that I don’t know much about Tony Smith..just from memory but I think that he ran for Lilydale Council as a youngster, but either pulled out or..???? I believe that he is a good community representative, but other than that…

  5. If rabbit (Abbott) is the best they’ve got, then there is no doubt they will be decimated in the next election.

  6. Off Topic: Victor’s Food Trail discusses the death of a Chinese student in Tasmania, also Victor’s own experiences.

  7. Problem with Tony Abbott is there is a large disconnect between what he states happens and what really happens, along with being the biggest hypocrite in politics at the moment. I gave some examples previously of the Lateline interview where he kept accusing Lindsay Tanner of things Tony had just done.

    Today was another example where he claimed that Turnbull had remained resolute and intact despite last week Labor throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him. People listen to this and think what about everything and the kitchen sink the opposition threw at Labor yet failed to get a single hit. Abbott behaved as though the opposition had been consummate and the victims of ute-gate.

    This disconnect will never allow the Liberals to be elected with Abbott at the helm.

    But it’s not just the old Howard guard that are visible who are the problem. There’s a cadre of Howardistas in the back rooms with the head honcho being Minchin, who is the real power in the party. Until that is cleaned out then the Liberals in opposition will always be bit players in Australian politics.


  8. Abbott behaved as though the opposition had been consummate and the victims of ute-gate.

    Well said Mobius. The “kitchen sink” attack was extraordinary wasn’t it? – Accusing the Labor party of the rabid attack behaviour that the Liberal party had just carried out, albeit unsuccessfully, themselves.

    And this is the sort of conduct – being incredibly loose with the truth and re-writing history to suit themselves – that the Liberal party find commendable??

    Bizarre, completely bizarre…

  9. Question: could a moderate other than Turnbull get the numbers?…his pandering to the right has been obvious since he took over the leadership (no link, just my impression). This was the suggestion about Hockey, no support from the far right, whereas T’bull is on a promise (me thinks). Abbott could indeed get the numbers. Any number crunchers on board to clarify this? The thick plottens…

  10. It’s an interesting question Min.

    I reckon if there’s going to be a leadership challenge, fatso Hockey will also throw his hat intno the ring.

    Then it will be a choice as to whether the party wants to return to the rodentism of the past or “generational change” which is perhaps what they really need.

    I hope they go with Abbott as that will guarantee their irrelevance for as long as he remains their leader…!!

    It would also bring back a bit of entertainment to question time..

  11. An interesting point, reb. Let us assume that Hockey & Abbott are both tossing their hats into the ring. If I understand things correctly, it is not the “Liberal Party” as a whole that chooses the leader – it is tne MP’s.

    In other words, would it be the choice of the “Liberal Party” or the choice of MP’s who have power-brokers breathing down their necks? I get the feeling it would be the latter and as such, Abbott would be chosen.

    As has been mentioned before, Nick Michin is a powerful player in all this and I doubt he would do the honourable thing of letting the Liberal Party decide on their own moral choice as to who the next leader would be. When he starts throwing his weight around, it won’t be for Hockey.

  12. Reb and Ben..which brings us back to the original question. How does Turnbull (a moderate) differentiate himself from Rudd?

    Hockey can’t do it as Hockey would need to prove that he can do it better than both Rudd and Turnbull. And so just maybe the right think..can’t beat ’em at their own game and so let’s go to the right.

  13. The “kitchen sink” attack was extraordinary wasn’t it? – Accusing the Labor party of the rabid attack behaviour that the Liberal party had just carried out, albeit unsuccessfully, themselves.

    Have a good look at how Abbott performs next time he is interviewed or in parliament. Took me a little to work out what he was doing as I knew there was a disconnect but just couldn’t put my finger on it.

    The Lateline interview where Abbott was utterly blatant worked it out for me and turned on the light bulb over my head.

    Abbott would get hysterical and then accuse a calm Tanner of being hysterical.

    Abbott would smear and then accuse a straight Tanner of smearing.

    Abbott would obfuscate and then accuse a clear Tanner of obfuscating.

    Abbott would interrupt and then accuse an in turn Tanner of interrupting.

    Since then I have noticed this is how Abbott is all the time, like his accusation today it was Labor who more or less started ute-gate and smeared Turnbull and the opposition with it.

    I haven’t a clue if this is a deliberate thought through tactic by Abbott or a character flaw, where he genuinely can’t see what he is doing and believes he is innocent of the traits and accusations he is levelling at his opponents even whilst he had engaged in those very same traits and accusations, sometimes only moments before.

    Whatever the case, it has become blatantly obvious the more desperate he has become, and he is unelectable whilst he engages in this tactic. He is too easily labelled a hypocrite and it will stick, rendering him a superficial leader of no substance.

  14. And so just maybe the right think..can’t beat ‘em at their own game and so let’s go to the right.

    Very close to the mark Min.

    This is the way Joyce wants to go, moving the Nationals even further right than Howard, and somewhere Minchin wants to be.

    It’s political suicide of course, Australians are not going to wear a hard right government, at least not until the stink of the GFC is removed from the right wing’s fingers over the distance of time and Howard is but another PM on the government’s historical page.

  15. Don’t be too quick to write Turnbull off just yet. From what I’ve read across the blogosphere, the Libs are reliant on Turnbull’s financial support for their very existence as a party.

    And really, the Libs would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to consider Mr hypocritical, projectionism Abbott for the leadership. But then again, as I pointed out on the previous thread, the party as a whole is bereft of insight and foresight.

    As for MT, Its the nature of the beast – MT is a soulless opportunist. Won’t be long before he shoots himself in the other foot and is totally incapacitated in which case, financial support for the party or not, he will most certainly self-destruct. I do believe the Libs are caught between a rock and a hard place for these reasons.

    To be or not to be?

  16. Adrian..have been taking in what you have been saying. Maybe this is why things don’t quite compute..always the feeling that although the argument sounds ok on the surface that there is always this feeling..mostly due to a lack of logic. As per your example, the person who accuses another of smear but smears himself.

    Nowhere else to go except to the right? Rudd having claimed Howard’s middle ground. And this is where Mr Clever Socks T’bull has fallen flat on his face..he underestimated the enemy. And maybe he believed what he read in the newspapers that Rudd was just a nerd, a pushover, an earwax eating droob with a wealthy wife.

  17. And this is the sort of conduct – being incredibly loose with the truth and re-writing history to suit themselves – that the Liberal party find commendable??

    Bizarre, completely bizarre…

    And if the above fails…just make sh*t up, forgeries, fabrications and fakes are quite acceptable!

    From ex-Liberal Party member Andrew Elder of the Politically Homeless website.

    Tony Abbott is gutless: (25 May 2009)

    …Tony Abbott cannot take on women. A man who learned his “people skills” on the rugby fields of Riverview and who fled from his first encounter with female fertility by slinking into a seminary has an Achilles heel when it comes to the subtleties of doing battle with women. The one time he was caught playing hardball with a female opponent – “That’s bullshit” – reinforced his weakness, his sheer unsuitability, for the subtleties of modern politics…

    …There is no evidence that Tony Abbott promotes debate – he issues pronouncements and makes ad-hominem attacks on his opponents, but no debates. Try and find a debate on his website. This is not a debater – if the elbow to the face does not take out an opponent, he is lost, bereft, useless to himself and others….

    …In other words, the conservatives undermine the leader. Remember if you dare the sheer outrage, the effrontery that resulted from backbenches daring to hint at questioning outcomes of Cabinet. Every instance is a slap in the face of the leader. Turnbull thinks he can sail over petty needling like this, but Howard knew better and used procedural measures like this to undermine every leader he ever served, from Snedden to Downer. Turnbull should jump on the next instance of this with both feet and sack Abbott and Minchin – and replace them with moderates – should they dare to hint at doing the like again…

  18. Again good insight Min, or did you watch Insiders.

    Howard, and now the opposition, have completely underestimated Rudd as a calculating savvy political animal. They believed Howard was the consummate politician with no equal, but in a totally different way and coming at it as a nerdy twit, Rudd is as every bit a calculating savvy politician in Howard’s mould and maybe more so.

    Insiders stated that on the whole people don’t associate with Rudd nor will they say they like him (or dislike for that matter), but they have no worries with him as a politician and leader of the country. It seems the only ones who haven’t cottoned onto this are the opposition and the right wing media.

    Insiders rightly pointed out that attacking the Rudd government on personality and perceived actions is doomed to failure. They must change and shift to attacking policy, which means they must produce credible counter policy frameworks of their own. This stupidity of attacking stimulus debt, that is amongst the lowest in the world, by stating you will also have a substantial debt, but a higher quality debt, is never going to wash with the public.

  19. I watched Insiders, Adrian, and I’d much sooner see an Opposition asking the Government (as Chris Yule{?} did) – how do you justify $3.7 million, for wall plaques for infrastructure projects …? 😯

  20. “how do you justify $3.7 million, for wall plaques for infrastructure projects …?”

    Wouldn’t a framed photograph of the PM and his Deputy in every classroom be more appropriate?

  21. No..I didn’t catch Insiders..however I did manage to make 2 dozen mini quiches with an additional 4 for tasting purposes.

    I don’t have normal tellie as am still trying to convince hubby to climb onto the roof to fix up the aerial. I do not do heights.

    Interesting what you say…that the Liberals have been fixated on what they perceive as the weakest link..Rudd’s persona. With a popularity rating up there with the stars, it’s a reasonable question to ask, Why is it so. And how to cause a tumbling..ear-wax? Nah that didn’t work. The wife? That just caused every female over 52kg and every person who has had a bad hair day to rally the troops. What about the fact that Rudd is a lapsed Catholic?…I am certain that Abbott was tempted.

  22. Reality kicks in – could you possibly see any one of these people as the Prime Minister of Australia:

    Turnbull – impulsive, lacks planning and decision making abilites …
    Hockey – shallow, self centred, mean spirited …
    Abbott – lier, inconsistent, radical Catholic, conservative …
    Bishop – bully, limited ability in any portfolio, easily led …
    Andrew Robb – lives in the 19th century …
    Minchin – oh, it just gets sillier and sillier …
    Lets not forget Pyne, OK lets forget Pyne …

  23. Very interesting point that. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that attacking Labor on policy is either impossible or left too late to be effective. Having assumed that, what does the Coalition attack the current government on?

    I reckon they’ve stuffed up their Plan A (making the connection between State Labor cronyism & the Rudd government) as Turnbull’s credibility is toast on this subject. Rudd’s personality is, if anything, a plus. Taking on Rudd’s wife was a mistake the Coalition luckily cut short. For what it’s worth, if they are not forming alternative policies, I think trying to take down Rudd is the way to go. Not because it is the ethical way of obtaining government, but because it is the most effective. I just can’t think of an angle that would be effective.

  24. Ben..perhaps that’s it..when push comes to shove (pardon the Ruddism..Min waves to Hexx/Aqua)..is there A Reason why Turnbull cannot come up with policies?

    They say, the Opposition should not be all about trivialities but putting forward their policies. And so what are they? I honestly cannot think of one single thing that Turnbull has stated about how they would do it better.

    To date, the Opposition is I’m Better c’os I am…

  25. TB Queensland, on July 5th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    We’ve had the plaques argument and it’s not attacked because plaques are standard on all buildings, extensions, upgrades and works, and not only those commissioned by government but also by private enterprise.

    The media is being disingenuous yet again as the $3.7 million is not just the cost of the plaques but for the whole commissioning ceremony, including time for those involved. As Arbib stated these ceremonies also give those receiving the commissioning a sense of history and pride of possession. We are talking about $42 billion worth of education infrastructure here, and it wouldn’t have to be that much if the previous government had spent money on it.

    The opposition don’t attack it because they did exactly the same in government and the only reason their cost was not higher is due to the fact they hardly built any infrastructure in 11½ years. This is standard for all governments at all levels, just another example of the triviality in play against this government and holding it to a standard different to that of any other government, especially the previous one.

    Also there are going to be stuff ups in administering that much money in a fairly short time, yet they are demanding the Rudd government account for every single dollar. Another example of an onerous accountability for this government that was never asked of the previous one, and I dare say the next conservative government.

    The trivial criticisms on this policy have already started making headlines, and they will have the same effect as all the other trivialities levelled against the government, none whatsoever, just making those making the criticisms look trite.

  26. Indeed Mobius, I am pretty sure that most government buildings have a plaque or two to the government of the day who funded it.

  27. Not just the plaque joni, but the whole commissioning ceremony.

    Much history would have been lost forever if this was not the case. I wonder how much opening the Sydney Harbour bridge cost at the time, and that involved a plaque which is a historical marker to this day?

  28. To date, the Opposition is I’m Better c’os I am…

    Actually, I think the Liberal Party (via Turnbull & Co.) have been trying to make the argument “We deserve to be in government because Labor doesn’t”

    The tactic they’ve been pushing has been to take down Labor minister-by-minister. Instead of attacking the policies of Labor, they take on individual Cabinet members sometimes for not fulfilling their election promises (either by their own definition or by the Coalition’s depending on which is more convenient at the time) and other times for things completely unrelated to their portfolio (i.e. the allegations of cronyism/corruption). It would seem that they both:
    a) Still believe the vote for Labor is temporary (perhaps acknowledging internally that WorkChoices was a step too far); and
    b) Think they only need to tar Labor’s image for the voter to realize this (explaining why they pursue issues of image over policy)

  29. Agreed Mobius..I have a feeling that my name might be somewhere on the Melba Museum Lilydale as I performed the naming ceremony with Pamela Lady Vesty (Dame Nellie’s grand-daughter).

  30. But doesn’t this make my point that in an entire $42 billion of education infrastructure spending that is going to do substantial long term good and was much needed due to neglect that the cost of opening this infrastructure is what makes the news and the fact a country school with one student was allocated $100,000 in error.

    How about attacking the fact that yet again the wealthiest schools are getting substantial government handouts, even wealthy schools who are making substantial profits? Do that Turnbull and you might win some credibility.

  31. B.Tolputt, on July 5th, 2009 at 4:14 pm Said:

    If I understand things correctly, it is not the “Liberal Party” as a whole that chooses the leader – it is tne MP’s (sic)

    Yes, it is the MPs that elect their Parliamentary leaders. And that applies to ALL political Parties. (BTW, why use an unnecessary, and wrong, usage of the apostrophe to make a plural..)

    While in theory it’s a ‘free vote’ there’s a whole range of pressures that impact on the vote of each member (and these aren’t necessarily in descending order of importance. Clearly each member will have an ‘own circumstance’.)

    Firstly (and probably the strongest motivation) is the desire to be re-elected. The re-election motivation is the crucial reason why Labor Members chose Rudd, because the ‘factions’ didn’t want him and the ‘organisations’ were at best ‘lukewarm’ (the exception being NSW under the influence of Arbib who has now been rewarded. And as an aside I think his ‘political skills’ are greatly over-rated. But perhaps not his power base.)

    Secondly, there are ‘factional’ pressures, which at the formal structural level, are more apparent in the Labor Party but just as problematic in the Liberal Party. Under Rudd, BTW, ‘factions’ have faded into the background, or perhaps gone ‘underground’, but they haven’t disappeared. Nor will they.

    Thirdly, there are ‘organisational’ pressures.

    All play a part.

  32. Adrian..it’s the same as saying that the Lilydale Museum cost X dollars but that my turning up in an official capacity along with Pamela Lady Vesty was the sum total of the cost = the plaque.

    Re private school funding/private health funding rorts..I would like to see the Rudd government become braver, but maybe this is a 2nd term agenda. One cannot become too radical if one wants to get re-elected. Whimpy yes, practical, yes that too. 2nd Term Rudd government and if bottoms are not on seats by then I’ll be joining the anti-Rudd crew also.

  33. Mobius Ecko, on July 5th, 2009 at 7:50 pm Said:

    How about attacking the fact that yet again the wealthiest schools are getting substantial government handouts, even wealthy schools who are making substantial profits? Do that Turnbull and you might win some credibility

    And pigs might fly. In political terms, this is Turnbull heartland and to his shame, it’s a problem that Rudd refuses to address.

  34. TB Queensland,

    His name is Chris Uhlmann and he presents as prima facia evidence that the ABC is dominated by ‘lefties’. LOL.

    BTW, TB where were you when this ‘common sense’ continued under Howard. I say ‘continued’ because the provision of ‘plaques’ has a long and important history.

    Talk about ‘wood for the trees’.

    Perspective required please.

  35. …why use an unnecessary, and wrong, usage of the apostrophe to make a plural?

    I assume you are talking about my use of apostrophe in “MP’s” for the plural of MP. If so, it’s because I find the the use of a lower-case “s” immediately after a capitalized acronym (i.e. MP) visually disturbing. Especially in the case of MP because it is not “Member of Parliaments” but rather is “Members of Parliament“. As such, I put in an apostrophe to show the difference between the two.

  36. TB Queensland, on July 5th, 2009 at 6:19 pm Said…

    I re-read a couples of times, thinking that I might be able to add to these descriptions.. Nope, says it all..maybe just a bit re Turnbull: thinks that all he has to do is to push the right buttons.

  37. B.Tolputt, on July 5th, 2009 at 7:47 pm Said

    The tactic they’ve been pushing has been to take down Labor minister-by-minister

    That’s part of the political tactics – to destroy government credibility. Having said that, one can engage in the hard slog of starting with the weakest and most vulnerable (and I suspect Labor has any number of those because all governments have Ministers not up to the task) OR one can go for the ‘master stroke’ – bet the rent – which Turnbull has a history of doing.

    Sometimes one wins the jackpot, but more often than not, it’s a case of ‘crash’ rather than ‘crash through’. Mal now knows that.

  38. I knew that the Rudd government would never stop funding the wealthy schools but I was hopeful he would reinstate the original SES formula that Howard changed to give the richest schools even more money.

    In black and white, the unfairness of school funding

    To show you just how rorted the system was under Howard. After altering the formula, the wealthiest schools were making so much money that even under the more generous SES the richest schools were above the formula limit and should of had funding cut to match the SES requirement.

    Howard was having none of that and froze the funding level at the highest level for those monied schools that could achieve the top tier of funding so they would not have a cent of their handout cut.

    That year Kings announced a record profit outside the SES funding with other wealthy schools investing their windfalls in money making investments, not expansion of their education facilities.

  39. B.Tolputt, on July 5th, 2009 at 8:23 pm Said:

    Sorry Ben, just being ‘picky.

    Apostrophes are used to show OMMISIONS . For example, ‘it is’ becomes ‘it’s’. Or it is (it’s) used to show POSSESSION .

    But Language evolves and your usage is certainly winning the day.

    But for those inclined – try this link.http://www.write101.com/sample.htm

  40. Sorry N5 I’m with Ben on this. It’s acceptable to use an apostrophe ‘s’ after acronyms if it makes their reading clearer.

  41. Mobius Ecko, on July 5th, 2009 at 8:30 pm Said:

    I was hopeful he would reinstate the original SES formula

    SES formulae have evolved over the years, so to speak of an ‘original’ is true but not helpful. This is not to say that Howard didn’t rort the system because he certainly did.

    Howard was having none of that and froze the funding level at the highest level for those monied schools that could achieve the top tier of funding so they would not have a cent of their handout cut

    True! But Rudd refuses to alter same in his first term for reasons of political expedience (which are perfectly understandable – but not excusable – and after all he did promise not to change the arrangements in his first term).

    BTW, I am not sure that any school is allowed to make a profit in the sense that one can return monies directly to shareholders. This does not mean there can’t be an ‘operating’ profit or those who provide ‘services’ can’t operate at a profit. Tis one of the ‘rorts’ of Eddie Groves and his accomplices

  42. Mobius Ecko, on July 5th, 2009 at 8:47 pm Said:

    It’s acceptable to use an apostrophe ’s’ after acronyms if it makes their reading clearer

    No doubt. Language, including punctuation, always evolves. There’s no long-term ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ re usage. Just the current ‘common sense’. LOL.

  43. Good reply at 8:49 N5.

    I think you are right about profit, but wealthy schools were making an operating profit and with nowhere to expand (just how many sporting fields, basketball courts etc. can you fit into a school?) they invested outside the schools themselves. I believe some bought plots of land in desirable locations under the guise of planning to build school infrastructure in the future, but instead sold those properties for a windfall gain.

    But at no time did any of these schools lower their fees to help those ordinary working families the previous government said were utilising private schools to get a better education for their kids, in fact the exact opposite, they regularly raised their fees well above inflation and their increased operating costs whilst receiving substantial government handouts sometimes going into the millions.

  44. scaper…, on July 5th, 2009 at 6:04 pm Said:

    Wouldn’t a framed photograph of the PM and his Deputy in every classroom be more appropriate?

    Not appropriate now nor was it under Howard. But why is the ‘self acclaimed’ current swinging voter now raising an objection. Or is the ‘objection’ based on historical ignorance?

    Opens mouth to change feet – as always.

  45. Mobius Ecko, on July 5th, 2009 at 9:10 pm Said:

    There’s no doubt that these schools under ‘Boards’ make significant profits, which is perfectably understandable and legitimate. What will be more problematic is Rudd’s ‘demand’ that they disclose all sources of income, including those derived from ‘profits’.

    Then the real disparity of educational spending on individuals will be revealed. But because that ‘truth’ will be so stark, i suspect that Rudd et all will balk.

    While I have no problem with Rudd’s ‘needs based’ funding, I suspect it’s a pipe dream because of the ire it raises.

  46. TB at 6:19:

    Hockey – shallow, self centred, mean spirited …

    You left of liar and goose. You could have added turd as well.

  47. But at no time did any of these schools lower their fees to help those ordinary working families

    Howard perpetuated the myth that ‘people pick schools’ while the reality is that elite private schools pick ‘students’. Sometimes they use ‘scholarships’ to ensure their intellectual ‘brand’ (in the form of academic results) is maintained or enhanced. At other times, they use the filter of a moneyed.background. One must keep out the ‘riff raff’ after all but to perpetuate the egalitarian myth each school needs a few ‘indigenous’ – provided they are ‘well-behaved’ and it helps if they have athletic ability. Kathy Freeman is a classic example.

  48. Just to keep this line on education funding disparity going N5, the interesting thing is that the wealthy private system doesn’t produce better outcomes than the public system.

    If you want I’ll attempt to find the study I read and discussed some time ago (on eBlah from memory), that found globally in Western societies, public schools produce better tertiary students than private schools do. Almost across the board public school students out perform private school students in universities. It is a startling find but makes sense when you think about it. By the way I was a private school student going to a Catholic primary school and College.

  49. Nature 5, on July 5th, 2009 at 8:14 pm Said:
    TB Queensland,

    His name is Chris Uhlmann and he presents as prima facia evidence that the ABC is dominated by ‘lefties’. LOL.

    Thanks, N5, I thought he did a good job actually – Bolt seemed “careful” at times – did have trouble breaking into some guest “discussions” … but I see him as a front runner for promotion (just got to work on keeping his expressions more “poker faced” – he gave a couple of thoughts away on Sunday …

    BTW, TB where were you when this ‘common sense’ continued under Howard. I say ‘continued’ because the provision of ‘plaques’ has a long and important history.

    Talk about ‘wood for the trees’.

    Perspective required please

    Couple of things, N5 …

    … of all people, I would have thought that you would know that “common sense” doesn’t exist – human beings develop, grow and survive on learned behaviour and applied knowledge…

    … anyway my post was a bit of anger at “all” pollies trying to gain some mileage from simply carrying out one of their job functions – allocating taxpayer’s money – particularly in the area of much needed infrastructure (theank you Mr Howard …) but more particularly our schools – a plaque for $150, 000 worth of carpet? (Local school…) it should be supplied anyway to provide a comfortable learning environment … I am aware that they all do it – it just gets me angry … and I have bitched about the other lot as well … I just liked the way, Chris Uhlmann, got Arbib on the “back foot” so quickly – without an Opposition I’m afraid we have to rely on the media as a “surrogate” …

    Did you notice, Bolt, saying that he didn’t believe Labor supporters think a poor Opposition is bad for government? He obviously doesn’t read this blog …

    BTW – I’m with you re: MP’s (incorrect) MPs (correct)

  50. Shouldn’t it be MsP (Members of Parliament)?

    😉

  51. For example, ‘it is’ becomes ‘it’s’.

    *Cough* Sorry Nature 5, usually I don’t get involved in grammatical nit-picking but seeing as you started it, “it is” does not become “it’s” it actually becomes “its” (ie with no apostrophe).

    (Note that I also write ie without the usual periods as in i.e. as these have also been dropped from modern copywriting).

    Of course, one can “get away with” a lot of grammatical “errors” in copywriting for the simple reason that it makes “good” copy. Such as making a sentence that would otherwise be considered an unnacceptable sentence. Whatever.

    (as in my use of “Whatever” just then).

    KAMAHLODERATOR: Can you we get back to the topic please??

  52. Mobius Ecko, on July 6th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I also remember reading a study concerning public students outperforming private students and I put it down to personal drive.

    Obviously the elite have not the aspirations that one from a low to middle class background because in most cases the elite have already the economic security that was established in some instances several generations before and it is a matter of maintaining the status quot.

    In fact the highest achievers are usually first generation Australians then successive generations come back to the field.

  53. And another thing.

    (that was another example)

    *sorry Kamahl*

  54. Sorry Kamahl, but reb is wrong with it’s and its. it’s is short for it is and its denotes possession – see the link N5 posted earlier:

    When NOT to Use the Apostrophe

    BUT notice that we do not use the apostrophe with possessive pronouns (remember, these are the little guys who step in and lend a paw to nouns).

    After dinner at Marmaduke’s restaurant, we went back to his place for coffee.

    The bird’s feathers were ruffled. (The bird owns the feathers.)

    The bird ruffled its feathers. (The bird owns the feathers, but the pronoun its is being used instead of the noun, so there is NO apostrophe.

    You’ll see it’s and its used incorrectly nearly every single day and in places where it should never happen. An easy way to make sure you never confuse the two is to ask yourself (do this quietly, you don’t want to alarm those around you), if the words it is can be substituted in the sentence- if the answer is yes, then whack in the old apostrophe.

    If the answer is no, then sit on your hands so you won’t be tempted.

    The bird ruffled its (it is?) feathers. (NO)

    It’s (it is?) a lovely day. (YES)

  55. All I remember about the apostrophe is that I went to Maitland Boys’ High not Maitland Boy’s High – because as Mrs Pettit used to say, the boys own the school not the boy.

    😛

  56. BTW (shorthand) who’s (correct) Marmaduke?

  57. Correct Joni – plural possessive puts the apostrophe at the end of the word …

  58. I see the blog pedant/sniper has been hard at it again…LOL!

    The way I see it, the Coalition are stuck with Turnbull until the next election as no other would seriously want the leadership as the election will be won by the government.

    I believe the government will take it to the people in March/ April next year to seek a clear mandate for the proposed ETS so look at the timing for a leadership challenge proposed by whoever in the media to instigate this gossip.

    Say if it came to pass in December, there is the Xmas break and less than two months for the new leader to put his stamp on the Coalition before a possible election is called.

    There is not any so called ‘Bob Hawkes’ waiting in the wings to seize the opportunity is there?

    I suppose it kept the attention on the opposition instead of the government, as usual.

  59. Bacchus, you’re quite right. I overlooked the context which Nature 5 had used “it’s versus “its” in that link earlier.

    The cat wants to have its milk (correct)

    It’s a happy cat (correct)

    That’s correct eh?

  60. I also find that if in doubt, leave it out.

    At the risk of upsetting Kamahl, consider the following.

    “You can’t trust advice these days, even doctors”

    Should doctors have an apostrophe? If so, where?

  61. …, even doctor’s (advice) “advice” is understood

  62. or doctors’ – more than one of them who’s advice can’t be trusted…

    While we’re so far off topic (Sorry Kamahl), the error that annoys me the most is “should of” or “would of”. should’ve and would’ve are contractions of should have and would have
    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/grammar/contractions/

  63. Ah yes joni..but there was more than one boy. If only 1 boy then it’s Boy’s High School but with more than one boy it’s Boys’ High School (the plural).

  64. scaper…, on July 6th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    …and just to ensure this thread remains the most off topic ever.

    Drive and the fact public students have to do much on their own to make it, whereas private students more or less have it handed it to them and apart from study, which is universal, don’t have to work for it. Many private school students also get extra curricula tutelage to help them during secondary education.

    Once you hit tertiary education you are more or less on your own, and those who learnt to be independent in primary and secondary education do better than those who were molly coddled.

    There were several other factors from memory but it boiled down to drive and independence.

  65. Reb: if there was more than 1 doctor then it would be doctors’ advice, but if only 1 doctor then it’s (it is) doctor’s advice.

    Give that it’s a general statement re doctors (plural) then the apostrophe should be after the s. And yes there should be an apostrophe because ‘the advice’ belongs to the noun ‘doctors’.

  66. And semi back on topic. Mobius, this is absolutely correct. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but far more students from private schools drop out of uni (as a percentage) in their 1st year than students from public schools.

    I noticed this myself as a mature age student, that those from private schools where Angry when they didn’t achieve the results that they were expecting. They also had problems with independent study and being part of a study team.

  67. A missed possibility for elliptical discussion, given the absented ‘a’ before doctor appears hitherto to have been overlooked…the capitalisation of t’ doctor’s suname, in reference to a particular advisor…I like to think it’s Doctor Worm.

  68. Legion, on July 6th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    suname* (because the pedants are about, and the surname might be elliptical…otherwise, Min is the correctest, disallowing for idiomatic expression and the inherent flexibility of an oral language after the lower tongue was affixed through rigid application of the classicists’ Latin-lite treatment when rolled out to the factory fodder through their doubleplus good mass educations and book learnin’s.)

  69. Mobius Ecko, on July 6th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    A number of our acquaintences and a couple of our friends now are/have been “private school parents” and discuss quite openly doing homework and projects for their children to “get them through” – misunderstanding the learning and assessment process completely …

    … I too was a mature age learner (distance education via UniSA) – our drop out rate (over five years) was over 60% – I had promised myself a degree by the time I was 65 (left primary school after grade eight to take up an apprenticeship) and graduated 20 years ahead of time … 😆

  70. Bacchus,

    Speaking of should’ve and could’ve, one thing that annoys me (which you see in advertising all the time) is for sale ‘this five draw cabinet’

    It’s a bloody drawer! 🙄

  71. Reb, do four draw cabinets annoy you as well?

  72. You’re evil Miglo – well done! 😆
    (note the apostrophe – contraction of “you are”)

  73. What a bout one draw cabinets… are they OK?

  74. No TB, its a one draw cabinet. Not cabinets.

  75. Thank you Legion..after all I did go to Canterbury Girls’ High School (there was more than 1 girl) and where I also learnt how to embroider, knit baby booties and make cinnamon toast.

  76. Everything annoys me.

    It’s a sign of age.

  77. Not to mention mini-quiches Min

  78. Definitely not mini quiches joni..nothing pertaining to males was allowed within those hallowed halls.

  79. I’m really not concerned about punctuation and grammar (I know it shows 🙂

    I’d rather people feel free to comment and express themselves in whichever way that they can without their spelling/grammar being picked up. I appreciate people making the effort to comment and state an opinion, I don’t care so much about how well they delivered it. Not everyone comes from an english speaking background, or has the benefit of a grand education.

  80. True Kitty. I don’t care if people make mistakes. But personally, if I make an obvious mistake it tells me that I haven’t put a lot of thought into what I’d written or checked over the finished product.

  81. “Everything annoys me.

    It’s a sign of age.”

    No argument from me on that…

  82. A ps..Canterbury Girls’ High is a public school…this is the one in Melbourne.

  83. Miglo, on July 6th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Can one drawer even constitute a cabinet?

  84. TB Queensland, on July 6th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Kudos TB.

    Seems that the very tiny minuscule amount of anecdotal evidence from here backs up the public vs. private achievement levels at tertiary education.

    Have to find this study though, it really is fascinating and enlightening.

  85. Adrian, I remember reading similar studies from USA and UK (particularly) in my own studies …(adult learning)

    You’ll recall also that after the debacle of WWI politicians finally realised that the non-coms who had received field commissions were often far better “leaders” than those “born to rule” – and that gets us back to the thread topic I guess?

  86. “the modus operandi of the day was to keep repeating the party’s mantra in the hope that constant repitition would help make some proposerous unbelievable rhetoric somehow plausible.”

    I was wondering where Rudd got that idea…….

  87. Thanks scaper. Fits in perfectly with my own experiences too. It isn’t only education though. I have found that straight out of school the “poorer” students tend to have much better money management skills than their “wealthier” peers, not to mention better cooks!

  88. Referring to private schools (from scaper’s (note the possessive apostrophe) first link:

    “One wonders why students trained in such competitive environments failed to bring this competitive spirit to their university studies,” he said.

    That’s the first myth – competitive – supportive perhaps?

    They are molly coddled (seen it, heard it, been amazed at it).

    (Feed a village for a day or teach them how to fish for a lifetime … mentality)

    I’m a firm believer in “tough luv” – my kids have thrived on it – my g/kids believe they can (and will) do anything independently …

    Example:

    5 year old g/son and his “other grandma”, Nan (The Minister, is called, Grandma)

    Nan: “…I’m not sure you can do that, J?”

    J: “… I have to try, Nan”

    From little acorns (angels) mighty oak trees grow!

  89. I refer to Justice Michael Kirby’s spirited defence of public school education and the response from John Howard.

    I would like to know why taxpayer funds directed to private schools is viewed as a political issue and not a social/community issue. Why is the public excluded from the debate?

    Why can’t a publicly educated high court judge have an opinion on education in this country?

    Howard’s response was recorded in The World Today Tuesday 1 May 2001, with the heading ‘Justice Kirby Angers the Howard Government’. He accused the High Court judge of interfering in political matters. He was angry that Justice Kirby had the hide to enter what he regarded as a party political matter. He was reported as saying:

    The comments that Mr Justice Kirby made at the weekend regarding school funding were a direct intervention into a partisan, political debate. It’s not appropriate for a High Court Judge to involve himself in something that is so blatantly and obviously a matter of debate between the two political parties.

    In 2002 (the following year) began the cowardly Howard-Heffernan personal attack on Justice Kirby.

    …The Prime Minister admitted that he had discussed the matter with Senator Heffernan on several occasions but claims he advised the Senator against
    raising the matter. At no time, however, did the Prime Minister have a check made on the authenticity of the documents used by Heffernan, nor did he publicly repudiate Heffernan’s action.

  90. TB..likewise for our crew. On a short leash also. However, they always had their choice of sports (gymnastics, footy, ice skating, judo) plus learning a musical instrument. Eldest plays piano, guitar and reasonable woodwind. Son..well (takes after his mother..not everyone is musical). Youngest, piano and dancing. All went to public schools.

    I’ve said it again and again to parents in my role as an educational psychologist…learning is not all about the school curriculum..that there is a big wide world out there and so if you want your child to do well, then do everything with your child EXCEPT the school curriculum. Provide alternatives, music, art, sport, nature walks, gardening..all is valid and provides a child with experiences all about life.

    Shall now stand down from the soapbox.

  91. Kitty..one of my all time favorite people is the former Justice Kirby..an amazing man. My criminal law lecturer David Heilpern plus the Constitutional Law lecturers suggested that we read Kirby’s dissenting remarks in order to gain better insight into law.

    It would seem that the Heffernan Affair was a payback against Kirby for daring to put forward an opinion.

  92. Tony Abbott that kisses the air before each sentance? That tony Abbott that’s been on the losers team the whole time & found no weapons of mass destruction?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha, don’t make me laugh!

  93. bacchus, on July 6th, 2009 at 10:28 am Said:

    “While we’re so far off topic (Sorry Kamahl), the error that annoys me the most is “should of” or “would of”. should’ve and would’ve are contractions of should have and would have…”

    bacchus, it’s the old if I had of known you were coming, I would of baked a cake my very strict primary school English teacher hammered home. Like may I and can I? Etc, etc.

    Min, on July 6th, 2009 at 5:08 pm Said:

    “It would seem that the Heffernan Affair was a payback against Kirby for daring to put forward an opinion.”

    And in particular for standing up to Heffernan’s scurrilous tactics re the comcar “scandal” and by exposing him and his co-bully Howard as the liars and bullies they undoubtedly were.

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