AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 70#.
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BARRY JONES SAYS STATE SCHOOLS NEED FRIENDS
WHERE WAS HE AND HIS LABOR COLLEAGUES WHEN THEY WERE NEEDED?
In a speech delivered to the Australian College of Educators national conference on the Sunshine Coast, Barry Jones, a former state school teacher, federal Labor minister and national president of the ALP, and chairman of the Victorian Schools Innovation Commission stated that :
" The Public Education system is being run down. It needs it supporters to speak up."
He was willing to criticise the large number of State School "leaders" who sent their children to private schools; and the decline of the idea of the "public good" in the face of the "New Right Ideology" of privatisation and outsourcing. And these things need to be said. DOGS, after saying these things for years, can only sigh when they read Barry Jones bemoaning the fact that
"Public discourse on privatisation has been remarkably one-sided, and it would be hard to describe it as a debate. Government has taken a self-denying ordinance: "The market knows best. We know nothing.
The case for state involvement in public education is not being forcefully argued - and yet if the state system collapsed, the impact on social cohesion would be immense, and the pressure on the private sector could not easily be met."
But DOGS can only smile at either the naivete or hypocrisy of Barry and his Labor Party colleagues when he says:
" An uncanny silence weakens the strength, legitimacy and confidence of the state education system. It needs strong public advocacy."
DOGS know only too well the subtle political pressures wielded by the private school church interest behind the scenes since the 1960s. The uncanny silence is no mistake. Even the Labor party "faithful" didn't even have the guts to stop the last grossly inequitable funding of very very wealthy private schools which they allowed to pass the Senate. Their bleating about our poor underfunded public education system meant nothing. Action speaks louder than words - and they will discover this to their cost when their public education vote changes to the Greens at the next Federal election.
But the DOGS have an answer to all Barry's questions. Under Howard, we have outright discrimination against public education. In 1987, when the Labor Party was in power, trying to quieten opposition to their "needs" (really "greeds" policy), and "friendly fascism" was in fashion, DOGS wrote a booklet entitled :
NOT HOW BUT WHETHER: The Real Issues
Behind Public School Closures: We wrote
WHERE HAVE THE STRONG LEADERS GONE?
PUBLIC EDUCATION NEEDS STRONG LEADERS- OUTFIGHTERS AS WELL AS INFIGHTERS:
Political and administrative pragmatists have eroded the fighting spirit of public education supporters in the last decade by:
i. Buying off key activists with well paid administrative and consultative positions, and
ii. Giving outspoken activists ineffective minority roles on prestigious "consensus-mode" government advisory committees, the majority forcefully impresses on minorities that it is bad manners to make dissenting reports).
These are old tricks in the power political book. Outfighters, skirting around the margins of the corridors of power have been lured into becoming infighters; and some infighters, tempted by the prospects of would-be influential positions, have drifted into the role of non-fighter.
Many prominent political and administrative "leaders" of the public system remain committed neither in word nor deed to that system. Some are openly patrons of the rival private system. Like the Parisian collaborators of World War Two, it could be said of them:
"People did not think of themselves as having moral choices to make - they had careers and ambitions, and so on. "
DOGS SUGGEST THAT BARRY JONES, HIS LABOR PARTY COLLEAGUES, AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPPORTERS OF 2003 THINK BACK ON ALL THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE SUPPORTED PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OPPOSED THE PRIVATISATION OF AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION THROUGH STATE AID -
AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?
WHAT DID YOU DO BARRY?
WHY THE CROCODILE TEARS NOW?
WHEN WILL BARRY GET THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE TO CONFRONT THE MAJOR PROPONENT AND BENEFICIARY OF PRIVATISATION - THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH?
DID THE DOGS JUST HEAR THE AIR GOING OUT OF THAT BALLOON?
If you have a message for supporters of public education:
Ray Nilsen on
(03) 9326 9277 or Fax: (03) 9326 9180
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
Or complete our feedback form.
|Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005|