Home » Australian Politics » Gillard and Labor suffer another education policy collapse

Gillard and Labor suffer another education policy collapse

Usually it takes me a while to find a story to  write about but this morning it was right there as the lead news item in the Age (my first port of call in the morning) :

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Well who is surprised that Labor’s scheme is falling in a heap now? when this wild idea was first mooted I had my doubts and It is now clear that I was right to be cynical that Labor was incapable of both delivering on their promise and that promise being properly maintained. of course this will come as something of a body blow to Gillard’s very long campaign. However I just can’t help thinking that  at this rate of revelations and bad news  Labor will be out of puff entirely by about a week after next Tuesday. As the annoying demtel ads would ask “how low can they go?” frankly I can’t believe that any government could be so stupid/incompetent  to devise a program that leaves parents in the lurch and obliged to buy or lease the laptops that Labor was insisting would be “free” to every high-school student  way back in 2007.

As is often the case technology has moved on as well and now the device that would be more  useful to high-school students would be a tablet computer that has all of the heavy and cumbersome  text books available in the form of Ebooks  these devices have no moving parts to fail (and need for maintenance )  and a more intuitive user  interface  heck they are even cheaper than laptops…

So what are we as parents and voters to take from this very expensive policy failure? Probably that it is folly for a government to make ostentatious promises when it comes to technological devices used in education because you can bet that the hardware will cost more than expected do less than the geeks claim and become obsolete in  a political heart beat. For the Labor true believer it is just another reason to despair as there is no doubt that  the opposition will make much of this failure in the long campaign we face between now and September 14.

Cheers Comrades

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61 Comments

  1. GD says:

    …School Education Minister Peter Garrett would not make a commitment on future funding, saying the five-year program had been ‘’delivered on time and within budget’’

    The gall, the sheer gall..
    He’s come a long way from ‘Beds Are Burning’.

    “How can he sleep while the kids aren’t learning?”

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    The answer is simple. Labor should drop the $800 – $1600 per school-age student annual handout (the one that Abbott intends to abolish anyway) and use that to keep the laptop (or iPad) program going. Problem solved and at least it means the handout will be used for the child’s benefit, not for the parents’.

  3. GD says:

    Good point.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Can I suggest a middle course Ray?
    I get the education bonus, which is not anything new anyway as it replaces a tax deduction for children’s education so how about the government allows the parents to buy an Ipad/tablet through the schools at a discounted price with their education bonus? I am in favour of the tablets because as I have mentioned in my piece they could contain digitised text books which would both more durable than hard copies and save our children’s backs from overloaded school bags and ensure that there is no excuse for not having their books, at my daughter’s school they have text book scheme where we hire the books each year for a fee those same funds could go towards licensed electronic copies which should be cheaper than hard-copies and more easily distributed as well.

  5. Brian says:

    You are spot on Iain. There are so many advantages to using tablets over PCs in schools that I’m reluctant to list them. But one of the main ones include cost effectiveness, as both the devices and the apps/e-books they utilize are much cheaper than conventional PC software. Some of the Microsoft and Adobe packages installed on school PCs, for example, add up to several hundred dollars per machine. Another advantage of using iPads is that the Apple operating system is locked, which minimises virus and malware issues and thus saves on labour on site.

    You can’t blame Rudd for not going down that path, because tablets were emergent technology then. However I suspect the government’s main problem was that it viewed the laptops program as a stimulus initiative more than an ongoing commitment, so it was only ever going to benefit one cycle of kids. And as is often the case, by the time the program was drawn up, contracts were negotiated, equipment was ordered and rolled out in schools, both hardware and software were well out of date. Not to mention the fact that schools were not provided with the IT support or teacher training to make full use of this new equipment.

  6. Brian says:

    I agree with Ray about the school bonus. That payment is just another form of middle class welfare. Affluent parents just use it to buy things they can already afford, while struggling parents probably use it to buy things it is not intended for. It should be replaced by a per capita payment to the schools.

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    how about the government allows the parents to buy an Ipad/tablet through the schools at a discounted price with their education bonus?

    It works in theory, Iain, but if the parents have already spent it, what then? Replacing the bonus with a renewed laptop/iPad program achieves the same objective with more certainty.

  8. deknarf says:

    Conservative governments cutting expenditure on education doesn’t help either. As usual there are several aspect to the story, and as with the MSM only one is focussed upon — the failure of the Federal Government.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    And the unit cost of tablets is so much less than Laptops Brian add a bluetooth keyboard and they are as good as a laptop fro writing assignments as well

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Many parents have already bought tablets for their kids so making it optional is better for them and in any case what does an Ipad cost? on ebay much less than a grand now if parents can get them for their kids cheaper than that….

  11. GD says:

    You can’t blame Rudd for not going down that path, because tablets were emergent technology then.

    However you can blame Rudd, and by extension, Conroy, for not recognising that technology is developing at an ever increasing rate. To put trust in todays’ software and hardware is foolish. Tomorrow it stands a good chance of being obsolete.

  12. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf
    As a parent in the front-line of this issue I think its less about ‘Conservative governments cutting expenditure on education” than it is about any government making the right call on technology in the education process and as Brian has affirmed the technology of the tablet computer is far better suited to the education process than a laptop ever was. Now if Labor was on its game it would have been doing what I have suggested now rather than being embarrassed by the current scheme so failing the needs of students and parents.

  13. Ray Dixon says:

    So you’d be happy to not only see Abbott drop this program (or, more correctly, not bring it back) as well as dropping the family handouts, Iain?

    And you suggest it’s a failure by Labor?

    You guys need to careful what you wish for.

  14. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    If the price we have to pay for not having Gillard in the lodge is the “education bonus” well so be it but as it replaces a tax concession brought in under Howard (if I remember correctly) what is the bet that the tax concession will return?

  15. Ray Dixon says:

    Let’s ask Tony then …. oh, wait – he won’t say.

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Does it matter that much Ray? Gillard is a goner no matter what so what Abbott does or doesn’t do on this issue is not going to be a game changer when the alternative is Labor disarray and incompetence.

  17. Brian says:

    And the unit cost of tablets is so much less than Laptops Brian add a bluetooth keyboard and they are as good as a laptop fro writing assignments as well

    Not only that, the processing, memory and networking capacity of tablets is fast catching up to notebook computers. And to be honest, much of the processing power of PCs is being wasted in schools. Students are using computers mostly for word processing, digital presentations, graphics and internet access. All of those things can be done effectively on an iPad with an external keyboard, as you suggested.

    However you can blame Rudd, and by extension, Conroy, for not recognising that technology is developing at an ever increasing rate. To put trust in todays’ software and hardware is foolish. Tomorrow it stands a good chance of being obsolete.

    So what’s your grand solution to this, “GD”? Do nothing? Brilliant.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes, I think it matters what Abbott might do in government, Iain.

  19. Iain Hall says:

    Brian
    Yes you are right about the processing power in relation to what is needed by students

  20. Iain Hall says:

    I think it “matters” to some extent Ray but it boils down to a cost vs benefit equation is the cost of a continuing Gillard government greater than the cost of an Abbott government?

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    We don’t know the “cost” of an Abbott govt, Iain, and we’re not likely to before the election. They’ll just keep fudging the figures and making it up as they go. Should be fun seeing them in govt only to turn around and say, “well if we’re going to drop the carbon tax and a lot of other Labor revenue raisers we’ll be cutting out a lot of benefits, sacking staff and putting up taxes”. In fact to drop the carbon tax automatically means an increase in taxes on the average person. I see wealthy miners and property developers doing quite well under Abbott though. Can’t see any public infrastructure being built.

  22. Brian says:

    To put trust in todays’ software and hardware is foolish.

    Good to see you support the NBN then, “GD”, which is an investment in future technology and infrastructure.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes, NBN via fibre optic cable to every school would go a long way to reducing costs.

  24. Iain Hall says:

    Ray the Carbon tax dropped would save money because it costs more than it collects, the mining tax well it has collected no revenue so dropping it won’t cost either, One department that can be abolished is the Climate Change mob in Canberra which does bugger all for the climate or the environment. Of course our mate Damian Doyle would be out of a job…

  25. Iain Hall says:

    Not really necessary Ray

  26. deknarf says:

    What with your ‘education bonus’ and your other ‘middle class welfare’ you should be buying the electronic hardware for your children’s education. Great that you rely on all these ‘benefits’ coming your way and then slag off the government that’s providing them. At least the ‘every child has a computer’ was a start and now the expectation is that the government teat will continue to provide such things, sans any State Govt input, in fact education reductions courtesy of the States. News: The Magic Pudding was and is a MYTH!
    Once the Phoney and the NO Coalition has the government benches as you so eagerly desire, most of the middle class welfare will vanish. And from my perspective (as a latte sipping, Labor voter) that will be a GOOD THING! It’s time that people stood on their own feet. There is far too much expectation from Joe Public that the government will continue to feed it welfare and let their own social/economic responsibilities rest on their ‘the government should give me money’ attitude! And then, to top it off, these welfare recipients want reduced taxes! Ohhh for that magic pudding!!

  27. Brian says:

    Yes deknarf, and who started this middle class welfare? Howard and his low flying sidekick Costello. I’m sure Gillard and co. are (or were) ideologically opposed to these payments. But now they’ve become addicted to them as a vote-buying tool.

    Less cash handouts for those who don’t need them and more investment in services and infrastructure, I say.

  28. Iain Hall says:

    Deknarf

    What with your ‘education bonus’ and your other ‘middle class welfare’ you should be buying the electronic hardware for your children’s education.

    Both of may children have their own PC and they have been this blessed for a few years now. their machines may not be the most modern devices but they are entirely adequate. The also each have a small tablet computer as well

    Great that you rely on all these ‘benefits’ coming your way and then slag off the government that’s providing them. At least the ‘every child has a computer’ was a start and now the expectation is that the government teat will continue to provide such things, sans any State Govt input, in fact education reductions courtesy of the States. News: The Magic Pudding was and is a MYTH!

    As I pointed out ion my previous sentence I have provided my children with the tools and I do not infact “rely” on the “middle class welfare” as you call it. That said I think of any education benefits offered to parents as an investment in the future of our country. Why do you see it any other way?

    Once the Phoney and the NO Coalition has the government benches as you so eagerly desire, most of the middle class welfare will vanish. And from my perspective (as a latte sipping, Labor voter) that will be a GOOD THING!

    I used to believe in the Labor party which is why I am now so critical of it, that said now that I am so disillusioned there is only one choice and that is Team Abbott who certainly are not perfect but they have fewer imperfections than Labor

    It’s time that people stood on their own feet. There is far too much expectation from Joe Public that the government will continue to feed it welfare and let their own social/economic responsibilities rest on their ‘the government should give me money’ attitude! And then, to top it off, these welfare recipients want reduced taxes! Ohhh for that magic pudding!!

    Well I for one understand that the pudding is both finite and far from magical however that does not mean we will have to give up entirely on the idea that a government can provide both a safety net and some sweetness for the people in pursuit of a better future.

  29. Iain Hall says:

    Brian

    Less cash handouts for those who don’t need them and more investment in services and infrastructure, I say.

    Hmm the problem with that is that it just tends to support the empire building of the chattering classes who seem to think that they know better than everyone else on how to build a better society. The result is lunacy like the “department of climate change” and a million government quangos and expensive consultancies

  30. Brian says:

    A bizarre comment Iain.

    Are you saying because there’ll be debate and disagreement about how to build a better society that we shouldn’t bother?

    And who are “the chattering classes”?

  31. Iain Hall says:

    You minions of the left seem to be rather prone to utopian thinking and this is reflected in your belief in “progress” and “being progressive” this tends to make them want to force change fro its own sake frankly I tend to have a bit more faith in a society that changes organically without the heavy steering hand of political ideologues from any persuasion.

    And who are “the chattering classes”?

    they are the usual suspects Brian who are full of leftist ideology learned at the university teat and unencumbered by any understanding of the real world.

  32. Brian says:

    Oh Iain, that is such garbage. A university educated bloke who blogs daily, complaining about “chattering” of other university graduates. You have slipped from your usually reasonable self into the silly guise of an Andrew Bolt commenter. I’ll call back when you’ve returned to reality.

  33. GD says:

    I think it matters what Abbott might do in government

    Yet you haven’t been very concerned about what Labor has done for five years: failure after failure, and a mountain of debt, with the only ‘infrastructure’ built being a few school halls and tuck shops. At least they could have put heating and air-conditioning into schools that badly need it.

    Yet now it’s ever so important that the Libs detail every cost and policy.

    Even the NBN hasn’t been costed and is growing in price every day, but you aren’t worried about that.

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s reversing the question, GD. It was you and Iain who said it didn’t matter what Abbott would do in government. You’re the ones showing no concern for the way the country is run – you just want your side running it.

  35. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    we have only two choices here Abbott or Gillard and as Gillard HAS BEEN A TOTAL FAILURE as PM and trashed Brand Labor during her tenure what choice does any sensible voter have but to pick Team Abbott? Come on even you think that she has been a disaster for Labor so how could even you vote for her?

  36. Ray Dixon says:

    I haven’t given up hope that she won’t be there, Iain. And no, it’s not an either/or sitaution. Think for a moment – what is actually wrong with Australia that Abbott would make better? Write a list and I’ll answer why I don’t think Abbott is a viable alternative.

  37. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    I haven’t given up hope that she won’t be there, Iain. And no, it’s not an either/or situation.

    The viability of a Rudd revival has largely gone

    Think for a moment – what is actually wrong with Australia that Abbott would make better?

    Labor Government! (sarcasm)
    Carbon tax that has no benefits to anyone except spivs and shysters
    A useless mining tax which collects no revenue
    Endless boat arrivals
    A useless department of climate change
    The clean energy quango controlled by the greens
    a NDIS that sounds good but is unaffordable
    Gonski nonsense

    Write a list and I’ll answer why I don’t think Abbott is a viable alternative.

    Do your best then Ray

  38. Craig says:

    Labor wasted so much money, on materialistic vote grabbing stimulus package, ect… At least middle class welfare actually builds up the nation, the Howard way of increasing wages while keeping the share market strong eh. I’m not complaining.

    Now that jobs are being lost due to natural disaster, there’s no money left in the kitty to invest in the areas where jobs have been lost. Oh that stimulus package and education revolution waste sure would of come in handy for the fire and flood riven depressed economies, rebuilding and improving on infrastructure lost.

    Hey at least we’re not Greece, yet…

  39. Ray Dixon says:

    Carbon tax - the impact of the carbon tax has been greatly overstated. I don’t like it either but govts tax things. If Abbott repeals it he has to replace it.

    A useless mining tax which collects no revenue – then how is it a problem, Iain? And if it does start collecting revenue do you think Abbott will reject it?

    Endless boat arrivals - any party in govt these past 5 years would have the same problems. Abbott’s got no solution for it and … I don’t think it’s as bad as you rednecks paint it. We do have to accept asylum seekers if they’re genuine refugees and stopping them will not make Australia a better place but a worse one.

    A useless department of climate change - all govts have useless departments. Qld has one for horse racing.

    The clean energy quango controlled by the greens - so Abbott would stop seeking clean energy alternatives? How would that help?

    a NDIS that sounds good but is unaffordable - if it’s unaffordable for Labor then it’s even more unaffordable for Abbott.

    Gonski nonsense - we know Abbott doesn’t support advances in education. Again, how would he make Australia’s education any better?

    Is that all you’ve got? Not much reason to vote Abbott.

  40. Iain Hall says:

    I’m about to retire for the night Ray and I will address your responses in the morning but how about you give us GOOD reasons to vote for Labor?

  41. Brian says:

    My thoughts on those specific policy areas are in line with Ray’s comment so I won’t elaborate on them.

    I can’t give good reasons to vote Labor. Mind you, I can’t give good reasons to vote Liberal either. It basically boils down to a choice between a government that tries things that either don’t work or blow out in cost… or a government that spends little, does nothing and allows us to be overtaken by the rest of the world.

    I reckon the Liberals could have Pol Pot, Colonel Gaddafi and Jack the Ripper on their front bench and the likes of Iain and “GD” would still be singing their praises.

  42. Ray Dixon says:

    Pretty much what Brian said, Iain, except I’ve got one extra special reason for putting the ALP ahead of the Liberals on my particular ballot paper. I’ll spell it out:

    S.O.P.H.I.E. M.I.R.A.B.E.L.L.A.

    Would you put her ahead of anyone?

  43. GD says:

    S.O.P.H.I.E. M.I.R.A.B.E.L.L.A.

    Would you put her ahead of anyone?

    Then again we’d have to look at the alternative. Being a local, perhaps you can help us decide. Otherwise it’s just more of your rusted-on Labor bias.

  44. GD says:

    Brian said:

    …a government that…allows us to be overtaken by the rest of the world

    Can you elaborate? That seems to be a long stretch of the imagination.

    Despite Greg Combet’s insistence that China is overtaking us in reducing carbon emissions, it seems that that is not the case.

    Are you talking about debt? According to leftists, we have a lower ratio of debt than most other countries.

    Oh, I’ve got it! Compared with other countries we have a lower rate of Islamic immigration. Yep, you’re right, we are being overtaken by other countries. :)

  45. Brian says:

    Can you elaborate? That seems to be a long stretch of the imagination.

    I’m old enough (just) to remember the Menzies, Holt, Gorton and McMahon governments and the precious little they did to advance this country. We were still in the 1950s when everyone else was in the 1970s because of their abysmally shortsighted social and economic policies. All Menzies did was to milk the postwar boom while playing on paranoia about communism. Abbott will just do the same, only without the luxury of an economic boom.

    Are you talking about debt? According to leftists, we have a lower ratio of debt than most other countries.

    According to OECD figures, not “leftists”. Have you heard of the OECD?

  46. GD says:

    I’m also old enough (just)

    to remember the Menzies, Holt, Gorton and McMahon governments and the precious little they did to advance this country. We were still in the 1950s when everyone else was in the 1970s because of their abysmally shortsighted social and economic policies. All Menzies did was to milk the postwar boom while playing on paranoia about communism.

    Given that Menzies lived through WW2, I think we should forgive him for supposed ‘paranoia’ about communism.

    It was a logical stance at the time. Hindsight is 20-20 vision.

    Elevating Whitlam to prime ministership resulted in medicare and other social changes, but also showed that ideologues such as Whitlam cannot be trusted with the nation’s finances. QED.

    The Gillard/Rudd government again proves that.

  47. GD says:

    We were still in the 1950s when everyone else was in the 1970s

    BTW Brian, what countries are you talking about? As far as I recall, Australia was a stable country back then, much favoured by immigrants.

    Please explain.

  48. GD says:

    Quoting Ray:

    I’m ashamed to know there are Australians like you

    and paraphrase:

    …who vote for the most incompetent government in memory, a government comprised of union hucksters, especially at a time when union membership is at an all-time low. These trough snuffling opportunists have taken the country for a ride and it has been downhill ever since to the bottom.

    The good news is that Labor’s salad days are over; over for a long time. Perhaps next time they should posit a team of responsible adults instead of this nascent coterie whose interests are far removed from those of ordinary Australians.

    Already Roxon has admitted defeat. Her attempt at censoring Australia fell in a heap as soon as senior legal eagles had a look at the draft. Conroy, of the Crying Conroys, has failed in his attempt to censor the internet, then failed again when he instructed communications reps to wear ‘red underpants on their heads’.

    See what I mean about nascent, childish. Why is it that Labor seeks to censor our society? That alone should be reason not to vote for them. However, I digress.

    Under Gillard’s watch, Labor has reduced our defence budget to almost nothing. Whereas similar nations such as Canada are able to play Russian roulette with their defence budget, we aren’t in the enviable position of having the USA next door. We are the only continent occupied by one sovereignty in a potentially hostile region.

    History agrees, yet our current defence budget is lower than it was in 1939.

    Further stupidity is the supposed human caused climate change debacle. Labor instigates a tax on carbon emissions and then uses the money to pay for an over-inflated Climate Commission, including false prophet Tim Flannery’s failed predictions, at $180,000 pa. Not a bad little earner for the Panasonic/Prius guru and waterfront living hypocrite.

    The fact that manufacturing, hospitality and mining industries are hurt by this tax, while the effect is minuscule and meaningless in terms of planetary conditions, seems beyond the comprehension of this government.

    To answer Iain’s question of why you would vote for Labor or Liberal, let me say this. Apart from all of the above, the Libs offer the best chance to rid our country of the scourge of minority union domination in both the workplace and the parliament. That is, domination by a minority of unionists who reckon they own Australia.

    This Labor government is rife with these vermin and needs to be eradicated. Given that most workers today don’t belong to a union and that 21st Century styled contracts are nature of the day, it’s time to acknowledge unions for the good they did in the 19th Century, yet recognise that it is time to move on.

    Gillard and her university educated ‘unionist’ flunkeys won’t like this. Then again, given that not one of them has worked a day as a unionist, it’s not surprising.

  49. Brian says:

    Given that Menzies lived through WW2, I think we should forgive him for supposed ‘paranoia’ about communism.

    World War II had very little to do with communism, unless you are going to advance the ludicrous argument that Hitler was really a communist.

    Opposing communism in the 1950s and 1960s was an understandable position, however Menzies used Cold War paranoia to excess as part of a quite obvious attempt to nobble unions. In the end his foolish attempt to ban the Communist Party failed in both the High Court and at referendum. Meanwhile, when he should have been using the post-war boom to build a new Australia that could compete on foreign markets, Menzies was doing nothing. Even the biggest infrastructure project of the day, the Snowy Hydro scheme, was devised by the Chifley government.

    Elevating Whitlam to prime ministership resulted in medicare and other social changes, but also showed that ideologues such as Whitlam cannot be trusted with the nation’s finances.

    Whitlam was the polar opposite of Menzies. He went too far with spending and alienated our powerful allies. Whereas Menzies’ government did nothing, Whitlam’s did too much.

    BTW Brian, what countries are you talking about? As far as I recall, Australia was a stable country back then, much favoured by immigrants.

    Much favoured by white immigrants; remember, all others were severely restricted. Another sign of a lack of progress. I can remember my grandfather visiting the Philippines in the early 1970s and coming back to tell us all about colour television… which we still didn’t have in Australia.

  50. Craig says:

    I’d prefer black and white TV, and a White Australia. Who in their right mind would think tribalism and balkanisation ahem Asianation progress…

    Alas the status quo of right left Liberal democracy is only viable under an expanding economic foot print, looking at the US and Europe, well I look forward to the next 10 to 30 years.

  51. Ray Dixon says:

    Here’s an idea Craig: Form a new political party and call it ‘The White Australia Party’. It’s what you clearly believe in, a return to the White Australia policy that was in place post WWII. I wonder how many votes you’d get.

    GD, your early morning diatribes where you’ve dug up some unrelated quotes of mine and twisted your responses into total incoherence should remind you of one thing:

    Never post when you’re pissed.

  52. Iain Hall says:

    Craig
    I am by birth an Englishman, however I can not endorse your views about our society. There certainly are challenges with regard to social integration when you have the current divisive multicultural ethos but there is more to be be gained from diversity than is to be lost IMHO.
    Oh and when it comes to TV Black and white low-res is woeful compared to HD colour!

  53. Brian says:

    Craig wants black-and-white TV and the White Australia policy? He would’ve loved the 60s. Unless he was conscripted for service in Vietnam, that is; not too many TVs or whites over there.

  54. Iain Hall says:

    I am old enough to remember the sixties Brian and it was not halcyon days by any stretch of the imagination ;)

  55. Ray Dixon says:

    Imagine Craig in the army – he’d shit himself.

  56. Jim Clarke says:

    Brian, conscription was not for Vietnam, it was to fill spaces in the Army. Far more conscripts stayed in Australia than served overseas.

  57. Brian says:

    I’m well aware of that Jim. However to suggest that the two were not connected is disingenuous. Menzies doubled our commitment to Vietnam, introduced compulsory National Service, then passed legislation authorising overseas deployment of ‘Nashos’, all within the space of 12 months.

  58. GD says:

    I agree with Brian. The Nashos I knew in Townsville all went to Vietnam. A few years later I met musos and entertainers who also had ‘visited’ Vietnam, albeit not in their entertaining capacity. However, perhaps Jim has more accurate knowledge of the numbers.

  59. GD says:

    The Nashos I knew in Townsville all went to Vietnam.

    That’s not completely true. Three Melbourne nashos I knew were posted to Lavarack Barracks and spent their time off-base playing in a blues band called ‘Gutbucket’. Being from the south they had us local musos in awe.

    The only oddity being their army haircuts at a time when long hair was de rigueur. However, their renditions of blues classics such as ‘Grab A Snatch And Hold It’ soon gave them credibility. They returned to Melbourne without ever leaving our shores.

  60. Craig says:

    @ Ray, I actually have a couple of gongs. Perhaps you can workout the digger slang? I use to vote One Nation when I first started voting in the late 90′s, I wonder how many service men did back in the day, probably quite a few I’d guess. I certainly would love to start such a party “The White Australia Party”, has a ring to it like “Katter’s Australian Party”. Pity Hanson had the entire media and both parties sabotage her inside and out.

    @ Brian and GD, I also concur that the NASHO’s certainly did serve in Vietnam, I know many that did, mates with an ex-tunnel rat at the local RSL who was also a NASHO. Bugger being an Engineer hey.

    Guess how many older and younger retired servicemen think like I do?

    @Iain, Personally I’d rather Multiculturalism and division then the slow death of assimilation, don’t worry the Liberals promote multicult too. Presides different food and Music, name me five benefits of a multicultural diverse country?

    @Ray, Nearly forgot, bet you’d shit yourself at a parade of proud men marching to cadence past you, never mind the zip, and thump.

  61. […] Gillard and Labor suffer another education policy collapse (iainhall.wordpress.com) […]

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