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Failing Civility 101 on QandA

Hands up who watched the young minions of the left making utter fools of themselves last night on QandA? It really was a less than encouraging display of utter stupidity and it was certainly of no advantage to anyone who supports the former government this is how the Guardian described the event:

Monday night’s broadcast was forced off-air for several minutes when protesters unfurled a banner and started chanting about potential deregulation of universities.

Australia‘s education minister, Christopher Pyne, had already been asked two questions by people hostile to the changes to university funding, such as deregulation and an increase in how much students pay, when demonstrators started chanting from the balcony of the studio.

The protesters had been chanting “No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities” under a banner that read: “More brains not war planes. Fund Education. May 21 Rally and UTS. 2.30pm”

The live broadcast cut to footage of singer Katie Noonan from a previous programme while the protesters were ejected. Pyne had said it reminded him of Question Time as they moved on to their next chant, “Christopher Pyne get out, we know what you’re all about. Cuts”.

When the cameras cut back to the show, the protesters had been escorted out and the audience cheered and applauded.

Host Tony Jones said: “That was not what democracy is all about.” Pyne then resumed his answers to the questions about deregulating universities.

The minister had been repeatedly interrupted by shouting in the lead-up to the protest and Jones had reprimanded those yelling, saying the microphones would stay away from them.

When Pyne resumed his answer he said the Hecs scheme, in which university students pay back their loans with inflation added when they reach a certain income threshold, was part of the “egalitarian society” and the government would not be changing that.

“The thing about the Australian education system is that there is nobody who can’t go to university in Australia because of fees, because every single dollar can be borrowed and paid back in later life,” he said.

“That is one of the great things about the higher education system in Australia. It’s not the case that people from low socioeconomic status background are shut out of university because of fees. It is quite a misnomer and a myth to say so because every single student is capable of getting a loan from the taxpayer.”

 Any one who follows me on twitter (all 65 of you ) would have noticed the complementary things I posted about Christopher Pyne who remained utterly unfazed and who went on to prove just what a fine performer he is under pressure remaining calm cool and collected.  The protesters were  ejected from the venue while we the audience were shown a pre-recorded musical interlude.

If the idiots form “Socialist Alliance” think that they did any favours for their cause by this display of bad manners and crass behaviour they are sadly mistaken all they did was prove that a university education is utterly wasted on them.  Civil society has to be predicated upon civil behaviour and they were the exact opposite of civility. Worse still what they were protesting about was not even an element of ACTUAL government policy it was something suggested in a report TO the government.  Clearly higher education has been wasted on this minions of the far left and maybe it would be better for the nation and the polity if they were expelled and perhaps made to spend some time in the real world where they had to, you know, like get a job and take a few lessons in”the university of life”. Sadly I expect that they would fail that course just as badly as they clearly failed Civility 101.

Cheers Comrades

abc protest


  1. JohnG says:

    Agree Iain, and as said, the sad part is of those who actually attend Uni from that lot we the taxpayers are undoubtedly paying for their tuition and those who do not attend, I would be happy to lay a $, we the taxpayers are also supporting.

    Thank god for democracy,capitalists,business and the general money making machines and taxpayers that keep this great country on the move.

  2. Blake says:

    “Civil society has to be predicated upon civil behaviour and they were the exact opposite of civility.”

    Have you ever heard of Civil Disobedience? It can be kind of important.
    Here you go: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/civil-disobedience/

    “Civil disobedience taken in support of concerns such as the environment or animal rights may be seen in part as a response to some breakdown in the mechanisms for citizen engagement in the decision-making process. This breakdown might be termed a democratic deficit (Markovits, 2005). Such deficits in that dialogue may be an inevitable part of real democracies, and disobedience undertaken to correct those deficits may be said to reflect, to varying degrees, dissenters’ sensitivity to democratic ideals. Civil disobedience remains today very much a vibrant part of liberal democracies…”

  3. GD says:

    Had Tony Jones been any sort of adjudicator he would have stood up and told those clowns where to get off. Instead, milquetoast Snowcone looked embarrassed, yet pleased at the same time. He clearly had no control over the running and conduct of the show, yet revelled in the disturbance.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    That’s a very weIrd (yet typical) twist to put on the incident, GD. What would you have had Jones do, climb up the back and start banging heads? As it was the show was only interrupted for a minute or so while the protesters were kicked out. I guess the ABC is fair-minded after all.

  5. Richard Ryan says:

    I was disappointed with Pyne—a gutless little coward, I wish I was in Parliament when he made a run for the door, I would love to be on the other side with a base ball bat.

  6. Richard Ryan says:

    BIG Brave GD!

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    the young minions of the left

    Come on Iain, those students in no way represent ‘the left’ and were just juveniles whose brains have not yet fully formed and wouldn’t know the first thing about politics. They can call themselves the ‘Socialist Alliance’ or whatever else they think categorises them as some kind of radicals but they were just doing what Uni students have always done – causing a stir. They’ll eventually mature, grow up and learn. And half of them will probably end up voting Coalition.

  8. GD says:

    I wish I was in Parliament when he made a run for the door, I would love to be on the other side with a base ball bat.

    Richard, you will never be in Parliament and given your baseball bat threats and earlier anarchist threats, you risk being able to continue to live in civilised society. Wake up to yourself, welfare bludger. Clearly you don’t work for a living yet you denigrate the hand that feeds you.

  9. GD says:

    those students in no way represent ‘the left’

    Ray, I beg to differ, these idiots perfectly represent the leftist mentality of entitlement before responsibility.

    While some may grow up to be conservative thinkers, the rest become ageing leftards such as yourself who can see no wrong with the previous failed Labor government’s policies of ever increased borrowing from China to fund their pipe dreams.

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    the leftist mentality of entitlement before responsibility

    Then I mustn’t be a ‘leftist’, GD, because I ask for NO ENTITLEMENT WHATSOEVER. Are you self-funded, btw, or will you/do you have your hand out for welfare/a pension? I don’t and won’t.

  11. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, you called Richard a “welfare bludger” and accused him of not working for a living. You then labelled me a “leftard” implying I have a “leftist mentality of entitlement before responsibility”. Well mate, I have worked long and hard through my life and had my ups and downs. But I have set my goals and mostly achieved them and will not be asking for an old age pension when I eventually get to that age (which isn’t that far away). Given you started the personal stuff I reckon the onus is on you to answer my questions about your own situation – come on, are you going for the handout or not?

  12. Jeff G. says:

    Yeah I saw it and it wasn’t pretty. Unwashed tools, they looked like. Maybe they should learn, that democracy is about having your say, but not stopping other people from having theirs too?

    Of course rightards like GD say they represent all people of the left, which is rubbish. Yes, I wonder how much tax GD pays and how much “entitlement” he collects.

  13. GD says:

    GD, you called Richard a “welfare bludger” and accused him of not working for a living

    Are you really sticking up for Richard Ryan?


    I didn’t suggest that you did..

    I wonder how much tax GD pays and how much “entitlement” he collects.

    Thanks for that Jeff, and yourself?

  14. Iain Hall says:

    The Woman in the audience who asked the question just before the “protesters” went feral clearly identified herself as being form “Socialist Alternative” so its entirely reasonable for me to argue that they are real life “minions of the left” simply because that is what they are anyway if you need further proof read this which I have copied from the SA website

    This time last year, the Labor government was preparing a federal budget with $2.3 billion worth of funding cuts to higher education.

    This time round, as budget day approaches, the Coalition not only remains committed to the cuts but is also indicating that there will be many more attacks on students.

    A recent speech by education minister Christopher Pyne, “Freeing universities to compete in a global education market”, set out precisely how the government views education.

    “Education policy is, in many ways, economic policy”, he said. “There are enormous spinoff benefits for our domestic economy – in travel, housing, retail and investment … [W]e have expanded education to become our fourth-largest export industry after iron ore, coal and gold.”

    For Pyne and the Liberals, there’s no real difference between students and minerals. Both are a source of profit; any red tape strangling its extraction must be removed. They want to find ways to both cut government funding and transfer costs to individual students.

    Deregulating fees

    The government recently commissioned a review of the “demand driven system” (the current semi-deregulated system) which found that while privatisation is increasing the profitability of education, it hasn’t gone nearly far enough.

    The review – conducted by former Liberal federal education minister David Kemp and his closest adviser Andrew Norton – recommends the introduction of a 10 percent loan fee on HECS. It also recommends that HECS support be lowered in general and that HELP support for most postgraduate degrees be removed.

    When HECS was first introduced 25 years ago, students repaid a flat fee of $5,400. Today, most students graduate with a debt upwards of $20,000.

    This debt is a deterrent for many working class people, especially when coupled with cost of living increases and attacks on student welfare. Today two-thirds of students live below the poverty line.

    There are also indications that the government will go further in deregulating and raising fees than recommended in the review.

    The vice-chancellors from the richest universities, the Group of Eight (Go8), recently proposed an opt-out system that would allow universities to forego government funding for some courses and charge full fees.

    Such a move would amount to the wholesale privatisation of courses and would lead to fee increases of up to 56 percent.

    Entrenching a two-tier system

    For the Go8 universities, full fees are an opportunity to further distance themselves from the poorer universities and their working class students.

    They have the agreement of the education minister. “My view is that … several of our universities [must be] ranked among the very best in the world. The others are thriving in other ways”, said Pyne.

    The “other ways” appear to be savage course cuts, staff cuts and, in the case of La Trobe University in Melbourne this year, the abolition of whole faculties. The “demand-driven system” introduced by Labor has already resulted in less competitive universities cutting costs and running down their institutions.

    This trend was furthered by the announcement of the $2.3 billion in federal funding cuts and will be accelerated by the introduction of an unregulated fee system: a market mechanism to encourage poorer students to “choose” cheaper degrees at less resourced institutions.

    Added to this, Pyne has enthusiastically endorsed another recommendation from the Kemp-Norton review: that private and non-university institutions be incorporated into the Commonwealth scheme. This will mean something very different for Bond University than it will for the majority of TAFEs.

    In pursuit of this two-tier system, Pyne is openly drawing inspiration from the notorious US education system. Quoting Adelaide University vice chancellor Warren Bebbington, he said, “[Australia] could have the rich variety of the US university landscape where nearly half of all students … attend teaching-only undergraduate colleges offering only Bachelor degrees … Students have an unforgettable, utterly life-changing educational experience.”

    This about a country with an enormous gulf between Ivy League colleges and community colleges; where hundreds of thousands of graduates from community colleges are working for the minimum wage or nothing at all; where only 61 percent of students are able to go to the college of their choice; where students are frequently turned away from study because private companies refuse to extend loans to them; and where student debt has recently surpassed US$1 trillion.

    Students need to resist

    While working class students will be most disadvantaged by deregulation, the reality is that raising fees and further reducing government funding will affect all students.

    The main beneficiaries will be students from wealthy backgrounds and the bank balances of the large institutions.

    Students from sandstone universities, 1970s brown brick universities, and corrugated iron/plastic pastiche universities and TAFEs need to work together to fight these attacks.

    The government has made it clear that the axe will fall on budget day. Students need to respond immediately.

    [The National Union of Students has called demonstrations in every major city for Wednesday 21 May and will be organising protest actions across campuses in the lead-up to those demonstrations. For more information contact your student union or education action group or the National Union of Students.]

  15. Iain Hall says:

    Just in case you think I am pointing at the wrong Mob they boast about their involvement on Face book:

    Socialist Alternative Sydney shared Socialist Alternative’s photo.
    13 hours ago
    Congratulations to the student protesters (including members of Socialist Alternative) who made their presence felt on Q&A tonight.

    Genuine political criticism and debate is too often stifled by a media that creates a semblance of disagreement within what is in reality a very limited range of ‘acceptable’ opinion.

    The Liberals are pushing for the reconstruction of the Australian university system along the lines of that in the United States. This will mean higher fees, and the emergence of a two-tiered system in which quality education will increasingly be accessible only to the very rich.

    In this context, what’s needed isn’t yet more ‘respectable debate’. What’s needed is resistance, whether in the ABC studios, on the campuses or in the streets. It’s the only thing that Abbott, Pyne and Co. can understand.

    Next stop, the National Union of Students’ Emergency National Day of Action on May 21: https://www.facebook.com/events/467124700085421/

  16. richard ryan says:

    ” Yes I wonder how much tax GD pays and how much “entitlement” he collects. A nerve was hit there, see how he jumped on the hook. GD the “has been” music man who uses a screen name, so the tax man does not catch up with him. Unlike you I worked for a living,not strumming a banjo or blowing a tin whistle. you would not work in a barell of yeast you Liberal puffed up bludger

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Sorry I missed responding to your comment and welcoming you to the Sandpit Blake.
    You asked:

    Have you ever heard of Civil Disobedience? It can be kind of important.

    Well I have and belive it or not I’ve even played that game myself in my younger days (think Queensland in the seventies under Joh) but I think that this incident hardly qualifies because it was disrupting a TV talk show rather than really “taking it to the man” It may have earned the perps a little notoriety but do you think that it will do anything positive for their cause? somehow I doubt it.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh Iain, they’re juveniles. Don’t take them so seriously – it’s all part of growing up.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    I beg to differ, GD, you certainly did lump me in with those you say have “the leftist mentality of entitlement before responsibility”, so I corrected you. Ergo I feel entitled justified in asking what your “mentality” is towards your own entitlement(s). Not that it’s any of my business but if you’re going to accuse me of having a welfare “mentality” (which is untrue), then you should be prepared to clarify your own position in that regard. I’ve shown you mine … now it’s your turn.

  20. richard ryan says:

    I bet GD— “the drama queen” WAS GETTING HIS ROCKS OFF, (if he has any)? when Packer was rolling around in the gutter, biffing his so called mate—this pair of wankers reminded me of two seagulls fighting for a chip on Bondi beach—- gee I wish I was there at the scene, I would have rebuked Packer for running off on his wife and three children, in short I would have made a scene—-for the media of course.

  21. Jeff G. says:

    Why are you posting all that stuff about Socialist Alternative, Iain? They are just a small mob of university students letting off steam. That’s what happens at uni, they fill up on booze, sex, a bit of dope and political argy bargy. Give it a few years and they will have a job, a mortgage and some common sense. They are nothing whatsoever to be worried about, regardless of how much noise they make.

  22. GD says:

    Why are you posting all that stuff about Socialist Alternative, Iain?

    err, because they hijacked a national (paid by the taxpayer) TV show..

    and because they reflect, in an infantile manner, the view of Labor and the Greens re Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

  23. Jeff G. says:

    Yes, they shut down a gabfest described by you raving rightards as “biased” for sum total of five minutes. Big deal. They are kids, doing what kids do, which is expressing themselves too loudly and being obnoxious. No doubt you skipped this phase of growing up GD and moved straight from child hood into ‘grumpy old prick’ mode.

    As for the ALP’s view of Tony Abbott, again, big deal. They’re entitled to hold a contrary view of him, or anyone. Your problem is that you are utterly incapable of accepting that other people have different thoughts/opinions to you. You’d have been right at home in the 1930s.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    because they hijacked a national (paid by the taxpayer) TV show

    And one that you continually debase and criticise, GD. You should be saying “well done SA, keep up the good work”. Or maybe just laugh it off like the rest of us did. Geez, as if those kids represent anyone or anything except adolescent immaturity.

  25. GD says:

    Yes, they shut down a gabfest described by you raving rightards as “biased” for sum total of five minutes. Big deal. They are kids, doing what kids do, which is expressing themselves too loudly and being obnoxious. No doubt you skipped this phase of growing up GD and moved straight from child hood into ‘grumpy old prick’ mode

    Geez, who’s the ‘grumpy old prick’? Thanks for getting personal with your comments.

    And Ray, here’s one for you, who reckons the ABC isn’t biased against the conservatives:


  26. richard ryan says:

    There will be new taxes under a government I lead.? Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    Ray, here’s one for you, who reckons the ABC isn’t biased

    GD, I’ve told you before, if you want to debate me on so-called ABC bias or any other matter then debate me. Don’t just put up a link to Bolt’s blog without adding your own comment and quote and expect me to read it. Using links and quotes is fine as a means of supporting your claims but when you just put up a link to Andrew Bolt’s blog that’s using someone else’s argument and not worth reading.

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