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Talking the talk is all that Labor has, because we can’t afford to walk the walk even if the destination was any good
Over the last couple of days I’ve been listening to and watching the usual media suspects in conga line (of suckholes?) mode praising the intentions of the Gillard government’s white paper. there has been a plethora of vested interests saying that we should expend a great deal of time and treasure teaching our children to speak an Asian language. Frankly I am less than excited about this idea for a couple of reasons.
Firstly we are fortunate enough to live in a country that speaks what is effectively the global language, ENGLISH, and as such it gives our players on the international stage an advantage if we have maximum competency in our own tongue rather than some rudimentary grasp of just one of the many Asian languages.
Secondly I think that Gillard and Labor are kidding themselves if they think that teaching a few individuals the rudiments of another language will make them players in the rising economies of Asia. All of these economies have more than enough of their own “players” who will be miles ahead of any wannabe Aussies even if those Aussies have some understanding of the language there. In any event if we do want to get involved in one of the rising Asian countries then the natural choice should be India rather than China for the very simple reason that there ENGLISH is the lingua franca of that nation and it like us draws upon a British legal system, its also a democracy rather than the totalitarian regime that rules China so ethically we can be more comfortable as well.
Finally like a lot of Labor’s most recent brain farts there is no money to pay for this grand scheme. Its plucked from the air, intended to shift the public discourse away from Labor’s many manifest policy failures. So instead of getting caught up with the logistical issues of making this brain fart smell less like hydrogen sulphide and more like roses lets save time and consider can we afford to do any of this? Sadly due to Labor economic policy mismanagement we just won’t be able to do it anyway even if it were actually a good idea, which it isn’t.
- Govt to let Asian language program expire (news.theage.com.au)
- Australian students to study Asian languages as Gillard embraces ‘Asian Century’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Govt to let Asian language program expire (news.com.au)
- Asia language plan ‘central’ to Australia reforms: PM (rappler.com)
Just imagine that someone here fronts up to a group of poor lads at a bus top here in Australia and suggests to a nineteen year old that if they agree to work on a boat for one voyage and for doing that they would be paid a what would amount to a year’s salary for the job. Surely the first thought going through that lads head would have to be that no one offers that much money for a simple job unless there is something dodgy about the offer, Something like it being either a scam illegal very dangerous or all of the of the above. Frankly I don’t think that Aussies would be any different to Indonesian lads when it comes to accepting such offers namely that if their greed overcomes their good sense and then they get caught its hard to to feel too much sympathy when they face a very harsh penalty for the that they have subsequently broken in pursuit of that easy money. I felt that way about the Bali Nine and I feel the same way about those Indonesian people smuggling crew who are being prosecuted and jailed for breaking our law.
The sins in play here with these crewmen and with the Bali Nine are precisely the same, Greed and wilful stupidity and an irrational belief that they would not get caught. Now from an Australian perspective it is easy to say that the “10 million rupiah (about $A1000)” is not a lot of money but to do that is not appropriate; we must view the amount of money from the perspective of the young man offered the stipend. To him that is a very big wedge indeed. Sadly minions of the left like our learned friend thinks that criminals such as this should be given a slap on the wrist and then sent home with “I love Australia Tee shirt*”
There is something sadly predictable about our learned friend’s argument. In the first instance he ignores the very long-standing principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse and that it should have no effect on the punishment received by law breakers. But further he makes the patronising assumption that because the chap in question is from a poor background has no concept of right or wrong and that as such he does not deserve whatever punishment the courts deliver.
Finally he cites, as an alternative, a very wishy-washy propaganda piece from the Greens even though it wouldn’t be in any sense a viable alternative. I suppose that it does show just why the Greens are so attractive to political theorists like our learned friend. They, like him, just love playing “what if” games based upon some “high minded principles” knowing full well that those ideas will never be put to the test in the real world.