Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Front Man For Incoherence

A BIT like admitting to favouring Collingwood as your second team, a residual affection for Peter Garrett is one of those things it is best not to mention too loudly. The Minister For Something To Do With Schools has precious few admirers or defenders on the left, which is hardly surprising, as it is very difficult to determine exactly what he is meant to be doing, there being a veritable tribe of cabinet members with some or other responsibility for the alleged promotion of education. If Gillard could only find one or two more scholars’ advocate she would have the appropriate half-dozen – six being the traditional number for carrying a coffin. With Garrett no longer allowed anywhere near the Environment portfolio, he could draw some relief for the thwarted green urge by insisting on burying old-fashioned, rigorous and fact-based educational standards in one of those organic, worm-welcoming cardboard coffins in which his sometime friend, Helen Caldicott, plans to be laid to rest.

On the right, Garrett gets even less respect, regarded as the roof-burning, apprentice-electrocuting incompetent whose guidance of the pink-batts fiasco continues to cost taxpayers dear.

All of the above is true, but at the Billabong memories of Garrett’s days with Midnight Oil still grant a little indulgence.  Yes, with the exception of those few who believe a Craig Thomson impersonator borrowed the brothel-creeper’s credit card, licence and signature, there is probably no bigger dill in Canberra.  But to have caught the show the Oils put on one night in the late Seventies at Paddington Town Hall, well let’s just say memories count for a lot. The Saints and Matt Taylor, at that point still hot for flying saucers, were on the same bill, and it was a memorable evening.  If Radio Birdman had marched up the road from the Oxford Hotel – this was before it went gay, gay, gay and Rob Younger went bald, bald, bald – to join the show it would have been a perfect night.

It is sad, very sad, to see Garrett now doing his best to alienate another body of opinion. That would be parents who, thanks to the former rocker’s low profile, had no idea he exerts an influence on shaping their nippers’ little minds. But then, earlier this week, he ruined his reputation on that score as well by voicing the Gillard government’s reaction to the Gonski report. It wasn’t what Garrett said, and he said rather a lot, it was that none of it made the slightest sense. Here’s a sample:
PETER GARRETT: We're not talking about more talking now; we're actually talking about real action on the basis of the recommendations that Mr Gonski brought forward. And I ...
CHRIS UHLMANN: And what do you define as real action?
PETER GARRETT: Well I'll tell you. I expect the senior officials working group of federal and state senior education officials to look immediately at what we think are the necessary funding principles we need to agree as we consider Mr Gonski's model…
Perhaps it was all those years spent standing too close to huge banks of speakers which rattled something loose upstairs. Maybe climate change has fried the central cortex, or perhaps he drank from one of Craig Thomson’s unwashed cups and rampaging spirochetes are now wreaking their havoc. Whatever the reason, anyone who believes “not talking about more talking” means additional rounds of chinwagging to determine what “we need to agree” is quite clearly a suitable case for treatment.

Poor Peter, he should have stuck with the rock business.  

22 comments:

  1. Peter Garrett is the Federal Minister for Education. Why do Labor voters hate children so much?

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    1. PhillipGeorge(c)2012February 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Gaia magnanimously hates all people, not just children.

      3 million plus Victorians have been effectively knee-capped with a desalination plant. Just move forward and adjust to the new economy with growing pains over a little restructuring you working families you.

      The good news of course is that all us restructured people can now officially enroll in the Special Olympics. Competing with Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Greece.

      The Pigs have enrolled us with the PIGS in special re-education class - moving forward with a vision for Australia mind you.

      Orwell, you Genius.

      Burn her - please. Just burn her.

      Delete
    2. PhillipGeorge(c)2012February 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Moreover Prof, I read somewhere Peter has some genuine Christian convictions. How does he feel about protecting an Adulteress, propped up by Craig Thomson and protected by Peter Slipper - in a stolen election based on a lie?

      Peter, whom have you denied? Where endeth thou?

      Delete
  2. The Old and Unimproved DaveFebruary 22, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Peter Garrett is the Minister with Special Responsibility for Recovery of Homework from Dogs.

    So you see, he really does know his sh*t.....

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  3. Don't worry Professor, there's going to be a new race where kids are going to stay up. I'm am planning to mutate and the kids will yell 'Ya Hup!'

    It'll be fun :D

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  4. Burn my eye, MudCrab, you know your stuff!

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  5. I guess for Peter Garrett its much easier to write a song about US Forces or Uranium mining or even Burning Beds and Smoking Roof insulation.
    Much easier to shake around on stage and sign autographs all from the moral high ground than climbing down into the political muck and being a foot soldier and sprouting nonsensical gibberish. What is he now but another pallbearer carrying Labor to its inevitable doom.

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  6. The good professor may not be aware that the former midnight oil frontman once attended Sydney's prestigious Barker College. Another notable old boy includes one Robert Oakeshott.

    Proof that no amount of money can guarantee a good education.

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    1. That's not quite right Super D.
      It goes to show that no matter how good the education, if one is really, really stupid it just doesn't help.

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    2. Please don't leave out the illustrious, nay famous Barker Old Boy, the one whose fame, intelligence and (in particular) his temperate habits have brought much lustre to the reputation

      M Ryutin Sydney

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  7. Super D: What a relief to learn he did not attend Riverview. He is one thing for which your modern, guitar-strumming Jesuits cannot be blamed.

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  8. "...carrying Labor to its inevitable doom." Are you sure, Frank? I'm starting to feel I've changed universes to a place where there's no past or future, just an endless repetition of what psychiatrists call the neurotic search, striving to get out of our emotional predicament, but destined to continue forever re-investing in failure - Planet Groundhog Day with Julia Gillard singing the theme track, Hotel California, over and over in a tuneless South Australian drawl.

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  9. Once you have a teacher in front of a class of students you've spent as much as you need to, attitude and curriculum will decide what gets learnt there after. These clowns are about to flush more billions down the crapper.

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    1. The best way to 'spend' those billions on 'education' would be in eradicating the need for parents to cough up one cent in fees or other expenses to send their kid to a state school.

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  10. Well Prof , its no wonder I like reading your blog.....a Saints and Radio birdman fan..and I seem to remember mention of the Velvets as well ! excellent music from a time when being on mtv had nothing to do with real music.
    Bioscruffy of the north coast nsw

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    Replies
    1. Try this for size then:
      "You - are the crown of creation,
      And you've got no place to go."

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  11. I've heard any Midnight Oil music other than the item they played at the beginning of the Sydney Olympics, and that was just plain embarrassing. As far as one could tell from that he's not any kind of musician.

    Question: Can Garrett actually sing? Can he hold a tune and interpret? Has anyone heard him, say, sing a ballad with a piano accompaniment?

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    1. "Has anyone heard him, say, sing a ballad with a piano accompaniment?"

      Would anyone in their right mind want to?

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    2. Yes, this is his picture:
      http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/51428

      Cheers

      Delete
  12. bioscruffy north coast nswFebruary 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    holding a tune?..interpret?...sing a ballad with piano accompaniment?....Walter, you aren't serious are you ? thats not what its all about...stage presence and power and volume...much more to the point!

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  13. Some are batsmen some are bowlers to misquote former Greens Mayor Greg Barber. Garrett was _okay_ as a bowler — making announcements for ACF and getting some strong statements of principle aired in the media— trying to get others (Howard era ministers etc) out. Who knows if he even wrote his media releases but his voice carried.

    Batsmen are the ones in power, in govt in this instance and Garrett is way down the batting order after never delivering anything except his own wicket, in fact he shouldn't even be a minister but got in the team for his bowling and now gets a chance to hoick one to mid-off at the end of every innings. Embarrassing and a great disappointment for anyone in conservation movement who thought he was something more than he is.

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