Thursday, 25 June 2015

Hyperbole Alert! Or, Confected Outrage

I hate politics. Not government, just politics. I hate when people argue for the sake or arguing, or use misleading and obfusticating rhetoric to 'prove' a point. 

I also hate it when the government (or, more commonly, the opposition) blows something way out of proportion, and tries to confect an absolute outrage over... well, we are never quite sure what. 

Therefore, I will take it upon myself, as a self-respecting wannabe journalist (blog=journal, right?), to point out the worst, most egregious cases. 

We will open the book with a post about the Government's 'green paper' on Federation. It was recently leaked, and one of the suggestions put up for discussion was removing commonwealth funding from public education, and laying that burden on the states. The paper theorised that the states would have to fund this, perhaps by levying a means-tested fee for public school education, for those who could afford it.

Now, I think this is a terrible idea. The whole purpose of public education is to provide the same access education to everyone, regardless of income. It means that everyone should be able to access public education for free, and if your choice as a wealthy person is to utilise the public school system, well, good for you.

But this sort of discussion is good for society. If nothing else, this discussion raised the issue of how lucky we are that we DO have free education, up to the end of year 12!

Ok, so then Labor got on its high horse, and tried to make out that the government was planning to do this. It accused Abbott of planning to dismantle the Australian way of life, and it used, as its evidence, the fact that this discussion paper was prepared by the Prime Minister's department. 

What bullshit. 

Mark Butler, ALP President and Shadow Climate Change and Environment Minister appeared on RN Drive on Monday 22 June 2015, and tried to argue that Abbott had refused to rule it out. This was despite him saying, in fairly categorical terms, that it was not a policy that his government would support. Frankly, he sounded like he was trying to beat a drum that just wasn't there!

If you see any other instances of 'confected outrage', (Such as Abbott accusing the ALP of 'laying out the red carpet for terrorists' because they didn't support the then un-disclosed citizenship bill), please let me know so I can get on my soapbox and get them off theirs!

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