The cardboard PM

Hmm. How can we help Julia to re-make herself?

Julia Gillard - the education Prime Minister, following Hillary Rodham Clinton’s mantel, didn’t work. Damn! Why not? It is not a question of personal substance. Our Julia has plenty of that. After all, look at how she did Kevin when none of us blokes had the courage to do it ourselves!!

Let's think. What went wrong? Arkansas, where Hillary performed her great reforms, is a very ‘different place’. A year 12 Australian student going to school in the 1980s might have been a secondary school head master. Half of the teachers couldn’t read and write themselves. This was why HRC’s famous show down with the unions won her so much kudos. You either passed a basic competency test or you were gone. Hillary also re-wrote the Arkansas curriculum so it had a basic set of standards. Bringing theArkansas education system from dullard to average was a very different job than Julia’s national curriculum.

Julia was headed in the opposite direction. Under her watch secondary education is being formularised so that it can be all taught the same. The autonomy of the gifted teacher is inevitably eroded. Children from Nhulunbuy to Na Na Goon will do the same tests. This is of interest to politicians and educational bureaucrats not to genuine teachers and those really care about a wholistic learning experience based in the school of life. Then of course came ‘the schools for fools’ building program administered by, for example, Labor hangers on in NSW who now head government departments without the jot of a qualification. It is reminiscent of the Soviet tractor program – thousands of tractors built for snow conditions sent where-ever there was no snow. Millions wasted. Only private schools, who thankfully have autonomy in their local decision making, used the program well.

And gee now I’m Prime Minister!

Everytime Julia talks people are reminded of the morally corrupt two party system which means that someone who no-one in their right mind would elect as leader in a national ballot, is now heading the country. I think Julia can’t quite believe it herself.

All this is no problem for the party machine. We will just re-invent a new Julia, a new program. Send Simon to the regions, Martin to the mines, Wayne to the Treasury archives. Elect Paul Howes to parliament. Recruit some of Hillary and Tony Blair’s ideas people. 

Now theres an idea: what about an ideas summit?! Lets go one better than Kevin, lets hold an ideas summit, and a citizens assembly!

Heres the recipe: Bring the best and brightest to Canberra. Charge them up so they all spill their guts. Be seen to be consulting with them all. Form them into committees. Appoint reporters. Take the reporters to lunch. Get the reporters to provide an A4 size summary of the ideas that each committee has come up with.

Then, eureka!,  form a citizens convention in Canberra. Pick every thousandth person off the electoral roll. Take them through a week of discussion of all of the ideas. Bring the Labor Party focus group people in and secretly test out the ideas with the general population. Leak the focus group results to the citizen leaders. Ask them to then come up with the top five ideas for the country.

Roll Julia in to announce the top ideas. Instant new agenda. Brilliant!


NB Julia. Watch that Greg Combet. He wants your job! and he does seem to be a genuine guy!! He has ridden the political train as much as anybody, but he's done a few things along the way. Like his mate Anna Bligh he believes it is necessary to ride the train, not rebuild it. But would he have the guts to de-criminalise abortions in Queensland? Now there's a question.