||Issue No. 238||17 September 2004|
Interview: True Matilda
Politics: State of Play
Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Unions: Rhodes Scholars
National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
International: People Power
Economics: A Bit Rich
History: Mine Shafts
Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Organising: Building a Wave
Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Culture: The Word On The Street
The Locker Room
Invest In Dignity!
Some misguided fools may think that the fact that Australia is a bigger terrorist target than we ever should have been, or that half the country is in hock and the other half is sold might be pertinent and pressing issues that face the nation.
Not so the man who is moulding our future betters at the Kings School, Headmaster Doctor Tim Hawkes.
According to the good Doctor it would be "a great tragedy for Australian sport" if wealthy private schools had to use teachers to coach their sports teams.
He has gone on the record to say that Australia shouldn't "pander to mediocrity".
Well when it comes to mediocrity you would think that the Good Doctor would be celebrating Kings' intellectually moribund and socially gruesome contribution to the national mediocrity register.
Alumni from this bastion of social uselessness include serial Tool John Anderson, who laughably passes as the Deputy PM when John is off being serviced by the President of the United States or Palau.
It was also the home of Anderson's predecessor, Doug Anthony, who came from where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.
Kings was where old boy Robert Webster, the one time NSW Minister who loved selling addictive carcinogens to teenagers and who also had a fondness for shredders, learnt all his virtuous morality.
Head had a teary this week claiming that big bad Westie Mark Latham had unfairly slandered his inbred charges and their filthy rich social status.
Of course Kings are prepared to offer opportunities to the less fortunate. They offer a number of cleaning positions that provide the lower orders with opportunities for employment as well as offering a scholarship to any working class boy who can pack tight head prop in the First XV.
Probably the most bizarre argument that has joined the hubris surrounding elite education's subtle social benefits this week was the heart rending tale of the poor grazier.
Not only struggling with the drought, many are down to their last five cars and have even given up the yacht in Majorca this summer.
No wonder John Anderson wants to sell the other half of Telstra. People that fall for this intellectual fertiliser might be in for a rude shock if anyone from the bush actually told the truth about the role these 'struggling graziers' play in rural society.
So while Doctor Hawkes clings to his desire to give Edmund Blethington-Smythe the opportunity to celebrate the fact that he was born with an entire silver service shoved in his mouth, he forgets that the rest of us live in the real world.
Many working Australians would consider that they wouldn't mind teachers coaching their kid's sporting teams, or even if their kid's sporting teams had some equipment, or even a sporting team.
Roy Masters and Warren Ryan were schoolteachers that rose up from the decent job of educating ordinary kids to coaching ordinary footballers in the Sydney Rugby League.
Way out west where the rain don't fall tennis is what's on TV instead of Letterman, not something that follows your private Physics tutorial at your schools own private particle accelerator.
It's a symptom of the two Australia's that are part and parcel of John Howard's legacy.
One Australia would be happy with textbooks from this century, while another frets over its ability to continue to provide future directors for Australia's inbred corporate community.
It was also nice to hear that Doctor Hawkins School For Fine Fellows had a Rifle Range, it just appears that the students are at the wrong end of it.
It's a lesson that our Tool Of The Week, Doctor Tim Hawkes, will find out the hard way.
Elite private schools should stick to what thy do best, producing criminals and self obsessed Trotskyites, and let the rest of us get on with running what is, after all, our supposedly egalitarian country.
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