||Issue No. 327||06 October 2006|
The Road to Bangalore
Interview: Cowboys and Indians
Industrial: Seven Deadly Sins
Unions: The IT Factor
Politics: Bargain Basement
Environment: An Inconvenient Hoax
Corporate: Two Sides
International: Unfair Dismissals
History: A Stitch in Time
Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Is it just me or are Julie Bishop's eyes really, really spooky? Each time she comes on the tele she reminds me of a Thunderbird, the beadies darting around in no obvious connection to her facial muscles. As they say, it's a fine line between sincere and cross-eyed.
Might never let it be said that Julie is just a scary face; she is emerging as the latest class worrier to inhabit the education portfolio.
Following in the footsteps of Brendan Nelson's campaign against the Maoism in English departments the Stalinists in history, Julie has let loose on the worst dressed teachers in the academy, who are accused of running an extreme Green agenda.
The attack has taken a familiar arc - first the 'investigation' by The Australian newspaper; then the outraged comment and supportive editorial. Next they will be appointing Harry Butler to the ABC board!
The basis of this assault is that geography courses that consider ecological sustainability as part of its teachings about the study of the earth.
How could such extreme views have been propagated? Could it be that a discipline that focuses on maps, weather patterns and water flows, could be wondering why the text books need to be changed every few years?
The Bishop response - curricula celebrating coal mining and the hoofed beast's contribution to the national identity. Like the swagman who killed the sheep; digging holes and killing grass are to be to core competencies of our bright young geographers.
As Howard celebrated victory in the history wars while refusing to stick Al Gore in DVD player, Julie is at the barricades that really count., Like all wars, your enemies are everywhere and the only victory is an eternal vigilance, which in Julie's case has crossed into paranoia.
So let's slay the geography dragon and move to the next cesspit of extremism, maths - where long divisions is needlessly divisive and subtraction is plain negative. Bring it on, Julie
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