I knew they would be hopeless. I am referring of course to the Liberal/National Coalition. They are after all the same clowns who, last time around, gave us “children overboard”, Tampa, the AWB scandal and the Haneef debacle. They deported an Australian citizen. They sold off our gold reserves at el cheapo prices. Their sale of Telstra was a schemozzle – stupidly including the core infrastructure, a natural monopoly. To buy elections they bribed the middle classes. This created a structural budget imbalance plus a sense of middle class entitlement. The list of their calamitous blunders was very long. Maybe to be explored another time.

Yes, their record in government last time was indeed dismal.

But I did not believe that even they could be as pathetic as they have been in the first three months of their current term. Bungle after bungle.

One of their more recent bungles is the 180 degree backflip on Education funding. Actually this is a betrayal rather than bungle.

Today we have Tony Abbott brazenly asserting:

“We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make.”

Tony Abbott and his co-conspirators are not just air-brushing history – they are taking an axe to it. Are we going to let them get away with it?

The Coalition spin-merchants have been busy of late sanitizing the web by removing certain of Abbott’s previous speeches. I wonder therefore how much longer the following will remain on Christopher Pyne’s website (http://www.pyneonline.com.au/media/media-releases/aeus-dishonest-campaign-on-school-funding).

The Australian Education Union (AEU) has this week been caught out distributing blatantly dishonest claims on school funding in South Australia.

At primary schools in South Australia, the AEU has distributed misleading campaign material entitled ‘A message from local principals and teachers’. This ‘message’ is actually from the AEU and is authorised by its Federal Secretary in Melbourne.

The AEU’s dishonest ‘message’ claims that the Coalition would deliver only one third of total funding agreed to in the South Australian school funding agreement.

This is false.

Tony Abbott and the Coalition have confirmed that they will commit the same amount of federal school funding as the Government over the forward estimates. Every single school in Australia will receive, dollar for dollar, the same federal funding over the next four years whether there is a Liberal or Labor Government after September 7.

Just check out that last sentence carefully:

Every single school in Australia will receive, dollar for dollar, the same federal funding over the next four years whether there is a Liberal or Labor Government after September 7

Sounds a very explicit promise to me Mr Pyne and Mr Abbott. Every school. Dollar for dollar. No weasel words about overall envelope. Or one year funding only.
You promised. In black and white.
On that basis you won government with a swathe of marginal seats.
How many votes swung your way in those seats because you put voters’ minds at rest that you would maintain Labor’s Gonski initiatives? You gained those votes because you LIED to voters!

Now we know for certain that you are both just liars and cheats. Not to be trusted. Not worthy of government.

You lied.

Not in the way in which you falsely claimed over and over again that PM Julia Gillard lied about a carbon tax. Gillard said she did not rule out introducing a price on carbon – and that is what Labor did. What the Gillard Government did was consistent with what she said. It was you who misrepresented her. (Now you have the hide to misrepresent your own words.)

And Labor did not gain government in 2010 without the support of Greens and independents. Gillard needed to negotiate. That was not kowtowing to those groups but it was respecting the democratic outcome of the election.

You on the other hand have no excuse in 2013 for abandoning your explicit campaign promise on Education funding. If you continue to do so, you also abandon any right to call yourselves a legitimate government because you have clearly cheated and lied your way into office.

And where are the clowns? Send in the Clowns, Don’t bother, they’re here.

(My apologies to real clowns who do have integrity. And acknowledgements to Stephen Sondheim.)


It appears today that Abbot & Pyne have been sufficiently humiliated to cave in.

They are playing all Australians for fools. As with their appalling cheating on their expenses, it is a case of whatever they can get away with, goes.

This time they got caught. It is up to us to keep them to account.

Clearly from the evidence of today’s media, there is no chance that the Murdoch press will question or challenge them, ever.  All we got was the same sickening obsequiousness from the likes of Bolt today – and no mention in the Telegraph of this current debacle at all.