Friday, October 08, 2004

it's your choice

It really gets to me when John Howard starts going on about "choice", like he did in his closing statement:

"There is a very strong philosophical difference that has opened up and it surrounds really the question of the Coalition’s commitment to choice against what I would describe as a preferred model of behaviour that would be rewarded and alternatives punished under a future Labor government led by Mr Latham. There is just a touch of the social engineer about all of this. There is a suggestion that if you behave in a particular fashion you will be rewarded. There is just a whiff of the behavioural policeman about my opponent in this election campaign."

Yeah, right. He can talk about whiff. He doesn't get it. Some people ain't got no choice, and probably never will. There isn't a level playing field, in case he hadn't noticed. All well and good if you can "choose" to (read: afford to) send your kid to a better school, but if you're just managing financially, as are many Australians, or you're struggling, you'd better hope you've got good public education available. Otherwise your kids are just going to perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
Howard gets uptight about Kings School again, pointing out how they only get about two grand a year per student from the public purse. Well, in my opinion that's still two grand too much for such a rich school. They don't need it, for pete's sake. Gimme a break about all this sense of entitlement they enjoy and so on. They don't need it. Full stop. It's not about envy, it's about realism. It's just bad economic management to throw good money where it's not needed.
When you read the transcript, seems Howard wants the Australian public to exercise choice on just about everything except something trivial like, say, going to war and getting the nation all muddled up in Mid-East politics that the Rodent and his half-assed menagerie don't fully understand.
No, it's not about "choice". Nor is it about "the philosophy of free will" as the Herald's sub put it in the headline of the edited version of the transcript. (Though, in fairness, it's Howard who talks about "the philosophical divide".) The philosophy of free will, huh? When was it ever about that? Non-Liberal voting Australians can still believe in free will, surely.