The Public Service

Mustafa Erem  asks : Where the good old public service is fair – equal grade, equal pay – SMH 7 Oct.   If you are old enough to remember, Mustafa Erem you would recall the days when heads of Departments were not the minions of their Ministers; when those Heads of Departments could give honest, unbiased, independent advice to their Ministers because they were not bought and paid for by Ministers – they were independent; when there were grades and proper pay for grades; if you attained a grade you got the pay. The Public Service was respected and young, bright people leaving school tried for jobs in the Public Service. There’s just something about the Public Service of the past, Mustafa, something with credibility, honesty – something to be looked up to… something to be proud of.


The poor old HSC

So now, the latest of many ideas in the educating of our young people, they will actually sit for the HSC and will need to pass.
This will be a big shock because students have lived on the “you don’t need to pass the HSC” for several years with a resultant casual attitude towards this exam and probably a whole wave of students lacking literacy, numeracy and writing skills for their future in jobs/university.
Wouldn’t it be good if the brains behind the education system could settle down and actually TEACH the basics and stop trying out ideas on our poor confused students.

Part 2 – Do we want a Republic

Regarding the Republic I suggest that we ask Prince Charles – he may be willing to “Patron” the new Party – hasn’t he told us several times over the years that he couldn’t believe that we haven’t yet grasped the nettle. Anybody as old as I am would remember that there were moves and agitation pre-WW2 towards a Republic but the War intervened and youthful exuberance – not “King and country” as some like to say/think took over.  I never heard (yes, that’s how old I am) a soldier/sailor/airman say they were going to fight for king and country.  They were very often unemployed (33% unemployed prior to the War during the Great Depression and mostly women could not work) ; it was a job; there would be travel; mates were joining up and “we would be home for Christmas”.
But “do we want a republic” and my suggestion is to start a Party – a Parliamentary Party who could represent our wishes.   The point is – A Party would have leverage in Parliament (see Hanson, Xenophon, etc. etc.) and I do think that there would be many on the Coalition side of politics favouring the Party.  The Labor Party has a Republic on their Agenda – so no trouble there – but we need voices in Parliament…good intelligent voices to make a case for a rapid, orderly move from the Monarchy stage through to an Australian Republic – We need preparation; organisation; Parliamentary publicity; many people to appeal to young people who, dare I say it – don’t take much notice of anything in the media or on TV –  not from the point of view of “what will it do for me” but “it’s a principle”.


The Ethics furore

People are getting their knickers in a knot – again – about the teaching of ethics in schools, so will someone please enlighten me…what is ethics based on?..Is the subject “ethics” based on the 10 Commandments – the basis of just about all morality rules in the Judeo-Christian world to enable people to “live harmoniously in this troubled world” – if they follow the rules.
I don’t think the subject matter can stand alone, it needs a basis – so is the basis for “ethics” the 10 Commandments, or the Koran, or Sharia law, or what?? Pray tell me (oops sorry! Is “pray” a religious word).
It might help those proponents of ethics to actually read and understand the “10 Commandments” the most comprehensive set of rules for humankind… and “Bless you” for your patience (sorry, it just slipped out)… and it would help if all the hysterics went out of the discussion.

Who said Private is best

It was a very interesting discussion on ABC this morning (Tuesday) – How would we cope with the numbers of houses/apartments required over the next few years – we do not have the apprentices coming through as once they did…the Tradies who regularly came from The Railways, The Water Board, The SCC, backed by the hugely respected TAFE.
No, we have Private Colleges supposed to do so much of the apprentice-preparation teaching formerly done by TAFE and all we are getting are under-instructed apprentices and millions of dollars of taxpayers money finding a home in bankrupt’s pockets.
Whoever said Private is better and cheaper? Let’s go back to the tried and true TAFE. Let’s educate our own tradies and not need to bring them in from overseas.


Another day…another new school year and what will it bring? I suggest that it would be great for it to bring “back to basics” in Primary school. If kids learn the basics they will absorb the higher subjects – later – in their school lives – much better and perhaps we won’t be hearing about “arriving at Uni unable to read ” or “finishing school unable to put two words together intelligently”.
So back to basics – start school to be educated with a good foundation.

COURTESY on public occasions

Ball boys hand out towels; someone opens the doors of the car when arriving at, say, a public occasion; someone opens doors of houses (e.g. No. 10 Downing St) and in palaces (Buckingham Palace) but are these “givers” ever thanked? I have never noticed an exchange, even a smile, as these courtesies are given. The givers could be invisible for all the attention they get.