Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Ruddy gestures

Kevvy is a prolific user of gestures in his many speeches.  And someone at the ABC was so amused that they created the gifs below to illustrate his repertoire  --together with mocking captions

Cut & Zip
  Cut and zip


Cat Paw Double Swipe
  Cat paw double swipe


AFL Goal
  AFL goal

Cut, Cut, Cut


Big Fish
  Big fish

Boom, Boom, Boom
  Boom Boom Boom


Casual Darts Throw
  Casual dart throw

Destroy The Evidence
  Destroy the evidence

Double Dead Spider
  Double dead spider

Jazz Hands
  Jazz hands


Prices Are Down
  Prices are down

People smugglers to defy  Kevin Rudd's stance on asylum seekers

KEVIN Rudd's Government says it has beaten the people smugglers, but it's not what this man and many like him think.

Smuggler Amir Shojaei took this selfie after collecting $35,000 to take eight members of the Sakhravi family, from Iran, to Christmas Island by boat.  Two days later, Shojaei's phone went dead and the Sakhravis lost every cent.

Immigration Minister Tony Burke yesterday claimed Labor had "broken the back of the people-smuggling trade", but Java's smugglers are now offering massive discounts to poor asylum-seekers or, for the wealthy, express speedboat rides to join bigger boats north of Christmas Island.

And whoever wins Saturday's election will have a new problem, with a wave of Syrians expected to start filtering, and then rushing, to Indonesia, any time now.

Amir Shojaei and his like will be ready.


Coalition government to review unions and ALP presence in history curriculum

TONY Abbott has rebooted the history wars with a warning too much emphasis on left wing politics in the national curriculum will be reviewed by a Coalition government.

The Opposition leader told the National Press Club the curriculum lacks focus on Australia's past, "other than indigenous heritage" and has "too great a focus on issues which are the predominant concern of one side of politics".

"I think the unions are mentioned far more than business," Mr Abbott said.  "I think there are a couple of Labor prime ministers who get a mention, from memory not a single Coalition prime minister. So I think it is possible to do better."

The only Prime Minister mentioned by name in the foundation to Year 10 curriculum is John Curtin, who led the Labor Party from 1935 to 1945.

Mr Abbott said any changes to the curriculum would be guided by "professional educators", but it is unclear how this will happen, given that the Coalition school's policy, unveiled last week, reveals plans to "refocus" the body that implements the curriculum.

"I think we're entitled to say (we) could do better. I think we're entitled to say maybe you ought to have a rethink about this, but what actually happens is ultimately a matter for them," he said.

The move comes after News Corp reported earlier this year the "black armband" view of how the Anzac legend is taught would also be changed by an incoming Abbot government.

Shadow education spokesman Christopher Pyne said in April one of the first education priorities of the Coalition would be restore Anzac Day to its "rightful" place of respect.

Critics of the curriculum say a trend towards political correctness means history classes are placing undue emphasis on indigenous culture, Asia and sustainability, with Anzac Day mentioned in the context of other national days such as Ramadan and Buddha Day.

Labor introduced a national curriculum in 2011 for English, Science, Maths and History, with the remainder of the syllabus scheduled to be implemented by 2016.

Australian Education Union Angelo Gavrielatos said the Coalition's claims of a left wing bias in the curriculum were incorrect.

"We certainly hope that this is not an indication of an intent to reinstate the culture wars of the past," Mr Gavrielatos said, referring to heated debate during the Howard government years over the emphasis of England's role in Australia's history.

The "history wars" were a feature of the Howard government, with the then Prime Minister in 2006 calling for changes in the way children were taught about Australia's past and an end to the "divisive, phony debate about national identity".

Mr Howard used his Australia Day address to the National Press Club on the 10th anniversary of his leadership to call for a "coalition of the willing" to promote changes to the teaching of history, which he said was neglected in schools, slanted towards apologising for the past and questioning national achievement.

"Too often, it is taught without any sense of structured narrative, replaced by a fragmented stew of 'themes' and 'issues'," Mr Howard said. "And too often, history, along with other subjects in the humanities, has succumbed to a postmodern culture of relativism where any objective record of achievement is questioned or repudiated.

"Part of preparing young Australians to be informed and active citizens is to teach them the central currents of our nation's development."

NSW Teacher's Federation president Maurie Mulheron said Mr Abbott was seeking to "politicise" the curriculum.

"It's a shame because of the extraordinary work of so many teachers involved in writing the syllabus, and now they are going to start questioning the professionalism of those teachers," he said.

Mr Pyne said the Coalition would take away ACARA's assessment role, which has been increasingly controversial in the wake of criticism of the NAPLAN regime - which an Abbott government would also review.

"We will refocus the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, to ensure that it is focused on developing the highest standard curriculum documents," Mr Pyne said.

"It will become the Australian Curriculum Authority, but the agency will retain its existing responsibility for drafting the national curriculum documents on behalf of the Federal Government and the States and Territories."

Mr Pyne said the Coalition had been calling for the curriculum "to give appropriate weight to our western and Judeo-Christian heritage as a nation" since it was first drafted.

A spokesperson for ACARA said "ACARA, as an independent authority, would not comment on statements made in the lead up to the election. The F-10 history curriculum approved by the Council of Federal, State and Territory Education Ministers is available on the Australian Curriculum website."


Liberal candidate links asylum seekers to traffic jams and hospital queues

A Liberal candidate in western Sydney has said she believes asylum seekers are contributing to outer-suburban traffic jams.  "[Asylum seekers are] a hot topic here because our traffic is overcrowded," Fiona Scott, the Liberal candidate for the seat of Lindsay told the ABC's 4 Corners program.

When asked to explain her view she said: "Go sit on the M4, people see 50,000 people come in by boat - that's more than twice the population of [western Sydney suburb] Glenmore Park," she said.

Ms Scott also suggested asylum seekers were exacerbating hospital waiting queues.

Ms Scott is challenging Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury in the September election. She came to prominence last month when Tony Abbott controversially described her as having "sex appeal".

While visiting western Sydney earlier in the election campaign, Mr Abbott was asked what Ms Scott had in common with the former Coalition MP for Lindsay Jackie Kelly.

"They've young, they're feisty," Mr Abbott said. "I can probably say they have a bit of sex appeal. And are just very, very connected with the local area."

His comment resurrected debate about Mr Abbott's perceived "woman problem", however Ms Scott defended the Opposition Leader saying there was no need to apologise. She said his comment was "an absolute charming compliment between friends".

4 Corners also revealed that Kevin Rudd, though critical of Mr Abbott's remark, had apparently given Fiona McNamara, candidate for Brisbane, advice on how to wear her hair.  "I don't think I've ever said anything to Fiona about the way in which she presents," he told the program.

But this was contradicted when Ms McNamara, days earlier, had relayed a conversation with the Prime Minister.  "He likes me to have it pulled back a bit, so people can see my face," she said.  "There is a problem sometimes with women's hair in their face, and it's probably a bit neater."

But Ms McNamara said she had herself initiated the conversation about her hair, over a cup of tea.  "I said, 'Oh, I'm not sure about how I should be wearing my hair."'


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