Monday, October 13, 2008

Milne Watch 3

I note that Kim from Larvatus Prodeo has beaten me to the keyboard on this, but Glenn Milne has produced an inane channeling of Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne that is complete guff even by his standards.

Under the misleading title 'New Class Warfare', Milne has hoisted Pyne onto some form of 'pantheon' he has constructed (of what, shadow ministers?), and some form of 'ascension' (to what is unclear, except to the Shadow Ministry). Milne has basically reproduced what Christopher Pyne will say in Parliament this week about the Federal Government's new Education bill under the spurious guise of an analysis of schools policy:

this amounts to a realisation: that it was Rudd's successful subterfuge of political values that led directly to his victory in November 2007. The Coalition to date has allowed itself to be mugged by the proposition that Rudd is John Howard lite, without putting up a decent fight to the contrary. And it is Christopher Pyne who lighted on to this proposition first.

Pyne, one of Turnbull's key leadership backers, has now been promoted into the frontline education portfolio and it is Julia Gillard, his opposite, whom he now has in his sights. Pyne has finally assumed his rightful position at the epicentre of the Opposition, a role that was bloodymindedly denied him by Howard for two reasons: he was a Liberal progressive and he was a supporter of Peter Costello. It was enough to generate such negative personal energy from Howard that he continually blocked Pyne's promotion in what turned out to be part of an act of self-destruction.

Pyne is now where he wants to be in the Liberal pantheon and, more critically, where Turnbull wants him to be. If Pyne gets his way, Gillard is about to be the first to have to come to grips with his ascension by way of her introduction this week into the parliament of the Schools Assistance Bill 2008, the new quadrennial funding legislation for the private and state school systems.

To give Mine some credit, he admits in the column that he has basically reproduced what Chris Pyne told him and passed it off as an op-ed piece for The Australian:

One quick postscript: much of the research work on this issue was done by the former Opposition education spokesman, Tony Smith. Smith voted for Brendan Nelson in the recent leadership ballot and went to the outer ministry. He still handed over his homework to Pyne, a Turnbull numbers man.

That constitutes a message and it is this. Memo to Kevin Rudd: these guys think they can win. And they will now do whatever it takes to do so.

Memo to readers of The Australian. If you want to see the Media Releases of Coalition Shadow Ministers, you can get them off the Web without having them passed off as the 'analysis' of Glenn Milne. And you can get them without words such as 'pantheon' and 'ascension'.

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