03 August 2009

Greens think parental choice is a myth

Yes, I am sufficiently annoyed by the Soviet style brainlessness of the Greens again to post.

Catherine Delahunty, who has long demonstrated a belief in mysticism and passionate embrace of the violent state, has made a rather banal post in Frogblog about educational choice. If anything it should simply harden attitudes against the likes of her and her friends holding their hands at the windpipe of the education sector.

She sees parental choice as a “myth”. Apparently if it is not important to Catherine, it shouldn’t be to other parents. Parents making choices means they are outside her control, and they may make choices she doesn’t approve of. Maybe sending children to Montessori school, or Catholic school. I doubt she would embrace either. She describes vouchers as a failed idea. It’s not my favourite idea, but in Sweden it has been a roaring success – it has seen umpteen private schools open – commercially run ones too (yes, the horror) AND there remains universal education, as every child gets an education voucher.

It is such a failure that the only political party in Sweden to still oppose it is the Left Party, formerly the Communists, who once supported the Soviet crackdown in Hungary in 1956. Take from that as you wish.

Delahunty quotes another person with similar intellectual rigour as herself, Liz Gordon (who famously said “there is only so much freedom to go around”), who apparently has critiqued ACT policy (although this does not appear anywhere online). The concern appears to be that the real agenda is to commercialise schools, which of course can only be bad.

Then she goes off on one of her typical non-sequiturs, because she talks about a school she likes, which is state owned. Fine. However, whilst examples of good state schools and teachers exist, there are also poor ones. Does she give a way to deliver good ones? No.

She says “quality public education” should be available everywhere, not just where there are “well resourced” parents. Which of course is a subtle use of language that tells you where she is coming from.

First, it should be public education. Why? She wont say. It’s as ideological as my commitment to getting the state out of education, but it’s something she doesn’t want to go on about.

Second, “well resourced parents”. Who resources them? Oh, maybe they got their own resources themselves, through their own efforts. Ah, but that upsets Catherine’s ideology that the world is a big bad capitalist place where fat cat men “allocate resources” unfairly, instead of to those who she loves. Not rather that people get resources through their own efforts, intelligence and convincing people that what they do is worthwhile.

So in conclusion she wants to “demand more for all children”, demand from whom Catherine? Oh, the parents who you don’t think need choice. Taxpayers without children, who are imposing the lowest “environmental footprint” as a result. Yes, take more from them to pay for those who do breed.

The mindlessness of it all tragically encapsulates the empty headed vacuous nature of the Green Party. Private education is “bad” because it just is, “commercialisation” of education is “bad” because it is (even though there is no indication ACT believes in this). Public education is “good” because it just is. School vouchers have “failed” without a shred of evidence, and parental choice is a “myth”, even though tens of thousands of parents choose now with their own money, also paying taxes to educate their children. As long as private schools exist there will be choice, but it is denied parents who cannot afford to pay twice for their kids’ education.

The Greens want everyone to have “quality public education”. Who defines quality? Well they do, since they want the state to provide it, and parents to have no choice. So what does this mean? The embracing of an education model that is little different from that seen in the former communist bloc. State education for all, providing the same “quality” (defined by politicians, bureaucrats and the monopoly suppliers of labour – teachers’ unions), meaning all children get the same start.

Oh and those parents wanting choice? Just fuck off you selfish “well resourced” commercialising “freedom” junkies. You just want to take from poor children, and not have to pay for the education of other kids. You want schools to be run as businesses where kids are brainwashed with your ideology, instead of our ideology. You don’t care do you? (time to cry).

I'll conclude with a statement from a former Swedish Minister of Education, Per Unckel “Education is so important that you can’t just leave it to one producer,”. Indeed you might even go to the biggest provider of private education in Sweden and see what you think.

After all, how long do you continue with the system you have before deciding how badly it performs?

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