A Conga Line of Gladys Kravitzs

Today must be Spartacus’ day of reflection.  Everything seems to hark back to his misspent youth.

Again, a long long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Spartacus used to watch a TV show called Bewitched.  In the show, there was a character called Gladys Kravitz.

The name itself, Gladys Kravitz, has an onomatopoeic quality, because you see, Gladys, was a busy-body.  She used to stick her nose into everything and everywhere.  Her particular focus was what her neighbours were doing.  If it was happening in her line of sight, Gladys needed to know about it and meddle into it.  Even if if was not line of sign, Gladys would reposition herself to make sure she was in line of sight.

But who needs television when we have Canberra and the Commonwealth Government, our own pesky Kravitz who wants to meddle into every nook and cranny of our lives.

This morning, the Australian reported about the poor state of Australia’s education:

The maths, reading and science skills of average Australian students are barely on par with Singapore’s most disadvantaged teenagers and risk undermining Australia’s economic prosperity.

A fair and just observation.  But within a matter of hours, the Canberra establishment came out fighting:

Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar has blamed teachers’ unions for being a “roadblock’’ standing in the way of the government’s efforts to improve teacher quality and empower principals to halt Australia’s academic slide.

To a degree, Assistant Minister Sukkar might be right about the role of teacher’s unions.  But I don’t seem to recall the Commonwealth Government employing any teachers thus bringing them into direct negotiation with teacher’s unions.  Actually, I don’t seem to recall the Commonwealth Government running a single school or teaching a single child.

It is almost certain that where there is a policy cluster-flock in Australia, it is where the Commonwealth meddles in matters that belong to the states.  In these areas, the outcomes are appalling and the costs are horrendous.  Energy, education, health, mining immediately come to mind.  The framers of our constitution foresaw this problem and included Section 51 into the Australian Constitution.

It is Section 51 that generally limits the areas where the Commonwealth can legislate, and guess what, energy, education, health, mining are not there.

Section 42 of the Australian Constitution requires that every Senator and every Member of Parliament take a prescribed oath or affirmation before taking their seat.  The oath/affirmation is an allegiance to the Queen.  Perhaps before taking their seats, every every Senator and every Member of Parliament:

  • be issued with a copy of the constitution;
  • be given a test on the constitution (like a driving test or a citizenship test); and
  • swear allegiance to the constitution

before swearing allegiance to the Queen.

There is a form of management practice called Seagull Management.  It is the preferred form of “management” by government.  It goes like this.  A seagull manager flies above everything but occasionally swoops down and craps on the heads of those below and swoops back up.  According to National Geographic:

Seagulls can spread disease and be a safety hazard.

The problem we currently have is that every election, when we “shoo” away one set of irritating disease spreading seagulls, they are replaced by another set of irritating disease spreading seagulls.  Labor, Liberal, National, Green.  They are all seagulls who swoop down and crap on our heads.  We need to get rid of these Kravitz seagulls and not just rotate them.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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20 Responses to A Conga Line of Gladys Kravitzs

  1. stackja

    Alice Pearce kept us entertained.

  2. Roberto

    Gladys was the best part of the show. And the rare appearances from Maurice Evans as Samantha’s father.

  3. Howard Hill

    The maths, reading and science skills of average Australian students are barely on par with Singapore’s most disadvantaged teenagers

    So retards in Singapore are smarter than the average Aussie kid, LOL!
    Lucky they didn’t test Kim Yong Andrews or the results would have been eye watering ROFL!

  4. RobK

    I’ve heard a BB pellet gun is effective on seagulls.

  5. Squirrel

    One of the reasons we have things like Assistant Ministers for Education at the Commonwealth level is because the Commonwealth Parliament is too large, and a government (typically with at least 105 MPs and Senators to keep occupied) will always be looking for new things to spend money on.

    “Efficiency Dividends” have been applied to unelected officials for many years, so perhaps it is time to have a catch-up efficiency dividend for the elected officials – 25% to 30% reduction in numbers would be a good start.

  6. zyconoclast

    So retards in Singapore are smarter than the average Aussie kid, LOL!
    Lucky they didn’t test Kim Yong Andrews or the results would have been eye watering ROFL!

    In educating the young in p3do molesting, sodomy and zoo couples the Singaporean children are left way behind.

    Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

  7. lotocoti

    Actually, I don’t seem to recall the Commonwealth Government running a single school or teaching a single child.

    Actually, I do.
    Having the death penalty on the books made for a very orderly classroom.

  8. miltonf

    Not trying to defend the Feds Spartacus, but I believe the Commonwealth used to run schools in the ACT and NT b4 self government. But that’s ancient history. Canberra meddling, incompetence and malice is major cause of this wonderful country’s problems.

  9. Andrew

    I don’t understand the onomatopoea reference for Gladys.

  10. Warty

    Andrew: you don’t understand the onomatopoeia reference there, because Spartacus slipped up a little. As you would have guessed, and which is why you are left scratching your head, an onomatopoeic word is one that attempts to sound like the object it represents. So ‘splash’ and ‘plop’ are watery sounds attempting to represent the actual sound of something landing in water. So with ‘Gladys Kravitz’ there a hint of assonance, and a repeat of sibilant sounds at the end of each word, leading one to conclude there is a vague alliterative effect, but that’s all. Gladys doesn’t ‘clang’ and Kravitz may not ‘bang’, so leave aside the ‘tang’ of unadulterated blooper.

  11. NuThink

    Seagulls can also identify hot chips from a long way away and swoop. Just the same, anything that is enjoyable will be identified from a long way away in Canberra and swoop in to relieve you of it.

  12. Robbo

    A massive number of teachers in primary and secondary schools in Australia would fail a decent test in spelling and grammar. The same applies to a massive number of so-called journalists and commentators in our media outlets.
    What hope have young Australians got when those they rely on for most of their education and news are verging on the illiterate?

  13. Rob MW

    A seagull manager flies above everything but occasionally swoops down and craps on the heads of those below and swoops back up. According to National Geographic:

    Yes but the central tenet is that an educated seagull only occasionally craps on the heads of those below whereas, an uneducated seagull indiscriminately shits on the heads of everything below; how else is the education system going to produce the desired avalanche of dumb-ass social justice warriors ?

  14. egg_

    A seagull manager flies above everything but occasionally swoops down and craps on the heads of those below and swoops back up.

    If it’s a “conga line of suckholes” – the intermediate narcs will suck up but punch down, so it’s likely that the (clueless) wokkas will be indiscriminately crapped on.

  15. The BigBlueCat

    The adage about “seagull managers” goes like this: they arrive uninvited, they make a lot of noise, they crap all over the place, and then they leave.

  16. Crossie

    “Efficiency Dividends” have been applied to unelected officials for many years, so perhaps it is time to have a catch-up efficiency dividend for the elected officials – 25% to 30% reduction in numbers would be a good start.

    Every three years when the workplace enterprise agreement expires and a new one is negotiated we are asked to give up something in exchange for a pay rise yet our elected reprentatives simply vote themselves fabulous remuneration increases without even a by-your-leave.

    Some productivity increases should be included at each election for our approval but I am more likely to travel to the moon than that ever happening.

  17. Crossie

    What hope have young Australians got when those they rely on for most of their education and news are verging on the illiterate?

    Some of the younger journalists can’t even pronounce Australia properly and the difference between fewer and less completely eludes them.

  18. Diogenes

    The areas in education, other than cash, where the feds have direct input is AITSL, ACARA , ASQA, ACECQA and SCEEC (formerly mcyccedya , and before that myccetya),
    AITSL how teachers how they will be trained and standards against which we will be held accountable, and incredibly there are 30 something standards , only one of which mentions classroom management – which is now starting to emerge as a cause of our poor performance – to quote year 10 ‘well durrrrrr.

    Acara tells us what we have to teach, and despite the Pyne review, is still an inch deep and mile wide and full of cross curriculum crap (sustainability, indigeneous culture and engagement with Asia)

    Asqa and acesqa do the same as acara, except for tafe and early education repectively.

    SCEEC gives all the others their marching orders in the form of directions. We are about due for another ‘declaration’ on education that will set the priorities for the 2020s – lets see what crap we have will have to include this time

  19. old bloke

    The maths, reading and science skills of average Australian students are barely on par with Singapore’s most disadvantaged teenagers and risk undermining Australia’s economic prosperity.

    That’s not a problem, Malcolm says that Gonski MkII will fix it. Just you wait and see.

  20. True Aussie

    Government schooling is antiquated. Homeschooling is the future. With the rise of the internet there is no longer any need to jam 30 bored kids into a classroom in front of an uncaring teacher for the majority of their childhood. Everything of value a kid learns in school can be taught before lunch at home, with less distractions and more teacher to student focus. Private tutors can pick up the slack when teenagers surpass their parent’s knowledge of a subject. The much vaunted social aspect of schooling which homeschool detractors screech about can be achieved through out of school activities and sports.

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