Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rudd Funds "Extremist Cult"...

Whilst everyone who regularly reads this will know, I was very against the Howard Government and strongly supported the Labor campaign for change. The basis of this wasnt really on the fundamentals of what a Labor govt would do as opposed to a Liberal one, but the driver was that I felt that the Liberal govt who had been in power for so many years had long ago ceased to be a government for the people and became a self driven machine that resulted in many instances of a lack of transparency. In short, they became self serving and not public serving.

Rudd campaigned about integrity and open and transparent government.

Now this:

In September 2006, a young Labor opposition front bencher named Kevin Rudd challenged the Howard Government on their support and funding of the religious cult / sect "The Brethran". At the time, it was highlighted by the Four Corners program that the Brethren received not only special funding but also critical excemptions from the Liberal Work Choices legislation. Many commentators / bloggers questioned whether the Prime Minister Howard was actually a member of the Brethren given his apparent generous and imbalanced support...

Fast forward to today and now the PM title sits with that very same frontbencher Mr Kevin Rudd. He now is reviewing the funding of Education at a Federal level and in the past week or so the media has picked up on the imbalances within the Liberal's scheme favouring Private education over Public. This shouldnt be a surprise as the Liberal cornerstone is privatisation and free market economic theory as opposed to state based schemes.

But why then has Rudd promised a whopping $10M of government funding for the Exclusive Brethren schools? Kevin Rudd has not hidden his Christianity at all during the election campaign and it wasnt an issue during the campaign as both candidates seemed equal in regards to their personal beliefs and outlooks in life. Whilst I am not of those same beliefs I feel that as long as a person does not use their political power to promote personal beliefs (i.e. Tony Abbott and Abortion / Birth Control legislation!) then a member of parliament can be of any faith whatsoever... seperation of Church and State if you like.

But now that he's in... he has done the opposite to a) his comments on the Exclusive Brethren b) his notion of fair funding for all school systems and c) has perhaps been influenced by his personal beliefs against the principals of the Labor Party and his very recent election campaign.

Views people?


Anonymous said...

i think you are being disingenious with the facts here Clay - The figure is expected to rise by $300,000 - not a promise of $10 million - 3% seems about right.

You can't stop funding schools because you disagree with their beliefs - as long as they are teaching the curriculum required and aren't training terrorists i can't see any difference to funding Joeys or Cranbrook or Kings.

And funding private schools of any religious persuasion is an argument for another time.

Clay said...

Yes, not wanting to get into the issue of funding of private secular schools over ones of a religious nature but there are a few differences here.

1. You must be a member of the Exclusive Brethren to attend. Whilst most people attending Catholic schools are Catholic, you dont technically have to be Catholic.

2. How many Brethren schools are there? $10M for a couple of schools for a comparitevly small number of students? Your local Brethren school is no where near the equivalent Patrician Brothers for example... they are small, isolated, insular schools...

3. You mention terrorists? What schools teach terrorism? You're of course referring to the proposed Muslim School... the media sensationalised this by claiming Muslim Schools will teach terrorism. That is a load of bullshit.

For a man who said the Brethren were an extremist cult (his words) and also a man charged with bringing a sense of equality to education funding, you have to agree $10M for a very minor school system is a bit over the top.

My post wasnt to stir debate of religion or the Brethren themselves, but rather that Rudd had his first opportunity to kick a goal for his new role and he missed it... and in fact kicked it into his own net!

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd like that news clay.

Best news is you don't need to worry about incurring the brethren followers wrath as they are unable/severely moderate in use of the internet. Laptop for every child... as long as they don't read clays blog.


Clay said...


/me rejoices!