Tony Abbott came out today and labelled the Safe Schools ‘All of Us’ school program as social engineering:
‘It’s not an anti-bullying program … its funding should be terminated,’ Mr Abbott told The Australian…
I found this remark to be very interesting given that it was Abbott’s government which launched the program:
The Safe Schools teaching manual, set up by Labor but launched by the Coalition in 2014, has been under fire in recent weeks from conservative politicians, the ACL and News Corp newspapers.
Sources said this was not the first time the party room had discussed the Safe Schools program, with concerns also raised under Tony Abbott’s leadership.
Given Abbott’s clear views expressed today on the program, how could it possibly have been launched under his watch?
When I wrote about this last week, I speculated that Abbott may have felt like it was a fight he couldn’t afford to have given his popularity issues. Perhaps this is still true, particularly if you believe The Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘sources’ (*) that there were party room discussions about the program while Abbott was leader (I wonder if he was present?).
(*) as a general rule, you shouldn’t.
However, if that was the case, then why would Abbott say anything at all now? It’s hardly in his interest to do so – all it would show is that he didn’t have control of the party room as leader.
Perhaps Abbott wasn’t aware of the program until well after it had been launched? After all, the cost was ‘only’ $8 million (and pretty much already spent), so it might not have made his radar. Which then begs the obvious question (which should be asked regardless): which flake was the Education Minister at the time?
Now this is where things get interesting…
I’m not going to get involved with any unsubstantiated rumours regarding Christopher Pyne – you’re more than capable of doing that yourself if you want to. However, I will say that he voted for Turnbull in the leadership spill:
In South Australia, the moderate faction led by Christopher Pyne and Simon Birmingham delivered Mr Turnbull seven of the state’s 11 votes.
Wait a minute, who’s the current Education Minister? Ah, yes. Excellent.
Isn’t it curious how political circles manage to complete themselves so neatly?
Whatever the case, Abbott probably should have refrained from flapping his jaw on this one (even though he was right).