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Downer gets paranoid about Canberra students at the National Museum

By pierce - 9 August 2007 71

According to this story in the SMH and Perth’s Sunday Times, Federal Foreign Affairs Minister (and former fishnet stocking model) Alexander Downer yesterday lost his cool when asked by students from Narrabundah College about the Howard Government’s environmental policies and heavily election advertising spending during an appearance at Talkback Classroom at the National Museum.

He implied that questions were planted by the Labor party, saying “It sounds like your questions come from a familiar source”.

“A source I’m very familiar with, I’d say they’ve written them well for you,” the minister said, suggesting he thought the questions were supplied by Labor.

He was later not heard to mutter under his breath about “extraordinary rendition”.

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71 Responses to
Downer gets paranoid about Canberra students at the National Museum
Slinky the Shocker 12:54 pm 09 Aug 07

Wow… Downer must really have some faith in the education system. Senior students being the puppets of parties, what a lot of &*#&. Sorry Lexi I know it’s discouraged in times of Big Brother and Idol, but some kids read books, and some even read books by the Australian of the Year.

Embarassing for a politics pro of old private school noblesse to be outdebated by a public school kid!
And yes, Ralph, people mellow down (even I, hehe), but students who think outside the box are an important part of democracy.

DarkLadyWolfMother 12:39 pm 09 Aug 07

Generalisations are always a wonderful thing.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 12:20 pm 09 Aug 07

I always found compulsory student unionism to be one of the stupidiest, most laughable concepts ever. The very fact the the only way student unions ever really survived was because people were forced to contribute says it all, really. “You need to be represented and we’re the only ones who can do it – you don’t get a choice”! Yeah, that’s what expanding your education and mind is all about!

I always resented paying my ‘union dues’ when I was at uni, and toward the end simply stopped paying (no-one came asking for the money – too disorganised I guess).

p1 12:15 pm 09 Aug 07

“Here’s the deal: I’ll give up voting if I can give up paying tax.”

Ahhhh, Voluntary Student Unionism extended to the whole country. Sounds like a plan that the Liberal Party would be all over.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 12:01 pm 09 Aug 07

I would have thought that old people, being cynical in nature are less easily bought (unless by direct benefits). Not that I am old, you understand…

Here’s the deal: I’ll give up voting if I can give up paying tax.

caf 11:34 am 09 Aug 07

One could counter with: Old people, being cynical by nature, are easily bought. There is some merit in setting a maximum voting age of 50.

caf 11:33 am 09 Aug 07

Only if you accept that idealism is self-evidently a bad thing, which I for one don’t.

Ralph 10:53 am 09 Aug 07

Indeed. They’re just young and idealistic. Even I used to read the Green Left Weekly when I was an undergraduate. Part of being young and silly.

Young people, being idealistic by nature, are easily captured. There is some merit in raising the voting age to 21.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 10:29 am 09 Aug 07

Who gives a crap what a bunch of students think anyway? They’re still years off being cycnical and greedy, and registered voters.

DarkLadyWolfMother 10:22 am 09 Aug 07

It’s amazing to think that some students might even be interested in issues and learn about them independently these days. I’ve even heard rumours some students think for themselves!

Wouldn’t have happened in my day.

Absent Diane 10:13 am 09 Aug 07

People brainwashed by illogical money driven agendas. Happens all the time these days.

flyingblind 10:09 am 09 Aug 07

poor old Lex Downer getting the hard word from some students, reminds me of the fearless Minister for Defence running away from an angry mob of student protesters last year.

Its good sport to watch these blow hards face ‘the people’ and not the sycophantic major media peeps who don’t like asking the hard questions for fear of upsetting their bosses.

Ralph 10:09 am 09 Aug 07

So they managed to come to such conclusions in a half a day then? I doubt it.

pierce 10:00 am 09 Aug 07

From the article:

Talkback classroom producer Stephen Cutting said the students had been briefed by a variety of sources, including Mr Downer’s office, Labor, the federal parliamentary library, business and industry.

“I think comments like that underline the effectiveness of how these kids learn the issues, they’ve met with many experts, they’ve been briefed by everybody including Mr Downer’s own office,” he said.

“(But) it’s up to students what they glean from the whole experience and they formulate the questions.”

Ralph 9:38 am 09 Aug 07

Students brainwashed by socialist teachers. Happens all the time these days.

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