Downer gets paranoid about Canberra students at the National Museum

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
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Slinky the Shocker Slinky the Shocker 7:47 pm 09 Aug 07

This entire debate is the reason why the Libs are soon to be history: Howard and his supporters are completely out of touch with the public. If anything doesn’t go their way then it’s the ‘stupid public’ who ‘can’t think for themselves’ and are ‘brainwashed’ by the forces of evil.

“Families have never had it that easy, what are you whining about a mortgage.” “Education is better than ever”. “Scientists know nothing about climate change”. And everyone who disagrees is called stupid.

Anyone wanna be called stupid? It’s time to develop some serious tall poppy syndrome. (or short poppy for Johnny)

sepi sepi 7:46 pm 09 Aug 07

Teenagers are supposed to be idealistic, environmentally conscious and not identify with the elderly, or boring authority figures.

Frankly I’d be more worried if high schoolers were fans of Howard and Downer.

Who bases their life solely on what teachers say anyway?

Nemo Nemo 7:02 pm 09 Aug 07

I’ve also worked as a teacher in the ACT. Ralph is spot on.

Slinky the Shocker Slinky the Shocker 6:51 pm 09 Aug 07

And no… I didn’t go to Narrabundah, the mistakes in above rant can be attributed to after work drinks…

Slinky the Shocker Slinky the Shocker 6:45 pm 09 Aug 07

Nemo: Yes, I agree with you that whole schools writing to the minister is not individual thinking.
However this thread is about a smart 18 or so year old being alleged as a plant by a party. As asp also points out, a lot of the Narrabundah kids can’t stand labour either.
And talking about brainwashing: whoever raves about brainwashing by the popular media? Fox Newspaper aka the Australian, or the “current affairs” shows. They are ‘brainwashing’ and so is JJJ on the other side. Get over it. If students are taught to think for themselves, they should filter it out.I had a fair share of right-wing teachers too, and I reckon they shaped my left wing opinion in some way…

As far as I can interpret nyssa’s interviews: Maybe young people voting for Howard has something to do with him not appealing for them or in general not giving a shit about their problems? Houses are not affordable anymore for 1st home buyers, education costs more and more by the year, the gap between rich and poor is widening, young folks worry more about the environment… (I’m an old bastard though, so just guessing)

Has anyone else got the feeling that Ralph might be a comedian try to stir something up? Loadedog, is that you???

nyssa76 nyssa76 6:38 pm 09 Aug 07

And then they wonder why students don’t speak up – they are ridiculed for saying what they think or it is their teacher’s view.

What a load of shit Ralph.

I remember once (Yr 12ish) being interviewed as to who I was voting for in 1996. I said it wasn’t going to be Howard, put forth my ideas etc, as did the other 5 students interviewed.

We all agreed that Howard was a bad choice. The radio station that aired it was called biased – 6 students, different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Students have brains and can think for themselves, when ignorant shits like you let them.

Oh and FYI have a look at the ACTDET website as to what we are expected to teach – see ELAs. I’d take the time to explain them all to you but honestly I can’t be stuffed. You’re ignorance of ACT curriculum astounds me.

DIGRIZ DIGRIZ 6:06 pm 09 Aug 07

My god. Students questioning their elders and betters on policy? It must be a pinko, commie, hippy, lefty, union bosses plot! Jeezus, isn’t the whole point of the Talkback classroom to ask real questions of Pollies, instead who their favourite Idol is, or what kind stockings they wear?

Nemo Nemo 5:28 pm 09 Aug 07

Slinky, I have no doubt Alex is a very smart kid and is able to think outside the box.

I think you missed my point. Whole schools writing to the minister on particular issues, this isn’t individual thinking, it is brainwashing.

Asp’s comments about the political agenda of teachers at Narrabundah college only go further to support this.

Ralph Ralph 5:22 pm 09 Aug 07

Just pointing out the irony, that he/she was making a statement that said kiddies from Narrabundah are really smart, yet the poor spelling and grammar didn’t reflect that. But hey, that’s OK these days, apparently, how he/she feels about it is more important than trivial things like spelling.

barking toad barking toad 5:17 pm 09 Aug 07

I think I’m getting hot for ralph

The rest of you are hippies

Nemo Nemo 5:16 pm 09 Aug 07

“Take it from me, the teachers there are anti-howard, anti-liberal and pro Union.”

What happened to balance and making up your own mind.

boomacat boomacat 5:12 pm 09 Aug 07

Reduced to insulting people’s spelling and grammar Ralph?

Clear evidence that your argument is hollow.

Slinky the Shocker Slinky the Shocker 5:09 pm 09 Aug 07

Oh, and Nemo…but some DO think outside the box. A quick google tells me that Alex is the ACT Geography Champion, so obviously a smart kid.

Also: did you agree to everything you teacher said? At least for me, agreement with a teacher could change my attitude by about 180 degrees just to piss them off…

Slinky the Shocker Slinky the Shocker 5:06 pm 09 Aug 07

Shouldn’t a proper sentence construction be

“by the poor spelling and punctiation”

Ralph Ralph 4:54 pm 09 Aug 07

I could tell that, with the poor spelling and punctuation.

asp asp 4:52 pm 09 Aug 07

Oh, and incase anyone detects a slight bias for Narrabundah, I’m a former student.

And I agree, Downer is arrogant. But there is a reason, he actually beleives that he is decended from aristocracy. And in a senc that’s true, his family has enjoyed the a place in the upper class. But lets face, Alex “Stiletto and Fishnets” Downer should loose the ego. He’s not the queen, well…, he’s just a minister.

fnaah fnaah 4:50 pm 09 Aug 07

Even the pot smokers… are smart

What a fantastic irony. 🙂

fnaah fnaah 4:43 pm 09 Aug 07

Boomacat, you’re right.

Downer is inflicted with enormous arrogance – he seems to think that the only people who could possibly think that the Coalition is doing the wrong thing is the ALP.

asp asp 4:38 pm 09 Aug 07

Narrabundah is full of smart people. Even the pot smokers and goths are smart. There was once a fight where some Erindale kids came and had a fight with a couple of Narrabundah kids on the oval. The Narrabundah kids are so polite that after a few minutes of fighting (kicks, punches and a spear tackle) they stopped, agreed that the matter was resolved and shook hands. It was a tie. Alexander Downer was a fool to mess with Narrabundah kids. Take it from me, the teachers there are anti-howard, anti-liberal and pro Union. Many of the kids are too. Synical and very politically aware. They know Howard’s tricks and see past them. They don’t trust Labour and Rudd too much, but fell he’s worth a go. To them, Howard is not only old and sneaky, he’s a relic who solved past problems. With new problems such as climate change emerging, we need new ideas.

Also, general opinion is that “Midnight Oil MP” is a sell out and woll forever be held back by unions rather than doing what’s best for the environment.

fnaah fnaah 4:38 pm 09 Aug 07

I dare say that college students these days would have their opinions influenced more by the mass media than by their teachers. It’s little wonder that they’re questioning the government’s motives and methods. Aren’t we all? Isn’t that the point of democracy? Isn’t it a better thing that they have a chance to think about issues that matter to them, rather than turn up at the ballot box and vote the way their parents do because they don’t know any better?

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