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14 February 2015
By Matt Hrkac

Labor smear strikes yet again

This screenshot shows something that you would expect from a crackpot Right-wing political page, but it came as a shock to me that something like this would pop up on the Facebook page of the supposedly Centre-left Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party - a party that is known for at least some common sense in its decision making and working with others to achieve common goals and outcomes.

I am bitterly disappointed by this smear attack being levied towards The Greens. The fact remains that a huge bulk of Greens supporters are former Labor supporters, and this smear does absolutely nothing to win those people back to their cause and it certainly isn't going to win over any hardcore Greens supporters, either. As a matter of fact, this smearing does nothing but entrench the existing support for The Greens, and disillusion more and more soft-Labor supporters.

What is even more pathetic is that Labor are criticising The Greens for voting against the increasing of non-government (private) school funding; even though it is public schools that need the most attention as far as additional funding is concerned. Voting down an increase of funding to non-government schools, as such, was common bloody sense. Government schools receive funding from taxpayers, private schools are (theoretically) funded by the parents who choose to have their children attend them, due to the fact that they can afford it. It is not the responsibility of taxpayers to fund the obscenely wealthy private schools.

As for "non government schools that help kids with real disadvantages" - that is such a generalist statement that it is almost ridiculous. Right off the bat, any family who can afford to pay the fees in order to send their children to a private school can only be assumed to be at an advantage to the families who can't afford it. Again, right off the bat, private schools generally have better facilities and equipment when compared to their government counterparts, so a child attending a private school is at an advantage when compared to a child attending a public school.

If the above statement refers to funding individual students who are at a disadvantage, for example, because a student has a learning disability, Labor would have a point. However, we also have a statement from Greens MP Ellen Sandell - who is more specific in her wording than Labor was:

...And there we have it. Labor voted with the Coalition in favour of watering down the Gonski reforms, and funding schools based on need and instead, voted in favour of funding private schools that don't need government funding.

This is yet another case of Labor jumping into bed with their ideological opposites in order to get back at their ridiculous childish vendetta that they have against The Greens. The Victorian Labor Party branch should take some cues from its Queensland counterpart and actually learn to work with The Greens to achieve common goals and outcomes instead of smearing them at every opportunity they get. Focus on the common enemy.

Update: Then Labor turns around and does this.

About the author:

Matt Hrkac is a writer and photographer based in Geelong. He has particular interests in politics, elections, social movements and the trade union movement.

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