Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In which we are all nanny staters now ...

(Above: and more Pope here).

Is it only the pond that finds the news of nannies deeply and richly ironic?

For years now, the favourite term of abuse for anyone interested in good government has been to accuse them of being nanny staters in a nanny state, with a nanny state state of mind.

Dear sweet absent lord, if you head off to the IPA - though who could explain why anyone would bother with a site that trumpets itself as Freedom Watch - you'll even find that they have a tag called the Nanny State Files. (Careful, they like to check all visitors with ASIO before allowing entry).

But it isn't just the IPA. You'd have to be a rare commentariat beast not to have used the 'nanny state' abuse at some time in some column somewhere. The Caterists love the notion and are always railing against nanny staters; Janet Albrechtsen has regularly deplored the big government nannies who trample on her freedom. One of her classic entries in the field was Our kids are covered in bubble wrap ...

In fact the pond might be so bold as to issue a pond challenge. Google any commentariat name and the pond guarantees you'll come away with a nanny state mention and a link, or your money back.

Example, Andrew Bolt ... Too easy. Big Nanny pushes us off our bike in which the Bolter deplores the Victorian nanny state.

And that's just the first google link at the head of the queue.

Now the concept of a nanny state has never been quite clear to the pond. After all, it's only the rich who could afford nannies and the notion that Centrelink is a caring nanny suggests that not enough people have experienced the joys of bureaucratic indifference.

Indeed, in a rich and varied life, one of the pond's most treasured memories is sitting in an eastern suburbs kitchen having the nanny state denounced by a wealthy person, who at the time counted a general factotum, a cook, a gardener and a nanny in their employ - though to be fair the gardener was part time, because the rich ponces took on the onerous task of cutting and arranging the flowers themselves.

Still, the pond learned to curse and reflexively spit at the notion of Mary Poppins and nannies in general, and above all, nannies in the employ of the state.

So what will happen now that the Abbott government has introduced the first genuine, true to label, bona fide example of the nanny state?

There's more here, but what joy the program is targeting families on struggle street earning less than $250k a year.

The reptiles also brought the good news:

The rest is paywalled, so no point offering a link, but what a cute, winsome bub they selected to go with the story.

Though nannies — who must be aged 18 or over — will need the usual Working with Children Check and first aid qualifications they will not be forced to gain minimum early childhood qualifications. 
Further, the program will sit outside the National Quality Framework already in place for childcare centres which mandates minimum staff to children ratios and training standards, among other things. “The Productivity Commission Report into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning recommended nannies be an eligible service for government assistance to families,” Mr Morrison said. 
“The Commission found that for some parents, particularly those undertaking shift work such as nurses, police and emergency service personnel, nannies are used because working arrangements do not fit within standard operating hours of long or family day care. This is also the case for families in regional and rural Australia. 
“This has been reinforced to the government through our targeted consultation process as part of the development of our families’ package. Increasingly nannies are being used by families to make sure they can meet their workforce commitments. 
“Parents doing shift work or working irregular hours need the reassurance that their children are safe and happy in their home while they work to support their family, as do those families in rural or remote locations or those with other accessibility.

Yes, and remember it's heavily means tested. No one earning over $250k can have a state nanny, they must buy their own!

So what will the reptiles do now for a term of abuse?

Will they turn to camera and say as one "we are all nannies now"?

Meanwhile, the reptiles have produced some fascinating reading for the day, far too extensive for the pond's puny resources.

Look at this rich juxtaposition:

But surely it's obvious Mr Wiltshire. If the poodle vacates school education, why it might develop into one of the best in the world ...

And then there was this bit of house-keeping:

Uh huh. Well if a twit like freedom watching IPA's Jennifer Oriel is wheeled out to defend Lomborg, it's likely that there's some fire as well as smoke, and it must be political and ideological, since with Oriel present, it could hardly be scientific ...

But when push comes to shove, the pond will always go with Dame Slap, who is in top notch form this day:

Ah yes, there's nothing like the tortured convolutions involved in saying some freedom of speech is good, and some bad, and it's all the fault of the lefties. But do go on:

Ah yes, dangerous elites. Worse, lovers of the nanny state!

But let us do our duty, let us make a timely call, for we are all nanny state lovers now ...

Finally, speaking of free speech, the pond was bemused to see the reptiles try to lather up some indignation about a creationist film:

Akerman? Now there's an unfortunate name, but do go on:

Yes, indeed, and that's where, with due respect, Danny Jarman clearly didn't have a clue.

The idea of the tax scheme is to prevent editorialising. That way the likes of Graham Burke's Roadshow can loot and pillage the Australian tax system to make all sorts of tosh and fairy floss for the US, and no one will say boo to a goose about it ...

But should the Australian tax system support ignorance and folly and silly creationist fundamentalists?

Ah, but we are all nanny staters now ...

And if you've managed to reach this point, give yourself a treat, and you could probably also do with a cartoon, and more First Dog here.


  1. Albrechtsen: “Listening to many on the Left talk about free speech is like falling down the rabbit hole with Alice, entering a Wonderland where little makes sense. Just as Alice says, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then”, many on the Left have suffered a pronounced identity crisis about free speech.”

    The callous Right never suffers from an identity crisis for its political philosophy is mercenary and best expressed by this quote from the Duchess: “There's a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is -- The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.”

  2. I haven't got through today's post, but already one sentence worthy of immortality
    "...the notion that Centrelink is a caring nanny suggests that not enough people have experienced the joys of bureaucratic indifference".

    Says it superbly. And in our Murdochian English-speaking empire, our social security system is among the fairer and more efficient ones. At 73 years I may yet have to join the Occupy movement.

  3. It's hardly worth the bother of arguing with Dame Slap bearing mind that she is mostly off the planet. But I would take up her deploring of the Left's indifference to Bolt's humbling.

    We'll ignore the fact that, as Marieke Hardy once mentioned in relation to Pyne, he is singularly unable to generate much empathy beyond the hate-mongerers. And that it is rare for survivors of lynching attempts to rush to the defence of Klan leaders.

    The real problem in protesting against his conviction under 18C is barely related to Free Speech. As the judge pointed out, he got his facts wrong in his accusations. Whether he lied, was careless or too lazy hardly matters. You can't go around making inflammatory accusations which are untrue.

    He wasn't sacked because he will follow the Murdoch line, and gets fabulously rewarded for doing so.

  4. Maybe the government could amend the Fair Work Act so that employers can't restrict their employee's freedom of speech. After all, we are all in favour of free speech for everyone, aren't we?

  5. Now, I can understand some one like Janet A. (exhibit ; A?) going down the hard-right line, being as she is ; welded like a skin-removing grommet viciously fixed on a particularly tight part of the motor of the LNP. But these new, fresh-faced Gen Ys , with about as much experience in the mischievous political commentary world as a day-old chick..making try-hard assaults on our intelligence is getting a bit difficult to stomach..Is our education system letting us down?

    1. Mate, you need to watch a bit more of Fox. All it takes, apparently, is a blonde 'do, perfect teeth, lip gloss, slender limbs and ability to stare into the autocue.

  6. I wonder if it would be discriminatory to place an advertisement for a nanny that specified she must be a nicotine addict and be able to demonstrate her hatred for Nicola Roxon? After all, one wouldn't want one's progeny to absorb elitism by osmosis.

  7. I think we can all learn from the experience of Winston Churchill's relationship with his Nanny, Mrs. Elizabeth Everest. And yes! she was related to the Surveyor of India whom Mt Everest is named after!

    He "poured out my many troubles." to Nanny. She was his constant companion in childhood and they wrote to each other regularly while he was at school. His parents were distant, his emotional development retarded - who else could he rely on but Nanny Everest? (She was the peak of his experience).

    Winston was deeply distressed when she left the household, even though he was then a young man, a budding Army officer, and the household had no further need for a nanny. He said "My nurse was my confidante. Mrs. Everest it was who looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her that I poured out all my many troubles..."

    I think a musical should be forthcoming.

  8. Only a "dark moment" for Abbott, moving on in a jiffy. Please pass that safety helmet to Julie and do not mess up her hair.

  9. Good grief, Mr On The Moon, Malcolm is 'not the issue':

    "2) Did the minister have contact with SBS before McIntyre's sacking over the tweets?
    Answer: Yes as soon as I was made aware of the tweets by...."


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.