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.