Episode 206 – Religion in Qld Schools and 1984 in 2019

Everything you need to know about religion in Queensland schools plus Orwellian AFP raids.

Alison Courtice from Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools

We last spoke to Alison on episode 104 on the 13th of July 2017.

Alison gave us a great explanation of the latest news and developments regarding religious instruction in Qld state schools?

Alison has initiated a petition basically calling for RI to be replaced with an academic study of religions.

What is involved in starting a petition and what effect do they have? How many signatures do you need to have an influence?

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59:08 Selective Schools

Gladys Berejiklian’s decision to establish a new selective school in Sydney’s south-west has set new precedents. Few people seem to support it, even fewer will benefit.

For premiers and anyone else who needs to be reminded, which students who walk in through the school gate each day really matters. Schools which select students end up with those who are more advantaged. Such schools accumulate the social, cultural and even financial capital of the students and their supportive and resourceful parents.

Schools which enrol an increasing proportion of disadvantaged students gradually lose the resource of higher-performers and role models … Apparently all by herself, Gladys Berejiklian has decided to turn an existing disadvantage for so many young people into an ongoing disaster.

A stark contrast’: the ethnic divides across Sydney’s schools.

Wealthy migrant and Anglo families are “self-segregating” when they choose schools, with migrants shunning private schools in favour of the selective system and Anglo families doing the opposite, a leading researcher says.

These decisions were indicative of a wider problem across Sydney, with many schools more ethnically divided than the suburbs in which they were located, said University of Technology social scientist Christina Ho.

In NSW, 83 per cent of students in fully selective schools came from language backgrounds other than English (LBOTE), while more than half of the 99 schools with fewer than 10 per cent LBOTE students were private and in wealthy areas.

The trend was concerning because schools had a vital role to play in developing inter-cultural understanding in the community, Dr Ho said. “The increasing diversity of our communities is not reflected in our education system.”

1:10:19 George Orwell’s prescient novel 1984 is turning 70 and only growing more relevant with age

The AFP raids.

First to recount:

News Corp political editor Annika Smethurst had her home raided by the AFP over a 2018 story about the possibility of the ultra-secretive Australian Signals Directorate gaining powers to monitor Australian citizens.

The ABC had their offices raided over a 2017 story on the alleged problematic behaviour of some Australian SAS soldiers in Afghanistan.

Both stories were based on leaked documents. Any difference to Julian Assange?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s initial reaction was arrogant. Asked if he was bothered by the look of police raiding journalists homes, he replied: “It never troubles me that our laws are being upheld”.

This government doesn’t give a rat’s about freedom.

What we really need is Freedom of the Press but we what we will get is Religious Privilege dressed up as Freedom of Religion.

In Orwell’s 1984 there were various ministries.

In Australia in 2019 we have the Ministry of Home Affairs, which concerns itself with home invasions.

There’s a weird confluence of history going on here. That’s because this week was not just the anniversary of Tiananmen Square. It was the anniversary of 1984.

The AFP raids are just the third leg of an Orwellian trifecta.

First, the contamination of truth and rewriting of history (Fox News, Sky News, Murdoch Press and PRC re Tiananmen square).

Second, the control of the working class by dampening their willingness or capacity to rebel (witness the return of a Morrison government promising tax cuts for the rich).

Third, it is the jackboot police service (The AFP raids).


In “1984” Orwell introduced us to the words doublethink and newspeak.

A word he DIDN’T use – but which combines the two – is doublespeak.

Doublespeak is saying one thing and meaning another, usually its opposite. (think Jordan Peterson)

In 1984 when BIG BROTHER and the Party say PEACE they mean WAR, when they say LOVE they mean HATE, and when they say FREEDOM they mean SLAVERY.

When Scott Morrison says Religious Freedom, he means Religious Privilege.

When he says the economy is strong he means the economy is fucked.

From Watley

Msieur Fist. Liability and litigation have weakened organisational abilities to achieve their purposes, having to cover their arses before being able to provide. As a lawyer, can you explain how this has gotten so out of hand? Surely, restricting the ability or freedoms of an individual in the name of liability and insurance concerns also limits the outcome of any endeavour on the part of that individual, and shapes the result accordingly. Is there any chance there could be a discussion on this sometime in the next few? I’d like to hear the views of the FistyGloveMan.

3 comments on “Episode 206 – Religion in Qld Schools and 1984 in 2019
  1. Warren Foster says:

    My understanding is that the AFP weren’t targeting journalists. My understanding is that they were targeting the persons who leaked the documents to the journalists. Those persons presumably signed a contract stating that they would not leak documents that have certain security status. Am I wrong?
    There was evidence that a crime had been committed. The AFP have an obligation to investigate. Should the AFP be given the right to decide which crimes to investigate and which crimes they turn a blind eye to?

  2. Bronwyn Benn says:

    Hi Fist, Glove and Man,

    Really enjoyed your interview with Alison, what an interesting person. I was very impressed by the support her organisation provides to parents who are concerned about the delivery of religious education in their children’s schools, and all on the smell of an oily rag. It goes to show that you don’t necessarily need a lot of resources to be effective (although it can certainly help!).

    Best wishes as always.

  3. xman says:

    The only person that’s been fisted is W Foster judging by the photo.

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