It appears that the Liberal Party will win just enough seats to form government sometime this week. The only person who seems shocked by this is current premier John Brumby whose speech last night at the close of counting sounded distinctly like a victory speech. It was like watching the Monty Python sketch where the knight keeps getting his limbs cut off but keeps insisting that these are only flesh wounds. John, I reckon you’ve lost.
Maybe Brumby was right in claiming that it was ‘wear and tear’ and that after 11 years the public simply wanted a change. I cannot imagine it was because of the charismatic personality of Ted Baillieu. There might have been a few other factors involved – like a few hundred thousand angry public transport users who have had to endure generally appalling train services. And anyone who has used the Monash tollway in the past few years or queued for a bed in a hospital.
Somebody said to me the other day that the Libs could not do worse. Well, hello, yes they could. But perhaps by either accident or the slim majority that could tip over if one of their members has a heart attack, they may not. Ted will be making his colleagues join a gym and get health checks.
I got a disturbing email the other day that claims that Libs music policy includes ‘putting $800,000 into a rock Eisteddford comp, which is basically Glee.’ This is just what we need – another talent (less) show. How enlightened is that? I am betting they bring back the recorder to primary schools and the compulsory singing of ‘God Save The Queen.’ But I tell you what, if they scrap the ridiculous Formula 1 Grand Prix I’ll seriously think about supporting them.
Anyway, no matter who we voted for yesterday we were still going to get a former Melbourne Grammar boy as premier. Private schools 1 – public 0. This is a slight contrast to my Year 12 class. Thanks to the call from former school mate and one-time Off The Record contributor Rick Blanco, I discovered that we can now add a ‘con man extraordinaire’ to a list of graduates that also included Australia’s most wanted criminal (now rehabilitated as a successful author, married to a princess).
I chuckled at Mr Brumby’s Boot Camp proposal for all Year 9 students, where they would get to go away for several weeks to learn life skills. As a former high school teacher I recall what terror the school camp struck into the hearts of all staff members. Those camps usually involved sleepless nights for all and the fervent hope that none of the students would get lost, kill themselves or, worse, get pregnant (though I am sure some of the staff did).
Though nothing I experienced while teaching could ever match the religious retreat we had when I was in Year 12. This involved smuggling large amounts of alcohol into a monastery, sneaking out late at night to visit the girls from another school at their camp nearby and turning up for mass the next morning with severe hangovers. Disgraceful.