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Christopher Maurice Pyne, MP (born 13 August 1967), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives since 13 March 1993, representing the Division of Sturt, South Australia. Pyne has been the Minister for Education and the Leader of the House in the Abbott Government since 18 September 2013.

2007 onwards

Pyne came close to losing Sturt at the 2007 federal election to Labor candidate Mia Handshin, after suffering a primary vote swing of 4.5 percent and a two-party swing of 5.9 percent, to finish with 50.9 percent of the two-party vote. Following the election in which the John Howard-led Coalition government was defeated by the Kevin Rudd-led Labor opposition, Pyne put himself forward as a candidate for Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

In a ballot of Liberal parliamentary members, Julie Bishop prevailed with 44 votes, ahead of Andrew Robb, who won 25 votes, and Pyne 18 votes. Following the election of Brendan Nelson as party leader, Pyne was appointed Shadow Minister for Justice and Border Protection. Following Malcolm Turnbull’s election as Liberal Party Leader in September 2008, Pyne was elevated to the position of Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training. After Deputy Leader Julie Bishop stepped down from the portfolio of Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey took up the portfolio, with Pyne replacing Hockey as Manager of Opposition Business.

Christopher Pyne was reappointed as Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training and Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives by Tony Abbott when he became Leader of the Opposition after deposing Malcolm Turnbull. Pyne was re-elected at the 2010 federal election, receiving a primary vote swing of 0.9 percent and a two-party swing of 2.5 percent, to finish with 53.4 percent of the two-party vote. In September 2010 he was re-appointed to Abbott’s Shadow Ministry as Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training and Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives.

Pyne was re-elected at the 2013 federal election, receiving a primary vote swing of 6.3 percent and a two-party swing of 6.51 percent, to finish with 60.11 percent of the two-party vote. In September 2013 he was appointed to Abbott Government as Minister for Education and Leader of the House.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Pyne

2014-12-19 Christopher Pyne

We Haven't Heard The Last Of the Professor Barry Spurr Scandal

Sydney University Professor Poetry Barry Spurr has this morning resigned.

I have to admit that I couldn't give much of a bugger.
On the one hand, I do genuinely believe that Professor Spurr has a right to earn a living, and by almost universal account, he was regarded as a good and effective lecturer and professor.

On the other, can you imagine how a female student, an Asian student, a Muslim student or, God forbid, an Aboriginal student might feel sitting in a lecture theatre listening to Professor Spurr wax lyrical about the power of Judeo-Christian literature?

Clearly, Professor Spurr’s position at the University of Sydney was tenuous.

But this story has never been about Spurr’s teaching tenure. It has always been about the ‘nod, nod, wink, wink’ racism of people who hold positions of great power and influence over us all.

The real story has always been Professor Spurr’s role as a special consultant to the Abbott Government’s review of the National School Curriculum.

On that front, nothing has changed.

Despite the emergence of these repugnant emails – for which, notably, Professor Spurr has never acknowledged wrongdoing, let alone apologised – the federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne remains happy with the final report into the review of the National School Curriculum.

Go figure...
In case you’re wondering, here’s an example from Professor Spurr’s report of the sort of advice for which Australian taxpayers forked out thousands:

“… As usual, the literature of Western civilisation at large is omitted, while the specific ‘oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ are singled out for mention,” he wrote.

And this: “… The impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on literature in English in Australia has been minimal and is vastly outweighed by the impact of global literature in English, and especially that from Britain, on our literary culture.”

Now here’s just one of Professor Spurr’s private views, revealed in his email correspondence.

“Whereas the [Australian] curriculum has the phrase ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ on virtually every one of its 300 pages, the Californian curriculum does not ONCE mention native Americans and has only a very slight representation of African-American literature (which, unlike Abo literature, actually exists and has some distinguished productions).”

It’s only hard to reconcile the difference between the two views if you accept that Professor Spurr was, as he asserts, playing a ‘whimsical linguistic game’. Of course, the full transcript of his emails reveals he wasn’t.

In truth, what really occurred is, that like all accomplished racists and misogynists, Professor Spurr knew in order to advance his bigotry he must first make it fit for public consumption. Hence, the many weasel words of his contribution to the curriculum review.

Overt and ugly racism is for bogans (ironically a group, for which, Professor Spurr holds a special disdain). But polished, slippery racism? That is for Professors. And institutions.

Professor Spurr’s attempts to entrench his personal bigotry into a school curriculum that will be taught to every child in every school in every state of the country, for at least a generation, should send a shiver down the spine of all Australian parents.

Ask yourself this question: Do you really want people of this calibre influencing what your children will learn in school?

The fact is, the review of the National School Curriculum will always be tainted. It has been irrevocably polluted by the views of a man who believes rape is funny, who believes Aboriginal people are sub-human, who believes Asians and Muslims are fodder for mockery, and who believes that women do not occupy a place of equality in our society.

These are not Australian values, but unless the curriculum review is revisited as a matter of urgency, then we can only assume that they are Australian Government values.

There is, of course, one other chapter of the Spurr saga to be written: the development of privacy law in Australia, to prevent the private views of people like Spurr ever getting out into the public domain.

(By Chris Graham: https://newmatilda.com/2014/12/18/we-havent-heard-last-professor-barry-spurr-scandal)

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