Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Civil Fraud? Ellis & the deliberate misuse of childcare stats

The assertion seemed incredibly smelly to anyone remotely connected to the real world of kids and child care (i.e., not Kate Ellis, nor absent parent Kevin Rudd). A surplus of places? Is my suburb, group of friends, favourite parenting discussion board populated by people living in unusual or exceptional pockets of the country?

Or is the Minister telling something a bit slippery & porky?

Well, no doubt on some level she's technically correct, but Susie O'Brien at the Hun has torn any sense of substantive truth out of her assertions, and I felt it useful to share highlights on the remote chance someone who passes here doesn't otherwise come across it.

So anyway...

Rudd Government informed us last week it had dumped a core election promise of building 260 new childcare centres.

...what I still remain to be convinced about...

shameless, dishonest misrepresentation of statistics it employs to justify its decision

....is the idea that...

The figure averages out all long daycare centre vacancies (as opposed to occasional daycare vacancies) and doesn't present any breakdown according to the age of the child and the specific location of the centre. In effect, therefore, it's a total con

...we can never expect...

It's like saying the average Australian household income is $66,000, so there mustn't be any poor people in Australia

...politicians, because of some vague notion that it's needed for politics to work...

What good are places for three-year-olds in Frankston if you are a pregnant first-time mum in Richmond staring down a two-year waiting list

...the kind of vague notion that propped up 'caveat emptor' for so long...

most centres tend to have a larger number of vacancies for older kids, because many children go to kinder instead. But in many Melbourne suburbs you can't get a place for a one-year-old

...an absurd notion, finally on the way out in commerce...

the Government is being deliberately misleading when it says new centres are no longer needed

...anyway that we can never, ever expect them...

Back then, Labor knew the con was on. Labor's Jenny Macklin insisted at least 260 new centres were needed because: "There's no point having a childcare place available for a four-year-old if you have a two-year-old."

...or more particularly hold them viscerally to account (except by the usual love us or leave us, choice of 2, ballot box option)...

In just under three years, Rudd and his ministers have, in effect, become everything they criticised about the Howard government.

...Precisely! Thanks Susie! Sorry, I was saying... to hold them to account for lying or deliberately misleading the people they are trying to sell their political product to.

I do not accept that we have to accept, for evermore, that it is acceptable for a politician to flagrantly set out to mislead us, and that our only recourse comes once every few years at the ballot box.

I don't know the simple way forward, how to calibrate the test, how to adjudicate and enforce, but if we at least seriously questioned the premise, the accepted state of affairs, then maybe one day we can do better than this rot.

And before I have any further digs at Kate Ellis, I must say I have the same inside reservation about this that I have about the insulation fiasco- that it is not the Minister copping the flack who has really made the key decisions....

In just under three years, Rudd and his ministers have, in effect, become everything they criticised about the Howard government.

Ay, it's not just a bacteria that's putting my insides into turmoil at this eleventh hour.

2 comments:

Guy said...

Aye - disappointing stuff. It's a nonsense to suggest that no child care centres are required, anywhere. Smells like a pre-budget cull to me.

My Miracle Baby said...

What an exciting experience!/Hilarious! Delightful! True!/wonderful stuff! thank you!

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