Canberra, April 1 2004, 7:32 AM - In a remarkable scene last night, the Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, broke down at a press conference and wept uncontrollably. Anxious staff rushed to his side to assist, fearing that he had swallowed one of his stainless steel false teeth but the Prime Minister brushed them away composed himself and stepped back to the microphone.
"I cannot continue with this façade, charade or masquerade any longer" he told the startled press conference who were unaware that he had recently rented a thesaurus. "I have to admit it: I was educated in a public school but have always tried to emulate the high ethical standards set by the better private schools", he said, "where the values they teach are much better than the inadequate atheistic drivel I learnt from my commie teachers - none of those losers even knew how to fill out the forms to lease a Jag. My parents could not afford to send me anywhere decent, like Knox, so I had to learn political, personal and business ethics from my mentors : Rodney Adler, Brad Cooper, Jodie Rich and Rene Rivkin".
He went on to make a moving speech about fairness in education and opportunity and to say that these standards should be available to every Australian child regardless of race, religion or income. "These standards should be made available to every Australian child regardless of race, religion and income", he said, "and to ensure this we are creating the office of Fairness in Education to implement the government "White Paper" on education ".
Although details of the role of this new authority are sketchy at this stage, it is known that it will review the school placement of every student in Australia and where "unfairness" has been found, has the authority to place students where it considers to be "more fair". This authority, to be headed by Peter Reith, has commenced construction of several new combination school/holiday camp/shower blocks/mosques in a prestigious suburb of Woomera and also at Port Headland - the construction contract was awarded to the American company Halliburton.
Mr Howard advised that these schools would be ideal for working class children : "For too long, children have been locked into a cycle of restrictive inner urban decay - we are opening up opportunities for them in new areas which before they could not even aspire to", he said. "Additionally, Mr Reith's group will assess how best to fairly utilize the inner city schools vacated by these students and will be assisted by a specially appointed "Fairness Commissioner" Phillip Ruddock".
It is understood that the schools may be redeveloped to meet "the best the needs of the community" and Mr Howard made a direct appeal to the real estate agent, military and golf course development communities to propose ideas.
In a separate statement Mr Howard advised he will attend the opening of a new research centre at Sydney University as a result of resolution of a government funding dispute with the University. The biological research centre, previously to be called the Charles Darwin Institute of Tropical Medicine will now be named John Howard Institute for Gout Research.