Saturday, November 14, 2009

Barry's table problem

Barry O'Farrell is still having problems over his decision to ban newspapers from publishing school league tables:
The Herald published the literacy and numeracy results of three schools yesterday - Sydney Girls High, Hornsby Girls' High and Macarthur Girls High.

Ms Firth said Mr O'Farrell had two options: take the Herald to court or repeal the legislation.

''If he really thinks newspapers should be prosecuted, he needs to back up public statements and take The Sydney Morning Herald to court,'' she said. Any citizen can now take the Herald to court under the legislation, and if they win they are entitled to half the proceeds.

Apparently other NSW liberals also think Barry goofed big on this one:

After yesterday's story Opposition MPs privately expressed dismay that Mr O'Farrell had agreed to the legislation drawn up by Mr Kaye and backed by the Opposition's education spokesman, Adrian Piccoli, in June.

One MP complained it was a ''horrible mess'' but Mr O'Farrell had no choice politically but to hold his ground.

He said it was clear when Ms Gillard produced her website report card in January that anyone would be able to create a league table.

''We're locked in now. It's kind of ridiculous,'' the MP said. ''When you have got the website, you can create your own league table any time you want to.''

Another MP said: ''We're reaping what we sowed. Once you have taken a clear view you have to stick with it.''

I'm still aghast that a Liberal would support legislation that would ban newspapers from publishing such information. Mr O'Farrell claims Liberals core beliefs are "Freedom, Choice, Competition and Responsibility". He could have avoided this mess by sticking to them.

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