Yet another government backbencher, MP Andrew Laming, has made a fool of himself, by arguing that school teachers should be made to spend eight hours a day at work, should only get four weeks paid leave and should not be allowed to do marking or class preparation at home. He continued: “teaching needs to operate like other jobs, with the same hours, days and weeks as the rest of the economy, rather than cluttered school hours where there is little beyond the face to face time.”1This coming from a parliamentarian is laughable.
Laming was initially, for a short time, a country general practitioner in New South Wales and Queensland and then worked in various jobs in South Africa, before working in the Northern Territory, training in public health and becoming a political staffer2. So, he is a person with no experience of teaching, is on $203,000 per annum, with at least one negatively geared investment property and, being a parliamentarian only has to show up for 17 weeks a year, and these are only 4-day weeks3. And he is effectively saying teachers don’t work hard enough.
Laming is a little accident-prone, with suspected breaches of parliamentary entitlements in 2007, after which it was decided that there were not “reasonable prospects of conviction for a criminal offence against Dr Laming”2. He also made some inflammatory comments after brawls in Logan, Queensland, for which he was slapped down by his own party as well as the then government2. He is likely to remain a backbencher, unless he achieves his level of competence and melts into obscurity.
Laming has now attempted to sidle away from his statement, indicating that he was misunderstood4. Now he says he was sticking up for them. This is almost as laughable as his initial statement. All you have to do, is read his quote above. It seems the Coalition is, in fact, replete with halfwits.