The Smith Family are at it again.
I really want to know where they get this "680,000 disadvantaged kids" number, as well as the idea that there are that many kids who don't have proper uniforms or books.
There are 780,000 kids in the NSW state school system. NSW has 32% of Australia's population. If we assume kids are evenly distributed across the country in the same proportion as NSW, and that similar proportions in other states go to state schools, that ads up 2.4 million kids in the state school system - give or take a few hundred thousand.
I'm also assuming here that if a kid goes to a private school, they are not "disadvantaged'' to the point where their parents can't fork out $150 for a basic uniform. I may be wrong, but run with that assumption for a minute - those that hate the private system are always saying that it is "only for the rich", so by their definition, there can't be any disadvantaged kids at private schools.
The Smith Family is implying that 28% of all kids at state schools are disadvantaged - that sounds like an incredible statistic to me. 28%. Do they really expect us to swallow that? 28% Twenty eight percent.
I will admit that in some areas, where you've had three generations of single parent root-rats existing solely on the public teat, you might find that a lot of the parents place a higher priority on buying VB and Winfield Blues than books and uniforms.
Junior goes to a state school. We don't have to buy text books - the school lends them out. The uniform is as basic and cheap as it can get - I just ordered more summer uniforms for Junior, and it set me back less than a case of plonk. Shirts are $25 each, shorts are $25 each - and it's not like he needs a whole wardrobe of different coloured shirts and trousers and ties.
If we were utterly cheap buggers, we'd get him two pairs of each and that would be it - one would be for wearing that day and the other would be in the wash. It's not like we're talking enormous expenses here, and even if we had lots of kids in school, the younger ones would simply be wearing hand-me-downs.
I ride past a few of the schools in our area on a regular basis, and one thing you always see out the front at the end of the day is a pack of feral mums, all slothing around in their tracksuit pants and thongs having a fag. Or ten fags, depending on how long they have to wait. I stopped for a breather at their fagging place one day and was amazed at the carpet of butts and empty packets that they'd left on the ground.
What are the chances that if you asked a charity about their "disadvantaged" status, the Smith Family would all nod their heads sagely and intone in a deep and caring voice, "yes, this family needs help".
My next inquiry would be as to how many packs of fags they smoked a week, and how much they spent on booze (the mums have that wrinkled, unhealthy look that you get from having a bottle of vodka before dinner every day). I'm sure the answer would be something along the lines of, "Yes, we realise they have problems with addictive substances, and that is why we need your money to help them".
I say they need a good kick up the arse. I say that they wouldn't have any problems buying school uniforms and books if they stopped smoking and getting pissed every night.
Charity can provide perverse incentives. If you have someone that currently drinks heavily, they will prioritise their spending so that booze comes first, then non-essentials like food for the kids, rent, bills and school uniforms come way down the list. However, if they have to stop the kids from dropping dead from starvation, or going to school naked, then they will rustle up some cash from somewhere to provide the bare essentials.
However, if a charity then comes along and feeds and clothes the kids, a devoted piss-head will just drink all their money, knowing that the charity will take care of all the things that they really couldn't give a toss about.
Anyway, I really don't believe that there are 680,000 disadvantaged kids in Australia. I think that number is a collosal beat up, designed to maximise fund raising from the gullible. If the Smith Family wants to fluff numbers in this manner, it can kiss my arse.