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CHAMPION: Radio National lefty Jonathan Green emerges as surprise defender of elite private schools

JgreenboardRadio National is an occasionally interesting albeit sometimes painfully predictably very left-wing part of the ABC bird.

Their host Jonathan Green, formerly a head editorial honcho at The Age before defecting to their mortal enemies at Crikey where he would distress staff by wearing cargo pants, thongs and shorts suggesting an alternate lifestyle, is seen by outsiders as a stereotypical representative of the leftist broadcaster, running a show that regards Amanda Vanstone as the furthest point on the right-wing ideological spectrum. Everyone else is just a loon.

Green is a witty self-assured chap who is able to hold his own among any self-righteous leftiste discussion in the ABC building, complete with its Soviet style 4 metre posters commemorating the latest Five Year Plan or such.

And yet sources within the Southbank Public Broadcasting Empire snorted with derision recently when we drew their attention to Jonathan Green’s passionate defence of elite private schools, one in particular, the nearly $30,000 a year fee-charging Ruyton Girls’ School.

Recently, a local journal out Green’s way (an outpost of the global Murdoch content creation empire not normally admired by Radio National presenters) cheerfully commemorated the fact that his brilliant young daughter was in fact the third generation of her family to have attended the excellent school, which is consistently in the Top Ten of schools in Victoria by academic achievement.

Jgreen4A front page and a couple of inside pages were dedicated to the simultaneous celebration of tradition, freedom, the right to choose and excellence in all its forms.

With uncharacteristic modesty, reflecting his pride in the achievement, Green’s name was excluded from the article, an omission ABC sources were keen for us to correct, in the interests of equity.

It turns out the Radio National’s almost always politically correct broadcaster is not only an in-law, a husband of and a baby-daddy of a Ruyton girl, he has championed their commitment to high-fee-paying excellence by serving on the board of the school. Brilliant stuff.

We have also obtained evidence of his considerable financial support for the school, suggesting a deep and abiding generosity for needy causes. Expenses incurred in operating schools like this can be huge, with expenses incurred on things like:

Our wide range of cultural tours and exchanges vary from year to year, but in the past have included:

The Exchange Programme (Canada, China, France, New Zealand, UK, USA.) Ruyton has established successful relationships with over 20 sister schools around the world
Music tours to Europe and the USA
Sporting tours to New Zealand and the USA
Cultural tours to Europe (including the Renaissance tour in conjunction with Trinity Grammar School)
Academic tours to France and China (Language Other Than English)
From 2013 a new initiative will also see Ruyton girls participating in a national exchange to Sydney, with other states to follow.

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He is also a passionate defender of the interests of other Old Girls, recently taking to Twitter to denounce Andrew Bolt’s cruel assertions that Ruyton Old Girl Michelle Grattan, also a recent defector from The Aged, was a “leftist.”

Green usually keeps his proud light under a bushel despite politically correct dictates that he should lift his private school skirt on every possible occasion, conducting a splendid forum on Gonski, the funding of education and related matters with sundry Marxists while declining to mention his important leadership role in an excellent elite private school.

Fairfax, which also does a brilliant job of staffing exclusively from private school ranks while loudly denouncing them at every opportunity, reported on the broadcast:

Appearing on Jonathan Green’s Sunday Extra on Radio National last weekend, Ben Eltham declared that the $6.5 billion annually needed to fund the Gonski Report ”would easily be found if private schools, the elite private schools in particular, were not receiving any funding at all”.

The host declined to crowd-out these minority opinions with his own views and unnecessary personal disclosures, preferring to let listeners reach their own conclusion. Can’t be fairer than that. Green is keen to support alternate views, though, with one Ruyton teacher in a recent publication available on the school website, made it clear that government schools are no good at all compared what they’ve achieved in Kew:

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Like many great institutions, Ruyton is subject to savage and biting criticism from nay-sayers and doom-boosters. One opined, in a spiteful online missive:

Ruyton: The previous Head stripped all the character out of the school and it is now a marks factory using scholarship students and fast tracking to hot house students and get top results – although they don’t always do so! Extremely “social” but not in a good way – lots of aspirational parents who are trying to buy their way into society.Very cliquey with bullying problems at some levels.. New Head shows much more promise – watch this space! Very good sports program esp cross country but also across the board- a school that punches above its weight in sport. Talk of many parents leaving in the senior years and crossing to other schools esp MLC and Carey.

Others are unconvinced by the haters:

Maybe have a look at Ruyton for your daughter. I know they taught the girls basic etiquette (i.e. how to sit properly, shake hands and greet people etc.), something which I believe is still important, even in our ‘modern’ society.

The correspondent was less impressed by the behaviour of the parents, suggesting some parents (obviously not the well-bred board member Mr Green) are insufferably rude:

We have been really put off by the dangerous aggressive driving in the vicinity of the school by Ruyton parents and the inconsiderate behaviour of parents and pupils alike.

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Discussion

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  1. He must have got a coal mine out of the last Labor government to afford those fees…

    Posted by wombat arse | February 13, 2013, 14:52
  2. The working class has such loyal defenders.

    Posted by Underprivileged of Southbank | February 13, 2013, 19:54
  3. Back when there was an Iron Curtain and a Cold War and Palestinian Terrorists hijacking aeroplanes and cruise liners, almost every lefty at University was elite private school educated. The Liberal Club consisted of a far more representative group of students with many coming from the state school system and the catholic parochial (low fee) system as well as the Scotch and Trinity and Carey and Wesley educated.

    As a rough rule of thumb, the more money daddy had, the more likely it was that you believed in communism and earth-mother environmentalism and spent your day fighting for nuclear disarmament and no freeways and higher taxes on the rich.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | February 14, 2013, 22:55
  4. ‘The working class can kiss my …’

    Posted by JakartaJaap | February 14, 2013, 23:36
  5. When my kids were at a government primary school the parents who intended to send their children to private schools were invariably tradesmen. I don’t know how this worked out as those children did not take kindly to education, a result of having parents who weren’t too literate themselves. Clearly buying their way up the social ladder. But it doesn’t work. The students and teachers with genuine breeding soon pick out interlopers. Must be uncomfortable for the pretenders.

    Posted by Walter Plinge | February 17, 2013, 20:54
  6. I hate their greens.

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 17, 2013, 22:47
  7. I meant the greens.

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 17, 2013, 22:47
  8. The greens are ruining this country with their human hating anti mining policies.

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 17, 2013, 22:48
  9. Bye bye greens at the next election. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 17, 2013, 22:49
  10. Bye bye ALP for at least a decade at the next election. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 18, 2013, 11:49
  11. The ALP are ruining this country with their human hating anti mining policies.

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 18, 2013, 11:50
  12. Hey, sinking violet your mining mates just continue to dig bloody
    big holes and then just walk away when they are finished. They then expect someone else to fix their bloody mess.

    Posted by Argus Tuft | February 20, 2013, 11:23
  13. Mining gives people jobs and hope and opportunity. People should be thankful for the prosperity mining gives this nation. Also the holes are a thing of beauty, e.g. Kalgoorlie Superpit. Also the big trucks and machines and ships are exciting to look at.

    Posted by Stinking Violet | February 22, 2013, 0:02
  14. Radio National, were dinosaur failed Crikey editors go in to retire.

    Posted by Duncan | February 23, 2013, 12:46