They don't call them "conservatives" for nothing. Conservatives just want everything to go back to the way it was - especially the way it was in the 1950s.
I've largely abandoned tormenting Piers Akerman these days. With the Liberals wiped from Government across Australia these days, Akerman is just a sad, desperate man. Picking on him is like hunting dairy cattle with an AK-47. But he still tries, even if he's reduced to the "soft issues", like how children should best be taught to read. Phonics is the way to go, according to Akerman - contrary to the views of the "the inner-urban, academic-stacked Labor branches" who prefer "systems chosen for their ideological purity". (I think that's what he's saying. Akerman's writing is barely lucid at the best of times).
It's Reds Under the Bed, or at least under the school desks, recycled for the new millenium (so Akerman is at least in favour of some recycling). Go back fifty years to the publication of Why Johnny Can't Read, and the controversy over progressive values in schools - including claims that a failure to teach phonics was helping to spread communism.
Maybe that's what's been wrong with me all this time - I'm a leftist because I was brainwashed by my progressive teachers.
But wait. My mother (and bless her for it) taught me to read long before I started school. I must find out which method she used. Had things been different I could be complaining about Muslims and apologising to the Stolen Generation in this blog right now!