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Utopia’s take on policy vacuum

Whitehall has the wit, wiles and wisdom of Sir Humphrey Appleby, and Australia has… Jim.

Netflix will soon be bringing ABC’s bureaucracy satire Utopia to British audiences under the title “Dreamland” — Britain already has a popular show titled Utopia airing currently — which will allow the highly discerning British audiences to make the comparison to Yes Minister for themselves.

Judge for yourselves, though, with last night’s episode showing off the political nous of the National Building Authority’s ever-present thorn from the PM’s office. Are Australian audiences getting dudded?

Jim: PM… Press Club… Education Nation…

Tony: I meant to see it. What did he say?

Jim: It was a good opening. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, this nation sits poised at the crossroads. We can either drift with the status quo or face the challenges of this once in a generation opportunity.’

Tony: Yeah, that’s from the press release again.

Jim: Then he got down to business after that. Mentioned a couple of your priorities.

Tony: Oh yeah, PISA scores?

Jim: Nah, I felt the room…

Tony: STEM?

Jim: You know the one they loved?

Tony: Truancy rates?

Jim: Super schools!

Tony: He said that out loud?

Jim: You bet!

Tony: At the Press Club?

Jim: Very positive response.

Tony: Nobody in that room knows what a super school is?

Jim: That’s what we worked out. That’s the beauty of it. That’s what Education Nation is.

Tony: Something you can’t work out?

Jim: Exactly. Because the moment you start getting specific…

Tony: …you start creating a policy.

Jim: …you start getting disagreement.

Tony: That’s not a discovery!

Author Bio

Harley Dennett

Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and been a staff reporter for newspapers in Sydney and Washington DC.