News National Never surrender: Pyne, Shorten channel Churchill
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Never surrender: Pyne, Shorten channel Churchill

Winston Churchill with his favourite trademark smoke.
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The battle over higher education changes has turned bizarre, with Christopher Pyne and Bill Shorten both invoking the words of Winston Churchill during World War II to make political points.

After the proposed changes were defeated in the Senate, Mr Pyne borrowed a line from Winston Churchill to confirm that the government will plough on with deregulation.

“This is not the beginning of the end, this is the end of the beginning,” the Education Minister told 2GB on Tuesday evening.

It was in 1942 after a British victory over the Germans at El Alamein that the British Prime Minister uttered the famous words, urging Britons to remember that the war was not over.

Twitter users were quick to point out that perhaps this quote was an unusual phrase for Pyne to use, given his Bill had just been defeated.

On Wednesday morning, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten mocked Pyne for his choice of words, shooting him down for thinking he was anything like Churchill.

“Perhaps instead of trying to pretend he’s Churchill, Christopher Pyne might actually try and go back to the drawing board and come up with a package that is more fair,” he said.

A grinning Shorten then declared: “We shall fight them in the Parliament, we shall fight them in the community, we shall fight for opportunity, we shall fight for a fair university system and we shall never surrender.”

He was borrowing from Churchill’s most famous speech, made in 1940, designed to rouse Britons and tell the world that Britain was not giving up in the face of the assault from Nazi Germany.

“We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…” 

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