back to top

Here's What Happens When You Mix "Play School" And Politics

It's been a long election, guys.

Posted on

What do you get when you combine the 50th anniversary of Play School and an 8-week-long election campaign?

Lane Sainty / BuzzFeed

Well, Labor supporters, random punters, and one child found out on Sunday afternoon, when legendary Play School presenters Benita Collings and Andrew McFarlane turned up to host "Fed School" alongside Labor MPs Tanya Plibersek and Jason Clare.

Initially, a looming portrait of John Howard with Big Ted projected onto the wall seemed out of place – but then Collings and McFarlane explained they were here to help the Coalition get better policies, Play School style. What a time to be alive.

Lane Sainty / BuzzFeed

To begin – some craft! Attendees were asked to grab two styrofoam cups, and a piece of string... to help make Turnbull's NBN.

Andrew McFarlane & Benita Collings emulating Turnbull's NBN, Play School style

Wind turbines made an appearance too.

Lane Sainty / BuzzFeed

Then McFarlane produced a toy otter to tell the story of Goldilocks – aptly played by Tanya Plibersek, who muttered "it's not real" regarding said blonde locks as she took the stage.

Onto negative gearing by fable. Goldilocks can't buy the house because someone already did - for their baby.

McFarlane started to tell that classic parable in which Goldilocks is trying to find a good school.

As it turned out, the first one didn't have enough teachers, and the second didn't have enough resources – but the third one was just right.

"Why is it just right?" asked Plibersek. "Well, Andrew, it's needs-based funding."

Kids, gather 'round!

Meanwhile, the one person there who actually falls into Play School's target audience appeared to be having a great time.

Lane Sainty / BuzzFeed

The whole shebang was tied to Labor's latest funding announcement for the ABC, in which it committed $9 million over three years to a kids website and classroom resource called "ABC Splash".

It follows commitments made in previous weeks to fund local drama to the tune of $60 million, and $21 million to allow the ABC to screen more women's sport.

"Who said you can't keep it interesting in an eight week campaign?" Plibersek said. Indeed.

Can confirm Labor's Play School event was very weird and very funny

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.