In higher education policy rhetoric, both locally and globally, there is a tendency to argue, using a powerful tool of logic, that there is a need to increase global competitiveness, and to improve excellence and quality in education, training and skills. The major problem with policy rhetoric is that its main thrust is on “sheer commonsense” (Brady, 1988). Who would argue against improving global competitiveness, excellence and quality in education, training and skills that contribute to better living conditions for Australians, “a fair chance for all” (Dawkins, 1988), and creating a world-class higher education system that “benefi ts all Australians, regardless of their background” (Gillard, 2010)? Appealing to one’s logic and common sense is likely to weaken one’s critical analysis. In order not to be seduced by this pervasive policy rhetoric, or word magic, we need to be armed with a “crap detector”, the term used by Postman and Weingartner (1971) in their critical analysis of classroom pedagogy. “Crap-detecting” as a term originated with Ernest Hemingway, who when asked in the early 1960s by an interviewer to identify the characteristics required for a person to be a great writer replied, “In order to be a great writer a person must have a built-in, shockproof, crap detector” (Postman & Weingartner, 1971, p. 16).