Would the real National Party please stand up

This election campaign is turning into a joke. National, through John Key and to a lesser extent Steven Joyce, appear to be telling us either not to believe emails people from their side wrote or that somehow a smear campaign involves the release of actual emails actually written by actual National Party people. Smears usually involve lies, not truths. That’s called accountability. Their deny-everything-at-all-costs-in-the-hope-it-goes-away strategy has lasted a week and a half. How long can it go on? I’m sure @whaledump will tell us.

When I’m teaching I’m always asking my kids to take responsibility for their actions. You made that choice, you have to live with the consequences. Blaming this mystical “Left” for everything is a total cop-out. You wrote the emails. Man up.

Now that that’s out of the way I wanted to let you all know of the single most disturbing thing that has happened during this election campaign. I know you’re all probably thinking what is there something MORE disturbing a secret agenda to use right-wing blogs to discredit political opponents while outwardly exhibiting an “I’m-above-all-that-nonsense” facade?

Last week NZEI voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s Investing in Educational Sycophants policy. As a large group made up of thousands of teaching professionals we have decided that this policy stinks. We know in our hearts that $350 million would be much better spend at the bottom end of education – the coal face – where it is needed most for special needs, reading recovery, quality PD for teachers, etc, etc, etc. The list is actually endless and would require billions if it were to be done properly.

Of course, the Prime Minister in his infinite wisdom, has declared the NZEI rogue. We are, it turns out, playing politics during an election. This statement requires some unpicking. The man who has, for the last six years, allegedly run a sophisticated behind-the-scenes “black ops” campaign allegedly using the SIS allegedly for political gain, is telling teachers they’re playing politics? The man and party who have made a career out of secretly playing politics are levelling similar accusations toward teachers. All we are guilty of (and we’re not, that’s just a turn of phrase) is telling the National Party we don’t believe a management system enforced by a right-wing government keen to impose education policies that have failed in Sweden, the USA and the UK, is in the best interest of our students. Apart from all this, isn’t an election EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME TO BE PLAYING POLITICS? What we should shut up until the election is finished? What an utterly preposterous thought.

National are now using the George W Bush catch-cry made so popular after Saddam Hussein bombed the World Trade Centre in 2001 – you’re either with us or against us. You either believe in our policy or you are educational terrorists.

Thanks for the vote of confidence and high trust model.

If you want proof of what John Key really thinks of teachers, watch this item from OneNews last night. Fifty seconds in to the item he is reading off a prepared statement. This obviously means he wants to get the words exactly right, otherwise he would be doing the usual making it up as he goes along routine to appear relaxed in a say what I like kind of way. Here’s what he says:

A branch of the Labour Party – the NZEI – were against this initiative from the start, despite working with Labour on a very similar policy.

He then goes on to say he doesn’t want to enforce the policy on the sector, but he may have to.

Consider just last week Hekia Parata was saying on the Nation that the policy was optional and schools would not have to be involved if they didn’t want to (4:30 in to the debate).

What has changed?

I’ll tell you what’s changed. National have been the bad guys for a week and a half and now they want someone else to have a turn. Enter teachers.

And so it continues.

The most important point in all this? According to the Nation survey results highlighted before the Parata / Hipkins debate, over half of New Zealanders (52%) support Labour’s policy of improving teacher ratios. 40% of people are going for National’s policy.

I trust parents to understand who is actually playing politics with education.

Mr B.










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