MyThinks was interested after hearing some commentary from ACT Leader David Seymour recently. We thought it was important that we gave this young go-getter some further column inches. What the world needs is more politicians commenting on issues.
Some things make me sad. Sick puppies or mum and dad taking my smartphone away. But the thing that makes me the mostest saddestest is the teaching unions. All they ever do is moan and complain about our ideas. These unions are made up of thousands of members, many with years of training and experience behind them. What on earth do they know about the educational needs of our children?
I mean, who would you rather trust deciding on educational policy as it relates to your children? These “people” with their “training” and “professionalism” or someone who’s been a member of parliament for over two years? I know who I’d choose.
Today I want to talk about Global Funding. This initiative is a chance for schools to have the freedom to spend money on what they want. The unions are concerned that this will somehow lead to an increase in class sizes. I, however, don’t see how this can happen.
Say you’re a principal with some money to spend. You have a choice to spend it on paying a teacher with 25 years experience or hiring a body straight out of teachers’ college so you can paint the toilet block. Sensible common sense economics suggests a very obvious solution to this dilemma – don’t hire a teacher at all. There are many, many graduates coming out of the wonderful Teach First programme who will be able to stand in front of that class of 40 kids and make sure they colour in their worksheet correctly. You don’t need a teacher with 25 years experience watching over worksheet colouring in. That’s just ridiculous.
I know when I was doing my NCEA finals last year the meanest teachers that got us to work the hardest were those who had been in the job for years. Those who just came out of university were great because they just wanted to be your mate and you’d meet them up in the common room for coffee or down the river for a smoke or whatever.
Those were the teachers I loved the best. Those are the type of teachers we need in front of our classes.
ACT leader and Minor Secretary for Education David Seymour has clarified the half-million dollar payout to a key ally for the National Party chartnership schools policy. The $500,000 payout, made by the government to the E Tipu E Rea Trust, a new body set up to promote and support the controversial schooling model, was revealed by various media outlets earlier this week.
Seymour, who has also championed the policy, held a press conference today to clarify the payment. MyThinks was there and we have the transcript.
SEYMOUR: Hello everyone. Thank you all for coming. It’s good to see so many people following the recent ACT Party conference held in the lounge of my Epsom flat. I just wanted to clear a few things up surrounding the confusion about this money. This was a payment of $500,000 dollars to a charity looking at promoting our wonderful chartnership school concept. It just so happens they are many of the same people who voted National and got loads of selfies with John Key the last time he was in South Auckland in 2009. That’s entirely coincidental. Like running into your friend at the mall when you are both buying satsumas, for example. Are you expecting us to give money just to chartnership school operators who vote Labour and Greens? That’s just ridiculous. There are none of those anywhere in the world. I would also like to point out that this National-led government, with its strong partners in ACT, UnitedFuture and the Māori Party, have consistently said it’s not what you do it’s how you do it. We are leading by example giving out hundreds of thousands of dollars to anybody willing to promote our policies. That, quite frankly, is common sense. If you have billions of dollars at your disposal, why wouldn’t you flick a few hundy to some blokes who agree with the educational policies we have. And… who asked you anyway. Shut up. Just shut up. Nanananananaaannnannanaaa I’m not listening, not listening.
So thank you all for coming. I need to head off now because I’ve got a Year 12 Geography test to do, so thanks very much.
Greetings again everybody. Under-secretary for stuff David Seymour here just with a few words of advice for any budding new MPs out there.
As you may or may not know, all the ministers in the latest Key government were sworn in under a blood moon this week. As you might suspect, there were the usual rituals of swearing an oath to Queen Elizabeth and sacrificing a baby goat, but the most exciting bit was receiving our ‘to-do list’ from Mr Key.
There was only one thing on my to-do list. If anyone asks Ms Parata about charter schools or privatisation of poor schools in poor areas I’m to immediately jump up and say how excited I am about the ACT Party’s charter school ideas that we’ve managed to sell to the government. Mr Key says it’s important that the New Zealand public are clear in understanding that National’s charter school policy is not their charter school policy.
That’s absolutely fine by me. Technically, since the ACT Party doesn’t really exist, any situation where the ACT Party talks about itself in this way is most exciting. Our major and very generous benefactors – the New Zealand taxpayer (without whom we’d be up a certain creek with no paddle, no boat and completely unable to keep our head above the sludge) – really want to hear what we have to say. I mean the ACT Party received over 0.65% of the vote at the last election. That’s hundreds and hundreds of votes. It’s a mandate.
Speaking of mandates, I am very much looking forward to my first cabinet meeting this week. Of course, I’m not allowed in the big room at the big table. That’s reserved for Mr Key and Mr English and all the other people who have real jobs in this administration. No, there’s an extra table for me and Peter Dunne outside the Cabinet room. We get to colour in pictures of Sir Robert while we wait for Mr Key to come out and tell us what to say next.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Mr Key this year is that selfies are the single most important thing for securing votes. I was door-knocking in Epsom the other day (just in case people had forgotten about me in the two weeks since the election) and imagine my surprise when I was greeting by a small gaggle of private school children all dressed as well-known feminist Miley Cyrus. After spending several minutes laughing about how out of touch the Labour Party is and how amazing alcopops are as an afternoon aperitif, we went our separate ways. I was humbled by the reception and was promised several hundred votes at the 2020 elections.
Oh well… I’d better be off. I’ve got several hundred doors to knock on today. Epsom is a large electorate and as National Party MP for Epsom it is hugely important to me to get out there and talk to as many pre-ball parties as possible.
Hello New Zealand. I’m David Seymour – the new ACT Party member of parliament for the safe National seat of Epsom. I am hugely excited about representing both the interests of my constituents and those of the six people who still believe ACT to be a vibrant political force. Our combined party vote of 0.7% shows just how relevant we are.
What an exciting week it has been. I came to parliament on Tuesday morning not really knowing what to expect and who would have believed that parliament would be what it is. The ACT Party offices are adorned with some beautiful artwork, some of it quite modern and not to my taste, but I do understand that it is very good so I am happy to have it above my desk no matter how naked the subject is. The plant in the corner is a bit dead, but I am utterly convinced it can be nurtured back to health if I prune it at the base of the trunk.
After a lengthy 10 minute caucus meeting where I enjoyed my own company and talked about me, the ACT juggernaut went out into the corridors of parliament to soak up the atmosphere. As I walked near the Beehive I could hear both the maniacal laughter coming from the National Party offices and the tortuous screams coming from the Labour end of parliament. It really is an exciting time if you are not Labour.
I was also excited to hear during the week that John Key and his National Party have decided to allow me the honour of serving as one of minister Hekia Parata’s many minions with an associate education portfolio. I have long admired Ms Parata for her unwavering commitment to education policies that have wreaked havoc in so many jurisdictions around the world. Her abilities to speak for minutes at a time without uttering a single word of phrase of note is legendary among those of us who never wish to say anything. She is a true shining light in the coal-mine of indifference.
How nice of National to offer me this position. They didn’t have to. I was happy to sit in parliament and accept a range of anonymous donations from my wealthy benefactors, but to now be part of the parliamentary machine and receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax-free cash at no expense to our party is truly humbling. I would also like a new car, a gym membership and some of those little soaps and shampoos you get when you stay in a fancy hotel. They always leave me smelling quite nice.
So it is with excited hands and an indefatigable dedication to my job as Epsom MP for the National Party that I enter parliament. I promise to spend the next three years as your MP utterly committed to doing everything I am told to do by the National Party and the various tobacco, alcohol and food groups I actually represent.