Training wheels

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, December 11th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags: , ,

On the first day of Parliament, Gerry Brownlee made a complete hash of his role as Leader of the House. Despite having repeatedly needed Michael Cullen’s assistance to organise the order of business in the Business Committee, Brownlee mucked up procedures in the House, which Labour gleefully exploited. John Key tried to make light of this by saying his government ‘has its training wheels on’.

Well, that’s an under-statement. Bills that are about to be voted on are not ready. Ministers don’t understand the laws that are to be passed in their names and are afraid to front to the media. But I think what sums up the depth of this incompetence best is how our new Minister of Education and Tertiary Education Anne Tolley had to ask officials in her first briefing ‘what is a vice-chancellor?’

Places where one would have thought Anne Tolley would have learned the role of a Vice-Chancellor:
– University – she doesn’t have a degree but is currently taking a graduate diploma in, shudder, business studies
– In her role as National’s Education spokesperson
– As a member of the Education and Science Select Committee, which dealt with two Bills in the last year concerning vice-chancellors
– General reading

In these times of economic crisis, we have a government that not only has its training wheels on but doesn’t even know how to pedal. Get braced for a bumpy ride.

18 comments on “Training wheels”

  1. deemac 1

    this is shocking stuff. You’d hope a potential minister would have done some minimal background research but they’re lazy as well as wrong – a vicious combination.

  2. Tim Ellis 2

    SP, have you got any reference or evidence that Tolley didn’t know what a VC was?

    [It was leaked to Labour from the Ministry and repeatedly referred to by Labour in the House. Tolley hasn’t denied it. What do want me to have, a secret recording? SP]

  3. principessa 3

    Just been watching the house- so Wilkinson has worked for the Exclusive Bretheren. Is this new information?

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    Fair enough SP, I haven’t listened to Labour speeches in the House. The fact she hasn’t denied it doesn’t make it credible though. Sounds like bullsh*t to me.

  5. pretty weird thing to make up.

  6. Phil 6

    pretty weird thing to make up.

    H-Fee, Batman….
    🙂

  7. Will 7

    That’s scary, a Minister of Education who is ignorant of university structure.
    I hope she doesn’t run simply on ideology and arrogance like her colleague Paula Bennett has so far…

  8. Phil 8

    SP, source for Brownlee and Cullen in the Business Cttee? http://www.parliament.nz lists only eight MPs one from each party plus the Speaker as members. I did raise an eyebrow that the Leader of the House would not be attending the Business Committee, nor the junior Govt Whip.

    On the topic, Douglas is not on Finance and Expenditure (Boscowan) and there is no Privileges Cttee.

    (I should say this is a different) Phil

    [Cullen has referred to it several times in the House and Brownlee has thanked him for his assistance. SP]

  9. Ari 9

    Wow. And I thought Mallard was a bad for tertiary education o_O

  10. randal 10

    turned the wireless off at 10 last night and it went on again at 9:30 this morning and by golly they are still angry
    history will characterize this bunch of tory manques and parvenus as angry little men with very big chips on their shoulders
    they cant spell or enunicate or even have a correct knowledge of rudimentary grammar and syntax
    so it is no wonder that they know they are stupid and resent anyone with even a smidgen of education rather than a deep seated desire to count and accumulate someone elses money

  11. Phil. Nothing was made up about H-Fee, the evidence was just overblown.

    incidentally I’m really proud, probably unjustifably so, of this wee line “a government that not only has its training wheels on but doesn’t even know how to peddle”

  12. insider 12

    Nothing was made up except John Key’s involvement in it, whihc was the whole point in raising it. Just a minor point of course…

    Hell, I hope this is not a prelude to Eve coming back.

  13. Phil 13

    (from the different Phil) SP thanks for the update. I do wish NZ would follow the Westminister tradition re Hansard. Here, we allow MPs days and days to ‘correct’ their Hansard. There, they expect an MP to go to the Hansard office if they want to see the report of the speech, and publish the days debates online by 1am after each sitting day. So I can be reading the Hansard online before Gordon Brown is eating his cornflakes the next day.

    Phil

  14. deemac 14

    or do you mean “pedal”, SP?

  15. deemac. crap. my spelling is so bad. I can’t believe Tane didn’t spot that. That’s what I keep him round for.

    crap. I though that was a really good analogy and my crappy spelling wrecked it.

    oh well.

  16. Tane 16

    I stopped reading your posts months ago Steve.

  17. A minister of education actually asked a question instead of pretending to know everything. IMHO, that a left-leaning official thought this worthy of “leaking” to Labour and that Labour though this worthy of mentioning in Parliament is the really story here.

    Or perhaps I am merely biased by the opinion that admitting you don’t something is the first step in learning.

  18. Alexandra 18

    The Minister for Education admitting that she doesnt know what a vice chancellor is evidence she is not fit for the role…what else does she not know. How can the minister be trusted to make the right decisions if she doesnt know the basics.

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