It’s interesting to see the amount of anti-teacher information National is sending to Farrar and Slater. The depth of research involved in uncovering this stuff means it’s clearly research unit work. The latest tidbit they’ve got their knickers in a twist about is a principal referring to Anne Tolley as ‘Minister Hitler’ on her Facebook wall. Amazing how Farrar just happened upon this comment all by himself.
Of course, if anyone knows about comparing Kiwi politicians to dictators, it’s Farrar. He very publicly ran a series of billboards (funded by the likes of Don Brash) doing exactly that during Labour’s last term.
Now, I’m no big fan of Hitler comparisons because they tend to overstrain your point and turn people off – just like Farrar’s dumbarse billboards did.
Unless you have a government actually ramming through enabling legislation in response to a ‘national emergency’ that gives it the power to override or edit any existing law, which is pretty much the model of how to turn an incumbent government into a dictatorship, then comparing them to the Nazis is not a good call.
Oh wait, the Nats have done that, eh?
Nonetheless, comparing Tolley to Hitler isn’t fair. I mean, sure they’re both known for their temper tantrums – a contact high in the tertiary sector says having Steven Joyce replace Tolley has been a godsend because ‘you can’t raise serious issues with her without her having a screaming fit’. And both will be remembered for their inability to listen to advice and failures of strategic judgement.
But the comparison is still completely unfair: Hitler was competent enough to win his first battles. He managed nine years of victories before his first major defeat. Tolley has managed to get bogged down in total war with all three sectors of the education system that she is reponsible for in less than two and they can keep up the fight longer than her.
So, no, Minister Hitler was not a fair call. How’s about Minister Wilhelm II instead? 🙂