John Armstrong’s column today – not yet on website – is extraordinary. “Elements on the left”, “cried wolf”, “secret agenda” – that’s just the first paragraph. Armstrong’s faux outrage is generated by the fact that National’s charter schools policy was not flagged in the election, and some people have pointed this out. Shock horror.
Funny how people on the left are always “elements” – couldn’t possibly have a mind of their own. I put two and two together when I heard John Key’s twentieth or so justification for the “partial ownership” model of asset sales was that a billion dollars would be put aside for investment in schools. Any competent political journalist could have done the same. My instinct proved to be true.
What we have now got is the failed experiment of asset sales to pay for the failed experiment of charter schools. That’s not crying wolf – that’s just predicting another disaster. I suspect had voters been posed the question “Would you rather have higher prices for your electricity to pay for letting a few kids into an experimental school or two” their answer in the recent election might have been different.
Just don’t hold your breath for the Herald to do it. Certainly not Armstrong – he gets tangled in his own overblown rhetoric as well:
The contents of the eight-page document might suggest that National has lurched to the right. But those contents were more likely shaped by other factors such as Act’s surprising degree of negotiating leverage, National’s willingness to continue its confrontational approach to what it sees as vested interests blocking reform in compulsory education or simply because National had already been planning to do what Act wanted.
Already been planning? Undisclosed? That’s not a secret agenda?
Maybe though I have been too hard on the Herald. Perhaps their website editor also thinks Armstrong’s article is crap.