The Nats’ agenda

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, June 9th, 2012 - 30 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, national - Tags:

The Nats’ agenda. You don’t usually see it stated as succinctly as this:

While middle New Zealand buys the idea of Budget surplus, it seems less keen to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve it. English can only suck so much by way of savings out of the lower ends of the income scale without inflicting real pain.

I suspect that the author doesn’t know anything at all about “real pain”.

30 comments on “The Nats’ agenda”

  1. Johnm 1

    As Andrew Nicholls commenting in the Herald to the article says:

    ” “The big mistake was not to make the effort to sell the policy.”

    Bury us in propaganda and we’ll all fall in line? Lipstick on the pig more like it.

    The big mistake is that the policy was rubbish and that’s all there is to it.
    If you’re bothered about govt deficit, then reverse the rich peoples tax cuts. Easy. No problem selling that to us in the 99%.”

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      “lipstick on the pig”? rolled in glitter more like….

    • Pink postman 1.2

      And don’t forget the huge payouts to private schools Johnm.
      . Our local rich kids school is bulging with assets from a riding school to heated swimming pools and now likely to get a velodrome via the backdoor dealings from the local Tory councils.Yet they still cry poverty despite having millions of taxpayers money thrown at them.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Actually, that argument is in John Armstrong’s column as well:

      The big mistake was not to make the effort to sell the policy. Previous Governments which have made similar decisions about teacher staffing have ensured there is full information about which schools are winners and which are losers.

      And I haven’t seen a government increase teacher/student ratios any time in the last 30 odd years. Every government has increased the number of teachers as smaller classes makes for better teaching.

  2. Galeandra 2

    He’s just another misguided Austerian cheerleader. Maybe I should send him a copy of Krugman’s End This Depression Now?

  3. just saying 3

    Snap. When I read that I thought the same thing.
    And felt sad that it seems that only issues that affect comfortable “middle NZ” are ever going to see any parliamentary action, and political victories. And that more and more “real pain” and irrevocable harm will be inflicted on those that remain political ‘untouchables’.

    Sometimes I feel really hostile towards comfortable middle NZ

    • lefty 3.1

      And felt sad that it seems that only issues that affect comfortable “middle NZ” are ever going to see any parliamentary action, and political victories.

      This is so right. There is the right. There is the comfortable ‘middle NZ’. Then there is the rest of the population, the precariat, the underclass – whatever name you give them. They are ignored, insulted and walked all over by the other two groups every hour of every day.

      Back in the 80s, when Labour first discovered you could totally marginalise a section of the population and get away with it politically, these people made up only about 10 – 15% of the population.

      Now they are around 30 – 40%.

      Despite this all the political parties, with the exception of Mana, don’t even really seem to understand they exist and continue to focus their efforts on the ‘middle’.

      The US is a good example of where that leads eventually.

      • just saying 3.1.1

        ignored, insulted and walked all over by the other two groups every hour of every day…

        Testify brother/sister!!

        Really feeling it today.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      It is increasingly difficult not to feel really hostile the whole time!!

      • North 3.2.1

        Spot on Dr Terry.

        The feeling is compounded every time I read the likes of Armstrong – endless nothing musings about the latest sales figures of the National Party’s snake oil salesmen/women. Truly pathetic actually – on a par with Pete George.

        It’s not only him however. Note that it’s only after dickhead Parata backed down that many in the media are able to identify cheap and deceptive spin.

        It stuck out like dog’s balls from the outset but no mention from the sages.

  4. prism 4

    What is worrying to me is the lack of understanding of the education process, and the role that technology plays for the youngsters on the cusp of concentrated learning, and the small number of teachers available to teach it, shown by John Armstrong.

    Equally as worrying for National as her performance is that the minor cuts in teacher numbers per school should have got such a “not in my backyard, nor out of my back pocket” response from the public.

    On the same basis of small numbers, we could reduce the number of science graduates as teachers. We are really in need of these people as ‘Science’ is recognised as being a useful channel to jobs and innovation for clever NZs. Holding kids’ interest in education at a different level, giving them a chance to understand what is involved in made things using their own time and skills, rather than theoretical ephemeral things formed on a screen, which is probably made overseas, is important for their secondary education and future job. But this remains unseen by the confused pollies in the House, the House of Distorting Mirrors.

    • seeker 4.1

      It also remains unseen by John Roughan in a truly reprehensible column today. Am still simmering after reading his spun poison, not to mention some of the ignorant comments there.

      • Dr Terry 4.1.1

        I much dislike poison, particularly of the Roughan kind, and I shall take no more of it (or him). He smirks about the “uprising of teachers” having this effect on the government back down. Understandably, and intelligently, teachers expressed opposition. But it was the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE that forced the outcome. Time to stop scapegoating our excellent teachers!

      • DH 4.1.2

        I thought Roughans piece was pretty nasty & spiteful too, he’s partaken of too many sour grapes there. Someone needs to remind these people of the folly in going to war against those who teach the nation’s children. I have a number of friends who are teachers and they’re all getting fed up with this incessant teacher bashing.

        A lot of his commenters wouldn’t be out of place in a Monty Python skit. “Ya fink you had it tough? Back in my day we had….. blah blah”. Pompous dinosaurs.

  5. Is it not so that not all Intermediate Schools have Technology Departments, as such, and that pupils go to a Technology Hub School Department (not necessarily at their own school) for such as metal, woodworking etc ?

    • prism 5.1

      I think that Hubs were going to be hit by changes and shrinkage of teachers too. Increasing numbers in classes was the ‘principle’ of the policy. Also what hasn’t been mentioned is that accidents are more likely and ‘sky-larking’ amongst larger classes handling real tools. Machine sewing doesn’t seem dangerous but if fingers aren’t removed while sewing fast, the needle can enter the tip of a finger most painfully, and welding, working with wood – one teacher needs to be able to watch all the pupils and increases in numbers mean less time individually.

  6. It seems bizarre that people have got the relationship with government confused. The National Government behaves as if we owe it money, when in actual fact it is the people who are National’s landlords and we should be able to demand that any tenants we allow in Parliament respect our property and the privileges we we give them and return what is owed to us in full.

    • seeker 6.1

      “The National Government behaves as if we owe it money……”

      Well said Dave. Although going by the rhetoric of the national government, its coalition partners and its disciples they actually believe it too. They really are a deluded shower. Help!

  7. bbfloyd 7

    it seems you are starting to grasp what the national party exists for…..they exist simply as a tool to take back the money “stolen” by the working classes, that was “wasted” on making life bearable for those “undeserving” poor who, through their own fault(obviously) aren’t able to (or willing to) make the sacrifices necessary for the good of their betters….

    Imagine the horror that was felt when these “bludging socialists” started building hospitals that EVERYONE could access…. appalling!! Then these ingrates started educating themselves!! Well that was never going to be acceptable….Hrumph!!

    Who’s idiotic idea was it to give plebians the vote anyway??? they were always going to waste it on traitors to the empire….

    • Pink postman 7.1

      Good one bbfloyd. I am reminded of the outrage from the Tories in the UK when the first Labour Government with a majority bought in the National Health Bill. They fought it tooth and nail and they used the same old anti worker statements just they do now when workers want a better conditions,
      I just cannot understand why working people of all type vote for these slime bags . would someone enlighten me,?

      • mike e 7.1.1

        the right pray on the prejudices of the working class.
        The right use moral and religious arguments to attract those gullible types!

  8. Dan1 8

    A fascinating insight into the wheeling and dealing and dishonesty in the Nats education policy.

    • seeker 8.1

      Great link Dan 1. So glad to see Kelvin Smythe’s networkonnet is, as Ivan Snook, Emeritus Professor of Education at Massey University says on the home page:

      “a voice for teachers and holding to account those who advance, or uncritically accept, ideological views of education. His networkonnet has an important role to play in encouraging critical debate about educational policy and practice.”

      I have noticed the hostility towards teachers displayed by some sections of the community in New Zealand. Had never experienced this serious undermining behavour in Britain. Teachers were always respected and valued. However it appears to be changing there too.

      Who is pulling Key’s and Cameron’s strings?

    • joe90 8.2

      Who is pulling Key’s and Cameron’s strings?

      These people?.

    • joe90 8.3

      And is this why they’re so keen?.

      The North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program would allow corporations to donate to nonprofits that would provide scholarships of up to $4,000 per student. In turn, the corporations would receive tax credits allowing them to divert a total of up to $40 million of their state taxes next year, and even more in the future.

      • rosy 8.3.1

        Michael Gove’s bibles in schools plan fits within this outlook as well.

        This allows Gove to perpetuate in the public’s minds a view of our education system in which he’s not really responsible for it. He sends out Bibles, makes speeches about how scandalous it is that private schools are so much better, moans that kids don’t learn Latin or read Shakespeare enough, argues for performance-related pay and generally makes all the right old-fashioned noises – and then everyone assumes the inadequacies of our schools must be despite, rather than because of, his efforts. In short, by this dispatching of a book, Gove is clearly implying that he’s not really on the schools’ side. He’s not asked them if they want one and made it available to those who do. He’s not bothered to check which schools already have a copy of it. He’s not trying to find out what other books they might want or be short of. He’s just dispensing the Word of Gove from on high.

        • seeker

          Thanks Joe 90- truly hideous stuff.
          Thanks rosy . I had read about Gove’s giving of Bibles and wondered why as Religious Education (RE) is a compulsory subject in the state education system in England. Schools have been required to teach a programme of religious studies according to local and national guidelines since the 1944 Education Act. Thus all schools would have at least one Bible which makes Gove’s gift soooooo weird.

          However, maybe there is a bridge to Joe 90’s link- an Atlantic Bridge, which became a bridge to far for the Charities Commission in 2010 apparently:

          As I became an R.E teacher in a London Secondary School when I first started teaching, news of Gove’s gift made me think the Act had been repealed. Now reading Joe’s link am beginning to think that something unearthly and not good for the human condition is going on. Cannot but help thinking that the Almighty is going to be a bit ticked off too, as He gave humans choice (so I believe) and people like de Vos and the Kochs are trying to remove it in order to make people in their own image and using children to do so. As I said before -hideous.

  9. tracey 9

    At least the poor know they are poor. The middle class get poorer by the years, economically and morally but remain, on tge whole unaware as the carrot of financial prosperity is dangled in front of them. They are just as much fodder for the 1% as the poor but they dont seem to get that they are being rogered

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