Tolley losing the plot?

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, March 16th, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

Anne Tolley put out an odd media statement on Friday.

She reckons Trevor Mallard, opposition spokesperson for Education, dominated two public meetings in Auckland on her Government’s unpopular national standards policy. Which begs the question, was she actually all there at either meeting?

At the Onehunga meeting Mallard asked one question, querying how much time the Minister had calculated that schools would have to spend on reporting on the standards to parents. She couldn’t answer the question, although it was asked very straight. So Mallard asked for an average. Again Tolley couldn’t answer, and I got the impression that the work had not been done by the Ministry to work this out.

Mallard didn’t heckle (and neither did Labour MP Carol Beaumont who was next to him). He did seem to be filming the Minister on his phone, but there was no secrecy about it – it was blatantly obvious. The Minister raised no concerns about this at the time, that I saw. [just a note, Labour MPs video most speeches they give nowdays, as do Nats, so surely it’s no big deal if someone else records it too]

I was not at the Panmure meeting, but Mallard himself stated at Red Alert that he didn’t ask any questions at all there.

As opposition spokeperson on education Mallard does actually have a democratic responsibility to critique the government’s policies, to ask questions and to hold the Minister accountable. This is not stalking, as National Party bloggers Cameron Slater and David Farrar have portrayed it, it is an important democratic function.

So the Minister is so threatened by one question from Mallard that she couldn’t answer that she tries to portray the opposition spokesperson on education as losing the plot.

Look in the mirror Anne Tolley.

14 comments on “Tolley losing the plot?”

  1. tc 1

    Tolley fashions her approach on Dolores Umbridge from harry potter….bet she even pretends to hex people with her ‘wand’ ….these are clear signs of losing it, no effective polly gives a toss if their opposite numbers watching and unlike the rest of the Nats she’s rattled by it….go trev go.

  2. gitmo 2

    There was a plot to lose ?

    • Yes there is very much a plot. Currently manufacturing a crisis so they can save the day. Narritives, plots and stories are a key theme of this National government (and many other conservative governments or election campaigns).

    • Yes there is very much a plot. Currently manufacturing a crisis so they can save the day. Narratives, plots and stories are a key theme of this National government (and many other conservative governments or election campaigns).

  3. outofbed 3

    I would have thought she was reserving a plot next to Phil Heatley and Richard Worth

  4. freedom 4

    maybe Tolley is a student of the Glenn Beck School of Communication

  5. Wow agreement from across the political spectrum!

  6. Zepher 6

    “Afterwards parents complained that Mr Mallard had wasted their valuable time, and had not allowed them to ask questions about the Standards.”

    National sure likes to layer the bullshit pretty thick on their toast.

  7. Plaudits to the creator of that image – the facial expressions, and easily peevable attitude are on the money. My question is, “Would Tolley take umbrage at this?”

  8. prism 8

    I was co- organiser of a meeting to explain the new electoral option pre-MMP. We wanted a controlled meeting with no-one holding the floor as generally happens. We had an efficient chairperson who was also time-keeper and so kept control. If Tolley doesn’t know someone who is authoritative and experienced I would be most surprised.

    We had a good meeting. I wanted lots of explanatory time with no or little time for FPP (on the basis that we had had it for yonks and should understand it). This was most unwelcome to the stalwart Nats present but we prevailed. It can be done. If Tolley hasn’t got anything of worth to say though, it might suit her to blame Mallard, or the weather, or…

  9. 9

    Mallards question is valid. National capaigned on ‘cutting bureaucracy’ in education and I heard Tolley push that line a number of times on the campaign trail. How much extra bureaucracy will the National Standards package create.

  10. But wait there is more …

    Mallard has blogged about Tolley in the house today responding to his question. She was given a briefing that suggested that Labour’s literacy program, aimed at professional development for teachers, was working well.

    She cut funding for this and refused to accept the urging in the report to maintain Labour’s program.

    This is really appalling. She cut money going to a project that actually improved literacy standards to put it into normalising test results which, of itself, does nothing to improve literacy standards.

    The link is at

    There is more to come I am sure …

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