A Week Of It With Kevin List
A Week Of It With Kevin List
In This Week's Week Of
NCEA/Scholarship Woes Not As Bad As Fighting Japanese On Java
Where’s Don Gone?
National Party Searches In Vain For Youth Vote
Potty Mouthed Greens Make Law And Order Advocate See Red
NCEA has taught us one thing. It has showed that principals, the demigods of their school world are prepared to kick up a fuss and throw the national qualification out the window with the bath water if they don’t like it. Whilst Sunday Star Times readers may regurgitate their lattes over the pavements of Ponsonby regarding the latest NCEA and Scholarship hiccups – real NZ’ers [Truth readers] are more concerned with NZ’s middle order batting, and rightly so.
Over the last hundred years New Zealand teen-agers have worried about fighting two world wars, a small conflagration in Korea and fighting against fighting the Vietnam War.
Today’s teen-agers' crisis consists of maybe not getting a few thousand bucks for their scholarship. Those teenagers and their parents should take heart from the National Party. Rather than the book smart, varsity educated, Bill English, New Zealand’s scholastically disadvantaged youth should remember Jenny Shipley and Jim Bolger.
Ms Shipley failed school certificate (twice) and still became Prime Minister. Mr Bolger didn’t even sit school certificate and still got to beat the professorial Geoffrey Palmer. Both were moderately successful leaders of the National Party despite their lack of any decent qualifications - unlike the hard working scholastically inclined Mr English.
Whilst back-stabbed former National Party leader, Bill English whipped some sections of the media into a merry lather over the NCEA/Scholarship issue current National Party leader Don Brash continued to keep a low profile. Dr Brash very gallantly didn’t take any of the limelight off Mr English’s resurgence into the media spotlight. Whilst spotted in Parliament, which is somewhat unusual, Dr Brash preferred to let his minions ask the tough questions of the Government.
Dr Brash was however not entirely invisible in presence this week. The vexed question of welfare dependency continued to vex Dr Brash. Spending a quiet week in front of his typewriter, Dr Brash honed and hewed more inspiration from the inspirational Orewa II speech – reshaping some of those glorious phrases in search of another percentage point in the polls. In his latest newsletter Dr Brash ditched looking at welfare from the ‘man in the pubs’ viewpoint and instead decided to get real.
“Realistically, it will take some time to organise the necessary community work to get all those on the Unemployment Benefit into work, and we will focus initially on those who are under 25 and those who have been on the Unemployment Benefit for a lengthy period."
Given a number of community organizations have publicly stated they want nothing to do with Dr Brash’s community work schemes – “some time” may equate as never happening.
Dr Brash also pointed out that he did indeed intend to punish the children of the poor for the indigent ways of their parents – in a very roundabout way. Dr Brash wrote that whilst:
“Nobody wants to punish children for the mistakes of their parents… There should surely be no automatic entitlement to additional financial support for those additional children.”
One interesting part of Dr Brash’s attempts to create division within New Zealand society by marginalizing certain sectors of society is that this political tactic [also known as wedge politics] is more often than not practiced by parties with a clear lead in an attempt to shore up their support. This is because wedge politics tends to lead to a more polarised voting community, i.e. voters who are less likely to change sides.
Obviously if you already do not have enough votes to be elected, polarising the voting public in this manner can be a two edged sword.
One sector of society Dr Brash and his senior adviser Murray McCully seem intent on attracting is the youth vote. Both Dr Brash and Mr McCully had plenty to say regarding the John Farnham/Gallipoli celebration fiasco and both “hip dudes” were firmly on the side of youth, pop music and Mr Farnham.
In his weekly comedy blog, McCully.co.nz, Mr McCully waxed lyrical about the appalling Aussie soft rock crooner.
“Farnham is the outstanding Australian artist of three decades, and his music has been hugely popular in this country over the same period. Yet our Minister of Arts and Culture claims to have missed it completely. No doubt she was off at a Socialist International Conference in Nicaragua at the time.”
Given the choice of having to listen to the ghastly John Farnham or attending a socialist conference in Nicaragua most New Zealanders under 65 would probably opt for a little April sun in Nicaragua. However there may be a few diehard rabidly heterosexual fans of the massively mulleted Aussie, who fondly remember long ago Saturdays combing their mustache to the sound of “Whispering Jack”. In his Nick Kent inspired piece of music journalism, Mr McCully assured his readers that this blockbuster record spent 63 weeks in the NZ Album charts. Mr McCully further testily asserted that Mr Farnham's music “enjoyed sizeable popularity here.”
Last Friday a tourette’s syndrome afflicted press release escaped from the Greens media unit and made its way to the Scoop website. After the Scoop staff had recovered from reading the release [relating to the activities Ms Metiria Turei planned to get up to on a varsity tour] a further release followed whereby Ms Turei’s plans to “fuck some shit up” had been somewhat toned down. Prior to its internet destruction the first potty mouthed release that escaped from the Greens had been spotted by eagle eyed United Future law and order advocate, Marc Alexander who fired a stern broadside at the Greens for their expletive laden prose.
In deference to sensitive readers Mr Alexander added asterisks in his stern broadside thus “fuck some shit up” became “f**k some s**t up” but Scoop workers again needed a stiff cup of tea as the horror of the initial release was revived. It is considered likely Mr Alexander will still find the toned down Greens university tour offensive - but may for once take some comfort from a shortened sentence.