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Watch out Dr Brash, the paranoids are after you!

29 January, 2005
Media Statement

Watch out Dr Brash, the paranoids are after you!

Claims that an NCEA history exam was an attempt to "brainwash" students have been dismissed as ridiculous by Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope says the allegations being made by National leader Don Brash and his associate education spokesperson Simon Power showed that National was cracking under the pressure.

One of the choices the level 1 history exam gave students was to write from the viewpoint of a 1980s “National Party member of Parliament not sympathetic to Maori concerns”.

"It's a sad accusation by Mr Power that somehow history is trying to be re-written," says Mr Benson-Pope. "Is he denying that Bastion Point and the land march lead by the late Dame Whina Cooper took place?

"Maybe they would like school history text books re-written by lunchtime, to accord with their views of the past?"

Mr Benson-Pope says he is mystified by Dr Brash's complaint that a sketched caricature provided to stimulate students writing was meant to be the leader of the opposition.

"The cartoon shows a fairly normal, intelligent, well adjusted looking character – it's nothing like Dr Brash," says Mr Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope says the strain seemed to be getting to Dr Brash with such bizarre outbursts of paranoia.

"I hope the National Party paranoia will not be ignited if the biology exam showed a picture of a turkey, or the physics exam had a problem about objects in free fall."


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