Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Upton On Line - Blowing His Own Picollo

upton-on-line hesitates to blow his own piccolo, let alone a trumpet, but he can't help the fact (to his complete surprise) that the Geneva based World Economic Forum, in its latest edition of World Link magazine, has selected him for its "dream cabinet" for 1999 as Environment Minister. (The incredulous among you can visit www.worldlink.co.uk for verification, although the latest edition of Worldlink is yet to be posted there).

The ‘dream cabinet’ is an annual announcement. This year they gave the top job to Dutch Prime Minister, Wim Kok. Top Foreign Minister was Germany’s Joschka Fischer, with Mexico’s Finance Minister Gurria, holding the purse strings.

Flattered as upton-on-line is by the promotion, he envisages it would be a little difficult to get to Cabinet meetings.

As this edition goes on line, upton-on-the-bus has just deputised for Jenny Shipley at the Mainland Cheese factory where disconcertingly large globs of colby cheese were being cut and packed for the Australian market. Upton-on-line inspected the plant in white gear, looking like a cross between Ena Sharples and a polar bear.

Riding high on international acclaim though he was, upton-at-Dunedin was brought swiftly down to earth by the assembled crowd’s evident disappointment that he wasn’t Mrs Shipley (and hasn’t a hope of matching the hunky good looks of Burton Shipley).

The cutters and packers wanted to know about health care, the Employment Contracts Act, a lower drinking age and the demise of life-time licenses as well as genetically modified food. Good solid mainland issues at Mainland.

Previously, upton-on-line had braved a hideous cross-wind landing at Dunedin airport to rendezvous with "Lipstick 1" on the campaign trail.

Shattered nerves were soothed early this morning by the Prime Minister's velvet smooth breakfast address to the Dunedin faithful.

The Prime Minister spied a clear choice emerging this election in the disputed field of education. Broadly speaking, to paraphrase Mrs Shipley, it lies between the National party which values parent, pupil and community control and the left which has an undying attachment to the Wellington bureaucracy aided (or hindered) by deeply entrenched teacher unions.

She drew attention to the little appreciated Labour commitment to abolish the Education Review Office (ERO). As a first time parent, upton-on-line's household has found ERO reports an invaluable antidote to the self-serving spiel that would otherwise be the only means of assessing prospective schools.

He has been amazed by the tenacity with which fellow parents seek out this material. How on earth does Labour think it will win hearts and minds by putting anxious parents back in the dark? Perhaps the number of teacher unionists standing on Labour's list has something to do with it.

Student loans:

Mrs Shipley noted that it would not have been possible to come to Dunedin without wading into student loans. Indeed, she informed the breakfast audience, she had waded into a pod of students (upton-on-line is unsure of the collective noun here) the previous evening and met one agitator who has been studying for eleven years. Upton-on-line understands this does not embrace a double doctorate. Mrs Shipley offered to debate student loans if he was prepared to say who'd been supporting him all these years. Apparently, the pod evaporated at this point.

The PM pointed out that the average level of student indebtedness is just $11,600 at the conclusion of study. As she said, "if young New Zealanders aren't prepared to back themselves to this extent, there's not much hope for our future".

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news