More own goals?

The last thing the Labour-led Government needs right now is more bad publicity. How then to explain Education Minister Chris Carter’s actions in recent weeks?

Start by pretending that schools are adequately funded for maintenance and operations, when everybody knows that’s not the case, and hasn’t been for years. Tell a group of school heads who complain to “stop moaning and start teaching”. Keep this up until TVNZ — according to the kiwiblog right, another Labour propaganda organ — runs a series on schools where the students have to contend with raw sewage. Only then kick the officials’ butts.

Second, after sustained reports of school bullying, announce that schools will be required to have policies in place and will be monitored, when everybody knows that this is already happening. Top this by handing out cards to schoolchildren warning them that bullying is bad.

Enough? Not for Chris Carter. Why not procrastinate over releasing a report requested by the Ombudsman until the conservative media portray you as “seemingly ignoring the Ombudsman’s request” to hand it over. As Idiot Savant puts it:

“The wrongness of this cannot be overstated. While the Ombudsman has little formal power, they are one of the final guardians of the people’s rights, and no-one refuses them. No-one. For a Minister to ignore their requests shows a terrible arrogance and a blatant disregard for the law and constitutional mores. And such a person is simply unfit to be a Minister.”

It’s enough to make any “enthusiatic lickspittle apologist for Labour” despair. Will someone take Chris Carter aside and explain how politics works in the real world. Or sack him.

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8 Responses to “More own goals?”

  1. AndrewE Says:

    Which is why I just can’t bring myself to vote for them again. National may be just as bad but it’s hard to see how they could be worse.

  2. Craig Ranapia Says:

    You know, JafaPete, I don’t even want to put a partisan angle on this. I’m so fraking angry about this:- 1) You don’t piss around or get cute with the Office of the Ombudsmen, in my book for a start. 2) Chris Carter’s press secretary was either remarkably ill-informed or lied to a pretty straightforward media inquiry. 3) Gee, doesn’t anyone think this was a pretty high priority for the Minister’s full and prompt attention? 4) There might well be legitimate grounds under the OIA act for refusing to release said report, but I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that the circumstances surrounding the appointment of a school principle now facing charges of sexually abusing students isn’t a matter of legitimate public interest. (I’ve also got to disclose I’m an old boy of Hato Paora, and this isn’t the first time sex charges have been brought against staff. This might be a time where Justice Louis Brandeis’ saw about sunlight being the best disinfectant is on the money.)

  3. Craig Ranapia Says:

    BTW, Chris Carter should be stripped of his ministerial warrant, and the press secretary given a nice fat fuck-off cheque to leave the building for good. Won’t hold my breath waiting, though…

    Craig, I think you may be a little harsh on the press secretary, who appears to have been caught out. Otherwise, I feel that there is a bipartisan consensus building here.

  4. Inventory2 Says:

    JP said “Otherwise, I feel that there is a bipartisan consensus building here.”

    Sheesh, that’s a worry JP – when the left starts agreeing with the right over the incompetence of the left!!!

    Then again, Carter is just plain incompetent – he stuffed up Conservation with the Whangamata marina fiasco, then he gets Education as a reward! Mrs Inventory had the dubious pleasure of meeting with him recently, and the polite way to describe her reaction would be to say that she was not impressed!

  5. Craig Ranapia Says:

    Pete:

    Normally, I’d agree with you — if the norm was the firing squad for the first screw up, I’d have been dead long ago. But there are some things serious enough that you shouldn’t be playing silly buggers to get ‘caught out’ over in the first place. A press secretary in the Education Minister’s office should have had better judgement in this specific case. So I wish this person long life and happiness, but I’d rather he not be working in the office of a Minister of the Crown.

  6. jafapete Says:

    Inventory, Nobody said anything about, “the incompetence of the left”! Cheeky sod.

    In the first two terms in particular, the Labour ministers have been as competent as any, and more so than many. But some became captives of their officials…

    I’ve seen that happen to members of all administrations, and if anybody expects any future National cabinet to do better, they’ll be sorely disappointed. Think back nine years and the mess that was the dying days of Shipley’s government and ask youself who was responsible. Christine Rankin ring any bells?

  7. MacDoctor Says:

    JP: Actually Christine Rankin was not a bad manager, albeit a little free with MY money (I get very possessive when tax dollars are involved!). WINZ was run reasonably well at the time, as I recall.
    What you are describing in Chris Carter is the typical inertia and arrogance of a minister past his “use by” date. It is classic “third term-itis” behavior.

    Frankly, I think we will be doing the current government a favour by voting them out – they need to revitalize and rejuvenate desperately.

    Doc, Yeah, but I don’t think that National deserve to win, and certainly not by a landslide, going by their policy so far and general performance around the place. Book’s in the mail, BTW.

  8. MacDoctor Says:

    Thanks, Pete. I love your implicit assumption that politics should be fair – its very ingenuous. 🙂

    I’m sure you know as well as I do that governments lose elections, oppositions don’t win them. To me, the worst scenario for Labour would be for Clark to cobble together a giant coalition of all except National and ACT and win a “historic” fourth term. Voters would probably exterminate them at the next election and I much prefer a strong opposition – it makes it much harder to get wacky and ill-thought-out legislation through.

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