Q+A and The Nation
Okay that lovely Bevan Rhapsody and that awful John Roughan from the Herald are on the Panel, Garner is now hosting after the sudden dumping of the wooden Stephen (let's be honest, he was better as Brownlee's press secretary).
This weeks Scoop s genius. Duncan knives Peter Davis's bizarre letter to the Listener where Peter correctly attacks our public broadcasting failure, yet as Duncan points out, Labour simply continued the mixed hybrid atrocity TVNZ has become. (Personally I think TVNZ should be forced to make all their prime time TV NZ content while not having to return any profit to the Crown, so that it can self fund this content.)
Maybe it's been my criticisms (that Duncan refers to 4 times in the show) or maybe it's because the show now rests entirely on his shoulders but Duncan lifts his game and savages Anne Tolley in a joyful way. These National Standards are now failing vast swathes of children and those report cards are hitting homes and Tolley is desperately trying to defend her flawed, flawed policy. Only 2 weeks ago, Professor Hattie renewed his attacks on National Standards, Tolley refuses to engage in the criticism.
And the criticism is vast because these standards ARE NOT about the educational needs of our children (academic research points out that testing children this young is pointless because children learn at very different levels). National Standards are being implemented to inject a false competition into education via a league table. Anne Tolley mentioned vouchers this year, those vouchers will be for this league table. The only one benefiting from National Standards will be the private education industry who have already been given millions more by this Government at the expense of the public education system.
The $36 million Tolley keeps harping on about is there to 'help measure' the standards, not one cent will be spent to lift the educational standards of children who are failing, it will simply be used to measure their failure.
Parents know and can see the impact in their children's eyes now they are told they are failing, they can see the light diminish and for what? So the Minister can live out her idealogical fantasies!
Alister Barry, the best documentary maker this country has, produced an incredible film critiquing the last attempt to privatize education in his ground breaking doco, A Civilized Society.
I know many, many teachers and they all work their arses off for their pupils, not one of them would stop a policy that helps lift childrens education standards, their opposition to this flawed stupid policy is because they can see that the policy is flawed and stupid. That they have been ignored in this debate by the Minister should be a national shame!
Duncan latches onto pay performance and Anne Tolley sweats it out, my guess is she will roll out 'incentives' just prior to the election so it won't get noticed and doesn't want to start that scrutiny now. I like Duncan a lot more when he's as mean to the right as he is to the left because being equally mean is real balance in journalism.
Education is the next issue, Dr Carr, that greedy Vice Chancellor is demanding more cash for the Universities and less cash to students for student free loans. The very brilliant David Do from NZUSA is amazing in pointing out that the student free loan is there to help graduates stay in NZ and pay their loan off faster so that we slow the brain drain that we are always screaming about.
Personally I think we should bring bonding back in, your education is cheap if you stay in NZ with that education, and there should be a universal student allowance so that students aren't getting into debt for just being there.
Next story from Natasha Smith is this weeks pre-filmed story on the latest clowns running for Auckland Super Mayor. The Nation do some of the best pre-filmed political stories that broadcast in this country and the searing portrayal they give Prast is almost Mike Moore in its comedic timing. Very funny, always good to see Matt McCarten on screen. That dreadful Bhtaganaar John Banks acolyte is on dripping how great John Banks is and how these two candidates will hurt Len.
Matt's coy suggestion of a new left wing candidate is very, very interesting???
Mike Wilson's business news round up is excellent and points out the double dip recession is a coming.
My segment is up next and then over due to the bloody slow internet! I blame Steven Joyce!
It's a China special! Paul Holmes is deliciously vicious over the ARC decision in his opening monologue and puts the boot into Andy Haden's unbelievable comments. Best joke - Paul's suggestion to keep refugees from Australia in the Queens Wharf sheds.
Jon Johansson, the brilliant Fran O'Sullivan and Peter Chin the Dunedin Mayor make up a sharp panel.
Fascinating discussion with Key and Guyon in China about China. Key understands the dynamic that NZ's economy relies heavily on how much milk powder we can ship to China.
Guyon notes that Australia was heavily invested in by China for being able to trade with China, and Guyon asks if that will happen with us. Key states we could help China work in a 3rd country to produce food for China, but he was clear he didn't see it as any value to allow China to buy our productive land.
Key is playing a very smart game, he gets that China want to use us as a test case for their brand of lowest cost capitalism and so while he will protect the golden goose of our productive farms, he has no problem with allowing them to be our infrastructure constructor of choice.
It was funny to hear them discuss that the Mandarin language should be compulsory in NZ, I wonder how that will go down?
Key is clear that the China relationship is purely a commercial relationship, Guyon argues that we have no real connection with their repressive culture and do we really want to have anything to do with a repressive country like China. Key argues China have made steps (tiny steps) and claims he does bring up the issue of Human Rights broadly with the Chinese leadership, but Key accepts he doesn't think China is terribly interested in democracy.
Fran argued Farms need new capital and are screaming for it, Chin wanted to bring up the Poll tax history (???), Jon scoffs and countered that China never apologized for the great leap backwards. They all note that we need a China strategy.
The most profound change noted by the NZ businessman (David Mahon) they interview pointed out that China has been able to lift 300 million people out of subsistence living and that franchise extension should be celebrated. That's very valid as is also his point that China's corruption is petty when comparing it to America's recent rort on Wall st.
Lots and lots and lots to think about.