Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rodney Hide---another 'outburst,' or is he correct?!


Rodney Hide is a ‘populist politician’ of the worst kind. He takes a fact and turns it into a lie because he does not tell the whole truth. His diatribe today is an example of that. He plays on people’s prejudices and distorts reality.

Take for example his claim that the rich pay their accountants to avoid taxes while the poor are destined to pay at an effectively higher rate. If ‘any’ Government were to expand and examine the reasons behind such a claim, then bring in policies that force the rich to pay their fair share (that is proportionate to what they are earning) such claims would be more valid of course, but that does not happen.

He claims that successive government policies have created the gap between rich and poor. That ‘partial’ truth therefore needs to be looked at in the light that 'history teaches us lessons, if only we would learn them.' Look at why the poor continue to fail and cannot manage to get their feet in the economic door; represented by a living wage and the capacity to own their own homes. Political survival and the need to attract enough votes in a three year cycle make this a likely outcome.

It seems that no party has the courage to make the mix between State and private participation work. Both major parties are hamstrung by their perceived political backers, thus making it nigh on impossible le to embed economic and social policies, much like those we see in Scandinavia, both historically and in the present.

The widening of the gap between rich and poor (and that entails the failures within the educational system) is alluded to by Rodney Hide but he deliberately mistakes the reasons for this. Our decile one schools are just that—decile one, not failures. The teachers in such schools are every bit as good and passionate about their work as those in decile 9 and 10 schools (if not better), but they are hampered by many factors, the least being the lack of capacity for parents to mirror the strengths and skills needed along with the economic clout to take part in the ‘competitive race’ that schools have become. How many students can afford the lap tops or Ipads that their counterparts possess in those schools at the top of the pile? Even those in the middle are struggling now.

Rodney also plays the ‘race’ card in a cynical manner, by trying to blame ‘The Treaty’ and political correctness for the failings of students in lower decile schools. The small amount of time spent on such issues is nothing compared to the lack of resources the families and teachers face in such schools.

His comments about ‘benefits’ are repugnant. To talk about school girls dropping out of school in order to gain a ‘benefit’ is a gross misunderstanding of what is going on out there.

I wish Rodney could take the time to go to South Auckland and other areas of New Zealand and learn about life in the suburbs and not just take a few ‘figures’ and turn them into a nasty little attack in order to increase the fortunes of his almost defunct party.

However, if his outbursts stimulate debate about finding answers to New Zealand’s serious problems, then fine---bring it on!