A few thoughts on Hekia Parata and her u-turn on class sizes.
The only good thing to come out of this is some temporary relief for children as they pass through the education system. There is no acknowledgement of wrong-doing, or error in the agenda National has for education. One outcome from this is that National will continue to pursue their agenda, they just need to find a new way of doing it. Another possibility is that this will go on the back-burner while other, less contentious issues are progressed. Either way, this is not a victory for anyway, and especially not National.
I must say, the spin put on this by National and supporters really is polishing a turd. And I don't think that they have fully thought through the implications. Sure, this appears to show that National "listens to the people". But to stay true to form, National must now be seen to listen on other contentious issues. Asset sales, anyone? I hope that petition for a referendum is coming along well.
It also shows that some of National's policies are rooted in populism, rather than evidence, research or even ideology. Though this was an ideologically based decision, all round. It shows that National believe that if a particular presentation of their ideology is not palatable, they have others.
I would like to see Hekia Parata stay on as the minister. Her credibility is blown to shreds and I'd prefer to see this government limp on to its inevitable end with ineffective lame-duck ministers than letting it pursue its agenda with ministers who are capable of wreaking more damage.
And won't question time next week be fun. My money is on the Greens (again) to make the running. There are so many questions around the financial impacts alone that it should be a field day for the opposition.
PJ Harvey - Dry, 1992