Act’s fresh-faced MP for the rotten-borough of Epsom wants a cabinet post, and John Key thinks it’s a good idea so he can get the extra funding.
David Seymour has his eyes on the education portfolio, on the basis of his work developing, in his words “the best charter school policy in the world”. These are the schools that are costing three times as much per student as public schools. In Whangarei two new ones opened in an area with 900 spare school places already.
Act’s education policy, as Jamie Whyte described it, is to make schools like supermarkets. I guess teachers can kiss goodbye to the idea of ever belonging to a respected, reasonably paid profession in that scenario.
Showing unusual self-awareness, Act also writes that “many in the educational establishment express intense hostility” to their policies.
Key assures New Zealand that his third term isn’t going to see a radical step to the right. Appointing Seymour would put this under doubt.
What’s worse, it would antagonise a sector that the government is working with on the delicately balanced, but potentially very positive Investing in Educational Success initiative.
(An abbreviated version of this post appeared as a letter to the Dominion Post on 29/9).