Some readers are upset at my generalisations about pommy bastards.
There are one or two Pom politicians (that’s about the limit mind you) who could be encouraged to emigrate to New Zealand.
Boris Johnson is one of them, Liz Truss might just be another.
Liz Truss is the UK’s Minister for Education. Â Unlike our Minister, she has a clear vision, clearly articulated. Â And unlike our teachers unions, who think that some outfit’s guess that we are 8th in the world is a wondrous achievement, she thinks that education could do better for kids and country.
She attributes Britainâ€™s failure to compete globally to the poor skills of people here.. She warns that â€˜the proportion of our population who donâ€™t have basic skills is very high in comparison with other countriesâ€™. This is a â€˜culture and an education problemâ€™, she says.
Her views on this issue date back to a year she spent in Canada when she was 12. â€˜The whole culture was people wanting to do well and succeed. People wanted to be the top of the class, going home and working on your homework was a good thing. While the school I was at in Leeds was the opposite.â€™ She complains that people in this country have an â€˜ingrained attitude that destiny is definedâ€™. She bemoans that this is a â€˜self-fulfilling prophecy. If you donâ€™t think that, then youâ€™re likely to do better.â€™
Does that sound like somewhere you know? Â She has the kind of aspirations for UK education that Hekia, and more particularly, the self-interested and protective teacher unions could do with here:
Her aim is for Britain to be â€˜a very successful countryâ€™. In a break with all the early Cameroon talk of general wellbeing, she stresses that â€˜you can quantify it in terms of how much wealth our citizens haveâ€™. She also wants to see Britain topping the international educational league tables. If she can achieve that, then the human hand grenade will have blown away most of the obstacles to success in modern Britain.
So a dodgy 8th is good for our country? Â Crap, we should be fighting to be number one, for our kids and for NZ. Â Would we be poncing about smugly satisfied with our achievement if the All Blacks were the 8th best in the world?