Liz Truss

Dirty Politics UK style

There is a lot of talk about ‘Dirty Politics’.

As a long term left wing agtator told me last week over a beer…it wasn’t dirty politics…I was just politics.

Right now in the UK a similar story is unfolding, where the media are hunting after Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines and his links with PM David Cameron.

Guido operates in many respects just like I do…and just like me he kicks his own team in the slats.

The Prime Minister is the last person you would expect to find honouring rogue political blogger Guido Fawkes, who has just brought down one of his ministers.

But David Cameron appeared as guest of honour via a video link at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the controversial website.

Just three weeks ago, Brooks Newmark resigned as Minister for Civil Society, causing the PM immense embarrassment as it was on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference.

This followed the Tory MP being enticed into sending explicit pictures of himself to a male reporter, posing as an attractive young woman, who was working for Guido Fawkes.

Fawkes then hawked the story around Fleet Street before it was eventually published by the Sunday Mirror.

The dubious journalistic methods employed were so contentious that two newspapers refused to publish the story and the Sunday Mirror, which did, is being investigated by the new press watchdog IPSO.

Yet, in his message broadcast at the dinner, the Prime Minister saw fit to condone such behaviour, praising Fawkes (real name Paul Staines) and his website as ?required reading?.

?Congratulations on ten years of Guido Fawkes,? said Cameron, ?and what better way to celebrate a decade of rejecting the cosy political establishment than by hosting a cocktail reception and a dinner in the heart of Westminster with half the Cabinet and the lobby invited.

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Some good Poms

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. ? Unlike our Minister, she has a clear vision, clearly articulated. ?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 Britain?s failure to compete globally to the poor skills of people here.. She warns that ?the proportion of our population who don?t have basic skills is very high in comparison with other countries?. This is a ?culture and an education problem?, she says.

Her views on this issue date back to a year she spent in Canada when she was 12. ?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.? She complains that people in this country have an ?ingrained attitude that destiny is defined?. She bemoans that this is a ?self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don?t think that, then you?re likely to do better.?

Does that sound like somewhere you know? ?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 ?a very successful country?. In a break with all the early Cameroon talk of general wellbeing, she stresses that ?you can quantify it in terms of how much wealth our citizens have?. 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? ?Crap, we should be fighting to be number one, for our kids and for NZ. ?Would we be poncing about smugly satisfied with our achievement if the All Blacks were the 8th best in the world?