Thursday, February 02, 2012


The Herald's John Armstrong is someone I think of as a political sycophant - there to excuse and enable the powerful rather than serve the public. But he really takes the cake this morning with his claim that ACT's Catherine Isaac is the best candidate to head the government's charter schools taskforce. His reasons?

Isaac, whose appointment is clearly designed to short-circuit the notoriously slow-moving Ministry of Education, is well-qualified to run the implementation group. A former school trustee and long-time watcher of the successes and failures of charter schools overseas, she wrote the two-page annex to Act's support agreement with National which outlines the process by which two state-funded trial charter schools will be established, one in south Auckland and the other in Christchurch.
Seriously? By that measure - long-term watching and writing at least two pages on a topic - I'm "well-qualified" to run almost any area of government policy. Where's my government sinecure?

But then after making that ridiculous excuse, Armstrong gets down to the real qualification: "she is simply the best candidate to deliver the ideologically-driven results which Banks wants". And that, in and of itself, ought to exclude her from any public service role.