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Fail, Fail, Fail

As I predicted in a previous blog entry, New Zealand’s education system has sunk to new lows in the latest OECD report. And equally as expected, the government is in complete denial about it and intends to continue with their current policies which have been a major cause of the problem in the first place. Last time I heard the prime minister still had full confidence in his minister of education, but it’s almost unheard of for the corrupt leader of any organisation to admit their equally corrupt friends are incompetent. My verdict on the government’s education policies? Fail!

The most recent census figures show that the number of speakers of the Maori language continues to decline despite a climate of political correctness around speaking it and despite the vast sums spent on supporting it. But society changes, and languages and cultures often decline as a result. If there is insufficient interest in a language to have it continue through natural social processes then there is little point in trying to keep it alive on “life support”. The Maori language is dying and efforts to revive it are likely to result in a… fail!

And while we’re on the subject of institutions which are barely surviving: New Zealand’s libertarian part, Act, just lurches from one disaster to the next. Back at the height of their power (which wasn’t very much) they had some credibility but then they let political expediency corrupt their original pure (but defective) principles, and that was the beginning of the end. They recruited John Banks as their leader, not because he naturally had libertarian ideals, but because he was the sort of person they could use to do a dirty deal with National and desperately cling to power. So now the inevitable has happened. Here’s one word to describe Act: fail!

Look at all these fails and there is one common factor: an inability to separate facts and pragmatism from ideology and idealism. If your education policy doesn’t work then don’t treat it as an insult to some sort of religion. Listen to the experts and make changes which will genuinely bring better outcomes. If so few people are really interested in the future of a language there is no point in pursuing an unrealistic course trying to save it. Let it go and put your time and money into something which is worth saving. And if you have to resort to the same dirty political tactics as the opponents you previously criticised to ensure your political survival then maybe you don’t deserve to survive. In that case your point of difference is your idealism so don’t compromise it.

Actually looking at politics today this blog post could easily have included many more examples of failures, but then the title might have been fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail… and that would just have been a… fail.

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