Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Protesting too much: responses to Labour's new tertiary policy

85 Responses

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  • Richard Wain, in reply to linger,

    No, I saw that bit - but that doesn't change the fact he's a Labour guy, blogging on an (apparently) non-Labour website. Even branding it with a big red Labour sign on top would still be weird... I was being generous to suggest it should be branded that way.

    Kiwiblog is one blog, with its own slant, and fair enough - whatever I or anyone might think of the content. Freedom of speech. But this is a collection of blogs, and it seems strange only Labour gets their own column... and I'm definitely NOT advocating there should be equal space for each party, boring.

    It's not hard to set up a blog, right?

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    @Russell: People qualify so long as they've had *no* previous post-school education.

    StudyRight? I've heard it somewhere before I think?

    NZ's tertiary framework is in need of some significant reconsideration; the oscillation from unregulated fees to regulated fees, the sliding around on funding for private vs public providers and the erosion of student welfare require attention.

    Funding those most in need is almost certainly a good idea, offering generous funding to higher education while restricting funding for other post-schooling education is a partial fix.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    It's been theorised that government budget deficits were just the pretext to massively hike university fees around the world. And that the real reason was because universities were producing the likes of Jane Kelsey, Abbie Hoffman, and other "New Left subversives getting all the wrong ideas from the Frankfurt School Cultural Marxists". It ties in with the view that public gullibility is in inverse proportion to average education levels.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5410 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    My take on this is the big winners will be polytechs. They already offer exactly the sort of certificate/diploma/degree mix that a lot of adult workers who wish to retrain might be interested in. The big issue is the three year max thing. Personally, I would like to see something additional like six months off on 75% of your previous salary (capped) for every 12 years of full time paid employment, up to a maximum of 18 months, conditional on being in full time study and passing. I would fund this like ACC, with a levy on employers - who after all will benefit from this training.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I’d agree that there does need to be some mechanism in NZ for industry to fund R&D, and HR to fund staff development, to a much larger extent than at present (I see these as parallel problems, whose solutions should be very similar in structure; you could call the combination Work Smarter). But doesn’t it rather suck to be self-employed under the scheme you suggest: forced to pay a levy, without being able to take the time to undergo formal retraining yourself?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1860 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Another part of this policy will have to be addressing the governance changes that the National Government has made to tertiary institutions. Councils have been shrunk, student and staff representation dropped and government appointed (eg conservative white men) members increased. As well, there are the barriers to study for older people (eg loans no longer available for those over 55) and those doing longer courses None of these changes have been brought in under the assumption that education is a public good and part of a healthy democracy. So significant structural and attitudinal changes will need to be made to implement this policy.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3183 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    One of the many problems with user-pays education is that it quickly removed the “public good” perception among students themselves:
    “I paid (and am still paying) for this, therefore it is mine.”
    That’s an attitudinal change that will take generations to reverse.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1860 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to linger,

    you raise a good point about the self-employed, particularly because the values of the modern corporate governance model is effectively a sociopathic renunciation of the social contract in any form, so any levy is likely to be met with increasing the number of "contractors" who are "self employed".

    What if you simply change "salary" to "income" and "12 years full time employment" to "23,000 worked hours"?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Why does PA publish a column from a Labour Party spin doctor

    Because Russell has long supported that party.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Richard Wain,

    So let me see if I have got this: You are having a whinge because somehow, and despite the fact our media is dominated by the voices of reactionary apologists, having a Labour voice is a bridge to far?

    You remind me of the UK Labour Blairites, who managed to stay in Labour despite Iraq and Blair's creation of a quasi police state, only suddenly discover their moral principles and flounce out of the party kicking up as big a self importantt fuss as possible when Corbyn got elected.

    Go away, you fool.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2207 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    That would be met by an equally obvious bastard corporate workaround: increasing the number of part-timers so that no ordinary worker would ever meet the criterion. Some sort of bulk equivalence would be needed to get around that: funding x hours of training for every y hours of employee labour in total. (Which then raises the question of how staff are selected or prioritised for training: some mix of companies needing to upskill workers in certain positions, and training driven by workers' own needs, would be necessary.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1860 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Richard Wain,

    the sunlight soapbox?

    I'm aware we all know who he is and what he does... doesn't make giving the guy this space any more right.

    You are sounding a bit narked....
    Wait and see how it is branded, when we see the new masthead the as yet unknown title* may inform and as Rob asked above it will have the 'Promoter Statement' (necessary for all political proclamations it now seems).
    The only problem might be trying to a put a 'monetary value' on having access to the eyes, hearts and minds of PAS readers for the Electoral Commission's total on advertising spend - personally I don't consider discussion as 'advertising' or even as 'proselytizing' - doing so seems like a tax on thought...

    *Title possibilities:
    'Salmond fishing in the Yesmen'
    'Heracles for a stable society'
    'What's all the Sisyphus'
    'Slog blog'
    'Trojan hoarse'
    or even...
    'Drudge red'

    (all tongue in cheek)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Regardless of the merits of whatever Rob says here, he works for Labour. Not exactly non-partisan analysis, is it? If this is a Labour blog, it should be branded as such, or he should blog elsewhere.

    Rob does data and strategic work. His main client is the Labour Party. He has blogged for a while on his own site, but I asked him to write some posts here because I was interested in what he had to say.

    I’m aware we all know who he is and what he does… doesn’t make giving the guy this space any more right.

    Huh? How does it make it "wrong"? I'm not sure you're getting the part about this being, y'know, my website.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Because Russell has long supported that party.

    It's not even that, really. It's interesting having access to an insider view. And, whether people agree with Rob or not, he generally provides plenty for people to chew over, as is evidenced by the rest of the discussion here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Yippie kai eh?

    Abbie Hoffman

    Abbott Howard Hoffman - sounds like a frankensteined Aussie politician (and they've already had to put up with Abbott and Costello...)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I also get the impression that you'd welcome content from others, if their writing was constructive, insightful, and not nakedly partisan.

    I really enjoy hearing Rob's thoughts, even though he's on a different 'team' and has different objectives.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Richard Wain,

    It’s not hard to set up a blog, right?

    Right! It's a piece of piss these days Richard. All you need is a domain, a hosting account and enough nous to press the "create blog" button using your preferred platform.

    That's the easy bit.

    Attracting an intelligent and diverse audience is much harder. Witness the number of dead-end blogs which litter the net, languishing down dark alleys with little foot traffic and no real relevance.

    I'm not sure if you're proposing kicking Rob out or inviting luminaries like Rodney Hide and Judith Collins to contribute guest posts, in an effort to restore some perceived balance which exists largely in your own mind.

    Anyone who's read Public Address for a while appreciates that it's a low-noise, robust discussion area with some damn fine contributors. While I'm not a Labour voter I certainly count Rob as one of those people and look forward to him getting his own masthead.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1360 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Lloyd-Evans, in reply to B Jones,

    Sounds like we were at Uni at the same time. I wouldn't wish that on my children, though and am hoping something like this will come along before they finish school.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Go away, you fool.

    Nice manners there. I was merely voicing my opinion and being polite... obviously a bit of debate is a bit much for you.

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    I also get the impression that you’d welcome content from others, if their writing was constructive, insightful, and not nakedly partisan.

    Anything well-argued and authentic, basically.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    I'd like to address the issue raised by Christopher and commented on by others; the issue of "my generation" being the one that has to pay for higher education, becoming the meat in the free education sandwich.

    I was fortunate enough to receive a student allowance in my first year of university, followed by three years of student loans (lump sum payments: how fun were those to manage!) By extreme good fortune I came into some money a few years after I graduated which enabled me to pay all of this off and start afresh when it came to buying a house and so on. As I spent the first 15 years of my working life working in the arts I count myself extremely fortunate to be able to say that, so many of my friends were not so lucky.

    I am supportive of the Labour policy in general. As has been pointed out by others there are certainly concerns over course quality and the like, but I think an educated populace is a better populace and anything that helps that is to be encouraged. However, with my (admittedly fortunate) backstory please allow me and my generation some bitterness for being caught at a time when tertiary education wasn't free and, by the time we got our loans done and dusted, house prices started spiralling out of control. We didn't have the "job for life" that our parents had, nor are we digital natives that get to fully participate in the new economy. At the moment it feels like life has passed us by and all we got to do was stand at the platform and wave at the people having fun on the train.

    Maybe I'm just feeling tired and bitter this morning.......

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Alfie,

    Anyone who’s read Public Address for a while appreciates that it’s a low-noise, robust discussion area with some damn fine contributors.

    Yes. I really enjoy Public Address for this reason, despite not being so frequent a contributor as some others here.

    I appreciate PA has a political leaning and I'm not going to presume to tell Russell and others what to do, but I was also feeling a few similar concerns before Richard brought them up. Having occasional guest posts from an insider is interesting, but routinely letting the Labour Party express itself about how awesome and competent its leader is, or how superfantabulously brilliant its new policy is, and so on, makes PA feel much more like an outlet that's prioritising political expression -- sometimes spin -- of the Labour Party insiders, instead of prioritising critique and discussion from outside.

    I'm happy to go with it on the grounds that there's still good discussion here, but to me it definitely it feels like a shift.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    My first year at Uni was the first year that course costs were higher than the cost of books (1990). I managed to get through three years without developing a huge debt, partly from working many hours at McDonalds, partly from living rent-free and fed at home with mum, and partly because the student loans scheme didn't really kick off until 1992ish. I'm probably one of the last to squeak through without debt, which was a huge factor in my being able to get onto the housing train in '95, leading to my lovely suburban lifestyle today.
    I have been saying for years that I would rather be paying higher taxes and have decent education and health for my kids, and, especially, for the kids of those less fortunately middle-class than I.
    It breaks my heart to see ads telling me I can support less fortunate kiwi kids for only 50c a day. That's not the New Zealand I grew up in and not the one I want for my (currently hypothetical) grandchildren.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Alfie,

    Attracting an intelligent and diverse audience is much harder. Witness the number of dead-end blogs which litter the net, languishing down dark alleys with little foot traffic and no real relevance.

    Hell yes. Most blogs are just pissing into the wind unless they have access to the best possible money and connections to amplify their views. What we have right now is the best free speech money can buy, where the 'establishment' view has little to counterweight it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5410 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Stuart Coats,

    Maybe I’m just feeling tired and bitter this morning……

    I thought it was just part of being forty(something).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1860 posts Report Reply

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