From The Hood : Unofficial Cabinet Manuals

And so it was written, and so shall it ever be…
by Lyndon Hood

“At this point, your education system will not be completely broken. Sure, media (and presumably parents) will be obsessing over raw national standards results — a measure of students’ performance that doesn’t reflect what contribution the school actually makes and ignores all but three areas of learning — as if they mean something, or indeed as if they are actually nationally standard.

But schools do not have any direct incentive to only teach those parts of the curriculum measured by national standards. Or to cheat.

This is easily fixed.

The next step is a plan to match school funding to how they effect children’s national standards results. Although either option is destructive, in this case you should suggest giving the schools that do better more. (Remember, you’re trying to catch the people the system is currently failing: so this approach will be consistent with your government’s policy of ‘incentivising’ people to not be poor by giving them less money.)

Unions, academics, and anyone who actually understands the education system will probably complain about this. Phrases like ‘no evidence’ or ‘proven to have failed overseas’ may crop up, but then they will have said that about almost everything you’ve done for ages.

Newspaper editors will take this uproar as proof you are on the right track.

While you implement these policies, pre-heat the largest oven you can find to 200 degrees…”

— From the education-system-related guidebook How To Serve School Children.

***

“• Get involved in a field where problems can be solved by speaking sternly to people or patronising those who perceive the problem.

• Speak sternly to people and/or patronise those who perceive a problem.

• Don’t, whatever you do, get involved in a real world problem with obvious, immediately measurable consequences if you fail to solve it.”

— From How to be Perceived as a Mr Fix-It For Dummies

***

“You, of course, are wronged.

It is unfair. Promoting New Zealand enterprise is the government’s job. Yet suddenly speaking favourably of a company’s product is wrong. Just because your husband happens to be a director.

As if he could possibly get any benefit from that. As if any benefit he could get from that could match that supreme joy of being chosen as your life-mate.

Were you supposed to treat it differently? You would have been happy to cut the ribbon at the opening of any milk company’s new Auckland office. In your role as Minister of Justice. If anyone had asked.

You even stooped so low as to apologise for omitting information. Yet they are not satisfied. They should be grateful you deign to answer their questions at all!

They talk about ‘perception’. How can they speak of perception when they don’t even understand your job? How can they speak of perception when their weak eyes cannot ever see as far as ultraviolet? When their hearing is not constantly bombarded by the freakishly swift pulsing of their own kind’s blood?

And most hurtful of all, that this malicious suspicion should bring into question a perfectly ordinary private dinner among friends.

It seems it was a mistake, this habit of ingesting human foodstuffs.

You wonder how they dare say such things to you. You, who was old when their kind crawled out of the ocean that bred them.

All you know is, you will win in the end. In the end, when their puny sun flares and dies and the warm fires of this universe spread thin and run cold.

When there is no Minister of Justice; just ice.”

— From The Death Prophecies of the Elder God Nggarhramathon, Codex Two.

***

“Banana banana banana. Banana banana banana banana banana. Banana banana banana banana. Banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana.

Banana banana banana banana. Banana banana banana help banana please banana banana. Banana banana.

Banana banana banana banana I’ve been mouthing plausible platitudes so long I’m not sure anymore about the difference between reality and political convenience banana banana!

Banana. Banana banana is this really my hand banana banana banana banana?

Banana banana what would a focus group think of this hand banana banana?

Banana was cheerfully backing all those policies that just look okay at first glance really a good long term plan banana?

Banana banana banana. Banana ooo look a novelty hat banana banana banana! Banana banana banana shiny banana banana!”

— For John Key: An Autobiography (draft).

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