The footage shown on TV3 of Education Minister David Benson-Pope asleep during question time must be the visual impression of Labour’s handling of the education portfolio – asleep at the helm while $1.75 billion went out the door on uncompleted sub-degree courses.
In fact I can see a nice campaign ad in my head already:
Shot 1: Voice: Christchurch Polytech claimed $15 million to produce a CD, and what did the Government do?
Shot 2: Picture of Education Minister asleep in Parliament.
Shot 3: Voice: Eastern BoP Polytech claimed $4 million for radio sing-a-long courses, and what did the Government do?
Shot 4: Picture of Education Minister asleep in Parliament.
Shot 5: Voice: Funding for TWOA ballooned from $4 million to $239 million in five years under Labour, and what did Labour do to investigate?
Shot 6: Picture of Education Minister asleep in Parliament.
Shot 7: Voice: Wake up the Labour Party and elect a National Government that won’t sleep on the job, and will bring back standards into the education system.
Shot 8: Background images of National Leader and Education Spokesperson meeting teachers, students and parents.
A former National MP, Annabel Young, was photographed in 2000 yawning, and quite a few people were upset with the photographer for taking the photo as it was close to midnight during what had been an almost seven day debate under 15 hour a day urgency on the Employment Relations Bill. Who would not have a yawn. A world of difference to a Minister being asleep during the only hour of the day that most Ministers even sit in the House.