Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Potential Bullies

I note with interest that the media's attention around Benson-Pope moved from the scandal itself to the question 'Wwho else out there may be embroiled in similar scandals?' Given the high proportionality of Members of Parliament who were once teachers, this is a perhaps a pertinent question. The media have yet to look at who did indeed serve as a teacher when corporal punishment was legal. So, who may find themselves in a Benson-Pope-esque scandal?

Pete Hodgson served our nation as a teacher. If he were clever, he could have combined the roles of teacher and one of his other previous occupations: meatworker. Finding a suitable hook would just be a corridor away.

Chris Carter is another MP who could find himself under scrutiny from media. It's hard to see him as a bully - just as it is for Marion Hobbs, who also served as a teacher.

Surely though the most damning accusation would fall on the opposition? After all, to call Benson-Pope on the claims, only to then find one of your own ilk accused of similar, would certainly be embarrassing.

One obvious member springs to mind: Gerry Brownlee. He served as a woodwork teacher at Ellesmere College and later St. Bede's (which he also attended) in Christchurch. The Wikipedia entry on Brownlee describes him as "confrontational" and says that he has an "aggressive style of politics". While none of this suggests that he indeed did anything wrong in his teaching years,it is interesting to note that a Court ordered him to pay damages to a protester whom he threatened.

Perhaps just as interesting however is that Brownlee is seen as National's 'mad dog' in a way. ACT has Hide, NZ First has Mark and Peters. Yet the accusations were made not by Brownlee, but by Judith Collins and Rodney Hide. Judith Collins is hardly seen as a muck-raker - moreover, she is not even their spokeswoman on education. So it does seem a little odd that Brownlee has no association with the issue through either a press release on scoop and even more oddly, has never been recorded talking about it in Hansard.

Be interesting to see if this Sunday's paper turns up anything.


Blogger Idiot/Savant said...

Re: Gerry Brownlee: he didn't just threaten that protestor - he threw him down the stairs, and was privately prosecuted for assault!

12:03 AM  

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