Quote of the day

No one understands my ills, nor the terror that fills my breast, who does not know the heart of a mother.  – Marie Antoinette who was born on this day in 1755.


37 Responses to Quote of the day

  1. andrei says:

    This quote was her response to a charge of incest levelled against her by her son who was eight and who had been carefully coached into accusing her

    Politics is a business of deceit and lies – our politicians are no different today and just as capable of this sort of malignant behaviour to achieve their ends

  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Politics is a business of deceit and lies – our politicians are no different today and just as capable of this sort of malignant behaviour to achieve their ends”
    You seem to be quoting from Russel’s valedictory speech, Andrei 😉

    “I do think that those in power often have a vested interest in telling you lies. It is true—it is just true. So I think it is very important that people look at people in power and do not believe everything they say, take it with a grain of salt, and think for themselves, because the people in power are not always going to tell you the truth.”

  3. TraceyS says:

    Except that Andrei’s comment seems to be including those who want power not just those who have it.

    That would include your idol, Dave.

    In fact, it would also include you.

  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    I think a distinction can be made for those politicians currently “in power” and evidence of lying can be readily found. While there is always the potential for power to corrupt if the Green Party ever got into government, we can only go by our track record. It is the Green party that has exposed lies in the past and have pushed for greater transparency. It is because of us that MPs and Ministers have to publicly disclose their spending and to do so we even had to tidy up our own financial management. It is the Green Party who wants the OIA to operate as it was intended and minimise the portential for dishonesty.

    Russel gave the example of the billboard incident of how we operate. When a party is made of a diverse range of individuals mistakes are bound to happen and the Greens have been upfront when transgressions occur rather than attempting to hide them.


    Lying does appear to be a common trait for National Ministers:


    Again it is evidence that properly reveals the reality not rumour and innuendo. My experience of Russel is that he isn’t a liar and in terms of my own career I have found honesty goes a long way in establishing credibility.

    I agree with Andrei that currently politicians are viewed with distrust and are well down the list of publicly trusted professionals in most surveys, but this doesn’t have have to continue to be the case. We don’t have to accept and elect politicians who lie.

  5. TraceyS says:

    Who leveled the charge referred to by Andrei?

    Jacques René Hébert.


    “Hébert was never able to win a major elected position, and his attempts to do so ended in frankly embarrassing results.”

    That sounds familiar.

    “If there was one thing Hébert knew it was how to whip up the people, and so he quickly arrived at a plan to destroy the one last vestige of humanity left in the public image of Marie Antoinette, and speed her on her way to the guillotine. At some point, it was mentioned to Hébert that when Louis Charles was frightened Marie Antoinette would comfort him and let him sleep in her bed. This planted the seeds of an idea. Hébert decided to frame a story…”

    Your shameless self-promotion and indeed your efforts here generally, Dave, have one thing in common. To speed up the demise from power of the political party you dislike.

    And you would have us believe that it is because you want to achieve greater transparency of public information and tidying up of MP’s spending. Come on. What about the goals for which you really seek power; the ones you have carefully glossed over above?

    “I think a distinction can be made for those politicians currently “in power”.

    Only because it suits your ambitions. Such a distinction would false, and misleading.

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I am a shameless promoter of my own party just as Ele is one for National, I make no apologies for that. Ele often has a dig at the Greens in her posts and I am quite open about my reasons for commenting here. I think it is always healthy to see more than one view and perspective on an issue and you have promoted this yourself.

    I take exception to being accused of self-promotion other than being open about who I am and my background. I don’t think I have any chance of useful promotion for myself on this blog when just stating that I am a Green leads to charges that I am a communist and a supporter of Pol Pot and Stalin. I am clearly not going to win votes here 😉

    I believe there is nothing wrong with seeking power, it is what one wants to do with that power that is most important.

    “What about the goals for which you really seek power; the ones you have carefully glossed over above?”

    It will be interesting to know what you think they are, Tracey? I hear about some perceived, but laughingly silly ones about state control and communism from GD and others that are just reflecting extreme propaganda.

    I think for the Green Party our core interests are around social justice and environmental and economic sustainability. How we wish to achieve this is probably more practical and pragmatic than you realise if you took the time to read our policies.

    We do believe we can do a better job of governance than National, who has made a mess of almost everything they have touched. The past 7 years have been riddled with conflicts of interests, scandals, resignations and court cases over-ruling decisions. Our housing situation is dire, our Government and private debt is huge (Government debt has increased by $50 billion) and our current account deficit is a worry too. The reports currently being released show that CYFs is in a bad way, our environment is degrading and our growing inequality has stunted growth. In an attempt to make up the income lost through tax cuts the Government has sucked greater dividends from SOEs, one collapsed and others are being used for indirect taxation (power companies). Women are worse off and our hospitals are cracking at the seams. To make things look good the Government has been using creative data management to cut beneficiary numbers and yet the growth in homelessness is increasing dramatically as more and more can’t access benefits at all.
    Even the Salvation Army in Invercargill identified there were around 160 homeless people in Invercargill in 2013

    I would rather deal in facts, but given the lack of evidence in your claims it appears that you would rather support myths 😉

    By the way I don’t dislike National it and it’s Ministers do that are my concerns and a lot of it is truly dumb, like making worm farming a dangerous job and allowing a dishonest business like Sky City increase their number of gaming machines.

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops grammar and sense check: “I don’t dislike National, it is what it and its Ministers do that are my concerns…”

  8. TraceyS says:

    “…I am a shameless promoter of my own party just as Ele is one for National…”

    The difference is that you do it, excessively (obsessively?), on someone else’s platform and Ele doesn’t – as far as I know.

    That’s where “shameless” comes in.

    There’s nothing wrong with expressing alternative views and sometimes you manage that OK.

    “I believe there is nothing wrong with seeking power…” as though it is some kind of tool you will put to your disposal; “..it is what one wants to do with that power that is most important.”

    The most important thing is not what one wishes to do with power. As an individual, you should seek to represent what the majority want, not what ONE wants! Power, influence, or whatever you want to call it (often not quite what it is cracked up to be) is a consequence of holding that representative position.

    From reading your comments it is easy to see why your party remains a minority one.

  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, so are you suggesting that I shouldn’t be commenting so much on a blog that represents a party other than my own? Most of my comments are in response to other commenters so if you don’t want me to respond then you know what to do 😉

    I disagree with you, in politics one should always promote what one believes in, not just support the majority view. Remember popular opinion can be manipulated, and often through lies as Hitler proved. To a lesser extent many Governments do the same and this National Government now spends more on PR and spin than policy analysis. Our Fourth Estate has been weakened considerably as there is now more money in PR. By blocking access to information through Question Time and limiting information through the OIA this government has shut down scrutiny on what it does and its massive PR machine can spin anything in its favour. A lot of National’s success is not because of what it has achieved (very little apart from increasing the wealth of a few) but through the clever Crosby Texter strategies to spin messaging:

    Democratic elections decide who becomes Government and it is easier for the most established parties with the most money to be successful. It would have been difficult for the Greens to capture the media attention during the election campaign in Invercargill like National did when John Key presented $2 million dollars to our sports stadium in the final week.

    However, fortunes in politics can quickly change and our best poll result was 17.5% and National’s worst recent election result was 20% (a 2.5% difference). We also know through our research that almost 30% of voters who didn’t vote for us, considered doing so and 53% of voters did not support National in 2014. Green parties are growing globally as the issues that confront us are environmental and achieving sustainable economies. It was also interesting to hear on Q&A in the weekend that James Shaw is impressing the business community with his business and economic understanding and advancing the work that Russel started. James has far more business credibility any on National’s front bench.

    Our business knowledge and financial management has already see us surpass Labour for fundraising and we have a growing number of business donors who see the sense in our policies. National likes to call us luddites when we clearly have far more technological credibility too. Gareth Hughes recent visit to Invercargill in support of his private members’ bill was a case in point. Many businesses now see us as more future focussed than National:

  10. TraceyS says:

    “…so are you suggesting that I shouldn’t be commenting so much…?”

    No. I just called it shameless self-promotion. Never said you should stop. That’s up to you. If you get something out of it carry on!

    “Most of my comments are in response to other commenters…” Yes they usually start off that way but then deviate off topic in a very predicable way. There are a couple of really good examples above.

    “I disagree with you, in politics one should always promote what one believes in, not just support the majority view…”

    I would like to think that my representatives share many similar beliefs as me, not all of them – obviously that would be impossible, but many of them for sure.

  11. Mr E says:


    “one should always promote what one believes in, not just support the majority view”

    Concensus – when it suits.

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E consensus is the process used to make a decision. I will always push my own beliefs and ideas but if in the end there is little support then I will accept the consensus decision otherwise. That is democracy. If I want to change the decision I need to convince others to change their views through reason but not force or bullying.

    National forced national Standards on all schools despite concerns that it had not been tested and was being implemented at the same time it was being designed. By the time many schools went through the related professional development the details would change again. It was a shocking process. Schools that wanted to delay implementation to protect their children from an insecure system were bullied into complying and their boards threatened with sacking:


  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, if I had been elected under the party vote I would have been representing the 300,000+ people that would have voted for us and our policies. It would be my job to promote those policies as well as I am able.

    Good electorate MPs advocate for people in their electorate despite their party’s policies and I don’t always see MPs doing this. Party politics come first for National too. When school support staff wanted to meet with their local MPs a few years ago during difficult negotiations, where a fair equitable wage was being denied, many National MPs refused to meet with them.

    However, I never found the same with Eric Roy our previous National MP, he even met our early morning Novopay protest with coffee and pikelets that he made himself. We didn’t always agree but I had lots of pleasant chats in his electoral offices and he supported my concerns in many environmental issues.

  14. TraceyS says:

    Boycotting National Standards was holding whole communities hostage. How can you approve of that? What they were being asked to do was legitimate.

    So the Education Act is going to be reviewed and not before time.


  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Boycotting National Standards was holding whole communities hostage. How can you approve of that? What they were being asked to do was legitimate.”

    How an earth could refusing to impose flawed standards on children be possibly called holding communities hostage, Tracey? I know quite a few Southland boards that refused to implement the Standards until they met with Ministry officials during the early stages and had reassurance regarding what was involved. Up to then our schools were self managed and boards had some discretion on what was best for their children. When many boards were not reassured by the lack of detail in the proposed standards Tolley decided to put her foot down and threatened to sack boards that didn’t tow the line. I know many National party supporting board members who questioned their support of the party after this. I can put you in touch with some board members who felt this if you wish to hear what really happened.

    What boards were asked to do was only made legitimate because National included National Standards in to the legal guidelines. They had no professional legitimacy. It was an appalling abuse of privilege.

  16. Paranormal says:

    “shameless” pretty much sums you up DK.

    As for National Standards, what about the experiments you and your ilk have foisted on New Zealand students? NCEA (an experiment without parallel anywhere else in the world), whole word recognition, protecting dud teachers and I could go on.

    As a country we are suffering the long term results of such abuse that National Standards are trying to rectify. And yet for political purposes you continue to agitate against legitimate policy implementation.

    Gotta wonder what that says about you…

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, what do you base your educational views on?

    Before National came to power New Zealand was ranked in the top five in the world for education achievement and after 7 years we have plummeted as low as 23rd. The Government started by stating it wanted to lift the tail of under-achievement but then shifted funding to private schools and cut funding to programmes supporting struggling children. Even the flawed National Standards data just revealed that a community’s income pretty much dictates achievement. More families with young children are struggling financially and after the last census Invercargill gained it’s first decile one school.

    Read this and the links and tell me what isn’t factually true, public education in New Zealand has been under severe attack for 7 years and we are heading in a downward spin after having one of the best systems in the world: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/the-destruction-of-new-zealands-public.html

    The fact that you support this happening actually says a lot about you, Paranormal.

  18. Paranormal says:

    You rave about wanting facts DK. yet you are comfortable with completely ignoring that for NZ rankings to fall, it was a change that occurred long before National got into power that started it.

    A good example is that schools are now teaching phonics again. This will result in an increase in literacy stats, but not for another 10 years! As an NZEI board member you tell us you weren’t slavishly right behind the whole word recognition experiment.

    You are disingenuous at best to suggest its all Nationals fault, but then that fits with the thread above doesn’t it…

  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    Teachers have always taught phonics, Paranormal, and there have always been cycles of things that have been fashionable (please realise that children learn in different ways and a combination of approaches works best). The Best Evidence Synthesis work by the Ministry established what works best for teaching, curricula and management but the Government has largely ignored these for its own agenda. 7 years is actually a long time for a Government and education outcomes appear to be heading downwards rather than improving. the only improvements seem to be because assessments are being made easier.

    The best thing that has happened recently is a joint initiative between the profession and the Ministry to celebrate and promote good practice and to encourage greater collaboration between teachers and schools.

    Despite your clear hatred for all teachers, most are doing the best they can for their kids. Most will have a class of around 27 (6 more than the OECD average-private schools promote their small class sizes) and have a handful of children with high needs that they must support with limited resources (most special schools have been closed). Most teachers will spend many hours a week assessing their children and entering data into the system. Science, technology, PE and Art etc have all taken a back seat to literacy and numeracy and children with practical talents don’t have nearly the opportunities to excel. Many schools are struggling to operate in substandard buildings and there is a massive backlog of maintenance. Over $100 million has been wasted in sorting out Novopay and special needs children are under-resourced and sucking up teacher time. We have heaps of wonderful dedicated teachers but it is not an easy profession.

    I note that you didn’t disagree with one single element in my link. I agree it isn’t all National’s fault, there is much that needs to be reassessed regarding the Tomorrows Schools model (it is basically a form of Charter School), but National have successfully made things so much worse.

  20. TraceyS says:

    My children have actually come to enjoy the more regular testing. There is still plenty of time for science, technology, art etc at home (and it hasn’t exactly gone from school’s either!)

    Children with “practical talents” need academic skills as much as anyone else in this day and age. Many such products of our education system from years ago are functionally illiterate. This is unacceptable.

  21. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you are obviously a supportive parent and have able children. Research shows that children from financially secure and supportive homes do well academically. Children spend 10% of their time at school and that is also the extent of a school’s influence. Schools can make a difference but for a child that is malnourished, lives in a crowded damp home that has few educational resources and is developmentally delayed, it is difficult.

    Sometimes the most important thing a school can provide a child is food, warmth and compassion. Learning can only really occur when a child is ready to engage and many have too many barriers getting in the way. NZ has one of the worst records (third bottom) for child health and welfare in the OECD and domestic violence is a growing concern.

    The needs of children vary greatly and it was Clarence Beeby’s vision that made the NZ education system the envy of the world and he believed that helping teachers meet the individual needs of children so that they could realize their full potential was the main goal.

    National Standards and related assessments is a one size fits all approach that that Beeby fought against and we are now going backwards. Your children are lucky to have your support but how does National Standards help those who are struggling? As a teacher I could identify struggling children before National Standards and the same assessments that inform the standards existed before. National claimed that once the struggling children were identified they would use the data to better focus funding. The reverse has happened, programmes with proven success have had their funding cut and wealthy private schools capture all the special needs funding. Read and weep, it’s appalling!




  22. Dave Kennedy says:

    Your children are lucky to have supportive parents and a warm healthy home, Tracey. Children spend 10% of their time at school and for 25% + of children 90% of their lives is a struggle.

    Schools struggle to engage malnourished children from damp over-crowded homes that have few educational resources. It is food, warmth and security that many kids need before they can start to learn.

    National Standards were supposed to identify struggling children so that funding could be better directed, but the opposite is happening the majority of educational resources are actually going to the children that need them least. Read and weep!




  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    oops the first comment seemed to disappear and so I repeated it with an abbreviated version, hence the two comments saying similar things 😛

  24. homepaddock says:

    Dave – anything with four or more links goes into moderation because it’s an indicator of spam.

  25. TraceyS says:

    Yes my children have those things but I didn’t growing up, not solidly, so I know better than most what it takes to achieve when you are coming from a deprived base.

    I will never forget being scowled at by my science teacher after getting my school certificate results. She was congratulating a group of other girls who had also done well (the deserving ones). She was not happy with my marks and for all the wrong reasons. She had simply given up on me early on (not because of my behaviour which was good, but because of socio-economic judgement I believe). She wouldn’t have spoken to me all year. I just sat quietly down the back daydreaming. At the end of the year I had completed just the title page in my book. My work hadn’t been checked by the teacher all year – that’s how interested she was.

    It was OK to write kids off as no-hopers based on “teacher judgement” back then. It happened all the time. But it wasn’t teacher judgement of abilities or potential. Judgements were made about kids not based on their abilities but on what sort of home life you had. My science teacher’s husband was the local GP so she knew – or at least would have thought she did. But she had no tools with which to measure me.

    What I hated most of all about high school was teachers enquiring about my diet and being made to sit in from of the head mistress and eat my lunch. Most of the time this was outside the staffroom after satisfying her that I had something with me. It was none of their business and did nothing to help. Nothing! It was humiliating. It only did harm. I would have been mortified if they’d actually tried to give me food.

    The way you carry on Dave, anyone would think that poverty and educational underachievement started recently, maybe as recently as your first interaction with it. But it’s not new and it isn’t worse from what I can see having been closely involved with a low decile school. There I saw kids from worse family backgrounds than mine doing very well at school. Occasionally some of them were given a bit of food at school, very, very discretely. But on the whole the kids from lower-socio homes had lunchbox content exactly like the kids from higher-socio homes. I was conditioned to notice such things you see.

    If National Standards prevent just one able lower-socio child from experiencing what I did then they will be worth it. They key thing is having someone believe in you. That’s where it all starts. No one is going to believe in you if they can’t see your potential.

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    Thanks Ele, I realised that afterwards. I generally remember the 3 link rule but must have lost count in that instance.

    Tracey, you have obviously done well despite your difficult beginning. I do realise that poverty has always existed and I was lucky to attend a low socio-economic school that celebrated each student, despite their backgrounds, and provided us all with opportunities to succeed. Its ideas are still worth looking at despite the fact it occurred in the 70s.


    However much fewer children experienced poverty back then and we had a much less segregated society. Most workers could earn a living wage and support a family on one income. Now almost half of young families struggle to pay for basic living expenses especially if there is only one working parent. The quality of our housing has also deteriorated. The numbers of children who struggle academically is almost exactly the same as the number of children who experience relative poverty (25%). Research shows that 50% of children in NZ now experience poverty at some time in their lives (poor housing, lack of food, overcrowding, missing essential clothing…). National Standards won’t prevent any of this, it is just an assessment system and we have been able to identify the same kids using PAT tests etc ever since I started teaching in 1980.

    Measuring my beans every day won’t make them grow or produce even more, what they really need is sunshine, water and well fertilised soil. If I provide my beans with the right support they will grow even without measuring them, so devoting all my time and energy on an expensive ruler and a detailed growth chart is just nonsense.

  27. TraceyS says:

    “National Standards won’t prevent any of this…”

    Neither will having no National Standards prevent any of this.

    “Measuring my beans every day won’t make them grow or produce even more…”

    No, but it will make it harder for you to ignore a “bean” capable of growing well and it will prompt you to ask what can be done to help. It will be in-your-face and you will be hard-hearted to dismiss that bean as “incapable of growing”.

    When I was at school PAT tests were done but not very often. Because of this infrequency it was easy to dismiss an excellent result by a child from a deprived background as a fluke. I know this happened. It happened to me. Meanwhile the children who were expected to do well were praised and celebrated. My sister and another boy had different backgrounds. She performed at times equally well. I remember the reaction as ‘that can’t be right’. And this was an otherwise very supportive community. More frequent testing would have developed a trend – much harder to deny.

    “…what they really need is sunshine, water and well fertilised soil.” Sunshine for me always came in the form of a person who believed in my potential, rather than a sandwich.

  28. Mr E says:

    “I generally remember the 3 link rule but must have lost count in that instance.”

    You lost count on the way to 3…

  29. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, testing doesn’t create empathetic teachers who are concerned and connected with their children. When children talk about inspiring teachers who caused them to believe in themselves and do well in school few mention the testing.

    The most useful assessments in a teacher’s tool box are ‘formative’ ones that are constant and on going and come from daily interactions and conversations. Summative assessments should only confirm or support what a good teacher should already know. Good teachers could easily be successful without using any summative assessments.

    Mr E, you just can’t help yourself can you 😉

    I should make lots of deliberate little errors so that you can gleefully point out how stupid I am. The need to share that thought just points at your own insecurity. You are truly a sad man.

  30. Mr E says:

    “I should make lots of deliberate little errors so that you can gleefully point out how stupid I am. ”

    What do you mean you “should”?

    What do you mean you by “how stupid I am”? I doubt the accuracy of your assessment. I doubt you think of yourself as “stupid”. I think it would be highly unusual for a politician to lack such confidence. At any rate I don’t think you are “stupid”. I hope that is a little confidence booster for you.

    The only sadness I see is when one can’t laugh at themselves. We all make mistakes from time to time. It is healthy to have a little chuckle at them.

  31. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I use your track record to assess the intent of your comments and remember your own extreme sensitivity if anyone questions your intelligence or motives (which are obvious). It would indeed be a pleasant surprise if you had two comments in a row that added constructively to a thread that didn’t question my emotional state or suitability as a candidate.

    I think that my own self confidence is easily established through the fact I keep returning here despite your manipulative and disingenuous comments. Three comments on this thread and not one adds constructively to the discussion.

    You are very predictable troll and I admire Ele’s tolerance. I will note, however, that there is some glimmerings of a conscience when you asked for a comment to be removed on a previous thread.

  32. Mr E says:

    I genuinely believe your discussions have been off topic. They have virtually nothing to do with the ‘quote of the day’ and could (and I think should) be considered as trolling.

    For that reason I have avoided contributing in any form. However when it came so some of your remarks could not help myself. They seemed far too funny not to mention. I figured it would create a laugh to repeat them. I figured even you would laugh. Who would have thought it would have resulted in such hurt.

    I therefore apologise Dave, I had no intention of hurting your feelings when I repeated some of your remarks. I thought they were funny, but clearly they are not to you. Sorry about that.

    In the future when you write questionable things, I will make a mental not to point them out. When public figures present, they should not be held accountable. It is a new learning for me. My new Meme is “yes Dave, yes Dave, yes Dave”.

  33. Mr E says:

    *I will make a mental note not*

    See Dave, we all do it, and it doesn’t need to make us feel stupid.

  34. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E the thread’s direction was established by Andrei’s sharing of the context in which the quote was made, which directly led to questioning the honesty of politicians. You can try to make me personally accountable for the direction of the thread, but that would clearly be dishonest.

    As for the rest of your self-righteous nonsense and disingenuous apology, you are just being tiresome. If you don’t want to comment on a thread that you disagree with in any constructive way, just take your snide remarks and manic giggling elsewhere (4 comments and nothing of value added).

  35. Mr E says:

    Yes Dave.

  36. Mr E says:

    Yes Dave..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: