Words, words, everywhere, nor any thought to think
OK. Now that I’ve established I can mangle a classic quote to sort of serve my purpose…
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of listening to / reading almost all publicly available instances of Minister Peter Fassbender imparting his thoughts to we pubic. As someone with a background in Big Advertising I would have expected that he would have some presence or training in speaking.
He does not it would seem.
I don’t intend to come across as personally attacking the man. Far from it. I think it’s a reasonable thought that an ex-Mayor, ex-Advertising muck-a-muck, & current office holder would have… personality? At the very least be able to speak with authority, insight & a semblance of passion about his Ministry. Save for his public appearances at luxury car dealership grand openings he communicates in a very blasé almost detached manner.
Very early on in his position as Education Minister it became apparent that he sticks to a very limited script. Less a script or talking points & more a selection of key words. I usually refer to them as #spin in the twitter-verse. He, or his people, have bought into the school of thought ‘repeat it enough people will believe it as truth’. For a lot of months, to my dismay, that seemed to work. He would spout stability 11 times in a 12 minute interview, referring to the 10 year deal that Christy Clark (ab)used as part of her campaign, & damned if I didn’t see the general public nodding along.
Then he upped his game, began repeating his #spin words/phrases more frequently. With greater emphasis. Occasionally adding a new one here & there.
A funny thing happened as the months passed: people stopped nodding along. yay!
Numbed from Fassbender’s standardized delivery people began looking for other voices. Voices with something to say. Something substantive, informative & real.
BCTF President Jim Iker caught a large chunk of that now free attention. Jim is a casual speaker. I don’t know the man personally nor have I ever spoken to him in person. I can say from the hours of press conferences, interviews, & videos that casual is accurate. Casual may sound like a negative, & at first I thought it was, however Jim’s steady delivery allows information & perspective to come across freely. When Mr. Iker speaks it doesn’t sound agendized as it does with Mr. Fassbender. It sounds sincere & honest. Between my knowledge of the issues, speaking to insiders both in the BCTF & BCGovt I know that my interpretation is accurate. Of both men.
The escalation of events in #BCEd of late brought interesting changes to both men as well. Peter gets visibly frustrated, angry, & combative during interviews now. Red in the face. Near flustered. Jim, on the other hand, has become more impassioned, focused, & succinct. Without losing his calm/casual demeanour. (even in the face of aggressive/demanding reporters)
While I count the side of Public Education in B.C. lucky for this happy occurrence: the faltering of skills, flustering in the face of (how dare they) Media no longer playing by Government rules, the proof of strength & determination, & the public seeing through Ministerial emptiness, it means another point has to be made.
When will Minister Peter Fassbender say something?
He may be an appointed office holder to The Education Ministry. He may be beholden to, if not directly controlled by, the whim of Premier Clark. BUT Mr. Fassbender is the person in charge of Education for our province. When will he speak to the 12 years of conduct, so far, that have forced our Children to do without? 12 years of Charter Violations against the Teachers of BC? Charter Violations that directly affect the Kids who he is, or should be, bound to serve through running an ethical, moral, & trustworthy Ministry?
When will you do your job Mr. Fassbender?
P’raps I am naive? A victim of idealistic tendencies? It seems to me that a person charged with oversight of Education should actually take care of Education, Teaching Professionals, & the Students therein. Is that too much to ask?
If it is then it is time for change.
Take a look around you to see what’s going on: #WiseUp
Don’t like what you see? #RiseUP & help make it right.