Students React to Minister’s Goading

Published: Thu 14 Oct 1999 04:58 PM
Students reacted yesterday to the Minister’s goading. The build up of tension which led to Mr Bradford ‘grabbing’ a student was due to the Minister’s attitude:
* The loud student group only formed and started following Mr Bradford after a public meeting in which Mr Bradford had insulted students, failed to answer their questions, and shown complete disdain for students in general.
* When student’s quoted information from newspapers and magazines concerning statements Mr Bradford had made to the media, Mr Bradford told them they were ‘lying’, and to ‘get their facts straight’.
* Mr Bradford told one mature student that he was too old to be at University and should have got a job a long time ago. When the student stood up to talk Mr Bradford pushed him in the chest and told him to sit down.
* Mr Bradford called one student waiting to ask a question ‘fat’.
* Mr Bradford showed a complete lack of respect towards the students, claiming that the National Government had no responsibility for student debt. It was the culmination of Mr Bradford’s, Mr Carter’s and Mr Brownlee’s attitude that appeared and derisive of the students who had come to hear them speak. This frustrated and enraged the crowd, leading to the incident of Mr Bradford being followed and jeered.
“The display by the Minister contrasted with Ms Helen Clark’s approach today which was to explain her policies, listen to and acknowledge student concerns. She treated the hundreds of students who came to hear her as intelligent adults and the students, while asking testing questions, reciprocated in kind”.

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