As was to be expected, there was an almost deafening chorus on Morning Report this morning calling for Hekia Parata's head. But the comment that most interested me came from Massey University education academic Professor John O'Neill, who said Parata's biggest mistake from the outset was that she got offside with workers in the education sector - in other words, teachers.
Problem is, the only way to stay onside with the teachers' unions is to allow them to dictate policy - the easy option, but obviously untenable in a democracy. The price of their support is to avoid doing anything that might upset them. No other body of public sector workers behaves like this.
This is not to say that teacher unions don't sometimes have good and legitimate reasons to oppose government policies or lobby for public support. But ultimately we elect governments, not teacher unions, to determine policy. That may be why John Key feels it necessary to stand up for his beleaguered education minister, even when her record so far has been less than stellar.