Andrew’s little Poem

Posted: May 21, 2015 by Admin in Labour Party NZ, New Zealand politics
Tags: ,

by Don Franks

Twas the night before Budgetandrew
When just for a change
Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range
Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle
On which a publicity moment might dangle
Some little device that would draw cameras near
But nothing too risky, outlandish or queer
Nothing to make Labour be looking like wankers
And nothing to scare off the farmers or bankers
And then Andrew had the idea of an ode
To use on John Key as a gentle wee goad
Nothing too harsh, just the usual stuff
hot air, broken promises, that sort of fluff
Vague noises about economic mistakes
Avoiding the measures that Labour might take
A bit about National being in disarray
What might embarrass them slightly that way?
A bit about ponytails, yes, must have that
But something more too, ponytails are old hat
Aha – now I’ve got it, their achilles heel
The spectre of Collins, that’s good for a squeal
Stroppy women should always be cast as amusing
And with her dodgy past I’ll be easily cruising
Right, that looks like the sort of safe soundbite I seek
Now, what’s a good gimmick to put up next week?

  1. Phil F says:

    Poor old Andrew Little and Labour. Economically, they’re so far to the right of traditional social democracy, that National has actually moved a bit to their left.

    The increase in social welfare benefits for the first time since 1972 and the shift of some of the Working for Families money away from higher-income earners to lower-income earners are things that Labour had plenty of time to do, but didn’t.

    I wonder if this will be the final nail in the coffin for the those on the left who still peddle the bizarre claim that Key is some kind of hardened neo-liberal ideologue with a secret agenda to finish off the work of Douglas and Richardson from the 1984-1993 period. Anyone on the left who continues to push this is going to simply look totally flakey, if they don’t already.

    Happily, more and more people on the left are finally wising up to the fact that Key-English are a middle-of-the-road, steady-as-she-goes capitalist management team. They want class peace, stable social relations and to improve productivity. They’ve got the first and second – since the working class is not interested in fighting at present.

    However, the third thing evades them and tinkering a bit with the housing market, in order to get capital to move into the productive sphere – the sphere that creates new surplus-value rather than shifting existing value around – isn’t going to sort out that problem for them.

    The base of the New Zealand economy remains weak. And this is the real Achilles heel of the government, not ponytail-pulling or the (non-existent) pursuit of some hardcore neoliberal agenda.


    • O'Shay says:

      This is just speculation, but a new global slump would most likely be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of Auckland’s property bubble. Given Auckland’s importance, it would most likely have a negative impact through-out the whole economy. Plenty of homeowners would see huge losses in equity, this would have a devastating impact on small businesses owners who borrow against their home. Mortage and businesses loan payments would decrease. Banks would become less likely to lend. In my opinion such a scenario would give Labour the best chance of being elected. Once elected they’ll do what any good capitalist manager would do. Austerity. Unfortunatly it seems to me that we need such a scenario for people to wake up and realise the true class nature of Labour.

      • Phil F says:

        I think a majority of the working class do not support Labour. I would guess the biggest chunk of the working class do not vote. In the last election National secured more blue-collar workers’ votes than Labour. So Labour is running third.

        But the union movement, which is clearly out of step with most of the class, still predominantly backs Labour.

        OShay says that in the event of a serious recession in NZ, Labour might well get back in and its policy would be austerity. I totally agree. In fact, if we want to kow what Labour in power would do we can look back to 1984 here or, for something more up-to-date, we could look at Labour in (coalition) government in the south of Ireland. Over there Labour is the junior party but its ministers have been really gung-ho for smashing the working class. They’ve taken to imposing austerity like ducks to water.

        There is real hatred for the fuckers in many of the poorest working class areas. When eirigi’s Louise Minihan, in her speech at one of the big anti-water tax rallies, described Labour as “an enemy of the people”, she wasn’t just expressing eirigi’s view; she was articulating a widespread view within the southern working class, especially in Dublin.

        Last May Sinn Fein captured most of Labour’s local government seats and all their Euro seats. (They also lost a bunch of local government seats to the Trotskyists). The union bureaucrats have had to rethink and start to build links with the Shinners. (Of course, Sinn Fein itself has massively moderated its politics, and is the party of capitalist management waiting in the wings).

        However, the success of SF in shunting Labour aside is because workers think that SF is anti-austerity. The Shinners’ rise does indicate that it is possible to overtake Labour.

        I’ve just finished doing up a piece on NZ Labour’s deregistration of the Auckland carpenters’ union in 1949 and their recognition of the small scab union. Their infamy goes back a long way.


  2. Daphna says:

    While National’s increase in benefits is pitiful in relation to the real need, it does as you say Phil, put them to the left of Labour. If Labour had brought in the same paltry measures as National the Labour-loving elements of the left would be applauding it as a big stride forward.

  3. Thomas R says:

    I was pondering today that while the AAAP protest was indeed justified, because people will continue to struggle under this fairly pitiful increase – evidence of a raising consciousness would be if these budget protests continue when Labour are next in power. I suspect the next Labour government will be pretty firmly backed by the Greens and NZ Firsts in order to form a coalition, and that will make it even less likely that some on the moderate left will recognise that government for what it is.