Felling Labour

Posted: April 6, 2016 by Admin in Labour Party NZ, New Zealand politics

Interesting comment over on kiwipolitico by someone using the moniker Korakys:

“I genuinely believe the best thing that Labour can do to advance the causes of the Left is to disband. Their image is so tainted now and they are so filled with old timers from a discredited age who cannot seem to be removed that it would help more to fell this old tree and let new shoots rise.”

Taking the tree analogy further, this tree is not only old but rotted through and through and casting a shadow preventing the growth of useful new trees and shrubs.

Certainly an interesting insight on Labour, in its centennial year.  Also, this is what the entire left should be saying, but most of them simply can’t summon up the revolutionary spirit to do so.

  1. Linda Kearns says:

    As well as the rotten old timber, don’t forget there are some new little trees full of personal ambition who play at being left, doing so in an entirely safe little Labour play-pen. They are the next generation of the rotten timber.

    They cluster around university Labour clubs, the lower/entry levels of trade union structures, and working flunkey positions for Labour MPs.

  2. kiwizoidberg says:

    The same could be said of Labour parties elsewhere. Irish Labour certainly needs a reset. British Labour are split between liberals and the Blairite Tory wannabes. From an outsider’s perspective, I’m amazed and disappointed that on some issues like immigration; NZ Labour is further to the right than National.

  3. Phil F says:

    I was very happy Irish Labour got almost demolished in February. I doubt they will be able to make much of a comeback. In the past, it was easy because no-one to their left overtook them. But in February both Sinn Fein and the Trotskyists overtook them.

    Yes, it’s interesting that National is to the left of Labour on immigration. Labour really is the main party of xenophobia in NZ and National, which used to be the party of right-wing farmers in the countryside and right-wing professionals and businesspeople in the urban centres, is now quite cosmopolitan and very much an urban liberal party.

    • kiwizoidberg says:

      I think maybe the lack of National xenophobia is balanced out by the anti-Maori sentiment of a large section of their core voters.

      • Phil F says:

        You’re right about *a* core of National voters. However, the people who run National are, in my view, quite different. National has assiduously been courting Maori for some time now. I think there are more National Party Maori MPs than Labour Maori MPs these days.

        And National has been adept at incorporating Maori MPs from disintegrating formations, as in the case of Mauri Pacific, where National won over all its Maori MPs.

        National’s managers want it to be the natural party of government in NZ and they know that means it has to be a multi-ethnic party and also appeal to working class people with aspirations. Indeed, in the last elections National got more blue-collar votes than Labour too. They even have the party vote in most Labour working class seats outside the Maori electorates. We’re also much more likely to have a Maori former solo mother former social welfare beneficiary PM from National than Labour. National today looks very different from what it did 30 years ago – but its function is exactly the same (managing capitalism).

        A friend of mine who teaches Pols and so has come across various young National Party people told me a while back that they are very politically correct and very into things Maori – at a cultural level. Their emails to him are normally interlaced with bits of te reo, for instance. These are the folks who will be the next generation of National Party MPs and apparatchiks.

        What has happened is that NZ society has changed and National has changed to reflect that – more so than Labour, in my view.

  4. Thomas R says:

    TBH I’ve sort of wondered this about the majority of left organisations

  5. James Green says:

    Hey, you quoted my words. Nice.

    I’ve gotta say though that you guys seem to be forgetting that there are more than just the two parties. NZ first would be the principal party of xenophobia wouldn’t it?

    Last election there was the Conservative Party and a farmers micro-party. Makes me wonder just how long National can sit in the centre before those elements are able to successfully break off. Although, if experience on the Left shows anything, it’s that it might take a long time indeed and still not be very effective at getting what they want.

  6. Phil F says:

    NZ First is the one that has made the running on xenophobia, sure – but Labour is much bigger. And Winston has not been banging the anti-Chinese drum as much as Labour in the last few years. Btw, Labour’s anti-Chinese racism is not new. See, for instance, Labour’s racist roots: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/labours-racist-roots-2/

    In the period leading up to WW2, Labour wanted ‘Aryan immigrants’ rather than Jewish refugees from the Nazis too: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/first-labour-government-wanted-aryan-immigrants-not-jewish-refugees-from-the-nazis/

    We’re talking about a pretty awful party.