On this blog, and in previous incarnations, we have consistently argued that Labour and National are parties which are utterly dedicated to the management of capitalism. The main difference between them is that National are the frontstabbers and Labour are the backstabbers. Among those whom Labour has consistently backstabbed are migrant workers from the Pacific. The piece below is from October 2008, when a number of us constituted the central leadership core of the Workers Party and two current Redline writers and editors were WP candidates. It is a WP press release about Helen Clark lying over who started the notorious dawn raids on Pacific Islanders in the 1970s.
“Remember the National Party initiated dawn raids in the 1970s?” Ms Clark told reporters on the election campaign trail in South Auckland on 23 October.
“Either Ms Clark is ignorant of the facts or she is knowingly concealing the truth,” says Daphna Whitmore, Workers Party candidate for Manukau East. “Labour was in government from 1972 until 1975, and the dawn raids on Pacific Islanders began in 1974.”
A quick check of the Samoan history section of the Encyclopedia of NZ confirms that, indeed, Labour began the raids nearly two years before National came to office.
The raids continued under National, and in 1982 Muldoon stripped 100,000 Samoans of NZ citizenship. Although some individual Labour MPs opposed this, when Labour got back into power in 1984 it didn’t reverse Muldoon’s policy.
“National and Labour have an appalling history of attacking immigrants,” says Whitmore.
The Workers Party is campaigning against Labour’s Immigration Amendment Bill, and says it is a throwback to the 1970s’ dawn raids.
“Immigration controls are in place to control workers, while capital and capitalists roam the earth freely,” says Don Franks, the Workers Party Wellington Central candidate.
Labour’s Immigration Bill proposes a massive extension of state power to raid homes. Immigration officials will have the right to enter workplaces and private homes without the need for a warrant.
The Workers Party is calling for open borders: the abolition of all immigration controls and full rights for migrant workers.