Labour and Green’s promise to uphold neoliberal dogmas – why?

By   /   March 25, 2017  /   28 Comments

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The strange part of Labour and the Greens signing up to tired dogmas from the past is that people actually don’t care about them. Only the ruling elites do. There are not many votes there. That’s Math.

New Zealand has been subjected to decades of neo-liberal orthodoxy. The period of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia in the late 1980s and early 1990s institutionalised a number of so-called free-market economic orthodoxies around so-called free trade, privatisations, “independence” to the Reserve Bank, “floating” the currency for free speculation, the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” and so on.

It was a genuine neoliberal revolution. We were praised around the world for our radicalism and economic “orthodoxy”. It all remains in place.

The result has been a dismal economic performance on average compared to most other advanced capitalist countries.

The period of implementation of this revolution was particularly severe in its impact. The New Zealand GDP per capita relative to the OECD fell from 97 percent to 84 percent, a 14.3 percent fall in six years.

We are still poorer relatively than we were then. Our average productivity per person is lower relatively than it was then. Our share of world trade is lower.

By almost any measure neoliberal economic theory has been a failure on its own terms.

The only thing it has been truly successful at is breaking the “power” of the trade union movement and radically increasing economic and social inequality. There has been a huge transfer of wealth from working people to bosses as a share of GDP. That’s a fact and from official data.

Now Labour and the Green’s are proposing to adopt the dogma that “surpluses” are necessary and we need to reduce the debt to GDP ratio from 30% (already one of the lowest in the OECD) to 20%.

The problem is there is not actually any economically rational reason for either of these objectives.

I don’t particularly want to advise people who want to make capitalism work how to do their job. Capitalism will always produce crises of overproduction every ten years or so on average.

The job of a government in these circumstances (assuming they just want to manage the problem) is to use government spending to moderate the ups and downs of the capitalist business cycle by spending a bit more during downturns and running surpluses when the economy is strong.

Debt is not a problem if it is invested in transport, education, infrastructure that makes things more productive over time. A more productive economy can service the increased debt with ease.

The failure to fix Auckland’s public transport debacle with a massive investment of billions of dollars in public transport – trains, trams and buses, that are cheap and convenient has had and continues to have, an ongoing negative impact on labour productivity. Sitting in cars is not productive!

We have never addressed this problem because we have been locked into the economic orthodoxy that private ownership and provision of transport or anything else is good and public provision of these goods is bad.

Can’t we see that that is a type of voodoo economics, not a science?

It’s the same mad voodoo economics that allows private owners of land running a business to poison our waterways for their individual benefit. How hard is it to tell any private business that degrades the environment must adopt measures that restore their damage if they want to continue in business. But that thought violates the voodoo orthodoxy.

Our children may never be able to swim in a river but that is the “price of progress”.

Running “surpluses” to repay debt when there is no particular reason to do so actually removes spending from the economy and depresses economic growth. That’s just maths.

Strong economic growth means that the debt gets smaller as a percentage of GDP even if we don’t repay any debt from the current tax income. That is maths.

What is the sense of depressing economic growth again for a dogma?

The strange part of Labour and the Greens signing up to tired dogmas from the past is that people actually don’t care about them. Only the ruling elites do. There are not many votes there. That’s maths.

Trump proved that by completely denouncing the old “orthodoxy” of the Republican AND Democratic party leaders.

People voted for him because he pretended to be a man of the people who was against the elites.

The continued genuflecting before the ruling rich and promising to do nothing meaningful to upset them is not a winning electoral strategy either!

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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union

28 Comments

  1. Sigh says:

    If only all this were true. The problem is, the people Labour needs to swing from National – the ones who stubbornly will not shift and keep Labour’s vote at a ceiling of around 30% – these people do care. And until they are assuaged, there will be no change of government.

    Labour and the Greens know this – why else do you think they have done this?

    • Sam Sam says:

      All capitalism has done in New Zealand is say capitalism is better than communism and to bash unions with, and this is considered the national interest which is the interests of elites. There are plenty of studies out there that says that says legislation reflects almost no public opinion.

      When it comes time to making hard decision, major parties always move to protect elites

      • Jono says:

        Those bloody Elites again. Why are they the most important… The average voter in the street is not elite so why are they voting as if they were one??? Aspirational values maybe or propaganda has to be the only answer. These elites have had it there own way for too long. We need to start scaring them out of there comfortable little worlds. A change of direction would do this but starting it is the problem…

    • Siobhan says:

      I thought Labour was meant to be the Party for the struggling workers and the renters…you know, that group that should be big on voting and should be pounding the street waving ‘Labour’ flags…but aren’t because unless they plan on becoming home owners or are that very small group that seem to enjoy benifits from the ‘gig economy’, they seem to be not part of Labours ‘Kiwi dream’.
      Not spending, insisting on the benefits of having RSE workers, which Andrew Little insists is all about ‘foreign aid’….sure that swings over some National voters…but is it enough? Certainly not for a clear mandate for change.

    • Philip Ferguson says:

      To SIGH: But there’s no point in a party being elected if all it is going to do is basically the same as the other folks. key made National Labour-lite in order to win in 2008. And Little is making Labour National-lite in order to win in 2017. Round and round the circus wheel goes.

  2. Helena says:

    In the name of commonsense, why do we tolerate the continued nonsense from any of them? We keep voting them in then out, or if really lacking in awareness voting them to stay for awhile. In the meantime, whoever is in continues to serve corporatocracy and nothing changes and depending upon the agenda, things change for the worse for the unemployed/unemployable/useless eaters/debt ridden.
    SYSTEM DOESN’T WORK. TIME TO GET RID OF IT. Anarchy doesn’t mean tearing things down or violence. Look it up but remember the definition was written by the likes of the Elite who dictate the terms to those in politics who in turn control and dominate the people all in the name of national security. Economic growth for the Elite controlling whoever is in “power” means (for New Zealand anyway) decrease in population through whatever means – poisoning of land (1080), water (spillage/spoilage), population (withheld health cures while championing those that slowly but eventually kill), controlling the dissemination of knowledge by strangling the education system.
    We know the banking system is a scam with its fiat system and money from air illusion but we keep on trudging and turning the hamster wheel all in the name of “economic growth”, which puts money in the banks and corporation and big handouts to our politicians either above the table in their salaries and “perks” and only God Knows what’s paid under the table.
    We are SOVEREIGN BEINGS. Time for us stand up and recognize what that really means.

  3. saveNZ says:

    I think people are ready for change away from neoliberalism. But Labour and Greens are too trapped in 20th century taxation.

    There are so many ways that NZ should be taxing for the 21st century – but nope – all we hear from politicians are ways to tinker with PAYE or capital gains which again big money and multi domiciled people can just avoid if they even declare it.

    If you have a tax, at least make it fair so that everyone has to pay it. Not big business is exempt, non resident businesses are exempt and the super rich taxable earnings are nil which is great when you make that capital gain or speculation deal and inspite of earning millions have zero taxable income!!

    If only normal people had hoards of lawyers and accountants to make sure that they not only do they not pay a dime but they somehow often qualify for corporate welfare because our government and councils are so desperate to keep them here! Pleeeze…

    I think the public would be very amendable to changes in taxation to catch out the current routs, but are pretty tired of being expected to pay for all the ‘new ideas’ that politicians have such as increase our population to 15 million even though we can’t even cope and afford 4 million people with health, education, housing, super and transport. Obviously looks good on paper if you are some policy intellectual Yet idiot class.

    How about investigating..

    Financial transaction taxes for banks. Apparently banks account for the biggest lost profits leaving the country.

    Carbon taxes on Industry.

    A minimum tax on local turnover businesses over 1 million. On turnover not profit.

    Local profits are taxed locally and can’t be transferred.

    Yearly Land tax on land and property held by off shore and non resident corporations and individuals who have to prove how they got to own the property.

    Increase criteria for residency and people actually have to live here for most of the year to be residents .

    Make NZ citizenship hard to get and taking years to qualify for.

    Maybe a stamp duty on property (but that will effect everyone so might be hard to push through).

    • Strypey says:

      How about legalise and tax cannabis? The tax benefits for Colorado and the other US states that have done this (7 now with more to follow as the next election cycle brings more legalization referenda).

  4. Because they are two parties too wimpish to come up with any solidly leftist.

    We have not seen bold policy announcements. We have not seen any one brave enough to say that the top tax rate needs to rise – which it does – since the fiscal binds the two parties are proposing are too tight to realistically work.

    It is okay to be solidly left.

    After all the Nats and their ilk say its okay to be solidly right, which is where Bill English and Paula Bennett want to go.

    The true centre as far as I am concerned is not for Labour or National.

    #NewZealandFirst

    • Strypey says:

      “We have not seen bold policy announcements.”

      I don’t know, I think 3 years free education is pretty bold. This is something Labour hasn’t even considered offering to the public since the Ruthenasia Bolger government started dismantling free public education it in the 1990s. The other night I apologised to my teenage daughter for the fact that my generation haven’t been able to bring back free public education at tertiary level, despite massive campaigns involving huge marches and occupying registry buildings. But I was able to tell her there could be light at the end of the tunnel for her generation if Labour and the Greens can form a government after Sept. Can you imagine how good it felt to be able to tell me daughter there is real hope of starting to roll back neo-liberalism for the first time in decades?

  5. jay says:

    Trotsky said, fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative.

    It is apparent to me no real left alternative will be offered.

  6. WILD KATIPO says:

    ” The job of a government in these circumstances (assuming they just want to manage the problem) is to use government spending to moderate the ups and downs of the capitalist business cycle by spending a bit more during downturns and running surpluses when the economy is strong.

    Debt it not a problem if it is invested in transport, education, infrastructure that makes things more productive over time. A more productive economy can service the increased debt with ease.”

    ———————————————————————————

    Classic Keynesian economics.

    Nice.

    Here is an article I posted in Chris Trotters postings explaining the difference between the Saudi Arabians and Venezuela , – both of similar population size, 27 million and 30 million respectively , and similar sized oil fields.

    Venezuela started its oil production in the 1930’s, the Saudis in the 1960’s…

    I made a point of giving the example of how the Saudis redistribute a percentage of their oil wealth proceedings to the population , – thus maintaining good living standards in general despite the slump in oil prices …

    ( Venezuela attempted the same under Chavez and for awhile was mimicking the success of the Saudis – but lacked sufficient time to build up a surplus like the Saudis did before the oil slump occurred. The rest is history – this is why right wingers always cite Venezuela while conveniently omitting the reasons why that occurred …) .

    WHEREAS HERE IN NEW ZEALAND , – we let NZ and foreign company’s that donate to the National party extract our mineral resources – ie our water – for a song and then sell that resource overseas and pocket all of the profits. And its the same with most of our natural resources.

    In the case of water we have the added insult of the National party then having to redefine our waterways as ‘ wadeable’ – while encouraging commercial activity’s that pollute those remaining waterways.

    Here is the article on Saudi Arabia and Venezuela I am referring to :

    Venezuela and Saudi Arabia: Sharing wealth | The Gisborne Herald
    gisborneherald.co.nz/opinion/2360740…/venezuela-and-saudi-arabia-sharing-wealth

    But because so many people in this country have been herded into accepting neo liberalism they cannot see how we are being constantly ripped off. This land of rich resources has been shafted successively for the last 33 years , and , – coupled with the activity’s of speculators and opportunists, – has succumbed to the gutting process of neo liberalism.

    Now over three long decades of it.

  7. Not A Robot says:

    It’s called, “Starve the Beast”. If the central government can be kept weak, it can’t compete with private enterprise. That’s the plan.

    The biggest lie in economics is the notion that Capitalism is efficient. It is not. Capitalism is grossly inefficient.

    If Socialists could stop issue-chasing for even a little while, and start actually using Marxist economics to replace Capitalist institutions, it would quickly become obvious to everyone just how much more economically efficient Socialism actually is.

    Socialism is an economic system with political implications, not a political system with economic implications.

    Think about that for a moment.

    • David Stone says:

      Socialism would be fine so long as it is introduced democratically and to an informed electorate, so a comprehensive structure laid out for discussion and appraisal well in advance. Thats a high test. Without this kind of introduction it would just be a military dictatorship like USSR was. I think it will be a long time before a free electorate will reject capitalism altogether. But capitalism needs restraints so that it is made to serve society. What we have now is society serving capitalism, and capitalism serving the money/debt creators. Its all upside down.
      D J S

      • Socialism would be fine so long as it is introduced democratically and to an informed electorate, so a comprehensive structure laid out for discussion and appraisal well in advance

        You mean, like capitalism was “introduced democratically and to an informed electorate, so a comprehensive structure laid out for discussion and appraisal well in advance”?

        Funny, I don’t recall any plebiscite ever taken on whether or not to introduce capitalism.

        I do, however recall the American Empire intervening in Chile in 1973, to over-turn the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. Or the American funding on Contra-rebel death squads, to over-throw the democratically elected (post 1984) government of the socialist Sandinistas.

        Our American cuzzies don’t seem to tolerate democratically elected socialist governments.

        But they sure do support dictatorships friendly to American Empire interests.

  8. Mike in Auckland says:

    “The continued genuflecting before the ruling rich and promising to do nothing meaningful to upset them is not a winning electoral strategy either!”

    When I heard and also saw that news item where James Shaw and Grant Robertson signaled their future finance and budget approach, I turned even more disillusioned about NZ politic’s as I have already been for a longer time.

    The ‘Greens’ are fast becoming the ‘Fading Greens’ or ‘Pale Greens’, with the more dedicated and experienced ones like Russel Norman, Kevin Hague and so having left Parliament, and with Catherine Delahunty leaving also soon.

    The Greens or rather ‘Pale Greens’ are increasingly shifting towards that vague “centre” of politics, wanting to appeal also to business minded people and voters, yes apparently making kind gestures now to neoliberals.

    Grant Robertson is only showing his real self here, being one of bold words in speeches, but of a different shade within himself. Labour may appear to have moved to the left a bit, that is only in some policy, but they do this very selectively and slowly, e.g. with so called “free tertiary education”, for which only some people will qualify, at least initially. They may like a higher minimum income or even a “living wage” for those working, but we have few details what exactly Labour may do when in government, which can so far only happen with the help of the ‘Pale Greens’ and more nationalistic, somewhat “caring conservatives” from NZ First.

    There is virtually NO mention of welfare policy, except where it relates to health care and education and so forth. Like the nasty Nats they do not really seem to care much for those that are dependent on welfare support, as they almost never mention them, and have little clear policy for them.

    So we have them all compete for those who care to vote, mostly the ones from the middle class, including the upper middle class, those who have relatively secure jobs, who are professionals, who run small businesses, either self-employed or otherwise, and of course those that own homes, or strive to buy into property.

    It is the fact that under past neoliberal kinds of governments people were forced buying into the system that has led to us all being some kind of hostage of the system. Students generally need to get a student loan to study and thus borrow to pay back (unless they have rich parents). They know nothing else and ask, why should others get it for free, when I have to borrow and also work part time to finance my study. Others are paying into their Kiwi Saver accounts and prepare for themselves to have some savings for when they are old. The limitations for access to state or social housing forces people to pay rent and/or save for their own property, to get housing they need. So people have become resigned to this fact, and while most are working, they look down on the people who cost them money paid in the way of taxes. Beneficiaries are frowned upon, and at the very bottom of the social ladder, stigmatised and treated worse.

    As we are tied into free trade with the world, more or less free trade that is, we are part of the global trading and also financial systems. People have become accustomed to stock exchange reports and interest and currency exchange rates daily – with the news. They know nothing else, and alternative systems are frowned upon, as they are anyway set up to fail, shunned by investors and bankers on the world scale.

    So voters who mostly know nothing much else, who have no idea that before the mid 1980s there was little mention of share prices and so, and a different system in place, they simply act according to the status quo and look after number one only.

    This divide and rule has destroyed a society, made them rather compete with each other, fight each other, mistrust each other and also despise each other, than be compassionate and than to cooperate with each other.

    Hence politicians see this type of voter out there and like now the ‘Pale Greens’ and Labour (aka National Light) they move towards them, thinking alternatives are hard to sell.

    If this continues the only hope will eventually be the collapse of this system, on a global scale, where the fossil fuel driven capitalist system will run out of resources, destroy the relatively stable climate in the process and set us all up for the end result, the self destruction of humanity, at least the kind of societies we have now.

    Like blind maniacs we are rushing to the cliff, full steam, and do not want to see where we are heading. I have just become less motivated to even bother to vote in future, thanks Mr Shaw and Mr Robertson.

  9. countryboy says:

    Who earns our export revenue?
    You don’t know?
    Who thinks it’s tourism?
    Who thinks it’s mad shitting cows?
    Who sold what to whom once we Whites came here with their high falootin ideas about growing more than we need to ship off to sell for money. Lots and lots of money?
    If National love cheap and easy farmer money, then don’t you think the Labour-ites might not like to try some also?
    But neither side talk about that. The MSM never do. The Idiot Gen whatevers never, the millenials certainly don’t, the hippies, Hipsters and sundry other trendy mincing ninnies don’t know what to talk about re export industry swindlings because they don’t know what to ask. They, in fact, can’t comprehend the problem so how are we supposed to expect searching questions from them. And the Swindlers have control of the MSM who DO know but are afraid to ask.

    The city voting numbers are so far away from where their money is manufactured to swindle to make lives easier for the well educated and terminally lazy that they really, actually don’t know what makes NZ tick fiscally. They may live in a beautiful house on a beautiful street in a beautiful city doing beautiful things with, and to, each other but are so distant from the awful truth as to where the revenue that enables such beautiful lives is generated.
    Let me tell you where it’s generated.
    It’s in the dirty noisy woolsheds, it’s in the dangerous, cold windswept paddocks, it’s down along lonely dusty roads where desperate people struggle to keep ahead of the Banksters set upon them by their own politicians to keep control of a gargantuan swindle.
    That’s why labour and national and the neo liberal way share the same stink. Stinking lies and stinking privilege. The rotting corpses of dead animals and humans. The stink of shit and piss and fear. The stench of fresh blood draining from an animal. The sweat and tears, the pain of a loaded back bone.
    You polite fuckers driving about in your $-borrowed-from-the-devil to buy Parnell Tractors thinking you’re all quite fit have no fucking idea.

    ” Labour and Green’s promise to uphold neoliberal dogmas – why?”

    Because Labour hatched the swindle, remember?

    • Strypey says:

      “Because Labour hatched the swindle, remember?”

      Sure, it was hatched within Labour, in the same way that fungus that makes ants go crazy and climb trees hatches within ants, and it hasn’t really been good for them (any more than it is for the ants). But we were hoping that both the election of Little as leader (a man I’ve personally head repudiating Rogernomics with genuine frustratio) and the recent accommodation with the Greens, could mean that Labour had finally gotten hold of a political fungicide effective against its neo-liberal infection.

      Mike’s position is that the opposite is happening, that the neo-liberal fungus has seeded the Greens with its neo-classical economic policy spores. Chris Trotter’s position is that this is just window-dressing to appease capital and its PR machine, and appeal to risk-averse swinging voters who don’t bother to look at policy detail (policy, policy, policy!). In neither case does this look like the outspoken, painfully principled, activist Greens of the Donald, Fitzsimons, Locke, Bradford, Tanczos, Kedgely era. Nor does it look much like the less activist but still outspoken and principled stance of a Norman, Delahunty, Browning, Hughes, or Hague. But I’m reserving judgement, until I have a chance to have a close look at what policy they’re putting forward, and how it compares to any of the other options on the table, and any others that are theoretically possible.

      • ONCEWAS says:

        Like you, I’m reserving judgement too.
        What I’ve noticed however, is that Jimminy Cricket seems to be fronting more and more lately whilst MT is taking a back seat.
        Over the years, I’ve also noticed (amongst peers, academics, careerists, politicians et al) is how the (neo-liberal) corporate agenda ‘rubs off’ on people when they go anywhere near it.
        And its insidious. It now pervades the media (PSB included), academia, our defence forces and all. Capture people with indebtedness, big mortgages, fear of losing it all, and they’ll bend over and scream “take me Bernadine”. And that’s just the muddle class. The precariat are busy just trying to survive so that politics and elites are irrelevant.
        They will eventually wake up though and I’ve always believed that the longer it takes, and the more inequality becomes entrenched, the more violent the outcome.
        My plans for the future involve taking off to the 3rd World, rather than trying to build a cosy little gated fortress here

  10. Luc Hansen says:

    While I support the overall thrust of the article, I’d just like to make a couple of gentle suggestions Mike may like to think about.

    The first is in relation to Mike’s reference to the business cycle. Only Government borrowing for consumption spending should be influenced by the business cycle, primarily for income support policies and government services because the tax take tends to fall during a recession.

    Capital expenditure should be evaluated in terms of cost-benefit analysis, where social benefit assumes as much, if not more, importance as purely financial cost. The business cycle should form no part of these calculations. Countries are littered with projects that never actually cover their costs, but are of great benefit to society, much to the disgust of ACT, for example.

    My second point is that voter concern about government finances is spread much more widely than the ‘elites’. The best illustration of this was the “Show me money” remark that killed Goff’s promising campaign start stone dead. National policy is to always reduce the tax take from those elites and then cry poor.

    Finally, I suggest Mike thinks, as more ammunition to support his case, about sectoral accounting and the consequences of government surpluses in the face of a persistent current deficit. Someone has to fund the current account deficit, and if it’s not government (which can borrow at the least cost) then it must be the private sector by taking on debt. Just go to tradingeconomics.com and check out what happened to private debt under both Cullen and English in exactly that circumstance.

    In my view, it’s important not to even give a nod to right wing voodoo economics, and sectoral accounting analysis delivers simple clarity to what is, essentially, straightforward economics when divorced from political ideology.

    But I’m glad I’m not a politician trying to argue that case, because influential media editors and writers are generally ignorant of the economic consequences of policies that seem sensible but are are actually counterproductive.

  11. […] The economic bullshit the Greens and Labour have brainfarted out last week promising to slavishly worship the free market just as much as National do, is a way to calm the sleepy hobbits into believing that Labour and the Greens have no scary new ideas whatsoever and will manage the current economic settings rather than challenge them. […]

  12. Tamati Tautuhi says:

    Labour hatched the neoliberal assault on NZ, ideology out of the Chicago School of Economics, with Rogernomics in 1984-1985, this was carried on by National with Ruthanasian Economics, then we had Jenicide Economics with Jenny Shipley & Co, we had a slight respite under Helen Clarke however John Key and Bill English have picked up the ball again with Keysian Economics.

    What was wrong with Traditional Economic Theory, having a Balanced Economy with Current Account Surpluses and only borrowing what we could genuinely afford to service via our Current Account Surpluses.

    We seem to fueling our growth on Debt and Borrowings, along with Current Account Deficits and a Balance Sheet loaded with Debt?

    We longer own our State Assets and we are swimming in a mountain of Offshore Borrowing $120 Billion?

    • Jack says:

      You’re directly buying into the paradigm that debt=bad.

      Our spending should not be constrained by an arbitrary deficit amount, or debt to GDP ratios, or some other bizarre construction of neoclassical economics to propagate ‘sound finance’.

      As the sovereign issuer of the New Zealand dollar, with a healthy demand for that dollar, New Zealand should spend as much as is necessary to provide employment for anybody who wishes to work, with taxation varying based on levels of aggregate demand (i.e. AD too high causing inflation, raise taxes. Vice versa).

      This idea, that government spending is in no way constrained by tax income or account balances was realised 70 years ago. We buy into the sound finance dogma at our own loss.

  13. Tamati Tautuhi says:

    Labour hatched the neoliberal assault on NZ, ideology out of the Chicago School of Economics, with Rogernomics in 1984-1985, this was carried on by National with Ruthanasian Economics, then we had Jenicide Economics with Jenny Shipley & Co, we had a slight respite under Helen Clarke however John Key and Bill English have picked up the ball again with Keysian Economics.

    What was wrong with Traditional Economic Theory, having a Balanced Economy with Current Account Surpluses and only borrowing what we could genuinely afford to service via our Current Account Surpluses.

    We seem to fueling our growth on Debt and Borrowings, along with Current Account Deficits and a Balance Sheet loaded with Debt?

    We no longer own our State Assets and we are swimming in a mountain of Offshore Borrowings $120 Billion?

  14. Afewknowthetruth says:

    We live in an ‘Easter Island’* culture, and most people in this insane, money-lender-controlled and corporation-controlled society will keep doing that which destroys us until they have destroyed us.

    * The Easter Islanders kept destroying their land base and in the last years of their culture devoted huge amounts of effort and resources to constructing statues, thereby exacerbating their predicament.

    Politicians are the very much part of the problem and the current crop of ‘idiots’ will NEVER be part of the solution.

    Protect yourself as best you can from the liars and fuckwits that constitute the status quo establishment because what is coming quite soon ( 2020 at the latest) will be very nasty.

  15. […] Treen expressed it well in an article on Daily Blog discussing the Labour-Green announcement. He thought it strange that Labour and the Greens were […]

  16. Philip Ferguson says:

    Mike says he doesn’t want to advise capitalist governments and yet in the very next paragraph he does precisely that.

    Labour and the Greens did this because they want the business class to swing behind them the way it did in 1984 and 1999. They want to reassure the capitalists that they have absolutely nothing to fear from Labour-Greens.

    They do this because they are parties of capitalist management, not parties of the working class.

    Really, how long will the slow learners take to learn this lesson? Labour is not on *our* side; it’s on *the other side*. And no amount of pleading or advising or pointing out this or that to Labour will change that. They are *institutionally* an integral part of the other side.

    We need a new movement of workers, by workers and for workers.

    I won’t be voting this election because I have better things to do than choose between two rival management teams who defend the same system of exploitation and oppression. In not voting, I will also be doing what most young people and a sizeable section of the working class do.

    Over on Redline, we’ll be developing further the ideas that we put forward in 2014 about a positive non-vote. As for the fiscal responsibility envelope, see: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/capitalist-parties-behaving-like-capitalist-parties-is-a-mystery-to-some/