The Labour Party and the self-loathing liberal complex

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Ignatieff_Epic FailI want to love the Labour Party. I really do.

I want to forget about their neoliberal betrayal of my country under Roger Douglas, I want to forget about the ‘lost decade’ of Helen’s time in power when bugger all was done for those in poverty and environmental emissions got much worse and I want to forget about David Shearer’s bumbling lurch to the right and his inability to get through any TV interview without looking startled, puzzled, uncertain and frightened all at the same time.

I really, really, really want to. Unfortunately trying to love Labour and ignoring all their faults seems to be akin to having a relationship with a meth junkie. At some point after you’ve stepped on your 100th glass pipe in the bedroom, you have to accept that you are romantically involved with a P addict.

Labour’s latest gutless and spineless position is that despite all their gnashing of teeth and howls of protest at the GCSB spying on NZers, they will actually allow the GCSB to spy on NZers after all.

How pathetic of the Labour Party, how devoid of any principle.

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As last weeks GCSB special on Citizen A with Keith Locke pointed out, every MP involved in the 2003 GCSB Act in Parliament claimed time after time after time that the GCSB would NEVER be allowed to spy on NZ citizens.

That assurance has been shown up for the hollow lie it always was. The NZSIS and the NZ Police have used a loophole in the legislation that was NEVER in the spirit of the law to spy on 88 NZers and instead of getting angry by this deception and breach of the law, what will Labour do?

Spinelessly accept Key’s audacious position that we’ll just pass a new law making the spying on NZers legal.

That gagging sensation progressive readers of this blog will be feeling right now is what I like to refer to as the ‘Shearer reflex’.

Labour suffer from a terrible shame of being left wing. So frightened are Labour by being seen as ‘soft’ on security issues and law and order issues, they over-compensate and go a goose step further to the right to try and be seen as tough.

Indeed you can view the entire political career of Clayton Cosgrove as the perfect example of the political projection of this sense of over-compensation. He is the hair plug denial of a self hating lefty.

Labour spend too much time managing right wing reactionaries rather than challenging them and when they aren’t doing that they are providing a simpering acquiescence to the instruments of state power due to their self created fear of being seen as ‘soft liberals’.

National Party Cheerleader, John Armstrong set this very trap up last weekend in his column

Key will try to paint David Shearer as weak and flaky on national security

…and lo and behold like an aging hipster desperate to fit into the cool kid gig, Labour are up the front of the law and order song and dance routine shaking their bones to the beat Key is playing.

I call this the ‘Russell Brown Syndrome’.

The reason Labour doesn’t mind the GCSB spying on NZers is because the Labour Party are so ineffectual that there is no way any of the 88 NZers the GCSB have spied on could possibly be Labour Party people.

Labour stopped being a Party of any genuine political principle some time ago and their timid agreement to let our spies spy on us is a terrible blow to our civil liberties. Unless Labour have a change of leader and a clean out of the old guard, they just can’t be seen as a serious force for social democracy.

That sound you hear as Labour gutlessly cave into Key and agrees to allowing the GCSB to spy on NZers is Norm Kirk and David Lange both rolling in their grave.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Unless Labour have a change of leader and a clean out of the old guard, they just can’t be seen as a serious force for social democracy.

    Labour haven’t been a serious force for social democracy for some time. That’s why they’ve been bleeding members for the last few decades.

  2. There is no doubt there is a dearth of passionate charismatic NZers willing to step up to the plate and lead this country forward. At best we get sideways (e.g. Clark) or violently backwards (e.g. Dear Leader).
    The problem is I think the old guard and their puppet masters – there is simply no way to rise in the ranks of the established parties without being vetted as what they would call a “party faithful”. So what we get is more of the same (irrespective of how failed those policies have shown to be). NZers have to be willing to vote outside of the box by realising the established mainstream parties do NOT represent their ideals or have their best interests at heart.

  3. David Lange? – wasn’t he a key member of the Labour government that moved New Zealand to the right and created the plague of boy racers we have experienced ever since?

    • Good blog again but rolling in his grave? Let’s not reinvent history. Lange relinquished his care for others when he became Prime Minister and took us down the neo liberal path that rendered long sharp blows to the real workers among us; if he is stirring at all it is to dance to the self-centred beat of the – questionably center – right. I’ll shed no tears in saying goodbye to Labour and its boogie woogie boy, Shearer.

  4. PS – “boy racers” is a metaphor for a whole generation of younger politically ignorant New Zealanders who were brought up with no concept of civil society

    • The people had allowed Lange to use the family car. Roger Douglas and his conniving “boy racer” mates stole the keys and went for a joy ride.
      Indeed there was an almighty swerve to the right but Lange wasn’t the one behind the wheel.
      It upset him so much he called for a tea-break before the reckless bastards hurt more innocent people.

  5. They don’t care because there are no votes in it.

    Stop blaming the Labour Party and start blaming voters. But that would involve admitting that over 50% of NZers are dumb tories, and we can’t have that.

  6. @ Nitrium . I agree with you . @ Martyn , I agree with you too . I could argue , I’m agreeable . Some might not .

    Only an Atom bomb could cleanse us of our political hierarchy . We’re totally unarmed and ill prepared for what’s coming which will be complete disarray . Our political system is at once simple , ( There are only four million people living here . Remember that ! ) and at once unbelievably and tactically overly complicated . Our politics should be a simple affair . A few good people , well paid and well educated to take care of the most vulnerable first which is common sense . Otherwise you get a welling of dysfunction , then everybody suffers .

    However , our simple political system is complex , bitchy , dodgy , devious and is a breeding ground for the worst kind of political human being . The power hungry , sociopath .

    So , what to do ? What to do ?

    I see a lot of brilliant minds here pointing to the problem . I don’t see one single idea for purge and change . Not one ! Never have . Other than my ideas of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the relationship between our Politicians and Big Business but then I see the Queen attended thatchers funeral so there’s that idea fucked .

    So what to do ? We know that Labour is a National Clone . We know this . We know that the cyborg ‘ LaboNat ‘ is a horrible beastie and I’m watching , transfixed as it lumbers along , the juggernaut of greed and deviancy relishing it’s horrible appetite to hurt and disenfranchise us from the rights we have to enjoy our lives in our wonderful country for it’s dirty lusts for power and money . And that scumbag jonky-stien has just sold us out to rich Chinese people WTF ! ? Chinese people who kill or disappear dissenters ! And the little shit’s getting completely away with it ! ? Bizarre !

    The litany of lies that is our political system pounded into us by a corrupt MSM needs unpicking and made public . Just like it’s bastard child , the EQC . Just like ACC .

    But then what ? What to do ?

    They fucking know of that conundrum . It’s all very well to crash the car to escape the wasp that came up the vent but then what ?

    Any ideas ?

    Enough analysis , enough evaluation . We all know what the problem is . Lets do something about it ? But what ? Seriously ! What ?

    Is there a Blog that deals with action and solutions ? If so , can you please give me it’s URL ?

    If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about our on-going political shambles it’s this ; talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk , talk .

  7. Labour’s left died a long time ago, they are truly pathetic, as the article says none of the Labourites will be being spied on. Shearer the bumbling fool, who can’t comment on anything unless he has been forewarned. Personally I cannot understand why Phil Twyford and possibly one or two others can even be in the party.

  8. The large problem with Shearer is that he is dragging the whole spectrum of political representation to the Right.
    He is much more of a National type than traditional Labour voters are used to.
    When he represents a supposedly left party from such a right-wing to centre perspective it leaves hundreds of thousands without a clear leader to vote for.

    This arrangement is good for neolib rule because then any mainstream debate only bounces back and forward in the right half of the political spectrum.

    Anyone who dares mention community, society, welfare, the underprivileged, inequality, or historically low tax rates for the wealthy is immediately branded as communist, socialist, or hippie protester.
    Morals, ethics, and values have no weight in our money-driven political parties.

    If Labour doesn’t get back to some of the more basic principles for our society they will find their traditional support will align with other left parties who will fill the vacuum they are creating.

  9. “How pathetic of the Labour Party, how devoid of any principle.”

    Unfortunately ‘principle’ was replaced by Helen’s ‘pragmatism’. Despite the fact that I reckon Helen has to be ranked amongst NZ’s best PMs UNTIL the 3rd term when she chose to have a cup of tea and a lay down.

    (There was SO very much more she could have done/undone/backed out.
    It was an utterly wasted opportunity – especially when one considers that the damage done by late-80’s Labour, then subsequent Ruth Richardson Limited Nats was always going to take a generation to undo.

    Helen allowed herself to be hijacked by a set of collective egos in the 3rd term – those that today still stalk parliament.
    No wonder she decided to exit- stage Left (with a hint of right)

    Like you, I very much want to ‘Like’ the Labour Party – for many it’s just a click on an icon but I can no longer bring myself to vote for the least worst option when there are other (better) alternatives. Labour under Shearer just doesn’t seem to get it! Worse still, they don’t even WANT to get it!
    Labour, as it stands and as a ‘brand’ – are the undeserving poor being represented by the undeserving rich.
    David Fckng Shearer ffs! I’m picking he thinks today’s announcement re shares (although good) is a masterpiece and will therefore go home and rest on his baubles – a bit like a United Nations-provided tent in the desert. The guy is ekshly a pillock on a grand scale who – if confronted somewhere in Sth Auckland by P’d up aggro’s would shit his pants – yet the spin gives us an entirely different (and undeserved) pitcha.

    Yes – like you (and most of my family/extended/friends – many of who comprise lifetime supporters) would like to like Labour – just can’t do it any longer.

    I ‘Like’ (as in thumbsup) the Russell Brown analogy too – I’d prefer a fist up option tho’. I stomached the guy on Media 7 – I just can’t do it on Media 3 and he (and its producers probably wouldn’t even get/understand the difference – but it’s to do with CONTINUITY and short attention spans and star seeking egos).

    Initially on M7 I managed to get past the wanker/ageing desperado trip with politically correct unfortunate domestic circumstances cleverly made public. Fuck Russell – give it up already ffs! Get some work-life balance, tone down the ego trip – think ahead!
    Does he still have that OZ guy producing? – Not a bad sort of fella all tolled.
    Still …. the guy’s not alone, there are a cast of thousands who, although his very demeanour provides employment, think he’s the wanker I’ve described, and….
    after all – they do have to try an earn a crust.

    Media fucking THREE ffs! I’ll try my VERY best bestest to watch the next episode.
    (But then Bomber, Face is a poor poor poorest relation to Tri buying into the agenda – TINA).
    We’ll see just how genuine that Clare Curren self promoter is when she comes to power shall we?

  10. David Lange was hardly a man of principle. Do you not remember his claim that he would never negotiate “a release to freedom” for the French agents convicted in the Rainbow Warrior bombing? That pledge was soon broken.

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