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When we dance to the Left, be prepared for a Right kicking.

By   /  September 12, 2013  /  12 Comments

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In a few days we will know who will lead and how fundamental the shift might be but you can be certain the protectors of privilege will not sit idly by as spectators.

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Watching the Labour leadership contest from afar, it looks certain that there will be a shift to the left at the level of the parliamentary leader. In a few days we will know who will lead and how fundamental the shift might be but you can be certain the protectors of privilege will not sit idly by as spectators.

A Labour/Green coalition Government is a distinct possibility in 2014 if these two parties can portray a coherent alternative set of policies, give an impression of leadership ability and credibility and most critical of all, give voters a sense that they can vote for Parties that will implement real change.

Social Democratic and Labour parties are at a low ebb. Conservatives and neo liberal champions of austerity rule throughout most of the OECD. Labor in Australia has been punished for infighting and incoherence. The Conservatives have just won in Norway despite 3% unemployment and a quality system of comprehensive public education, health and social security (and oil) overseen by 6 years of Social Democratic Government.

In the Anglo Saxon world there is a tendency to try to get elected by sending a message to voters that Labour will remove the hard edges of finance capitalism and will not be as bad as ‘the other lot’.

This is not a convincing message.

The only message that is worth promoting is that there are alternative policies to reduce inequality, build social cohesion and protect the environment and to spell out those policies as a genuine alternative social and economic model.

But here’s the catch. If we are to be honest with the electorate we must also explain that powerful economic forces will do their utmost to undermine a progressive agenda. Capital will Strike! Remember the sudden overnight drop in the value of the NZ dollar during the winter of 2000 when the newly elected Labour Government was preparing to introduce new employment laws?
Capital will disinvest. Capital will sabotage. There will be dire warnings of apocalyptic economic collapse. We need to prepare the electorate to weather such a storm and to stand up for their rights in the face of corporate bullying.

Consider the following:
The UK Financial Times (11/09/13) reported that Europe’s plan for an expansive financial tax hit a wall when a top legal adviser to finance ministers concluded that such a tax would infringe on EU treaties, exceed national jurisdictions and discriminate against States that were ‘non participatory’. This is a major blow to plans for a €35billion levy which seeks to tax institutions according to where their headquarters are based, rather than where the trade is executed. The tax is designed to catch trades in such markets as London, New York and Singapore.

On the other hand the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is being designed to remove the right of nation states to legislate in the public interest if such legislation has a detrimental effect on the present and future profits of corporates.

We need to fight and we need to win for present and future generations of New Zealanders but do not think for one moment that we live in an isolated community or that we can change without significant sacrifices being made in the transition to a fairer society.

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12 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    Not necessarily. Capital is not as monolithic as it seems. Sure, finance capital will do this, but even Bob Jones said that business is better under Labour than under National.

    Labour needs to drive a wedge between the makers and the rentiers.

  2. Crunchtime says:

    I’m becoming more convinced that the party – and leader – that LOOKS most ready to lead tends to win the next election. That’s why I have pretty high confidence in Cunliffe, he’s pretty good at looking, walking and talking like a leader. He speaks in plain english and delivers a strong socially responsible “red” message very well. And is close to unbeatable in a debate.

    • Sam says:

      Dammit accidental down vote. Sorry about that! I approve of this message, stupid tablet touchscreen not withstanding…

    • hope says:

      Cunliffe talks the talk, now its time to walk the talk.Capital will always deal with markets that will deliver what its needs to profit, even if the Government they are dealing with is less favourable than the last,they will pick it up down the chain. Surly the question should be,are we comfortable living off others exploited usury.

  3. Ion A. Dowman says:

    The advisor to the newly elected Roosevelt Government in the 1930s, himself multi-brazillionaire, observed that Capitalists could be their own worst enemy. I forget who this guy was, but it was he, one of the premier one-per-centers who authored Roosevelt’s New Deal. He could se that Capitalism was dependent upon the adequate purshasing power of the populace at large i.e. the workers (he knew, and was prepared to state bluntly, where his wealth came from.

    It was this dude’s view that what kept an economy healthy was not how much wealth was being made or how great or small the level of public or private debt. It was how freely money circulated. Money had to be doing things – a bit like that Bank ad (ASB, is it?), which describes how busy a dollar is.

    But it isn’t in this country. Years – decades – ago I coined the aphorism ‘The Devil finds work for idle capital.’ Doesn’t it just? Look at the level of investment in this country. Sod all. Rough Roger and Rude Ruth oversaw the beginnings of the evisceration of the New Zealand economy on the altar of Neo-Classical Economic superstition (you could not, even by courtesy, call it a science). Prescious little remains to invest in, as John Key tacitly admitted when, as (partial?) justification for the Mighty River float, sought New Zealand enterprises in which Kiwi Saver monies might be invested. How sad and pathetic is that?

    But a recently leaked memo by some high flying global banker or other probably explains why nothing will happen to repair the appalling wholesale damage to the global economy, and hence to New Zealand’s. It seems that the big bankers hatched a plot back last century to blackmail nations into deregulating their intra-national finance and banking systems. It worked.

    It would appear that the TPPF and MAI and GATT and similar bullshit schemes are also being visited upon nations like New Zealand (and the rest) to satisfy the demands of big corporates. There is only one possible excuse for any government, Labour (remember the Clark government and MAI?) or National to agree to any such agreement. And that is that it is [A] made clearly understood that no government may be forced, induced nor coerced into sacrificing its sovereignty, and [B] no democratically elected government may be bound by the policy and enactments of its predecessor such that they can not be repealed.

    To make sovereign states liable to legal action over the passage of its laws is inconscionable, and any government that so commits this country to any such thing ought to be prosecutable under the Fiscal Responsibility Act (Ms Richardson’s legacy must be put to some good use, after all) and whatever laws we have concerning treason.

    The Neo-Liberals are dangerous maniacs who have battened upon this country for far too long. But, lets face it. The loonies took over the asylum way, way back.
    Cheers,
    Ion

    • hope says:

      So seeing that you are happy dealing in the capitalist exploits rule.What flavoured capitalist rule do you prefer.

    • Draco T Bastard says:

      …the altar of Neo-Classical Economic superstition (you could not, even by courtesy, call it a science).

      I’ve stopped even calling it an hypothesis. All it is today is a justification for capitalism which continuously fails to work.

  4. Davidj says:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iKYLd1i7lTQ

    of reaction and this being the anniversary of the vile reaction of September 11 the we would do well to pass our thoughts back to our Chilean comrades the supreme price they payed, and the lessons we may learn so their struggle was not in vain.

  5. Jenny says:

    Prepare for a Right kicking?

    Better believe it.

    Dodgypoll polling reveals:


    “Cunliffe falls short in public poll”

    “In a 3 News poll, Cunliffe scored 8.6 per cent, compared with 17.3 for Jones and 16.3 for Robertson when respondents were asked whether candidates were more honest than most politicians.

    The majority said Cunliffe had a better understanding of the economy than the other two candidates, but 25.8 per cent said he was more “substance than style”, compared with 13.9 per cent for Robertson and 13 per cent for Jones.

    STACEY KIRK Fairfax NZ

    What?

    “A total of 30.7 per cent of respondents said they believed Cunliffe talked down to people, compared with 13 per cent for Jones and just 7.9 per cent for Robertson.

    Despite this, 21.2 per cent of voters said he would be the best leader in a crisis.”

    STACEY KIRK Fairfax NZ

    You can smell the fear, but this is only a whiff of the media treatment that Cunliffe can expect when he goes up against media darling John Key.

    “A large number of respondents answered each question “did not know”.

    STACEY KIRK Fairfax NZ

    “A large number”? Is this considered a rigorous scientific statistic to quote by this journalist?

    A large number, compared to what?

    As no no link was provided to the original data and I am too underawed to search it up, we will never know, only that it is “large”.

  6. The Roadie says:

    Thats okay, bring it on Capital can strike. So can the Labour movement. bring it on. The workers will strike back!

  7. Draco T Bastard says:

    Capital will Strike! Remember the sudden overnight drop in the value of the NZ dollar during the winter of 2000 when the newly elected Labour Government was preparing to introduce new employment laws? Capital will disinvest. Capital will sabotage.

    Easy. Tell people the truth – that we don’t need capital as we already own all the resources in the country. All we need to do as a society is to create the money and spend it where we want to get those resources to where we want them doing what we want them to.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know of any political party wishing to state that truth.

    On the other hand the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is being designed to remove the right of nation states to legislate in the public interest if such legislation has a detrimental effect on the present and future profits of corporates.

    Of course it is. In fact, the whole reason as to why we have representative democracy instead of participatory democracy is so that governments will act in the interests of the rich rather than in the interests of the people.

    What we need to do is to get rid of this sham democracy that we have and replace it with a democracy that actually caters to the will of the people.

  8. Marc says:

    Extract from story by James Ritchie:
    “But here’s the catch. If we are to be honest with the electorate we must also explain that powerful economic forces will do their utmost to undermine a progressive agenda. Capital will Strike! Remember the sudden overnight drop in the value of the NZ dollar during the winter of 2000 when the newly elected Labour Government was preparing to introduce new employment laws? Capital will disinvest. Capital will sabotage.”

    Yes, you are so right! And that is exactly why the more conservative, the pro neo liberal economic and social policy following, anti-social forces are again and again able to regain power, to cling onto power and to rule.

    It is based on the political “weapon” of FEAR, of insecurity, of enforcing submission and division, to weaken any progressive, alternative forces that pose a threat to their way of running governments.

    Behind it are lobbyists, large and not so large business groups, certainly major global corporates, large trading and merchant banks, finance companies, property owning elites, and also a fair share of the much cited “middle class”, which is not one entity in itself.

    They also work hand in hand with core media businesses, and even “public” media in broadcasting and so, who have also increasingly been made dependent on advertising revenue, which leads to dependence on a “hand that feeds”.

    Once there were “conservative” parties that followed policies that are nowadays called “socialist”, because some intervention was involved, where markets would not deliver in a fair and beneficial way. That shows how far to the “right” economic and social policy has been shifted over the last 3 decades.

    While politicians like John Key have a somewhat personal “liberal” view on some things, and even vote for same gender marriage, their economic and social policy is far to the other extreme.

    It is due to the mainstream media being used by the core lobby groups that hold the capital, the assets, that are the employers of most, that power remains in the hand of the top percentages of populations. They will not let go without a fight, and use all means to manipulate and strike back, at any effort to empower the people as a whole.

    Fear of their might and of the insecurity and power they can exert, that is the greatest enemy to change, which is overdue.

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