So the crunch year has now arrived – the year where we must ensure the demise of the National led government. All else must be secondary to this.
This means that all who are working to ensure this are on the same side. While there will be, and clearly are, ideological, philosophical and methodological differences between political parties, politicians, commentators, and bloggers, this must not result in sideshows that distract attention from the prime goal.
QOT writing in The Standard ‘It’s 2014 and we have a job to do’ expresses this very well.
‘We’re all in this together, guys. We’re all aiming for the same thing. We all want that better New Zealand and that strong leftwing government. And you know what, we’re here on the left because we’re fighting in the same war: the war against the powerful elites standing on our necks.’
The adage ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is very applicable. As I’ve followed, with increasing despair, the recent online wars between people whom by this adage should be considered ‘friends,’ I’ve found myself wondering if I really want to be even a very minor part of this blog. Would my limited energies be better spent working in other ways to change the government? Something I will be considering.
I shouldn’t need to explain why the present regime must not be re-elected. Anyone who has a modicum of awareness should be au fait with this. Ensuring the election of a centre left government is the absolute bare minimum (I’d prefer a much more left wing government) in order to stop the destruction of New Zealand that we’ve seen over the last few years. Three more years of populist and vacuous smile and shrug policies that feed increasingly more of our country to overseas interests will be disastrous for this country.
History suggests that should a National led government be re-elected, it will likely be their last term, and therefore they have nothing to lose by unleashing the full force of their neoliberal policies. The further National moves in this direction, the harder it will be for the following government to undo things – the sale of state owned assets being one example, as will be any opening up of the conservation estate to mining.
Abbot’s move in Australia to change the hard won heritage status of Tasmanian forests shows what we could possibly expect here. After all, Abbott is working for the same behind the scenes string pullers as are Key in New Zealand, Cameron in the UK, and Harper in Canada, all clearly produced from the same mould.
But the election of a more socially democratic government is only the start. The issues facing this country are far greater than that, and way beyond the tired left/right wing political ideologies. In the end both corporate capitalism and state capitalism will fail, and for the same reasons.
The countries of the world can not keep on with the same economic, social and environmental policies. The goal of solving economic problems through continual growth is unsustainable. The bubble must burst. Exponential growth forever is impossible – the finite limit of resources being a major limiting factor. Energy is another immediate problem, as we move into or past peak oil. Running concurrently with that is climate change and the increase in global temperatures, even if this is kept to a fraction of a degree per year. In the end, that makes no difference. We just cannot drill, dig and intensively farm our way into the future. Basing our future on that is a fools errand, just postponing the inevitable and handing the problem on to our grand children. We can’t put this in the ‘too hard’ basket and just keep on turning the treadmill faster and faster until it breaks, hoping that we won’t be around when this happens.
If you’ve never watched this video of Professor Al Bartlett “Arithmetic, Populations and Energy” then you must.
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”
It’s not exciting, nor full of Jacksonian style special effects, its just a lecture, but the content should cause you to reflect on the blinkered vision of our politicians and especially the pronouncements of economists. As Bartlett makes so clear through his explanation of exponential mathematics, planning for a future based on continual growth is a nonsense. Want to know why Auckland has an unsolvable housing problem? You’ll understand after watching this video.
The time has come when a new economic paradigm must take over from the present growth at all costs ideologies.
Sustainable economics must become the focus; there is no other option. If you’d like an example, check out Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability.
“We take it as given that sustainability must benefit everyone in a society, rather than merely those who are financially or otherwise privileged. We consider a society to be sustainable if it can expect to survive for several hundreds of years without being forced to change because it is currently destroying or undermining something on which its survival crucially depends.”
We can’t expect right wing politicians to appreciate this as their imperatives are driven by unrestrained capitalism, very well explained in this blog posting:
“I think it says something about the changes in New Zealand society over the last 30 years that the Right’s rhetorical emphasis on ‘self-command’ has come to dominate political debate. To advocate, at the political level, for compassion or humanity is now seen as a thinly disguised appeal to ‘envy’ or ‘entitlement’. To suggest that the “exquisite” and refined sentiment of humanity should govern our collective political decision making is seen, at best, as naive.”
This year must be the year we reclaim this country for all its citizens, and take it away from the corporate elite and their lackeys who want to increase their profit streams at the cost of our people, our environment, our country and our planet.
If this means that the leftish parties have to play the same ‘cup of tea’ arrangements to ensure that they get a better foothold in parliament, so be it. There’s no point bemoaning any deal that Key pulls with Colin Craig, Peter Dunne, and whoever represents the ACT party, in order to get re-elected.
If you can’t ‘beat ‘em, join ‘em’ and play by the same rules. Labour and Mana doing deals over targeted Maori electorates? Why not? Plan strategically with the prime goal in mind and set petty politics and personality attacks aside.
We must do whatever it takes.