GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan – I’m all for left wing unity, but not when the other guys are trying to kill you



My local Labour MP is David Shearer. He’s a nice man, and I’ve seen him once or twice in the local community. Big Gay Out down in Point Chev. The by election debate Unite held in Mt Albert, 5 years ago. I’m not sure if he made it to the big meeting against the GCSB in the War Memorial Hall, where you could say the Internet-Mana coalition truly began, but I did see David Cunliffe there. Anyways, I digress.

David boasted on his facebook profile last week about going up North to help his mate Kelvin Davis take out the Mana Movement. Apparently, the most urgent enemy that we need to mobilise against in Aotearoa today is not the 1%, the National Party, the GCSB surveillance State or the TPPA, but the small growing forces of the radical Left. And he was joined by others in rapid succession- Phil Goff, the man who sold New Zealand, Trevor Mallard, and someone called Chris Hipkins who apparently is an MP.

Labour are currently lanquishing in the low 30s, in poll after poll. I’ve yet to see any of their spokespeople at the Housing meetings in Grey Lynn or the pickets to defend Niki’s home at Glen Innes. Yet in these communities, the name of one MP is mentioned constantly, because he put his body on the line to stop the State Housing asset theft. That MP is Mana’s Hone Harawira.

Hone is unashamedly building a radical movement in Aotearoa that looks to the working class, the dispossessed, Maori, Pasifika and the poor. The coalition with Laila Harre and the Internet Party shows that far from being a racist, Hone is willing to work with all forces who want to bring John Key’s Government down. And with Labour in the low 30s, we need as much votes and allies as possible to achieve this.

I help unionise low paid workers in the fast food restaurants of Auckland City, and we have fought hard against multinationals to raise their wages over the years. This is a generation of workers who will never afford a house in Auckland. This is a generation who are not being represented effectively by people like David Shearer. NO tinkering around the edges- we need rent control and a massive state housing building programme now, or any Living Wages we win will be devoured immediately by the landlords.

That’s why I’m going to return David the compliment, and put my name forward to stand for the low paid workers of Mount Albert / Owairaka. People who want to have a fighting option to the Left of a future Labour-Greens Government should have a chance to vote for the Internet-Mana coalition in the electorates, as well as the Party Vote. Labour should stop taking the working class and the new poor for granted, and a new generation should have the option for a new movement that looks at the need for deeper, systemic change, and not just bandages on open wounds.

See you at the Hustings, Dave 😉

TDB Recommends

Joe Carolan, Senior Organiser with Unite Union, writer for, Mana founding member.


  1. Go for it Joe, let these right wing Labour candidates really see what a party for the people looks like. The Labour party needs to get back to it’s core principles – we have had enough of right wingers.

    • Too right. In Dunedin the left only have the choice of voting for the existing right-wing Claire Curren and the ‘other bloke’. Both of whom are so ABC its not funny. I sent a message to Laila last night suggesting she stand members in electorates so we can give them two votes not just one. Labour are taking the electorates for granted. They are not the only alternative.

      • Jay Ray

        The contest in Dunedin North is; Meteria Turei vs Woodhouse (think; Liu-immigration scandal accomplice & Gallipoli -fraud) vs the “other bloke” (incumbent Labour MP & Parker’s ex-treasury protege – out of curiosity can anyone not involved in the Dunedin campaigns name him without first checking Wikipedia ?).

        It baffles me that the Green Party are not going hard out to win this electorate, but I guess the campaign funds are needed to help Marama take Tāmaki Makaurau. Also, we may well end up with Labour on an electoral seat overhang being essential to our getting a left government.

        It’s the works not perks that are important.

  2. The problem with Labour is that they seem so shit-scared of offending the middle-classes because they think that’s where some of the 800,000 missing voters were, that they are sitting on the political fence.

    They’ll get splinters.

    They’ve got splinters. The left is splintering away from Labour because Labour just don’t really stand for anything any more, like Hone does, like Russell and Meteria do. And Winston’s got the elderly sewn up because of the Gold Card. Key’s got the Baby Boomers covered because he won’t put up the retirement age.

    The 800,000 are not the middle. They are predominantly the left, the victims of neoliberal monetarist policies that have taken root in New Zealand, started by Douglas, Prebble and ACT in the 80’s and exacerbated by Richardson and then softened and spun to a palatable Tory policy of selling only ‘half the assets to mum and dad investors’ con, that was smoke, mirrors and find the peanut under the walnut shell game.

    The poor young, the poor whites, the poor brown need to be represented – by the Left.

    Well Labour. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. I loved the Labour monetary policy, because it had something for all in it, for lower and middle NZ and gave us hope of a better future than selling off stuff.

    You need to declare your allegiances – stand for something – support the left and say that you will form a coalition after the election.

    Representation will be truly democratic, rather than the ‘demoncratic’ or ‘croneycratic’ right-wing coalition.

    On 21st September, if Hone gets 15 seats, Greens 25 and Labour 30 that can work as a true percentage MMP representation.

    15/70 IMP = 21% (3 seats in Left-Labour cabinet); 25/70 = 36% (8 seats in Left Cabinet Green) and 43% for Labour 61%, and the Leader PM from Labour because they got the most votes.

    The end is to get rid of Key, croneys and neoliberal monetarists forever.

    The ends justify the means. Cooperation, social and parliamentary justice and trust of the Left is the means.

        • Speak English mate – state your point. That’s why young people like me won’t vote!

      • They are the disenfranchised who are predominantly youth. Many young people resent poltics and will not enter into political discussions, or vote. They choose not to because they just think pollies are corrupt old croney farts, with croney fart friends….

        Ask IMP why there are 800,000 non-voters who are going to be drawn their way.

        Peter Dunne for one – “willing seller and willing buyer ” of votes. How corrupt is that?

      • Oooh Slater, Intrinsic Value and Eclectic voted already.

        Must have struck a raw nerve eh.

        Soooooo…… the 800,000 are disenfranchised young voters who , if they were awoken from their slumber, would vote left, IMP, or even Labour.

      • Congratulations, Joe.

        In the last few days, having read many of the comments from Labour MPs, I am rapidly “re-drawing” my own political compass.

        I am more disappointed in Labour than ever.

        But will continue to work for a Labour-Green-Mana-Internet(-NZ First?) coalition.

        My fingers are crossed that the Green-Mana-Internet element in the new coalition government will be a strong force to be reckoned with.

  3. Good on you Joe! One of the reasons I see that Labour languish in the low 30s is that they have not been a party of the Left for 30 years or more now. They are merely to the left of National but definitely to the right of Centre.
    For instance they still support signing of the TPPA and other FTAs as well as other forms of corporate colonialism …

  4. I totally support you Joe Carolan as we have one heck of a fight on our hands. In saying that the movement of the people have been fighting and supporting at grass roots level. Now that MP Hone Harawira is taking Mana to another level, politicians want to slam the new alliance. I say “grow up and get over it”! Move on because time waits for nobody nor does the Government’s selling of Aotearoa and the breed of merciless corporate corrupted bodied scumbags, that bring in oil rigs and evil mindsets of gentrification as we see evident today. People out there that still want to vote for National? Better check themselves before they wreck themselves. At the end of the day no kiwis will be able to afford homes in their own country. Let alone securing a job and having to pay back debt on student loans. So if you want all this to go away their is only one way to turn to the left! to the left!

  5. “Labour should stop taking the working class and the new poor for granted, and a new generation should have the option for a new movement that looks at the need for deeper, systemic change, and not just bandages on open wounds.”

    Good on you, Joe. The problem is, we have a 55 percent society, where just over 50 per cent seem to be doing “ok” in one way or another, they are the middle class, the upper middle class and the arrogant, manipulating and controlling upper class, who use the middle class to get it their way.

    As workers, as beneficiaries, as poor, deprived, ethnic or cultural minorities not doing well, we are the marginalised, even if we may represent the up to 45 percent. They (the top end classes and government) also cunningly use immigration, and today I as beneficiary was having one of those endless WINZ “reviews”, and the one interviewing me was a person who was a migrant from either Fiji or India, and he threw a comment at me, sounding like, well, what about dealing with social issues as they do in the US? After 6 months you get nothing.

    He was observedly frustrated and angry, as I am one of the few clued up, who know their rights, and made this known, and he DID NOT LIKE IT. He and a fair few new WINZ staff, same as workers all over the place, who come here from certain migrant communities, where they are worse off where they come from, they have NO SYMPATHY, are full of morals and ARE NOT SOCIALLY AWARE.

    Maybe over time they will learn, their kids will learn, or whatever, my point is, we are daily being undermined by the government using divisive techniques, to put hatred and suspicion between us, and they love to use migrants to facilitate this.

    Thus the social contract and security system is breaking to pieces, and not much of it will be left soon, as migrants and manipulated, servant minded locals, do all despise those that “do not pull their weight”, and want to pay less taxes and leave others to “fend for themselves”.

    Your aspirations are good, but the challenge is much more dangerous than many here understand, and Shearer and Labour are buying right into the “frustrations” of the middle class, who see nothing wrong with using cheap migrant labour to get cheap services and goods, and nothing wrong with and underclass being forced by Paula Bennett, to “pull up their socks”.

    New Zealand is nearing fascist territory, and like in Nazi Germany, nobody sees it coming, too many are just “comfortable” with it.

    I have lost all faith in this country, and the fact so few take a stand against all this is totally disheartening.

  6. The real heart of the problem is the ABC brigade in Labour. These people wield far too much internal influence ,and thusly, before an election …it would appear in order to present themselves as unified before the public, Cunliffe is loathe to extricate them .

    This would help to explain the vacillation we see occurring in the party.

    It would appear they are ,in fact, fifth columnists within the agreement with neo liberalism (indeed a few were there when Douglas introduced this destructive monetarist ideology) .

    These people do not want any change to the current system. As such…they align themselves perfectly with Nationals ideals.

    Frankly…..they do not belong in Labour…they would be best to jump ship and join the current Govt. As long as their presence remains…we will not see any real progress towards a social democratic style Govt or economic system. This translates itself to the present obstinacy and bloody mindedness in standing candidates opposing other political parties of the left.

    Things like this just don’t appear out of nowhere…its instigated by people , people who have their own motives and agendas.

    There would be many people on Labours left who never wanted this situation , who voted for Cunliffe,…..but are being thwarted by this small minority who , as senior members in the organisation ,
    are very difficult (for now ,at least ) to be rid of.

  7. ‘And someone called Chris Hipkins who apparently is an MP’.

    This just made me spit out my tea laughing.

  8. Someone wrote that if Labour can’t work with possible coalition partners before the election, how do we know they can work with them after? Good point, I think.

    I was going to Party Vote Labour (or Greens), but I think I’ll shift to Mana-Internet.

Comments are closed.