My two worst fears for the Progressive Left in the 2014 election

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I have two fears for the Progressive Left in the 2014 election.

Despite what the mainstream media have claimed for 3 years, I think the Progressive Left will be the majority come September 21st. I think we will win because the mechanics of MMP are too great for National to overcome this time but I have two fears.

 

1 – The First 100 Days

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Unfortunately much of the political establishment of the Left don’t seem to think we are going to win and so focus is on elbowing each other for the biggest slice of an ever diminishing pie. One of my fears is that the Progressive Left will win by accident and that no one will know what the hell we are supposed to do once we have finally won power. If we get a Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority  that will be the most progressive Government ever created in NZs political history and as such, there is an obligation on those leaders to maximise a historic first with some radical ideas and a genuine focus on the poor.

The Greens have one of the best and most comprehensive plans for greening the economy, Internet MANA have a handful of radical and clever ideas and Labour will need the inter Party relationship  skills to manage the whole thing. In Matt McCarten, Labour have someone who can balance that, but the additional risk to manage will be the onslaught caused by a wounded mainstream media who will be wanting vengeance for Key losing and the Auckland Business Mafia who will immediately try to stall the economy and disrupt any move that seeks to uncouple NZ to the 30 year experiment in neoliberalism.

Helen Clark faced it during her winter of discontent when the business community purposely spooked the stock market, she relented and reversed much of her social policy to keep them happy, how will Labour manage when almost 90% of all media in NZ is as feral right as whaleoil?

I want to try and nominate which journalist or pundit will be the first on election night to claim Key has been cheated and the result not legitimate, but there are so many who will try that spin I can’t possibly work out who will be first.

I fear that all the attention is on everything up to September 20th and there are very few minds on the Progressive side trying to work out what the first 100 days will actually look like.

 

2 – The ABCs to form own splinter

The moralistic and hyper aggressive stance that many of the ABCs have taken against Internet MANA is well beyond the level required from focus groups results that show Labour Party voters are nervous about Kim Dotcom. They have purposely sought a moral high ground that just isn’t there and I am deeply suspicious that they wouldn’t collectively try forming some type of splinter group and walk out of Labour if Internet MANA are required to provide supply and confidence. A ‘real Labour’ if you will, wedded to the provinces and as socially liberal as a book burning. They would sit on the cross benches and negotiate their own demands and reductions of progressive policy.

As one ABC recently confided to me, “We aren’t looking at the next 3 years, we are looking at the next 30 years”, with aspirations like that, my blood runs cold.

 

I think it is highly unlikely that Key will manage to form a majority, but progressive activists need to understand that winning on September 20th is only the beginning.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Bomber do you really believe MANA -internet are going to get enough votes? If Annette Sykes beats Flavell then maybe but sadly the Internet party party was directed at the lazy selfie taking youth of this country and at first I was so happy for someone finally doing what they did but sadly the reality is these twerps and brats of my Generation are too lazy to even enrol hence why they are the lowest enrolled age group,
    I predict a Labour, Green and NZ first coalition, and as much as you dislike Winston, he will get the conservative rural votes especially in Southland, Canterbury, and in Christchurch from all the angry earth quake victims left to freeze another winter by National.

  2. Thanks for giving us the long view Martyn.

    What these twits (the ABCs) don’t realise is that they are signing their own political death warrant. The longer we have neoliberalism and the more people suffer the stronger the backlash will be.

    At some point the party’s on the left have to have the support of the people. They might survive for a while with the help of the media but what’s happening around Internet Mana is a sign that the ABCs should take note of.

    There is no long term use for a National-lite party as the fate of the United Party should make apparent. The only party that has survived in the middle is NZ First and that’s all down to Winston’s amazing political ability.

    • I have to be an apostrophe Nazi here Aaron. Parties on the left ( it is plural as in more than one) party’s ( singular as in …Aaron party’s on. )
      capeche?

      • What the hell, I’m going to have to double down on your apostrophe nazism.

        “Parties on the left” is indeed the correct plural.

        “Aaron party’s on”, however, is dead wrong. In this case, you’re using “party” as a verb, so it makes no sense to say it’s singular, and it still doesn’t take an apostrophe. It should be “Aaron parties on”.

        The only case where you’d use an apostrophe with “party” is to indicate possession. For example “David Cunliffe is the Labour Party’s leader”. Or, if it’s a plural, “the left-wing parties’ policies”.

  3. Agree Martyn. United we stand, Divided we fall. We need to work together. We were a pain in the arse to Apartheid, pain in the arse to nuclear bombs in the pacific…. we could be another pain in the arse to the strengthening of Neoliberalism through TPPA and TISA and to those pillaging our beautiful planet with no thought or care about climate change. Thats a label I am absolutely comfortable with Aotearoa having. And we can do it united, with a progressive left. Lets do it!

  4. Can you explain why your blood runs cold because someone wants to look forward 30years? I think it’s great doesn’t mean you can’t tweak along the way.

      • Surely that’s a bit over the top. New Zealand in 1984 was hardly a paradise under Muldoonism. There was growth in inequality in the first decade of market reform but since the 1990s that has been stable or falling. The economy has seen better growth and lower inflation over the last 20 years than the preceding era. How is this a disaster?

    • Pfft! Obama is and has been the greatest neocon puppet thus far and sold himself as false hope to the overly friendly latte sipping yuppies of America and poor African Americans, he is no better than G Dubbya!

  5. Mr Bradbury — how can we, the voters for the left, encourage some of our more cynical (and hence non-voting) friends and perhaps those who have never voted before, to stand up and vote with us?

    I too fear that the left will win purely by accident and the progressive movement will fall flat.

    • Please Bomber, give us some column inches on this critical point.

      As we’ve discussed before, the media are set against the progressive parties, this is not news. As JGUEST suggests, encouraging friends to get on board is one way of countering this.

      There are plenty of great policies being put out by the progressive parties. What do you think the best ways to cut through to the disillusioned and disinterested are?

  6. But Cunliffe’s Labour haven’t offered much in the way of an alternative have they?
    An insurance company and a couple percent changed on tax. More housing for the middle and upper class.
    Even if Labour/Greens/InternetMANA manage to break 50% we’d need to see the latter two bring in huge numbers. I think those three can beat the right, but we need to be voting for Greens and InternetMANA to really see anything remotely leftwing

    • Obviously you have not been following all the labour and green party policy releases on face book.

      Or watched all david cunliffe’s speaches labour and the greens are going to turn NZ on its head.

  7. “I fear that all the attention is on everything up to September 20th and there are very few minds on the Progressive side trying to work out what the first 100 days will actually look like.”

    I’ve been thinking about this too. One thing for Labour is how much shit it will get if it uses IMP to form govt via confidence and supply. Cunliffe seems on form, it’s some of the other MPs that need to have this sorted in their heads before they open their mouths or go anywhere near FB or twitter.

    ABCs… what’s the strategy then? To wait until they retire?

    • People who live in the electorate with an ABC can vote against them so that their majorities get slashed – or if we’re lucky, they only get in on the list.

      I’m assuming their individual power within the party will be reduced if any of this happens to them – and if they only get in on the list it’ll be really easy to ‘lose’ them at the next election.

      Martyn can you give us a list of the ABC club so people can make an informed choice here?

      • Solid call, i’ve been really torn-I live in napier and I don’t think I can bring myself to vote for Stuart Nash. Might as well just vote for the nat candidate. I don’t want to help lessen the chance of a seat going to the left, but Nash just represents that side of labour that deserves to be chucked away. So i guess I’ll vote for the green candidate and hopefully slash Nash’s majority!

  8. We do have to cross that first bridge first – but I agree it will be a challenging 100 days.
    On the plus side, the presence, persona and leadership on display by Cunliffe, Harawira, Harre, Norman, Turei and, indeed, Peters recently is impressive.
    They’ll have to ride out that opening period and the media and vested interests will no doubt look to drive wedges in between the partners.
    Looking forward to it!

  9. I’m still firmly of the belief that NZ First will go with National rather than play third banana in a centre-left government. Another strong possibility is they will sit on the cross-benches and allow National to be a minority government, making them fight for Winston’s support for every bill.

    If a centre-left government did get in I don’t think it would be that radical at all. The vast majority of the voting electorate is middle class and cares most about having a stable economy with safety net for the poor. A radical reshaping of the economy is not a popular idea and Cunliffe knows that. Labour will stick to the centre. Though I still think it very unlikely the left prevails on 20 September.

    • The concerns of Winston’s constituency are relevant.

      Why should a bunch of people that profited from Communist China be able to come to our country and vote for right wing policies that destroy our Working Class? How is that fair?

      What on earth makes people think that the CCP would approve of this behavior?

  10. I suspect since Hager’s book all bets are off – with Dotcom’s axe still to fall the neolabs may begin to see that job security no longer lies with appeasing the right.

  11. […] MARTYN BRADBURY IS RIGHT. A victory for the Left on 20 September will by no means signal the end of its troubles. In fact, they will only be the beginning. By the “Left” I am, of course, referring to Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana. And, once again, Comrade Bradbury is correct when he says that such a combination would constitute one of the most progressive governments this country’s history. Certainly New Zealanders would have to go back 40 years to find the progressive equal of Labour’s, the Greens’ and Internet-Mana’s proposed economic and environmental reforms. And that, precisely, is Martyn’s point: the enemies of such a progressive government would be legion. […]

  12. […] MARTYN BRADBURY IS RIGHT. A victory for the Left on 20 September will by no means signal the end of its troubles. In fact, they will only be the beginning. By the “Left” I am, of course, referring to Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana. And, once again, Comrade Bradbury is correct when he says that such a combination would constitute one of the most progressive governments this country’s history. Certainly New Zealanders would have to go back 40 years to find the progressive equal of Labour’s, the Greens’ and Internet-Mana’s proposed economic and environmental reforms. And that, precisely, is Martyn’s point: the enemies of such a progressive government would be legion. […]

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