GUEST POST: Pat O’Dea – Northland

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Piha-no-oil-sea-drilling-protest-17

Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

“I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said. “They’ve continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas,”
GRANT BRADLEY Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the NZ Herald

The coup de grace that finally extinguished the Green Left’s survival chances was the Labour Party’s very public spurning of the Greens’ (i.e. Norman’s) invitation to campaign together. Labour clearly regarded the Greens as mad, bad and dangerous to know, a judgement reinforced in the last few weeks of the election campaign when it became increasingly obvious to Green Party members that David Cunliffe was much more disposed to forming a coalition with NZ First’s Winston Peters than Norman and the Greens.

CHRIS TROTTER in the Daily Blog

Chris Trotter is right, the Green Left coalition was sunk by Labour’s hostility to the Greens.

And this antagonism has been proved over several electoral cycles. Whenever Labour has had the chance to govern with the Greens or a conservative political partner, (New Zealand First, United Future), Labour have always chosen the latter over the former.

But the question is, what is the motive behind this antagonism and hostility to the Greens displayed by the Labour Party?

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

I would argue that the driver behind this hostility, is Labour Party’s refusal to fully break with Neo-Liberalism.

In the 1980’s Labour’s leading strategists, Lange, Douglas, Prebble, Goff, Clark, argued that by making the wealthy better off, there would be more overall wealth to go around for everybody. The talk of the day was “We must grow the cake not redivide the cake.” This strategy was labeled by its supporters, but even more so by its opponents, as “Trickle Down”. However, for trickle down to work, the rate of exploitation of working people had be increased in the name of efficiency.

Unfortunately this efficiency came at the price of lay offs resulting from the restructuring, corporatisation and privatisation of the big government employers, like Telecom, the railways, the lines companies, the state coal miner, Air New Zealand, and the Post Office Savings Bank, The total amount of redundancies in permanent jobs in these sectors reaching into the tens of thousands, many to be replaced by casual employment contracts, or not at all.

In the private sector, “Trickle Down” required government legislation tightening the laws around the right to strike, banning all strikes outside the narrow confines of a window at the end of contracts, and making illegal all political and solidarity strikes. Richard Prebble called this process “Trimming The Fat”.

The trade and finance sector also saw huge deregulation with the end of protection and the dropping of almost all limits on international investment and penetration and control.

What is overlooked about neoliberalism is that, for the strategy of neoliberalism to have any chance to succeed, that as well as maximising exploitation of the human environment, neoliberalism also required the maximum exploitation of the natural environment.

This is what moved David Parker in 2012 to declare that our policy is the same as National’s when it comes to mining and oil drilling.

But while the neo-liberals may have seen room for further intensification in the exploitation of the workforce, there was no justification for greater exploitation of the environment. Even in the Eighties there were signs that the natural world was already on the buffers.

Dire Warnings from NASA on climate change: Circa 1981

Back to today; A TV 3 poll cited by Greenpeace showed that 80% of the population of the country were opposed to deep sea oil drilling. With this sort of level of opposition there are no votes to be gained by any political party in supporting deep sea oil drilling. Yet despite there being no votes in it for them, the Labour Party remained and still remains deeply committed to deep sea oil drilling. Why? because with Labour just like with National supporting deep sea oil drilling is ideological question. Just as Labour’s support for fracking, and opening new coal mines and seabed mining, the works is ideological. All these policies are in direct clash with the Greens policy, in fact it is written Green Party Policy to oppose all new coal mines and all deep sea oil drilling.

This makes any coalition or even working relationship between the Greens and Labour problematic. That is unless the Greens agree to give up their “bottom line” opposition to these policies, something that Russel Norman seems to have accepted (to his cost). When asked during the Minor Parties Leaders Debate whether he would agree to deep sea oil drilling to get a coalition agreement with Labour, Russel Norman said he would. From that moment, for most Green Party members, Russel Norman was a dead man walking before he got off the podium.

Why is deep sea oil drilling not a bottom line? “Because we want to cut the company tax rate….”

It is likely that with Russel Norman stepping down, under a new leadership the Greens will reharden their opposiiton to deep sea oil drilling,

On the other side; Labour’s hostility to environmental issues, and working collaboratively with the Greens, which was so disastrous for labour during the general elections, looks to be carried through into the by-election in Northland. (And presumably into the 2017 National elections as well.) This declared intention, if carried out, will push the possibility of a Labour Greens government further into the future.

Witness HERE Labour’s activists declaring that they will fight the Northland by-election strictly from a “Labour perspective”. And how they attack any one who puts up an alternate vision of the Greens and Labour combining to more effectively fight the Northland by-election.

 

Post Script:

If we want to give the Nats a bloody nose in Northland, we need to lobby the Labour Party to change their stance on deep sea oil drilling, and agree to work with the Green Party and the wider Left and Maori concerned about Kiatiaki of the North. We need to convince these Labour activists and members that that they need to work with all these potential allies, all who are opposed to deep sea oil drilling in Northland, and want to see Labour come on board with this Take.

The best place to interact with the Labour Party members and activists, to do this lobbying, and which is open to all, is at The Standard the popular Labour Party aligned website.

Let’s engage with these activists, many of whom are sincere but believe that Labour are the only alternative to National. And convince them of the need to let go their sectarian attitude to the Greens and the wider Left. We need to convince them (it shouldn’t be hard) and Labour’s support for deep sea oil drilling will be counterproductive to running an effective campaign in the North.

You will need a thick skin. I can’t do this lobbying myself anymore, as I have been banned from The Standard for daring to object to the vipurative and ad-hominen personal abuse that the authors dish out to those who dare to put up a different Left perspective to theirs.

But I still feel it is worthwhile to persevere. There is more at stake than just the Northland by-election. What is at stake is whether New Zealand’s biggest political Party and potentially the next Government of New Zealand, takes the threat of climate change, and all its attendant causative aggravating factors, like deep sea oil drilling, fracking, coal mining, public transport, seriously enough, to do some thing about them before it is too late.

 

Pat O’Dea is the Mana Movement spokesperson for climate change.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Its not worth what? Jobs, prosperity. Economic growth. More taxes being paid. Better health services and so on. Yes the odd disaster happens, but the odd plane crashes too. People still choose to fly. Regulate it for sure, make sure we get the economic benefits, but banning it? No.

    • Dan Dan enough of the same old BS…………. Get Real, pull your head out your butt and get your facts straight. Your Neo Lib Bollocks just don’t stand up. You know it, I know it, the UK knows it, the USA knows it……… Same old same old – Rich get richer the rest get poorer. Go back to your National far Right Hate Blogs – or cut the crap and get real.

    • You must have heard that BP, and other oil companies, are laying off thousands of oil paying jobs because of the fall in oil prices.
      Perhaps these jobs will return when oil prices rise, but many experts say burning the oil reserves we have already discovered would cook the planet. If they are right, why are we looking for more fossil fuels ?

  2. Classic

    You just don’t get it do you Dan.

    This whole post was about climate change as it relates to unconventional oil and gas technologies, like (but not limited to) deep sea oil drilling, and the willful inability of the Labour Party to face up to, or even mention climate change as it relates to fossil fuel exploration because It would mean letting go of their commitment to neo-liberalism.

    Just as you have willfully ignored it here.

    If you read my post, (and I wonder if you have), you would have realised that I mention deep sea oil drilling specifically because it is this unconventional fossil fuel technology that is being foisted on Northland and so it will be a hot button topic for this election.

    But it is a technology that Labour and National are wedded too, not because there are any votes in it, because there are few (80% oppose), and not because there are any jobs in it, there are none, (the jobs are for overseas expert contractors and providers). The only reason National and Labour are wedded to deep sea oil drilling is idealogical. The market will save us.

    I find it incredible Dan that you have misread this post about being about stopping deep sea oil because it is danger to the environment. Yes it is, as you admit, “Yes the odd disaster happens, but the odd plane crashes too”DAN. And then you talk of regulating it. Which is the official Labour Party line. But even greater than the danger to the environment, unconventional fossil fuel technologies like deep sea oil are an even greater threat to the climate.
    Look, when even all the recoverable conventional oil reserves have the abiltiy to broil the planet, unconventional technologies on top of that, will ensure it.

    How can somebody be so brain washed that they could read this post and not even perceive the central theme.

    My advice to you is to read it again with the blinkers off.

    In the meantime watch this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELMXJts5qic

    • In all seriousness, thank you for taking the time to reply, and I will watch the video, and probably express an opinion on it. Regards.

      • mmm The earth travels at about 66000 miles per hour. It us subject to all sorts of near immeasurable forces.Just look at how the continents form, volcanoes and so on. Consider the ice age.All that took billions of years. And that video is saying that man can change the earth in 100 years. Hard to believe, but even if true: NZ puts out just .2 of 1% of world wide emissions. In effect, we do not count. If we can become self sufficient in oil and create some jobs and wealth for kiwis, then why not. Technology will continue to improve without any help from us and other energy sources will be come available, just look at the hybrid car and better home insulation as examples.

        If we to do this drilling, it has to benefit kiwis, but not doing it because of climate change…….not a valid argument in my opinion.

        • Hi Dan, I am fully cognisant of the fact that New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, (from all sources), is 0.2% of the world’s total.

          I understand that if New Zealand were to completely cut our greenhouse emissions it would make very little objective measurable difference.

          But what you are missing here Dan, is that it would make a huge political difference that would be a beacon of hope for millions.

          New Zealand can, and has been, a world leader in the past. Not in the sense of being big, populous and rich enough, to support a huge diplomatic, trade and military machine able to project our political will over the horizon, like the big industrial, political and military powers of the world are wont to do.

          Our leadership has been something different.

          New Zealand is a small country it is true, but what we do here has in the past had world shaking consequences. Where we have gone others have followed. The first country in the world where women achieved the vote, The first welfare state, The world’s first nuclear free state, The country that more than any other outside South Africa itself, that spurred the world to tighten the international sport and trade embargo against the apartheid regime. (On the negative side of the ledger, the first country to embrace neo-liberalism and cited by Margaret Thatcher as an example to follow.)

          Professor (Sir) Peter Gluckman, is the government’s chief science advisor to the Prime Minister, John Key.
          Writing about climate change on the government website, Professor Gluckman put it this way:

          “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global green house gases. So anything we do as a nation will have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”
          SIR PETER GLUCKMAN

          http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

  3. Classic

    You just don’t get it do you Dan.

    This whole post was about climate change as it relates to unconventional oil and gas technologies, like (but not limited to) deep sea oil drilling, and the willful inability of the Labour Party to face up to, or even mention climate change as it relates to fossil fuel exploration because It would mean letting go of their commitment to neo-liberalism.

    Just as you have willfully ignored it here.

    If you read my post, (and I wonder if you have), you would have realised that I mention deep sea oil drilling specifically because it is this unconventional fossil fuel technology that is being foisted on Northland and so it will be a hot button topic for this election.

    But it is a technology that Labour and National are wedded too, not because there are any votes in it, because there are few (80% oppose), and not because there are any jobs in it, there are none, (the jobs are for overseas expert contractors and providers). The only reason National and Labour are wedded to deep sea oil drilling is idealogical. The market will save us.

    I find it incredible Dan that you have misread this post about being about stopping deep sea oil because it is danger to the environment. Yes it is, as you admit, “Yes the odd disaster happens, but the odd plane crashes too” DAN. And then you talk of regulating it. Which is the official Labour Party line. But even greater than the danger to the environment, unconventional fossil fuel technologies like deep sea oil are an even greater threat to the climate.
    Look, when even all the recoverable conventional oil reserves have the ability to broil the planet, unconventional technologies on top of that, will ensure it.

    How can somebody be so brain washed that they could read this post and not even perceive the central theme.

    My advice to you is to read it again with the blinkers off.

    In the meantime watch this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELMXJts5qic

  4. Hi Pat. Clearly your memory is a trivial selective.

    Your abuse of one of my authors was what attracted my attention as I explained here. Just because you are a bit silly and unable to examine your own behaviour is why you wound up with egg all over your face.

    The best place to interact with the Labour Party members and activists, to do this lobbying, and which is open to all, is at The Standard the popular Labour Party aligned website.

    Perhaps you should advise your readers to read our policy. There are limits that they should be aware of.

    Right now as a result of your behaviour, I am having a problem distinguishing Mana supporters running diversions on posts from people trolling to attack our site. Since you now appear to be inciting people to spam our pages by doing deliberate diversion comments on posts, I will have to take an appropriate response.

    Putting up with mobbing dipshit trolls with poor behaviour from Mana appears to be just irritating as dealing with mobbing dipshit trolls from Whaleoil. Both are openly being incited by someone with ulterior motives. So it appears I will have to employ similar strategies to deal with them

    Commenters pushing the Mana line will be treated just as I would with right wing trolls leading into an election. Bans for diversion pushing the Mana Northland line on authored posts will be to the end of by-election.

    I will of course acknowledge your contribution to their banning, and will ensure that I give full credit to Mana for your transparent spokesperson behaviour online.

    It will be safe to leave comments in OpenMike provided of course that they don’t follow your inspired lead and attack my authors and moderators.

    I am sure you will be proud of yourself. You and Martyn appear to be trying to make Mana a party of internet trolls.

    • Lynn Prentice announces his intention to censor all commenters who call on the Left to work together, or to oppose Statoil, which he perceives as the “Mana Northland line” to protect his diminishing flock from being contaminated by this terrible thoughtcrime.

      “Bans for diversion pushing the Mana Northland line on authored posts will be to the end of by-election.”
      LYNN PRENTICE

  5. This is going to be interesting as I cross comments in moderation.

    Lynn Prentice announces his intention to censor all commenters who call on the Left to work together

    You mean the “working together” when you trashed two posts, one about the Queensland election, and the other about Labour’s tactics in the Northland byelection by dumping a whole pile of unrelated and inaccurate attacks on Labour and the Greens about their coal, oil and gas policies?

    Please explain how that was helpful to the “left”.

    Or was was it when you took a misogynist sneering line to an author who pulled you up on it? Then started attacking her when she wrote a comment disagreeing with you?

    Please explain how that was useful to the “left”.

    These are the actions of a pretty typical troll. If you are an example of Mana spokesperson, then no. I don’t think that many sites will want spokesperson trolls from Mana.

    FYI: If you’d bothered doing an internet search, you’d have found that

    1. I haven’t been particularly active in Labour for about 6 years. I had a blog to run, and not that much interest in the direction that the NZLP internal politics were leading.

    2. I party voted Green in 2014. This was well publicised in 2012 and reiterated several times last year

    3. I finally dropped my long-standing membership in the NZLP at the end of last year. It became apparent during the leadership election that it interfered with running a left political blog.

    4. Somehow “to protect his diminishing flock” doesn’t really cut it when TS has increased in volumes over last year (including in January) while this site has been dropping like a stone since the election. In December and Jan, this site is well down on where they were a year ago. See Open Parachute Jan 2015, and previous periods. I presume you can read numbers? I have been a bit worried about it as it pays to have several large blogs on the left.

    5. My first degree awarded in 1981 was a BSc in earth sciences. Part of the course was obviously to do with climate and what was in those days a hypothesis about human induced climate change from greenhouse gases. I have been both aware of and knowledgeable about climate change for decades. I have been talking about it and writing on it for decades from BBS days through usenet to the blogs.

    By the sparsity and lack of basic scientific depth you exhibit, you are in my view pretty useless at the topic. Incidentally, that is also why you seldom get many replies to your trolling comments on the subject. If you look back through the archives at TS in posts on climate change, you will find many posts and comments that are far better than anything you have ever managed to write, That s because they were written by people with and understanding of the science.

    Anyway, as another of my comments in the stack says, I will be formally asking the Mana party why they have internet trolls acting on their behalf? Why one of them thinks that they should be able to attack our blogsite? If I should expect more of this type of behaviour?

    You act like a troll, then I will treat you as one. That is the job of a blog site moderator – something you don’t appear to understand. God I hate egotistical newbies – they are always such fools on the net.

Comments are closed.