One of the great Totara’s of progressive NZ politics has died. Jim Anderton resented the neoliberal free market dogma of the despicable and traitorous Labour Party and he fought tooth and nail to over throw it.
His Alliance Party was an experiment in MMP politics that transformed the country for the better and while many will not forgive his decision to support Helen Clark into Afghanistan that was ultimately the catalyst for the demise of the Alliance Party, his impact to champion a different kind of left wing politics that refused to acquiesce to the free market must be respected and honoured.
His legacy, I’m sure, would be to demand that we reflect upon the 30 year neoliberal experiment and demand change. Flawed as he may have been as leader at times, and bogged down in the animosity of the Alliance break up, he still had a mana and moral authority to challenge much of the Labour Party and National Party neoliberalism that sold this nation down the river for corporates and the rich.
His passing leaves us intellectually poorer and without the necessary media to do justice to his legacy.
Tonight I’ll be raising a glass to him and his vision while forgiving his faults.
Rest in peace Jim, you were a bigger man than Labour’s treachery could ever contain.