One of the great Totara’s in our forest has fallen and we must not allow the mainstream media to sterilise Jim’s legacy. I doubt any of the kids currently running the news rooms had any idea who the hell Jim Anderton was let alone his fight against neoliberalism, they just saw his name trending on twitter so jumped on board.
Jim’s legacy goes deeper than Kiwibank, paid parental leave and free doctors visits for children, he believed passionately that the State had an obligation to its people and that abdicating that responsibility to the free market was immoral.
This truth in Jim’s fight against neoliberalism is the key to Jim’s legacy and we must not allow the corporate mainstream media to scrub Jim of his truth.
Jim believed that it was the economic system we are all enslaved by that created solidarity, not identity politics. The 30 year neoliberal experiment which has mutilated and mutated our society, economy and culture was an obscenity that Jim refused to acquiesce to, this is what we who dance in the shadow of the next economic collapse with an environment in its death throws need to grasp.
The State must be far more interventionist in providing the universal services and building blocks of society and community and the only politician currently pushing that argument is Winston Peters because he is old enough to remember a NZ before the neoliberal experiment.
If we want to honour Jim, the new Government should immediately pass legislation to make dental care free for children and teenagers, if we want to see Jim’s vision survive, we must all demand the new Government lives up to its obligations and not subcontract them out to the free market.