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If you think that the NZ Green Party (who are just as wedded to neoliberalism as Labour is) are your new political home, you are delusional

By   /  April 18, 2019  /  43 Comments

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The truth that the NZ Left have to confront is that both Labour and the Greens don’t have the intellectual ability to counter neoliberal economics.

The question then becomes, what will the Left we do about that?  Will we continue to vote for parties who pay lip service or look to other political vehicles?

Those questions are now being asked. 

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The moment for the Left when Jacinda Ardern walked the NZ Labour Party away from a Capital Gains Tax

As the Left reel at the news that Jacinda, after spending $2million on a Tax review, with a soaring 48% in the Polls and with International adoration, would just blow all that political capital by simply walking away from the cherished belief of a capital gains tax, furious Labour Party leftists all over social media are threatening to walk to the Greens.

Could I just point out that is fucking delusional.

The Greens are as wedded to the neoliberal framework as Labour, and in fact you could easily argue that their economic platform is even more neoliberal than Labours. All the Greens want to do is include the price of pollution into the cost of the product and allow the market to magically do the rest.

Put aside the Green Party’s woke middle class identity politics and it’s alienating factor, just look at their actual economic framework – it’s Neoliberal!

Have you ever been to a Green Party conference? It’s a whiter shade of beige. These days it’s wall to wall with ‘ethical entrepreneurs’ that ugly middle class blue-green colour that bruises turn after a severe beating.

They all see NZ’s pure clean reputation as an economic branding advantage and they want the Greens to champion that cause. If you actually read the Green Party economics policy, it’s about setting the market conditions to allow the free market to work towards that benefit.

The Greens stopped being a socialist party the second Sue Bradford lost the co-leadership race in 2009. From that point on it’s been a free market neoliberal economic agenda, James Shaw, a former corporate greenwash lobbyist to Coke-Cola signed up to Grant Robertson’s promise to be as economically ruthless as National for our corporate overlords without any problems whatsoever because such an agreement is of no issue to the Greens because they are pro-market, not anti.

They are a middle class vehicle for woke identity politics with a neoliberal economic policy framework, their only ‘state intervention’ is to force the cost of pollution into the final price SO THAT the market does the rest.

The truth that the NZ Left have to confront is that both Labour and the Greens don’t have the intellectual ability to counter neoliberal economics.

The question then becomes, what will the Left we do about that?  Will we continue to vote for parties who pay lip service or look to other political vehicles?

Those questions are now being asked. 

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43 Comments

  1. esoteric pineapples says:

    Maybe change NEVER comes through government, no matter what shade of colour it is? Maybe all changes first come from outside government. Maybe governments aren’t, in themselves, designed to be agents of change. Maybe they are either conservative or arch-conservative, by their very nature. It is very easy for country’s government to go from conservative to ultra conservative in a matter of years. But when has their ever been a government in New Zealand that has become less conservative the longer it was in government?
    New Zealand has only had two radical governments in the last 100 years. The first Labour government that quickly jettisoned its leading activists once it came to power, and the second Labour government that only lasted one term before voters kicked it out.

    • John W says:

      You can add Kirk to that as he was working through Henry George’s ideas of state ownership of land.
      Kirk’s “superannuation” scheme invested in the State so he had to go.

      And he did like many others who opposed the neoliberal fundamentals.

  2. Samwise says:

    Martin, if any political party including the Greens turns its back on neoliberalism even the watered down version, it will end up like the Mana Movement, out of Parliament.

    Adopting some kind of Marxist, socialist, anti capitalist agenda will see the Greens consigned to the political rubbish heap.

    If that’s your aim, keep going.

    • chruskl says:

      Samwide, you talk as though the only alternatives are Marxism or neoliberalism. That’s isn’t true.

      Scandinavia and Germany are examples of countries that developed MIXED economies – strong private sectors, and strong state services funded by progressive taxation. It’s called Social Democracy. It worked for a long time in northern Europe – until they discovered identity politics, and became tragically woke.

      What we’re seeing in NZ (as in many other places) is that the “left” has given up on the Social Democratic project. Can somebody tell me why Social Democracy is apparently no longer viable?

      Thinking of defecting to the Greens? As Bradbury say, you should think again. They are an even worse option than Labour – same neoliberal economics, and much too addled by ideology to think straight.

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Wise and excellent words, CHRUSKL.

        Would be good to see far more from you.

      • Mjolnir says:

        Are there any social democratic parties in Parliament , Chruskl?

        No, there are not

        The Greens are pretty damn close to it, like it or not

        Metiria Turei sacrifuced her political career to reveal the dehumanising culture of our welfare system. She got pilloried for that

        Let her crucifixion on the cross of reactionary media and political conservatism be a warning

        Noy good enough for you?

        Try Sue Bradford. She was hounded out of Parliament because she dared tell us that hitting kids was not a good thing

        Thats what Green MPs get for sticking their necks out

        Then, as a “thankyou”, they get the kind of shit thrown at them that I read here. Ingrateful pricks

        If you people want a social democratic party, get of your asses and set one up

        But dont expect the Greens to commit political suicide to satisfy a bunch of angry lefties who are bravecat their keyboards but do bugger all else

        If the Greens lose representation in Parliament think about this: that leaves only 3 parties in parliament. National. Labour. Nz First

        Think about that all of you

        Think

        Very

        Carefully

        • The Chairman says:

          “If you people want a social democratic party, get of your asses and set one up”

          There is no need too. One has long been established (see link).

          https://socialcredit.nz/about.html

          They merely require more support. And at times like this, I’m surprised more from the left don’t turn to them as an alternative.

        • WILD KATIPO says:

          If you recall, many actually supported Metiria Turei and Sue Bradford over the likes of Ghahraman or Davidson.

          There are reasons for this.

          As is so typically found tribalistic Greens, you have lumped them altogether and deflected blame back towards those who don’t always agree with you.

    • MickeyBoyle says:

      We need to sell a different vision and convince kiwis we can all have it better. Unfortunately like the CGT letting others define the narrative is one of the left’s biggest failures.

  3. DennyPaoa DennyPaoa says:

    Can “we” the genuine “left” make a formal request that the Gweens and Labour are no longer to be referred to as the left, nor do they represent the left in any way,shape, form or government, forthwith!

  4. esoteric pineapples says:

    I should add, if this government have a the courage to push through a CGT, what chance in high hell do we have that it will actually do anything significant in regards to climate change.

    And meanwhile our water is still being sold overseas for free and the long fin eels is still not protected.

    If you are the only hope for change and you renege on that hope, you leave the voter in a worse position than if National was in power, as you are stealing hope.

    Hence people will inevitably look elsewhere solutiong.

    JA thought she was taking the safe option but I think history is going to prove the safe option was to introduce a CGT against all opposition.

    Come the election, who is going to work hard to get elected parties that have already indicated they are incapable of delivering the very things you want to see happen.

    People will either stop voting or look for alternatives.

    • MickeyBoyle says:

      This is a serious concern, trying to address climate change when the farmers will get outraged is a risky move towards another Winston veto. We need to do something unquestionably, but can we at least ask Winston what he will agree to before they go public with a plan?. And if Winston wont agree to anything significant I personally would like Ardern to threaten him with a snap election, it is that important an issue, we have to act.

    • Liberal Realist Liberal Realist says:

      Labour are almost the same as National – different side of the same coin. JA and Labour want another term, hence the CGT had to go.

      The NAT/LAB coin are as wedded to neoliberalism as a duck is to water.

      IMO the only way neoliberalism will die is complete collapse of the global neoliberal economic paradigm. And that’s only a matter of time as fiat debt based banking systems are effectively pyramid schemes.

      • John W says:

        Agreed that the root of the control of Western and most global money is the Fiat bankers who now own the majority of assets just be running the scam and sticking together with their “blood” ties.

        Nearly all State owned banks have been taken over or bombed out of existence by this murderous psychopathic clan.

        But Jacinda seems to have done a deal with Winnie. Will Winnie now be locked into supporting moves to clean up NZ and install climate mitigation and reversal measures.

        Time will tell. You work with what you have got and we have got NZ First in Harness with Jacinda’s latest announcements.

  5. mosa says:

    The pressure to end Neo lib policies would come from the election of a Sanders or Corbyn.

    It will have to start in larger countries than ours.

    Anybody who thought that this coalition was going to overturn this evil system that has been applied here more ruthlessly than any other western country is an idiot.

    We need a vocal , well funded vehicle led by people who will fight for real progressive change and will not back down on pushing this agenda in government.

    Rushing to the Greens in disgust will not cut it.

    Here is Bernie on Fox of all things.
    Trump is going to love it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSnxuzDm7C0

  6. SPC says:

    Well its been obvious for sometime that you see the Green Party as an obstacle to the Brexit/Trumpion age formation of a new populist party for the underclass. You do realise this is why you have so much love from illiberal NZF voters here.

  7. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    So we’re going back to having elections that aren’t worth the effort for the voter to take part in again?

    Well done fuckwits…

  8. Castro says:

    I actually agree with you on this, Martyn. Time for the Renters’ Party, to force Wage Slave Labour and Transnational Capital into a grand alliance and reveal their true colours for all to see.

    50% Haves, foreign and elderly, 50% Have Nots young and local… it’s a coming 😉 No Zealand Wars II

  9. MickeyBoyle says:

    As a former Alliance voter, I cannot agree with you more. Labour are National just packaged differently. We need a new party on the left, the trouble is I cannot see that happening anytime soon. Ardern is great with her kindness and empathy, but she cannot govern or deliver policy that will help our poor and needy, who are frankly dieing because of this. And at the end of the day, isn’t that her job?. Too much time is spent taking photo shoots for the trendy magazines, whilst NZ is silently burning. Time to wake up brothers and sisters, the shroud of stardust over Ardern is slowly blowing away.

  10. Pedro says:

    Perhaps it’s time to re-post an image of Jacinda saying ” This is what leadership doesn’t look like”

  11. let me be frank says:

    Until such time as neolib economics is replaced (or collapses) as the preeminent OECD model all main NZ political parties will remain wedded….it dosnt wash with the electorate despite the noise.

  12. Marc says:

    Where are ‘the Greens’ on this devastating report, issued by THE Government?

    https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/new-zealands-environmental-reporting-series-environment-aotearoa-2019

    Most NZers are TOTALLY DELUDED, living in fantasy land, destroying their own land for short term conveniences and pleasures, ffs.

  13. mosa says:

    2017 -2020 and beyond let’s not do this.

  14. peter h says:

    Unable to persuade NZ First to support the CGT, Labour had no option but to drop it. If they had pressed on and taken legislation to the House it would have been voted down, an even worse outcome than biting the bullet now.

  15. Nick J says:

    I hear the pain of those of us who can see no change under the current regime. True Labour and the rest of today’s political / economic / state represent the status quo.

    The status quo exists in a bubble of it’s own making. Bubbles burst, dams break, events happen. Nothing that has life lives forever. Neo liberalism has it’s own cancers, it will be carried off. Our job is to respond and be ready to replace it with whatever is appropriate.

    When? Who knows, could be tomorrow, but it’s not far off.

  16. The Informer says:

    The Greens maybe a little too capitalist, but what about Winston (who according to Chris Trotter and others) would be the man to lead us back into a Keynsian future. Please.

  17. Jenny - How to get there? says:

    The Greens weak excuse for not standing up to neo-liberal policies, is that they are out numbered in the coalition government. And any progressive policies they put up will be voted down by Labour and NZ First.

    This is a fallacious argument.

    In my opinion the Greens should be putting up progressive policies and fighting for them in the public and parliamentary arena. Surely that is what we voted them in to parliament for.

    In the battle of ideas, it’s called leadership.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rod Donald show the way.

    The Greens should take notes from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the US. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is also in a minority position, fights hard for progressive policies both inside congress and in the public arena.

    And to great affect. Dominating the discourse right across the political spectrum.

    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/18/a_message_from_the_future_with

    As the push for the Green New Deal builds momentum in the United States, The Intercept has released a short illustrated video imagining a future shaped by the progressive environmental movement. It’s titled “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The New York congressmember narrates the film to envision an America that has been transformed by the Green New Deal policies, including a just transition of jobs, Medicare for all, and a total overhaul of the country’s energy system. The result is a vision of radical hope and transformation. The film features stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Molly Crabapple. It is presented by The Intercept and Naomi Klein, co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis, and co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt.

    This sort of leadership, combining public activism with parliamentary activism, fought from a minority position, is not unknown in this country.

    Rod Donald also fought for his corner with the sort of dogged leadership currently being given by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    Rod Donald MP, from an even slimmer minority position, than the one currently enjoyed by the Green Party, promoted and fought for, and eventually won over the whole country pushing the National government of Jim Bolger to hold a public referendum on MMP, which was carried by a huge majority, despite a massive well funded anti-MMP campaign by the Right.

    • Steve says:

      Yes, the example of AOC and to a surprisingly lesser extent Bernie should show us the way. AOC and the Democratic Socialists of America are similar, if softer, than the Militant Tendency in the UK Labour Party.
      In two party dominated democracies entryism is an appropriate way of having a left voice on the national stage. Most branches are very small and a few entryists could have quick results.

      • Cagey says:

        The Justice Democrats organisation shows what can be done if something can be set up with enough will and talent: it was their grass roots efforts that found AOC and supported her and most of the other new liberal democrats- (and of course the internet based media groups/ individuals). And it is these individuals – like Rho Khanna – raising their voices.

    • Chris says:

      Don’t forget that Social Credit fought hard for MMP after getting 21 percent of the vote in 1981 and ending up with just 2 MPs. All credit to Rod Donald but the engine room was SCredit.

  18. Siobhan says:

    I’ve voted maybe 3 times in 30 something years.
    My heart has never been in it.
    Ever.
    I’ve simply voted Labour/Green because it seemed vaguely ‘better than National’.
    I even voted for Helens lot once..simply because I knew she was going to lose thanks to all the so called Liberal baby boomers I knew getting ‘bored’ and getting their nickers in a twist about being told to use long life light bulbs.

    But really, I don’t see myself voting again anytime soon.

  19. Steve says:

    Yes, the example of AOC and to a surprisingly lesser extent Bernie should show us the way. AOC and the Democratic Socialists of America are similar, if softer, than the Militant Tendency in the UK Labour Party.
    In two party dominated democracies entryism is an appropriate way of having a left voice on the national stage. Most branches are very small and a few entryists could have quick results.

  20. manfred staab says:

    A scenario for the next 20 years:

    1. Climatic events and related geo-hazards will increase in quantity and impact; potential hot-spots are known but actual timing and location of happenings cannot precisely be fore-casted.
    In New Zealand these events will appear as coastal and slope erosion, floods, droughts, tropical storms, typhoons, heavy rainfalls, landslides, earthquakes, etc.

    2. Significant loss and damage on human life, property and assets, public infrastructure can be expected. The present disaster risk management system will not be able to cope with many of these events.

    3. As several governments and the private sector have failed to build up an adequate public system for climate resilience coupled with an adaptive economy, most victims of these events will be left alone with their coping strategies / struggle for survival.

    4. Logically, the affected population will be looking for support in difficult circumstances, and will vote for any party that appears being able to offer practical responses and solutions. For those voters the distinction between ‘left’ and ‘right’ will probably be of secondary concern.

    5. If a radical, ecological, socialist Left does not establish a long-term platform to present, demonstrate, promote her capacity for management of the future, voters will support whatever else is in place at that given point in time.
    As a by-product, social, cultural and emancipatory achievements will come under the wheels, and so will alternative means of production.

    The presence and visibility of an Eco-socialist Platform must be seen as medium-term strategy that should not be obscured by a narrow perspective whether the next national election may bring this or that mainstream party coalition.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_ecology

  21. KJT says:

    Wrong on so many levels about the Greens. But Bomber has never had anything good to say about the Green party.
    Which is the only non neo liberal social democratic party we have.

  22. sean says:

    In fairness the Greens were the only party who did not roll over on the CP-TPP, a nasty neo liberal so called trade deal.

    That said I see little in general by way of push back from any of the smaller parties whilst Labour in my opinion does not appear to have changed greatly in terms of its neo lib philosophy from the 80’s.

    I suspect too, this is why they are having a hard time attracting working class votes and votes from old school Socialists like myself.

    Suffice to say we need new parties who are committed to moving away from neo liberalism and until that happens I suspect little will change.

  23. Quango says:

    Green party = Pierre Omidyar

    • Gareth says:

      That’s true!

      How do we know which of the Green/Action Station campaigns I donated to where political campaigns funded to lobby for by clients and neoliberal special interest groups? I want my donations back man…

  24. Chin Wa says:

    It makes sense when the Greens dismiss environmental issues or issues about democracy that they would be driven by an international agenda. They are all careerist activists after all, who no longer believe but are in it to make the best out of their circumstances they can once they realize they had chosen a losing ticket – and they are doing it at your expense.

    • John W says:

      Loosing ticket?

      We are all on a loosing ticket with an environment getting closer to collapse.

      Take away the greens and who have you got left to turn the direction we are heading away from the madness we see with suicidal growth and energy consumption.

      Look at the bigger picture if you can.

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