Jacinda attacks identity politics while begging for neato neoliberalism – the confused philosophy of NZ at the UN

Neoliberalism can be neato

I like it when MFAT sound frightened…

Ministry’s chilling warning: How ‘economic and security issues’ led to ‘populist sentiment’

Economic and security issues over the past decade have led to “widespread populist sentiment” across the globe, advice from a New Zealand ministry says.

In a briefing to Associate Minister for Trade and Export Growth Nanaia Mahuta in July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade laid out global challenges facing New Zealand.  

It said New Zealand is operating in an environment that “remains challenging” with “pressures continuing to build in systems and parts of the world that matter deeply to our country”. 

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…of all the neoliberal bastions that still reside within NZ Government, MFAT has the most zealotry with sacrificial alters to Ayn Rand deep within their building’s basement that get coated in the blood of sacrificial lambs once a month. Even Treasury, once the great temple of the Free Market Nazguls has moved from neoliberalism Über Alles to caring about well being. Treasury were so frightened by what almost happened in 2008 that they had a road to Damascus via European socialism and we now have a Reserve Bank Governor demanding the Government spend money!

But those fears never reknit the ideological soul of MFAT, indeed their power over Government policy was shown to still be all encompassing as they conned Jacinda and Winston into signing the TPPA by adding a few more consonants.

The problem for MFAT is what Trump and BREXIT represents. The working classes of the West have been robbed by neoliberalism and free trade, and the resentment of suddenly competing against a billion other working class people from around the planet has created a political movement that is boiling over at the ballot box.

Which leads to the confused philosophical platform Jacinda Ardern attempted to use at the UN in her speech.

It was interesting to see her damning identity politics…

“What if we no longer see ourselves based on what we look like, what religion we practice, or where we live, but by what we value?”

…interesting because to date identity politics has been the major driver of left wing activism over class, which is fine for social media bubbles in Wellington but terribly alienating to build the 51% democratic majority required to rule. The true danger of the identity politics landscape is that the moment white men start seeing themselves as an identity, bad shit happens and it happens quickly.

Ask Christchurch.

Jacinda’s call to look beyond our skin colour, beyond our gender, beyond our religion, beyond our culture and beyond our orientation to shared values is probably the most important call to arms the Left has seen as the reality of where Identity Politics leads starts slowly dawning on progressives who have been so focused on using it, but the replacement back to class is a solution Jacinda isn’t selling here.

For Jacinda, neato neoliberal free trade is apparently the antidote to “fierce nationalism”. Rather than acknowledging that free trade globalisation has been the driving force of the politics of resentment engulfing western democracies, she wishes to double down and add some greenwash to sell the expansion of free trade…

Jacinda Ardern in New York: Only five countries sign up for NZ’s trade agreement to tackle climate change

Only five countries intend to sign on for New Zealand’s new trade agreement to combat climate change, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this was only the beginning and expected more countries to join.

Ardern announced the launch of negotiations for the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS) at the United Nations in New York this morning.

She was joined by representatives of countries that intend to sign up, including Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and Costa Rica Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Duayner Salas.

The agreement aims to:

• Remove tariffs on environmental goods

• Establish concrete commitments to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies

• Develop voluntary guidelines for eco-labelling programmes and mechanisms

…normally this might be meaningful but with the climate emergency engulfing the planet, neato neoliberalism is utterly meaningless, especially when you can’t even enforce it at home…

Draft emission trading scheme stalls, fails to make it to Cabinet

The Government’s plan to make farmers pay for their emissions is on shaky ground after Labour, the Greens, and NZ First have failed to agree on proposals. 

A draft scheme went to the environment, energy and climate cabinet committee, but failed to make it through after ministers could not agree on it. 

It has now stalled at the cabinet committee stage, while ministers work to agree on a plan. 

The news comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave the keynote address to a climate change action summit at the United Nations in New York. 

…brothers and sister, I may sound like a pessimist here, but as the enormity and speed of what we are facing becomes so evident that even the Hoskings and Garners of the world are forced to acknowledge it and climate denial is no longer feasible, citizens around the planet aren’t going to care about the financial well being of the business elites, they will be demanding authoritarian protection from the mass of climate refugees and wide spread entropy the rapidly warming planet starts producing.

Not only is “fierce nationalism” the only game in town, continuing to misdiagnose the political resentment free trade has generated only ensures it will quickly become toxic nationalism.

Full marks for Jacinda in attempting to sell neato neoliberalism and I’m sure MFAT will be cheering her from the sidelines, but the biospheres inability to continue with the free market’s never ending economic growth fantasy has arrived.

This is the age of building walls.


  1. There is something misguided about wanting to bring the system closer and more intuned with Mother Nature. I am asking how does someone even distinguish between environmental goods and normal goods? Are these people not aware that nature from the very beginning is one huge big gigantic extremely long string of disasters? Why would you want to be I love with that. Mother Nature is a bitch. She loves disasters, all this climate chaos is her having a good time, you know the pollution, the volcanoes, the tsunami. The greater the disaster, the more natural and intune the system will be with Mother Nature. Only these disasters are not natural, they are manmade created by the system.

  2. “This is the age of building walls.”

    My understanding is that it is not a wall but a door, one which is open to any country that “demonstrates in a substantive manner how trade measures can support and drive climate and environmental objectives.” (Ref this link)

    Also, that the aim is not ‘for profit’ but to keep costs of essential products low, especially those products which are needed for the rapidly changing climate (solar panels etc). Without such an agreement, the multinationals will use the evolving crisis situation for further profit, and again, the poorest nations will be left without.

    (But I don’t know enough about it yet.)

  3. “This is the age of building walls” Far sighted thinkers are pointing out that it’s going to require a global consciousness – as opposed to national consciousness thinking – to get us out of this. Walls are the old way of doing things (unless you’re talking about sea walls).

    Maybe it would be best if we middle aged types just handed power over to the young generation now and let them get on with fixing things.

  4. Stuff labelled the agreement “Climate trade” today. Agree about the local sentiment, saving the planet has to start at home.

  5. Nah. Its the age of tearing down walls.
    Capitalism is beyond walls except for herding the masses into extinction or into manageable armies to fight one another and the alien enemy as civilisation goes down.
    Walls must be torn down everywhere to allow the global working masses to unite as one.
    The populist/fascists who want to build walls and exit globalisation are a vocal minority but only because bourgeois parliament is bankrupt and leaves a void to be filled by hatemongers.
    Yet where fascists mobilise on the streets the antifascists are bigger and stronger.
    Identity politics is a symptom of the rot of too late capitalism.
    But class cannot by destroyed by identity politics.
    Class struggle is the cause of the decay of capitalism and demise of a ruling class facing a global working masses seething with rebellion.
    And given that global capitalism is in retreat, those rebellions must become revolution or death.
    Yellow Vests proved that working masses starting with basic demands about taxation, and stuck in nationalist politics, meeting brutal state repression, get pushed towards self-defence and grass roots citizens assemblies which can become modern communes for organising revolution.
    Extinction Rebellion and the Schoolkids strikes are building showing that the overthrow of capital is the only way out for humanity.
    The Arab Spring has been quashed for now, but only by military repression and genocide.
    The temporary compromises with dying capitalism as in the rest of the world will not hold back the masses indefinitely.
    All of this shows that ordinary working people are standing up for the most elementary rights, to life, to democracy, liberty and equality, against the WALLS that fascists build, and are prepared to arm themselves against genocide.
    The capitalist dream has turned into the fascist nightmare, that of racism, sexism and xenophobia, state repression, and the liberal left selling out humanity on the wrong side of history.
    History is always written by the victors, but this time it will be written by the survivors, those who end capitalism and reunite society with nature.

  6. Nailed it Martyn. Thinking locally is the way forward, unlike Dave Brown’s idealistic dream of a global worker’s paradise.

    Much love for JA, but the neoliberal fantasy of open borders & free trade is profoundly anti-democracy, anti-worker, and an existential threat to the future of NZ as a free and stable nation

    • Actually agree with your gist here minus the PM love.
      JA is charismatic, well spoken and completely run by her neoliberal party.

      • Nah she’s a good sort. Tried to bring in CGT, got nobbled by Winston. There’s not much wiggle room for the Coalition government. She is relentlessly positive and a wonderful representative for NZ

  7. BTW Walls have been the delineators of civilised culture for thousands of years. Bridges and roads are a sign that the Empire is gearing up to invade. cf. Ancient Rome, and China’s new/old “Belt and Road” initiative

  8. There is no actual confusion –
    JA’s theoretical message of inclusion, looking at ourselves through common values regardless of race or religion- is simply referring to our Muslim community attacked in chrischurch.

    There is no attempt whatsoever by this government to govern inclusively, their first act after a foreign terrorist attack was to hide police failings and attack its own citizens freedoms.

    Similarly they are demonizing farmers currently, and now the left wing are openly attacking anything white or male (recent offerings on council make up for example).
    Absolutely nothing inclusive to see in this government, but JAs statement was all about chch, the chch call her headscarf moment. Pure PR, all she stands for.

    • “They are us”
      Except we, the 70 percent of kiwis born here don’t seem to be “us” to this government.

    • Oh please. Inclusive government means retreating from identity politics like yours. White supremacy is the dark side of idpol; split people into self interested little tribes and what do you expect.

      You think white blokes have it rough? Well its 10x tougher for Maori, Polynesian, and women on the DPB. The statistics of poverty, crime and suicide are grim. We need to give every Kiwi a stake in the future of this country

      • No kidding, are they not also part of the 70 percent born here I’m saying aren’t being governed for? Nowhere did I mention race.
        You wokies just can’t help it can you.
        White supremacists under the bed?
        “Us” is all of us, not just who the woke decide is deserving this week or who the PM wants to milk for cheap PR overseas.

        • “the left wing are openly attacking anything white or male”; that’s where you mentioned race. Rememnber the Chch mosque attacks? That’s why your comments leave a soiur taste

          • Oh I see.
            It’s intended as a statement of fact.
            I’d rather see the left wing who is in power fixing Maori (or anyone’s) poverty than banging on about “pale stale males” or “the patriarchy” (hint to readers, the PM is a white woman).
            Identity politics is used by the government and apologists to shut down debate and deflect from their non effort to fix our many problems.

  9. She isnt criticizing identity politics, she was criticizing only the white nationalist version of it. She doesnt mentioned gender or sexual orientation, because this is all about middle eastern muslim inmigrants. You are allowed to descriminate against them, but she is still all for gender equity among her ministers. She is still for special treatment for LGBT.

    • You and I must have heard Jacinda say different things because I think you’re bullshitting. We don’t have to give LGBT special rights. We just have to give them equal rights the same as same sexed couples.

  10. Unfortunately Labour has taken a vow to keep borrowing to within a tight limit and hence is not willing to fund the sort of mass employment projects which would lift us out of the stagnation we are now slipping into. If anyone, I would have expected Labour to spend up on employment, especially when borrowing is so cheap, but no. The party still has a whiff of the neo-liberal rot to it and hasn’t the courage to admit the period of economic and social sabotage it kicked off in the 1980s under Roger Douglas. That old guard is still there, festering away in the back room.

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