Burning Down The House: Will The Greens Be The Death Of The Left?

45
2002

CAN THE GREENS get themselves back on track? Once a political party has made the decisive turn towards identity politics is there anything short of electoral disaster capable of inducing a change of direction? There are two problems here. The first relates to ideology, and is at least theoretically fixable. The second is about the political praxis of identity politics – how Greens actually perform politics. Sadly, to fix that you’d need a neutron bomb. [A particularly nasty kind of nuclear device that kills people, but leaves structures standing. – C.T.]

Tom Walker is a British comedian whose alter-ego, Johnathan Pie, has gained a worldwide audience by addressing the follies of – well – just about the whole cast of characters encompassed by the United Kingdom’s manifold political catastrophes. One of Walker’s latest offerings depicts the dire consequences for Pie (supposedly a journalist covering politics for one of the big television networks) that flow from his innocently allowing a participant in a pro-Brexit rally to take a selfie with him. It is a chillingly funny piece of satire – as applicable to the New Zealand Green Party as it is to the increasingly “woke” workplaces of the UK media.

The toxic culture satirised in Walker’s vignette is the inevitable result of interpreting events through the severely distorting prism of identity. Once embarked upon, this journey proceeds towards its inevitable denouement in utter organisational disintegration and failure.

One of the very first local instances of organisational collapse brought on by identity politics was the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA). Beginning in the late 1970s, the student movement’s activist minority persuaded NZUSA to restructure itself to reflect the growing strength of the so-called “New Social Movements” – especially Feminism, Anti-Racism and Gay Liberation.

NZUSA “Vice-Presidents” proliferated accordingly, and the May and August meetings of the organisation became ideological battlegrounds where the identarians fought to wrest control of the student movement from the Marxist Left. With every passing year, NZUSA drifted further and further away from its core functions until, in the early-1990s, the entire “politically correct” (originally a left-wing term) structure was demolished by the champions of “ordinary” (i.e. conservative) students.

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A very similar fate awaited the highly successful aid organisation, CORSO, which was taken over by Maori nationalists and transformed into an instrument for advancing the early-1980s movement for “Maori Sovereignty”. Unsurprisingly, the tens-of-thousands of Pakeha donors who had built CORSO weren’t having a bar of it. They voted with their feet – and, more importantly, with their chequebooks. CORSO’s new managers received these defections as proof positive of the pervasiveness of Pakeha racism – even on the political Left. They may well have been right, but being politically correct wasn’t enough to save CORSO.

Similar challenges assailed the trade union movement, but the entrenched power of the traditional Left was more than equal to the task of stopping the identarians in their tracks. It took Bill Birch and the National Party to destroy what identity politics couldn’t dent. Interestingly, by the time the Employment Contracts Bill became law in 1991, a great many of those engaged in identity politics had already made their peace with the hegemonic ambitions of the neoliberal economic and political order. The latter was only too happy to see the activist energy formerly devoted to smashing capitalism diverted into building iwi corporations, placing upper-middle-class women on the boards of New Zealand’s biggest companies, and seizing the commercial opportunities of the pink dollar.

What is truly surprising about the Greens is how long a party more-or-less constructed out of the new social movements of the 1960s and 70s was able to resist the centrifugal forces inherent in identity politics. So long as the battle to save the global environment remained the central focus of the party, and so long as in fighting for the environment the Greens were willing to pit themselves against its deadliest foe – Global Capitalism – then the other social movements, while important, were unwilling to dilute the political potency of the party’s prime directive: Save the Planet!

In this respect, they were assisted immensely by the charismatic leadership of individuals like Rod Donald, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Sue Bradford, Keith Locke, Sue Kedgely and Nandor Tanczos. These individuals could not, however, hold at bay forever the claims advanced on behalf of Te Tiriti, gender equality and the rainbow agenda. Neither was it possible to drown out forever the siren song of parliamentary power, nor the ideological compromises necessary for its acquisition. If the Tangata Whenua, Third Wave Feminism and the Rainbow Community could make their peace with the realities of neoliberal globalism, then why not Green Environmentalism?

Could the Greens be argued out of their present, deeply compromised, political orientation? Theoretically, yes. Never before in human history has the need to resist environmental despoliation been more urgent or self-evident. If Capitalism is not defeated, then the fate of humankind is sealed. The evidence admits of no other conclusion: uncompromising resistance to the capitalists’ wilful destruction of the biosphere is the only rational political choice. A strong leader would have little difficulty in making out this case to a movement whose prime directive is – Save the Planet!

And, therein, lies the problem. Organisations which have fallen victim to the self-consuming logic of identity politics become viciously intolerant of anything even remotely hinting of strong leadership. Nothing twists together the component strands of identarian culture faster than the prospect of a single individual taking back control of the political narrative. And, almost always, those strands end up being twisted around the offending individual’s neck. What this process fosters is not leadership, but the very worst sort of “palace politics”. All trust is lost; every back becomes a target; nothing strong or inspirational is permitted to survive; and the hard-won wisdom of experience is dismissed with a snappy “Okay, Boomer!”

For the Green Phoenix to be reborn, the funeral pyre so patiently assembled by its identity politicians over the course of many fractious years – but with growing intensity over the past three – first has to be ignited. The terrible probability, of course, is that, in setting themselves on fire, the Greens will end up immolating the hopes and aspirations of the whole progressive movement.

And with the time remaining to save the planet so very short, that would be a crime.

 

 

45 COMMENTS

  1. Capitalism will never be “defeated”, do you seriously believe that the Russian or Chinese revolutions would have succeeded had the general populace enjoyed our level of shopping opportunities?
    Capitalism is going away, but only by dint of removing the vast majority of the customers, namely the human race.
    The impending economic collapse initiated by the Coronavirus will trigger “the McPherson paradox” which will initiate the great dying and the end of Capitalism.
    Until then I will be voting to maximize my own personal freedom and to reward courage and common sense.
    Party vote ACT.

    • My thoughts after reading Trotter’s article were along the same lines.
      What if it is too late, and economic and ecological collapse are now certainties. In my view this is already the prevalent view of the global elite who are busy preparing themselves for the coming meltdown. It is clear to me that the framework is in the process of being set to protect a certain part of the population and the rest will be left to fend for themselves. COVD may be the precursor, or may not. But I know for a fact that much of China is presently closed and may not reopen for some time. Economic collapse and ecological collapse are now going to happen without doubt, but I doubt anyone can predict the exact trigger point that causes the whole stinking mess to collapse.
      So I can accept that many now think is the time to act purely in their own self interest as we all enter survival mode. The left has been totally fragmented and without cohesion are in no position to fight any war with the right. Put simply, the Left has lost and is lost.
      I still won’t vote ACT (or National for that matter), as they won’t make any difference whatsoever to maximise your own personal freedom, and certainly won’t be rewarding courage and common sense. If you are phenomenally wealthy or of some use to them, you might fall under their umbrella but only time will tell if that will save you or not.
      If their was one reason to vote ACT it would be that the right wing facists taking over the world have less time to prepare as the destruction would happen an order of magnitude quicker.

  2. The ‘funeral pyre’ image is pure poetry, and fits with my deep and abiding hope that the Greens will soon be toast. Burnt toast. Sadly, like the rest of the planet – but, hopefully, a tad sooner so that some of us can experience sheer delight in their demise. They’ve earned it.

    • Greens have earned their demise, but sadly the Natz benefit the most which is the point, and I’m keen for the planet to last a bit longer for my kids.

      So think about who really wins, if the Greens go down?

      • We’ve got to think longer term than that. If National wins and the Green’s leave parliament then what we get is a void where the kids can start a climate change party – and we also get a population appalled by the behavior of the Nats who will lay bare the true nature of establishment power.

        I can’t say this will happen for sure, and I don’t think I could vote National to encourage it but all this talk about what the political party’s offer misses the point. The only thing that can change the political direction of a nation is a proper people’s movement and at the moment we don’t have one simply because not enough people are worried yet.

        • @Aaron, Last time it took 9 years to get Natz out and they created a housing crisis, wage crisis, power crisis, health crisis, transport crisis, pollution crisis, education crisis, poverty crisis as well as their war on freedom of speech, democracy and war on beneficiaries.

          Under their reign billionaires were encouraged here to get citizenship in 11 days while giving them sweetheart deals that gave them millions of dollars of money out of the tax payers purse…

          So I’m not really interested in gambling in some ‘kids’ setting up a climate change party which sounds pretty much like Gen zero anyway, whose idea of climate change is to get a PPP sky path that charges walkers and cyclists to cross the harbour bridge while trucks and cars go free…

          sorry you are better to join the greens and vote the current crowd out while voting for them in the interim to keep the nato from destroying NZ…

          • Nats didn’t create that crisis, it has been ticking along quite nicely since the early 90s. They just did sweet fark all to stop it and Labour are doing likewise.
            Neither party has the guts to do what is required, which is to curtail immigration in a big way.

            • You are right there but 9 years of Natz did a lot more damage than COL, clearly they underestimated the problem and how the right wing neoliberal dribble doesn’t work very well with real stuff.

              Aka you can pontificate as much as you want about building houses, but if your entire construction system is dysfunctional ponzi’s from the labour to the materials to the councils to the RMA (which gives 99% approval to all rescue consents so quality and risk is clearly not part of NZ environment court rulings!) then you can’t get anything built, that is fit for purpose at a fair price.

              COL did not understand that going in, they thought that deregulating temp visa ponzi’s and green lighting foreign materials and construction, deregulating council zoning would do it, but they have made everything worse because we have more housing and transport to house the new people who one latte/burger/labourer/retail assistant/Mainzeal funny money at a time is supposed to get NZ out of the shit.

              The construction industry is not exactly known for it’s brains either so relying on industry to guide them…many developers are on meth or smuggling it in, in building materials, well let’s just say hasn’t worked out.

    • God yes!*, **
      (* obviously a gender unaligned God of non specific denomination and ethnicity, probably vegan
      **not intended to trigger any not believing in said deity)

  3. Sadly (for the environment), the emotional satisfaction and pure righteousness of identity politics is addictive to many Green Party members.

  4. “If Capitalism is not defeated, then the fate of humankind is sealed”

    Eh?

    So what’s your alternative? Because I hope it’s not socialism. History shows us that every society that collapsed under socialism (and they all do, eventually) leaves behind an awful environmental mess.

    All the evidence is that private ownership of assets is the best way to improve the environment. Problems we currently have with the ocean and the atmosphere are precisely because nobody owns them. They are in fact ‘The tragedy of the commons’.

    • You, Andrew, and people like you, will be the death of us. Just enough wit to convince yourselves that, somehow, you’ll survive the calamity of climate change, but not enough intellectual and moral courage to confront, and respond to, capitalism’s critical role in fueling it.

      You, and people like you, Andrew, are the reason why the collective human effort to address the extinction-level consequences of climate change has been far too little, and far, far, too late.

      • The Only problem I have with your comment Chris is that your article never mentioned the fact that the response to climate change, I would posit several other things, has been “far too little, and far, far, too late”.
        What if it is as you say.
        Discuss.

      • Chris, this brings me to another point:
        Climate Change and the ludicrous claim of an “emergency” appears to be the last remaining refuge of socialists.
        When this mirage also evaporates, they’re finished. 😉

    • @a.
      What history? Where’s your proof, your evidence?
      Did socialism in your, at this point mythical historical references, collapse because of deviant and covert interferences born of sabotage by greedy capitalist con artists to swindle ‘socialist’ capital infrastructure? ( AO/NZ? Sound familiar? )
      I mean, here’s my evidence? Where’s yours?
      Boingboing.net
      “Man who helped cause 2008 financial crash suddenly very concerned about the economy”
      https://boingboing.net/2020/02/13/man-who-helped-caused-2008-fin.html
      Re Davos.
      Tucker Carlson Blows Up at Rutger Bregman in Unaired Fox News Interview
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_nFI2Zb7qE
      You go on to write;
      “All the evidence is that private ownership of assets is the best way to improve the environment.”
      You’re on a planet called Earth, you realise that right? Not planet La La? Or did you buy a planet off a capitalist second hand planet dealer? You’d best get it checked out by AA then before you take it too far out into orbit!

      One more little thing. Nothing really.
      Wall Street Crash of 1929
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_Crash_of_1929

      • Andrew
        It wasn’t capitalism that fed Cuba when its supply of oil was cut off.
        Cuba was in luck to have a socialist Govt that supported cooperatives providing land and support for growing food that saved the people.
        When Cuba kicked out the capitalist parasites that ruled and kept the people in poverty, there were only 2 universities.
        Under socialist that became 22 universities and more doctors per 1000 people than any capitalist country. Cuba exports doctors to help many nations in Africa and South America so earning high respect in the UN forums. Capitalist USA tries to crush Cuba with illegal viscous sanctions as the USA doesn’t want such a shining example of successful socialism for the world to see.

        • Bang on, we could learn as much from what has happened in Cuba as we could Finland.
          The farmers there are happy they don’t own the land, how can we possibly own something so precious as land, they exclaim, it belongs to everyone and most particularly those that come after us. But they own the house upon the land and welcome that.
          As an old white privileged male that makes far more sense than our striving for ever more property rights as those without rights starve.

        • John W

          Cuba’s oil supply wasn’t “cut off”, it had insufficient money to pay for it.
          Given private enterprise, Cuba has the soil and climate to be a successful exporter of diverse and valuable agricultural products, and it is only collectivism that holds it back.

    • Andrew, don’t you care that your kids will inherit a toilet under the current environmental destruction?

      As for the world not being able to protect the environment, nope not correct. The big worry in the 1980’s was CFC’s and ozone gap.

      The world was able to come together and ban CFC’s averting a crisis, however industry learning from that, now control the narrative for environmental crisis, and their methods are to delay, delay, delay and deny, deny, deny and put in lots of small groups led by clueless idiots who then alienate everyone else joining movements.

      That strategy is how we get carbon neutral in 2050…she’ll be right wait, 30 years!

      Private profit driven NZ approaches have created un swimmable beaches for our kids…

      Also don’t expect your kid to get a job in the future at a wage they can survive on… even the university educated are expected to intern at a rate of zero dollars per hour… then work their way up at near minimum wages for a white collar job, I hear more blue collar construction workers are on their way at $20 p/h – when in Auckland a private cleaner costs $30 p/h and a plumber bills at $100 p/h plus travel, plus call out fee, but the person turning up knows nothing on $20 p/h it’s funny how the cost of living is not keeping up with wages….

      Council Rates will be going up, because as fast as they add more roads and roadworks as slowly and expensively as possible to private companies, they are adding more and more trucks destroying them and new cars coming on stream at 5000 a week!

    • Every society under capitalism has also come to a sticky end, Andrew.
      Every selfish, to hell with the commons, society has died the death. Withered to an easily-conquered remnant. Wandering away from ruined soils, waters and a culture gone stale.

      And what has remained? For, say, about 65 000 years? Away from the curse of capitalism and its spawn.
      Social constructs. Altruism. Living in close harmony with the ways of the land and climate. When that affinity is broken in favour of status,religion, such as happened on Easter Island, then the people suffer and decline for incongruence.

      When you sneer at ‘socialism’ I’m not that sure you know what you’re talking about. Russia, China are not ‘socialist’ though they used some of the ways.
      They’re a phase in bringing a mass of people up to speed with the ‘enemy nations’ that have already passed through the industrial revolution.

      And capitalism is desperately conservative. So is ‘business’. It has to be if it is to survive and keep its cash and credibility. Why do you think that the deliberately innovative companies are viewed with such awe?
      So why are you pinning your hopes and stories on structures that utterly rely on the status quo for their status and wealth? They lack the will or the thinking ways to be anything other than hoping no further than the next quarter. Looking to the past to predict a future.

      We could have put coal and oil and filthy working ways that poison the air and soils and waters and people into the history books for future amazement and disgust – except the short term views of ‘capitalists’ and ‘businesses’ can see that it’s too expensive for them to risk, adapt, change.
      And you want to admire deadly dinosaurs. Keep deadly mines open for the sake of a few jobs that serve a few people. Wreck the natural resources for centuries so a few, a very few, people can prosper today while claiming they’ve lifted people out of poverty.
      What lies they do tell.

    • History in fact shows us that every great civilisation has collapsed in the past, and the great ones that haven’t are on the verge of collapse right now.
      And most of those great civilisations were capitalist to greater or lesser degrees. The main reason they collapsed was for a variety of reasons, but one thing in common was always environmental destruction.
      The only reason modern great societies have not already collapsed is due to colonialism and globalism, which means they can exploit foreign resources to compensate those they have already destroyed.
      But the planet is finite, they will be destroyed and so will everyone else that bears the consequences.

  5. “Will The Greens Be The Death Of The Left?”
    Well, that’s why james shaw’s there and Metiria Turei isn’t.
    And I’m betting, from my sweaty bed of paranoia’s, that’s why RIP Rod Donald. ( I know. A bit distant from planet Rational. )
    And now, asking as a farmer, why has The Green Party never been farm-house door knocking?
    The Green Party could easily be the farmers new bestie by delivering to the farmer a new day, a new dawn so why so Blue @ down on the farm there son?
    Here’s an idea or two in that regard.
    A Ministry of Agricultural Banking. Yep! You done read it right there Clem.
    Farmer money banked for farmers by farmers and administered by a government ministry.
    Gone, are the foreign scum debt pimps, gone are the local money fetishists, gone are the soft sounds of a farmer sobbing softly at the letter box.
    And yes. Gone too, are the dreaded Natzo’s.
    And here’s the thing, right? That Bank could lend to AO/NZ private sector projects at pepper corn interest rates to aid in the development of non agricultural infrastructure.
    We could have passenger rail again? And a healthy landscape and fresh water and a picture house and a saloon and everything… Gosh! Wouldn’t that be all just swell?

    Or? We could continue on the vector we’re on and just get more fuckeder.

  6. Great post and so very true, the right wing agenda, have used what should be a good thing, tolerance and acceptance, against organisations helping NZ’s egalitarian society to somehow twist into a broken, intolerant, ideological not logical blaming culture of modern identity politics in NZ which is also very alienating to most people.

    it’s kinda the opposite of what it should be.

    I’m probably still voting the Greens though because although I’m not a fan of the current crowd, what is the alternative to COL?

    Natz are 1000 times worst.

    Labour are going to need the Greens votes to hit 5% so former greens and labour voters still need to vote, even with a grimace, or it’s Natzville back.

    Note current Green MP’s, Labour MP’s, organisers of the modern student unions and worker union creep into identity politics, tertiary graduates growing up in Rogernomics, will probably not understand anything of what is written in Trotters post as it’s beyond their understanding and historical frames of reference.

    Therefore this discussion will probably be dismissed as heresy from a pale male oppressive probably property owning, boomer who is automatically inferior to their modern take of ‘pro’ identity based scope of knowledge and money which seems to come out of thin air for their causes. Funny that how business and NZ universities seem to be keen to fund identity groups, like Generation zero…

    It’s the new tool for the right, catchy name with ‘identity’ trigger, good marketing and in the Green MP’s eager ears!

    Many more propaganda so called left, identity groups like them, aka groups that are actually diversions and propaganda for business and giving the new generation of neoliberalism a voice to drown out the real victims who are dismissed as ignorant and xenophobic if they don’t agree current practise is fabulous and in their favour!!!!!.

  7. In my opinion a better question is “Is there still a left in NZ politics?”. I’d suggest quite emphatically for the most part there is not. Labour have lurched to the right occupying the position formally held by a more moderate National whilst the latter has continued down the neo liberal path to the point where I can only see them as representatives of big business and the super wealthy.

    As to the rest they seem to be varying shades of centrist/right wing and in some cases havens for a specific agenda. Certainly I longer see the Greens as left leaning but I feel the bigger problem here is large parties that impose their philosophy on smaller partners, crushing any legitimate views that fall outside the mainstream. Something that never seems to be discussed all that much and should be as I feel its at the core of a much of the failure to change on the part of government in this country.

    • Nice comment, I think part of the reason our governments have become so right wing and corrupt is down to lobbyists and political donations and the need to “win elections” as opposed to governing for the greater good.
      Certainly not helped by political commentators who are protecting their own vested interests.

  8. Oh and can the lefties not fall of these ones again…

    Sroubek and IGS https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/384041/sroubek-double-antolik-likely-to-have-visited-new-zealand,

    Len Brown & Bevan Chuang https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/10/brown_confirms_he_acted_as_a_referee_for_his_mistress.html

    Jason Kerrison and Gitonga Obadiah with Kris Faafoi https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117990267/broadcasting-minister-kris-faafoi-promised-to-speed-up-immigration-process-for-opshop-singer-jason-kerrison

    Funny how all these people eventually expose their private txts to the Natz for political reasons, and help foster a feeling of left incompetence and nepotism, which quite frankly is justified!!!

  9. Yup! The Gweens are dead. Amene.
    Let them rejuvenate themselves with some adult supervision, life experience and an aptitude test specifically designed to weed out the mentally ill and fuckwittedness.
    Re-jig the Charter and put the Environment back in its place as the top priority and then everything else after that.
    Then, if they can do that by 2023 I just might vote for them again.

  10. Activists are not politicians.
    Well-meaning people keep nominating them to parties as candidates, probably because of their networks and the size of their lists.
    Triangle players tinging out their jargon and slogans. Their ’causes’ and ‘wokeness’.
    Raising consciousness on a few issues.
    And never knowing when to shift to creating solutions that work.
    And that’s not politics.

    The Old Greens were designers and solution makers. They did their homework and remained endlessly polite in the face of uncouth behaviour from left and right while they spoke out and did all they could to include. To develop political answers, laws and regulations, to ameliorate or eliminate harms and dead ends.

    Until the activists saw a vehicle with an established base and sympathy for those on the margins. And that was that. The activists trashed politics in their ‘quest for justice and inclusion and making people see how Bad and Misguided and oooh! Racist! they were.’
    Which is not how politics works.
    Not how it needs to work in this now.
    We have change to make and a planet to heal.

    Thanks, Chris. Bravely said.

  11. I am trying to understand how identity politics presents itself in relation to the Greens and why this is damaging to its brand.

    The Green Party has always been an environmental/social justice party and i can remember when Sue Bradford was under constant attack from the right wing for her defence of beneficiaries and the unemployed. I appreciated your defence of Metiria Turei when she was enduring horrific attacks from the right wing for daring to support the marginalised. However, by glorifying Green MPs of the past you seem to forget how they were attacked and demonised and how the Greens have always been attacked for recognising marginalised groups.

    My children’s generation are challenging the reluctance to take meaningful action to address climate change and they are also perplexed why we have not addressed the inequities existing for Maori and still marginalise the transgender community. The challenges to leadership regarding addressing the social justice issues of the moment have always been there and each generation of activists challenges those before. We are now into the 3rd generation of feminists and a fourth generation will follow. To shut down and ignore the passion and stridency of young activists and deny their voices entirely comes across as a curmudgeonly response from someone who feels threatened by raising the bar of expectations of what is acceptable.

    Ihumātao will go down in history as this generations’ Bastion Point and for the Rainbow Community fighting for recognition of ongoing discrimination will always be a focus. For the Green Party not to grapple with these issues and the internal challenges that this may involve would not be honest. A truly progressive party should always deal with the issues that will be seen by others as politically risky if it is the right thing to do. Chloe’s throwaway response of “OK Boomer” has some justification, how can our generation fully deserve respect for “hard-won wisdom of experience” when we have collectively been responsible for allowing the current level of environmental crisis.

    Identity politics is the current catch phrase for what has always existed to some degree and as a progressive party that attracts activists from a variety of communities, internal debates and questioning leadership can also be a sign of vibrant health.

    If the Green Party followed your advice of becoming an “establishment” party that shuts down youth driven activism and glorifies the old days of leftist/marxist politics it will more likely lose its edge and no longer be progressive. People would have the choice between Labour and the Greens as “little Labour” and the Party would surely die.

    • “To shut down and ignore the passion and stridency of young activists and deny their voices entirely comes across as a curmudgeonly response from someone who feels threatened by raising the bar of expectations of what is acceptable.”

      I said it before: Trotter does NOT want a revolution!

  12. In short you will probably find the same dangerous woke people who advocated for the Auckland unitary plan on behalf of the 1% and labelled everybody a NIMBY who did not agree with them unashamedly protesting at Ihumatau…

    The NZ Government Secretly Funded Water Bottling Companies https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1904/S00055/nz-government-secretly-funded-water-bottling-companies.htm while heralding banning single use plastic

    Publicly stating there is not a water shortage in Auckland…
    (because Auckland is now just linked to companies experience not residents) Watercare says Auckland does not have a water shortage https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/119433379/explainer-there-is-no-water-shortage-so-why-are-some-auckland-tanks-running-dry

    while https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/119232563/auckland-water-shortage-helensville-filling-station-third-in-a-week-to-be-closed

    and while we give away water through our relaxed environmental laws

    Northland drought: Schools might close if Kaikohe’s water runs dry
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/119337073/northland-drought-schools-might-close-if-kaikohes-water-runs-dry

    Thinking a consultation process for the RMA that will be full of paid lawyers submitting for the 1% will somehow get a different result….

    Yep, after unitary plan, TPPA and many more examples, democracy and public say is now dead. People are tired of wasting their time, getting nowhere and being abused.

    And the woke killed democracy, just as much as the 1%.

  13. To the surprise of no one but the woke identitarians themselves there ideology is unsustainable. Yes non-violence is a core part of green ideology but with out conflict there is no humanity. The interesting thing is a pacifist utopian society confronted by climate change will never be able to last.

    After each Member of Parliament accepts and adopts a climate emergency stance we see the government get stronger, and stronger as NZDF continue to grapple with stronger, and stronger forces.

    It would seem that years of peace has made New Zealand’s Parliament lazy and years of war will make them strong again. This battle will require the most simple set up possible. Every effort put forward by The Greens must be brushed aside by the powerful Climate Change itself.

    The Greens must be intentionally put in the path of Climate Change itself the line up for which must be every bit as one sided as it sounds. On one side we have the Greens primarily set up for scientific, diplomatic and humanitarian efforts and then we have the possibility of extinction. While the greens does have a defence policy it is not combat focused by design. The Honourable James Shaw is one of the most well rounded leaders in parliament but he really stands out against his co-leader.

    Climate Change doesn’t have a name like a hurricane does but it features massive wether events, drought, pestilence and disease way above what would be expected in a benign strategic environment and climate change is commanded by no one. Climate Change is the collective hubris of everyone.

    First of all the Greens defence policy is Non-violent conflict resolution which means ‘why on earth would you expose your own civilians to the horrors of war with no protection.’ And in fact the entire reason for the Greens was to show how dangerous Climate Change truly is. This is why I say Parliament has gotten fat and lazy. It’s actually stupid the Government would quarantine people from Wuhan in New Zealand and picking them all up in a commercial airliner. They should have been quarantined and cleared to travel before getting on the plane. Knowing how dangerous pandemics are you’d at least try to maintain a good distance.

    I’m sorry but we all kind of deserve the consequences of our hubris.

    Now the Greens fundamentally oppose NZDF. So in response to a superior enemy like the Wuhan virus there response is to hold back the NZDF and congratulate the government for having the will to send a commercial airliner. It is truly amazing that the Greens is still around at this point.

    So now that the quarantined patients are hold up in a military base in New Zealand you’d think that the government would begin provisioning NZDF with improved capabilities instead of renting commercial airliners and camper vans designed for domestic tourism and buy stuff that can be deployed over vast oceans.

    Woke Greens may not trust people like Chris Trotter but they will prepare for what awaits them. Had James Shaw and Marama Davidson listened to Trotter and Bomber 3 years ago they might still have Meteria Turei as Co-Leader.

    While I write harshly about Woke Greens, Climate Change demonstrates that woke-non-violence-ideology would be completely overwhelmed in an instance by even the tiniest exposure to Climate Change. Early on the woke defends themselves as not being smug or arrogant but the truth is the Greens are smug and arrogant and the Greens are basically a group of MPs and members preaching their arrogant ways to lesser people.

    The Greens have to go through a massive change great enough that NZDF develops new weapons and new capabilities way above what is commercially available and then the Greens may eventually gain what they have lost.

    Narratively wise The Greens either adapts to Climate Change or it will destroy them. In the end The Greens have introduced a truly overwhelming force that will change everything.

  14. It would also help if the Greens sent out emails to try and get votes not $3, because keeping existing voters is more valuable to them than $3

    On a positive note, their website is looking better (apart from the donate obsession).

    https://www.greens.org.nz

  15. This has been brewing for a long time but it is disingenuous in the extreme for Trotter to lay the blame at the feet of the Green Party as it is neoliberalism which has been the source of the trumpeting for identity politics, free of the class struggle.
    For that you can only blame the sort of milksop barely lefties one finds in the parliamentary wing of the Labour Party.
    If we are talking history I can remember back in the mid 70’s having robust debates with Auckland Uni’s ‘trots’ aka Socialist Action on this very subject. Their wannabe leader now some type of Auckland Unionist, would get his mob of bad complexioned troops out for ‘Women’s Lib” as they called it then, one week, next week “Gay Lib” etc. When confronted with the argument that his was a bourgeois fixations, as humans of whatever gender or sexual identity, like everyone else prioritise a roof over their heads, food in their belly and warmth for them & their families, the only response I ever got was that my ideas were “old fashioned”.

    I have no idea what ‘trots’ believe in now, I haven’t bumped in to one of that ilk in decades, but I do know those same narrow aimed ideas had permeated the Labour Party through the late ’80’s until now.

    Neoliberal organizations such as NZ Labour love identity politics for the same reason their corporate masters do.
    They are very inexpensive to implement meaning all the GST and income tax that government collects can be handed straight to corporate contracts, cos both neolibs & corporates subscribe to the same ‘balance the books’ ethos which has caused so much misery across the entire planet since 2008.

    If the greens are also going for identity politics the probable reason is that it is the only common ground they can find with the Ardern airhead.

    The needs of Aotearoa’s indigenous population are a separate issue – the fact remains Tangata Whenua are under- represented in the ‘good’ statistics (eg number of homeowners) and over represented in the ‘bad’ ones (eg numbers of homeless).
    That is an issue quite different to identity politics, Maori citizens and their 200 years of travail are most certainly part of the class struggle. Most, if not all groups that make up the identitarian issues are represented across the economic divide whereas Tangata Whenua are not. Yes women don’t do as well as men economically, that is changing, whereas for Maori there has been SFA movement in 200 years

    • When ever people question there identity we get these strange leadership decisions that fit a sword and sail narrative that kind of focuses on secondary characters. I think that one thing worth pointing out is people who rise through the ranks are very weird anyway. And her we are with Marama Davidson elevated to co leader and a whole woke squad unqualified to lead even a student union.

  16. Breaking the status quo.

    ‘Identity’ is – and has been since the Communist Manifesto (1848) at latest – a part of the international Left. ‘Consciousness’ without ‘Identity’ is neither theoretically nor practically possible, subsequently ‘class consciousness’ (not to speak about class struggle) would be a contradiction in itself, if it would not recognize identity within the social classes, especially among labour or the precariat, as a very valuable emancipatory ingredient.

    The problem arises if ‘identity’ takes over ‘consciousness’ and confuses the cause-effect relationships existing between both. In that case the tail may start wagging the dog…. a subsidiary antagonism will cloud appropriate recognition of the main antagonism.

    Classical question: in whose overall interest is this?

    Such confusion is what we have at present. And it is trained to our youngsters daily. Just take a closer look at most of the courses offered in humanities, social sciences across the country’s universities.

    Coming through this philosophy, the concept of “the woke” remains a chimera, a non-creature often assuming visibility only in frictions between individuals and by artificially constructed political animosities.

    It would be a historical mistake of the Left to give up the Green project because of such pseudo-conflict. In contrary, both identity and consciousness must and can be reconciled under the common tradition – and still valid joint ambition – of liberté, égalité, fraternité.

    More practically speaking.

    Let us in public – through TDB or another website perhaps – formulate

    “Ten Not-Negotiable Must-Do Points for the Election 2020”

    aiming at the Green party, but also the wider AONZ party spectrum.

    Focus: Immediate Action for Climate Resilience and Social Equality

    See whether some sort of impulse can be built up.

    It would not stop anyone from further appealing to the kindness of the queen ….

    Breaking the status quo.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptvZMDDmAG4

  17. What is needed is a Green Guerilla Movement, that takes real action, that may not even shy away from sabotaging the core infrastructure utilities that rely on the fossil fuel industry and its climate changing supplies.

    A guerilla that does not shy away from demobilising polluting private motor vehicles run on petrol and diesel, and from occupying with firm force streets, ports, motorways, supermarkets, petrol stations and so forth.

    That will call the fossil fuel dependent middle class up for battle, to ‘defend’ their ‘rights’ to live the way they want to live (as fed to them by the consumerist and destructive burn and pollute industries). This battle is inevitable, those that drive their climate changing fossil fuel powered cars, SUVs and so forth every day, they must be show where the journey has to go. Confrontation is inevitable, as the turkeys as they are will not vote voluntarily for an early Xmas, that is the needed end of the fossil fuel age we are so firmly locked into.

    All else is GREENWASHING and endless BS and collaboration with the status quo, call it ‘neoliberalism’ or whatsoever else.

    The WAR must be declared, even Greenpeace are now a laughing stock with their dependence on donations and their only occasional few ‘actions’ or stunts here and there, as they have not stopped the shit that is happening.

    We will NEVER get the needed change through participation in the somewhat corrupt parliamentary processes we have here and in other countries, that always force ‘compromise’, and thus ‘third way’ options to be followed, leading to nothing of substance, nothing meaningful.

    The National and also to a degree Labour voting idiots that cling to their cars, their wasteful lifestyles and token action to ‘save the Planet’, they will never be persuaded to take sufficient action, as it will mean sacrifice, but nobody will sacrifice, as the whole economy as we have it is firmly geared for GROWTH no matter what, at all levels. That is irreconcilable with an environmental approach to run things.

    Stop dreaming, start the Green Guerilla Movement.

    • Not a bad idea, Marc.

      in fact in Germany where they banned unnecessary plastic on food years ago, it was fuelled by a Green Guerrilla Movement where they unwrapped food in the supermarket and left the plastic waste on the floor of the supermarket… surprise, surprised worked to motivate the supermarkets to cut down on packaging.

      However to truely work they need to make the manufacturer responsible for the cost of the disposal of the packaging because they have produced it. Consumers can only do so much, especially now in NZ that seems to prioritise polluters rights above natural environment. through all channels.

  18. What’s the use of a greenwash warm fussy and empty talk party, while most in society do not really want to sacrifice their fossil fuel powered cars, plastic products and much convenience either, and rather want to carry on as committed consumerists anyway. There are no magic solutions, and traditional Greens policies have too little attraction to most, so it shows that the Greens are not all that popular anyway, as most voters are not really green either, apart from behind their ears.

    • Very true statement.
      Most of the greens I encounter, and I come across all walks of life everyday, are either property owners with 10 acres somewhere in the bush where they strive to be self sufficient at huge cost, or urbanites who think it’s cool.
      Few of them really give a shit about the demise of civilisation and pursue their own agenda, while demonising those who may differ on one viewpoint whether it is 5G or 1080.
      The left needs to unite on common grounds which should, above all, be to defeat neoliberal economic policy.
      Until this happens, nothing will change and the right united by the pursuit of money and fear will steamroll us into the ground.

  19. I think a realignment on the left is long overdue and may happen quicker as a result of this governments defeat and the next National government.

    The Greens have run their course and all this identity politics is serving no one’s interests except maintaining the neoliberal status quo.

    They will never attain the heights of environmental popularity and social justice reform of the Rod Donald era.

    The growing alarm around climate extinction has not led too that worry transforming into support for the Green party.

    In fact the polls are saying consistently that very few have confidence in them too lead the fight that is needed and that the changes being promoted too address what needs too be done is akin too booking a ticket on the Titanic knowing it will sink in the middle of the Atlantic.

    Identity politics is a serious diversion away from the mounting crises on a number of fronts that is not and will not stop the direction of travel we are in.

    That fight against the neoliberal plutocracy began in the U.S some time ago and is on the ascendancy with Bernie Sanders campaign.

    He faces a huge uphill battle but is building a massive grassroots campaign behind him.

    At the moment his program of social justice includes a new green deal around how America address climate change and being an influential leader worldwide too work too combat the ecological disaster.

    No diversions here when it comes to identity politics or reclaiming certain words in the english language , they all sing from the same song sheet.

    The best thing that can happen is the end of the current Green party and NZF which will die when Winston has had enough.

    I can’t see the current Labour party ever allowing a Corbyn or Sanders so that leaves room for a new progressive movement around social justice and climate change with good people dedicated too achieving real change and is not funded by the usual suspects so it won’t back down on what needs too be done.

    The clock is ticking for serious action.

  20. Stimulating, disturbing and contentious. Thanks Chris. Someone will be correct in their analysis. Who, and how long will it take before we know? The suspense is killing us …

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