The Danish Solution: How Repudiating Co-Governance Could Be the Saving Of Labour.

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The Danish Social-Democratic Party leader, Mette Frederiksen, greeted by supporters during her successful 2019 general election campaign.

THINK OF DENMARK – go on, think of Denmark. What springs to mind? Lego? The Little Mermaid? Squishy little segments of surprisingly tasty cheese? Bacon? Slaughtered Minks? How many of you are thinking of a social-democratic political party reversing its electoral decline by adopting the immensely popular immigration policies of insurgent right-wing populists? Not a lot. Hardly surprising. How often do New Zealand’s news editors think of Denmark?

“The Danish Solution” is worth considering, however, as our own General Election draws ever nearer. Since the political survival instinct is every bit as strong as all the others, we should not be surprised when failing politicians and failing parties adopt policies that outrage their supporters. If their ideological heresy is rewarded by the voters, then it’s amazing how quickly that outrage fades. If the voters remain unimpressed? Well, then there will be blood.

Faced with impending electoral disaster, what might New Zealand’s social-democrats throw overboard?

If Denmark offers us any guide, then the choice will be driven by fear of the racial “other”. The right-wing populist Danish Peoples Party made huge electoral gains in 2015 by offering to protect their country from the problems Sweden had brought upon itself by opening its doors to refugees and immigrants from the Third World.

Over the course of five decades, Sweden went from being one of the most racially homogeneous societies on Earth, to a global poster-child for the virtues of multiculturalism. For Swedish social-democrats, this policy of welcoming the persecuted and the vulnerable was an article of left-wing faith: proof that their country, unlike so many of their European neighbours, was not irredeemably racist.

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Except that large sections of Swedish society were deeply hostile to multiculturalism. Among the Swedish upper-classes, in particular, the ideology of 1930s fascism lingered on long after the end of the Second World War. As the number of immigrants grew, the Swedish far-right grew with them. Racist xenophobia and Islamophobia inspired racist assaults and arson attacks on refugee centres. Undaunted, the Swedish social-democrats held firm to their multicultural dream – and were voted out of power.

Confronted with a similar choice, the Danish social-democrats opted to bend to the will of the majority. The massive surge of support to the Peoples Party’s hardline anti-immigration policies convinced them that the Danes had no intention of going down the same road as the Swedes. Failure to respond to the clearly expressed preferences of the electorate would condemn the Danish Social-Democratic Party to the status of an also-ran: politically correct, but reduced to making up the numbers for larger, more responsive and racially exclusive political parties.

Among the Danish anti-racist Left, the social-democrats about-face on immigration represented a shameful capitulation to all that was rotten in the state of Denmark. Better, they said, to remain pure and powerless, that to compromise their foundational principles in the name of reclaiming the party’s lost power.

But, as the Australian Labor leader, Gough Whitlam, told the ideologically obdurate and inflexible left-wing of the Victorian Labor Party in 1967, by advancing such an argument: “We construct a philosophy of failure, which finds in defeat a form of justification and a proof of the purity of our principles. Certainly, the impotent are pure.” Or, as the late Jim Anderton expressed it, rather less tartly: “One day in Government is worth a thousand days in Opposition.”

It may soon be the New Zealand Labour Party’s turn to make a similar choice between the impotence of morally unimpeachable Opposition, and the ethical compromises attendant upon winning, retaining and wielding political power. Just as Helen Clark was required to choose between acquiescing in the Court of Appeal’s foreshore and seabed decision, and seeing Don Brash’s National Party ride to victory in the 2005 General Election; or retaining sufficient Pakeha support to remain in office, even at the cost of alienating enough of Labour’s Māori support to make the formation of the Māori Party a realistic proposition.

It would be fascinating to know just how far the electorate’s opposition to Labour’s policies of “co-governance” extends. Given the extent of its polling and focus-grouping, one can only assume that Labour’s strategists are well aware of the consequences of rolling out the policy as currently configured. Were it not for National’s and Act’s clear determination to exploit the Pakeha public’s fear of co-governance, it would be easy to assume that only a small minority of the population are sufficiently exercised by the ideas contained in the controversial He Puapua Report to make them the key determinants of their voting choices.

That National and Act are unwilling to give away the co-governance issue (as Key gave away National’s opposition to the anti-smacking legislation in 2008) strongly suggests that Labour’s policy is shaping-up to be one of the hottest “hot-button” issues of 2023.

The only explanation for Labour’s Pakeha majority’s consistent refusal to jettison the party’s commitment to co-governance is its fear that such a decision would spark a full-scale revolt in its Māori caucus. A revolt so serious that the mass desertion of Labour’s Māori MPs to the Māori Party could not be ruled out.

In such circumstances, neither the continued loyalty of the Greens, nor that of the entire Labour caucus, could be counted on by the Labour leadership. The resulting parliamentary crisis could only be resolved by calling a snap election.

Could the adoption of “The Danish Solution” rescue Labour? Much would depend on how effectively the Labour leadership presented the range of choices confronting the electorate. If National and Act could be presented as the radical right-wing alternative, whose extremist policies would almost certainly spark serious civil strife, Labour would be able to present itself as a moderate hand-brake on the equally radical co-governance ambitions of the Māori Party and the Greens. Adroitly handled, Labour could emerge from the crisis as the only party capable of keeping the peace. As such it could call upon the electorate to give it the numbers in Parliament to frustrate the reactionary plans of the Right and the revolutionary programme of the Left.

National and Act would gnash their teeth in fury. The Māori Party and the Greens would condemn Labour as sell-outs, moral cowards and traitors. But when the smoke cleared, Labour would find itself finally free of its historical ties and obligations to Maoridom – those would now belong to the Māori Party exclusively. From this position, Labour could advance itself as the only reliable defender of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the democratic and egalitarian principles it embodies.

An altogether preferable alternative to Labour fading into political irrelevance, as a triumphant Right lays waste to New Zealand’s three most precious taonga: Egalitarianism, Democracy – and the Treaty itself.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Yes but….you’re talking about this Labour Cabinet, which has almost no track-record of success (unless it’s in PR) asking the public to trust them to deliver.

  2. Yeah nah. “Our Glorious Leader” is intimately tied to the UN/WEF block and their ideals. Co-governance is part of this set up as a means to de-power the middle class into public transport and government dependence.

    Labour, certainly with Ardern at the helm aren’t going to get >35% of the popular vote unless Martians land on earth (or something similar) therefore will require the support of the Greens and Maori party. Therefore the best you are going to get is a de-emphasis of co-governance till after the election and then an implementation of it on the basis of “they forced us to” of it’s support partners.

    That Labour can ignore co-governance going into the 2023 election is a fairy tale.

    • Yes Frank. who signed us up to the UN Charter and got the co governance ball rolling? So was National looking to de power the middle class and create government dependency? I think not. What does co governance have to do with public transport? You have lost me.

  3. You nailed it in your last OP’s on the subject.

    Yes, the Nordic states, (like Japan), are extremely homogeneous, and oft-quoted as shining examples for education, low crime and antisocial problems, health, quality of life and a range of other positive subjects because the will of the homogeneous people is united. And probably as boring as batshit too! But it remains to be seen with Sweden if the great melting pot experiment is a winner or tolerated by its formerly homogeneous people!

    Denmark, btw, is a fave with the bicycle lobby as Copenhagen (a Simon Wilson pin up city) has unified unquestioning Danish folk pedalling their bicycles to somewhere, (maybe nowhere?), because they’re morally superior. It’s also mostly flat as a pancake and relatively compact, not that the bike lobby propaganda mention that inconvenient fact.

    But if co-governance was such a vote winner, Willie may have come in from the cold in the past 5 years proudly telling the people all its virtues, rather than imitating a character from one of John Le Carre’s spy novels. And Labour wouldn’t be hiding this behind lead doors from the gaze of the voter cursing ACT’s very existence for outing it and making Jacinda have to resort to her best used car salesman lines to hide the secret away on the spot. You know, being all “transparent” as they are…!

    I mean it appears Labour are implementing co-governance in some actions without telling us they have, albeit the results are causing great consternation for the public even if they don’t know what the cause of the issues are.

    And I think the issues with a certain Ministers family getting hugely well paid, pointless government contracts only confirmed suspicions of what the face of open “co-governance ” will bring. So I guess I’d hide that agenda away from the public too.

    But go on Labour, I dare you, run it as your 2023 point of difference election winner!

  4. Please detail these benefits of multiculturalism… the ability of poor local children to press their noses against the windows of “ethnic” restaurants and smell the delicious aromas? Does multiculturalism require mass migration the likes “we” have experienced in the past two decades? No. Multiculturalism is code for suppressed wages and increased housing costs.

    • Yup seems pretty clear that multiculturalism often just promotes disunity and disharmony . . NZ already had a mix of NZ European / Maori / Pacifika does it really need to ‘improve’ on that?

  5. “Over the course of five decades, Sweden went from being one of the most racially homogeneous societies on Earth, to a global poster-child for the virtues of multiculturalism.”

    Crime has also sky rocketed where previously it was very low
    shootings, once unheard of are common place. even bombings aren’t uncommon
    rape has gone through the roof

    Sweden certainly is a poster child but for all the wring reasons. Multi culti failure

    • It’s not all cultures that are an issue however. You could probably have a massive influx of certain cultures without problems.
      Sweden however imported Muslims and Islam for the most part is a cancer.
      There is not a single Muslim majority country in the world worth living in. The closest is Dubai and even that is pretty fucking awful despite having made significant steps to put on a westernized facade.

      • Lets face it – pretty much every country in the world that doesn’t have a European majority is a basket case (with some exceptions in East Asia etc of course) . . not sure why that is but it is self evident and yes allowing wholesale Muslim immigration has been clearly found to create profound societal issues.

    • a fair number of the ‘bombings’ are grenade attacks on each other by various drug gangs (ethnic and home grown white as the driven snow bikers), the result of a right wing raid on a military store a good few years ago, these grenades are still in circulation….

  6. Let’s not forget how the Danes, and the Swedes handled the Covid outbreaks — very brave, and seems to be working…their societies do not buy into the fear, and panic over Covid…well done

      • Thanks Shona — those numbers are high, the Danes are similar to NZ — while the Sweden is very high (Sweden has double our population)…however, NZ rate is starting to skyrocket, while both those nations are plateauing…leveling out.

        • So Nathan you can look at it from several angles. Firstly shit loads of people in NZ are not bothering with masks even though that would be a minimal inconvenience. Secondly if by sky rocketing do you mean deaths or cases? If it’s deaths and that’s against the milder omicron thank goodness we didn’t do the Swede thing against the earlier variants with low vaccination rates

          • I see the MOH is now redefining what a COVID death is now. Why now? Is it because the numbers are getting too uncomfortable for the “Greatest Covid Response…In the World (in my Jeremy Clarkson voice)”?

            Or because most of us with half a brain who refuse to succumb to fear could see that a vehicle fatality (with Covid) is not a Covid death.

      • “Here’s the actual data recently released by the World Health Organisation for 2020-21.

        Measuring excess deaths (the difference between expected and actual mortality) Sweden recorded 56 per 100,000 population, one of the lowest rates in Europe.

        Sweden made their non-lockdown rule aware of the collateral damage of lockdowns on the economy, healthcare and education in particular.

        The UK for example, recorded 109 excess deaths per 100,000 putting it 15th out of 28 European nations and ahead of the likes of Germany and Italy.

        As the Daily Telegraph editorialised, “It’s about time the world apologised to Sweden”.
        From No Punches pulled

    • The no response attitude seemed good at first but turned to crap down the track and the Health Minister said he regretted his stand to be out of step with all the other countries that took action.

      • Hi Trevor — both the Denmark/Sweden did have responses to Covid, but, only the old, young, and sick….everyone else…keep living

  7. As far as the blog post goes nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see the death of the NZ Labour Party.
    For Labour to die off as a result of pursuing the constitutionally dishonest policy of co -governance and to be spared anymore of Ardern’s tedious deceit would be a ray of sunshine in so many Kiwis lives. It would help to clean out the twattish Greens , explode the Maori party to new heights of racism, and bring on a ghastly right wing administration that none of us deserve.
    Perhaps then we would rebuild a true NZ people’s party. But that is such hard work.
    Don’t hold your breath folks!

  8. How about Labour returns to its roots to give a shit about the working class, you know those that labour…

    Stare down the Maori caucus and let them defect knowing that if they do, a snap election is called and Labour campaign on delivering for all NZ regardless of ethnicity

    I think they’d do well enough to win whilst also forcing the Maori Party to defend the indefensible race based rhubarb they spout which will either consign them to the dustbin or force them to shift toward the centre and begin thinking of all Kiwis.

    • Left wing parties around the world have positioned themselves as elitist authoritarians. A group of academic know nothing’s who are convinced they can control people’s lives better than if they are left alone.
      This is not only demonstrated here, but in Canada, Australia, USA, UK, Scotland, Germany and so on.
      This is why Trump beat Hillary despite being an absolutely awful human being. Hillary is a narcissistic know nothing academic that has never worked a real job in her life. The only difference between her and Adern is that Adern managed to maintain a veneer of human decency at least until she got the opportunity to oppress the people.

      • So you are one of those ‘let CoVID rip’ people who will serve humanity up on a platter to the virus? And call it freedom.

        Ironically all people like you who go on about ‘freedom’ will gladly ban abortion, birth control and being LGBT because a dead Palestinian carpenter told them to.

  9. Too long an article Chris. You could have said what you wanted to say in four words: Labour, drop co-governance completely.

  10. Unfortunate that the Danish SD hasn’t taken any advantage of their mandate to do anything actually left-wing.

  11. Do we all have to be adults in this co-governance matter and the way that it is handled. And Now??

  12. What tangled webs we weave in order to deceive!

    Let’s get back to basics eh?

    Democracy – a system where the citizens have equal rights and an equal vote.

    The Treaty – clearly ceded all tribal authority to the Crown while giving all Maori equal status as citizens. All other interpretations are lies intent on defrauding us of our rights.

    Thus the concept of co-governance is heresy in a democracy.

    Thus those fighting against this insidious co-governance are heroic supporters of our democracy rather than your description: “radical right wing”

    • “The Treaty – clearly ceded all tribal authority to the Crown while giving all Maori equal status as citizens”

      So Andrew was the status granted to Maori citizens the same as the Pakeha citizen’s? Given that the crown seemed to help itself to the land of Maori citizens it would appear not. People from right side of the isle have openly acknowledged this, or at least they used to. I’m pretty sure theft does not sit too well with democratic principals either.

  13. As such it could call upon the electorate to give it the numbers in Parliament to frustrate the reactionary plans of the Right and the revolutionary programme of the Left.

    After the last three years there is not a hope in hell that any scare campaign would cause NZ voters to repeat giving Labour a 50%+ majority to do what they will. Fantasy level stuff. There would be nothing to prevent them kowtowing to Maori extremists again – aside from their word of course. As politicians.

    Aside from the He Puapua stuff when it comes to immigration Labour already stepped down this path in 2017 when it talked of putting a stop to National’s open slather immigration, something that still gets support from its voters now on forums like this. More importantly from swing voters who might have voted National. And a good thing too: growing the population by 2% per annum with immigration just so you can boast about 3% economic growth is deceptive. It’s one of the reasons why National’s sad efforts at trying to turn the tables on Labour – See! It’s they who are racist and we who love multiculturalism” fell on its face.

    And for good reason too, as Kiwis look around the world at places like… Sweden:
    After examining data from the Swedish Crime Prevention Council, Germany’s Bild newspaper writes that “Sweden is the most dangerous country in Europe.”
    Not a headline I ever expected to see.

    Bild, which is Germany’s most widely-read and best-selling newspaper, analyzed a study related to fatal gun violence, with the data showing just how dangerous Sweden has become.

    “In the EU, an average of eight people per million people are victims of fatal violence. In Sweden, the number in 2020 was twelve people per million inhabitants. When it comes to the victims of firearms, the difference between Europe and Sweden is even greater. In the EU, an average of 1.6 people per million people die from gunshot wounds – in Sweden the figure is four, almost three times as many,” Bild writes.

    Of course it’s gangs, but there seem to be a lot of excuses made as to why gangs should have become such a problem in Sweden over the last 15 years or so. Apparently it’s a mystery,.

    Aside

      • and as reliable as the daily express.…. or the New York Post, yet they did a far superior job of investigating Hunter Biden’s laptop compared to the likes of the NYT and WaPo, as well as the latter’s partisan and ideological bent in suppressing anything they did find out anyway just in case it hurt the campaign to get rid of Orange Hitler.

        They should have handed the story to Jacobin or The Nation – although admittedly they probably would have been the same, given The Threat To Democracy, yada, yada, yada.

        • The newspapers did a public service in suppressing Biden Jnr’s laptop. Had Trump won, he would have imposed a Evangalical Christian Theocracy with white supramacist characteristics. Women, LGBTQ’s and the like are thanking Biden for ensuring their freedoms remain intact and not subervient to the Bible.

        • and your deflection has exactly what to do with sweden tom? oh that’s right nowt, cos rightards change the subject when called on bullshit they can’t defend.

  14. and your deflection…. Very cheeky given that refusing to address the points that Bild raised with factual refutation and simply waving them off as a tabloid is the very definition of deflection.

    ….he would have imposed a Evangalical Christian Theocracy with white supramacist characteristics.
    Against a Democrat-controlled House and Senate. Uh huh.

    God millsy you’re as boring as ever with your boilerplate crap that hasn’t changed in two decades of blogosphere comments. EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS…. RHEEEEEEE. It’s a wonder you didn’t rant about Jerry Falwell. Again.

    Women, LGBTQ’s and the like are thanking Biden for ensuring their freedoms remain intact and not subervient to the Bible.
    You’ve obviously missed the fact that those groups are so steamed at Biden’s failure to defend them that they’re organising PAC’s to dump him for 2024. In any case Trump’s influence came with three SCOTUS picks that have obviously applied whether he was President or not and will continue to do so for year to come. And if you want to fix their decisions you and yours need to get your butts into gear at the level of State laws or perhaps even amendments to the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Can’t win those arguments with voters? Tough.

    Say Latinx again.

    • I pointed out the nature of bild not a refutation of your assertion
      once again diverting to other rightard bullet points fails to illustrate anything about sweden.
      I don’t think I’ve ever even mentioned the douchebag falwell if I have please provide citation(no a bild article will not do)

      • You pointing out “the nature of bild” rather than refuting their claims is, as I said, deflection in it’s classic form – which you then accuse me of.

        The rest of my comment is directed at Millsy, from whose comments the quotes are lifted.

        So in addition to projection you also don’t bother to read the surrounding comments. Context?…. Pfft.

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