The question isn’t ‘can’ Chloe be co leader, the question is ‘should’ she?


I first met Chloe in 2016 during her Auckland Mayoralty campaign where she came a remarkable third and even from that moment she was unique.

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with Chloe on many occasions and she is without a doubt the real deal.

Her intellect to connect policy to the end impact on people is remarkable.

Her criticism of bad policy is always precision targeted.

Her understanding of how the neoliberal economic hegemonic structure is built for the powerful is fundamental to her intellectual confidence.

She is one of the most intelligent MPs we have in the House right now, she’s so good, I’d argue she’s smarter than David Seymour, and I consider Seymour almost as smart as David Parker!

I don’t think the question has ever been ‘can’ Chloe become co leader, it’s ‘should’ Chloe become co leader.

Because let’s be clear about what she just called out and what will amass against her.

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I’ve spoken at length with Chloe about ideas and politics and it is abundantly clear to me that she is without ego in this. She is a TRUE believer because she’s smart enough to see how the policy intersects with real people. She has an intellectual confidence because she really is a researched radical.

She sure as Christ ain’t in this to tinker at the edges.

And that’s where the question ‘should’ she be co leader comes in because Jacinda and James Shaw went into these roles of leadership with the same ambition and the same desire to do good but both ended up with legacies of tepid incrementalism that in no way shape or form prepares New Zealand for the existential threats of climate change, geopolitical instability and grotesque internal social division, inequality and poverty.

Chloe has a vision and ambition well beyond the incrementalism of Jacinda and James.

If she is serious about challenging the naked venal greed of the Right and the incrementalism of the Left, if she is really going to lead a revolution at the ballot box, if she is going to fight, she needs the Greens to take off the gloves and get bare knuckle here because Chloe will be going up against the two largest political forces in NZ: Right Wing Rich Pricks and a faction of the Left who prefer to rule the losing team rather than lose control of the winning team.

You fight the negative populism of Trump with the positive populism of Bernie Sanders.

You promise truly free education, truly free health, truly free public transport.

It’s Left universalism that lifts all people funded by the richest amongst us.

To have that fight demands a Green Party reset in terms of tactics and strategy.

No more hugs. It’s time to fight bare knuckle and that means a total over haul of the Green strategy team who have made some disastrous calls on tactics over the years.

Remember when the Greens gave their questions to National and won’t allowing barracking?

This pious bullshit doesn’t win fights and Chloe has just picked a fight with the most self interested of political blocks.

Incremental Labour and the entire Right wing establishment who benefit from our rigged under regulated capitalism.

Stop calling it the Wealth Tax, call it the 1% Tax because we are aiming to tax the richest.

An entire raft of new taxes aimed at the speculators and the Banks and the rich need to be brought on board to lower working peoples taxes AND fund the social and physical infrastructure upgrade required.

Chloe knows this.

She is about actual fundamental solutions, not the tinkering and by doing so, she has bought an enormous fight with the venal right and self loathing left.

If Chloe is truly going to lead a revolution at the ballot box, if she is truly going to look at breaking and re-setting the neoliberal economic hegemony, then every single one of us who has ever voted left have an obligation to swing in behind her leadership, sign up and become a member and throw every ounce of effort into building the Greens into the dominant new political force for the Left.

She is the last chance of the Left having a leader who will actually reset the crooked foundations and make the fight finally worthwhile for many who are just getting by.

Chloe is the Jacinda we wish Jacinda was.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country.


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  1. One good politician in an unbelievably woke and alienating party will make little different. Marama’s cringeworthy anti cis white male statement last year made international headlines for all the wrong reasons. So long as Marama is co leader this party is going nowhere. My money is on the ‘lived experiences’ faction of the party fu*king things up even further in 2024

    • The Greens are more Confucius than China no one detests The Greens Defence policy more than I because if a woke as decolonials none white cia male loving joyously non-violent approach to solving climate change isn’t capable of doing it then we may as well kiss each other good-bye because a violent approach certainly won’t solve it.

      Violence is exactly what the one percent want because its an arena that they dominate. Non violent protest works from the bottom up because if protestors wear helmits then the police come back with guns. And if protestors use social media then the police come back the fiveyes network. Step by step non violence can control the outcome of an election and step by step the National Party has had to walk back there climate denialism.

      At the top end any agreement on climate must privilege New Zealand meaning landlords get tax exemptions which will have a flow on effect on the profits of the big four banks with whom we can put new taxes on. Maybe not tax all the profits but enough that the government budget can stay just above cost pressures we shouldn’t expect new taxes to be the golden bullet that solves all problems we just want the one percenters to pay the legally obligate tax liability. I think we can have a tax free threshold so we don’t have to go in on a years long odyssey to change the tax brackets. To hard. Not enough time. Better things to do.

      At least formally we want a majority of kiwis to back down on there welfare rhetoric or whatever trendy bullshit the left and right are peddling at each other. But terrorism and war with other nations isn’t our problem. Australia, U.K. and U.S can kill them easily. That’s the comparative advantage of a powerful state but they can not deal with a bunch of rage tage hippies pitching tents on parliament lawns. So step by step every kiwi has to back down to the Greens or end up with total defeat which will be unusually. The New Zealand government can kill terrorists and insurgents and strengthen democracy very easily, unlike the U.S. who creates terrorists and destroys democracy. In this case non violence isn’t a great strategy because non violence is the domain where kiwis can prevail but when you make the transition from a large non violent activist movement into powerful government positions non violence doesn’t work the same.

      Powerful political people can be sympathetic to its own people but we are not going to give aid to Hamas or ISIS pr even war mongers like Bibi Netanyahu. That’s when you need the powerful arm of the state a strong defence force to force the issue particularly when you want to trade on the international markets and even more specifically when you want a carbon trading price and other badley needed financial innovations then if non violence doesn’t work at defending New Zealands interests abroad then like I said kiss each other good bye.

    • See folks. They’re worried already.
      Straightaway with the personality attack – no talk about policies.

      The Slater playbook is boring.

  2. Great article, and agree100%. Marama did well over the election period so do not agree with iHLT comment There is a new call to arms in the left, thanks to the big loss of Labour and the rabid rats nest on the right. Labour failed and not changing. The time for Greens is now. Join up everyone!!!

  3. Yeap. That’s exactly the impression I got from a keen eyed young woman I met as she was standing in her friends cafe/gallery in Sandringham, I think it was. Bear in mind. I’m a bit shit with times and dates because I only do the now dahlings.
    Here’s the thing. In my opinion. The reason why I have so much faith in Chloe Swarbrick is actually bloody simple. Here it is. She’s truthful AND she’s a politician. OMG! WOW ! I KNOW! She only allows truth to be her guide. Not greed. Not ego. Not dumbass. Not crass. Not one of anything National. She’s a devout disciple of the truth. ( You who voted National and its awful cling-ons, you must feel like you’ve been duped by a bald bullshit artist re his sibling sell-out to the toxic tobacco industry. Kids! Smoke Pot instead! Drinking drain cleaner would be safer.) And this is where my humble opinion comes in. If she leads her beautiful truth to our primary industry to speak to the muddied and down trodden in regard to the soon to be starving urban upper classes on the run in their rags and riches to the nearest sausage and potato she will open a door to a new day, a new world. No, I don’t mean the fucking money laundering supermarket cartels.
    Once Chloe Swarbrick starts to dig into disappearances of agrarian exports earned money, to see where it’s been, and syphoned off to, she will set us free. Her truths will set us free. Our farmers, the ones who put food in your trolley and then forced to put that money into foreign owned banksters will be as stunned then amazed as I was, a filthy fama dahlings with an inquiring mind, a love of the land and a passion for the *disco. Slap a pair of gummies on John Travolta! That’s me, mates. Now, stand back or you’ll get side swiped by the swirling Swannie.
    Oh, and a speck of fucking justice strangled out of our lazy politician-scumbags who’ve been ripping us off for their lobbying mates for 88 years now. ( The Natzo’s came into being back in 1936.)
    @ Chloe Swarbrick? Weld Maori to farming to urban to rural in one big strong unassailable Union.
    Then, roll out the forensic accountants. And the police.
    * YMCA! They’re so friendly there!
    Saturday Night Fever. Gore style.
    Pulp Fiction dace scene.

  4. There is a major problem for any pro-worker elements within the Green movement: the class composition of their electoral base and party bureaucracy, which has resulted in a near-total isolation from the labour movement.

    Compare this to the supporter bases of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. Those movements had a genuine mass base that was overwhelmingly working class, brimming with rank-and-file union members who actually know how to organise on the shop floor.

    The Green parties of the world are increasingly lead by people like Annalena Baerbock: pro-war, all-in with Wall Street types, that are recruited from the wealthier parts of the intelligentsia. Their voter base is nearly identical too, mostly consisting of liberal professionals in the wealthier electorates (to the point that the Greens generally do not campaign in working class electorates).

    As a result, even the Australian Greens — perhaps the most left-wing of the major Green parties — are still to the political right of where the main conservative parties were in the 1950’s-70’s. The idea that such a party machine would agree to the most basic and minimal of pro-worker demands (i.e. a reversal all 1980’s attacks on workers and public assets, and an immediate return to the bi-partisan Post-war Consensus) seems completely fanciful at present.

    • There’s no symmetry in that situation. National represent the brutal arm of the state. Luxon is the one trying to eye up Maori resources they want to take over the Maori culture which is a weaker argument than say Maori trying to over take the government and sanitise pakeha history. But it didn’t just start now it’s been happening since the treaty was signed. Those who defend the maorification of New Zealand don’t have a leg to stand on and those who defend climate denial have a much weaker position.

  5. It is good to see Shaw is going.

    As for Chloe, one hopes she does well. However, I won’t get my hopes up too high until I see what she and the party plan to campaign on.

    Moreover, she will require a competent team to work with her.

    What is the chance of her getting the Unions to jump ship from Labour to the Greens?

    • No show, working people and unions are about jobs and conditions, not CO2 levels or Ozone depletion. Also union constitutions are more democratic than the Greens party, seems the Green party have little time of respect for ” stale, white males” , which makes up a large portion of union officials.

      • The Greens support workers getting a fairer deal.

        They also support the right for solidarity strikes to achieve that.

        As for their stance on stale, white males, that will need to change if they want to achieve wider voter appeal.

  6. The problem with this manic optimism is the assumption that liberation will emerge through the political system. Chloe is brilliant but the counter forces that will be placed upon her will be immense. What we need now, if we are lucky, will come from somewhere outside of the political arena.

  7. I agree Martyn, Chloe has the goods, it’s up to the Green Party to give her the structure that allows it happen. If TPM and Labour are wise they will work with her from day one and how about form an Opposition coalition.

    • Chloe pays to much attention we have to give her the best information we can so that she can make the decision and perhaps even run the place. Stop thinking about petty bullshit. Think who’s going to be Deputy PM, Finance minister, defence minister. Forign minister, Export minister etc. The greens can focus pretty hard on easy petty shit. You can’t have woke activism without air-conditioning. Now we have to think about hard shit.

  8. Didn’t everyone feel a similar wave of hope and optimism when Jacinda Arden became Labour Leader? And Barack Obama?
    Look how well that turned out.

    • Obama spent all his capital on the affordable healthcare act and then had to suffer the Republican wankers ( no doubt you are a fan) blocking anything and everything regardless. Ardern? Can’t speak for anyone else but no not for me. Certainly not anti Ardern, just felt like you needed to wait and see. Swarbrick demonstrates that she has a brain and a knowledge of what she is actually talking about whether you agree with her or not. Sure she made one boomer remark that was not helpful (regardless of the accuracy) but she acknowledges that.

  9. I fully support your sentiments regarding Chloe Swarbrick as a leader, and find no reason why she shouldn’t be. She is fierce, and I hope many others will reinforce the power she can hold to shift the state of affairs in a more productive direction.

  10. The Greens had a choice some years ago to be either a credible, science based environmental group or head into the weeds of immature radicalism in order to attract attention. They chose the latter, which will reliably get them reelected with a handful of MPs but at the same time assures that they will never get into the mainstream.


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