Saturday, April 12, 2008
Labour Yawnfest Disrupted
For a second time in a row, a Labour party conference looked like a shambolic mess, with Maori, trade unionists and activists OUTSIDE shouting in. The disruption of Helen Clarke's speech was a classic political moment, and she looked like the lame duck she is increasingly becoming when she eventually resumed to deliver a tedious and lacklustre yawn fest. "Just do it!"- Labour NZ, sponsored by Nike.
The increasingly shrill and vitriolic hysteria from pro Labour union officials banging on about working class delegates might fool young Labour students cosseted from the reality of the trade union movement, but it doesn't wash with any of the anti capitalist activists who have been on the ground building the fightback with unions like Unite, the NDU and the SFWU.
Throughout the whole of the SupersizeMyPay campaign, not one Labour MP showed up on the picket lines. Radical activists delivered maximum solidarity during the Progressive lockout, when local Labour MP Taito Field was busy exploiting Asian workers.
If the pro Labour union officials want a scrap, let's give them both barrels, comrades.
These guys are going to lose the election precisely because ordinary workers are not satisfied with the crumbs they've thrown our way after nearly ten years in power.
Here are some ideas circulated by socialists that would have a REAL impact on workers lives-
(1) Free public transport throughout NZ. Massive investment in rail and free busses- an emergency Monbiot style "system change, not climate change" programme.
(2) Free tertiary education for all. Cancel all student debts immediately.
(3) A Micky Joe Savage style emergency housing programme. Rent control, New York style.
(4) A minimum wage of $20 per hour. Huge tax cuts for the working poor, funded by taxing the rich (until they bleed!). A massive extension of union rights and power.
(5) Free broadband for all- jack the NZ network up to Korean standards.