25 December is a good day to visit historic sites. Yesterday I visited the Savage Memorial in Auckland. Political heritage in today’s environment. A memorial for workers? Remember the Savage government! Remember the Bastion Point protests! Lessons for today?
In our highly gendered socio-economic system that has institutionalised poverty, gendered violence, sexual violence and rape culture, low income women are multiply disadvantaged. Trigger warning: This post addresses some difficult and sensitive issues about poverty, women and rape culture. Subsequent comments will be tightly moderated.
From the ranks of those working in the murky depths of dirty, disgusting and despicable politics, comes a piss take of a “union” of “taxpayers”, to lobby against a fair, democratic, caring and inclusive state and for the already greedy and powerful.
Cunliffe’s CTU speech is significant, rousing and inspiring, laying out a shift “from a cost-based to a value-based” strategy- for an inclusive society and one that provides a good life for “all” Kiwis, with opportunities for all. Video of the speech is a must see. And social security? [Update: Gordon Campbell] & Turei’s speech
Cunliffe & Robertson stress the need to improve employment laws, jobs, wages, the economy, workers’ rights. Cunliffe invokes Savage-like social security & the need to end the Nats beneficiary bashing. Wider community pressure is needed for there to be real political change away from the destructive neoliberal scam.
Dunne’s proposal for flexible superannuation is a U-Turn for Key, while he hides behind it being a Dunne and flexible initiative & good for low income people. Sue Bradford argues against Dunne’s initiative, saying it will benefit those on higher incomes. She prefers better and universal benefits.
Paula Bennett stated that the numbers of people on benefits had dropped over the last quarter. The figures mask the reality of Bennett’s punitive welfare reforms, and the struggles of those living on low incomes. Meanwhile unemployment is still rising. [Update: RNZ]
Over the last year some issues have been under-reported, some ignored: the climate/environment, subversive FBI activities, bankster rorts, decline of democracy, the need for new left & green politics. Some news has been overdramatised, some masks the real needs. And the “fiscal cliff”?
Democracy needs independent news media, acting in the public interest, to speak truth to power. The commercial imperatives and neoliberal capture of corporate news organisations skew their political coverage, and contribute to voter disengagement. A perfect context for Key’s government to dismantle democracy: ECAN, CERA, Auckland Council, asset sales.
David Shearer was on TV 3 this morning, reflecting on his last year. He claimed that he and Labour are doing well under new and settled leadership, taking a new direction. How accurate are his claims?