Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, April 27th, 2014 - 40 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, democratic participation, election 2014, greens, human rights, john key, labour, mana-party, slippery, sustainability, workers' rights - Tags:
The strength of the left: working together …
…. from the flaxroots.
I agree with the parts of David Cunliffe’s speech to Young Labour where he talks of the importance of working together and mobilising the grass roots left in order to win the election. He is speaking about the Labour Party, but his words are equally true for the wider left:
“We are diverse, but we are one team with one mission and one unity of purpose.”
I would, however, change a couple of words in his next sentence:
“We speak to for and with the vulnerable, and to for and with hard working middle New Zealanders, because we are passionate about people. All our people.”
And I agree with Cunliffe’s conclusion:
“The conversations you will have today are part of hundreds and thousands of personal contacts we are having all around the country.
But we need your ongoing help to win this election.
We need you to commit to vote.
We need you to continue to make phone calls and to knock on doors and talk to neighbours and share your passion and energy and enthusiasm.
That is how we are going to win this election. That is how we are going to change New Zealand
A grassroots movement for change, built on the progressive values that New Zealanders hold dear.
This election is not about what we have done, it is about what we have yet to do.”
I agree with this:
“I believe that our people are a community, not a commodity.”
He stated that National get support from money.
“We have to fight the National Party’s millions of dollars with our thousands of voices. And we have to win.”
This was seen in John Key’s fundraisers, where he did a personal appearance at a dinner to raise funds for the Maori Party.
Last week Key also attended a fundraiser for the ACT Party’s Epsom candidate, David Seymour.
On 1 May he will be attending a lunch at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce where he will
“speak to us about a range of current issues. This promises to be an engaging event and provides the perfect opportunity to attend a memorable luncheon with your clients.”
On the left we disagree among ourselves on various policies. MMP gives us a choice between parties, enabling us to support the one with the policies and values that we most agree with. This doesn’t mean that we need to resort to old First Past the Post tactics of dissing every other party, including parties of the left.
Doing a spiteful Jonesey, is not going to help the left change government this year.
Jones did have some impulses to work for the betterment of Maori, but that seems to have got lost to his own ego. He is reported to have claimed that the “seeds of” his decision to quit Labour goes back to when he was stood down by David Shearer because of the accusations against him over the Billy Liu citizenship case. But his is probably right in judging that he is at odds with the modern Labour Party. He seems more comfortable in right wing company. And reinforces this by claiming that “I was deeply influenced in a positive way by the figures of the Lange Government.”
We can disagree on some points of policy and strategy, while still supporting other left parties and respecting their choices about policies and campaign strategies.
And we can strongly talk up the things we agree on most, and on the outcomes we are aiming to achieve: like building a fairer and more inclusive society; like making life better for NZ’s most vulnerable people – those on low incomes, the unemployed, the disabled, and those without access to affordable homes; like ensuring our environment is sustainable, tackling climate change and resource depletion; and like ensuring our infrastructure, democratic processes and society works equally well for the benefit of all Kiwis.
We can talk for a fairer society, with less of an inequality gap, and truly democratic processes – where the wealthiest people and corporations don’t exert their power in their own interests.
And most importantly of all we can focus on how working together, and from within and across local communities, brings power to the people.