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A response from the Rosa Luxemburg wing of the Labour Party

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, April 15th, 2020 - 60 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

According to Stephen Mills on Nine to Noon yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation as Labour leader will only be mourned by “the microscopic Rosa Luxemburg-worshipping far left sect in New Zealand.” His outburst was deliberate, gratuitous and way over the top.

His vehemence reminded me of other friends in UK Labour who could barely constrain their apoplexy when Corbyn’s name was mentioned. Mills talked of Labour “coming to its senses” where the Englanders spoke of “the adults in the room.”

Interestingly also yesterday the 858-page report of the investigation into anti-semitism in the UK Labour Party arrived in my inbox. It describes in some detail how senior officials in the party actively worked against Corbyn in the 2017 election to the point of hoping he would lose. Treachery took the place of solidarity.

According to Mills, the main reason why Corbyn achieved one of Labour’s best-ever election gains in 2017 was because of the ineptitude of May’s campaign. Nothing could be further from the truth. Corbyn was tireless, and drew huge crowds to his rallies the length and breadth of the country. The Manifesto “For the Many not the Few’ was one of the rare ones that was a widely-read, much-cited vote-winner.

The 2019 campaign was different. The determinant was always going to be whether it would be fought over austerity or Brexit. Labour was caught in two minds over Brexit and compromised; the LibDems wanted a midwinter snap election, thinking Jo Swinson would be Prime Minister, and winter put an end to any chance of rallies. “Get Brexit Done” was a runaway winner.

Corbyn did make mistakes no question, partly because he was too nice a bloke. Anti-semitism was a smear, and there he compromised where he could have condemned. He was also not ruthless enough in dealing with those who briefed against him for so many years.

But he did bring the Labour party membership to heights not seen for many decades, and the manifesto policies will still be core to Labour’s future. The irony is likely to be the accident of Covid-19, that will turn Johnson’s party into true one-nation Tories, stealing all Labour’s clothes. With over four more years to go before an election this could be another long time between drinks for UK Labour. Time to dust off John O’Farrell’s “Things Can Only Get Better.”

But back to Mills and the “Rosa Luxemburg-worshipping far left sect.” I had to look her up – she was shot as a revolutionary socialist by the SPD Freikorps. I’m not a revolutionary and nor was Corbyn, but we would probably both agree on her best-known aphorism “Freiheit ist immer nur Freiheit des anders Denkenden” – “Freedom is always and only the freedom of those who think differently.”

The vehemence of those who opposed Corbyn has always puzzled me – he is so reasonable and mild, albeit stubborn, that it couldn’t be anything personal. The 2017 result showed that it wasn’t about electability. So it has to be about policy ideas.

My anti-Corbyn friends are people who are involved in policy development, or policy-making. “For the Many nor the Few” wasn’t particularly radical, it just wasn’t conventional.

Stephen Mills does speak frequently about convention; in the interview he mentions “the conventional view that National is better at economic policy.” It’s never been true, but it has become a mantra, and when I look back over the years one I have heard repeated in Labour circles more times than I care to think about. It has become self-imposed Labour’s manacle.

In the post-Covid times perhaps the best response from the “Rosa Luxemburg-loving sect” in the Labour Party is to say that it is definitely time for us to think differently about economic policy.

It has been thirty-six years since I found a typewritten draft of the Treasury’s neo-liberal manifesto “Economic Management” on the Labour Party office photocopier the Monday after the election win.

It’s now way over time for a Kiwi version of “For the Many not the Few.”

60 comments on “A response from the Rosa Luxemburg wing of the Labour Party ”

  1. Thanks Mike – what is wrong with revering Rosa Luxemborg?

  2. Chris 2

    A priority must be to destroy the myth around Labour's economic management versus National's and for the truth about that so-called question to be widely accepted. The right have successfully manipulated public opinion about this for decades. It might seem like just one issue amongst many, and how to deal with it is another matter, but it's one that is crucial therefore must be fixed.

  3. AB 3

    Don't worry too much about Stephen Mills. He seems like a nice enough guy, but is uniformly dull and seldom a match for the incandescently evil Matthew Hooten. Also, it's Mills that's the extremist. He's a quiescent enabler of a radical right-wing status quo – whereas those who were disappointed by Corbyn's loss are the real conservatives. And the genie's out of the bottle in any case, and nothing Stephen Mills says can stuff it back inside.

  4. barry 4

    Unfortunately history will record that Corbyn was an unelectable far left anti-semite who dragged the Labour Party into obscurity for a decade. It may not be true, or nuanced, but such is recorded in the media of the time.

    • McFlock 4.1

      I don't think it will be that bad. But he compromised when he should have led.

      The main problem UK Labour has is the FPP electoral system.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    National are better at business -not likely. They definitely are far more insecure and needy. Unless they feel like they are running the show and pushing everyone else around then they indulge in massive whining.

    We need look no further than the last couple of days when we have been subjected to massive whining campaign about coming out of lockdown that could basically be summed as as "Me me me and my poor wallet" despite none of them being on the breadline.

    The science based facts approach doesn't get a look in – and that is exactly why they are so crap at business.

    • Anne 5.1

      I think National are having another calculated "We told you so" moment. Remember, just before Jacinda A announced the level 3 & 4 lockdowns, Simon B was blithering on "we should go into lockdown". That's because he knew that was exactly what Ardern was planning to do so he got in first and tried to make it look like she was following his advice.

      My pick is, he's doing the same in reverse because he knows Ardern is likely to lower the level to 3 followed by 2 a short time later.

  6. Anne 6

    It has been thirty-six years since I found a typewritten draft of the Treasury’s neo-liberal manifesto “Economic Management” on the Labour Party office photocopier the Monday after the election win.

    Oh how interesting.

    I was no longer a member of the Labour Party in 1984 (due to the bad blood which was already apparent prior to the snap election) so I never heard about that. Was it a copy that had been sent to the LP office or was it being sent on by someone in the LP office?

    Muldoon played into the hands of Roger Douglas and co. but then he could not have had any more idea than the rest of us what the Rogernomes had in store for the country.

    I’ve stopped listening to the Monday political spot on Nine to Noon. Just a couple of entitled blowhards trying to score points off each other, although Mills is not quite as bad as the other one who shall remain nameless.

    • Ross 6.1

      Anne

      I haven’t heard NTN in years. In the past I would occasionally hear Mike Williams and Hooton who seemed to be best mates. I doubt the standard of political debate has improved.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Oh yes, the Mike I agree with Matthew Williams.

        • Wensleydale 6.1.1.1

          I always thought Mike Williams was just a figment of Hooton's imagination and Nine To Noon was basically him just talking to himself.

          • Anne 6.1.1.1.1

            laugh

            He exists. I have met him once or twice. He wants to be all things to all people. Not possible as I found out many years ago.

    • KJT 6.2

      A different take on Muldoons, "Think Big" from NZ refining company.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/two-cents-worth/story/2018734102/think-big-the-sequel

      “Paul Zealand, managing director of Refining NZ which owns Marsden Point, said investing in the refinery back in the ’80s was a great decision.
      “It laid the foundations for a highly valuable asset which is providing 1100 jobs into Northland, it’s more than seven percent of Northland’s economy and it gives New Zealand a security of supply which is important in turbulent times.”
      Zealand said importing crude oil and refining it here gives us more flexibility and less vulnerability.
      And if at first glance it seems an oil refinery would to more harm than good to our country’s ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2050, Zealand said they’re looking at that, too”.

      Though, having been in the energy business, I've long known that "Think Big" wasn't the disaster Lange's Government made it out to be.

    • Mike Smith 6.3

      @ Anne
      It had been left there by Simon Walker, Labour's Comms director for the 1984 campaign. He tried for Pencarrow in 1987 but was beaten by Sonja Davies and went on to a distinguished career in the UK. He was close to Douglas and the Treasury team. I had started working for the Party a week before Muldoon called the snap election. I took a copy and gave it to others but we were always on the back foot – it was a coup.

      • Anne 6.3.1

        Thanks for that Mike Smith.

        It is very interesting for me because I have quite a story to tell about those times too. I have waited in vain for the right person to happen along that I could tell it to, but so far it hasn't happened.

  7. Morrissey 7

    Mills has been making ignorant statements about Corbyn since at least January 2016….

    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2019/05/never-thought-id-say-this-but-bring.html

    • Wayne 7.1

      Based on electoral results, it seems Mills was way more accurate than yourself.

      I appreciate you are continuing fan of Corbyn, but it seems to me by choosing Kier Starmer the UK Labour Party has also rejected Corbynism. There is no way that that the new leader will retain full on Corbynism. He going to move toward the centre.

  8. Most businesses dislike expenses: rents, wages, taxes.

    National despise wage earners, (wastrel non entrepreneurial types) who cannot dag a sheep or milk a cow

    Wage earners are only one end of a spectrum of useless, bludging homeless non capitalists stealing money from respectable capitalists.

    National always keeps wages low and always reduces taxes. That is "good economic management" according to the business interests that fund national coffers and have cosy relationships with Chibna.

    Meh

    • BArely Here, or There 8.1

      Did you see Ross Meurants latest self promotional piece? ahhh, what a lifestyle.

  9. Peter Bradley 9

    Corbyn like – Sanders – was right on almost every social and economic policy he put forward. His defeat proved only how ignorant and easily manipulated working and middle class voters are in the UK. Like a herd of subservient feudal peasants doffing their caps to the local lord and voting to protect his interests against their own.

    "Wouldn't want to inconvenience you, my lord, by funding our health system properly or taking care of low income workers."

    "Would hate for you or your friends to lose tax payer subsidized investment opportunities in rail, education, health and the postal service – my lord."

    Corbyn was despised by middle class liberals because he was so ordinary – no fancy degree from Oxford, no time spent on the board of some bullshit charity and not a guest at the correct dinner parties in London.

    "But I don't like Corbyn" or "what about Brexit" was the pathetic whine of the UK's Northern working class. What a bunch of f*cking tossers.

    UK voters deserve what they get – to suffer in over crowded hospitals, to know their children are working themselves broke on zero hour contracts and to watch their tax dollars get paid out as dividends to private shareholders in public infrastructure.

    The fact that the UK is now implementing much of Corbyns economic platform – including nationalizing the railways and increasing public service funding – is really all you need to say. Corbyn is right, the voting public – and middle class liberals like Mills – are wrong.

    • Anne 9.1

      The fact that the UK is now implementing much of Corbyns economic platform – including nationalizing the railways and increasing public service funding – is really all you need to say. Corbyn is right, the voting public – and middle class liberals like Mills – are wrong.

      QFT.

    • millsy 9.2

      IMO Johnson's government will end up being seen as more left than Tony Blair's was.

      • Barfly 9.2.1

        It may well end up that way – not intended but societies actions to survive the pandemic could very likely require it. Is this a herald for the return of 'Social Democracy' ?

    • Marcus Morris 9.3

      Well said Peter. I concur on every point.

    • Molly 9.4

      Agree. The pushback from those within the Labour Party who were appalled by Corbyn's popularity was appalling in itself. Not improved by progressive commentators and political reporting after the 2017 election.

      The issues regarding anti-semitism and Brexit were used without shame to remove Corbyn, a principled man from getting anywhere near the levers of power. The only benefit is that it showed the very thin veneer of many so-called progressives in the Labour party.

  10. Brilliant Mike.

    I will never listen to Stephen Mills again without thinking about his dumb comment on Corbyn. Mills' credibility has gone for me-he is politically much closer to Hooton than the wonderful principled Corbyn.

    Starmer is starting to look a little too much like Blair already-hope I’m wrong.

  11. Observer Tokoroa 11

    The Thing about England

    The Thing about England, is that it thinks the rest of the world is scum.

    It is completely bathed and saturated in its own wonderful Lords and Ladies. It is wrapped up by a tidy Queen who loves dogs and horses. And the little english people , like slaves, go along with it.

    England is the only nation on earth for the English. It never thinks of what it did to India. Or to its scandalous numerous colonies. It pushed itself into 90 different Nations.

    Never has it apologised for its Empire of Destruction. Nor what it did to the Blacks and Browns. It detests both those. It tried to Kill the Scots. It did even Worse, for the Irish.

    So Corbyn was Different . He was and is a principled man. An outlier in a weird jaundiced population.

    In short, he tried to stop the Slavey that bends its knees to the wealth of the Lords and Ladies. Who basically do nothing from Birth until Death.

    England has no genuine concept of Democracy. Not now or Ever.

    • Stunned Mullet 11.1

      Fine diatribe of nonsense OT – very Ben Eltonesque.

      So if as you say 'England has no genuine concept of Democracy. Not now or Ever.'

      Would you care to provide an example of a country (or system) that does.

  12. Gosman 12

    If Corbyn wasn't so friendly with thoroughly unpleasant people with anti-Western views then perhaps he would have been regarded as harmless.

    • Molly 12.1

      It's a shame that despite your many years and comments on TS, you continue to comment via smears without context or links.

      "Anti-western" – in what respect?

      "Thoroughly unpleasant people" – if you care to elaborate, perhaps this can be put into context.

      "Harmless" – to whom? Those that actually cause harm? Surely that is the intent of morality and integrity to stand up (and perhaps cause harm) to those that do not concern themselves with the rights of others.

      • Gosman 12.1.1

        Hamas and Hezbollah are very anti-Western

        • Brigid 12.1.1.1

          What a hopelessly ignorant comment and ridiculous generalisation. Hezbollah are little interested in 'western' things (what the fuck exactly is 'western' anyway) and identify with Hamas as much Canadians do with Americans.

          For fucks sake go and get yourself some learning Gosman.

          • Gosman 12.1.1.1.1

            Western is the civilisation and culture that is prevalent in NZ.

            • adam 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Western is the civilisation and culture that is prevalent in NZ.

              No it's not. And only a racist would argue that it is.

    • Morrissey 12.2

      ????

      How ignorant, even malignant, you are. no

  13. Tiger Mountain 13

    Jeremy Corbyn made the strategic mistake that is so easy to see now. Instead of trying to cover all bases and pleasing few, he just needed to say “we will respect the Brexit Referendum result”–and–“My Labour Govt. will comprehensively trash Austerity and deliver x…”.

    Agree with Peter Bradley @9. It is not fashionable to blame voters, but how can you not implicate the pasty poms and their slow shuffle towards Boris and his Prorogue? that, and their anti democratic very old school FPP system. Bernie Sanders, and Mr Corbyn will both likely see their platforms implemented by others in the next few years.

    Stephen Mills on RNZ is a non event, like centrists that post and comment on the Standard. Their lack of enthusiasm in favour of bland, risk averse, neo liberal managerialism may enable careers, but does little useful service for the working class of this country. Rogernomics was indeed a coup by a another name, and until the NZ Labour Party deals with Roger’n’Ruth’s legacy, and breaks the neo liberal consensus with the other Parliamentary Parties, not much progress will be made on the NZ underclass, housing and poverty.

  14. God forbid that I would ever agree with Gosman but he/she is correct. Corbyn's name was toxic on the doorstep to all the party canvassers. One of the big turnoffs for the voters was his lack of patriotism add to that the anti-semitism problem and the anti-nuclear stance. It seems strange to New Zealanders but British Labour has traditionally supported Trident. An anti-nuclear stance will not win the treasury benches in the UK. The British are not a nation of pacifists! It is evident that the party saw Sir Keir as far more electable than Corbyn mk. 2 – Rebecca Long-Bailey.

    • Morrissey 14.1

      God forbid that I would ever agree with Gosman but he/she is correct. Corbyn's name was toxic on the doorstep to all the party canvassers. One of the big turnoffs for the voters was his lack of patriotism

      ??? How did he lack patriotism?

      add to that the anti-semitism problem

      ????? The Conservative Party is rife with anti-Semitism. The Labour Party was, and is, not. You don't have a clue. Here, in contrast, is someone who does….

      The British are not a nation of pacifists!

      You are confusing, perhaps deliberately, more likely out of simple ignorance, the British people and the notorious, scofflaw, British state.

      • Cantabrian 14.1.1

        Morrisey your disgraceful ad hominem attacks portray blatant myopia. The fact was that while canvassing, numerous Labour candidates were trying to discuss policy and were continually thwarted because Corbyn's name came up. He was a liability. And what about the marginalisation of Tom Watson by the Corbynites? There is use in quoting idiots raving on Youtube – that is not convincing at all. I am definitely not ignorant in fact I'll wager I am a damn sight better qualified than you. If you are so correct why did Long-Bailey miss out as Labour leader? I am not the ignorant one.

        • Andre 14.1.1.1

          Don't expect a timely answer, the mozzie has been swatted to the naughty corner for a week. https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-16-04-2020/#comment-1702834

        • Incognito 14.1.1.2

          I am definitely not ignorant in fact I'll wager I am a damn sight better qualified than you.

          A friendly word of advice: these sorts of arguments generally don’t help much, particularly not with some commenters here, even when you are correct. The two main reasons are: 1) they don’t know who you are, and 2) they are always right regardless of who you are and what you say 😉

          Debates are not some kind of point-scoring competitions or, worse, willy-waving championships 😉

          FYI, Morrissey is taking a short break from TS and will be back in a week.

        • bill 14.1.1.3

          quoting idiots raving on Youtube – that is not convincing at all.

          That's true enough.

          But what would you call the person who might mindlessly refer to David Graeber as a raving idiot? You think that person should be taken seriously on any level? Hmm?

        • The Al1en 14.1.1.4

          Corbyn is a British politics version of Hilary. Hated by a lot in their own party, propped up by dodgy ruling committees, capable of eking a big vote but never as large as the anyone but brigade, and going down as a winner and a leader who never managed to win or lead.

  15. bill 15

    It’s now way over time for a Kiwi version of “For the Many not the Few.”

    Wasn't that Cunliffe's pitch? And of course, he was hammered from without and within just as…Corbyn, Sanders, Melenchon and others.

    In light of the UK Labour monkey wrenching…do people need reminding about the ABC club down here, and how in the lead up to Cunliffe's loss, some MPs essentially campaigned for their own seat but not NZ Labour?

    And surely no-one has forgotten the more or less identical moves made to jettison Corbyn and Cunliffe, and how it was only UK Labour's internal democracy that saved Corbyn – unlike here, where NZ Labour's parliamentary caucus exercises an inordinate influence on party matters. (Any word on how the democratisation of NZ Labour begun under Cunliffe is going btw?)

    And, of course, there are the parallels with Sanders, who in line with Cunliffe and Corbyn, was up against a party machinery, business interests and skewed media – media that somehow still manages to get away with touting nonsense about their "neutrality" and "objectivity".

    Over the past few years, incumbent radical centrists have won a few battles even as the left has advanced (eg – witness "permissible" political thought now-a-days to what it was a couple of years back)…and that leads to a question.

    If the political managers of liberal capitalism think that total domination's a worthy goal, then how do they imagine things will end well for them – given that they are excluding the very actors, who if even only partially successful, would serve to mollify widespread and growing dissatisfaction with current political processes and policies – and thus save their sorry arsed political bacon in the broader sense and longer term?

    Case in point. Some prominent progressives are already openly stating they simply will. not. vote. for Biden in the upcoming US elections. That puts things a good step or three beyond where things sat in the last US election where some of those same prominent progressives said they'd only vote third party in safe Democrat seats, but vote Clinton in marginals.

    • adam 15.1

      The liberal left can do no wrong. It does not need to listen to anarchists, social democrats , or any progressives for that matter.

      It would be better if the anarchists, social democrats, and other so called progressives just shut the fuck up and do as they are told.

      Did you miss the memo Bill??!?

      • bill 15.1.1

        Did you miss the memo Bill??!?

        lol. But I'm a nice person who doesn't relish the thought of people getting hurt (much), and so reckons they might want to have a wee think about what they're likely achieving, no?

        • adam 15.1.1.1

          They won't, and they will keep backing people into a corner, all the time telling them they know best.

          • bill 15.1.1.1.1

            I know 🙂

            What amuses me is their inability to understand that Corbyn and Sanders and Cunliffe are, from a left perspective anyway, acceptable compromises.

            If they don't want to compromise short term, then they get to wear it in the long run. (Assuming there is a "long run").

  16. Morrissey 16

    Jeremy Corbyn: the leader who never led

    by Trevor Hoyle in Cold Type magazine, April 2020:

    …. The antisemitism label was hung around the neck of anybody who was deemed close to Corbyn, the aim being to pick off his allies until he was left exposed and unprotected. People who’d been loyal party members for years, including Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Peter Willsman, Marc Wadsworth, and dozens more – were suspension or expelled, based on “evidence” that was flimsy, fabricated or plain non-existent.

    The corporate media, hostile to Corbyn from the start, lapped up this internecine war with relish, the supposedly impartial BBC in the thick of it. Almost every report and interview the state broadcaster ran concerning Labour was slanted to lever in the latest trivial titbit about antisemitism, no matter what the story.

    Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Israel, summed it up: “The media and Israel lobby may have been largely successful in recruiting British Jews and many others to their self-serving campaign to stop Corbyn becoming prime minister…”

    The Karl Rove playbook (remember him?) was bang on the money: Attack your enemy at his strongest, not his weakest point.

    Through 2018 and 2019, when these attacks were taking place and a general election was on the horizon, the despairing wail echoed on blogs sympathetic to Labour and all over left-leaning message boards, “When is Jeremy going to stand up and defend his friends and supporters against these vile smears of antisemitism?”

    Most mystifying of all was why didn’t the party come out, all guns blazing, and rebut the slurs and fake news? And what in heaven’s name was Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s communications director, doing? What guidance and sage advice was he giving his boss? None, it seemed. Just an echoing void.

    Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell were on the back foot from day one. Instead of confronting their accusers and demanding documented instances of antisemitism, they meekly accepted blanket accusations of wrong-doing. Time and again they trotted out the same boilerplate phrases: “the Labour party doesn’t tolerate racism in any form … we will not allow the scourge of antisemitism within our ranks …” Statements so hollowed-out by repetition they became a meaningless dirge of denial everyone grew weary of.

    I’m still lost for a reason as to why Corbyn would place his trust in traitors and abandon those who supported and believed in him. I detest Boris Johnson and all he stands for, but he didn’t hesitate when he became leader and kicked out those who stood against him: doing what Corbyn should and could have done.

    Read more….

    http://coldtype.net/Assets20/PDFs/ColdType204.MidApril2020.pdf?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_new_new_mid_april_coldtype_number_204_is_now_online&utm_term=2020-04-15

  17. Ad 17

    Britons, like New Zealanders, will not accept radical political or economic shifts unless the circumstances demand it. We've done it in the late 1930s and through the 1940s, and that's it.

    It's foolish to think otherwise whether you're a supporter of Bernie Sanders, Hubert Humphrey, Jeremy Corbyn, or Metiria Turei. Don't waste decades of your life moaning about whether someone could-have or-would-have made it if all star clusters had aligned.

    The best that supporters of that kind of candidate will ever do is add a little policy spice to the eventual winner.

    Radical supporters who lose an election and wait for the report to show why factions broke out (factions only show when you're losing but they're always there) are looking in the wrong direction. As well as shut up, they should do just one of two things:

    – Leave the party, or

    – Lead a policy workstream for the next manifesto, with a view to becoming a staffer in a Ministerial office.

    The rest is just pointless.

    • adam 17.1

      Of so the radical far right economic shift in the late 80s was not the choice of kiwis?

      OK so asking politely to go back, how that working out…

      • Ad 17.1.1

        This recession we are going into will push that reform period into insignificance.

        With 30 years of memory dimming, it's only Muldoon's reign that makers that era seem a radical shift now. Still, fair call it was a shift.

    • bill 17.2

      If the electoral environment was neutral but contested (ie – not hedged around and pushed by powerful mono-directional forces like corporate media and corporate lobbyists), then I'd essentially agree with your comment Ad.

      But that's not how it is.

      If it was, then Corbyn would be in office. Sanders would be the Democratic nominee. Trump would never have been a thing. Cunliffe would have been PM of NZ. Macron would never have been the President of France…

      It's not about stars aligning. It's about undemocratic forces having enormous sway in the electoral process and political sphere in general.

      • Ad 17.2.1

        I'd fully agree that there are undemocratic forces at play.

        But mainstream media can enable the right candidate to frame up the right way. It's unjust, but Corbyn looked scruffy. Same with Metiria. Same with Sanders. Whereas Blair, Obama, Trudeau, Macron, and of course Ardern understood how to make that kind of framing work (at least for their first terms). Telegenic goes a really long way.

        Same now with social media. Some candidates take to it like a duck to water – Obama being one of the best and most successful early adopters. Ardern being New Zealand's most powerful by a long way.

        So it's possible to successfully overcome the media against centre-left candidates.

        Centre-left candidates can also overcome brute capital from the right. But they need to really target excellent fundraising and donors – as when Sir Bob Harvey got the money for Helen Clark's first and second terms. His art auctions really brought out the centre-left bourgeoisie and had great nights doing so.

        I agree with you it's always harder for the left to overcome undemocratic forces.

        But it can be done.

    • Mike Smith 17.3

      @Ad

      "We've done it in the late thirties and that's it"!!

      What do you think is happening right now – massive disruption throughout the world, unemployment in many countries like we haven't seen since the last depression. The signs have been there since the GFC and Covid has just ripped away the plaster.

      Business as usual isn't going to cut it, even in our bubble.

      Right now Labour needs another Savage, not business as usual.

  18. Corey Humm 18

    Completely agree with everything you've said here, we need

    Still…

    I'm glad Corbyn is no longer leader.

  19. Gerald 19

    Why does RNZ keep Hooton and Mills on the air? Time for a change and to get some new opinions from a variety of contributors.

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