MSM and blogsters are in an orgy of “rating” and marking politicians at the moment. It seems to be based on headlines, fuck ups or not fuck ups and what those inside the Beltway deemed news.
It’s not new of course. Trans-Tasman sold its ratings yearly, until they went bust last year. Every year, when I was an MP almost without exception I would be among the lowest ranked. For the Trans-Tasman, I wasn’t exciting enough, too fixated on my union beliefs, probably too old and “not ministerial” material.
I was usually in good company with “ethnic” MPs, whose contribution was seen in the context of the received wisdom of a bunch of old white guys.
Every year, after this, I would try to do better. Pushing issues like minimum wage, workers’ rights, migrant worker abuse ; asking oral and written questions, putting up members bills around minimum redundancy, triangular employment and minimum wage for contractors. And working hard in the Tory held electorates of the North Shore. I did work on Labour’s policy on Fair Pay Agreements, Immigration and Transport, which is still evident and coming to fruition today.
So when I rank politicians, I will always rank them on their commitment to working peoples’ values, to the fundamental rights of working people to a fair deal, to international rights to join a union and organise.
In my year in review for working people will be quite different to that of the MSM. We’ve made real progress ; whether it be getting the right to meals & rest breaks, increasing minimum wage, paying Living Wage to government workers, paying low income workers in support services better or improving the rights to collective bargaining.
My politicians of the year are the obvious ; but I’m making a special mention of Marja Lubeck, Labour List MP for Rodney. who has picked up the mantle of the union caucus and connection with Labour affiliates, who has unashamedly stood for workers’ rights in all the debates, who slaves away in a blue area in Rodney and deserves recognition for her commitment.Well done Marja :
PS : I have no regrets. It was a privilege to represent the workers wing of our party. Much to learn ; but number one : keep on organising.