- Date published:
6:08 pm, June 26th, 2015 - 432 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, benefits, broadcasting, capitalism, climate change, democracy under attack, discrimination, election 2017, Environment, foreshore and seabed, greens, iraq, journalism, labour, leadership, Maori Issues, Media, national, national/act government, Parliament, peak oil, political alternatives, Politics, Privatisation, public transport, socialism, spin, uncategorized, us politics, war, water, welfare - Tags: broken promises, climate change, john key, labour, lies, Media, national, Spying
Dear Mr Little,
Like you, I’ve been thinking really hard about how the hell we can get John Key and his corporate bandits out of government before they have so fatally destroyed our democracy that it is irretrievable (I fear we’re very close.) I’d like to very humbly offer some suggestions that I really hope you will take seriously; ideas that I have spoken about to a wide range of people and which I believe would give Labour the best chance of winning the next election. They’re radical. They will take bravery. But I think you are the man to do it. I trust that you are ethical, and I truly believe that you want to see New Zealand return to a country where we support each other and offer hands-up to those less fortunate than ourselves, rather than blame them and pull away all their supports.
I know that you will have difficultly pushing through any radical reforms with the old neo-lib guard still lurking but, quite honestly Mr Little, Labour is dog-meat unless you take radical action and define yourselves as something other than naggy-National-Lite. John Key has a smooth-running PR machine – in order to succeed against it, you need to embrace the very things that they have used until now to hold you back. Yes, you may lose some traditional Labour support, but it’s not as if you have that much of it left, eh?
So here are my suggestions:
• Embrace ‘Angry Andy’! Don’t cringe from it – play it up. You have every right to be angry – whole swathes of the population are bloody furious! Any decent human being would be angry at the lies, deceit and the total disregard for people at the bottom of the pile (hey, I’m happy to join you and be ‘Angry Mandy’!) I know you’ve got your own PR people telling you to use that nice reasonable voice and not let yourself sound riled, but bloody hell, Andrew, things are scarily bad! You were one heck of a feisty union man – show that now – let NZers know that you’re not going to take any more shit from these bastards! Yes, you may lose a little support, but I promise you you’ll gain much more from other circles.
• Stop worrying about polling (see above!) Your best day to date was when you stood up in Parliament and gave the PM a good bollocking. Stop that old guard from trying to play things the same old way – they’ve screwed it up.
• If need be, kick the old guard out of the top jobs. Yes, they’re so petty they will come after you with knives – but if you have a clear vision and you tell people why you are doing it, I believe the public will support you. Doing things the same old way will see you in the opposition benches for ever.
• Start a public campaign where you do daily postings to keep a running reckoning of: 1) National’s lies and brain fades; 2) the latest social services to be destroyed or undermined by them (and the money they have pulled out of social services). Update them daily – turn it into a carnival and keep it going – people need to hear these messages over and over – and they need to see graphics to underline it. Make it big. Put yourself very publicly on the side of truth and justice by calling them out and showing how the list gets longer and longer every day.
• MAKE REAL COMMITMENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE! Right now! This is one of National’s appallingly weak areas. Stand up to the fossil fuel dinosaurs in your own party and embrace real determination to mitigation and prevention.
• Publicly and noisily make it known that YOU WILL NOT HONOUR THE TPPA if National pushes it through. I’m not kidding on this – and I know the thought probably makes you shudder – but, honestly, it is the most toxic coffin for sovereignty currently roaming the planet. Make a real stand on it – don’t be half-hearted. Again, I know the old guard will have conniptions if you say you’re going to do this – but you’re in charge, and my kids and grandkids and everyone else’s kids and grandkids are relying on you to do the right thing (and having nothing to do with the TPPA IS the right thing.) Trust me – this will be a HUGE vote winner if you have the guts. Oh, and while you’re at it, leak the bloody thing if ever you get your hands on it!
• Stop being so scared of the Green Party! They are a group of passionate people who think ethically and have exciting new ways of problem solving. Again, yes, you may lose some traditional support, but you have no idea how many people would also rush to fill the gap (and, truthfully, Andrew, what have you got to lose? Labour is a car wreck.) Okay, so you don’t like their stance on dope (so far as I can see this is the old chestnut that gets dragged up most often) – so say you don’t like that but work with them on the environment and other human rights and ethical issues. They’re good people, and they care a hell of a lot more for the ordinary NZer than some of your crusty old guard, who have been too long in the job and too indoctrinated by corporate capitalism to help get us out of this terrible hole.
• Ditto with the Māori Party. God knows what they were thinking buddying up with National but Tariana is gone now. Go to them and fix your differences. Say sorry for the Foreshore and Seabed debacle. Promise to do better. They are much more inclined to fit with Labour – give them they way back into the fold.
• Back public transport (part of climate change mitigation!)
• Promise (and deliver) independent publicly-funded news media and investigative journalism. It is the back-bone of a healthy democracy.
• Did I say get angry and say why and don’t be cowed by National spin?
• Promise to make tertiary education free again – or, at the very least, make all student loans interest free. Wiping people’s current debt would be a nice idea too! And, please, give funding back to post-graduate students (how totally short-sighted is that current policy?)
• Champion free speech and vigorous debate – and encourage our academics to speak out – they are our experts for goodness sake, and currently they are being harassed and gagged.
• Make the environment TOP PRIORITY – clean water, healthy land, and preservation of our wild spaces (and our wetlands.)
• Repeal all the toxic anti-whistleblower and anti-privacy legislation – this is a HUGE issue too and one young people will rally to if you do a good job of laying out the facts.
• Promote teaching civics and human rights in all schools – our young people have been short-changed and currently many have no ethical or moral compass – seduced by National’s culture of greed and meanness. I can really see you making a difference here – you’re a good role model for them.
• Un-privatise everything you can! Be bold! Give our grandkids some hope of a fair future.
• Did I say get angry and don’t be cowed by your own dinosaurs?
• Last one – and it’s a biggie: take a step backwards from our current stance of burying our head up the bum of America! Seriously, we have to step back and regain our independence from them (and Little America/Australia). Our independent (and fair) foreign policy used to be one of our proudest national stances. We need to get our troops the hell out of America’s wars and our spies out of their networks. We also need to seriously back the UN again – the only reason it has no teeth is because it has been allowed to happen. If countries like ours backed them properly (and held them to account), we all would gain.
I know there is a lot here (and I could easily keep going!) but if you seriously made a stand on at least some of these issues you would hand back hope (and gather the votes we need as a nation to kick these bastards out!)
With great respect and hope,