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The Left Ulterior and other tendencies

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, January 2nd, 2014 - 89 comments
Categories: blogs, greens, humour, labour, political alternatives, political parties, The Standard - Tags:

Political observers of the NZ political scene frequently state that the Labour party is a “broad church”. Indeed it is almost a catch phrase of Mike Williams, a former president of the NZLP. Generally this is taken as referring to the members and supporters of the NZLP. However even this is a rather limited view of what happens in reality. The NZLP is just a small fraction of the left and labour movement that this blog was setup to serve.

In truth after 97 years that the Labour party has been around (I have to start somewhere), the left can be distinguished as being more like the late great Iain M Banks view of his fictional Culture which he divided up into various Mind/ship behavioural segments.

I’m going to adapt this because it is one of the best descriptions that I see of the overall labour movement – which in a large degree is still centered around having a large Labour party capable of coalescing a government. My sincere wish is that I offend everyone equally, so don’t complain unless I fail to do so :twisted;

  • The Mainland: The broad church of the NZLP members and hard core supporters. We even have our very own “Special Circumstances” in the NZLP caucus, who frequently act out of the bounds of acceptable behaviour for many in the broad labour movement.
  • Ulterior: By far the largest group around the labour movement and one that largely dwarfs the Mainland. What else do you expect from a party that is a small fraction of what it was when I first looked at it back in the 1970s.

    Occasionally ships conclude that their values are too different from the Culture—that the Culture is too cautious, conservative, or even warlike. These ships split off from the mainstream Culture and form splinter groups, which are collectively known as the Culture Ulterior. All known Ulterior groups are still, broadly speaking, generally considered part of the Culture by other civilisations, though they may be viewed with some derision as being a “hanger-on” to the Culture.

    It always amuses me when I’m talking to people in the labour movement to ask them when exactly they last paid their Labour party membership and then guessing the issue that caused them to stop paying the pittance. Mind you, I also do exactly the same thing for the Green and ex-Green members. After all, the only other party I have voted for was the Values party back in my first election – 1978. It kind of fractured rather messily as a party after that election and it was hard to miss on campus. Incidentally it is interesting to see that in 1975 that Values got just over 5% of the vote…

    Ulterior groups generally maintain strong relationships with the Culture (referred to by the AhForgetIt Tendency as the Mainland). Ulterior groups are generally considered allies; in addition to high levels of civilian interactions such as trade (of information or even material goods) and migration of people, Ulterior groups are considered trustworthy enough to share sensitive military secrets with and capable of seamlessly integrating with Culture military forces should it become necessary.

    The seamless bit I suspect is a bit over the top when it comes to Labour and other organised groups that have spun out of it. But the Ulterior would provide the bulk of commenters on this site.

    This always seems to confuse the hell out of the Mainlanders and indeed many of the people from the right who seem to equate everything left as being monolithic and Labour.

    Labour MPs especially often seem to be shocked when I point out that this site isn’t for the Labour party. I suspect that they’re really just too used to meeting the rump that is what is left of the Labour party and particularly those in their LECs.

    That the NZLP membership has more than doubled over the past two years might be changing their views a bit. I rather suspect we’ve been doing our bit here in assisting people from the ulterior to make up their mind to join some party so they can volunteer more effectively to boot National out and get a more intelligent group on the treasury benches to complain about.

  • Eccentric: This is a ‘group’ who we have all met.

    Ships which appear to have mental ‘instability’ (though only compared with the very reasoned rationality of the other Culture Minds) or act in ways that are otherwise considered eccentric or at odds with accepted standards of behavior are considered to be Eccentric. Eccentric is a descriptive term for ships and not a group in its own right; for example, ROU Shoot Them Later was both Eccentric and part of the AhForgetIt Tendency of the Culture Ulterior.

    Eccentric ships are not considered to have rejected their society. They may still act as members or representatives of their civilisation, though they may be viewed as pariahs.

    For those who have this trait – don’t deny it. Instead embrace it. Often we find the most interesting ideas come from this group. Of course they are often hard to distinguish from the much larger pile of ideas that often should have been smothered at conception.

    I cheerfully admit that I’m from this part of the left. For a starter I’m a old computer programmer and therefore a geek. But also because I’m so individualistic personally and in my work life that I rotated past the short-sighted and self-interested fools in Act and wound up on the left looking at our society as a whole.

    But if you are eccentric, then the one thing you need to do on the net is to learn how to argue your pet hobby horses *well*. Simple repetition of assertions is simply boring and causes a rapid movement from amusing/interesting to outright boring trolling really fast.

  • Sabbaticaler: This happens to all of us at some point for many different reasons, especially after a long hard campaigns. For that matter it even happens on this site with both authors and commenters disappearing and reappearing.

    Sometimes a ship decides that it wishes to have a sabbatical from its duties in the Culture, especially after a particularly harrowing or ethically problematic situation (or maybe simply after being fed up with the Culture for a time). This sabbatical may be for some months, years, or longer.

  • Absconded:

    Absconded ships are those that reject their Culture duties and decide to go off on their own. These duties can include things such as caring for its biological citizens or following orders from their superiors in Contact or Special Circumstances. Unlike Eccentrics, who still perform Culture duties, if in an eccentric manner, Absconded are not considered to be part of the mainstream Culture.

    I tend to view this group as being those parts of the labour movement who went over to the dark side. Like those members who created the Act party or absconded into the United party. Bereft of much vision beyond their own interests they have steadily faded from the NZ political scene as they got sucked into the voracious maw of the National party.

Anyway, enough of this analogy as it is getting stretched. The main thing to remember that this site was set up for connecting the whole of the labour movement and not just the bits in political parties. As our About from Feburary 2007 when we started thinking about launching the site says

We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.

89 comments on “The Left Ulterior and other tendencies”

  1. Ad 1

    In any good political-sociological Venn diagram, the fun to observe is in the thresholds. Normally the closer you get in towards power, the more neurotic and violent the response when stepping over. But not in politics. You can be on the far edges of the known universe engaging with those you never suspected of a political history, and rage comes right out.

    We could self-assign according to your taxonomy. A kind of labour movement Myers-Briggs test. A political findsomeone.com

  2. I hereby deny membership of “Absconded” but will admit to “Eccentric.”

  3. karol 3

    I’m not sure which sci fi group I’m part of – maybe a little ulterior, a little eccentric or something else. I’ve never been a member of a political party because I feel I would have difficulty toeing a party line. I want to be able to raise criticisms when and how I think them to be appropriate.

    But I do agree some commenters here assume that all commenters and posters are part of the Labour Party.

    But also, some lefite standaristas seem to be arguing issues that are basically Labour insider issues, as though they have the same significance for those of us outside the Labour Party – and the whole “identity politics” and priorities debate is one of those.

  4. jcuknz 4

    When I did my little bit in the formation of ACT I did so not for personal gain but in looking for some common sense in politics, in fact being nominated for council by somebody was altogether quite scarey, I have no idea who did that to me … I was equally poised between ACT and the Alliance and in the end choose ACT as the more practical … it seems both have dissapeared and we are left with a choice between two middle parties of which the National form of socialism seems the more sensible way to go. NZ is a socialist country and it is right for us … it is just a choice of the blend … Nat or Lab.

    • greywarbler 4.1

      JeezuzChristuknz!
      The National form of socialism…seems the more sensible way…it is right for us…it is just a choice of the blend…Nat or Lab.

      One facet of the prism (a superior, objective view of politics as a management style), identity politics, another. Will we be able to see a clear view of what is important to focus on to get Labour back in the 2014 election, along with trusty Greens and others riding side by side, all for one under a mantle of all for the people and the country?

      And that requires politicians who are committed to focus their minds on prioritising necessary action to retain and sustain some livable condition for us and combine pragmatism with caring and human values post 2014. Or will we be dazzled by the constantly changing flashes of perspective, our minds registering flashes of colour as the prism turns in the window looking out on…the past.

    • swordfish 4.2

      “I was equally poised between ACT and the Alliance.”

      Pretty much says it all. I think we’ll put you in the “Extreme Eccentric/Extreme Absconder” category.

      • jcuknz 4.2.1

        I know I wouldn’t call the current ACT socialist but the original ACT did seem like an alternative socialism path bearing mind that at the time ACT was largely led by ex Labour ministers. But of course for want of better epithets the Alliance and the media started calling it far right, bless their cotton socks, and so that type was attracted and people like me left. It is a similar mind set that endlessly abuses Rogernomics, all rather childish, ignoring it got the country out of the self satisfied mess it was, but Sir Roger was stopped from finishing the job.
        This will of course bring forth the silly comments about he did enough damage as is, on a personal level my pension is about 20% less becuase of Rogernomics but I accept that as part of the price of getting the country moving again/.

        As for National not being a socialist party, that is plain silly on a world stage, and basically it cannot be other if it hopes to remain in power. It breaths the right wing message but largely acts socialism to retain its support. I am also quite sure that all the Crusading Rabbits around would be horrified and dismayed if their expressed desires came into being.

        But thankyou Swordfish for working out my designation, Lprent’s discourse was rather above my head and full of words which mean different meanings to me than made sense in the context.

    • poem 4.3

      Linking the words “national’ with “socialism” in the same sentence is an oxymoron jcuknz

  5. KJT 5

    “ur needs are identical to labor’s needs: decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures […] That is why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth”.

    Rather relevant to recent discussions, I think!

    I absconded from the Labour party in 1987.

    Otherwise will own up to eccentric.

    • karol 5.1

      Eh? Where does that quote come from?

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Martin Luther King.

        In the link to the Wiki pedia article, on the Labour movement, that Iprent gave in the post above.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          Ah, thanks – that’s a particularly US-centric view of the Labour Movement.

          I am reminded of Sheila Rowbotham’s book, “A Century of Women: The History of Women in Britain and the United States”.

          That book showed that feminism in the US hard strong connections with the African American civil rights movement, while in the UK, feminism was more strongly linked with class politics. I think the NZ situation is a mix of the two, with the UK influence on the left/labour movement being strongest in its formative phases in the early 20th century,

          Rowbotham’s poltic views as sumamrised on wikip:

          …Rowbotham has produced numerous studies and articles expanding upon her theory, which argues that as women’s oppression is a result of both economic and cultural forces then a dualist perspective (socialist feminism) that examines both the public and private sphere is required to work towards liberation.

          Rowbotham was especially influenced by Marxist social history as practised by E. P. Thompson and his wife Dorothy.[5] Combining a Marxist analysis with feminism, Rowbotham contends that capitalism not only systematically oppresses the working class, but also particularly oppresses women.[5] In Rowbotham’s view, women are doubly oppressed as they are forced to sell their labour in order to survive, but also forced to use their labour to support their husbands and children.[5] Rowbotham is critical of traditional Marxist history for what she sees as the neglect of such issues as family history, the role of housewives in supporting the economy, sexuality, and maternity.[5]

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.1

            I used that quote because it seemed relevant to the discussions we have been having.

            Rowbothom recognised that the power to repress people, from a cultural standpoint, depended on who held the purse strings.

            I don’t think it is a male centric view to say that power goes with wealth. It is an unfortunate fact of our society.

            Recognition of currently unpaid work, such as bringing up children, would, do more to enhance the status, well being and power of women, and the cohesiveness of our society, than any number of well meaning, but ultimately ineffective, changes to rules.

            The status and power of women changed dramatically in Western countries when they were able to hold income and property in their own right.

            My observations have been that NZ’s last century (20th) labour movement followed the UK one. Due to the big group of English immigrants in the 1920’s and the “ten pound poms” in the 50’s. Unfortunately we also gained the confrontational and dysfunctional, English style of industrial relations. “Where the bosses pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work”.
            Unlike Germany and France after WW2, where the Union Movement became an essential part of industry, the imported attitudes of authoritarian, not very competent and entitled bosses and the natural worker response has failed us.

            Just as an aside. Do you think it is fair to continue to pillory CV on a thread that he cannot reply on? I would defend you, or QOT, if the same thing happened to you.

            • karol 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No, Rowbotham argues that capitalism is both an financial/monetary and cultural system – oppression is both through cultural practices, institutions, etc as well as financial.

              This is in keeping with marxist theorists like Raymond Williams who researched and critiqued the ways in which culture, especially via media and the arts, are part of capitalist oppression – that cultural practices have real and material impacts on people’s lives.

              The left wing analysis of capitalism looks at the economy, not just money and who controls it. The economic system is as much cultural as it is about money and finances – it’s as much about who has status and power, through various institutional arrangements, as it is about who controls the money.

              People on QoT’s have been continuing to complain about censorship of CV – I am trying to explain why it has been necessary to exclude him from a debate he tries to dominate – by sheer volume of comments as much as anything. CV has continued to reply on open mike with more comments than I can keep up with. He doesn’t really accept any criticism, wherever it’s made… so in practice, I don’t see he is at any disadvantage.

              • KJT

                I don’t see that the criticism is warranted either.

                Criticising someone who has the same goals for not saying the exact, “approved” words does not give you the right to demand they retract.

                Neither CV nor I were telling QOT to STFU in any shape or form. We agreed with her, mostly, thoughtful post.
                I wasn’t aware it was in code…………….
                We were commenting on how the RW successfully use issues such as minor changes to identity (Sorry. Do can’t think of a better word in this context) rights to distract and drive wedges amongst the left, while they run away with the real power, and wealth. And we let them. I think the way the discussion went proved the point

                Nor was it a male/female power thing. QOT was simply being a dick.
                Failing to understand she was doing exactly the things she criticises others for.

                I am not going to demand an apology though. Even though I find her frequently offensive and bullying.
                Also. I must add, more frequently, informative, thoughtful and educational.
                QOT is welcome to say whatever she wants.
                Same as the rest of us..

                • QoT

                  Neither CV nor I were telling QOT to STFU in any shape or form. We agreed with her, mostly, thoughtful post.

                  Bullshit. You called me a liar and were asked to leave and couldn’t even do that.

                  And you’re continuing this argument about “token victories” and “driving a wedge” … as though the logical conclusion to that isn’t, and hasn’t always been, “so stop pushing identity politics issues”.

                  That’s exactly what happened in the marriage equality debate. That’s exactly what happens every time CV has taken a dig at identity politics when it’s not even the topic of discussion.

                  • weka

                    “Neither CV nor I were telling QOT to STFU in any shape or form.”

                    In other words, you are right and we are all wrong. The fact that a number of us feel like we’re being told to shut up is irrelevant. And you wonder why I want to go discuss this elsewhere?

                    I can tell you this: maybe we are wrong. Maybe CV didn’t really spend a month telling us that the Real Work was x and that we shouldn’t be focussing on y (except for 5 minutes if we really have to). Maybe what he really meant was, hey I’ve had this revelation around the crisis we are in and I’d really love to explore this with my fellow lefties in ways that empower all of us. Here’s my idea, what do you all think about it?

                    If that’s what really happened, by all means show me where and how and I will aplogise.

                    Something you might also want to consider: QoT and I disagree on priorities, and I agree with CV on priorities (the whole tier one thing). Now think about why I’m so fucked off with CV and not QoT. Any idea?

                    • KJT

                      “Maybe what he really meant was, hey I’ve had this revelation around the crisis we are in and I’d really love to explore this with my fellow lefties in ways that empower all of us. Here’s my idea, what do you all think about it?”

                      Without, hopefully, putting words in CV’s mouth, I think that was the intent all along.

                      And then some people construed it as an attack on feminism.

                    • KJT

                      I think both you and QOT are looking for sub texts and motives that are not there.

                      Sometimes some males just mean exactly what they write.

                    • Well, this is looking suspiciously like that common sight, which is men telling women that they MUST be imagining it when they are talking about their opinions being dismissed. Even if you disagree that this is the case, it’s really insulting to say that QOT is imagining men dismissing her opinions.

                  • KJT

                    “as though the logical conclusion to that isn’t, and hasn’t always been, “so stop pushing identity politics issues”.

                    Rubbish. I have already said many times. “We can multitask”.

                    Take a leaf out of that prick Brashes book. Hit them on all fronts at once.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t mind that mate although I’m glad you recognised it. To me it says something about a self righteous authoritarian and bullying streak. Women claiming that I was telling them to STFU (where did I do that ffs). But when it was they who held just a tiny little bit of power were more than happy to instaban me, overwrite and delete my comments. Then like weka, and karol above, proceeded to make excuses for why doing so was OK and that I’m not actually being disadvantaged in any meaningful way.

              The irony pours like a thick rich chocolate sauce.

              • weka

                “I don’t mind that mate although I’m glad you recognised it. To me it says something about a self righteous authoritarian and bullying streak. Women claiming that I was telling them to STFU (where did I do that ffs). But when it was they who held just a tiny little bit of power were more than happy to instaban me, overwrite and delete my comments. Then like weka, and karol above, proceeded to make excuses for why doing so was OK and that I’m not actually being disadvantaged in any meaningful way.”

                It’s been a while since I did this, but am now going to break out the world’s smallest violin. Oh poor, poor oppressed CV.

                There are so many inaccuracies with what you have just written. Fortunately I have better things to do with my time right now than speak into that void. Needless to say, it’s very interesting to see you now running a self-pity, I’m oppressed line. Almost enough to make me laugh.

                I’d been wondering why, given how much time you were putting into this, you weren’t responding to many of the substantive points being raised. Am in two minds if it’s because you can’t actually get a coherent argument together, or whether it’s that you just aren’t reading what people are saying in a way that leads to understanding. Probably both, but it’s the latter that is more disturbing.

                Karol, the whole thing is a clusterfuck and likely to get worse IMO. Have a look at a comment I just posted in OM about one path we could take.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.3

              And rereading karol’s comment, it seems that my ability to touch type quickly is now another justification for why it was necessary and ok for me to be censored. Its simply brilliant feminist moral reasoning.

              • karol

                Whatever, CV. You will always want to have the last word. And you still don’t get it. We don’t agree. You will still keep pushing your line about what needs to be focused on in numerous comments…. and long after QoT’s post has drifted out of sight.

                Edit: and right there CV has exposed his underlying antagonism to anything feminist:

                Its simply brilliant feminist moral reasoning.

                • KJT

                  Where has CV expressed any antagonism to anything feminist?

                  Is there some code in the comments I am not aware of?

                  Though I don’t agree, CV, that there is anything that is “feminist moral reasoning” about bullying behaviour.

                  • karol

                    KJT.

                    Edited; You kind of answered you first question with the last sentence.

                    Because he called it “feminist” moral reasoning – not just my personal reasoning, or the reasoning of a couple of women on TS.

                    Who is doing the bullying?

                    From where some of us are sitting, it is CV who has constantly been bullying and hectoring. He will accept no opposition or alternative arguments, and will jump in to try to sabotage any discussion of issues that are supported by many left wing women (and some men). it’s been going on a long time. His antagonism to feminism has been becoming increasingly evident over several months.

                    And now he’s getting all moralistic, vocal and persistent about the need for the left to approach politics the way he has decided. he isn’t debating this, he’s hectoring and badgering – attempting to silence people with the constant repetition of his main lines, while slipping and sliding around in response to criticisms. or alternative arguments.

                    NB: This comment has been edited.

                    • KJT

                      Commenting is not sabotaging.

                      From my viewpoint, QOT did a pretty good job of de-railing and destroying the effectiveness of her otherwise rather good post, herself.

                      And it is you and QOT who do not accept opposition or alternative arguments.

                      QOT censored us, FFS.

                      And, I have just been reminded in a private email that QOT like behaviors, doesn’t just stop males from commenting.

                    • weka

                      “QOT censored us, FFS.”

                      Yes, that’s what authors on ts do. If you have a problem with this take it up with the fucking administrators of this blog. Go on, I dare you, email the main email for this site and make a complaint and then come back and tell us how you got on.

                    • KJT

                      What Phil said on the other thread.

                    • karol

                      KJT, I have generally stayed out of the debates with CV around feminist/women’s issues for quite a while. I never really joined in with the initially debates around rape culture. I may have made one or 2 comments, but then stepped back. Mostly I have posted and commented on other topics.

                      I have posted comments about some use of what I feel is quite misogynist language on TS – something I don’t comment on as often as I feel annoyed with it. Any comment like that and CV is in there pretty quick to give a slap to the “language police”. He has become like the (anti-) feminist police.

                      And it has on occasions made me a bit reticent about mentioning anything to do with gender or sexual politics on TS – but I have realsied that this has had the effect of actually silencing me on occasions – and if me, then probably others, too.

                      I have tended to hold back saying anything. But CV has just gone on and on attacking “identity politics” – almost obsessively – and he is a fairly strong, prominent and persistent voice here. It’s got to a point where I feel a stand needs to be taken. It does feel like he is trying to silence any mention of feminist/gender/sexual politics – and to derail any discussions on it.

                      CV was pretty quick on to QoT’s thread saying something about it being something she could mention for 5 minutes – really if that isn’t a derailing comment, counter to the tone of the post, what is?

                      RL, who has generally tried to moderate between the different sides, while also being somewhat supportive of CV, also interpreted that as an unwise/antagonistic thing to do.

                      I realise you may be smarting from being banned form the thread, KJT. But after the antagonism from CV, you stepped in and something accusing QoT of imagining that CV has made a lot of digs at identity politics. As she shows, and many of us have seen, CV has made these digs frequently – it probably just seemed like a further derail, rather than an attempt to address the positive way forward.

                    • weka

                      “What Phil said on the other thread.”

                      And see my reply.

                      Am also unclear why you want QoT to author under different rules than the rest of the ts authors. Care to explain?

                    • karol

                      Commenting is not sabotaging

                      Actually it can be. There’s a whole line in moderating policy that aims to prevent/stop comments that derail threads – the more obvious ones are referred to as trolling.

                      Part of that is aiming to not perpetrate/escalate flame wars – CV’s comment on QoT’s thread was in that territory, IMO.

                      An individual author will sometimes decide that a comment is derailing the original aim of their post.

                    • KJT

                      I am an Author.

                      I expect the same consideration I give to others. I certainly would not have silenced QOT.

                      And. As advised, I have been reading back through comments that CV has made in the past.

                      I don’t think that saying that “identity politics” has had ” unintended consequences’ that has has often played into the hands of neo-liberal capitalism is taking a stand against identity politics. (Sorry again that there is not a better term).

                      Personally, I think it is better to air differences in the open. Often after a lot of discussion and thought people are able to find that the disagreement is more semantic than real. Especially as in this case, we have the same goals.
                      ‘.;.

                    • weka

                      “I don’t think that saying that “identity politics” has had ” unintended consequences’ that has has often played into the hands of neo-liberal capitalism is taking a stand against identity politics. (Sorry again that there is not a better term).”

                      If that is what CV had been saying and doing, I might agree with you. But it’s not. Are you willing to consider that there are things going on here that are not visible to you?

                      The reason there is not a better term is because it’s not the term that is the problem, it’s the concept. You think it’s ok to name certain politics as identity politics, and then place them in relative value alongside other politics (which are somehow deemed more valuable). I see all that in quite different ways. Your continued use of the term ‘identity politics’ tells me that you really are not that interested in my world view, nor in how the use of that term marginalises a whole bunch of people. You just keep coming back and telling me that your world view is right.

                      I appreciate the amount of effort you have put into this, and for the most part you have been trying to build bridges as far as I can tell, which I also appreciate. But there is a limit to how long I can go on being misunderstood.

                    • weka

                      KJT, are you an author on ts? Guest or higher up the tier?

                      I hear what you are saying about your values around censorship and communication. Are you saying that those should take precedence over everyone elses, including ts admin?

                    • KJT

                      UBI. (Universal Basic Income).

                      How to: Pick an Excuse for Not doing Anything About Poverty

                      Labour shoot themselves in the foot, again!

                      Super. Reprise.

                      I have disagreed at times, with almost everyone here. QOT is the only Author/Moderator that has ever taken me off a thread.

                    • KJT

                      Re-reading.

                      “The reason there is not a better term is because it’s not the term that is the problem, it’s the concept. You think it’s ok to name certain politics as identity politics, and then place them in relative value alongside other politics (which are somehow deemed more valuable). I see all that in quite different ways. Your continued use of the term ‘identity politics’ tells me that you really are not that interested in my world view, nor in how the use of that term marginalises a whole bunch of people. You just keep coming back and telling me that your world view is right”.

                      I don’t like the term for the same reasons you do. Just cannot think of a different term at the moment.

                      And no I don’t think that issues such as women’s rights, or any human rights (A term I prefer) should be forgotten or even relegated.

                      It is that by concentrating on the small victories the RW allows us, important and necessary as they may be, we have lost out on equally important goals, such as removing child poverty. I have done it myself.

                      Yes. Generally I disagree with censorship. Even idiots should be allowed to condemn themselves out of their own mouth. Not have others presume to put the words there for them. Most people are intelligent enough to judge competing views for themselves.

                      Uncomfortable some of our conversations may be, but we all go away having learnt something.

                    • weka

                      Thanks for the links KJT 🙂 I’d forgotten about that.

                      “I have disagreed at times, with almost everyone here. QOT is the only Author/Moderator that has ever taken me off a thread.”

                      I reckon I’ve disagreed with almost everyone here too, but as far as I remember I’ve not been moderated. IMO neither of our anecdotes means much more than what they say at face value.

                    • weka

                      And no I don’t think that issues such as women’s rights, or any human rights (A term I prefer) should be forgotten or even relegated.

                      Good to know, thanks.

                      It is that by concentrating on the small victories the RW allows us, important and necessary as they may be, we have lost out on equally important goals, such as removing child poverty. I have done it myself.

                      I don’t know you or your life, so it’s hard to understand what you just said. But being able to vote as a woman is not a small victory. As someone with a disability and who has worked in patient rights, the creation of the Health and Disability Commission is not a small victory either (do you know the history of the Unfortunate Experiment?). I was born in the 60s and the change I have seen in attitudes towards violence towards women is no small victory (do you understand how radical it is that the MSM in NZ this year used the term ‘rape culture’?).

                      Perhaps you could try and get me to understand your perspective? You know that I already see poverty as a core issue that needs to be addressed. And you know that I agree that working class and underclass people have been basically abandoned by the people with power in NZ. What I don’t understand is why you see the gains I gave as examples as having cost us the battle against something like child poverty.

                    • KJT

                      Thanks. Weka.

                      I will answer ASAP.

                      Gone away to have a think.

    • jcuknz 5.2

      KJT 9.35 [ this has got lost amongst a mass of other postings unfortunately] …. I think National have done a good job in maintaining those things given the world situation of the past few years … there is room for improvement for sure … much of the left’s spoutings as here at The Standard is foolish attacking the people instead of encouraging them to fix the problem areas … altogether quick sickening … rather like the mentality found at Kiwiblog.

  6. tricledrown 6

    So we on the left have been fractinated since Roger Douglas trojanhorsed the Labour Party
    We Now have MMP which allows the broadchurch of the left to have opinions and policy fifferences.
    But we need to work together to
    To win this years election.
    CV You seem to want to change the Labour Party to your way of thinking when IT think it would be better to change party instead this is MMP not FPP.
    I have not voted for labour since
    1987 local candidates +Labours lack of action on poverty is the main reason , but IT have helped all left wing parties financially and on the ground.
    Especially since MMP.
    CV it maked me wonder when so many of your ideas are more in line with Mana and the greens that you should stop trying to change Labour from within and change to MMP thinking and get the policies you
    Want through the party promoting those policies.
    Just slagging Labour ain’t going
    to change their attitudes or policies .
    The best way is to get more seats for the left block maximise each individual parties vote .
    Maximising the party of the left that reflects your policy position without Damaging the coalition partners we need to gain treasury benches to make changes needed to wipe out poverty and change to a low carbon renewable energy economy.

    • karol 6.1

      Actually, I think there were fracture lines within the NZ left before the rise of evil roger. The left was starting to struggle over the white male dominance of the labour movement prior to 1984. The Values Party also pre-existed rogernomics, and developed through its own struggles.

      But I think factions and struggles within a broad movement are pretty common, and Lyn’s sci fi model is one way of presenting some of them. For the left, this requires communication, negotiation and accepting different approaches.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        The close down of Hillside Workshops is instructive. Another 100 or so working class blue collar males, mostly union members, eradicated from the ranks of the labour movement. Multiply that by several thousand over the last 3 decades, add in the mass disintegration of Labour Party and union membership, and we can see why male dominance of the labour movement is so much less of an issue nowadays. That’s the march of progress I suppose.

        • karol 6.1.2.1

          Yes, both men and women have suffered under current economic arrangements. The demise of workshops like Hillside are scandalous. The workforce in recent years has shown increasing casualisation. So participation of women in the labour force has increased. However, they have tended to be used in the casualisation of the workforce:

          Between 1991 and 2011, women’s labour force participation increased from 49 percent to 58 percent. Although women’s participation in the labour force still remains lower than men’s, the gap has closed from 18 percentage points in 1991 to 12 percentage points in 2011. Women are more likely than men to be working part-time. More than one-third (35.1 percent) of employed women worked part-time in 2008, compared with 11.8 percent of men. Nearly three-quarters (72.4 percent) of part-time employees in 2008 were women.78

          Women in the workforce still do most of the domestic caring. Also, the casual and partime nature of their work means that they tend to have less power and status in the workforce than men, and that they are less likely to join a union.

          Overall, this is part of the pattern of capitalism to use women as a reserve army of labour.

          As far as I am aware, the gender make-up of unions also depends on occupations/employment sector. I imagine that women make up a significant proportion of the PSA, which is not affilaited to the Labour Party. The affiliated unions are ones that I would expect to be pretty masculine dominated.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1

            Of course women were used to increase the available labour pool and dilute down wage demands and worker bargaining power. As you say, the capitalists loved it. And it dovetailed perfectly with the feminist position that women could and should do every job a man can do, whether in the army or in the boardroom. Its great to see political economic synergy in action.

            • karol 6.1.2.1.1.1

              CV, you definitely are not an expert on feminist positions. A major argument of many feminist (we do not all speak with one mind), especially socialist feminists, is to dismantle the masculine capitalist hierarchy, rather than to compete for the most privileged places within it. A major focus for many has been on the valuing of caring work inside and outside the home and to look for a different occupational structure.

              But go on showing your ignorance of the breadth and depth of feminism, and cherry picking bits that suit you anti-feminist rhetoric.

              And, of course, the casualisation of the workforce, and the pressures from uber-consumerism for more women to work outside the home, are all feminists fault!

      • jcuknz 6.1.3

        Karol 10’05

        The idealists of the left are always splitting
        As opposed to the pragmatists of the right.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Thanks for your thoughts. Your strategic analysis is not that different to mine. So far, I cant see Mana on a path which will successfully lead them out of the classic one MP cul de sac. The Greens have been impressive of late. It’ll be interesting to see how they cope with the pressures and compromises of Government. Ultimately however, if Labour doesn’t change its thinking on political economics, NZ will struggle to deal with the issues it needs to over the next 20 years.

      After the next 6-7 parliamentary terms, 21st century climate change will be baked into the cake and fossil fuel depletion will be a severe and daily fact of life. If we are not ready for that with new low energy infrastructure and systems in place, the suffering will be severe. As I’ve been saying, we are creating a dismal world for everyone under 20 years old, whether they are male, female, LGBT, straight, white or coloured. This is why I personally have little time for any sliver narrow politics which focus on the issues of a few percent of the population (sometimes of those who are plenty materially wealthy themselves and hence plenty privileged within the patriarchy already) but which does nothing to secure the future for the many i.e. a humane existence of freedoms for the bottom 50%.

      To me, the Standard also works very well as a tool for spreading ideas between supporters of different parties and it is also a reminder to politicians that they are supposed to be responsible to their members – not the other way around. Along with karol’s excellent internet radio station idea, its the beginning of a labour movement media infrastructure independent of the left political parties. Which is a world of difference to that of party captured platforms which only repeat approved messaging.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        6 – 7 parliamentary terms? Dunno. Sometimes in not altogether fanciful moments of cynicism I can see stuff unfolding pretty quickly along the lines it has so far…. ‘War on Drugs!’ – so we must take rights away from you. (and no-body stopped them)…’War on Terror!’ – so we must take rights away from you. (and nobody stopped them). ‘War on Warming!’ then hits in conjunction with ‘War on Depletion!’ – and we get lockdown. No rights left to take away and just no stopping them.

        Oh, we’ll have one right left. The right to whatever in a wasteland scenario where, if we are one of the (80%?) majority, we will have no access to resources or any functioning social structures/services – perhaps bar an ever present and visible army or some such that’s ostensibly tooled up to protect us from the threat of ourselves and that ‘just happen’ to concentrate around oases of production or what not that are geared to service the 20% that society’s remnants exist for.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Yeah its a concern…what you are describing happened to the socialist oil rich state of Libya in a very short span of time. They may be more or less subtle about it elsewhere, and to varying degrees of implementation, but it is a possibility. And it’s what I see the TPP is about too.

          • Bill 6.2.1.1.1

            The TTP, health insurance as the new norm for those who can afford it, the rise of private pensions, tougher regime around welfare entitlements – (a very non-Marxist ‘withering of the (welfare) state in other words) a more disposable, vulnerable and underpaid workforce, off-shoring of production and services, financialisation of capitalism with bank activity being underwritten by worker’s bank deposits, criminalisation of begging, little or no positive movement on homelessness ( though a few negative moves), broken shit left broken, hap-hap-happy pills for all and sundry who aren’t coping too well with it all so far and shoals of red herrings to keep all eyes and ears fixed ‘over there’…

      • Lanthanide 6.2.2

        Mana has a good chance of getting 2 MPs at this election, possibly even 3 depending on how things with the Maori Party pan out.

  7. tricledrown 7

    +1
    Yes Karol you are right.
    The Alliance faced the same problem with Jim Anderton.
    The Greens wisely jumped ship
    Now the greens have taken former Alliance support because they don’t have a dictitorial leadership style.
    And the greens have a far more comprehensive policy for dealing with poverty than Labour.
    Labours policy has changed because of this theu can’t rely on soft National style policy of papering over the cracks with a slightly bigger bandaid anymore.
    MMP is here Now to stay National have outsmarted the left 2 elections in a row.
    We on the left can’t afford to let this election slip.
    Tactical voting is one area where the left need to get right .
    Unity in electoral tactics.
    Not stepping on each others toes but having clearly defined policy difference and opinions.

  8. tricledrown 8

    CV Labour will change if policies
    Like housing have got traction by the greens promoting good policy labour has had to take notice .
    More than working from within have you noticed this is the left block not one individual party maximising the vote of the left block coalition party
    That is promoting the policy changes you are seeking is better than continuall complaining about the lack of flexibility of one coalition party its not as succesful a strategy for change.
    I think you are still stuck in FPP thinking even John Banks had moved on and used MMP to get the policies he wanted how many members did he have in Parliament 1.
    The left are behind the 8 ball on tactics.
    With National coming into an election with the media 99% on their side.
    And a growing economy this could end up being a whitewash
    To National with already unified
    The good news stories will continue to be headlined right accross every media outlet in the country.
    The only way we are going to win is from the grass roots.
    To do that we need the left to have a unified approach.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      I know the Left are dropping the ball on tactics and strategy. This is why I am pushing for broad based economic policies improving the lives of the bottom 50% as crucial, while saying that sliver narrow identity politics can be there, but not as the campaign platform forefront.

      And the Tier One issues of transnational corporates/banking, resource depletion and climate change, needs to be the overarching narrative.

      • fender 8.1.1

        Oh I thought you were advocating smaller government with only a couple of ministries needing attention, or an end to multi-tasking. 😈

  9. tricledrown 9

    The 100 workers at hillside went because National won the last election by one seat in coalition
    Because the left weren’t able to convince poor disenfranchised to vote .
    No left party on its own can do that .
    Labour greens mana when canvasing tweeting facebooking should point out options to meet the needs of the indivdual rather
    Than just saying vote my party as that tends to reduce the chances of getting the 800,000 out to vote let alone register I have already begun networking and canvasing.
    Opinions of voters vary widely
    Even on the left a lot middle class left leaning voters want anend to unbridled welfarism as much as they want full employment and an end to crony capitalism.
    Winston Peters is the Option for them work for the dole.
    Otherwise those voters stick with that nice man on TV who smiles and waves.
    Another tactical option would be to offer Winston a marginal that has a lot of Nz first supporter and tactical vote in that electorate.
    What ever scenario we really have to up our game right across the board no excuses this year because the right are in the box seat and they know it.

    • Grumpy 9.1

      It is a wonder Hillside lasted so long. Almost 35 years after, Addington, Woburn, Otahuhu and Wanganui. They, of course were sandbagged by Labour after Prebbles “save rail” campaign.

    • xtasy 9.2

      tricledown – Come on, after decades of right wing indoctrination, on the terms of what the “Chicago Boys” taught and preached, most in the public fall for a “mainstream (crap) media” that does misinform rather than inform. Bending over backwards to gain the votes of blinkered, brain-washed and thus somewhat “red-neckish” middle class voters, that will certainly NOT serve the cause for the labour movement!

      The same middle class is happy to shop daily and buy “discounted” (often these are just fake “specials” that are announced) imported consumer goods that get made by blue collar working brigades in factories in China, Vietnam, Bangla Desh and so forth, where they have 12 to 16 hour day shifts, have workers accommodated in dormitories, with bars on the window, to “protect” them from freedom, perhaps.

      They get paid a pittance to produce goods that used to be made in countries in “the west”, but as most of such manufacturing has been outsourced, so has the “labour movement” part that belonged to it.

      No, it is wrong to justify harsh, unfair, draconian treatment of beneficiaries, that comes with the agenda of the right, and which sadly even Labour adopted to a degree, when last in government.

      Read up on Dr David Bratt, that Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ, likening “benefit dependence” and “work-lessness” with “drug dependence, perhaps, to open your eyes:

      Open mike 29/12/2013

      http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/designated-doctors-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc-the-truth-about-them/

      http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-health-and-disability-panel-and-its-hand-picked-members/

      That Dr Bratt was appointed in 2007 – under a Labour led government! It is time for Labour to hounour the meaning of the word “labour” and the movement, and to equally, firmly and clearly defend the rights of those not able to work, depending on benefits!

      The middle class, yes the public as a whole, must be informed of the truth, that they are misguided, manipulated, rather than “left” politicians pandering to the MSM that has a lot to answer for, while “serving” the interests of that slimy, slippery John Key and his lot.

  10. tricledrown 10

    CV stop looking at the past lybian socialism was Jill another totalitarian state.
    You would have been happy to have your under sixteen year old daughter singled out by one of Gadafy’s security guards informing here that she has excelled in her studies only to be taken away to be part of his harem.
    Get over it .
    You are to full of yourself .
    Less is more in politics
    With that I have got to Go and help my ailing dad be back latet.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Sorry about all the spelling errors the screen on my smartphone is cracked an is hard to type at speed without mistakes.

    • greywarbler 11.1

      td
      You are smarter than your phone! But it isn’t smart to try and scythe CV at the knees. He is constantly looking at possibilities and probabilities for future policy making, knowing that first getting elected is a necessity. It is easy to type out criticisms of others out there from a position of unlimited possibilities when one has no constraints and probably no likelihood of having real parameters.
      So let’s be positive eh. This is real life and not a computer game where we can push our avatars around, and if they fail, just start that section of the game again.

  12. xtasy 12

    This is a rather good comparison that Lprent makes, when looking at the diverse groups and individuals that consider themselves being part of the LABOUR MOVEMENT. It is a timely reminder to look it up under the link provided to Wikipedia – here it is once more:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_movement

    I may add this link to get a grip of the term “labour”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour

    For “labour” in the context of “labour movement” I consider the following of crucial importance:

    Employment and wage labour.

    David Cunliffe made mention of “socialism”, when being appointed Labour Leader and receiving a bunch of red coloured flowers (if I am right):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    Without going into different forms of “socialism”, “social democracy”, “democratic socialism” and what other terminologies there are, one would understand, that the goal of the “labour movement” is to come to a social and economic system that aspires to that, or at least come to a close enough system, that offers sufficient fairness, inclusiveness and participation for all that live and work in a society.

    What have we though? There are positive policies that Labour, Greens, Mana and others on the left may have, but in too many cases, there is ample ambiguity, uncertainly, vagueness and there are questions about firm commitment and intergrity, as to how exactly policy ideas or aspirations would be implemented. Yes, many of us actually despair about the lack of policy in certain areas.

    To me the bare minimum is that anyone in the “labour movement” stands for goals and ideas like the following:

    To create and support a unifying movement that is inclusive and offers collective support to members of unions and parties as part of the movement.

    Such support and membership should naturally be assured in the same manner and quality to those denied opportunity to be employed (i.e. beneficiaries), as they tend to be the victims of a capitalist society locking them out of employment, as a level of unemployment is actually wanted by such society. This is an aspect UNIONS should take note of!

    A right to employment on incomes and conditions that all persons can decently life off, while they also get recognition and respect under fair, equitable, decent labour laws (e.g. higher minimum wage at $ 15 to $ 16 per hour, living wage to be aspired and supported wheresoever possible).

    While compulsory union membership may well be a thing of the past, a “labour movement” would work and push for employment law change that restores rights of unions to recruit, keep as members and lobby for workers, and non-workers (e.g. beneficiaries) in a truly fair, equitable and democratic manner, without workers being exposed to employer pressures to enter individual employment contracts.

    To support those that are without paid work, be this due to lack of jobs, to poor health or disability, due to being in a sole parent situation, raising children, in a fair and reasonable manner, by having a core or base benefit paid (possibly as universal basic income) that can meet basic living costs. Top ups should be for accommodation and disability and the likes, and better meet real present needs. The present benefit system is fragmented, constantly re-viewable, puts people under duress and hardship, and the sanction regime is punitive. Questionable methods are used to pressure sick and disabled into employment. All this is inhumane and unacceptable.

    The state should give priority consideration to local NZ tenders for contracts of supply or service delivery, ensuring NZ labour gets a chance.

    An 8 hour day must be honoured by allowing workers to not be pressured into shift and other arrangements where they work 10, 12 or more hours a day, harming their health, social and family lives. Higher rates of pay should be written into law as percentages on ordinary pay for longer hours worked, same as work on Sundays and public holidays.

    New Zealand’s governments should develop economic policies that improve local economic activities by diversifying production of goods and services, by creating higher value, higher skilled employment, which includes comprehensive industrial and other training in trades, technical, science or other employment.

    Equal treatment of all, no matter what gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, cultural belonging or lifestyles, religion and what else, which is already written in the law, but often not honoured.

    There is much more I could list, like sustainable environmental policies, and so forth, but it appears to me, that it is essential to have some connection with, a understanding of, and a firm commitment to the ideas of the “labour movement” and what “labour” actually stands for. With all diversity there is and may be, the ultimate, unifying identifier we must all be able to identify with is the meaning of those terms, and being part of it, in whatever role.

    Once a “labour movement” or member thereof starts “flirting” with big and not so big business, with even “corporates”, with the “bosses” with big bank accounts, with “VIPs”, with the “heroes” of the day, trying to catch on with the latest “fad”, then you run the risk of corrupting yourselves.

  13. greywarbler 13

    I suggest that in this important election year of 2014, labour needs to be thinking Labour, all those that aren’t NACTs need to be thinking Labour too, as well as their own particular preference. It’s one thing to talk about MMP effects and advantages from the point of being able to adopt a Party that has policies that reflect your own beliefs, but MMP also brings about coalitions, so it requires a greater political awareness and nous.

    And getting Labour in, with 21st century-thinking pollies, along with your own personal Party preference, needs to be a focus on this planet, this country, here and now. And if it takes someone standing down in one seat for the benefit of votes going to another Party, that should be open for consideration as to what is the best tactic on an individual case basis. No spouting purist ideology, if it’s appropriate and legal and not damaging to the left, with the right likely outcome, then go for it.

  14. The Outrider 14

    Good timing for this post when most of us are geared up for a bit of reflection. My political journey has been somewhat topsy turvy in that I began it as a student activist for the UK Lib Dems when New Labour was on the rise, all bristling confidence and empty promises. The Lib Dems were comparatively radical back then and were campaigning for marriage equality, proportional representation and the abolition of the British monarchy.

    Arriving back in NZ via Australia and a brief stint with the Democrats there, I felt there was no natural political home here and opted out of being politically active for a while after a narrow escape from the clutches of ACT when an erstwhile family set up a recruitment meeting with Brian Nicolle.

    I gradually became involved again via the union movement and a number of causes that would have classed me as an Eccentric in the above model. I still have an affinity for that group and probably still have a foot in their camp.

    I subsequently voyaged into the Ulterior camp, firstly as a Labour and/or Greens voter and more recently as a campaign volunteer for Labour. I have since taken the plunge to join the NZLP as I feel very strongly that I can do more good within a party structure to get NACT out of government. I weighed up joining the Greens but as someone passionate about social justice issues my feeling is that they have moved away from this area as a focus to some degree in recent years. Thus, I find myself visiting the Mainland though time will tell if it is my destination or simply a port call.

    Thanks LPRENT for the opportunity to reflect and share as we gear up for a very interesting and important year in politics.

  15. red blooded 15

    Thanks for a a thought-provoking post, Lynn. It’s refreshing to step back and look through a new lens. We don’t all have to be in the same ship – we can all support The Culture in different ways. It’s fine to argue for our own priorities, but that doesn’t mean we get to trash others’.

  16. tricledrown 16

    I am not cutting CV off at the knees .
    But merely pointing out CVs ideology doesn”t match up with Labour.
    Labout have become a very centerist party after shifting from the left to the right.
    What traditionally was part of Labour thr left wing is Now where the Greens mana occupy these days .
    We have to rralise that under MMP the left block is where Labour once occupied by itself
    Under MMP.
    It doesn’t matter which party you support on the left we all have to support each other .
    CV instead of trying to fit more radical policy to what is Now a centerist party .
    CV should stop criticising labour and back a left wing party that marches his more radical view of socialism.
    Labour emerged out of the working class and is Now populated by the next generation of academics who aren’t as radical as their fathers.
    The chanced of CV changing the Labour party of today to his agenda are Zero.
    Where the Greens and Mana are already their.
    What I’m saying is leave Labour to winning the Centerist vote and focus the Greens Mana on winning the left and previous non participating voters.
    We need not to be dumping on labours feet at this stage CV.
    If your not happy with their policy find a party that matches.
    Let’s all on the MMP left block just work on Maximising our turnout.
    FPP is over .

  17. jcuknz 17

    It struck me that if we taxed the top level and reduced their income we would solve the poverty problem and the level at which it is considered ‘poverty’ [a percentage of the average wage] would drop and we would return to the situation of decades ago when NZ was a good place to raise kids.

    But all the left can think about is throwing more money around which solves nothing. As when I was working and the union wanted a huge rise when I was happilly raising a child on what I was getting … of course the union had its way and of course I accepted my pay rise …. but it just set in the rot which eventually led to my redundancy.

    Good night All 🙂

    • karol 17.1

      No, I think many on the left would agree with you about raising the top taxes, and lowering their income. It’s the right wingers, and the wealthiest people who would object mostly.

      • aerobubble 17.1.1

        I don’t mind high wages and lower taxes, I mind that someone with access to huge wealth avoids paying taxes, would never need a wage and whose amassed wealth will never be owned by anyone else no matter how innovative or how cruel the markets were. Yet the 99%, some who have lost their amassed wealth (financial collapse), do need a living wage, and cannot avoid taxes.

        That’s why in the past we’ve had 70%? taxes on the wealthiest, its not about income, its about degrading their massive unchallengeable wealth. When the income gap turns into a wealth gap thats when capitalism breaks down, when innovators find it doesn’t pay to keep arrogant control freaks in huge massive wealth, and who just then take up get-along-pursuits instead.

        Imagine for a moment, a brilliant scientist decides not to move to the USA because he doesn’t want his/her children to become extremist Christians indoctrinated into dogmatic creationism.

  18. Tracey 18

    Neo liberalism is almost, if not entirely, a male construct. One way to destablise and destroy that could be allowing more women to bring their emphasis. Not to eradicate men but to bring different emphasis to how a successful society might look. Its not about hating men or wanting them gone. Many so called successful women in politics have had to become neo libs to assume influence and essentially behave and act in a way that makes men comfortable. For example shipleys slurs about clark not having kids a tactic recently used by barry against adern.

    I prefer the greens style for this reason and have a great deal of respect for fitzsimmons and consider she and donald a big loss to nz and its political landscape.

    • North 18.1

      Tracey@18 – “Neo liberalism is almost, if not entirely, a male construct”.

      If the postulation is true, indeed if it is even germane to the why and how of neo-liberalism and what to do about it, it loses punch when we consider the many female personages so closely (and aggressively) associated with neo-liberalism.

      The contemplation – “oh well, they had to do it…….” – does not seem seminal somehow.

      Your last paragraph re “greens style” – agreed.

    • Neo liberalism is almost, if not entirely, a male construct. One way to destablise and destroy that could be allowing more women to bring their emphasis.

      So, for example, the ACT Party could have been destabilised and destroyed by allowing women such as Heather Roy, Muriel Newman, Deborah Coddington and Catherine Isaac to bring their emphasis to it? Well, as I recall, ACT did allow that, but it was in fact male members who destabilised and destroyed the party. Which is a roundabout way of pointing out that your “male construct” bigotry is just that.

      • karol 18.2.1

        When it comes to “constructs” = social constructions – I would say it’s a “masculine construction” – about social values rather than being something all men subsrcibe to and all women don’t.

        Women in ACT need to buy into enough of that masculine construction so as to be in and support the party. Ditto for many women (and men) in positions of power within masculine corproate systems, etc.

        • Psycho Milt 18.2.1.1

          I’m struggling to recognise any useful meaning remaining in the term “masculine” after you’ve finished postmodernising it into submission in that comment.

  19. philj 19

    xox
    Forget all this incestuous analysis.
    Start disecting the Labour Party. Who are the Righties in there. Can you all agree on that? Course not. I have my own ideas who they are. But I guess they lie low, especially in an election year. This blog could flush em out.

  20. aerobubble 20

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/climate-change-worse_n_4523828.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    We all need to remember, surely, the underlying landscape in which we live, that the abstract of politics takes us away from realities of poverty, environment, aging, resources and ecological limits.

    Seems everything quickly descends into money and then about taking profits of fat cats, sure money is status in our society, but someone has to start making the links.

    That peeing in the billibong means you pay extra costs in getting potable water.

    That tax cuts means wealth accumulates at the top and actually stops you becoming rich.

    That using all the petroleum up means different things to different groups, to teenagers it means having a much worse old age, to pensioners it means driving into their 90s.

    Capitalism isn’t the enemy, anymore than Democracy is.

    • karol 20.1

      aerobubble – useful link.

      It’s about the fat cats taking money off the rest – and the related destruction of the planet.

      But this:

      Capitalism isn’t the enemy, anymore than Democracy is.

      Can you explain what you mean by this please?

      • aerobubble 20.1.1

        Organized trading in ideas and consent (Democracy), goods and services (Capitalism) aren’t the enemy, the enemy surely is the trade in control and exploitation.

        Recently I heard that the Chinese pay their doctors until they get ill. The British get Doctors for free. The Americans pay their insurance until they get ill and run out of cover. The use of money in paying doctors isn’t the enemy, all system pay or will have to recompense Doctors, the trade of ideas isn’t the problem. No its the incentives and the exploitation of the medical system that sees the state in China harvesting criminals for organs, the inefficiency of the America system in funding research into medicine yet not then providing multitudes with care, and even the Britosh system rewards polluters by taking away the cost of exposure and places in the public sector.

        The problem isn’t capitalism, or democracy, its our current gatekeepers, and the huge accrued wealth that is holding back progress. Strange at odds to their own beliefs, that says wealth is reward for good works, for innovation, for solving human ills, making human life easier.

        How is not having enough work (non-profit included), systems to provide full suitable employment, ever possible unless there is something fundamentally corrupt in the thinking of gatekeepers.

  21. Tracey 21

    Psycho milt

    When I said this part I had in mind thatcher et al who behaved “like” the men with the construct.

    ” Many so called successful women in politics have had to become neo libs to assume influence and essentially behave and act in a way that makes men comfortable. For example shipleys slurs about clark not having kids a tactic recently used by barry against adern.”

    Shipley was successful at least in part because she played the neolib role the way the men had.

    I dont mind you disagreeing I didnt post for unanimous applause but to make a slightly different comment about the proposed seperation of gender from the dismantling of neo lib politics.

    • aerobubble 21.1

      Women overwhelmingly vote more conservatively. Neo-liberalism in essence is about being conservative by doing as little as possible, deregulating, shrinking government by making out that its a revolution every day.

  22. Tracey 22

    Thanks for posting this clarification of this point I was trying yo make

    Women in ACT need to buy into enough of that masculine construction so as to be in and support the party. Ditto for many women (and men) in positions of power within masculine corproate systems, etc.”

    The mere presence and participation of women in a male construct doesnt make it any less masculine per se unless they behave differently to those who make up the history and present of the construct.

    I agree with cv it needs total dismantling and that will never happen by softly softly catchee monkey.

  23. philj 23

    “For example shipleys slurs about clark not having kids a tactic recently used by barry against adern.”
    Reference of Barry slur on Adearn

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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