In 1984 I watched the incoming Labour government move on a set of policies they had no mandate for and I also watched the Left flounder to resist them. Given it was only three years since we had mobilised so strongly against the Springbok tour that failure to act was unacceptable.
In 1990 when we got the neo-con National government and its subsequent incarnations I watched many good leftwing campaigners pack up their bags and leave or start fighting amongst themselves. This was also unacceptable.
One of the great things we’ve seen over the last few years is an organised grassroots Left becoming established. A lot of it has been focused toward the election but now is the time we need it most.
I’ve been told there will be Left organising events around the country over the next few months and there have been murmurings of a thousand-day campaign. I’d like to see that come together. Not just to oust National and ACT in the next election but to help push New Zealand’s political discourse and its political parties leftward. To do that we need unity and we need to focus on winning. Not blaming each other for losing. It took the right nine years to cooperate and win. The Left will do it faster because we are collectivist by nature and are fighting for much more than just increasing the bottom line.
As the wobblies say – Don’t mourn. Organise.