“Wedger” Wayne Mapp in todays’s Spinoff does his best to stuff Jacinda Ardern into a Tony Blair “Third Way” box. Too glib by far. True in 2002 Blair did promise to eliminate child poverty by 2020; poverty’s now the highest in 20 years in Britain. I’d back Jacinda to do much better. Besides, instead of Mandy she’s got David Parker.
What distinguishes this government from previous ones is that it is both fully aware of the contradictions of 21st century capitalism and not afraid to expose them publicly.So Mapp quotes Jacinda Ardern:
Capitalism, she said, was a “blatant failure” when it comes to housing. In the same interview, she referred to the fact that “wages are not keeping up with inflation”, and that New Zealand had “the worst homelessness in the developed world”.
David Parker is equally clear:
Labour is a liberal, outward-looking party, he says, but one that also wants to protect the country against “the excesses of globalised capital. That’s in the societal interests of New Zealand, we don’t like those extremes of wealth…so we’re going to be pushing against them.”
Even Peter Mandelson is now rowing back from his earlier statement that the Blair government were ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich’ in a realisation that neoliberal globalisation beloved of Wayne Mapp has not seen its fruits equally distributed.
Ardern and Parker have already demonstrated that they are both intelligent and capable, applying principled solutions to old conundrums, in the best interest of New Zealand and New Zealanders. I expect that to continue, which is why glib analogies and worn-out labels are so inappropriate.
Expect Wayne to be surprised.