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Labour Organising

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, September 14th, 2016 - 39 comments
Categories: democratic participation, greens, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, mana, political education, political parties, Politics, uk politics - Tags: , , ,

The following snippet has been snatched from an, as usual, negative piece on Corbyn in the Guardian.

On Tuesday he (Corbyn) said pledged (sic) to make the Labour membership an “even more active force for good in every single community, ensuring that Labour mounts the most successful electoral campaign imaginable”.

“The size of our membership means that the Labour party will be a visible presence in every neighbourhood, urban or rural, in every part of our country, not just at election times but all the time,” he said, claiming Labour was now Europe’s biggest political party by membership.

The Labour academies will be situated in every region of the UK, with accredited courses on media and communications, digital, politics and policies. The training will support members to listen to, engage with and persuade people.

So, just as happened in Scotland when something worthwhile popped up in the political sphere, people have become engaged and joined a parliamentary party. Unlike in Scotland though, where as far as I know, people found their own way to engage with one another and organise, the UK Labour Party is seeking to give members direct access to a formal range of skills that will benefit those involved in organising and ultimately, or so it’s presumably hoped, the Labour Party in parliament.

Now where is Labour in NZ? At best, I’d say it’s in an Ed Miliband phase (play the centrist game, under-promise and over-deliver). It could have been in a Corbyn phase if it was structured differently (more democratic) and if David Cunliffe had understood the need to organise on top of ‘talking the talk’. Of course, it’s also possible that post Cunliffe, we’re witnessing an Owen Smith phase for NZ Labour.

I know it’s a bit challenging to find anything in NZ politics that isn’t just a soggy lump of nothing these days. But if anyone claiming to represent labour (from whichever party) has a box of matches, I’d suggest they get them out and find something to set on fire. Something like ‘our imagination’ if they want something that would burn nicely. And then maybe take a leaf from Jeremy’s book and help the flames spread.

39 comments on “Labour Organising ”

  1. Siobhan 1

    I seem to remember a snarky comment from Stuart Nash one torrid night here on the Standard. In reply to a Corbyn supporter (adrian) Nash sniggered ‘and how is that working out’. God I hope one day to reply to Nash..”It’s working out just fine… , So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”.

    • rhinocrates 1.1

      “He’s being undermined by bastards like you whose public sabotage serves only to make the party unelectable,” could be a reply.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Thing is, Nash and his ilk sincerely believe that it is Corbyn and the rest of the ‘Red Flag waving crazy set’ who is “sabotaging” their Labour Party.

        • rhinocrates 1.1.1.1

          Yep.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          They need to be reminded that it’s not their party and that it’s always been red rather than their preferred blue.

          • mosa 1.1.1.2.1

            Dead right Draco i was going to say the same thing, Nash and all the other non Labour people should join the john Key club i think they would feel quite at home, the sooner the better although it will take another defeat and three more years of the National government for Labour to make the change it needs to.
            Bring it on.

        • Adrian 1.1.1.3

          Ironically talking about Left wing self sabotage, Siobhan has just been verbally insulted and kicked off the Standard for two weeks for this comment ” here we are on a so-called left wing site”

          India’s general strike

          Yeh you couldn’t make this shit up…..no left wing solidarity will tolerated here comrade, sad and depressing moderating yet again.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Sweet and to the point Bill.

    Love this: I know it’s a bit challenging to find anything in NZ politics that isn’t just a soggy lump of nothing these days.

    And the blame for this I suggest would be our media that’s been pissing on anything that moves since … forever.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    You need a good orator to capture what people are feeling. Jill Stein is doing that with the Green Party in the United States. She clearly and passionately states what everyone is feeling. With no offence intended to the leaders of either Labour or the Greens, we don’t have anyone in the same mode in New Zealand.

    And there is the follow on question of whether a great orator could achieve the same effect in New Zealand in 2016. New Zealand has a highly fractured, politically apathetic society as can be seen from the perspective of the vehicles they drive – eg boy racers, old men on loud motorbikes, 65 to 75 year olds driving around New Zealand in motorhomes, to cyclists, to men and women driving huge four wheel utes, to people driving SUVs, to people driving older model small to medium sized cars. Apart from some of the cyclists and some of those driving small to medium sized cars, I can’t see any of these sizable sections of society being engaged by a powerful political orator. The motorhomes and ute drivers are most likely to vote National under all circumstances, as will the majority of SUV owners, the boy racers and old dudes on bikes won’t vote, the cyclists are possibly going to vote 60/40 percent in favour of Labour or the Greens, and the small to medium sized car owners will be a mix of all political parties.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      It’s crazy that Stein is only getting 2% to 3% support in the polling

      • adam 3.1.1

        She not, seem that there are issue with the ways the polls are being done. For example no polling of 18-35 year olds. Structure of the questions of the polls.

        More see this.

      • Wayne 3.1.2

        Probably because Jill Stein is not saying “what everyone is feeling” as esoteric pineapples seems to believe.

        I suspect Trump might be close to the mark of “what everyone is believing”, or at least what 40% of the US electorate believes.

        But esoteric has an interesting analysis of the NZ voter based on what they drive. I think the motorhome crowd is more diverse. Old guys on bikes; if loud possibly ex gang members and don’t vote. If sophisticated tourers probably lean National but many would like to think of themselves as rebels so not predictably National.

        SUV is the fastest growing segment of the car market. Any successful political party needs to get their share since it covers a huge range of voters, from “soccer mums” to affluent people on the slopes (though even this latter group is more diverse in socio-economic terms than is sometimes imagined).

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          SUV is the fastest growing segment of the car market.

          You mean the NEW car market right?

          Those voters who have the means and willingness to drive a shiny new $50K or $60K RAV4 or CX5 or Territory off the show room floor?

          Seriously, give that vote to National and Labour going after them is worse than pointless for anybody wanting to represent an actual alternative.

          • Wayne 3.1.2.1.1

            Yes, it is new cars, but it is also relatively new (less than 5 years) second hand cars (SUV’s). Labour should expect to get a fair chunk of these voters, which means an appealing style of politics.

            Not relentless negativism. Clark won elections because she was critical of the govt, but also conveyed competence and sensibleness. “Soccer mums” really value sensibleness. If Labour keeps rejecting the lessons of Clark (or at least seemingly not learning them), they will be permanently in opposition – well for a few years yet.

            The Conservatives under Thatcher and Major were in govt for 17 years, though elections were 4 years apart, with the last going the full five. It took Blair (I know he is reviled by leftists) to look appealing enough for Labour to win. One of the reasons is that Blair understood a large part of the electorate had absorbed Thatcherism and did not want it all reversed. A lesson apparently completely lost on Corbyn.

            At the moment Labour looks like it wants to repeal every single thing National has done, but one of the lessons of the current polls is that a large percentage, actually a winning percentage, actually likes the overall balance of National policy.

            Not everything of course, but a lot of it especially moderate taxes, reasonable restraint on govt expenditure but enough spending on health and education so that these are not generating great controversies as they did in the 1990’s. I would also say moderately liberal social policy.

            It is not preordained that National will only get 9 years and that it is automatically Labour’s after 9 years.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1.1

              I view the odds as being currently for a National 4th term.

              If National find a way of getting NZ First on board in 2017, it will then be for a National 5th term.

            • Stuart Munro 3.1.2.1.1.2

              “a large percentage, actually a winning percentage, actually likes the overall balance of National policy”

              Pffft…

              The herculean efforts of legions of media trolls including yourself Wayne, can, with the assistance of corrupt use of public money like buying Shane Jones, Peter Dunne, and the Maori party just barely scrape up a technical majority with the help of mass disenfranchisement and voter suppresion techniques.

              This vicious and useless government plays down its policies. Most of its actions are against the public interest and, but for a sycophantic media would have the public baying for their NRBC blood.

      • mosa 3.1.3

        Not really CV they keep the third party door firmly closed and locked in the states and it calls itself the land of the free…
        They are all so frightened of anything progressive.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    We don’t trust politicians. Labour MPs don’t trust us.

    They believe their infinite wisdom will improve NZ, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    Instead of voting on issues as they arise (selling state houses, immigration, welfare, TPPA, SuperCity, environmental destruction, etc.) we play the personality game: “My dictator will be better dictator than your dictator.”

    If the Parliamentary Labour Party (caucus) ever decides to trust the people with binding citizens initiative referendums, I will work my heart out for Labour.

    With personality politics it doesn’t matter if Clinton or Trump wins because either way America’s Deep State will still pull the levers of power. Same here.

    P.S. Cunliffe abhors citizen initiated referendums. I’ve asked him.

  5. billmurray 5

    Most of the English side of my family live in Aston and Nechells, Birmingham City.
    They tell me that that they will not vote for Corbyn because he is not against immigration from anywhere including Palestine.
    They voted for brexit and are proud of that fact.
    Corbyn will give a good account of himself in a General election but the immigration question will floor him and any other candidate, no matter which side, who supports immigration.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      On immigration it sounds like Corbyn is cut out of the same cloth as our MPs. MPs are so much wiser than the dangerous populist masses. (sarcastic)

      Three years ago the Swiss had a citizens initiated referendum to reduce immigration. It passed. That was a year before the flood from Syria inundated Europe. The Swiss people saw it coming. The politicians, as usual, were the last to figure it out.

      Dear Lord,
      Please spare us from authoritarian do-gooders who know what is best for us.

      • Hanswurst 5.1.1

        It would have been more surprising had the Swiss *not* passed a referendum to reduce immigration, more or less regardless of what they saw coming. You really can’t take what the Swiss do as some sort of Bellwether for what might happen in the UK or England.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    @ Hanswurst

    In the past 18 months the Swiss have had binding referendums on the following:

    – minimum wage
    – health insurance
    – inheritance tax
    – reproductive medicine
    – varsity scholarships
    – railway financing
    – purchase of new military aircraft
    – taxing benefits
    – restrictions on paedophiles
    – capping immigration

    We could have had binding referendums on:

    – Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement
    – workplace safety & liability
    – AKL housing & transport
    – NZ deep sea oil drilling
    – CHC – numerous issues
    – rate hikes (AKL & elsewhere)
    – charter schools
    – Sky casino extension
    – Dunedin DHB commissioner
    – climate change proposals, clean waterways
    – private prisons

    Instead our Beloved Great Leader held a bullshit flag referendum.

    • Pat 6.1

      am surprised you neglected theUBI referendum…

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36454060

    • Binding referenda are the reason Switzerland didn’t give women the vote until 1971, so let’s not rush to assume all those questions would have gone the way you like.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        It doesn’t matter that they go the way we like or not. It matters that it’s the people making the decision rather than some minor clique. And when things do go wrong, as they will, it will be the people who have to take responsibility and learn the lessons rather than simply blaming the government.

        • AmaKiwi 6.2.1.1

          Draco +1

          And the people do take responsibility. First, they decided to allow hard drugs in a park in central Zurich. It was a disaster. “The people” pulled the plug on that experiment in less than a year.

          No recriminations against any politicians. “The people experimented. It failed. The people promptly ended the experiment. End of story.”

          Try to get a politician elsewhere to admit they made a disastrous mistake. No way.

          • Olwyn 6.2.1.1.1

            One problem with referenda is that the questions can be formulated with a particular slant. Remember this one from 1999? “Should there be a reform of the justice system placing greater emphasis on the needs of victims, providing restitution and compensation for them AND imposing minimum sentences AND hard labour for all serious violent offences?” Yes or no, with no room for endorsing victim support but rejecting the harsh sentences, or the reverse.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      And we could have a binding referendum on hanging drawing and quartering asset thieves. 🙂

    • Hanswurst 6.4

      My point, which you apparently completely missed, was that the Swiss population is predisposed towards being suspicious of outsiders. The idea that they “saw it coming” is thus absolutely risible. Many Swiss people view even Germans as being virtually from the other side of the Moon, and I include the German Swiss in that generalisation. I agree that direct democracy in some form is a good thing. I don’t agree that it would necessarily result in the passing of huge amounts of progressive policy, nor would I assume, if policies were to pass that were palatable to the leftward end of the spectrum, that it would always be for progressive reasons.

      • AmaKiwi 6.4.1

        @Hanswurst

        WRONG!

        The Swiss are suspicious of their own politicians.

        Referendums stop Swiss politicians from passing abusive laws because they know they will be challenged. As a result only about 10% of Swiss referendums pass.

  7. Nick 7

    @Amakiwi you’re so right……when asked a y/n question, politicians start rambling incoherently in the hope that confusion will ensue and the questioner will move on.

    • AmaKiwi 7.1

      @Nick

      Yes. They are only interested in their own careers, not what the population want.

      • AmaKiwi 7.1.1

        @Nick

        “when asked a y/n question, politicians start rambling incoherently”

        Trump’s has created for himself a speaking style in which he always rambles. We don’t expect him to speak clear declarative sentence, as we do with other politicians. What we have accepted as his “normal” rambling speaking style allows him to get away with infinite ambiguity.

        Pure genius.

  8. Disturbed 8

    COULDNT AGREE MORE BILL,

    IF UK LABOUR ARE DOING THIS SO SHOULD NZ LABOUR OR THEY WILL FAIL.
    “The Labour academies will be situated in every region of the UK, with accredited courses on media and communications, digital, politics and policies. The training will support members to listen to, engage with and persuade people.

    “Now where is Labour in NZ? At best, I’d say it’s in an Ed Miliband phase (play the centrist game, under-promise and over-deliver). It could have been in a Corbyn phase if it was structured differently (more democratic) and if David Cunliffe had understood the need to organise on top of ‘talking the talk’. Of course, it’s also possible that post Cunliffe, we’re witnessing an Owen Smith phase for NZ Labour.”

    FIRSTLY,

    Labour need Cunliffe back as close to the leadership as possible as Cunliffe is a clear favourite and strong leftist not the weakness of the current leader who is confused what being a leftist means apparently.

    Labour today DURING PARLIAMENTARY LEGISLATIVE CHANGES sides more with National than ever before now.

    And if they want to really be successful getting whatever policies out into the public THAT THEY ARE FAILING MISERABLY TODAY WITH HERE IS WHAT LABOUR NEEDS TO DO;

    AS BILL REPORTS UK LABOUR ARE SETTING UP ; “with accredited courses on media and communications, digital, politics and policies.” SO SHOULD NZ LABOUR;

    NZ LABOUR MUST IMMEADIATELY CONSTRUCT A STAND ALONE MEDIA PORTAL,

    EITHER BY FUNDRAISING FOR THAT SPECIFIC PLAN,

    OR COMBINE WITH ALL THE OTHER MEDIA STARVED OPPOSITION PARTIES AND PLACE A LEGAL CHALLENGE IN COURT TO SEIZE CONTROL OF HALF THE RNZ/TVNZ PUBLIC MEDIA (currently high jacked by the ruling junta!!!!
    AS YOU SAID UK LABOUR ARE GETTING THEIR CASE FOR THIS SET UP SO SHOULD NZ LABOUR, OR WITHER AWAY AND DIE.

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