Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray.
Lots of work for us to do, no more time for the factional fighting that has proven so destructive for the Left.
In the spirit of new badly needed Left Unity…..
The Left opposition needs to start setting the agenda
First up: Hone Harawira’s ‘Feed The Kids’ bill. This bill to address childhood poverty is still live on the floor of parliament and is likely to be one of the first things on the order paper.
With the departure of Harawira from parliament, this bill will have to be lobbied and fought for by the other parties of the Left and Centre, NZ First, Labour, The Green and Maori Party, and if possible United Future.
The government will counter that there is no money for such a program, however within a short time will announce New Zealand’s support for the endless war in the Middle East. The link needs to be made between the fact that there is never any shortage of money and treasure for war, but never any money to feed hungry children, or lift them out of poverty. On behalf of the 100,000 children that struggle to learn on an empty stomach, it is incumbent on Te Ururoa Flavell to pick up this dropped Taiaha, and spearhead this campaign in parliament.
Second up: For the second time the government is again bailing out the technically insolvent Solid Energy, this week the government announced another $103 million bail out on top of the $150million the government gave them last year.
It is not often I agree with the Taxpayer’s Union, but I find myself agreeing with them this time, when the Executive Director of the TU, Jordan Williams says that all parties need to commit to abolishing New Zealand’s culture of corporate “Corporate Welfare”.
But more than just being an act of corporate welfare this is also a chilling climate crime.
Despite the huge continual endless bailing out of Solid Energy, the continuing stream of heartless redundancies of mine workers with little compensation, show that the time has well past for the government hear the call made by Gareth Hughes last year, that this money would be better spent paying for a just transition to jobs that don’t fry the planet.
“Coal is not going to be the fuel of our future if we are to stabilise our climate.
“New Zealanders and Solid Energy workers need a just transition into more sustainable jobs – jobs that don’t fry the planet.”
Gareth Hughes October 1, 2013
Thirdly: And on Thursday the government announced another $8 million of the public’s money will be given to help make it easier for people to invest in oil and gas exploration. No doubt this other piece of corporate welfare will have been written at the behest of the fossil fuel industry, worried at the growing international fossil fuel divestment movement.
This subsidy of the oil company investors using tax payers money is an open slap in the face to the international divestment campaign.
Business As Usual needs to be opposed
As John Key declares, “Business As Usual”.
In response, the combined Left need to make a big showing at the March to Stop Deep Sea Oil
If you are in Auckland on Tuesday Midday, take time to join the march leaving from the Britomart Centre 12.00 up to the Sky City where the National Petroleum Industry is holding their conference.
The Norwegian oil giant Statoil, the same company who is threatening to drill for deep sea oil off the coast of Northland (and the Arctic) are partly funding this conference. Together we will tell Statoil and the oil industry that we want clean energy not dirty deep sea oil.
At the same time this conference is being held in Auckland World leaders are meeting in New York for a conference on climate change. Unfortunately for us, New Zealand will be embarrassed before the world by being represented at this conference by the National Government.
The point needs to be made, (here and in New York), that by massively subsidising the coal industry and actively opposing the international divestment movement, New Zealand, from being a world leader on environmental and peace issues, has on climate change, become a world scab for the fossil fuel industry.
Mana Movement climate change spokesperson