I need to say this – for those academics who will slice and dice a subject to slithers so small that all that is left is invisible and meaningless; and to all those who think or believe that fascism is marked by brown shorts and Nuremberg rallies – No. Fascism comes with a smile and a wave.
And as I sit here, subjected to a mainstream media that routinely insults my intelligence and dovetails into facile promotions of smiles and waves as ‘news’, I’ve made the only choice I can in this election.
But before I get there, I want to be clear about one thing. I’m not a social democrat and have no real truck for social democracy. Under social democracy my power amounts to 5/8ths of fuck all – a tick in a box once every electoral cycle. But then again, one tick is critical insofar as 100 is not 99.
Now, I joined the Labour Party in an attempt to bring a modicum of democracy to a left wing parliamentary party. David Cunliffe became leader of that party on the back of a wave of optimism and…yeah, he lost it. By my standards, his elevation to leader should have been marked by merry dancing on newly laid turf. Instead he capitulated to the right wing and stupidly mimicked the strategy adopted by Helen Clark when ‘the right’ were in their ascendency. To be clear, Helen was absolutely right to hold the right close in order to limit their rise. But David was residing over their death rattles. And yet, instead of laying them to rest, he brought them to his chest and essentially breathed new life into them.
As a result, we have the ludicrous scenario of an avowedly left leaning leader of the Labour Party being compelled to offer succour to, of all people, Winston bloody Peters and his merry band of unreconstituted conservatives. To be clear – Winston’s time has been. It’s high time he was put to bed as opposed to being taken to bed. And the recent announcement that any Labour led government could only possibly include Winston alongside the Greens is an absolute betrayal of all the thousands of people who, just like me, joined Labour to ensure a shift to the left.
And that is why I’ll be voting IMP.
I could have voted Green. I like the Green policies; I have no problem with the Green Party and sincerely hope their final vote tally is somewhere north of the 15% they seek to achieve.
But here’s the rub. Winston and his band would hobble any Green influence to the worst of their ability. And I both want and need a truly progressive government. The formerly conservative left Labour voters (looking at you Lynn) will give the Greens ample numbers.
And so I’ll be casting my vote at IMP, on the basis that, alongside Hone Harawira and Annette Sykes winning their electoral seats, my ‘tick will put Laila Harre into parliament. You see. One is not insignificant. 100 is not 99. And Labour needs to be compelled to negotiate with IMP as opposed to New Zealand First in order to get that truly progressive government we all need.
Dreaming? Then share the dream and make it real.