The Labour Party has a proud history.
The Party was formed because the Labour Movement realised that political as well as industrial action was needed if they were to deliver a better quality of life for ordinary New Zealanders. After the battering the Labour Movement took in 1913 under the onslaught of the employers and farmers and Massey and his Cossacks, and the inability of the Liberal Party to do anything about it people such as Peter Fraser and Bob Semple saw that the power of the vote was a weapon that was too important not to use.
From its inception Labour was a coalition of various groups including the Labour movement, Republicans, Catholics, Methodists, and progressives of all sorts who opposed the tyranny of the Massey Reform Government. Over the years Labour has continued to unite with other groups. Maori were an important inclusion. Savage’s friendship with Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana was one whose effect lasted for ages. The Women’s movement, the peace movement, Pacifica and other Ethnic groups, advocates for Gay and Lesbian rights and the Enviromental movement to name a few have over the decades coalesced with the Labour Party to form a union of movements. The Socialist principle of strength in unity has clearly been important.
During its time in Government it has achieved a great deal of good. The first fundamentally changed New Zealand for the better, the second and third ended too quickly, the fourth was hijacked and nearly destroyed the party as well as the country and the period of the fifth Labour Government was a period of stability and advance on issues of importance. Helen was an inspirational Prime Minister especially compared to the current one.
It is no secret that the party has had its recent problems. David Shearer’s resignation has highlighted these.
We are now in the midst of a leadership contest and my own personal views on who should be leader will not surprise anyone. But there is a growing sense on the need of unity within the party.
Members of the ABC faction should review their behaviour. If there is an ABG (anyone but Grant) grouping they need to decide on if they are in the right party because social liberalism and tolerance are vital principles the party believes in.
Following the current leadership contest the party has to unite and move forward. There is nothing more important for the future of the party.
Members are not really interested in the career options of individual MPs. We want our MPs to work collaboratively and collectively. We want them united. We also want a grassroots democratic party that is able to battle on issues that matter. The current government is causing tremendous damage to Aotearoa and the Government needs to be changed.
So all together now …