Take us this day our daily statins

Written By: - Date published: 3:53 pm, November 2nd, 2013 - 11 comments
Categories: labour, political parties - Tags:

For as long as I have been around the Labour party conferences there has been a steadily greying of the members as the slow influx of younger members was outweighed by the aging of the stalwarts. That seems to have finally changed.

As David Cunliffe pointed out in his speech yesterday, the Labour party membership has doubled over the last year. 75% of that has happened since December. When I’m looking around the delegates here, that is obvious.

For years I was one of the very few people in my generation at Labour conferences and congresses. That was because I finally joined the party when I was 30 in 1989. Most of the delegates who were in their 30s and 40s in Labour left to go to NewLabour and eventually to the Alliance. Of course this hardly surprising. From memory, the first conference that I went to was the disastrous conference that resulted in the formation of New Labour party.  All that I remember of that conference was the shouting.

Younger than I throughout the 90’s was the ever changing group of Young Labour, few of whom appeared for more than a few years. And a very few stalwart 30 year olds growing out of Young Labour or joining the party.

But now – well it is hard to describe how different the membership is. Grey Labour has pretty well disappeared as the vast majority amongst delegates. Being a grey headed and in the hands of quacks medical professionals is now just one smallish group amongst a younger and active group. I’d expect this renewal in the Labour membership and delegates to continue. It is a fundamental shift in how the thinking of the Labour party operates.

The party members are becoming more active as they can use the net to talk to each other, passing and highlighting the posts and articles that they like between themselves. This has been opening up changes in the way that people think after decades of being conditioned to the commercial pap from the parliamentary press gallery.  Even on a completely political site like The Standard, it took the intervention of IrishBill to point out to our audience of centre-rightists (like myself) to the more anarchistic socialists that they could simply join the Labour party and affect the outcomes that they wanted.

The current Labour caucus most of whom who were selected, elected, and re-elected in the days of the generational black holes now seem to be accepting of that change in reality. Indeed many of them seem to actively being embracing it. This really isn’t surprising after the realisation of how divergent that the party membership and associated union members were to their views that have been steeped inside the Thordon bubble this year.  If a party cannot convince their own membership, then it is hard to see how they can convince the wider public to vote for them and their policies.

John ArmstrongHowever not all of the more staid amongst our political commentators are happy with this. Some really haven’t caught up with the changing nature of either the electorate or the Labour party. It isn’t the “leftists” who have been changing the direction of the Labour party. It is the “activists”. It doesn’t matter if they are from the business side, the service sectors, left or right. What we recognize is that business as usual in the way that the National party continues to want to play it is a negative sum game. This is the way that the population looking at the ever diminishing job prospects of their kids are viewing it. They would prefer to see their grandkids living in NZ rather than offshore.

In the end letting National or Labour run with a “business as usual” crony capitalism depending on mainly raw or lightly processed food and forestry exports  winds up with us exporting our best and brightest people offshore. Just as National have managed to do in with losing 200 thousand offshore in the last 5 years. This isn’t getting better. As we lose manufacturing jobs and the value-add chain that is associated with it, our economy gets less resilient and elderly. It also requires more and more medication to survive – just like me.

It is good to know that, as I attend Labour conferences and congresses in the future that I will be in a aged minority…


* As Lyn has taken to referring to my current (and ever fashionable) bristle

11 comments on “Take us this day our daily statins”

  1. Same here LPRENT .However some of us old wrinklies do have “up to date” minds .
    Nothing pleases me more than to see so many young people now joining Labour .What is more pleasing in is that they are coming in with ideas that are acceptable socialist ideas that old Socialist like me have believed and dreamed of all our political lives. The Left is alive and well.

    • lprent 1.1

      Especially when centre-rightists like myself think the same way. The neo-liberal experiment here has long since reached its limits.

  2. karol 2

    That is very hopeful indeed.

    The left needs energised young people to take the initiative and move in a direction suited to the changing times and circumstance. Excellent to hear that sort of renewal is happening.

  3. Tigger 3

    When did Gollum win a media award?

    Yes, I’m making fun of his looks. Because I’m mean.

  4. peterlepaysan 4

    The NZLP very successfully disembowelled itself post 1984. Which is why there are so few grey heads remaining in the party.

    The Clark years slowly drained Labour’s remaining (and grass roots base). Which is why there are
    so few grey heads remaining in the party.

    If lprents observations are correct ( and I hope they are) we could see a rejuvenated and relevant NZLP. Something long assumed missing and probably dead.

  5. mickysavage 5

    Agreed Lynn.

    What is really impressive is how talented the young people are who are coming through. I think of my time when I was a young Labour activist and what my comrades and I were like and then I think of the current batch and I realise how far ahead of us they are …

    The party is in good spirits and increasingly good shape. Next year should be a very interesting year.

  6. xtasy 6

    Re this:

    “However not all of the more staid amongst our political commentators are happy with this. Some really haven’t caught up with the changing nature of either the electorate or the Labour party.”

    Is it not so, that the “political commentators” that are around, are either of the ages that survived the increasing privatisation, corporatisation and “Murdochisation” and “adapted” to the neo-liberal mindset that now dominates most mainstream media, or are a bit younger ones that grew up in the age so influenced by the “reforms” that Roger Douglas and his “buddies” brought in 2 to 3 decades ago, knowing little else than “right” leaning thinking?

    So do not expect anything that “warm” or “friendly” coming from these “commentators” and “journalists”, some of whom now continue to “nurture” the minds of their “fans” and “followers” listening to the narrow minded talk-back nonsense, like for instance Sean Plunket.

    It is time for a younger generation of competent journalists to come into the game, who may qualify to become competent “commenters” in years to come.

    The perfect “apprenticeship” ground they could get, would be a newly formed, expanded, restored, true public broadcasting in New Zealand, bringing back real investigative journalism, analysis, debate and proper information in news programs, debating forums and quality documentaries.

    Besides of some other policy matters, I expect Labour to do more for public broadcasting, linking up also to good online services.

  7. lprent..re yr statins..

    ..can i suggest you go vegan/forsake alcohol..?

    …there is a reasonable chance that if you do that..

    ..that after a while – the changes in yr body could see you able to throw yr statins away..


    ..nothing guaranteed…of course..

    ..but worth trying..?

    ..you think..?

    ..i am from a genetic/family background where i should be rattling from all the pills i take..by now..

    ..but i take no pills..am on no meds..(ahem..!..if you don’t count pot..)..

    ..and am generally in unruly good health..

    ..and i credit the vegan/no booze-diet for that..

    ..just saying..!..

    ..phillip ure..

  8. tricledrown 8

    Lprent I just stating that statins have side effects people with liver damage should be aware.
    A New York times health reporter wss given a perscription by his doctor for 40 mg per day the drug manufacturers daily recommended dose.
    This reporter decided Hey didn’t want to be on statins pills for the rest of his life so changef to vegetarian and started doing loys of exercise. Afterr a year Hey went back for another colesterol test his level wad down but only by 15% so the doctor put him back on 40mg a day.The NYTimes reporter still not happy read all thr available research and found that in most cases you only need 10 mg per day so He went on 10 mg per day after a few months had another test everthing was good 10mg was working fine.
    The drug cartels are making big money out of over perscribing.
    But coming off statins is very dangerous as it can cause strokes .

    • lprent 8.1

      I had a myocardial infraction in 2010 requiring an emergency surgery to put in a stent in one of the arteries supplying the heart muscles with blood. One of the other arteries is also partially occluded. The main problem is in blood cells getting trapped in artery wall tissues. The drugs I am taking are designed and statistically tested to prevent that clumping. Becoming a vegan would do little to nothing.

      Statins are used for a variety of purposes. Just like the aspirin I take for the same condition.

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