- Date published:
4:50 pm, November 20th, 2020 - 110 comments
Categories: community democracy, democratic participation, grant robertson, greens, housing, jacinda ardern, labour, Metiria Turei, poverty - Tags: neoliberalism
This is probably the most succinctly astute thing I have seen written about the government since the election. Standardista Miravox on twitter,
My reckon on Jacinda is that peeps likening her to Roger Douglas over housing are looking in the wrong place. She’s been indoctrinated as a 3rd-way Blairite. What’s going to be the future NZ version of Brexiteers for the betrayed? #nzpol
I can’t wait any more for Labour to sort its shit out, I think the time has come that they either demonstrate clearly that they intend to offer real solutions or we shift our political approaches around the reality that Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson fully intend to cement neoliberalism into New Zealand governance for another generation.
The anger about this on twitter has been palpable in recent weeks. Apparently others feel the same, housing advocate @AotearoaYimby,
I’ve been yelling impotently into the void on housing for 5 months now and in all that time I have never seen people as angry and pissed off about housing as they are this week
One thing that interests me here is what is going on with Labour voters. New Zealand had the chance this year to increase the Green MPs substantially, and thus shift the Overton Window on poverty and housing, and most left wing/progressive/liberal voters chose Labour. Is that because they believe Labour will do what is necessary on poverty and housing and climate, or because they know they won’t but still believe Labour are the best choice?
I see no point in going hard after Labourites or Labour voters. But I do think it’s reasonable to expect an explanation. I’ve seen some weak talking point rebuttals in the past week along the lines of parliament isn’t even sitting yet so we can’t expect Labour to be doing anything (wut?), or that it will take time to understand what Labour can do now that the NZ First handbrake/square wheel is gone.
But everything I’m seeing is reaffirming that what Labour are doing right now is what they intend to keep doing. If there was intention to change, to shift the Overton Window, Ardern’s world class messaging would be reflecting that. And it’s just not. Is it likely that Labour have a secret poverty/housing busting agenda we don’t know about? Tui award there.
I full expect this term for Labour to do some good things. They’re not the same as National and it’s important to recognise that under National we would be in a far far worse situation. But what that leaves us with is a reprieve not a resolution. New Zealand will tread water quite well for this term (apart from the ones already drowning), and then we might get lucky and get another term. But sooner or later, the right will rise again and the only way to prevent another decade of FJK protofascism is to shift New Zealand’s political core now. If we don’t then what Miravox is warning will come about. ACT are waiting in the wings as we speak.
We have three years to create that change and it’s patently clear that the driver for this has to come from outside of parliament.
Bryce Edwards in the Guardian, summing up his piece on the classism in the New Zealand parliament and Labour Party and how this reflects in their policy,
Forcing this government to deliver for the poor and working class might require protests and mobilisation.
Fortunately we have some allies in parliament (the Greens and the Māori Party) and this shouldn’t be underestimated, it ups our changes greatly. The Greens this week, both Shaw and Davidson, have been pushing in various media on the culture shift needed around parliamentary solutions to poverty. Aren’t we glad now that they stuck to their guns pre-election? And always, shout out to Metiria Turei, who sacrificed her political career so that we could be having this opportunity to act now.
May as well get on with it lefties. We can’t afford to give Labour the benefit of the doubt on this.