We get some great stuff going on in the comments here. Often I think I should pull comments up as guest posts, this time I’ve actually got a round to it! A couple of days ago fatty despairingly questioned what Labour stood for, and how they could distance themselves from National. An excellent reply from regular commenter Colonial Viper is below. What more can we add? And, my challenge to the right wingers, can you come up with a similarly broad, coherent and principled summary of what you think National stands for? What should National do? — r0b
OK, I’ll bite. Your question is – what should Labour do?
Stand for what they believe in and do not give an inch on their values.
Don’t be afraid of taking wealth generation very seriously – as well as wealth redistribution.
Talk about fairness, opportunity for all and social justice as critical issues facing us.
Be determined to reduce social and economic inequality in the country. Reconnect in a serious way with workers: the 3/4 of NZ’ers who between them only hold 1/4 (and declining) of the country’s wealth.
Move back to a very strongly progressive tax system and ensure that it removes all impetus for asset bubble speculation.
Reconnect with and revitalise the union movement as an underlying engine of the productive, innovative economy.
Create the conditions to bring about a real living wage for all. Reduce the % of the economy that the finance and banking sector represents in favour of home grown advanced productive enterprise.
Dramatically increase the productivity per NZ worker, and ensure that worker gets a fair share of the returns.
Draw a line in the sand that anything over 3% unemployment is not just undesirable but unacceptable, economically and societally.
Reduce public and private reliance on debt created bank money. Ensure that social capital is valued just as much as financial capital.
Throw GDP out as our main measure of economic activity and replace it with GNP per capita as well as other measures.
Create expectations and supports so that every able person can contribute their utmost to society – whether it be through paid employment or in other ways – while those not able to work are well protected and cared for.
Support the weak, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised in society to the greatest extent possible and give them ways to fully participate in the society that they are members of.
Protect the sovereignty and pride of our country, its people and its economy.
Demonstrate why NZ has always held its head high in pride of place in the international community.
Establish civics education for all, re-energise public broadcasting in the true sense of the term, while enforcing the highest standards of impartiality, analysis and reporting in the news media.
Give young New Zealanders every reason to stay and strive to create successful, happy lives in this country, instead of Australia.
Shall I go on, I can if you want.