As a television 'spectacle' the debate between the leaders of the 'minor parties' was mindboggingly tedious. In fact, I confess, I began channel-surfing. I ended up watching some of New Zealand's Got Talent.

Here we had six politicians broadly in agreement about the 'free market' and neo liberal economic policies - they all favour this discredited economic framework. The difference was in emphasis not in substance.

It's staggering. We are now in the midst of the greatest capitalist crisis since the 1930s, with the full impact yet to hit New Zealand, and these inadequate politicians are offering nothing but more of the same neo-liberal tripe.

In fact, chances are, these very same politicians will be leading the charge to inflict more damage on ordinary people via spending cuts.

And with unenmployment set to rocket what is the Maori Party's solution? Scrap the unemployment benefit! Or in the case of the Green Party raise the unemployment benefit - which is what former lefty Sue Bradford said yesterday.

There was no talk at all at about changing the fundamentals of the economic system that lead to unemployment in the first place.

The silly Maori Party think that capitalism would be just dandy if there were more brown-skinned people running it. Basically, that's the core of their nonsensical ideology.

The Greens, represented at the debate by the politically incoherent co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, want to tack on some environmental policies on to the crumbling free market framework.

In contrast United leader Peter Dunne thinks the Green's policies are a recipe for non-growth. In purely neo liberal terms Dunne is probably right but arguing with the Green Party is like wrestling with custard. They have no coherent economic programme other than, somehow, creating a nicer and kinder free market. It's ludicrous and its little wonder that eco-socialists don't want a bar of this right wing Green Party.

Fitzsimons said that the Green's would not be just a tame lapdog for the Labour Party. Having been exactly that for at least the last six years, I find that hard to believe. In fact, I don't believe it.

I could talk abut Anderton, Peters, etc but, frankly, I can't be bothered. You know what they want. You know what they represent. It's the same old same old.

What I wanted to hear was someone offering a fundamentally new economic direction. I wanted someone to condemn the neo liberal road that all the parliamentary parties are lurching down to and offer a clear alternative - socialist or left Keynesian. But we got neither.

In fact the only significant political party offering a new way forward weren't invited to the debate - and that was the Alliance.


  1. Yes the show was tedious.
    For my part I think Winston has given plenty to NZ, but I suppose appearing to accept bribes is not part of our acceptable political scene.
    I thought Winston gave direct reference to the seriousness of our situation the world.
    I am struggling to think how Green Party could be labelled Right Wing, I thought it could be their need to make rules and regulations for us, and I also struggle to take on the full meaning of something like Neo liberal.
    Like it sounds OK maybe I would like to be a new liberal, I don't know though. Is a neo liberal someone who can oppose MAORI seats as racist his week and entrench them soon as the margin gets thin.?


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