The Standard is another pro-Labour Party blog. It claims to be a voice for workers: 'The New Zealand labour movement used to have its own newspaper. A group of us thought that now might be a good time for it to be digitally reborn'

Yeah, well, most of the time its been a voice for the Labour Party which long ago sacrificed workers on the altar of neoliberalism

The Standard has pretty much followed the Labour line and was generally supportive of Labour's neoliberal economic policies. Apparently it saw no contradiction in supporting economic policies that were screwing the labour movement while, at the same time claiming to be a voice of the labour movement.

But now with the New Zeaalnd economy disintegrating before our very eyes, The Standard, like all pro-Labour blogs, is proving to be the fair weather friend of the labour movement that it always has been.

Having largely supported the neoliberal policies that have provoked the capitalist meltdown (I simplify here) it can't credibly attack the National led government for its neo-liberal policies

The National-led government - just like the Labour government - is an implacable defender of capitalism and its package of business welfare and infrastructural spending is a desperate attempt to prop up New Zealand capitalism.

As I've said before in other posts, Labour and its supporters support this approach. Where they disagree is in the content - Labour thinks that National isn't doing enough to help the New Zealand business class. 'We would give our business mates, MORE!' declares Labour. MORE money! MORE tax breaks! MORE everything!

What do ordinary New Zealanders get? THE BILL!

Ideological flag carriers for Labour like The Standard have taken this argument further by arguing that Prime Minister Key's 'stimulus package' (nonsensical phrase) is merely a juggling of figures and it has taken satisfaction in republishing leaked emails in which Key indicates there is no new money to deal with the crisis and that his minister's will just have to work within existing budgets.

The Standard's pathetic alternative, the alternative of all insipid Labourites everywhere, is to just dole out more money to the already wealthy business owners.

A case in point is Fisher and Paykel which, you may recall, sacked about 350 hundred workers in 2007 when it transferred some of its operations overseas.

The Standard has no problem with bailing out this loyal New Zealand company - and presumably other companies as well.

So The Standard, a self-proclaimed voice of the labour movement , has now arrived at the point of openly declaring itself as being an advocate for the New Zealand capitalist class. The pretence is over and the game is up.

A 'voice' of the labour movement! What absolute and self serving drivel.

Instead of campaigning on behalf of New Zealand capitalists, The Standard, if it any political credibility at all, would be campaigning on behalf of New Zealand workers.

Here's the real progressive alternative.

Let's turn these businesses like Fisher and Paykel over to the people who work in them!

These businesses will be run on democratic principles. Worker's councils can be set up to replace boards of directors that used to represent the shareholders and overseas interests. Workers - who now have a real say in the running of the company - will vote on a regular basis to determine who will sit on the council.

This is a real pro-labour solution that would be part of an integrated socialist approach which would include the nationalisation of the finance and banking sector.

Until The Standard stops going into bat for the likes of the wealthy Fisher and Paykel owners its claims to be 'progressive' must be regarded as hypocritical.


  1. What a strange tirade. The Standard is essentially a forum for a group of people with various left of centre ideas. Some of us are mild social democrats, others are harder left. There's no official Standard view as you're trying to paint it.

    Seeing as there's no hyperlink I'm guessing you're referring to this piece of mine -

    It's hard to see what your issue is. Yeah, it'd be swell if the Government went and nationalised F&P but at the moment that's not even worth discussing. F&P is not collapsing, we are not in an Argentina situation.

    We also have a Tory government and a public that simply doesn't have the level of socialist consciousness that would be required for such a move.

    So, rather than engage in fantasy I decided to discuss the reality of the situation - that National's motivation is not socialist as some have been saying but to prop up the business class. Knowing that, and the political limitations that exist, I still see some benefit in a bail-out if it means saving 1600 jobs and giving the public a share of ownership and control over the country.

    Still, if you prefer to have petty sectarian tantrums over here that's your business.

  2. Can you point me to the discussion and promotion of real socialist ideas on the The Standard?

    It's no good bleating on about a 'Tory' government and 'the reality of the situation' when The Standard did stuff all to promote socialist ideas during the years of that other Tory party, Labour.

    Al around the world workers are saying they will not pay for this crisis - Tane though thinks its just dandy.

    Oh and for The Standard to describe noted journalist John Pilger as ' a dick' was disgraceful.

  3. Here's one example off the top of my head - a call for Helen Clark to nationalise Air New Zealand.

    And yes, I think John Pilger is a dick. As I explained in the comments I find his tone patronising and condescending, but I respect the good work he's done.

    Anything else you want to have a wee bleat and a moan Steve?

  4. Workers around the world have taken to the streets - In Italy, Britain, Iceland and elsewhere, shouting 'We won't pay for your crisis.'

    I look forward to Tane joining the campaign.

  5. Steve, good to see some criticism of the Standard. The site is basically an online mouth piece of the Labour Party, though they'll never tell you that. They'll point out of some of them belong to the Green Party, thats right that party that thinks the free market will rescue the environment - as if that will reassure you they're on your side.

    While the Standard is happy to proclaim it's the voice of the Labour movement its first reaction to the Unite Union referendum was to condem it. So much for supporting workers! Does a voice for the Labour movement condem attempts to raise low paid workers wages? No.

    The Standard writers also seem to think Obama is gods gift to world peace, with posts titled "Obama makes the world safer already". Bring me a bucket! The only thing Obama's good for is subduing anti neo-liberal feeling and working on behalf of the establishment.

    Essentially the Standard is a website dedicated to arguing with Kiwiblog about whos brand of failed freemarket policies are best.

  6. So that's all then. Good we've got that sorted.

    As a genuine offer, you're always welcome to a submit a guest post for The Standard if you feel the site should be advocating socialism more often. It's a broad church.


Comments are moderated.