How fitting that reactionary Labour leader Phil Goff is buying into the right wing myth of the liberal 'nanny state'. Having already dismissed Labour's social democratic history as 'irrelevant' and 'outmoded', he's now embracing right wing nonsense about an overprotective state.
Rather than setting a new agenda for Labour he's just entrenching and deepening Labour's neoliberalism. It comes as no great surprise to we socialists, but it must be profoundly dispiriting for blogs like The Standard who keep on flying the red flag for Labour. It's about time they replaced it with a blue one.
According to Goff he wants to 'draw a line' under such unpopular policies as those telling people what size shower heads and which lightbulbs they could use.
But this is not about confronting past mistakes - its about giving up completely any pretensions about Labour being any other than just another neoliberal party.
Goff is buying into the argument that its somehow wrong for the state to intervene in any meaningful way into the economy or society. The market rules!
But as well as buying into the myth of the liberal 'nanny state' Goff is also buying into the myth that the right doesn't intervene and let's 'the free market' run the roost. What a ridiculous man Goff is.
In fact the right favours a broad range of state policies to tilt the field in favour of the rich and powerful - to the detriment of ordinary people.
A vivid example of that is are the plans to create an Auckland 'supercity' which will favour big business and open up Auckland public assets to privatisation or so-called 'private-public partnerships'.
But are we surprised that Goff has bought into the right wing myth about the 'nanny state' when he shows no affinity or sympathy for what we could describe as traditional social democratic policies?
There will be no real reassessment or revaluation of Labour's political direction at the weekend conference and there will certainly be no rejection of Labour's neoliberal economic policies.
Not surprisingly the truly awful Andrew Little claims that Goff has the 'widespread support' of the party. Unless he has asked every party member their opinion he can't possibly know this but its an indication that Little, who has been instrumental in turning the trade union movement into the timid and gutless creature it is today, will ensure that the CTU will remain manacled to this joke of a party.
Labour has not learnt from its mistakes and Goff is all set to leave it further into the wilderness - and the likes of Andrew Little will be helping him.
Once again we are left lamenting the absence of a mass workers party that proudly advocates economic policies that favour ordinary New Zealanders.