The present 'vigorous discussion' occurring within the Labour Party is not so much about two principled political currents disagreeing over Labour's political direction but rather two discredited sets of neoliberal politicians squabbling over the dead carcass that is the Labour Party.

Neither camp offers anything for ordinary people who need to explore more productive pastures beyond the wreck that is Labour.

It was predictable that Phil Goff would take Labour further to the right and that's what he has done, eschewing some of Labour's more high profile social liberalism.

Goff is mistaken if he thinks that a even more conservative Labour Party is going to attract back the Labour voters that deserted Labour at the last election.

Someone should take Goff to a quiet place and shout in his ear - 'IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!'

What Goff won't face up to - given that he is a devotee of the free market -is that Labour voters deserted the party at the last election because nine years of Labour's neoliberalism failed to significantly improve the economic position of ordinary people. Indeed, under Labour, New Zealand become a more unequal society with one of the highest levels of poverty in the OECD.

Yet Goff continues to claim that the free market can deliver for ordinary people. Since it has spectacularly failed to do just that ever since the days of Rogernomics, Goff cannot be considered to be anything other than a neoliberal zealot.

At the last election traditional Labour voters took a long look at Labour and didn't like what they saw. Labour's working class vote collapsed in the main metropolitan centres.

Nor did that support simply transfer over to National. Many Labour voters simply didn't vote.

Goff won't attract back that vote by simply saying 'sorry' for his party's 'nanny statism' and criticising the Maori Party. This is little more than a sideshow that avoids confronting the elephant in the corner of Labour's room - its continued support for neoliberalism.

Goff's strategy might disgruntle the likes of President Andrew Little a bit but he and his ilk certainly do not offer a way forward for ordinary people either

As secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) Little has betrayed ordinary working people time and time again.

Indeed Little has played a influential role in a union bureaucracy that has not only failed to launch any semblance of a fightback against the austerity measures of the National government but has actively collaborated with the business class to ensure hundreds of factory and work place closures have all occurred with the minimum of fuss and bother.

What this little skirmish demonstrates is that Labour Party offers nothing for ordinary people and that the only real way forward is to build a new progressive movement in this country - one that rejects the anti-working class policies of people like Phil Goff and Andrew Little.


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