I had a disheartening experience this week. I was reading one of my own articles. 'Join the club, Steve' I can hear someone saying wittily
In that article I said that the issues facing left wing politics in New Zealand had nothing to do with the fortunes of the Labour Party. I stated that as a progressive force that the Labour Party was dead. I thought I made a reasonable and cogent argument.
The disheartening thing is that I wrote that article in 1990. Over twenty years ago! Today, in 2013, I'm still writing the same article, albeit the names and dates have changed. I probably could work up an all purpose 'The Labour Party is Dead as a Progressive Force' article which I could post every time someone writes more rubbish about the Labour's left wing credentials and why we should all support it. I'd probably be posting it frequently though and it would get terribly tedious.
Consistently ignoring the warning of Big Karl that once is grand tragedy, the second time is rotten farce 'the liberal milieu' are telling us that our only credible hope is to campaign for a 'centre left' government at the next election. This is the same thing that they campaigned for at the last election - and look where that got us. The same people who were flogging us that clapped out political vehicle to nowhere last time round will be trying to flog it to us again at the next election. They don't learn, do they?
Apparently a 'centre left' government is a Labour - Green- Mana coalition. But how can this be a centre left government when the two major parties are both committed to maintaining the neoliberal consensus of the past three decades? Do they think we're as stupid as they clearly are? Next time they knock on your door tell them whatever they're selling, you ain't buying.
Because there is a shed load of political expediency and intellectual dishonesty going on here.
And when it comes to political expediency and intellectual dishonesty, you can't go past the leadership of the Council of Trade Unions. The CTU's complete failure to encourage and endorse any new political developments on the left in favour of propping up the Labour Party has done nothing to help develop an indigenous socialism in this country.
In the same article I wrote about 'the constellation of forces' that would be needed to build a new left movement in this country. I lifted that term from the late Ralph Miliband (father of hopeless Ed) and, I think, it still applies today. We need to forge an anti-capitalist alliance within the widest political arena possible.
The anomaly which leaves New Zealand without a left political alternative has to end.
Hopefully I won't be posting another similar article in another twenty years time...