Martyn Bradbury has got a lousy offer for you - because you didn't ask for it. And it comes with a free subscription to The Daily Blog!
Martyn Bradbury is a commentator who has shown very little, if any, interest in socialist politics. While he huffs and puffs about the Key government on The Daily Blog what he is offering as an alternative won't improve the lives of the very people he claims to champion. He is little like his more literate colleague Chris Trotter in that respect. Trotter is a regular guest on Bradbury's Citizen A chat show, where they mutually appreciate each other.
Bradbury is a one trick pony and a very poor one trick pony at that. The only thing he is selling is a Labour-Green-Mana coalition. He called it a 'progressive bloc' at the last election but this time he has come out of the political closet and is openly calling it a left coalition. That he hasn't been laughed off the political landscape just goes to prove how resolutely right wing the political landscape is - a landscape where right wing social democrat Chris Trotter is described as 'New Zealand's leading left wing commentator'.
Here is Bradbury speculating on the Ikaroa-Ra-whiti by-election:
'This by-election has far ranging ramifications to the viability of a left wing majority beating the National Government in 2014, progressive voters and media news junkies should stay aware of the trends. '
It should be noted that Bradbury contradicts himself massively. One day he's talking about a 'left wing majority', the next day he's talking about a 'centre left' majority. Apparently they mean the same thing. Neither definition makes much sense anyway. Bradbury could call his Labour-Green electoral alliance a cheese and pickle sandwich for all the difference it makes. Perhap's the label 'We're Not National' is the most truthful, as the spectre of 'lesser evil' politics floats into view.
The elephant in Bradbury's living room is the inconvenient reality that the two major parties in his 'left wing majority' are right wing neoliberal parties. So that is a major problem for old Martyn.
Arguably liberal-left on largely symbolic social matters in a vain effort to cling to some left wing credentials, both Labour and the Green's remain firmly on the right as far as economic policy is concerned. Even Mana's economic politics are ambivalent and hardly an expression of the anti-capitalism that many of us were hoping for.
Bradbury's lazy and expedient answer is to just ignore that elephant and the large piles of neoliberal poo it continues to leave on the carpet. As the election approaches he and his political pals will screen off the elephant and hope the voters don't notice the pong.
Here he is again talking about what he this time calls a 'Labour - Green voting bloc':
'For the Labour-Green voting bloc to establish itself as the Cabinet-In-Waiting it will need to achieve and sustain a solid voter-support-base of say 53 percent with Labour on par with (or above) National.'
Bradbury certainly has got the ideological blinkers on when it comes to these two parties. Even the recent declaration from the Labour deputy leader that his party had no intention of upsetting market forces, hasn't brought Bradbury to his senses and it doesn't look like anything will. Perhaps he thinks he's in line for a cushy job under his 'left wing government' in the way he apparently picks up financial assistance from various sympathetic unions for media projects like The Daily Blog.
In Bradbury's echo chamber, ordinary people are just percentage points that must be hooked into voting for the 'political alternative' that isn't. He chows down on the opinion polls, works on the percentages, blathers on about it all on The Daily Blog and Citizen A. But he is not the only serial offender, just one of the more visible.
Bradbury is a representative of a strata of middle class activists who have a moral indignation to the present government but are less enamoured about bringing about fundamental economic change. In fact, under the veneer of liberal tolerance, they are downright hostile to such a prospect.
The reality is that supporting Bradbury's 'left wing majority' means writing the remainder of this decade off to the parliamentary consensus of support for the neoliberal order and which views austerity measures as necessary in the face of a stagnant economy.
Bradbury, and others like him, exhibit a refusal to do much at all that might seem particularly radical.
For the working class, it will be another lost decade.