Does it really matter if half of Labour's MPs are women when Labour continues to pursue neoliberal policies? 

The Labour Party is proposing to change the rules of its parliamentary process to ensure that half of its MP's are women. by 2017. The proposed rule changes, to be decided at the party's annual conference in November, would force the party's list selection committee to ensure caucus would be 45% women in 2014 and 50% by 2017.

Labour seems to have picked up on Ed Miliband's push last year for a 50-50 gender balance within the parliamentary wing of the British Labour Party, the same Labour Party that says it would not overturn the Con-Lib government's savage welfare cuts.

Once again Labour deliberataely misses the point and sweeps under the carpet issues that it does not want to talk about.

Does it really matter what the gender balance is when it will still be the same old right wing neoliberal party that we have all come to loathe? Does it matter what the gender is of our oppressors? Does it make any difference that you are pinned down by the neck by a stiletto rather than a boot?

I haven't seen any of the present crop of female MPs rebelling against the neoliberal policies of Labour. In fact some of then, like Clare Curran for instance, have been downright hostile to criticism of Labour's political direction.

Labour draws its parliamentary politicians from a small pool of middle class contenders and that is reflected in Parliament. It is dominated by former teachers, lawyers, accountants, bureaucrats and the like. And there are one or two dreary and reactionary former trade union officials in the mix as well. They have been rewarded for not rocking Labour's neoliberal boat. Come on down, Andrew Little.

They love talking about gender and race-related issues in Labour but any mention of class is strictly forbidden. It doesn't sit well within Labour's cappuccino drinking, Pinot guzzling, Twitter chatting, 'I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine' middle class milieu.

The Labour Party was established in 1916 as the political wing of the trade union movement and it actively sought to increase the number of working class representatives within Parliament.

But we have since seen the embourgeoisment of the Labour Party and its politicians are to a man- and a woman - drawn largely from the middle class.  A professional and middle class Labour Party seeks new MPs after its own image - regardless of whether they are men or women.

Labour though shows no enthusiasm at all for rebuilding its connections with disenfranchised working class communities. It isn't about to turn against its modern history and reverse the take-over of the Labour Party by middle-class professionals who struggle to understand the basic concerns of working-class New Zealanders.


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