Matt McCarten's decision to fall in behind Labour leader David Cunliffe represents a large step to the right.
THERE HAVE been a lot of people blowin' smoke today. Here's a small taste of some of it.
In a press release from Mana Party President Annette Sykes we read:
'On behalf of the Mana movement, I’d like to congratulate Matt McCarten on his appointment as David Cunliffe’s Chief of Staff”....“Through the positive relationship he already has with us and the Greens, and now with Labour, we have no doubt his appointment will help build a strong and united coalition of the left to change the government. ...This is great news.'
And here's political mercenary Martyn Bradbury writing on The Daily Blog:
Matt’s appointment should be a clarion call that the Labour Party leadership is serious about implementing real social change. The chances of a progressive left Government just rose dramatically.
Such is the low level of intellect and debate surrounding McCarten's capitulation to Labour that his appointment is actually being hailed as some kind of victory for the left. The political dishonesty that people like Sykes and Bradbury exhibit is such that McCarten's trenchant criticisms that he has consistently made of Labour are going to be swept under the carpet, never to be spoken of again. The name of the game is political expediency.
McCarten's rush back to the Labour Party is unprincipled and another kick in the guts for those of us who would like to see the emergence of a genuine left wing movement that isn't shackled to the naked political ambitions of a bankrupt Labour Party.
It was Rosa Luxemburg who said those who do not move, do not notice their chains. McCarten's decision to fall in behind David Cunliffe has tightened the chains just a little bit more.
For Annette Sykes to talk of a 'coalition of the left' is not only inept, it is both cynical and opportunistic. How can Labour and the Green's, both committed to the capitalist status quo and to the creed of neoliberalism, be in any way 'left'? Does Sykes seriously think people are going to swallow this rubbish?
Clearly any criticism of Labour will now be muted and Mana's pretence to be 'politically independent' has been shown to be a sham. We can now look foward to a campaign that will attempt to con people into thinking that the next Labour Government will be different, that it will be a 'progressive left' government.
That's right. This is the same Labour Party that has assured business that will be no rocking of the neoliberal status quo. The same Labour Party that will raise the retirement age to 67. The same Labour Party that will allow deep sea oil drilling. The same Labour Party that accepts the need for austerity cuts. The same Labour Party whose leader says that 'socialism is not a word I use'.
There is no new vision on offer here, nothing that will threaten the rule of capital.
My view is that you should not let your vote be held hostage to the expediency and cynicism of the Labour Party and its fellow travellers. Don't be conned. Don't do Hard Labour.