THIS WEEK Mike Treen, the National Director of the Unite Union, tweeted that Naomi Klein's new book, This Changes Everything, is a manual for a new movement. He followed that up with another tweet highlighting Klein's view that there are now no non radical solutions to tackling climate change.
All well and good. I agree entirely that Klein's book, which has been ignored by the mainstream media in this country, is a very important work. I also agree that we can only come to grips with climate change and the ecological crisis generally through radical means.
But while it is convenient for Treen to embrace the views of Naomi Klein now, views which are not dissimilar to those of the ecosocialist movement, where was he before the election? That's right - he was urging support for the grand 'progressive coalition', which included a Green Party advocating neoliberal solutions to climate change.
I did not hear Treen offering any criticisms of the Green Party's views then. Instead he was dismally supporting the election of Labour-led government which, among other things, would have allowed further deep sea oil exploration and believes in market solutions to the climate crisis - like carbon trading - which Klein completely dismisses as no solution at all.
It's hard not to interpret Treen's sudden u-turn as anything but opportunistic. I'm afraid that people like Mike Treen (and it is not just him) talk a big game in the 'downtime' between elections but when the parliamentary seats are again up for grabs, they all wheel in behind the Labour Party - which has had disastrous consequences for three elections in a row. You kind of think Treen and company might have learnt something by now.
Having helped to fracture the left by his misguided and disastrous support for the merger of Mana and the Internet Party, Treen now wants the left to regroup and reorganise. But the devil is in the detail.
While Treen criticises the Labour Party for failing to encourage strategic voting, particularly in Hone Harawira's former seat, he comprehensively fails to answer the fundamental question: What is to be done about the Labour Party?
In the absence of any clear rejection of the Labour Party, we can only assume that Treen and the usual suspects will be calling for yet another vote for yet another 'progressive coalition', led by yet another 'lesser evil' Labour Party in 2017. This is the failed electoralist strategy all over again which will see, for the next three years, a whole load of rhetoric and commentary against the Key government in the blogosphere but zero opposition on the streets and in the workplaces. The CTU will make sure of that.
This is not good enough. Mike Treen might think Naomi Klein's new book is a manifesto for a new movement but a new movement requires new thinking. And there is certainly nothing new about continuing to support a politically bankrupt Labour Party.