|Syriza supporters celebrate the results of the exit polls.|
With Syriza marching to an historic victory in the Greek elections, the reaction from New Zealand's left wing blogs has been subdued. It has exposed again just how conservative and uninspiring much of the New Zealand left has become.
WITH SYRIZA triumphing in the Greek elections, an outside observer might of reasonably expected that New Zealand's left wing blogs would of been excited about the result. After all, this is a major victory not only for the Greek and the European left but for the left generally. Parties like Podemos in Spain are waiting in the wings to springboard from Syriza's success. No one can now assume that neoliberalism will remain dominant.
But the reaction on 'left wing' blogs like The Standard and The Daily Blog has been subdued. There has barely been any coverage of Syriza at all.
The lack of comment on Syriza could be argued to be the result of the parochial nature of the blogosphere. While it is true that it concentrates on local issues that does not preclude coverage of overseas issues and events. Just recently there was extensive comment and analysis of the terrorist attacks in France.
The lack of any real enthusiasm for Syriza can be explained by much of the New Zealand left's continued myopic support for the right wing Labour Party. It refuses to recognise that Labour is a lost cause and the way to beat conservative forces in New Zealand is to build a genuinely independent and left wing alternative.
Syriza has resoundingly proved that it can be done. In startling contrast the Pasok Party (Greek's version of our Labour Party) has collapsed. Along with the right wing New Democracy Party it dominated Greek politics for over three decades. Now it is struggling to muster barely four percent of the total vote - it is widely reviled by the Greek people for corruption and for accepting hated austerity polices while in power in 2009.
Is this what Labour's dwindling number of supporters fear might be the fate of their party? With Labour's electoral support ebbing away, the formation of a new left out of the rubble of an old and discredited left is not only the realistic option but is what will inevitably happen.
After a deafening silence The Daily Blog finally saw fit to mention Syriza this morning. Unfortunately the job went to editor Martyn Bradbury. After loudly supporting the Labour Party at the 2014 election his lukewarm enthusiasm for Syriza can only be described as cynical and opportunistic. The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, is a socialist. Bradbury doesn't like socialists or socialism. Last year he described socialists as 'unhappy people'.
The blog that he controls will continue to support Labour. As will The Standard. As will the Unite Union. As will the International Socialist Organisation. As will Fightback. As will Socialist Aotearoa. As will the Council of Trade Unions. Like most of the New Zealand left, they'll all be calling for a vote for Labour in 2017. Are you inspired and excited? No, neither am I.
We deserve a lot better. We deserve our own Syriza.