Strangely, people aren't very excited about Labour and the Green's 'Budget Responsibility Rules'. Former Green MP Sue Bradford says it represents the end of the Green's as a left wing party.

 "What did people think would happen after the Greens elected former Price Waterhouse apparatchik and Coca Cola consultant James Shaw MP as co leader? I've had an email exchange with him where  he denies we are in a climate change emergency. The Blue/Greens have now slipped down the Labour Party gurgler. Never underestimate the so called 'lefts' ability to wrestle defeat from the jaws of victory." Kevin Hester

IF THE LEADERSHIPS of the Labour and Green parties imagined that their commitment to austerity, otherwise known as the 'Budget Responsibility Rules' was going to be popular, then they seriously are out of touch with the prevailing public mood. Simply tagging 'progressive' on to this reaffirmation of neoliberalism fooled very few.

Former Green MP and longtime activist Sue Bradford wrote on Facebook over the weekend:

"I'm sorry to see the Greens tie themselves to even tighter fiscal constraints than Labour evidently imposed on itself at the last election. In the push for votes they're falling into the old trap of thinking only centre & right wing voters matter, & that the only economic way forward lies with what is acceptable to corporate capitalism."

That comment was 'liked' by nearly a hundred people.

Sue continued with her theme on RNZ's Morning Report this morning, when she slammed the Green Party for lining up behind Labour: "This is the death knell for the Greens as a left party in any way, shape or form."

Even people nominally sympathetic to the Labour-Green cause, don't like this agreement. Unite union boss Mike Treen wanted to know why Labour and the Green's were continuing to embrace neoliberal dogma, despite the fact that it had comprehensively failed for ordinary people. He wrote:

"The strange part of Labour and the Greens signing up to tired dogmas from the past is that people actually don’t care about them. Only the ruling elites do. There are not many votes there. That’s Math."

He concluded:

"The continued genuflecting before the ruling rich and promising to do nothing meaningful to upset them is not a winning electoral strategy either!"

Mike Treen: Will he continue to say Labour is 'the lesser evil'?
Treen, an exponent of the 'lesser evil' argument, perhaps will now reconsider if it really is wise to continue peddling the fiction that a Labour-led government would be significantly better than the present government. As the head of a union that represents low paid workers, will he still be pleading for them to vote Labour and the Green's, knowing too well that such a government will deliver them exactly nothing? Or will he just go along with his old chum Matt McCarten - now Labour's chief strategist - and swallow this particular bitter pill for the sake of political expediency?

I think people like Mike Treen, and others who share a similar view, now need to decide whose side their on.

Sue Bradford says that many of us will have no one to vote for this year, but that's a conclusion many of us came to several elections ago. Some 780,000 didn't bother to vote last time round and the Budget Responsibility Rules will hardly have people flocking to the polling booths in September.

Even someone as gung ho Labour as The Daily Blog editor is now reduced to airing the hopeless 'lesser evil' argument. Writes Martyn Bradbury: "All we can hope for in September is a change of Government, it won’t be a changed Government."

Is that it, Martyn? Is that all you've got to offer? Really?

Jeez. Give me strength.


  1. Steve, it should also be said that this Budget Responsibility document was cooked up between the Labour and Green leaderships. There was no consultation with the memberships of either party. There is no internal democracy within either the Green's or Labour.

    As a former Green member I'm disgusted that the party has come to this, another political lackey of big business.

    1. The Green's shift to the right really began withe Russell Norman but has gathered pace since he left. But this has happened also without any resistance from within the Green's, apart from a few.

      I also hope that people like Mike Treen don't contrive to surrender to this by playing the 'lesser evil' card. That didn't wash in 2014 and it won't work in 2017. Let's face it, we're stuffed again.


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