|Pam Corkery : "It's now our duty to support and be loyal."|
SHORTLY AFTER Winston Peters announced that New Zealand First had chosen the Labour Party as its lucky coalition partner, a Twitter friend of mine tweeted that now that New Zealand had a 'left wing government' what was there left to tweet about?
As a loyal Labour supporter much of his Twitter correspondence was devoted to attacking the National-led government and this year, being an election year, the critical attacks had become relentless, to the point of tedium. I was considering either muting him or blocking him altogether. He would of joined a select group of right wing crazies who have annoyed me and women who wanted me to view them via webcam at a special discounted price.
After nine years of a National-led government in power, Labour supporters are now faced with the prospect of dealing with having their party in power. How will they react? Will they be just as critical of the neoliberal policies of this Labour-led government as they were of the neoliberal policies of the National led-government? Or will just be simply uncritical cheerleaders for this government, turning a blind eye - or even defending- the inevitable transgressions that Jacinda Ardern and co will commit?
If the comment of my Twitter friend is any indication, the prospect's don't look good that Labour supporters will attempt to hold their government to account in any shape or form. Having got "their people'' back into positions of power, they think that their job is done. It's as if they have pushed "that other lot" out of the contested clubhouse and now everything is right with the world.
So according to Frank Macskasy writing on The Daily Blog, the election of a Labour coalition government represents the end of neoliberalism: "The nightmare of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson is over. Neo-liberalism is dead. Thank you, Winston Peters." Apparently we'll just ignore the fact that Labour signed a fiscally-severe austerity agreement with the Green's.
Also writing on The Daily Blog, Chris Trotter thinks that this government represents such a threat to the political establishment, that dark forces are already amassing against it. That's right - they are upset with a government that, among other things, won't increases taxes on the wealthy, won't increase welfare benefits, won't nationalise former state owned assets, and has placed a severe cap on social spending.
Trotter's view is so absurd its not surprising that the only 'evidence' he can provide for the existence of such a conspiracy is that former Labour cabinet minister Richard Prebble has written an opinion piece expressing his unhappiness with the outcome of the election.
You can find similar Labour-supporter drivel on Facebook. I responded to some of it and shortly after received a reply from former talkback host and Alliance MP Pam Corkery. According to Corkery
"It's now our duty to support and be loyal".
No, it isn't. It is our duty to be as vigorously critical of this new government as we were of the previous one, otherwise we can rightly be accused of hypocrisy. The struggle continues.