To mark May Day, International Workers Day, there will be demonstrations and rallies all around the world - but not in New Zealand.

FRIDAY IS MAY DAY. International Workers Day. And throughout the world it will be observed with speeches, rallies and demonstrations - from Seattle to London to Berlin to Rome to Manila to Sydney.

May Day might be happening all around the world but not in New Zealand. There will be very little happening. Certainly there won't be any demonstrations and rallies and, if last year is any indication, barely a blog post about this important day.

Auckland Action Against Poverty have a fund-raising music gig planned and the Unite Union will be using May Day to continue its industrial campaign against McDonald's and zero hours contracts, but that's about it. Lean pickings indeed. This is a case 'of all dressed up but nowhere to go' for everyone who unfashionably thinks that May Day should be commemorated.

What about the organisations that routinely lay claim to represent workers? What about the Labour Party and its chums in the Council of Trade Unions? You remember them, don't you? Like uninvited party guests, they show up in every election year and ask you to invite Labour because they claim it will make a difference. No one believes them but they just won't go away.

I checked the CTU website to see if  anything was planned. The events calendar was bare. Obviously the CTU has more important things to do. But as the CTU big wigs have not marked May Day for many years, it was no surprise to discover that nothing was planned this year either. Why break with tradition?

And the day will also go unmarked by the Labour Party - led by a former prominent trade union official.

But since the CTU and the Labour Party are implicated in an unwavering support for neoliberalism it might actually be best that they say and do nothing - it would only expose them to charges of being cynical opportunists.

May Day is, among other things, a day to remember and reaffirm the radical and revolutionary tradition which we have inherited from those who went before us.

But it is indicative of something rotten at the heart of what supposedly constitutes the New Zealand left that it can't be bothered to commemorate a day that its political adversaries are happy to see buried.


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