Andrew Little says that Labour won't be opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Chris Trotter is angry. Yes he is. So watch out.

IT WAS ENTIRELY PREDICTABLE THAT THE LABOUR PARTY WAS never going to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). After three decades of slavish devotion to neoliberalism and 'the market' why would it suddenly oppose the TPPA? Why would it do something completely out of character?

To suggest that Labour could oppose it, again, betrays a delusional belief that somewhere in Labour beats a progressive heart. Yes, it might be on life support - but it is in there somewhere, struggling on. It is on this illusion that rests the equally delusional belief that Labour is not as bad as National.

This is what Chris Trotter has to believe. He has to believe it otherwise he'd finally have to admit that Labour is stone cold dead as a progressive force - and has been for decades.

Trotter began this week urging Labour to reject the TPPA. Trotter's motives were partly opportunistic , envisaging that Labour, the Greens and NZ First could unite in some dodgy popular front to defeat National in 2017. It sounds like a rerun of 2014, sans the Internet Party.

We'll just turn a blind eye Labour's other numerous transgressions then, shall we?

But Trotter's strategy disappeared in a puff of smoke when Andrew Little made it clear that Labour would not be opposing the TPPA because National had committed New Zealand to it. Those of us familiar with Little's career as a business-friendly union leader will recognise this as classic Little speak. Even when he's selling out workers he's still pretending that its got nothing to do with him and that someone else is to blame.

Of course Chris Trotter is not at all happy and you can read his response here. Can you see what's missing? Despite all the huffin' and puffin' what's absent is what's always absent when Trotter talks about the Labour Party. Even when Labour is wheeling in behind something as pernicious as the TPPA Trotter still can't find it in himself to give up on this politically bankrupt party.

Someone new to Trotterism might be under the mistaken impression that a paragraph or two has been accidentally been left off the column where Trotter delivers his punchline. Sorry folks, that's all there is. The joke, I'm afraid, is on you.

Trotter's continued loyalty to Labour renders his criticisms of the party distinctly hollow because we all know, come 2017, he'll again be calling for a Labour vote. And the million people who don't bother to vote anymore will be laughing at him.


  1. Good piece Steve.

    How anyone, especially anyone of Chris Trotter's generation, can still have illusions/delusions abut Labour is mind-boggling.

    You might like this piece on him and his false recovered memory about Labour:

    And, of ocurse, he's not the only one. Take Jim McAloon, who is an academic historian and therefore *should* know better:

    And for a more in-depth account of Labour's history:

    Philip Ferguson


Comments are moderated.