Chris Trotter: Vote Labour..blab blah ..Jacinda Ardern..blah blah..
Conservative commentator Chris Trotter wants you to know that Labour's brand of neoliberalism is better than National's brand of neoliberalism!

EVEN NOW the arrogance of diehard Labour supporters continues to appal me. Never one to blame the obvious deficiencies of their own party for its failure to win elections, it is always someone else's fault.

Invariably the charge of 'apathy' is laid at the door of folk who don't vote and, in particular, don't vote Labour. You can almost hear the sneer in the columns of pompous Labour-supporting blowhards like Chris Trotter and Martyn Bradbury.

Apparently those of us who won't be voting are not as 'enlightened' and as 'informed' as Labour-supporting bloggers like Trotter and Bradbury. If only we just listened to them!

Trotter's arrogance is only equalled by his stupidity. He thinks he can make a 360 degree political turn and that no-one will notice. I've got news for Trotter - some of us do. This is the same Chris Trotter who only a few months ago was huffin' and puffin' about how he could no longer support Labour because it was no longer the party he once knew. Trotter informed us Labour had no 'passion' and no 'ideals'.

But, childlike tantrum over, Trotter is now concerned that 20,000 fewer folk under the age of 30 have registered to vote compared to 2014. Trotter is worried that there will be yet another low voter turnout. He can't understand why folk aren't excited about his right-wing, neoliberal-driven Labour Party. After all these years, and three straight election defeats, he still hasn't worked it out.

He is prepared to forgive Labour for EVERYTHING - even for retreating on something as fundamental as taxation. But only a few weeks ago he wrote:

"Labour should not, therefore, retreat before National's "Let's Tax This!" counter-attack. Not when a majority of New Zealanders are ready to rescue their ailing public services from further deterioration. That "taxation is the price we pay for civilisation" has become increasingly clear over the nine years of Bill English's undeclared, but unmistakeable, austerity campaign against the public sector. When National hurls the "tax and spend" accusation at Labour candidates they should respond instantly with a hearty "Hell, yeah!""

Trotter, as usual, plays fast and loose with the facts. He tries to conflate Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party with that of Jeremy Corbyn's U.K. Labour Party. He observes that U.K. Labour attracted a large youth vote which helped to prevent the Conservative Party from securing a parliamentary majority and almost handed Labour the election.

But what attracted British youth to U.K. Labour was it offered them a clear alternative to the neoliberal orthodoxy. This was an alternative that the critics claimed was not "electorally viable" and which included increasing taxation on the wealthy - something Jacinda Ardern has already ruled out. It also included the ending of austerity policies and a massive injection of money into welfare, education and health. It also included the nationalisation of the energy industry and of the railways.

No such similar socialist democratic alternative is on offer from Jacinda Ardern and Labour, merely the continuance of the neoliberal orthodoxy. This is apparently because the kind of policies that U.K. Labour promote would "not be popular here" - according to Labour's Grant Robertson.

This might be good enough for the conservative and comfortable Chris Trotter, who has never had to personally experience the financial wrath of neoliberalism on a daily basis. But he should do the rest of us a big favour and show a bit of humility and stop telling ordinary folk that our lives will be substantially better under Labour's brand of neoliberalism. Because we all know its bullshit.


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