U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agrees with his critics that Labour will overturn the political and economic status quo. But you won't hear similar sentiments being expressed by New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

WHILE WE WATCH Bill English and Jacinda Ardern dance dispiriting tangos with Winston Peters, a political leader 12,000 miles away continues to impress and, yes, inspire.

After chancellor Philip Hammond declared that the Labour Party was an "existential challenge to our economic model" Corbyn's response was to stick it to Hammond and declare that, yes, he and Labour were the real deal.

He told the British media that it was “absolutely right” to say that Labour was threatening to destroy the current neoliberal economic model. Why? Corbyn added that the current system "allows homelessness to double, four million children to live in poverty and over a million older people not getting the care they need”.

Corbyn's rejection of the political status quo - of "business as usual' - underlined the observations of Hammond's own political boss, Prime Minister Theresa May. Earlier this month she admitted that Jeremy Corbyn had changed the "consensus" of British politics and that Corbyn was now the "mainstream".

""We thought there was a political consensus. Jeremy Corbyn has changed that."

While the next U.K. Labour government has every intention to tear down the citadels of neoliberalism there is no chance of that happening in New Zealand.

With both Labour and National determined to defend the economic orthodoxy, New Zealand politics has become a game of rapidly diminishing returns. Some 'progressives' (and I use the term loosely) are now hoping that economic nationalist and vehemently anti-left wing Winston Peters will serve to moderate the neoliberal excesses of any Labour-led government.

It hardly constitutes an "existential challenge" to the current neoliberal economic model.


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