|Organise Aotearoa have a message for the Government.|
Budget 2019 highlighted the absence of an organised political opposition to the neoliberal status quo.
WHILE THERE WERE A DIVERSITY OF OPINIONS, the general view among the left was that the so-called 'Well Being' Budget was entirely underwhelming and provided further evidence - if further evidence was needed - that this Labour led government will be guided by the priorities and interests of capital. So its business as usual.
As commentator Bryce Edwards somewhat sarcastically observed: 'If you're happy with the status quo of New Zealand economy and society, with all its strengths and weaknesses, and if you'd like to see a bit of tinkering and improvement, then the Budget might go down well with you.'
Within Parliament any 'opposition' to Budget 2019 came entirely from the National Party. Of course criticising the Government for 'welfarism' hardly puts Simon Bridges and his colleagues in the progressive camp. But the crisis of representative democracy has been there for all to see with the total absence of any contrary progressive views. Neoliberalism rules. Centrism rules.
While events such as 'The People's Budget Debate' are commendable, it does not constitute an organised political opposition to the neoliberal order. As Sue Bradford reiterated at the forum we aren't going to advance the cause without a political party that can champion working class issues. Labour aren't going to do it. The Green's aren't going to do it.
We face yet another dispiriting 'choice' in 2020. Either neoliberalism under Labour or neoliberalism under National. Forget the nonsense about Labour being 'preferable' to National - nothing is going to change as long as these two political parties continue to monopolise political power. 'Lesser evil' politics is an obstacle to real change not a 'pragmatic' response to the current situation.