Monday, 10 March 2008

Pat O Dea on Chris Trotter's criticism

Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. > > Labour's policy's which Trotter continues to trumpet, while also > continuing to attack the left is bizarre, While these sorts of attacks > are not new, the reasoning behind them must be different. (lack of > reasoning might be more accurate.) > > In the last few elections Trotter and his supporters in the Labour Party > continually and noisily attacked anyone who dared to try and organise > an electoral alternative to the Labour Party. > > Their rational being, that we would split the left vote, and therefore > we were working (albeit indirectly for the National party). > > The attacks on those calling for a left alternative were often > vituperative and sometimes even degenerated into personal slurs and lies. > > "You lot are working for the Right" etc. > > > But, this time, nothing we on the left of Labour, could possibly be seen to > be doing, could be construed by Trotter in even his most fanciful > slurs and personal attacks, as being responsible for Labour's electoral > downfall. > > > This is all their own work. > > > Trotter has asked us what do you think should be done. > > > Here is my list. > > 1/ Cancel the tax cuts. > Because of the newly revealed deficit in the public accounts, any tax > cut now will lead to direct cuts in the social wage, ie public health, > public education, public transport, public housing etc. > Just what National wants. > > 2/ Immediate support for the CTU's call for, $15 p/h minimum wage in > '08, > The Labour government is viciously opposed to this call by the CTU. > Instead of even discussing this issue, they have rudely and completely > ignored this call from the umbrella organisation of the New Zealand > union movement. (This would be far more affordable than the tax cuts, > the bad effects of which will impact on the poorest while the only the > rich will get the benefits.) > > Chris Trotter instead of getting behind this call from the CTU has also > ignored them. And has decided to use his pulpit in the media, to launch > a campaign of sectarian attacks on the left. > Chris could personally, instead of abusing his position. Get behind the > CTU's call and popularise it as much as possible. But no, rather like > Don Quixote he would rather waste his time charging at the windmills at > the top of the Labour Party, as if it would make any difference, if > Clark was in charge or Goff. > > 3/ Real action on Climate change > > The latest British based, New Scientist magazine reports that "Half of > New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions come from the guts of sheep and > cows" > > Also in the news this week. Fonterra New Zealand's biggest corporate and > arguably our biggest polluter. Has as well as all their environmental > crimes, (pollution of fragile braided river systems, and replacement of > traditional, carbon absorbing cropping lands, with mega dairy > conglomerates, which are wasteful in resources and really unsuited to > the rain shadowed Canterbury Plains.) > > Has also been found guilty of price gouging the kiwi consumer and also > artificially driving the prices up for their few smaller competitors by > their control of the milk costs. > > All this despite mega profits. > > Here is a chance to strike two birds with one stone. legistlation to rein > in this corporate monster should be immediate. (a) price controll on > milk and dairy products. (b) return arable dry plains areas back to > cropping which is more suitable for this more fragile environment. And > put a halt to anymore dairy conversions in this sensitive area. > > Every molecule of methane is 30 times more damaging to the environement > than CO2, and by ignoring this issue Helen Clark has been labled a > Methane denier. Trotter also probably falls into this camp. > > 4/ Cancel the Free Trade Deal with Communist China. This one should be self explanatory. And also is reflected in the ignored call from the CTU affiliates to dump this strategy All these 4/ points while different and not as radical as those in the unityblog, are entirely reasonable and politically feasible. But will the Labour Government even consider this, or any other more left, worker friendly program? The immediate answer must be, no. And even Chris Trotter if he was being honest would have to admit this. So this makes the Unityblog SW call for the building of a broad left alternative to Labour the only logical alternative. Of course people like Trotter would say that this will still be ineffectual because such a new political grouping will not be the majority party in parliament and so would not be able to affect policy. But overseas experience has shown that this is not true. In Germany the growing but still tiny Die Linke party has dragged the whole German parliamentary centre leftward, just by their very existence. Likewise the it is very unlikely that the Labour Government would have returned some of the foreshore rights to even one local hapu if the Maori Party wasn't in existence.

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