Monday 28 June 2010

Kia Ora Gaza


Gaza’s 1.5 million people are imprisoned by the state of Israel in a giant concentration camp. The Israeli military enforces a blockade of essential supplies. There is terrible suffering, especially among the children. The citizens of Gaza face collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.

On 31 May 2010, a Gaza aid flotilla was hijacked on the open sea by Israel’s military. Nine civilian aid workers were shot to death. To break the siege of Gaza, on 12th September mass aid convoys will set off from London by sea and land.

We want to see Kiwi volunteers and aid go with them. Kia Ora Gaza is raising funds to make this possible.

Please give your support.
Write a cheque for ‘Kia Ora Gaza’ and post to:
Kia Ora Gaza, PO Box 59-007, Auckland.


7.30pm on Wednesday 7th July
Fickling Centre, 546 Mt Albert Rd, Three Kings

Come along to support Kia Ora Gaza.

Bring your family & friends.

Issued for Kia Ora Gaza by Grant Morgan. Email:

Thursday 24 June 2010

The harsh reality of climate change

from The Standard
19 June 2010

The most comprehensive collection and analysis of global temperature trends comes from NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) who collect data worldwide through the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Global Telecommunication System (GTS) from more than 200 countries world wide. In the context of the debate over climate change from global warming, the report for May 2010 makes sobering reading. Highlights for the global climate (skipped a regional highlight) in May include
  • It was the warmest May on record for the global surface temperature as a whole, and for the land surfaces of the globe.
  • It was the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere and for land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • This was the 303rd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th Century average. The last month with below average temperatures was February 1985.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Rich Speculators Pay Zilch Tax

It's time to make changes!

Filthy rich speculators pay zilch tax – absolutely zero!
Meanwhile, get set for a hike in GST – booting the poor!
This is more than unfair. More than unjust. Much more.
Capitalism is extending the power of big finance.
It's class war waged by them against the rest of us.
It's time to organise our side. Time to set the agenda.
Be with us as we do it. Be part of history in the making!

Tax Justice Petition

Socialist Worker & the Alliance are sponsoring this petition:

We request Parliament to:
1. Remove GST from food.
2. Tax financial speculation.

What's the general reaction? Fantastic! People queue to sign our petition.

They don't need to be told that tax policy is unfair. What they're looking for is a solution.

That's what we're offering. And that's why we're so popular.

Become a Volunteer!

Join our tax justice campaign. Become part of our side's solution.

How? Start by helping out at our Central Auckland petition stalls, 12 noon every Saturday.

Here are the next four venues:

12 noon on Saturday 26 June outside Borders Bookshop, Queen St (next to Aotea Square).

12 noon on Saturday 3 July outside St Kevins Arcade, Karangahape Rd (just west of Verona Cafe).

12 noon on Saturday 10 July outside McDonalds, Queen St (between Wellesley and Victoria Streets).

12 noon on Saturday 17 July outside Borders Bookshop, Queen St (next to Aotea Square).

Can't make it? There's plenty of other ways to help out. Just reply to this email and say: I'm a volunteer for tax justice!

Grant Morgan
Socialist Worker
021 2544 515

Sunday 20 June 2010

Bloody Sunday: Murder by British state

by Simon Basketter in Derry
from British Socialist Worker 

The Saville report released on Tuesday stripped away key lies that the British establishment had told for 38 years about the murder of 14 civilians in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1972.

Lord Saville says that none of the casualties on Bloody Sunday was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify their shooting. They were innocent. None of the soldiers fired in response to attacks by petrol bombers or stone throwers.

Friday 18 June 2010

Green co-leader Russel Norman assulted by Chinese goon squad

According to reporters and Russel Norman himself, a dozen Chinese agents surrounded him, shoved him, pulled an umbrella over his head, stole his Tibetan flag and stomped on it, and his hand when he tried to get it back. PM John Key says all this is very ‘disappointing’, but it’s clear he means any embarrassment caused to the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, not this thugs’ attack on freedom of speech.

There’s a bit of history of this sort of thing. 11 years ago in Christchurch it was the New Zealand police who tried to protect the Chinese premier from the horrifying sight of pro-Tibetan protesters, the cops pushed the protesters back and parked a bus in front of them. They were later found to have abused their powers.

Oddly enough I’ve been thinking and reading a bit about China and Tibet recently, although not because of the VP’s trade delegation.

A recent report on New Zealand agribusiness says Chinese demand saved the economy from the worst of the (first round of) the global economic crisis. How long will this last?

Meanwhile, strikes by Chinese workers have been making the news and prompting debate among socialist bloggers in the UK. UNITYblog readers might be interested in this post by Lenin’s Tomb and this response from sympathetic to China Andy Newman at Socialist Unity.

And on the topic of Tibet, this article in the latest Austrian Green Left Weekly (a paper Mr Norman used to sell) responding to a report in the May 22 Sydney Morning Herald, that the Dalai Lama has declared himself “half Marxist half Buddhist”
– David

Incident outside Parliament – Russel Norman’s statement

The mistreatment of Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman on the grounds of Parliament by Chinese security personnel shows how important it is to stand up for democracy and human rights, the Green Party said today.

Dr Norman was assaulted by Chinese security personnel outside Parliament as he was making a stand against China’s human rights record in Tibet.

“Because John Key’s Government let Chinese security control our Parliament, it stopped being a safe place for democracy,” Dr Norman said.

“I’ve laid a complaint with the Police because New Zealanders need to know they are free to speak without fear of violence or recrimination.”

Dr Norman said the Government needs to defend the right of its citizens to free speech because it is one of the cornerstones of democracy.

“I’m asking that John Key make a clear statement that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable in New Zealand,” Dr Norman said.

Thursday 17 June 2010

A World Cup for the elites

by Dave Zirin
from US Socialist Worker
first published at

AT LONG last, soccer fans, the moment is here. On Saturday, when South Africa took the field against Mexico, the World Cup was officially underway.

Nothing attracts the global gaze quite like it. Nothing creates such an undeniably electric atmosphere with enough energy to put British Petroleum, Exxon/Mobil and Chevron out of business for good. And finally, after 80 years, the World Cup has come to Africa. We should take a moment to celebrate that this most global of sports has finally made its way to the African continent, nesting in the bucolic country of South Africa.

And yet as we celebrate the Cup's long awaited arrival in the cradle of civilization, there are realities on the ground that would be insane to ignore. To paraphrase an old African saying, "When the elephants party, the grass will suffer."

In the hands of FIFA and the ruling African National Congress, the World Cup has been a neoliberal Trojan Horse, enacting a series of policies that the citizens of this proud nation would never have accepted if not wrapped in the honor of hosting the cup. This includes $9.5 billion in state deficit spending ($4.3 billion in direct subsidies and another $5.2 billion in luxury transport infrastructure). This works out to about $200 per citizen.

As the Anti-Privatization Forum (APF) of South Africa has written:
Our government has managed, in a fairly short period of time, to deliver "world class" facilities and infrastructure that the majority of South Africans will never benefit from or be able to enjoy. The APF feels that those who have been so denied, need to show all South Africans as well as the rest of the world who will be tuning into the World Cup, that all is not well in this country, that a month-long sporting event cannot and will not be the panacea for our problems.
This World Cup is not for the poor--it is the soccer elites of FIFA, the elites of domestic and international corporate capital and the political elites who are making billions and who will be benefiting at the expense of the poor.

Monday 14 June 2010

George Galloway announces mass sea and land aid convoys to Gaza

Viva Palestina founder George Galloway announces mass sea and land aid convoys to Gaza, which will set out on 12 September 2010.

VIDEO: Tensions in Iran regime

Guardian Films: Former elite officers in Revolutionary Guard reveal increasing tensions in Iran regime.
[WARNING: contains descriptions of torture and abuse.]

More at The Real News

Saturday 12 June 2010

Hutt network backs water protest, launches Council election bid

Media Release
VAN - Valley Action Network
12 June, 2010

VAN - Valley Action Network is backing a protest against water privatisation at Hutt City Council Building at 12 noon today.

VAN is expressing opposition to both the Local Government Act Amendment Bill and to water meters, and is simultaneously launching its election campaign for Hutt City Council.

"Privatisation of water is the last thing we need", said VAN organizer Grant Brookes. "Hutt residents are already facing the squeeze from GST increases, and from mortgage and rent rises, while our incomes are threatened by global economic woes.

"Water privatisation will only add to the financial strain facing grassroots Hutt residents. It won't save our natural water resources. International experience suggests that the profit motive encourages private owners to sell more water, not conserve it, and to cut costs on fixing leaky pipes.

"The so-called 'protection' against water privatisation in our current law is full of holes", added Grant.

The Local Government Act passed by the Labour government states that a council "must not divest its ownership or other interest in a water service". But a council may transfer assets to a "Council Controlled Organisation".

"Councils can then sell off 50 percent of the so-called 'Council Controlled Organisation' to private investors", Grant said. "This kind of "public-private partnership" is the most common form of water privatisation world-wide.

"As if the current law wasn't bad enough, Local Government Minister Rodney Hide wants to extend the length of time that companies can manage water from 15 to 35 years. The bill will also allow private companies, as well as the so-called 'Council Controlled Organisations', to own water utilities.

"But businesses looking to get into in water supply will want a customer base and a product they can sell. That's where domestic water meters come in. Water meters enable water to be sold to households by the litre. They're the linch-pin of privatisation.

"Today, there's a small army of consultants lobbying councils around New Zealand to introduce water meters.

Hutt City councillors, and the current mayor, have expressed interest in water meters, while distancing themselves from introduction at this stage because they know meters are unpopular.

But Capacity Infrastructure Services, the water management company for Wellington and Lower Hutt, is recommending universal water metering right now.

"Capacity is half-controlled by Hutt City", said Grant. "According to its latest Annual Report, the Council 'has significant influence over it'. What influence is the Council exerting over water meters?

"I don't think we can rely on our current Council to stop water meters and privatisation. Residents need to come together to take action. Protests, meetings and submissions on Rodney Hide's bill are needed to raise awareness and put pressure on decision-makers.

"In Auckland, where water meters were introduced from 1991, some residents engaged in civil disobedience by organising disconnection of the meters.

"But while grassroots action is needed, Hutt City residents can also use their vote this October to stop water meters and privatisation."

VAN - Valley Action Network, is standing for election in October with a policy of opposition to water meters and water privatisation.

For more information, contact:

Grant Brookes
Organiser, VAN - Valley Action Network
organiser (at) huttvan (dot) org (dot) nz
021 053 2973

Friday 11 June 2010

Galloway announces new land and sea convoys to break the siege of Gaza

Dear Friends of Palestine

Viva Palestina founder George Galloway, speaking to a crowd of around 20,000 protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in London (on Saturday 5th June) revealed the latest plan to bring about the end of the siege on Gaza.

Two simultaneous convoys - one by land the other by sea - will set forth on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12th bound for Gaza. Viva Palestina, the International Committee to break the Siege on Gaza and any allies who will join us will organise the two convoys.

The land convoy will leave from London and travel across Europe to Turkey Syria and ultimately through the Rafah Gate into Gaza. Co-operation will be offered and sought with all relevant governments and agencies.

It is expected the convoy will pick up vehicles and volunteers in each country through which it passes. The target is to enter Gaza with 500 vehicles.

The sea convoy will travel around the Mediterranean gathering ships, cargo, volunteers from each country. The target is to enter Gaza with sixty ships.

The aim will be to arrive on Gaza's frontiers at the same time. And to enter with the world's largest ever aid convoys. And to thereby render the siege null and void.

For further information on how to join the 'Viva Palestina' September Gaza aid convoy by land and by sea, sign up to receive emails through the Viva Palestina website CLICK HERE and through our sister website Viva Palestina Arabia.

Thursday 10 June 2010

The land of 15% GST

John Keys other New Zealand flag

by Vaughan Gunson
Tax Justice campaign coordinator
10 June 2010

On 1st October a long black cloud is going to descend on the lives of grassroots New Zealanders. GST will increase from 12.5% to 15%, making everything more expensive. The new rate puts New Zealand in the top bracket of countries with equivalent taxes on goods and services (see

On the same day, the National government’s other tax changes will come into place, including across-the-board lowering of income tax rates.

For low-to-middle income people the small improvements in take home pay resulting from the tax cuts will be mostly wiped out by the increase in GST on food, electricity, clothing, rates charges, and other items that must be accounted for in weekly budgets. As has been widely reported, it’s the rich and wealthy corporates who get the most out of the tax cuts.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Israel forced to apologise for YouTube spoof of Gaza flotilla

by Rachel Shabi in Jerusalem 
Sunday 6 June 2010

The Israeli government has been forced to apologise for circulating a spoof video mocking activists aboard the Gaza flotilla, nine of who were shot dead by Israeli forces last week.

The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: “We con the world, we con the people. We’ll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper.” It continues: “There’s no people dying, so the best that we can do is create the biggest bluff of all.”

Sunday 6 June 2010

Obama’s policy guru gloomy about how to fix capitalism’s crises

Paul Volcker, chair of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, meets with President Obama at the White House, 2009

By Grant Morgan
Socialist Worker
5 June 2010

A few days ago Paul Volcker, chair of the Obama administration’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, published a strategic assessment of how to respond to the “dangerous and intractable” risks facing America and other advanced economies.

Despite weak attempts at optimism, his assessment is essentially alarmist. That’s reflected in his panicky headline: “The time we have is growing short”.

Volcker is clearly gloomy about the scale of the problems confronting global capitalism, and what to do to fix them.

He calls for internationally coordinated legislation to tackle “deep-seated structural issues”, such as “too big to fail” financial institutions which are “jeopardizing the entire economy” by taking excessive risks in the knowledge they will be bailed out by governments.

While Volcker holds out the “hope” that new laws will be beneficial, he admits that “none of these reforms will assure crisis-free financial markets in the years ahead”. The best that can be achieved, he says, is to keep crises “manageable” and “reduce their scale and frequency”.

And Volcker concedes that “the critical policy issues we face go way beyond the technicalities of law and regulation of financial markets”. For example, he cites “the risks associated with the virtually unprecedented levels of public debt” in developed economies which are now rocking the Eurozone.

He also points to “even larger questions of critical importance” only a little further ahead, like global warming, energy independence and environmental protection. “Are we really prepared to meet these problems, and the related fiscal implications?” he asks. “If not, today’s concerns may soon become tomorrow's existential crises.”

Volcker, who was chair of the US Federal Reserve under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan (1979-87), and now heads up Barack Obama’s crisis think tank, is one of the most influential policy shapers among America's ruling circles. And he is a major player among the elites of other powerful states through his prominent role inside international forums like the Bilderberg Group and Trilateral Commission.

Yet his public overview of what to do about structural problems facing key states reeks of pessimism. He comes close to admitting that “solutions” admissible to capitalism fall way short of fixing problems that could collapse the world system.

Obama's policy guru says today’s financial, ecological and energy “concerns” may soon turn into “existential crises”, a phrase that echoes my recent 20,000-word essay titled “Beware! The end is nigh! Why global capitalism is tipping towards collapse, and how we can act for a decent future.”

Here I analyse the “existential crises” of profitability, ecology, resources, imperialism and legitimacy. These five crises are converging into a perfect storm that looks sure to “tip global capitalism towards collapse amidst international revolutions and counter-revolutions”.

Click “read more” below to view Paul Volcker’s essay.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Auckland: Candlelight vigil and protest march against Israeli terror attack

Press Release: Global Peace And Justice Auckland
2 June 2010

Global Peace and Justice Auckland has organised a series of events to give people the opportunity to express the outrage and anger which is felt across the community in the wake of the killing of at least nine humanitarian aid workers on the flotilla of boats travelling to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip.

There will be a candlelight vigil this Friday evening from 5pm to 7pm outside the US consulate in Customs Street which will mourn the deaths of the aid workers in the Israeli attack.

A protest march will gather at Aotea Square at 1pm this Saturday for a march to the US consulate. We are asking people to bring old shoes which will be thrown at the building. Shoes have become a symbol of opposition to US and Israeli policy in the Middle East after an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at US President George Bush during a press conference a couple of years back.

The US consulate has been chosen as the focus because it is US policy which blindly supports Israeli policy and which drives injustice and terrorism in the Middle East.

GPJA will also continue to urge the government to –

1. Condemn the Israeli attacks on the Gaza convoy.
2. Close the Israeli embassy in Wellington
3. Revoke the policy giving privileged access to New Zealand for young Israelis on working holidays.

New Zealanders will work to intensify the international isolation of Israel just as we did in the case of apartheid South Africa.

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Protest against Israeli massacre of humanitarian aid workers

AUCKLAND: Candelight Vigil: Friday June 4, 5pm to 7pm, US Consulate, Customs St West.
Protest March: This Saturday june 5, Gather 1pm, Aotea Square, march to the US Consulate.

WELLINGTON: protest march Satrday June 5, 12 noon Cuba mall.

CHRISTCHURCH: Wednesday June 2, 4pm Cathedral Square. [Already been, but just to show something was happening.]

DUNEDIN: Freedom March! Saturday, June 5, 12 noon Dunedin Museum Reserve Lawn, then march to Octagon.

NELSON: Peace Group Meeting on Friday 7.30pm at Ren’s house, 140 NileStreet.

Does huge commodities slump foretell Phase Two of global economic crisis?

by Grant Morgan
Socialist Worker
2 June 2010

Recent weeks have seen a massive across-the-board slump in global commodity prices. One commodity index plunged 57% last month (May 2010).

According to, the world's most influential economics website, we are seeing "the biggest slump in commodities" since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sparked the Great Financial Crash.

Even formerly optimistic economists are growing alarmed about the implications of this commodities slump.

Typical is Buttonwood's column in The Economist, long the neoliberal cheerleader of economic recovery, who concludes: "The message from the markets is not definitive but is at least suggestive; recession might not be baked in but those hoping for a V-shaped recovery ought to be alarmed by recent developments."

Does the huge commodities slump foretell Phase Two of global economic crisis? A clearer picture should be emerging by this September, maybe sooner.

We must remain alert to commodity price trends because, if they continue to tank, it means that Phase Two would be led by contractions in the real economy, rather than the bursting of speculative bubbles in the world of high finance.

And that scenario could have far greater implications for global capitalism, and all people on the planet, than the economic turbulence of the past two years.

Follow the links below to the two reports from Bloomberg and The Economist referenced in my article.

The lessons of climate history: implications for post-carbon agriculture

by Dan Allen
Post Carbon Institute's Energy Bulletin
17 May 17 2010

“The facts stare us in the face, yet we do not display sufficient humility…In a new climatic era, we would be wise to learn from the climatic lessons of history.”
- Brian Fagan

“All our lives utterly depend on just six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”
- Anonymous wise person

SUMMARY: Populous civilizations require agriculture. Agriculture requires climatic stability. Industrial civilization is rapidly eroding climatic stability. This can’t end well. But…there’s some stuff we can do, and we have to try. So shut off your damn computer, get outside, and start building some agricultural resiliency!


Every so often, one of my suburban New Jersey high-school students asks me what I think will be the biggest problem associated with climate change. Knowing they’re asking the question from a human-centered perspective, I respond simply, “Agriculture might not work if we change the climate.”

They usually just sort of stare blankly back at me and say, “Hmmmm.”

In other words, they don’t get it. “Agriculture? That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? Like farms and stuff? Cows and tractors? But aren’t we in the Information Age now? Isn’t it all about technology these days? Isn’t agriculture so…ummm…last century?”

I think that these kids – like the majority of Americans, really – just don’t understand what is at stake with this whole climate-change thing. I don’t think they understand that we are – that EVERY populous civilization necessarily is – fundamentally an AGRICULTURAL civilization. Agriculture is still now, as it has been for millennia, THE foundation of our species. A population of our density obviously cannot get by on hunting and gathering. So agriculture it is. (Well…for now, at least.)

And despite our fossil-energy-fueled bravado, agriculture is still, as it has always been, a very tenuous endeavor. Even though we’ve ‘progressed’ to having fossil-fuel-powered machines tending the fields instead of humans, we are STILL dependent for our very existence on six inches of topsoil and the somewhat-predictable, relatively-benign climatic regime we’ve enjoyed for the past 10,000 years.
The fact that agriculture in the US has become so thoroughly removed from the everyday thoughts of most of our industrial population does not make its future prospects of any less concern. In fact, quite the contrary. Despite our currently-overflowing supermarket shelves, packed refrigerators, and prodigious waistlines, an honest and thorough look at our coming agricultural challenges is enough to make one literally shake in their boots.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

New strategy from NZ union leaders

by Grant Morgan

Last week, the NZ Council of Trade Unions released a second draft of their Alternative Economic Strategy.

Sound boring?

Actually, the CTU’s document could flag a major leftwards turn by the peak leadership of our union movement.

After a quick read of their revised strategy paper, here are some of my initial thoughts:


The CTU is looking to embrace a holistic alternative to neoliberal capitalism, which is exploiting workers and nature to breaking point.

And their alternative vision seems to be growing more staunch over time. In the eight months since the CTU’s first go at crafting an Alternative Economic Strategy, its content and tone have become stronger.

For instance, the CTU has zeroed in on financialisation, the central pillar of neoliberal capitalism. The CTU is now calling for the immediate reduction and gradual elimination of GST, the introduction of a “financial activities tax” and other measures to curb the power of the speculators.

The second draft still contains structural weaknesses which flow from the CTU opposing capitalism’s neoliberal agenda without rejecting capitalism as a system.

Such weaknesses, however, should not obscure the positive potential of the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy. A finished manifesto is scheduled for signoff by CTU affiliates within the next month.

Top union leaders appear to be equipping themselves for a strategic showdown with neoliberalism.

That may well herald a historic break with the CTU’s past practice of ducking a frontal battle against neoliberal orthodoxy despite grumbling about market extremism and skirmishing around specific issues.


Two days after the 2010 budget’s hike in GST, Socialist Worker and the Alliance launched a tax justice petition. Calling on Parliament to axe GST from food and tax financial speculation, the petition is already drawing wide support.

Our crowded street stalls allow me and other petitioners to hear the voices from below.

What do we hear? Rumblings of discontent over belt tightening, rising prices, lowly status, community breakdown, corporate greedies, unfair laws and deaf politicians.

These popular discontents indicate the broad constituency for change that could be mobilised by a CTU showdown with market extremism. The union movement would start to regain a central role in New Zealand society.

And the CTU’s strategic shift has the potential to reshape New Zealand politics in ways that benefit the multitudes, such as:

    •    Bolstering the Labour Party’s network of left activists and sympathetic MPs.

    •    Eroding the Labour Party as an institutional barrier to mass political action.

    •    Growing the institutional basis for a broad left party that fights neoliberalism.


So will the CTU’s new words be followed by inspiring deeds? We cannot know for sure until after CTU affiliates endorse the Alternative Economic Strategy and CTU leaders have the chance to make it fly.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty the rest of us can do to help the CTU rise to the occasion.

For instance, the CTU’s revised strategy paper recognises that tax policy is becoming a key social battleground.

To fund tax breaks for the rich, John Key’s government is hiking GST to 15%. This unjust imposition on modest income families has been damned by the CTU. How about telling the CTU that you back their stance, and ask them to lead protests on 1 October when the rise in GST takes effect.

The Labour Party’s recent Auckland regional conference voted unanimously for GST-free food and a financial transactions tax. That internal party pressure, itself fueled by public sentiment, led a reluctant Phil Goff to say that Labour in government might consider removing GST from fresh fruit and veges. How about telling Phil, and other Labour MPs, that you want much more, for sure.

A Maori Party bill to remove GST from healthy food will soon get its first reading in Parliament. How about telling Labour and Green MPs that you expect them to vote for this bill, no ifs, buts or maybes.

Socialist Worker and the Alliance are fronting a tax justice petition that’s in harmony with the CTU strategy. How about telling the CTU that you support our petition, and ask them to promote it hard. Likewise with MPs from the Labour, Green and Maori parties. And how about you joining our team of petitioners.

Joint efforts to remove GST from food and tax financial speculation will undermine financialisation, the heartless heart of neoliberal capitalism. That’s got to be good for the grassroots. And for the success of the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy.

CTU: Alternative Economic Strategy – final draft

An economy that works for everyone

26 May 2010


People are the heart of the real economy. People work to produce the goods and services, innovate, save and invest. And it is for people that the economy should work to provide our needs. It should enable us to create better lives in terms of our welfare and happiness as individuals, community and wider society. 

But the New Zealand economy has failed to do this in crucial ways. 

Workers are not receiving the benefits of economic growth in their wages.

Poverty is blighting a society that produces enough for everyone but fails to share it fairly.

The economy is failing to thrive and is badly unbalanced.

The ever more visible limits to the Earth’s resources and the misuse of our natural resources highlighted by global climate change are unsustainable.

And the economy fails to make best use of the skills and experience of its workforce by excluding most of them from meaningful participation in the decisions that shape their work, industry and economy.

Capitalism has never been fair nor cared for the environment. But under the neoliberal policies followed in New Zealand for the last quarter of a century not only have these conditions got worse but the policies have failed in their own terms. 

 Those policies are rooted in the idea that less government is better government and that “the market” if left to itself will lead to faster economic growth and better outcomes for society. New Zealand has had slower growth rates and has failed to keep up with the rest of the world.

The policies have enriched a small number of people, and have accelerated the migration of New Zealanders overseas. The economy has growing imbalances of household and international debt, of investment based on speculation rather than production, and of interest and exchange rates at levels that worsen rather than resolve these problems.