Showing posts from July, 2017

Crisis in the New Zealand Left.

The abysmal polling of Labour at the weekend, barely clearing 26% of the vote, followed today by the resignation of Andrew Little as leader, shows a party in terminal decline. The caucus has no discipline, the factions plot against each other, and non entity after non entity gets thrust before the poison chalice of "leadership". Vacuous rebrandings, cautious timidity, and a lack of boots on the ground for the issues that are crucifying working people, make toast of the "Fresh Approach" (TM) that is stale as last months bread. The focus group that decided on the latest rebrand must have been well aware that Approach drips of caution, but we dont need caution- we need a head long attack, a War on Poverty, not on the poor. Abroad, the Left rises in many countries, not only inspired by dedicated veteran leadership, but also by substance- by a rediscovery of Socialist politics. It has become crystal clear that the NZ Labour Party is in terminal crisis, and those w

Must Watch Movie- Brave New World.

Having been sick in bed with the flu for the past 2 weeks, I amused myself with some movie distractions. My first one is the 1980 movie version of “Brave New World”. This is originally a sci-fi novel originally written by British author Aldous Huxley in 1932 in the middle of the great depression, about a dystopian future earth society set in London 500 odd years in the future. Unfortunately it’s dated as movies were in those days before modern cinema. Compounded by the characters being shallow without much personality which is obviously part of the story. But it’s nevertheless a well told story about a man named Thomas who is the assistant director of the hatching and conditioning department, who travels from an advanced “civilized” society with a woman (Linda), on holiday to a New Mexico Indian reservation (called savageland as its uncivilized). While there Linda falls off a cliff and being presumed dead is left behind. Years later an awkward semi-outcast boy (Bernard ) on a

New Zealand General Election 2017 and Temporary Migrants

This year’s general election is a very strange affair in some respects and yet majority of the on goings are not unexpected at all. The anti-immigrant rhetoric that most political parties are employing is not only spreading racism against migrants but it has also deepened a division between well settled migrants and migrants on temporary visas. Such ploys are the norm for right wing neo-liberal parties but it is quite shocking to see the ‘left wing’ parties sing to the same tune. Like most countries on this globe we live in a capitalist economy. To put it very simply the capitalist model’s primary goal is continuous growth of profit. All other forms of growth under this model are secondary, sometimes a by-product, and not necessarily a strategic part of the plan. In order to increase profit on an ongoing basis while competing aggressively, cost cuts are necessary for capitalism to thrive. In the process there has been and always will be exploitation of natural resources, environment an

Must watch movie- Spirit of '45 by Ken Loach

This insightful 2013 documentary about the birth of Britain’s welfare state, by left-wing moviemaker Ken Loach, is both uplifting and depressing at the same time. Inspirational in that Britain’s post-war Labour reforms were nothing short of revolutionary: visionary social democracy at its finest. Depressing because of how far our own Labour party has strayed from these ‘for the many, not the few’ principles. In 1945 Britain’s returning troops were hailed as wartime heroes… yet they marched back from the horrors of battle to the horrors of working-class life. Lice-infested tenements, overcrowding, hunger, mass unemployment, disease, a bleak existence all round. Against this background, Labour leader Clement Attlee swept to a landslide victory in the 1945 elections on the promise of, among other welfare reforms, a free health service for all (the NHS); public ownership of the railways, mines and banks; and a massive social housing programme. Miners actually wept when they heard of