Have had a gutsful of the white-anting of Labour from both the right and the left of politics.
White-anting is an Australian expression. It means undermining. I lived there for 14 years, worked for the trade union movement and as a public relations professional. Proud of my time there, the work I did and the people I worked with.
Now Clare, as she proudly points out is a "public relations professional". So what was she thinking when she followed he first post up with one entitled The importance of being Labour #2? There she blogged:
And on another note, re white-anting; the attempts by the Greens to encroach on Labour territory is also happening in Australia. Former AWU Secretary Bill Shorten (now Assistant Finance Minister) got it right when he said that people will always need unions and that Labor and unions were a “bulwark of democracy”.
“The idea that people, when they go to work, don’t need assistance is wrong.”
Mr Shorten said his view of unionism was not based on the idea that workers were stupid or unable to think for themselves.
But an individual working in a large company would always need support.
“The company has a human resources manager, the company belongs to an employer association, the company has lawyers,” he said.
“Who do you have?”
Mr Shorten said Labor’s mission to deliver social justice remained in place and that the party’s strongest asset was its ability to tailor policies to help people cope with change.
He said he did not want to spark a verbal stoush with the Greens but noted that the minor party had no economic story.
The New Zealand Labour Party has its roots in the trade union movement. The unions are evolving and adapting as they should.The Labour Party draws on talent from many walks of life, as it should. It’s perspectives are not always in direct alignment with unions.
But let’s not every forget where we came from and what our enduring values are. And how important that relationship is.
Her #2 post went up at 2.46pm. By 3.16pm, the deluge of comments had begun, and from unexpected sources. Here's the first couple:
Greens white-anting Labour?
Surely you mean, contesting the same constituency rather than ‘encroaching’, right?
You seriously think you have the unquestioning allegiance of my vote as a worker?
I don’t think you need to look to far to see why mobilising labour in NZ is facing a few hurdles with this kind of thinking.
- Is it seriously Labour policy to attack the party’s MMP allies now?
Shortly afterwards, Idiot/Savant from No Right Turn climbed in:
The concept that some votes are Labour’s exclusive “territory” is a perfect example of what is wrong with Labour ATM.
Wake up. There is no Divine Right in democracy. Votes don’t “belong” to your party – you have to earn them. And if you can’t, if other people are doing a better ob of appealing to your traditional constituencies, then you have no-one to blame but yourself.
Well, Clare, if Labour really wanted to test the Greens commitment to building (or should that be re-building?) a strong trade union movement, it could simply ask for the Green Party’s support in re-introducing an industrial relations system in which every worker was guaranteed the protection of union membership, including automatic inclusion, at the time of hiring, in an industry-wide agreement setting forth minimum wage-rates and conditions.
Try that one on them. Hell! Try it on your caucus colleagues!
See how far you get.
- Clare Curran says:
Listen to you all. Go and knock on some bloody doors will you and stop pontificating. Get down to South Dunedin and see what it’s really like. Foodbanks are empty.
People are desperate.
Yes I am angry and it shows.
Clare's not the only one who's angry. Her comment just reignited the flames in the comments section; here's a smorgasbord, starting with Idiot/Savant again:
Yes, and its terrible. But if you want to do anything about it, you actually need to persuade people to vote for you. Instead, you’re just arrogantly demanding we do, like some medieval king ordering his peasants.
Some people might regard that as counterproductive.
- Unbelievable arrogance from the Labour Party. And given Labour’s history over the last 30 years, the amazing thing is that the unions have allowed such arrogance to develop. Labour should have lost their support long ago.
- I’ve been fence-sitting between Labour and the Greens for a number of years now and recently took the plunge to become a full member of the Green party. Posts like this show this was the right thing to do.
We could go on, but this post is almost unmanageably long already! This is a SMOG of epic proportions from Clare Curran; bigger than Ben Hur. Combined with the polls last night and the follow-up story from Duncan Garner on 3News tonight, the Labour Party might just wish that it was 27th November tomorrow, and they could start all over again with a clean slate, and three years to get traction.