On Facebook my attention was drawn to this article Drawing The Poison which states “That’s because the poison that the Douglas faction injected into the Labour Party has never fully worked its way out of the Party’s system – for a simple reason: It has festered in the huge, dry crack the Douglas faction opened between the Labour Party caucus and the Labour Party itself. That’s still the fracture that won’t heal, the wound in Labour’s flesh in which the bitter poison pools.”
See, I’m old enough to remember the Labour Party as it was before Roger Douglas was Minister of Finance, and I have been thinking along these lines although definitely not so well articulated. Labour was and should be a workers party, a proper left wing party, a party which was supposed to improve the lives of people who work for a wage and, sorry, but that includes the so-called middle class, most of whom are still wage earners actually (just hold more credit cards is all).
So higher wages, job security, 40 hour working weeks, pensions and other safety nets for people – that was what Labour was about. And decent living conditions. And State Owned Assets which means assets we all owned. And that was the egalitarian ideal before Rogernomics created the so called class divides, the driving down of wages, the miserable subsistence benefit levels, and the selling off of property which we all owned.
Labour with Roger Douglas calling the shots started it all, National through the nineties further entrenched the misery, Life softened a bit under Helen Clark’s leadership BUT as this article suggests – those structural changes may well have been plastered over, swept under the carpet, and now the poison has reared its ugly head for all to see.
So I argue that Labour needs to go back to its grassroots as a true working (wage earner) class party and start from there. Why is this important to the Green Party? Because if the Green Party need to align ourselves to a strong left party in order to become part of government, then we need a much stronger Labour Party.
OR – we now position ourselves to become that STRONG PARTY OF THE LEFT OURSELVES. Which is very much what our main policies of the last election are leaning towards.