ON THE ROAD TO NOWHERE (STILL)

Labour and the Green's continued commitment to the 'free market'  means that the campaign against the partial sale of the three electricity companies has always been fatally flawed.

While the Labour Party has been central  to the  campaign to force the government into conducting a referendum on asset sales that campaign has always been fatally  undermined by the failure of Labour - and the Green Party - to commit themselves to  renationalisation.

Labour leader David Shearer has already  made it clear that he  would not renationalise   Mighty River Power, Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy. Had Shearer done this then National may have had a bigger fight on its hands to partially  privatise them.

Nor is the Green Party committing itself to renationalisation. Like Labour it stomps its foot about the partial privatisation of the power  companies but stops well short of saying it would renationalise them. Personally I would simply renationalise the lot of  them without compensation but neither Labour or the Green's will even commit themselves to  buying  them back.

Neither of these two parties are   committing  themselves to over turning state owned enterprises  legislation which  has  required the SOE's like Mighty River to purse profits rather than provide a social service. Apparently they are both happy to allow this plank of neoliberalism to stay in place.

But the power companies that both Labour and the Green's are so fervently defending  are the same power companies  that have helped to ratchet up power prices to the point that,  according to a study by Victoria University researcher Geoff Bertram, we have some of the highest power prices in the OCED.

 At the root of it all, both Labour and the Green's still  believe in the power of the market and believe that capitalism  - despite all the evidence to the contrary - can be harnessed for the social  good. This is what Norman says: 

 We believe deeply in peoples goodness and creativity and I think that creating a space where entrepreneurs can come up with great ideas to deal with some of the environmental challenges we face is important and good markets can provide that space.

These are the comments of a former socialist and now a  failed  social democrat. I don't think Shearer would disagree with Norman but somehow the Green co-leader escapes the wrath of 'left wing commentators' like  Chris Trotter and Martyn Bradbury. In fact he is benignly and favourably interviewed  because that quote is from a interview conducted by Martyn Bradbury. 

In the end, the  only solution being offered by the so-called 'social democratic left'   is replacing David Shearer with David Cunliffe. But replacing one machine politician with another machine politician is no solution at all.

Perhaps if we had begun the work of developing a democratic movement that was independent of the bankrupt Labour Party and its allies in Parliament  we wouldn't be in the mess we are.

4 comments:

What, no praise for Winston? He's guaranteeing to renationalise, so that makes him the new socialist hero, right?

As for the Greens, their position is to wait and see how much it will cost before deciding, as it could be more than it's worth when compared with other needs. That is very different to Labour's view.

Regarding renationalisation without compensation, while we certainly live in a flawed democracy, while it exists at all you won't get any party that wants to be elected to adopt such a policy. You need to create the political space in the mind of the public first, so time to get that alternative movement going.

Why would I support the economic nationalism of Winston Peters?

If you believe the Green's then you really are politically naive.

Yes Winston's a socialist, just like his old mentor Muldoon. Trouble is, it's the selective socialism of favoring one group over another, in order to govern by fostering division - old against young, white against brown, urban against rural, progressive against reactionary. Social justice has nothing to do with Winston's blighted opportunism.

I know the Greens are working on how they'll go about deciding right now. I've no reason to think it won't be seriously considered when the time comes.

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