Despite the rhetoric about 'change', Internet Mana are offering nothing new.I'VE STARTED to defriend my Facebook people who insisted on posting 'I love Kim Dotcom' posts and which subsequently arrived in my timeline like those unwanted advertising flyers that arrive in the mailbox almost everyday. I don't need any of it. It's all rubbish.
There's a lot of rubbish being written about the Internet Mana hybrid. Not least is the claim that this new political creature bolted together in the Dotcom mansion will reach out to disaffected youth who have tuned out of mainstream politics and prefer not to vote for any of the parliamentary parties that promise much but deliver very little.
I doubt that Internet Mana is going to change that. That's because it just looks like another political party of the establishment.
The Internet party's leader Laila Harre, for instance, has been in and around parliamentary politics for three decades or so. Just recently she has been working for the Green Party and the CTU.
You will have to look very hard to find anything radical left associated with Harre. Someone characterised her on Twitter as Sue Bradford lite but I think that's an exaggeration as well. That she is a defender of the system was highlighted to me just recently when she argued on TVNZ's Q+A that the reason that so many people don't bother to vote anymore is because they don't know how to.
So, if you didn't vote last time round - Laila says you are stupid.
It didn't occur to Harre that most people know exactly how to vote - they just don't want to vote for any of the bastards they are presented with every three years. To a man and a woman, the only real commitment they ever make is that the neoliberal orthodoxy will remain in place.
Internet Mana's real problem is, that when you look beyond the hype, you realise that it actually isn't saying anything new. Internet Mana may be the new party on the block but the song remains the same.
If you want to know what is wrong with Internet Mana then Martyn Bradbury of The Daily Dotcom is worth referring to because he's invariably wrong about everything. Bradbury thinks we should all be thrilled by Internet Mana:
A Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority is a genuinely exciting prospect, and one that progressives would be foolish to ignore if they really want to see the back of John Key.
We don’t want to just replace a Government, we want to change it.
What Bradbury thinks is 'a genuinely exciting prospect' is a government led by a right wing Labour Party that has already said that it has no intention of upsetting the neoliberal orthodoxy. It will be business as usual.
Meanwhile Russel Norman and the Green Party think that the planet's deepening environmental crisis can be solved within the very economic system that is the destroying the planet.
All I can say is that Bradbury gets excited about very little.
Of course this dismal alternative to the National-led government will be promoted as change you can believe in but that's just glib rhetoric. When you promise 'change' you don't have to talk in specific terms about economic fairness or social and environmental justice.
I don't pretend to be speak for youth or the disaffected but I think they, like most of us, want more than just 'change'.
We want specific transformation. We want the neoliberal orthodoxy overthrown.We want an end to a 'representative democracy' that is neither representative or democratic.
None of these things are possible under a National led government but neither are they possible under a Labour-led government.
Slavoj Žižek, the Marxist philosopher of the moment, wrote that “It’s easy to imagine the end of the world . . . but we cannot imagine the end of capitalism.”
I don't know if that's true anymore and while an anti-capitalist politics isn't always coherently articulated by disaffected youth they know what they don't want - a world where capital rules and they have to carry the burden of increasing debts, no jobs, crap jobs, axed welfare services and a planet being polluted and destroyed in the name of profit.
As Tracy Chapman sings; 'We're talking about a revolution'. But that's not what Internet Mana are talking about.