The political establishment are entirely relaxed about the prospect of any Labour-led government. That's because it represents little threat to their interests.

FOR SHEER IDIOCY, this mad observation from   Martyn Bradbury of The Daily Blog is hard to beat. Commenting on the latest opinion poll which shows Labour has sneaked ahead, Bradbury breathlessly warns:

"Watch as the National Party dirty politics attack machine goes ballistic. The fictitious $11 billion hole that doesn’t exist is just a taste of how vicious the rich and powerful get when they are suddenly threatened with losing power."

Bradbury is well known for his lazy "I reckon' journalism but to suggest that the election of a Labour-led government will have the "rich and powerful' quaking in their hand-made boots is just nonsense. It's the fantasy of someone who is under the impression that the election of a Labour led - government would also be the election of a 'left wing government'. Even if this was any way remotely true, any 'left wing' policies would be quickly diluted because of the presence of the New Zealand Party or the Maori Party, or both, in any such government.

And Bradbury seems to have conveniently forgotten that he has regularly criticised Labour for its allegiance to neoliberal policies - although that was in between congratulating Labour for a being a 'broad church' party. Like his old mate Chris Trotter, his view of the Labour Party is entirely impressionistic and changes from day to day.

The truth is that the capitalist class - because that's who we are talking about, folks - are entirely relaxed by the prospect of a Labour-led government. The capitalist class is entirely relaxed because it knows that it will be pretty be much business as usual under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. There will be no radical departure from the status quo, no upsetting of the neoliberal applecart.

Already the Labour Party has delivered its declaration of loyalty  to the status quo via its 'Fiscal Responsibility Agreement' - a financial document that, put into practice, will see severe constraints put on social spending.

And, given that Ardern has already ruled out further taxing the wealthy, beneficiaries and the poor can expect little financial relief from a Labour -led government. Like the National Party, Labour is not interested in hauling up benefits from the subsistence level in which they are mired.

It's the economic conservatism of Labour that has contributed to Ardern enjoying a generally cosy armchair ride from the political establishment and its media allies. Unlike Metiria Turei, who had the temerity to break from the neoliberal consensus and was shot down because of it, Ardern has blandly talked about her 'vision' and 'values' and how much she 'cares'. She seems to have borrowed her script from  Hillary Clinton, a corporate centrist she shares a lot in common with.

Jacinda Ardern has not broken the neoliberal mould. While she is critical of the negative impact of market-driven policies on ordinary people, she is not prepared to depart from the neoliberal script in order to provide some realistic solutions. While Ardern has talked about being politically 'brave' her party's policy platform reveals that it is anything but brave.

Ardern is being applauded for her conservatism - and meekness - by a political establishment who must be gleeful that any mood for change in New Zealand has been hijacked by someone as politically non-threatening as Jacinda Ardern. I imagine that,as Prime Minister, they will find her a pleasure to work with.


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated.