A view from outside the Labour Party Conference

19 Nov
A view from outside the Labour Party Conference

As a non-Labour person,  the Labour Party Conference seemed to start out very hopeful on Saturday, and with the Sunday morning remits….. then somehow for me it turned less hopeful.

The MSM were dreadful – stirring up conflict and avoiding the substantial issues, except for the housing policy – at the latter was a a very big disappointment to me. I’m not sure how much Team Shearer fed that MSM obsession with drama and conflict & anti-Cunliffe stirring?

I see that Shearer/Labour is touting the conference as a “new direction” for Labour – the Labour Party’s “new direction” is kind of, partly what I am looking for:

  • a shift towards a more interventionist government;
  • some good policies on asset sales, local government etc;
  • and a bit of a shift away from neoliberalism.

But the housing policy is too focused on building houses for the private, home-buying market. And all the policies are focused on the middle-classes:  albeit the socially responsible, community minded (to a limit) middle-classes.  It is largely a view from a middle-class lifestyle, targeting the comfortable, but slightly insecure middle-classes.

Yes, Shearer has stopped talking about the deserving and underserving poor/beneficiaries – now he’s just not talking about the poor or beneficiaries at all.  They seem to have totally disappeared from the Labour landscape.

And Shearer is now sounding quite macho.

I felt so despondent last night and this morning, that I was fantasing about giving up writing blog posts and moving to the country – a less expensive life-style.


2 responses to “A view from outside the Labour Party Conference

  1. The Political Idealist

    19/11/2012 at 9:02 pm

    Here in Britain, we hear absolutely nothing about NZ politics. So when I read of how Labour moved so sharply to the right (and it sounds like it created that political landscape, unlike here, where UK Labour adapted to a neo-liberal politics created by a Conservative government.) and we thought we had a problem with New Labour. At least we have free healthcare and an attempt at a decent social security safety net.

    • karolscribe

      19/11/2012 at 9:40 pm

      Actually I was living in London from a couple of years before Thatcher became PM, til John Major’s time.

      It seems that in 1984 in NZ, a couple of neoliberal MPs in the then Labour Government, brought in neoliberal reforms – esp ecially Roger Douglas (now known as Rogernomics). Helen Clark’s Labour-led government halted the neoliberal reforms, but didn’t really change direction.

      We have free healthcare if you need it, otherwise it’s fairly cheap. But I much preferred the National Health in the UK. There is a reasonable social security system, but it’s under attack from our present government.

      Many now feel the Labour Party was hi-jacked back then, and there’s now a struggle to truly get it back. It’s escalated today with many on the left of the Labour Party (and other opposition parties) favouring Cunliffe to be leader. The current leader is likely to demote him tomorrow.


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