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Hard times in NZ

22 Sep

We had an election at the weekend, and the party of the haves got back into government with an increased majority.  This means a three more years of hardship, and this time, increased hardship for the least well off.  more beneficiary bashing and belt tightening for those already struggling on low incomes.  And more selling off of things the country values to the already wealthy and powerful overseas.

 keep-calm-and-stay-left-10

And it means more of the infotainment media as any remnants of public service media are further dismantled – Radio NZ?  Maori TV?

Here’s some analysis of what has happened.

newscorp harmful if swallowed

Gordon Campbell: None of it is good news for the NZ Labour Party.  Otherwise, they will have 13 while from 2011-2014 they had 14.

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left. [..]Even where Labour stalwarts won their electorates quite handily – […] Labour finished well behind National on the party vote. Thus, even where Labour “won,” it consistently lost.

[…] To state the bleedingly obvious: this is not a good outlook for Labour’s long term future. In the suburbs and central city alike, gentrification is pulling urban liberals towards the Greens and pushing everyone else to National, and beyond.

[…] There are some bright spots for the NZ Greens, even though they failed to improve on their 2011 vote.

[…] National will have to face some unique challenges – and these will test Key’s salesmanship skills to the limit.

More at the above link.

The International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand have a detailed analysis. it’s grim reading: Labour in crisis, disappointment for the Greens, and a major defeat for Internet Mana.

Over the last six years we have argued sometimes that Key’s support is ‘brittle’ or ‘hollow.’ These results show this to be wishful thinking rather than analysis – with each election National has maintained or increased its support.

[…] Two lessons stand out. One is that the Maori and Pasifika industrial working class continue to be Labour’s staunchest and most solid bloc of support.

[…] Political commentators – and the National party itself – have, for years now, tried to talk up a split between Labour’s Maori and Pacific Island supporters and socially liberal or progressive policies. The election shows this up again as a wish rather than a reality.

[…] A pattern from the last election repeated itself, with the Greens doing well in wealthy areas and slipping away in poorer (and browner) communities. […] They campaigned around inequality and child poverty, but not with or to those affected by this situation. Shedding, with each election, their association with the historical Left, the Greens face an uncertain future.

[…] All the Internet Party’s money and media exposure brought barely a lift, and the alliance with the Internet Party damaged Mana amongst its supporters in the poorest parts of the Maori world. […] The gimmicks the Internet Party represented, and the idea that money can buy political space for progressive ideas, stand exposed.

Ellipsister has a very good analysis, twhich also includes a strong focus on Maori politicians.

The election showed us many things, one of those is that both Labour and the MANA  Movement treated the Māori Party (TMP) as the biggest threat to their own existence. And all three parties paid the price.

[…] Of note, the Greens didn’t lose their support base though and held their own despite the decreased support for both Labour and InternetMANA. And while Labour were able to capitalise on the Māori and Pasifika vote, this was their worst election result since pre-1930.

[…] Despite being a very vocal critic of the InternetMANA alliance, my heart broke watching Hone Harawira’s disappointment upon realising he’d lost the seat. What I hope he can take from this situation, is the time to reflect and rebuild MANA free of the toxic influences of some of those who’ve involved themselves very heavily in the movement.

[…] Labour were incredibly disappointing this election. And that no-one picked up on or questioned the fact that ‘Vote Positive’ only applied to non-Māori seats or non-kaupapa Māori based parties was incredibly disheartening.

We need to work for change away from the now all-pervasive, consumerist values of the “neoliberal” era.  We need to be telling the story of the value of a society that care of all its people: a story that needs to be told in diverse ways, and in as many places as possible.

people before profit

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