The ‘working man’ of Labour mythology has little or no relevance today. In a nutshell the Labour movement is on the downward part of the life cycle curve. The party arose out of the need to improve working conditions for labourers in the age of factories and assembly lines. As industrialisation moved people off the land and manufacturing took over from agriculture as the leading source of employment the workers banded together in Unions to ensure their interests were represented to employers. The Unions banded together to form a political party, Labour, to make sure their interests were represented in government and therefore the laws of the land.
Once men were supplanted by machines in the factories and manufacturing gave way to service industries the role of the Unions, and with it Labour, started to wane. In the post industrial world Unions have almost ceased to have any relevance in the working lives of the average employee, especially in the private sector where flexibility is the key to success. Labour and the Unions only hold sway in the State sector of employees or beneficiaries and even here their grip isn’t what it used to be.
In the circumstances it is easy to see why Labour might lurch further left, but that ground is now occupied by the Greens. If it wasn’t for the Maori seats Labour would be a rump of a party.
It’s interesting to speculate where Labour voters have gone. The affiliation with the Greens turned out to have no appeal and I doubt dyed in the wool socialists would have switched their allegiance to them. A long-term Labour friend of mine with strong family ties to the party has shifted her vote to New Zealand First. Why? As a Kiwi she sees her egalitarian socialist principles being undermined by the rise of a new privileged class based on race. She feels abandoned by Labour and sees National as an even worse culprit in the race-based shift in power. There’s no doubt that NZ First with its egalitarian principle of one nation took votes away from Labour traditionalists with their strong ‘conservative, nationalistic’ streak and will continue to do so.
I’ve written about them already in my blog ‘The fall of the Greens’. This can be summed up as we are all environmentalist now. Their job is done. It’s hard to see them making any further headway. Their power base is with the rich urban middle class elite of lawyers and university professors who can afford organic food, still believe in something called anthropogenic global warming and hate the human race as a consequence. Not exactly a philosophy that has any relevance to the poor folk of south Auckland or the famers on whom the country depends for its wealth. As the long con of ‘climate change’ is exposed as one big lie they will fade away.
SIPs, single issue parties, seldom exist for more than a short time. Maori is a case in point. There are only mixed raced New Zealanders. Many, if not most, hold all their ancestry equally dear. Enriching a few tribal chiefs, corporations and trusts at the expense of the vast majority of all New Zealanders is singularly unappealing. The Maori Party has no place or relevance in a country that is rapidly tiring of over forty years of cultural cringe and political correctness let alone the transfer of their assets at the rate of $1 billion a year to a tribal elite. It’s time for the party to disappear.
Hone never had any mana and never will.
Peter is Dunne after this next three years and therefore so is his party.