Friday, 6 May 2016

Strange Permutations

Wistful Lamentations and Broken Dreams

There is no place left in New Zealand for a Leftist political party any longer.  There are a number of reasons.  One (most ignored) explanation is that New Zealand is one of the most left-wing nations on the planet--up there with the Scandinavian trident.  Therefore, it's hard to be a left-wing political party when the centre-right party is actually in the left out field.  Socialism, without doctrines has won, and won handsomely in this country.  That means socialism is the norm; the official Left, to differentiate itself, must necessarily be radical because there is no room left on the political spectrum for leftism per se.  Leftism is right through the political spectrum.

Therefore, it is with a touch of mirth that we read the wistful lamentation of New Zealand's sole resident left-wing intellectual: Chris Trotter.  He is a bitterly disappointed man.

The bitter truth is that if a beneficent angel were to uplift the best politicians from Labour, the Alliance (before it disappeared) the Greens and the Mana Party, and drop them into a divinely crafted political entity that might – or might not – continue to exploit the still potent Labour brand, then the Government of John Key would be in real trouble. The current Labour Party bleats on (and on, and on, and on) about being a “Broad Church”, but the sad truth remains that its reservoir of recruitment has never been shallower.

A genuinely “broad church” party of the Left would balance off Andrew Little with Hone Harawira, Jacinda Ardern with Laila Harr√©, Stuart Nash with John Minto, Kelvin Davis with Annette Sykes, Grant Robertson with Julie Anne Genter and Annette King with Metira Turei. The whole spectrum of alternative power: from Soft Centrists to Hard Leftists; would be covered.

That Labour’s fatal apostasy [the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief or principle] has rendered such a divinely appointed caucus little more than a pipe dream is the besetting tragedy of progressive New Zealand politics. Its embrace of neoliberalism in the mid-1980s left Labour with the political equivalent of syphilis. Sadly, every one of the many attempts to administer the Penicillin of genuine progressivism (God bless you Jim, Rod, Laila!) was rejected. Consequently, Labour’s bones have crumbled and its brain has rotted. Small wonder that the other opposition parties are reluctant to get too close!
Chris is being too hard on himself and his beloved leftist Kingdom of Man.  He has not grasped that the Left has won.  In fact, he has assumed the guise of a quixotic figure of an errant knight on a knackers'-yard horse tilting at windmills.  He has missed the point.  The Left in New Zealand has won.

When the government recently announced it was putting every child in New Zealand on a database for monitoring purposes to ensure that the State provided sufficient nurture and care to produce healthy, wealthy, and wise citizens the only public response consisted of accolades, apart from those churlishly grumbling that "it was about time".  The Left has won.  Why can't it recognise its victory?  The State is our parent, our providential god, our beneficent carer.  Our taxes and public debt support it all, fund it all.  George Bernard Shaw and the Webbs must be weeping with joy in their graves.

Why does the official Left think its victory is pyrrhic?  The only explanation is that the current leftist National administration is committed to economic growth via the private sector.  The more doctrinaire leftists view this as right-wing treason.

The current leftist administration tries to keep the market relatively free.  It is strongly committed to international free trade.  It is significant that the only animated, energised leftist street protests this past year have been over the latest iteration of free trade agreements.  It is this issue which has New Zealand's legendary pragmatism displayed. However, the reason the present leftist government favours private capitalism is only because it needs something to tax so as to fund the growth of the State's power and control.  It does not want NZ's version of socialism to run out of other peoples' money.   The country got perilously close to that experience in the nineteen sixties and seventies.

Socialism without doctrines is triumphant in this country.  The Socialists, ironically, have been so successful they fail to see it.  Rather, they lachrymosely remember the "good old days" and pine for a more Pure Socialism.

Our advice to Chris Trotter is that he should thankfully count his blessings.  The only ideological radicals left in this country are the Christians.  And they march to the beating drum of a radically different Kingdom.

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