How Would Norman Kirk Get On Today?

Chris Trotter says that the Labour caucus is a talent free zone.

Trotter contends that the Labour selection system is set up to favour those who win patronage from one of the three powerful sector groups – the affiliated trade unions, the Women’s Council, and the gay and lesbian dominated Rainbow Council.

David Farrar looks at numbers 28 to 33 on Labour’s 2005 list.

STREET, Maryan – female, gay
MORONEY, Suzanne Mary – female, unionist
FENTON, Darien Elizabeth – female, unionist
CHAUVEL, Charles Pierre – gay, lawyer for unions
SOPER, Lesley Frances – female, unionist
WALL, Louisa Hareruia – female, gay

Trotter and David Farrar might also have added extreme socialist to the qualifying list.


Would Norman Kirk, Bill Rowling, Michael Bassett, Mick Connelly, Margaret Austin or even Geoffrey Palmer have had a dog’s show of getting selected by this current mob?

Labour was once a broad based party of 100,000 decent, mainstream NZers,with a sprinkling of Marxist infiltrators.

Today, it is a few thousand strong and the unions and the PCers and Marxists control the party apparatus.

In my opinion, Norman Kirk or Mick Connelly wouldn’t even join today’s Labour Party.

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18 thoughts on “How Would Norman Kirk Get On Today?

  1. their is a real feeling on the left that labour has been going more and more to the right with examples like the foreshore and seabed bill. As for marxists in the labour party i really think you should visit you local labour party meeting and look for them.

  2. For the point of view anon. is talking about see “The Truth about Labour” (and probably some other stuff from the left too because I assume anon. is an anarchist and wouldn’t agree 100% with this Workers Party publication)

    Personally, I think the political scientists at the political compass have got their placing right with Labour; a slightly liberal, economicly centre-right party.

    I don’t think having a lot of people from the Womans Council and Rainbow council in caucas is proof the Labour party is socialist, being a woman doesn’t automaticly make you left-wing (just look at Thatcher) and neither does being queer, as for the “unionists” I think you’ll find their a bunch of beaurocrats with little shop floor experience. The Labour party is running the unions, not the other way round.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. From your point of view Byron, the LP would seem “right wing”, just as the former Socialist Unity Party seemed “right” to many on the extreme left.

    In my view much of the LP hierarchy is just as “communist” as you are, but they are realistic enough to look long term.

    They are not about storming the Beehive and the Business Roundtable.

    They are about long term change. The PSA’s “Partnership for Quality” for example is a continuation of the SUP’s “Compact” and “Workplace Reform” of the late ’80s and ’90s.

    Labour is about socialism by stealth, one step at a time. Your Workers Party is about revolution tomorrow.

    The goals are the same, you guys are just a lot less patient.

  4. Let’s contrast that with the ACT party, which has a schizophrenic approach to social issues (with various comrades hating gays and abortion), under a hundred activists and their traditional allies, the filthy rich businessmen, deserting them in droves.

  5. “Labour is about socialism by stealth, one step at a time” – maybe im just being cynical but i see labours slide to the right as merely that nothing more. The labour party follows the polls and as such is moving more and more to the center. No marxists schemes their just a overriding desire for power.

  6. Well of course the Labour party is to the right of me, you could say that about almost any (possibly every) party in New Zealand, what I mean is if you were to draw a line with advocates of a planned economy on the left side, and advocates of a laissez faire economy on the right side, and then plotted the New Zealand Labour party on that line according to their policies, they would be just right of the centre.

    The PSA’s “Partnership for Quality” is about partnership between the union and the bosses, and does little to help the workers, the partnership model has been rightly critisied by the other public sector union NUPE.

    If the Labour party is about socialism by stealth, how long are they planned to wait? the Labour party has been around for 90 years and do you think New Zealand is any closer to socialism than it was in the 1900’s?

    Also, if that is the case whats your explanation for Douglas, Prebble et al who left the Labour party to form ACT? were they undercover free-marketiers or is Richard Prebble a former Marxist?

  7. Byron-We’re using the same words but we’re talking about different things. You see socialism as a benevolent society of co-operation, equalility and tolerance.

    I see socialism as centralised control, suppression of free speech and individuality and heavy handed state control. By these standards, Helen Clark’s Labour is very socialist.

    Modern “socialists” and communists do not put economic control at the centre of their plans anymore. They are more into Gramscian social change. The economy will come later. So it is quite possible for communist parties to advocate for sbusiness growth when it suits them. Witness the SACP in South Africa.

    Socialism to me is a hierarchial system built on sucking up to those above you.

    Laissez faire capitalism (my ideal) is about individuality, minimal state power, goodwill towards your fellows and a prosperous, free, dynamic and benevolent society.

    It is not the amalgam of big business and big government that many socialists call “capitalism”.

    I call that fascism, which is actually a form of corporate socialism.

    I hope I have portrayed your beliefs reasonably accurately and clarified mine.

  8. I would say Labour fits your definition of “socialism” well (for example I would call the anti-strike provisions in the Employment Relations Act “heavy handed state control.”)

    but as you mentioned, we have different definitions of the word, I certainly wouldn’t call the Labour party socialists, in fact I don’t think they are even worthy of the term “social democrats”

    Another thing though, you quicky dismiss Olivers comment on “virtually every count.”, I would challenge that; ACT president Garry Mallett made a vomiting gesture when referring to homosexuality at a candidates meeting last year, and stated in an interview that “the act of sodomy turns my gut” (see article here

    In all fairness, I know he doens’t believe the state should intervene in peoples sex lives, but his personal view of homosexuality is one of hate.

  9. OK Byron, its a bit off topic and not really my area of expertise, but I’ll bite. Here goes.

    Please explain how Garry’s lack of appreciation for the aesthetics of anal sex, in any way prove that he has an “hateful” attitude towards gay men.

  10. Fair comment, though I’d say the vomiting gesture was inapropriate.

    I think the point Oliver was trying to make was that although ACT is economicly libertarian some of its members have conservative social views, Gary Mallet who (and I quote) “firmly believe[s] that the best institution for raising healthy well-balanced children is a man and a woman in a marriage” is an example of that.

  11. You mean some labour candidates are actually women? and some of them sleep with other women!

    Gasp, the sky is falling!

  12. Byron. It is quite true that many ACT members have socially conservative views. The fact is that most people do. The vast bulk of the population believes that the nuclear/extended family is the best way to bring up kids. I do so myself-quote me on it.

    The real issue here is, how these views are “enforced”. As a libertarian, I believe I have no right to force my moral views on others. I will let reality and the market sort out who has the best ideas.

    That doesn’t mean I can’t make moral judgements, or ostracise those I disagree with, it simply means I cannot use force or legislation to make others toe my line.

    If this country had a libertarian government no legislation or force would impact on any non “mainstream” lifestyle, family arrangement, personal habits etc.

    Would the same apply under a Workers Party government? Could I maintain my business and lifestyle as i do now? Could I educate my children as I wish and continue to promote the causes I believe in?

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