New Workers Party Poll

April 9, 2008

This week Helen Clark flew to Beijing to sign an “historic” free trade agreement with China. Reaction to the deal has ranged from euphoria among the business community to moral outrage from groups such as Free Tibet and the Green Party.

Let us know what you think by voting here in our special online poll.


“Crimes against the working class”

April 9, 2008

- A talk presented by Don Franks at a recent Wellington public meeting in solidarity with those arrested during the so-called “anti-terror” raids in October 2007.

Mass media treatment of politics these days is largely soundbites, titillation and trivia.

The present structure of society is not subject to serious examination or question. Capitalism is accepted as the most natural form of human cohabitation; quantitatively improvable in some areas, but essentially unchangeable.

That position suits those who are well placed in today’s society.
Capitalism’s prosperity and survival depends on mass belief that the present private property system is “as good as it gets.”

I was asked to speak this evening about the nature of the Labour party.

Workers Party members are sometimes asked why we’re so critical of Labour. Why not attack the main enemy, we’re told. Labout is not perfect but National is worse.

In fact, the “National worse” argument is a myth.

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Should socialists opppose free trade? A response to an Alliance activist

April 9, 2008

With the signing of the recent FTA with China, the debate over the issue of free trade has been reignited among workers and left-wing political activists in New Zealand.

Many left union officials and members of political parties such as the Alliance have argued that immigration controls and tariffs must be retained to protect NZ jobs and businesses from being undercut by foreign competition.

By contrast the Workers Party strongly believes that this kind of economic protectionism is a poison which only serves to divide the international working class and encourages illusions in the “progressive” nature of local capitalists. We argue that the solution to NZ companies closing down production and laying off workers is not protectionism, but instead a militant union-led campaign to occupy all those businesses threatened with closure and keep them running under workers’ control.

Below we reprint an interview from 2004, in which Workers Party and Spark editorial board member Don Franks responds to a series of questions from an Alliance Party activist on the question of free trade and the approach that the left should take towards it:

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