The Band’s Visit

November 9, 2008

- Film review

An Israeli film where most of the characters are Egyptian is something other than ordinary.

When an Egyptian police band gets stuck in a small Israeli town there are all the ingredients for a comedy of errors. Stranded, with little money the eight men who are more musicans than police, spend a night with the locals. The closeness of strangers is evident as the quaint and old fashioned band members interact with their Israeli hosts.

The politics are thankfully understated allowing the humanity of the characters to take centre stage. 

The Band’s Visit has been collecting a string of film festival awards. Worthy of everyone of them.

Daphna


NZ Election: the morning after

November 9, 2008

- Daphna Whitmore

For the Workers Party - this was the first time a socialist party was on the party list. A red flag on the ballot paper was an achievement - and one that took a bit of work to get the numbers to satisfy the electoral commission that we qualified. We were the last party to get registered, making it just a few days out from writ day.

It was a last minute campaign for the party vote but the campaigning was good for our organisation. Members got active, our website has been constantly updated and a lot of new contacts have been made. We got our name out across the country so there are now thousands of people who know there is a far left option. We got votes in every electorate of the country. capitalism-not-our-future-don1

In New Zealand as far as I’m aware the far left has not yet ever got more than 200 votes in an electorate and this was reflected again in our vote. With 824 on the first count it is possible we’ll get over 900 once the special votes are counted.

MMP is a funny system. It engenders a lot of the first past the post mentality. Not just in the electorate seats where it is FPP, but in general people still tend to see things in terms of National and Labour. That was reflected in the 80 per cent of votes cast for those two parties.

A really proportional system would be better. It’s hardly democratic that NZ First gets 4.2 per cent of the vote and no seats, while Progressives and United Future each have a seat but a tiny overall vote. And Act gets five seats on 3.72 per cent of the vote.

Low turnout and 10,700 votes for the Bill and Ben Party indicate a lack of public confidence in the options on offer.

Read the rest of this entry »


US Election: the struggle continues

November 9, 2008

Racism is a product of class oppression; the two are fundamentally connected. The Workers Party acknowledges the history of African American struggle which has resulted in the election of Barack Obama.

The vast majority of African Americans remain wage earners. Obama is considering Lawrence Summers as  head of Treasury. Former head of the World Bank, Summers supported dumping toxic waste on Africa.

The struggle continues.


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