August 5, 2010
I read this in the Herald, attributed to you:
“We are proud of the good peacekeeping and reconstruction work that our Provincial Reconstruction Team has done in Bamian Province, and we mourn the loss of one of its members.”
If those words are not misquoted, then I’m really angry at your misrepresentation.
What’s going on here?
You’ve read all the books and been constantly active in the anti imperialist movement for literally half a century. You must be much more acutely aware than most people that the so called Provincial Reconstruction Team that the New Zealand state sent to Afghanistan is not about peacekeeping, or reconstruction , or is, in any way, “ours”.
You must similarly know that unless someone belongs to or chooses to identify with the New Zealand ruling classes, or is a bought hack journalist, or has not had access to the most rudimentary understanding of class politics, that: “our Provincial Reconstruction Team” is not based in Afghanistan for peacekeeping, good or otherwise.
Death in war is an understandable trigger for human emotions. So lets get the whole picture here. How many Afghanistan people have been killed by New Zealand invaders of their country? When do we mourn and how do we begin to try and make amends?
People die every day in the course of their calling. The NZ army officer killed by Afghanistan people trying to evict invaders from their land is the first invading New Zealand trooper to die there since 2003. How many industrial deaths have there been in New Zealand since that time? How many flags were lowered, how many media voices theatrically quavered and how many Prime ministers broke routine for those working class victims of the class war?
Let the ruling classes do their barbarous inhuman dirty work alone and unaided.
Our little time on this earth has more urgent and honorable calls on it; to revive the antimperialist antiwar movement in this country.
November 18, 2008
After committing to scrapping the ban on thermal generation and reviewing the ETS, John Key has discussed carbon tax as a market alternative. An adoption from the Greens, this policy would continue Key’s move to the centre. Overseas, it has been applied as a direct tax, affecting the pockets of road-users. The Workers Party opposes all measures that punish the consumer, as with GST, tax on cigarettes and the proposed levy on plastic bags.
More degradation occurs at production than consumption, and consumers have little influence over production. We must change the mode of production itself, so that it serves need rather than profit.
November 14, 2008
At a recent election meeting at the University of Auckland, the prominent anarchist Omar Hamed of the Auckland Anarchist Network presented “an anarchist view on elections” but then admitted he would be voting for the Greens. This was a good example of how the left-wing friends of what is increasingly a party of the establishment must construct a false reality to justify their misfit between theory and practice. Like Christian obscurantists who, despite mounting evidence, continue to present their creationist themes, anti-capitalists who present the Greens as some form of progressive force not only obscure the facts but present an overwhelmingly deceptive image of reality.
The political nature of the Greens
To discover the truth of what the Green Party is all about, who better to go to than its fresh new leader. Russel Norman, a former anti-capitalist associated with the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, has made explicit his desire not just to save the planet but to save the capitalist system. He has compared the role of the modern-day Greens to that of social democrats of the 1930s who introduced counter-measures against capitalism’s self-destructive tendencies.
In a revealing blog posting in 2007 on Frogblog, Russel Norman presented his thesis on the role of the Greens:
It’s a funny position we find ourselves in. Just as the social democrats (Europe), labourists (UK, Australia, NZ) and new dealers (US) of the 1930s and 1940s had to save capitalism from its own destructive tendencies by introducing a range of modifications and interventions on the market system, so now the Green Parties of the world find ourselves in possibly a similar position. The best of the old social democrats like Michael Cullen are too locked in the old paradigm to understand it, and the sectional interests like the business roundtable and Employers Federation are too narrow to see it, but we have to intervene in the market system to place a price on resource use and pollution so that we can save the planet. And in the process we will quite possibly save the market system from its natural tendency to destroy or consume all resources leading to its own demise as well as the demise of the planet and all of us living on it.
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November 6, 2008
- Jared Phillips
Yesterday after the march to the McDonald’s bosses conference at the Hyatt Hotel we returned to the Queen Street store. I was the last union official there with about 30 workers (the numbers had dropped-off by this stage). Workers were blocking-off the entrance. The strikers were fired-up.
I noticed Russel Norman, Green Party co-leader, amongst the gathered spectators. On some other business, he had bumped into the strike.
He was watching for about 5 minutes.
Politically I oppose the Green Party because they are a pro-capitalism party but A) They have had some connection to Unite through the Youth Rates campaign, and B) in hard struggles workers draw strength from almost any source of support. So in my capacity as an organiser I approached Russel Norman and asked him if he would speak to the strikers. First he said he didn’t know the issues. So I told him the issues. He still said no. I pressed him again but ‘No it’s ok’.
But it’s not ok. All the ‘left commentators’ are saying vote Green.
But the Green leader, obviously a developed public speaker, couldn’t spare 5 minutes for the lowest paid. We need a party that is shoulder to shoulder with the lowest paid.