Workers Party TV address

October 14, 2008


Not much done, lots more to do

October 14, 2008

- John Edmundson

As election day nears, you’d think it would be time for union leaders to raise workers’ needs in front of the politicians. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) has released its spin on the latest statistics summarising the socioeconomic state of New Zealand in the last decade.

The CTU’s assessment of the Ministry of Social Development’s 2008 Social Report, headed “Social Report: Lots done, more to do”, could best be described as a pro-Labour spin on some pretty mixed statistics for the last decade, a period dominated by the Clark Labour government.

“The social wellbeing of New Zealanders has improved since the 1990s with most social indicators moving in the right direction,” enthused CTU vice president Maori Sharon Clair. “Clearly there is more to be done. Low wages are still holding back the country, and 13% of households in poverty is 13% too many. In many indicators the trends are good, however,” Clair said.

Of course, she is right, in a “lies, damned lies and statistics” sort of way. But what does “most” social indicators actually mean? A look at the actual report reveals a much less praiseworthy result than the CTU spin would suggest. I encourage anyone interested to go to www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz and make their own assessment of it.

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Why the Workers Party stands in capitalist elections

October 14, 2008

- Nick Kelly

Editorial from the October 2008 issue of The Spark

As this issue of The Spark goes to press Wall street is in trouble. The international capitalist economy is yet again entering a downturn As we head into the general election, New Zealand voters once again face a choice of political parties who will uphold this capitalist system. For 16 of the last 24 years Labour has governed New Zealand, the gap between rich and poor has widened faster than in the previous 35 years when National, the overtly right-wing party, won more elections than it lost.

The Workers Party has no illusions that parliamentary politics, or the 2008 election, can produce the change that people need. However, we see the election as a useful platform for socialist politics.

We see working people standing together and fighting the system as the way forward. We are standing to promote the idea that working people can organise to end capitalism’s exploitation and build a better life for themselves and for humanity as a whole.

Our election campaign is about highlighting these ideas and showing a real alternative to the increasingly similar politics offered by Labour, National, and their potential coalition partners currently in parliament.

Our party has stood firmly alongside Wellington bus drivers who were recently locked out by their employers, NZ Bus. In 2006 we actively supported the locked-out NDU workers from Progressive Supermarkets in a similar dispute.

We urge all working people to support our 2008 election campaign. Help us build the Workers Party and end exploitation and poverty.


Workers Party candidate fights unjust law

October 14, 2008

The Spark recently spoke to Workers Party Christchurch East candidate Paul Hopkinson, the first school teacher to be suspended under the undemocratic provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act.

Under the current law most public servants (including teachers) must take unpaid leave for the three weeks between nomination and polling day. Paul Hopkinson refused to take unpaid leave when requested, and as a result has been told by his employer that he is being suspended without pay.

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Help us fight this undemocratic law!

October 11, 2008

- Spark Financial Appeal

Workers Party Christchurch East candidate and school teacher Paul Hopkinson has been suspended under the undemocratic provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act.

Under the current law most public servants (including teachers) must take unpaid leave for the three weeks between nomination and polling day. Paul Hopkinson refused to take unpaid leave when requested, and as a result has been suspended without pay.

Paul is not going to knuckle under to this law, and he will press on regardless as part of our campaign to make workers’ issues hi-viz this election. But Paul is a working guy with a family who can ill afford three
weeks off the payroll.

Paul is doing his bit to fight for what’s right and he deserves backup. The Workers Party will do what it can to fill the gap, but we are a small group with few financial resources.

We’re appealing to all workers and democrats who hate injustice to help us fight this undemocratic provision of the Electoral Act.

Please send donations to Paul Hopkinson Appeal, c/o PO Box 10-282 Dominion Road, Auckland.


All Things Bright and Beautiful

October 9, 2008


Workers Party announces party list for 2008 election

October 9, 2008

- Workers Party media release

Contesting the party list vote for the first time this election, anti-capitalist group the Workers Party has today named 14 candidates who will be standing on its party list.

“Our main campaign slogan for these elections is ‘workers should be running the country!’ and this is certainly reflected in our list of candidates,” says Workers Party national organiser Tim Bowron.

“All of our candidates are proven fighters whose only loyalty is to the working class who create all of the wealth in society - not the parasitical boss class that currently consumes most of it.”

Heading the list is Wellington factory worker and well-known musician Don Franks, who is also standing in the Wellington Central electorate.

Other candidates to feature prominently on the list include union organiser and Manukau East candidate Daphna Whitmore, schoolteacher and Christchurch East candidate Paul Hopkinson (currently suspended without pay by his employer for challenging the restrictions on public servants running for parliament) and Wellington Tramways Union President Nick Kelly.

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Saturday soapbox @ the Otara market

October 8, 2008

Check out the Workers Party soapbox stall at South Auckland’s Otara market on Saturdays from 8am until 11am during the election campaign. This Saturday (11 October) we have invited guest speakers to talk (10am to 11am) about last year’s October 15 police raids on activists and the Tuhoe community.


Workers Party Radio Address

October 8, 2008

Click here to listen to the Workers Party Radio Address for the 2008 election.

The music is by Wellington Central candidate Don Franks.


POLL VAULT 2008 by Jim Delahunty

October 5, 2008

The voters of Wellington Central
Have got a simple choice
Support the man of capital
Or heed the workers’ voice.

CHORUS

Which Franks are you on [its Don!]
Which Franks are you on [its Don!]
There’s Labour and there’s National
And there’s New Zealand First
They’re such a bunch of phonies
You can’t tell who’s the worst.

CHORUS

If you’re for exploitation
Then you may shout for Steve
If you’re for liberation
It’s Don you must believe

CHORUS

So at the next election
You’ll see it come to pass
Don’ll have us all down at Bellamys
While Steve’s out on his arse