Workers Party candidate talk at Baptist Church election meeting

October 29, 2008

Talk given by Daphna Whitmore at a candidates’ forum in Otahuhu, Auckland 28 October 2008

Thank you for the invitation to speak at tonight’s meeting. I’m a list candidate and also standing in this electorate.

Our party has no ties to religion, we consider religion is a private affair and should be separate from the state. Having said that, the theme tune of our election campaign is the hymn All things Bright and Beautiful.

Don Franks, who is our candidate in Wellington Central wrote some new lyrics to reflect our outlook.

All things bright and beautiful in every shopping mall

All the goods and services- the workers made them all

We sell our labour power for a bare subsistence wage

While bosses loll in luxury ­ its time to turn the page!

Workers of all countries ­ in lands both great and small

This earth and all we’ve made of it ­ let us reclaim it all

This election our party has one central message: that workers should be running the country.

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Socialism key to sustainability says Workers Party candidate

October 28, 2008

Workers Party media release

They key to creating an environmentally sustainable society is to put production in the hands of workers, says the Workers Party’s Christchurch Central candidate Byron Clark.

“Right now production is done for private profit, rather than human need, which means environmental concerns are secondary for capitalism.”

Clark is an environmental sociology student but has little time for “modern Luddites and doomsayers.” He is advocating ecological modernisation as the way to deal with environmental problems.

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A vision of workers’ freedom

October 27, 2008

(Workers Party address to Labour Day left of Labour election forum in Wellington)

It’s a nice change to be at a meeting where the right is excluded instead of the left. This year many Wellington election meetings only invited candidates holding parliamentary seats. The New Zealand Council of Trade unions hosted such a meeting. When I complained about being excluded, while National and ACT were given a platform, the CTU organiser emailed back “You’ll have to ask Helen Kelly.” CTU president Helen Kelly didn’t have the courtesy to reply. Instead, the next email in my box was an urgent notice from the CTU organiser, asking me to support a union picket downtown. I wonder if he sent the same appeal to his National and ACT guests.

That small incident is a reminder that political action takes place outside parliament as well as inside. The Workers Party think struggle outside parliament is more important, but we see elections as a chance to fight for our ideas.

OK, I want to tell you what we stand for and how we’re trying to go about it.

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Kicking the habit

October 26, 2008

More election campaign posters available for download in pdf format in our resources section.

Labour Day debate on progressive alternatives to Labour

October 26, 2008

Don Franks’ address to election meeting at St Anne’s Northland-Wilton Anglican Parish 21/10 /08

October 22, 2008

Good evening and thanks for inviting the Workers Party to speak at this parish.

The parish I originate from myself is St Albans in Eastbourne. That was quite a long time ago and for the last 40 years I’ve been resident and working in Wellington.

Every election we hear some politicians claiming to uphold and defend Christian values.

The party I belong to, the Workers Party, makes no such claim, and we see religion as a private affair. However, as a former Sunday school pupil from St Alban’s parish, I’m sometimes drawn to wonder how the carpenter of Nazareth might have related to Workers Party policies.

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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.

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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