Sunday, March 8, 2009

Must Read Matt

Matt McCarten is an astute political observer and this morning's Herald column is a scorcher.

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Hot on the heels of Labour's last rites delivered this week by chief Lefty Chris Trotter , McCarten eviscerates Andrew Little before he even has his feet under the desk as Labour Party president.

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Imagine Little trekking up to the Beehive to lobby government ministers on behalf of his union members and expecting a sympathetic hearing. These National Party politicians know his other job is to kill them at the next general election.

McCarten highlights the hypocrisy of Labour maintaining the EPMU was not associated with the Labour Party for purposes of the EFA.

As the boss of the Unite union myself, I'm not saying a union leader shouldn't be knee-deep in the political process. Workers have always the known that politics impacts on their lives, and expect their unions to have a political strategy. Workers in many countries, including New Zealand, have even formed political parties of their own to advance their interests.

He concludes by pointing up the plight of union members who are used as political cannon fodder, along with their fees.

Now that Labour is in opposition, ... a union leader's main priority would be to give his full attention to the union work, rather than taking up another job.

That's why workers pay their union leaders a full-time salary, isn't it?

Maybe that's why we see what comes next. Look at this remarkable revelation of Labour's incompetence:-

Parliamentary politics are important. But offering to lead the main opposition party doesn't make any sense at all. Particularly as the union movement is smaller now than it was when Labour was elected nearly a decade ago.

It's always the throw away aside which tells you the most.

Workers, like Maori, aren't as stupid as Labour likes to think they are.

8 comments:

Lou Taylor said...

Definitely one of McCarten's better articles. I got the feeling that there was some sour grapes in there though. Maybe Matt has a secret desire to lesd the Labour Party.

LaFemme said...

What's with all this grown-up talk from a guy more accustomed to acting out and kicking sand childishly?
Amazing, but will it last?

Psycho Milt said...

Lou: McCarten is an ex-Alliance leader - he doesn't like Labour any more than you do, so look no further for why he's raining on their parade.

Lou Taylor said...

You are right Milt but the left is becoming hicksville and the troughs are shrinking.
Matt will be looking at his future with some trepidation.

Anonymous said...

Key & Hide must, absolutely must revise the EFA so that absolutely no union money, union time, union people, union resources allowed in the political process whatsoever.

Matt will be looking at his future with some trepidation.


Indeed. because any serious inquiry into the last to 10 years of NZ's politics would see him joining his union and labour mates in jail.

Anonymous said...

Just supposing for a few moments that the new EFA forbids union funds reaching the Labour Party like they shouldn't. What happens then?
Does this senario come to mind.
Due to lack of funds the Labour Party is unable to compete at the election and over the next two elections becomes a very minor Party.
What do we have, a middle of the road socialist National Party and a right wing party named ACT. Where will the power lie? As these things swing on a pendulum it would be appropriate for the political scene to move to the right. Interesting scenario.

Anonymous said...

Due to lack of funds the Labour Party is unable to compete at the election and over the next two elections becomes a very minor Party.

Umm yeah precisely!
Hopefully it would just go bankrupt.


What do we have, a middle of the road socialist National Party and a right wing party named ACT.


Yep. sounds perfectly reasonable to me in a two-party system

Where will the power lie? As these things swing on a pendulum it would be appropriate for the political scene to move to the right. Interesting scenario.

Power would like between the Tories and ACT. As it should. And the pendulum would swing every rightwards.

The real big change we need is not just getting rid of Labour and Union influence: it's no representation without taxation --- unless you have say a personal income of 100K - with none of it coming from the government, taxes, rates etc --- you don't qualify to vote. The property qualification used to do this in NZ and the US: we need to find some way to replace this as soon as possible

Anonymous said...

I heard through the grapevine that Labour is utterly broke and has fww paid-up members. Any truth to this?