- The formation of the Labour Party in 1916
- The emergence of the National Party in 1935
- The Crushing of the waterside unions in 1951
- The introduction of Rogernomics in 1984
- The creation of the Maori Party in 2004
- The destruction of the Labour Party in 2011
Two months ago I was rash enough to predict the rise and rise of The Greens under the leadership of Russel Norman - just as I was among the first, if not in fact the first, to correctly predict a rapprochement between the Maori Party and National. Now the mainstream media seem to be catching up with a perceptive piece by John Armstrong the other day and sundry other writers joining the bandwagon.
Mr Armstrong picked up the Greens' first time ever love affair with economic growth, evinced in their advertising and their 'economic plan.' You may well disagree with their economic plan but at least they have one, unlike Labour. Previously the Greens' economic plan was to kill off half the world's population to make way for long lost molluscs and dodo birds but now they've fallen in love with President Obama's recipe of funding failed green energy businesses .
What Mr Armstrong missed was the bigger picture - the Greens mounting an intelligent and coherent campaign to unseat Labour in the forthcoming election and position themselves as the official parliamentary opposition party. They've got rid of their embarrassing commies and they appear to have turned themselves into hard nosed politicians who are prepared to compromise on previously held fundamentalist sacred cows for the sake of getting inside the tent and having some real influence. One such example being the wisdom of their decision to reject a blanket ban on dealing with the National Party.
Just as the Maori Party cast off its image of rabid extremism to become a competent and successful mainstream party, so are moving the Greens.
NZ Labour needs to be very very worried. First it alienated the Maori vote and opened the door for the Maori Party to flourish and now, largely due to its contemptuous treatment of the Greens by the Clark regime, it has driven the Greens to seek better pastures elsewhere.
New Zealand Labour is heading for the same scrap heap currently occupied by the once proud Labour Party of Israel which disintegrated because it, too, became a party of elites for elites rather than the party for Israel's version of 'Waitakere Man.'
Such is the legacy of Helen Clark.