coughlan

A road to nowhere?

By Ewan Tavendale

This year’s local body elections probably won’t enlighten us as to which direction the public, or more correctly the various social classes, might be heading politically. Certainly, there is nothing so far to suggest that the local elections will herald a Labour Party revival. However, the local elections are not without interest. The
mayoral election campaigns so far in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have already confirmed one

Phil-Goff-215x305

Style without substance: You’d better get a better slogan.

thing: the emperor has no clothes. What I mean by that is that these elections are exposing just how weak the National Party really is as an organisation.

You imagine that National and Labour are well-organised with membership strengths at local level in keeping with the parties’ standing in Parliament. This is not so. The reality is that the status of these parties in the public eye, the two main pillars of the political system, is not founded upon masses of members in communities or workplaces. Both parties are totally dependent for their image on the say so of the mass media.

This state of affairs is not grievous for National, which can generally rely on the friendly support of the media owning corporations. The current government gets an easy ride, and that will not change any time soon.   [Read More…]

Recent articles

student debt

“Anti-poverty” group suggests increasing student debt

We live in strange times. In a report released earlier this week, the Child Poverty Action Group – a group formed with the aim of reducing poverty – actually suggested re-introducing interest on student loans. The report did detail the increasingly desperate situation facing all but the most well-off students. Student allowances remain just pitifully […]

The Waihi Strike set the scene for Labour

The origins of the Labour Party

By Martin Gregory   I might state that the museum up on the hill known as Parliament House has little attraction for me but if that machine can be used to benefit the working man and foster industrial organisation, I am in favour of it. W E Parry, January 1913,President of the Waihi Worker’s Union […]

Gramsci

Introducing Gramsci

By Josh Parsons Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist, active in the 1910s and 20s before his imprisonment by the Italian state under Mussolini. It was while he was imprisoned that Gramsci made his most well-known contributions to Marxist theory, including the key concept of hegemony. Gramsci’s contributions are valuable not only theoretically, but for the many practical […]

Deborah Littman

How do we win the Living Wage?

By Casbean Lee   On July 6th, Living Wage campaigner Deborah Littman spoke to an assembly of faith groups, unionists, students and other activists gathered at Saint Peter’s Church in Wellington. Much of what Littman presented was encouraging. Her experiences as part of successful living wage campaigns within London and Vancouver offer hope to New […]

Resisting the pro-police backlash after Dallas

by Nicole Colson THE POLICE KILLING of two Black men–Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota–last week horrified people around the world and brought protesters into the streets in large numbers across the country to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. Yet just […]

Making history or maintaining the status quo?

by Elizabeth Schulte THERE’S NO denying that women could use a “historic” breakthrough. We could use quite a few, if anyone is offering. Contrary to those who argue that we live in a post-feminist era, where sexism is a thing of the past, women are still, by almost any measuring stick, unequal to men in […]

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Debating the Brexit

by Martin Gregory   Around the world socialists are digesting the outcome of the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union. British socialists, and their international co-thinkers, were divided on the referendum question both between and within their organisations. The debate continues here. Martin replies to Tom Bramble’s analysis in Red Flag.   Tom […]

Rally 1

After the Brexit: Fighting Racism

Kevin Hodder sent these notes from London:   I awoke in London to a shock. Travelling from New Zealand and only briefly abroad, I only had a relatively tenuous grasp on the debates going on in the UK around the “Brexit” vote.   The details of these debates are not for me to cover. Irrespective […]

From the archive

Anzac Day: Against the Carnival of Reaction

mobiliseagainstthewarOn Anzac Day 1967, at the height of New Zealand involvement in the ‘American War’ in Vietnam, with New Zealand troops taking part in the suppression of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, members of the Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch tried to lay a wreath following the dawn service in memory of those killed by imperialism in Vietnam. They were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour. Feminists a decade later faced down a media-driven public outcry when they laid wreaths to the victims of sexual violence during war.

Lest we forget? It’s more like lest we remember. Anzac Day serves as a carnival of nationalist reaction, a day of public ritual aimed at promoting forgetting: forgetting the real legacy of New Zealand imperialism and militarism in favour of a sentimental nationalism, an anti-political celebration of national unity. [Read More…]

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