… and I’m worried we’re not going to do it.
It’s not just about winning an election. It’s not just about getting Labour, or Labour/Greens, or Labour/Greens/Mana etc over the line.
It’s about getting the people of New Zealand to turn out and vote for a different kind of country. Not a country where Paula Bennett gets to pull the ladder up behind her. Not a country where finance companies get bailed out while rail workshops have to close their doors. Not a country that uses material wealth as a moral yardstick, blaming the poor for being poor and assuming the wealthy should be listened to. Not a country which points a finger at those who have no power and makes them the scapegoat for our failures.
But we may be our own worst enemies.
This isn’t me telling people to shut up for the sake of unity. It’s not labelling my ideological enemies as Redneck Stormtroopers.
It’s a plea for understanding the difference between strategy and tactics.
To get to the New Zealand we want to live in, from the New Zealand we have now, is going to take a huge amount of work. We need to change how our economy works, our whole system of industrial relations, our social welfare systems, how we support vulnerable people, how businesses invest and create real jobs, how families and communities are able to support each other, our criminal and justice systems, our attitude towards our natural environment, our position on the international stage
Every aspect of that work is important, and interconnected. And we can work on more than one thing at a time. We can have tactics like a capital gains tax and amending the Reserve Bank Act and we can push for a living wage and we can discuss sexual discrimination in the workplace and we can increase paid parental leave. We can create financial disincentives on property speculators and implement environment and accessibility standards for new builds and demand rental properties are fit to live in and build more state houses.
We can do the big serious economic policies and give a fuck about people’s day-to-day lives, because all of it will feed into the
brighter future big picture.
In 2014 the New Zealand Left must have more on its agenda than “win power”. We should want to create a better New Zealand, and doing that is about so much more than economic policy (which is also, obviously, important). It has to touch everything. And it’s going to take people working in different areas on different parts of the plan to make it all happen.
It may sound all a bit Pollyanna, but I absolutely believe we can do it … if the heterosexual leftwing dudes could please just stop complaining every time we spend five minutes on issues which don’t purely benefit them.
We’re all in this together, guys. We’re all aiming for the same thing. We all want that better New Zealand and that strong leftwing government. And you know what, we’re here on the left because we’re fighting in the same war: the war against the powerful elites standing on our necks.
Now give me some fucking cookies for saying all that without using the word “vision” once.