Forever dreaming of a left wing revolution Martyn Bradbury asks Could MANA be the new anti-austerity radical Left Party?
He recognises that an anti-austerity party needs to have severe austerity measures to campaign against, and New Zealand is nothing like the economic basket cases in Europe like Greece and Spain.
What Greece shows is that the economic conditions have to deteriorate significantly and the contempt in the current elites incredibly intense before people dump being consumers and suddenly become citizens.
The poor need to see their lot as getting worse while the inequalities in a NZ led by a multi-millionaire money speculator so grotesque that people demand a State that will step in and put people first not corporations.
Is NZ at that level? At one extent it is. Those being thrown off welfare in their thousands and those too ill to work being threatened with ongoing and intrusive work testing are running out of options and becoming more desperate at the bureaucratic cruelty Departments met out to them
New Zealand is nowhere near this level.
And Bradbury seems to have pretty much given up hope for the Mana Party.
MANA could easily hold their current economic platform up as proof that they could be a Radical Left anti-poverty Party. But would MANA go down that road again? One possible way back for MANA is a sit down talk with Marama Fox from the Maori Party to look at co-operating in the Maori seats to win them back from Labour. This would require Flavell either eating a lot of humble pie or retiring at the election.
Tripping up a newly right leaning Labour for the Foreshore legislation and knifing Hone would be a great pay back for both parties.
So MANA may not necessarily adopt the mantel of a NZ Syriza.
It doesn’t look likke Mana has any mantel right now.
So anti-austerity urgency and Mana fading away, So not much hope of a Bradburyesque revolution.
So Bradbury is left forlornly dreaming of his political utopia.
Any NZ version that did launch if MANA was focused on just the Maori seats however could have a policy platform like this…
– free tertiary education
– feeding the poorest kids in the poorest schools
– new state houses
– increase in benefits
– warrant of fitness on houses
– clear food labelling
– sugar tax
– adult education
– financial transaction tax
– Renters Rights
– public broadcasting
– Universal income
– environmental research and development
– Living Wage
– Cannabis legalisation
– recognition of the role of the Treaty as a founding document with the necessary constitutional changes
– more free health care
– making public education truly free
– Living Wage
-independent foreign policy
That sounds a lot like the Green Party. Another party with near identical policies would struggle to find any space on the left.
Bradbury seems to have no desire to work with the Greens, and they are probably happy to keep a distance.
So he’s a radical without a party.
And a country without any need or desire for a revolution.
Bradbury and the futility of founding an anti-austerity radical Left Party have a Greek connection – the myth of Sisyphus.