The ‘new Auckland left’

Who is involved in the ‘new Auckland left’? There are a number of pieces in common in an interesting political jigsaw.

The well signalled deal between the Internet and MANA parties and the surprise appointment of Laile Harre as the acceptable-to-MANA leader of the Internet Party has set the cat amongst the campaign pigeons.

Kim Dotcom has done the rounds of parties looking for a way into Parliament for his new Internet Party. It’s been reported (and admitted) that Dotcom has been visited a number of times by Winston Peters, Russel Norman and Clare Curran. He ended up finding a willing partner in Hone Harawira.

Despite much bluster from some in promoting a cosy electorate deal between MANA and Labour it also seems to have set Labour against Internet/MANA – see Labour staunch in contesting Te Tai Tokerau.

A number of interconnections have become apparent.

Harre has been a member of Labour, New Labour, then an MP for the Alliance Party, eventually becoming leader. She has recently worked for the Green Party and considered putting herself forward as a candidate. There have been conflicting reports, of her pulling out and of Greens rejecting her.

Matt McCarten also began in Labour, and then progressed to New Labour and the Alliance, taking over leadership from Harre. He then switched to the formation of the Maori Party, and then moved on to the Mana Party.

In February McCarten was recruited as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff with claims he would be a significant driver of Labour’s campaign this year.

Interestingly Wikipedia says:

McCarten has previously distanced himself from attempts to forge a new Left Wing party in New Zealand.

It would be interesting to know what McCarten thinks of the Internet-MANA deal and of Labour’s apparent commitment to strongly contesting Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau.

A close friend and union associate of McCarten, Gerard Hehir, is secretary of the Mana Party and as such is set to be on the Internet-MANA campaign committee.

Left wing political commentator and columnist Chris Trotter, who also has a union background and has served on the Labour Party’s council, seems to have embraced the Internet/MANA movement and has been highly critical of Labour for not giving up Te Tai Tokerau to Harawira – see Authoritarian Labour: Why Kelvin Davis needs to STFU – and soon! at The Daily Blog. He has also just posted Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize at his Bowalley blog.

What does all this mean?

Some things are becoming clearer but much remains uncertain. Perhaps an inveterate bragger has let slip a hint.

Martyn Bradbury advertises himself as be a leading left wing political activist, organiser, recruiter and party starter.

Last year it was revealed he was a paid adviser to the MANA Party (he didn’t disclose it in his blogging and media activities). He was later linked to the start up of the Internet Party where he had asked for remuneration – also not disclosed.

But Bradbury has a propensity to broadcast his political prowess, activities and ambitions.

On the announcement of Harre as Internet Party leader – The potential for a Labour-Green-Internet-MANA majority.

This will become a game changer if Internet MANA pull the don’t knows to their flag.

What should excite progressives this election is the possibility of a Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority. The Left have never been able to be truly progressive because conservative brake pedals like NZ First and United have always dragged it back, if the majority were Labour-Green-Internet MANA however, there would be no conservative or neoliberal brake pedals.

A Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority is a unique opportunity for genuine progressive change, such opportunities rarely come by and when they do they must be risked.

There could be a bit of a problem here. Both Labour and Greens seem to have recognised the substantial risks of working with Dotcom and they seem to have backed off any involvement. They also presumably recognise that if Internet-MANA succeeds it could deplete their share of the party vote.

If the Internet-MANA gambit fails it could destroy Labour and Green election chances, and if it succeeds it could seriously reduce Labour and Green power if they end up dependent on Harawira and Harre for votes in Parliament.

And Labour probably won’t appreciate being told which electorates to throw by people with obvious interests in other parties and potentially detrimental outcomes.

Today in Q&A: Josie Pagani as a commentator Bradbury at least embellished the chances and possible effects of a minor comment by Josie Pagani:

The constitutional crisis that Josie’s idea would plunge NZ into if Cunliffe had taken her advice, would become a global news story. To change the rules of the election 4 months out from that election would create catastrophe as an immediate legal challenge to that decision would be forced by those political parties currently using that strategy. There would be rioting in the streets as those whose vote suddenly becomes voided by this unprecedented and unconstitutional change go berserk at what would be perceived as an illegal tactic to erase the voice of everyone not voting Labour, National, Green or NZ First.

Now I appreciate I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that my setting up of political parties to provide parliamentary math game changers annoys some in the established left and has the Wellington Twitternati in constant fits of rage, but I don’t think I’ve ever suggested tactics that would see the country plunged into a fucking civil war.

The likelihood of riots in the streets and civil war are very dubious from a population increasingly bored and turned of by politics. Fits of rage are fanciful effects of Bradbury’s claimed prodigious party setting up .

Bradbury then may have revealed a bit more about what may be behind much of the current left wing arrangements, if he is not exaggerating that too.

What’s going to be interesting this time around for the election, despite the best attempts by some msm pundits, is that the Left may against all predictions and odds win. Unfortunately for the msm however, they don’t have any actual insights into the new Auckland Left that is now influencing so much of these strategic moves.

Election night coverage by both major networks could sound like crickets chirping if their lack of analysis starts to fumble when the results begin rolling in.

Internet MANA means the game has changed, the msm haven’t comprehended this yet.

Internet-MANA may have changed then game, for the time being at least. The media will presumably be looking into various political possibilities, including the influence of the ‘new Auckland left’.

Bradbury’s overstatements are well known. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t provide useful hints – and he might one day strike the political jackpot.

Politics can be fickle and ambitions don’t always work according to plan, especially when requiring the buy-in of multiple factions and multiple parties. Labour seem to be already resisting being organised to play a wider game.

Kelvin Davis tweeted:

@NgatiBird

Sorta ironic that in 1914 Mata Hari was a German agent, and in 2014 there’s Laila. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Hari

Harre is now very openly working for (and is being paid by) the big German – although the Greens may feel a bit betrayed, she presumably has what could be useful inside party information.

It could be prudent for David Cunliffe to check out where Matt McCarten’s loyalties lie.

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