Where are all the young progressives?

Jacinda Ardern’s sudden rise to leadership of the country was lauded (in part by herself) as the start of new generation progressive change.

Jacinda Ardern, 2018.jpg

But where are all the young progressives?

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has a lot of influence in the government. He is nearly seventy four years old and first made it into Parliament in 1979, forty years ago and before the so-called neo-liberal changes in the 1980s.

Winston Peters, 2018.jpg

One of the first things the incoming did was do a u-turn to support and implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. ‘Progressive ‘ was tacked onto the from of the name, but it is much the same as past trade agreements. Responsible for managing this was Labour’s most experienced minister, and one of their oldest – David Parker is nearing 60.

David Parker NZ.jpg

Tax reform has been a major policy of Labour’s. They appointed Michael Cullen to lead their Tax Working Group. He is the same age as Peters (he turns 74 in two days),  and entered Parliament two years after Peters, in 1981.

Image result for michael cullen

Labour has a close relationship with unions, and want to reform labour laws. The appointed ex Prime Minister Jim Bolger to lead that working group. He entered parliament in 1972, before most current ministers were born. He is ten years older than Peters and Cullen. And his group’s recommendations have been described as a return to old school industry wage agreements.

Jim Bolger 2018 (cropped).jpg

Experience is essential in government. So are new ideas, understanding changing times and youthful enthusiasm.

Ardern is fronting a new progressive way of doing politics, but where is the team and the drive behind this? There are no obvious new generation stars beyond Ardern’s accomplished grasp of PR.

Where are all the young progressives? And where is the female input beyond the figurehead of Ardern?

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29 Comments

  1. The Consultant

     /  February 3, 2019

    The whole The-Youth-Are-With-Us Lefty myth dates back to the 1960’s. It’s all part of their certitude that they are the future, even when it’s a reactionary “future” back to union control and such. There’s also the 60’s hangover about doing what the kids are doing because it’s cool, and grey union functionaries and bureaucrats-turned-politicians are desperate to be cool, hip and “with it”.

    That’s why there was all this endless media coverage of young Ms. Adern amidst happy and cheering youths. It’s the reason for the endless taunts of the braindead just a few years ago in the US about the GOP being The Party of Old White Men, doomed to be little more than the old Conderate rump.

    That peaked in 2009 with Obama’s election and demands that the GOP better get with the “Youf” and vote for the Stimulus and Obamacare and any other dingbat idea that the US Left had, because they would be left behind by the “youf”, and sounded triumphant – right up until the Democrats policies destroyed about a thousand of their electoral positions nationwide, losing the House, the Senate and then the Presidency to 70 year old Donald Trump.

    “Youf” eventually get jobs, houses, families, higher incomes etc – and their votes change as a result. But the Left never seem to have understood that, which is why we hear the “youf” crap from them at every election.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 3, 2019

      As Miss Ardern could be the mother of the current university students and not have been a teenage parent, she may not be as appealing to them as she imagines.

      Reply
    • The Consultant

       /  February 3, 2019

      Where have all the flowers gone
      Long time passing
      Where have all the flowers gone
      Long time ago
      Where have all the flowers gone
      Young girls pick them, every one
      Oh, when will they ever learn
      Oh, when will they ever learn

      And here’s the classic version from Peter, Paul and Mary. It’s from the 1960’s natch, when the Baby Boomers were going to all vote Left and eliminate poverty, disease and war.

      It was also written by evil old Stalinist piece-of-shit, Pete Seager. He never learned either, although before he went into the ground himself, he did finally managed to squeeze out a song critical of Stalin, “Ole Joe Blues” I think it was called – done five decades after Stalin died of course and therefore a useless, meaningless piece of apologetics.

      Because the “youf” are with The Left.

      Reply
  2. Mother

     /  February 3, 2019

    The real young progressives are quietly learning in the school of life. They are forming their opinions privately and in a socially seeming fashion. Hopefully some of the best of them will continue to emerge into politics.

    Ms Ardern is not a progressive. If she was, she would have a progressive team of younger politicians behind her. As it is, she looks like a pawn.

    I think that there is huge positivity in the background socially. We need the older conservative generations to speak up more – in their homes and work places – and we need the newer generation conservatives to learn empathy.

    Most of all I would like to see steady intelligent heads sort out our education system.

    Reply
  3. Corky

     /  February 3, 2019

    Reality v Perceived Reality.

    Heads down..Smart Phones up.. Kim Kardashian onscreen.

    Politics..eh?

    Reply
  4. sorethumb

     /  February 3, 2019

    The progressive dream is floundering

    “My claim is that at least part of Peterson’s appeal derives from his willingness to acknowledge the (quite pervasive) feelings of confusion, frustration, and even despair often experienced by young people today. ”

    “The young person thinks nothing of religion or spirituality (even if they are raised in a specific tradition) in their early years, then, at some point in early adulthood (often university) they experience a form of suffering that they cannot make sense of. By “make sense of,” I mean that this experience is not easily subsumed into their current schema of meaning. In turn, they experience a crisis of sorts, where their core assumptions about the world are seriously challenged. Consequently, they begin seeking answers to their newly discovered questions, all the while vulnerable and desperate for guidance.

    Enter Jordan Peterson.”

    It is increasingly difficult for anyone who professes progressive views to reconcile their social and political theory with their personal lives. Whatever its failings (of which there are no doubt many), orthodox Marxism, modernist in its character, allowed its adherents to place themselves and their lives inside the teleological thrust of history, thereby offering a theodicy. But as postmodernism and post-structuralism have become the main vehicles of social critique on the left, the individual has been left without a stable framework of meaning to orient their own lives. Suffering may be understood as the result of oppressive social structures, but this knowledge does little when one faces anxiety or depression themselves.

    Thus, in my interviews, I listened to young people offer astute and incisive critiques of capitalism, consumerism, and colonialism, only to reveal that they struggle to wake up in the morning because they are not sure what the point is. Although I realize this is a crude, and indeed oversimplified picture (a more robust critique is offered by Slavoj Zizek here), what I’m referring to is the way progressives have, in the process of seeking ever more radical societal alterations, ignored the personal consequences this might hold for their own.
    https://arcdigital.media/the-millennial-generation-and-the-problem-of-meaning-49f57e1ee81b

    I would put that differently: we are born as actors to fill a role and that role has a setting. We are born to live in a nice environment with family and friends and as a link to a past and a future. To me that doesn’t fit with universalism.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  February 3, 2019

      @Petersen via Thumb – “It is increasingly difficult for anyone who professes progressive views to reconcile their social and political theory with their personal lives.”

      Yeah, yeah, and the Greenies can’t get to the Climate Change conference without using a fossil-fuel burning aeroplane owned by a capitalist airline corporation …

      Thus, with Monty Pythonesque logic, it follows that if a person is unhappy with their personal lives, the problem is with their progressive social and political theory …

      Hence does the Lobster Brain WIN … and defeat the Human Being it apparently evolved into.

      Because the personal, cult of the individual WIN is the most important thing ‘now’ … Right?

      Reply
    • Mother

       /  February 3, 2019

      I would put something in front of that.

      We are born to know God and to make Him known.

      (It’s only fair that I make that statement, since I am known as a believer in Jesus Christ. And it is only fair that the reader respects my right to state it.)

      Knowing God is such a personal individual thing. Don’t start up senseless arguments with me. Either do your own research or ignore it.

      Reply
      • Mother

         /  February 3, 2019

        “I would put that differently: we are born as actors to fill a role and that role has a setting. We are born to live in a nice environment with family and friends and as a link to a past and a future. To me that doesn’t fit with universalism.”

        This, from Sorethumb, is what I was responding to. I’m just acting my part like anyone else has the right to act their part. Animosity toward Christians is actually a big problem in Aotearoa. It’s a necessary part of our journey together. I’m just asking people to respect the fact that I need a Saviour. I’m also asking others to think carefully about repercussions for community if Church largely goes underground. I’m also asking fellow Christians to get real/leave hypocrisy behind.

        Reply
  5. PartisanZ

     /  February 3, 2019

    Bizarrely correct from Corky …

    In truth we know the terms ‘Left’ and ‘Right’, ‘Conservative’, ‘Liberal’ and ‘Progressive’ are of extremely limited applicability nowadays … and that applies to us old folks!!!

    The ‘Cult of the Individual’ indoctrination program succeeded very well and pervades society like alcohol, drugs and other addictive substances and activities …

    Working and shopping come to mind … Correctly programmed units of production and consumption … and poorly programmed ‘criminals’ …

    Political party membership is 10% of what it used to be. The percentage and numbers of politically polarized “young people” are likely to be even less … perhaps much less?

    Some will be ‘aware’ or ‘woke’ to some extent or another … and some of them active … but most are grossly over-engaged in comfort, pleasure and thrill-seeking activities … trapped forever on levels 1 & 2 of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs by their own parents’ and/or grandparents’ generations’ Selling-Out of New Zealand …

    Grandpa?

    Yes Moko?

    Wasn’t there a ladder there before … in your time?

    Yeah moko … We used it … then we pulled it up behind us.

    Reply
  6. The Consultant

     /  February 3, 2019

    To be fair, wasn’t the claim about Adern that she was “youth-adjacent”?

    I liked that. It showed real “recalibration”.

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  February 3, 2019

      A 99 year old can be as youth adjacent as any 30 year old.

      Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  February 3, 2019

      In order to maximize her competitive advantage and point-of-difference similitude in a niche-oriented political marketplace it is necessary to identity-align and position her image and media facsimile with age-bracket ‘alcoves’ …. also known in the trade as ‘slots’, cubbyholes, nooks and byplaces … or in some instances biplaces …

      Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  February 3, 2019

    “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  February 3, 2019

      That’s what occultists tell their students to read. They believe many kernels of universal truth are contained within fairytales..and that the mental imagery evoked expands the consciousness and the mind. Einstein believed similar.

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/in-defense-of-fairy-tales_b_6939288

      Reply
    • Finbaar Rustle

       /  February 3, 2019

      With a rapidly aging population any one under 40 is young.
      The social changes began by Labour in 1984 have shaped
      95% of New Zealanders under the age of 40.
      In that regard 95% of young NZ’s are by definition “progressives”.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  February 3, 2019

        It’s a bit like, “When Injustice becomes the Law, Resistance becomes our Duty”

        When Reactionary Progressivism becomes Orthodoxy, Betterment demands Authentic Progressivism.

        Reply
  8. sorethumb

     /  February 3, 2019

    “Fascism and socialism lost out after the Second World War, but what of the victor, liberalism? The Allies’ victory did enlarge and protect the scope of negative liberty. But alongside this success a positive liberalism was smuggled in which advocated individuality and cosmopolitanism over community. Most, myself included, value individual autonomy, but one has to recognize that not all share this aim. Someone who prefers to wear a veil or dedicate their lives to religion is making a communitarian choice which negative liberalism respects but positive liberalism (whether of the modernist left Or burqa-banning right) does not. This turns sour when those who fail to support a socially dominant positive liberal virtue like pursuing autonomy or preferring diversity are shamed, shunned or persecuted. This is acceptable in a voluntary organization such as Scientology where you know what you’re signing up for, but not in a mainstream societal institution like a university, government bureau or large corporation. When mainstream institutions enforce positive liberal goals and punish deviation from sacred values, this shrinks the space for negative freedom in society.
    ………………………..
    Parr (2000) writes “[T]he views of New Zealanders are not conducive to the population of New Zealanders becoming more diversified globally.”
    From localism to globalism? New Zealand Sociology, 15(2), 304-. 335
    The people of New Zealand valued community over cosmopolitanism. Social Science confirms that this does not mean negativity towards outsiders.

    Helmsman Clarke had another idea:

    “I find your society genuinely admirable in many ways. For example, I met Helen Clark while I was in Wellington. I was invited to her official residence, and waved in by a lone policeman who didn’t even check who I was, then I had a barbecue with her. I congratulated her on the public’s enlightened attitudes towards racial issues, but she disagreed. She said to me that New Zealand was really a very racist country, and she was determined to do everything she could as prime minister to change that. I thought that was a very bold, honest statement to make to a foreigner, and I really respected her for that.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/3751531/Acting-giant-reflects-on-NZ-society

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  February 3, 2019

      The Point of that was that New Zealanders valued community over cosmopolitanism (“celebrate diversity”). Positive liberalism is collective and imposes on the rights of those who would have preferred otherwise.
      Taiwanese tourists find NZ boring (one group) but not Queenstown. A retired USGS geologist I met around 2000 was leaving the Wanaka. He said “you are ruining this country”. Our migrants will steer the future. The future was taken out of the hands of New Zealanders.

      Reply
  9. sorethumb

     /  February 3, 2019

    Noelle Mc Carthy
    media have always been attracted by something: bad news. Remember “if it bleeds it leads”.
    And the drive for clicks in an ever tougher market place makes sensationalising stories or pandering to a particular demographic more and more apealing. That said politicians have their own responsibilities.

    Jim Bolger
    There are those who cynical political leaders who will use what I describe as xenophobic populism and we see examples of that around the world and there are some examples in New Zealand

    Noelle McCarthy
    Jim Bloger was prime minister from 1990 to1997.
    “Do you see NZ First and Winston Peters as playing in that same political space as figures like Donald trump and Nigel Farage?”

    Jim Bolger
    Broadly the same space but Winston has done that many times before so he’s not following them but the same space. And ah there were always a percentage of society who will follow that because it explains their own inadequacies often, that they haven’t been sucessful, so blame someone else based on identifying some definable group by religion, by ethnicity by colour, by nationality, and you blame them and that is, to my mind an apalling on those who do it but on any society that would accept that as a reason to change policies.

    Noelle McCarthy
    The fabric of New Zealand’s society is changing, as it always has and there will be consequences. But as tensions around how we approach the future inevitably arise the bigger political question we are now facing is what kind of attitude are we going to bring to that? Hope or fear?Because how we respond to the challenge will depend on how it’s framed
    Winston Peters
    When an institution called immigration doesn’t know whose coming and the police don’t know much about them either or our security services have little idea then maybe you cannot have the confidence that you have that all is fine here.

    Jim Bolger
    Western Societies who have over the last 20 years seen a very substantial decline in birth rates will very soon all be competing for migrants because they’ll need the workers and they’ll need the taxpayers to pay for the benefits the elderly will need so we are in this transition period when people will nervous about immigrants, they think they are taking jobs are putting pressure on infrastructure but really we should be very welcoming to immigrants because they are our future in terms of this country and many other countries.

    Noelle McCarthy
    The effect of this wave of immigration are playing out all over the country and people just get on with their lives
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/slice-of-heaven/story/201851603/slice-of-heaven-tensions

    Wrong
    https://www.waikato.ac.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/189459/Natalie-Jackson_busting-the-growth-for-it-myth.pdf

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  February 3, 2019

      A nice practical solution for the need for future tax payers is for women and men to enjoy their babies.

      In the event that we don’t have the future means to deal with our ageing population, we could learn to value the caring of ourselves from the cradle to the grave within family units.

      I think it is wise for us to be very careful who we let into our country in the future. Coupled with that, we also need to own a clear concept of what our values actually are! That’s why I keep bringing up the Christianity issue. Individuals must decide, otherwise it will be decided for them and in a way where their right to moan is stripped away.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  February 3, 2019

        you live in fantasy land Mother.

        The man in the sky who says there are 10 things you musn’t do…religion is a business…a filthy ,perveted ,amoral one.

        Reply

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