LABOUR – Damian O’Connor, Unions, a tale of woe…..

Labour were always doomed, as a political movement. That’s not to say that looking after one another, community-style is doomed, far from it. But Labour started in a very different time; Top hats and cucumber sammies, champers at the races, maids, the hunt. At the other end of the scale: the dark satanic mills, the mines, the chimney sweeps, the inequality.

So there had to be a fight – a straight-out scrabble for a bigger share of the cake. The fact that the money was being made exponentially faster, and by production-lines, hastened this process – and possible would have made it happen ex-unions – you simply need a mass-market to buy what is mass-produced.  

That fight went on in a scenario where the poor got ‘richer’, at least, in immediate asset/commodity purchasing power. It was on the back of a rape (you can’t do it any other way) of finite resources. It couldn’t last. It also turned a working class, into a middle class. A generation later, that’s a ‘taken  for granted’, but I suggest we are seeing the disintegration of the middle class. The houses will remain the same, the habits will be clung to, debt will stretch the difference – for a while – then it won’t. Fewer and fewer will get what wealth there is – consolidating as the contra brigade get more and more stressed. More and more will head towards poverty.

Some of us stood back, and saw that it couldn’t last. Tried to say so. Labour didn’t – and still don’t – want to know. They still think they need ‘economic growth’, the only diffo between then and the Nats, is : who benefits.

Now that the squeeze is on – permanently – that fight will get increasingly nasty

We’ve just had a Nine-to-noon interview – a very good, quite clear one – which examined such a person. Someone who thought they were middle-class, now not making it, despite a fair degree of self-discipline. A great interview – of a sliding deckchair on a sloping deck.

Labour are doomed now, at both ends. The rip-shit- and bust right end of then – O’Connor, Goff etc – want to do the economic growth thing. They still think of ‘the environment’  as something like the DoC estate – ring fenced and ‘over there’. It isn’t, of course – it’s all of everything, including them.

The other end – red, soft and welfare, are a drain on the environment too – also unsustainable. They can’t continue either.

One can expect the process to unravel, in a rough mirror-image of the trip so far. Expect John A Lee ranting about 2030. But as a useful societal movement —–no.

The good-hearted part – love thy neighbour, look after folk, do the voluntary bit, the community bit, the working bees – that part is worth salvaging.

It has to be cemented (bad word) atop the base-line of ‘no environmental degradation’ – call it sustainability if you will.

Only one Party is anywhere near that (and they’ve got a long way to go yet) and it ain’t Labour.

 

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