Even the Socialists are beating Labour up on immigration

June 12th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Tom Peters at World Socialist writes:

Over the past month, New Zealand’s main opposition Party, the Greens, the Maori nationalist Party and the right-wing NZ First Party, have intensified their xenophobic campaign to restrict , particularly from China and other Asian countries. The parties are seeking to make this a central issue in the lead-up to the September election.

Labour, which lost the 2011 election by a landslide, is floundering in the polls and widely seen as no different to the conservative National Party government. Since National was first elected in 2008 it has implemented a series of brutal austerity measures to impose the global economic crisis on working people, leading to soaring living costs and increasing poverty and inequality. Labour essentially agrees with the government’s attacks—including thousands of public sector job cuts, health and education cuts, and an increase in the regressive Goods and Services Tax.

Now Labour and its allies are whipping up hostility to immigrants, blaming them for the deepening crisis, particularly the soaring cost of housing. 

So the Socialists and the Greens are both attacking Labour for their attempt to blame house prices on immigrants.

They also attack Mana:

Depicting Chinese immigrants as a new colonising force, intent on dominating NZ’s economy, provides the rationale to support the US build-up to war against China, or else take a neutral position. At the same time, the campaign reflects the material interests of layers of big business and the petty bourgeoisie, including the Maori elite represented by Mana, who see foreign investors as rivals.

Mana’s statements are further proof that there is nothing remotely progressive about the party, which uses national chauvinism and racial identity politics to divide the working class and block any challenge to the capitalist system.

I think Mana gave up being progressive when they took the $3 million from Mr Dotcom.

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22 Responses to “Even the Socialists are beating Labour up on immigration”

  1. RRM (9,841 comments) says:

    Since National was first elected in 2008 it has implemented a series of brutal austerity measures to impose the global economic crisis on working people, leading to soaring living costs and increasing poverty and inequality. Labour essentially agrees with the government’s attacks—including thousands of public sector job cuts, health and education cuts, and an increase in the regressive Goods and Services Tax.

    :neutral: Brutal austerity measures??

    So… apart from the bit about the GST, World Socialist is every bit as much of a fact-free zone as The Standard and the Labour War Room?

    And they wonder why they are irrelevant.

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  2. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    I thought McCarten and Manning had total control of the socialists! Must be the Little influence, combined with rainbow room perverts.

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  3. kiwitory (4 comments) says:

    Silly socialists; control immigration yes but not for housing price control; we must protect our New Zealand culture, do you know how hard it is to find a reputable fish and chip shop now days. I’m always so suspicious about the fish they serve.

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  4. James Stephenson (2,155 comments) says:

    @RRM – reckon this is a lightly-modified cut and paste job from the UK?

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  5. Pete George (23,481 comments) says:

    do you know how hard it is to find a reputable fish and chip shop now days

    No problem in Dunedin, most are still run by descendants of Chinese immigrants. Shark’n’taty is much the same as I remember it from way back – but it hasn’t always been part of my culture, perhaps because I grew up as far from the sea as you can get in New Zealand. I was about seven when the first fish and chips became available.

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  6. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    Oh the irony. The gaggle of leftwingers that shuffled up to Krim Dotcom’s mansion don’t like foreigners.
    We must stop immigration they say. Except for one mega rich oversized underpaying European, he’s alright bcause he finances us!

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  7. Nigel Kearney (986 comments) says:

    Disappointing. These people can usually do better comedy than this. They were really off their game here and had to throw in ‘petty bourgeoisie’ at the end just to distinguish it from yet another Green party press release.

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  8. adze (2,106 comments) says:

    Lol @ brutal and austerity for that matter. They obviously have so sense of perspective.

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  9. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    NZ First is right-wing? Seriously?

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  10. Dead Earnest (160 comments) says:

    A would regard NZ First as Muldoonist. Muldoon’s economic policies were slightly to the left Joseph Stalin.

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  11. Pete George (23,481 comments) says:

    And even the Reserve Bank Governor is beating up on Labour over immigration.

    Wheeler pours cold water on Labour’s anti-immigration policy

    Labour’s plans to control immigration look to have been dealt a blow by the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

    Labour has promised to control immigration and introduce what it’s calling moderate and sensible measures to help address pressures on housing prices.

    But Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler says it’s very hard to fine tune immigration to meet demand purposes.

    “By the time you make an adjustment you may well find the situation’s completely changed.”

    What Wheeler says was obvious as soon as Cunliffe opened his mouth about immigration. Cunliffe seemed to recognise his mistake as he tried to waffle his way out another mess of his own making.

    This further questioned the basic competence of Cunliffe and his research team and advisors.

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  12. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Thanks for that link DPF. I particularly enjoyed this article ‘New Zealand historian discusses government’s book glorifying World War I’
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/07/grig-j07.html

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  13. Pete George (23,481 comments) says:

    But David Parker is sticking to Labour’s policy (that hasn’t actually been defined, just that they would do something).

    Labour confident of immigration policy

    Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler says it’s very hard to fine tune immigration to meet demand purposes.

    Labour Party Finance spokesman David Parker says the comments don’t undermine his party’s proposals to control immigration.

    He says anyone who says so is wrong, maintaining excessive immigration does put pressure on housing supply.

    “We don’t accept this unambitious view of the current government that you can’t do anything about house speculation, anything about house prices, or anything about the peaks in immigration.

    “You certainly won’t be able to do any of those things if you don’t try.”

    a) Smoothing out immigration is extremely difficult when some of the biggest movements – New Zealanders leaving and returning – can’t be controlled at all by the Government.

    b) Still no details from Labour about how they might achieve the impossible.

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  14. chris (644 comments) says:

    Since National was first elected in 2008 it has implemented a series of brutal austerity measures

    Say what? There haven’t been any austerity measures, let alone “brutal” ones.

    to impose the global economic crisis on working people

    So apparently the GFC hitting NZ is National’s fault.

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  15. Psycho Milt (2,411 comments) says:

    Even the Socialists are beating Labour up on immigration

    “Even” the socialists? No doubt this will come as a great shock to the readers of Kiwiblog, but Labour isn’t a socialist party and actual socialists are its staunch opponents, so this World Socialist article is par for the course.

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  16. wiseowl (869 comments) says:

    Wheeler obviously hasn’t read Treasury papers relating to immigration.

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  17. Ryan Sproull (7,101 comments) says:

    “Even” the socialists? No doubt this will come as a great shock to the readers of Kiwiblog, but Labour isn’t a socialist party and actual socialists are its staunch opponents, so this World Socialist article is par for the course.

    Yep. Socialists oppose capitalism. Labour condones and supports it.

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  18. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    Of course the socialists support looser immigration. People would do well to understand the history of socialism’s attitudes to immigration.

    Bob R kindly provided me with a link to an excellent Quadrant article the other day which neatly encapsulates it, particularly with regard to the teaching in universities.

    Everyone who claims to be vehemently opposed to socialism but support loose immigration controls needs to read it, and then explain how they’re not advancing socialism’s cause by espousing these sorts of policies. And that goes for DPF, too.

    To quote but one passage:

    Leftist values are not automatically anti-national. In the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, Western elites often combined affection for their peoples with liberalism, including support for expanded civil rights. The Christian drive to end slavery in the late eighteenth century was not associated with unpatriotic sentiment… However, as Eric Kaufmann has documented, the internationalist strand in socialist thought rose to prominence during the course of the twentieth century….

    The same political elite that was surprised when the Soviet Union broke up into its constituent nations—because they did not regard it as an empire consisting of captive nations praying for release—is also managing the progressive swamping of Western nations by mass immigration.

    The irony is, I’m more left-leaning on many subjects (justice, prisons, welfare) than many, if not most, other commenters here. Internationalism is, however, a particularly insidious and damaging strand of socialism yet opposition to it has been silenced on the left by shrieking “racist!” and “xenophobe!” and on the right by shrieking “free trade!” and manipulating the statistics to mount an economic argument when, as hj pointed out with many informative comments on the same thread, the Reserve Bank and Treasury have warned of its impacts.

    When avowed rightists are lined up alongside Jan Logie and the rest of the Greens, and now the World Socialists, and still can’t see that their assumptions are flawed and their policies wrong, then much Kool Aid has been drunk.

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  19. Odakyu-sen (600 comments) says:

    “Since National was first elected in 2008 it has implemented a series of brutal austerity measures”

    Austerity. Take your medicine now, or you will really find out the meaning of the word “brutal.”

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  20. hj (6,927 comments) says:

    Even the Socialists are beating Labour up on immigration
    ….
    62.4% think there should be more restrictions on immigration.

    Here’s some background as to why socialist support open borders.

    I find Marxism boring.; I just don’t get it (as in see it). They don’t except that a reaction to the arrival in what is percieved as our territory by people from other parts and other ethnicities is seen as a threat which has an evolutionary basis.. To them race doesn’t exist it is just an ideology and the bad thoughts have been put there (probably form the powerful greedy ones up above). Because there is no such thing as race and the nation is essentially racist (Professor Paul Spoonley) , there is no excuse for borders and controls of any sort on immigration. They are blind to any negative effects of immigration because the Marxist paradigm trumps everything.
    rdln.wordpress.com/…/analysing-the-white-new-zealand-policy-developi…

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  21. hj (6,927 comments) says:

    http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/analysing-the-white-new-zealand-policy-developing-a-theoretical-framework/

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  22. JEB (2 comments) says:

    Capitalism is the mechanism that generates wealth for the most part reward for effort and also is a provider for the truly disadvantaged, both a good thing.
    Yes it is abused which is bad.
    So too is the socialist that wants to destroy this mechanism in favour of a system guaranteed to bring everyone down to a low level of existence with no prospect.
    How do they achieve this?
    Through demagoguery and deceit.
    Motivation being a mix of hatred and lust for power, clearly a conflict with their mantra of peace and love.
    Many left leaning people are not the hard socialists with an agenda, just people who act on their social conscience with good intentions.
    They accept and in some cases embrace the free market.

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