Jordan on 2011 campaign

Jordan Carter gets very excited over National raising the minimum wage:

Yesterday’s announcement of the government’s decision to increase the minimum wage by 50c marks the formal beginning of National’s 2011 election campaign.

Make no mistake about it. The neo-liberal shibboleths of the 1990s have been left behind. The New National Party has decided that its raison d’etre in the 21st Century is one thing and one thing only: to be in power. To achieve that objective, it has one tactic and one tactic only: to destroy the relevance of the Labour Party in electoral politics.

Oh my God, National does something centrist and suddenly it is an evil campaign to hold power at all costs, regardless of principle.

I mean National putting up the minimum wage by the rate of inflation is like, umm, well a Labour Government announcing massive tax cuts!!

So does Jordan think Labour decided its raison d’etre in the 21st Century is one thing and one thing only: to be in power, when they announced tax cuts.

That means everything is fair game. Policy crosses to Labour’s left; moderate-seeming approaches to some sensitive issues (the category the minimum wage increase falls into); dirty tricks when it comes to campaign and finance law (see fortnight’s repeal of the EFA);

That’s the repeal his own party is voting for. And you have to appreciate the hypocrisy of someone from Labour talking about dirty tricks in relation to electoral law. Even Phil Goff admits they fucked up, but no Jordan still insists it is all the evil Nats.

close relationships with other minor parties to build a solid Parliamentary position post-election.

Oh no. That evil National Party. They are building relationships with minor parties. just can not be allowed to happen. Quick pass a against it.

It is the mirror image of Labour’s 2002-2005 approach, with one important difference. Labour’s purpose in government was to build a fairer, freer and more equal society. We did that through more progressive taxes and tax credits; socially liberal legislation that expanded people’s rights; investing for long term economic security; genuine treaty settlements… the list goes on.

National’s purpose is to be not-Labour in government.

Sigh, and once agin we get back to the “Labour good”, “National bad” meme. Yes National hates fairness and freedom. They are just about power.

Yes John Key is doing some centrist things. But National is also implementing its manifesto promises, and I am pretty sure that when Jordan was a candidate, he did not endorse those policies.So how can he argue National now stands for nothing.

They’ll do whatever they think can deliver that.  It will be dressed up, eventually, in some swish narrative that appeals to some Kiwi values. But it won’t be values based. The only value it seeks to serve is power itself. That will be National’s eventual undoing: the task for Labour is to uncover that moral bankruptcy, expose it, and persuade the public of its reality.
Once again we get the National is evil power mad theme. And Labour is the source of morality and truth. And frankly if you want a good example of a party that would do anything to cling onto power, how about Helen Clark’s disgraceful behaviour around Winston Peters, when she legitamised Ministers to lie repeatedly to the public.
The task then for the progressive Left is to stop tilting at shadows. Some of you wish that National would relapse into Ruth Richardson style politics. Get over it. The Nats are not mad and they are not stupid.
Not mad or stupid, just power mad and evil!!
What it will not do is make progress, and that is what we need to show and to promise to deliver. In so doing, we have to call what it is: a National government with power at the heart of its ambition for New Zealand.
I think the real message here is that we can’t attack National on their policies, so instead we’ll attack their motives.
National is doing some stuff that is centrist. I blogged on that myself. But trying to portray that as some sort of bad thing, which is all about power is ridicolous. All parties moderate what they woudl like to do, to appeal to the centre. To try and claim when your party does it, they are being noble, and when the others do it, they are just grasping for power, is silly.

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