Trotter slams Goff

Chris Trotter fires with both barrels at Phil Goff. This is significant as Chris endorsed in 2008 and was seen wearing a Labour rosette.

LISTENING to Radio New Zealand-’s “Focus on Politics” yesterday evening, I was incensed and depressed, but I can’t honestly say surprised, to hear Phil Goff dismiss ’s founding objective – “the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange” as “nineteenth century history.”

It got worse, with Phil adding ideological insult to historical injury by declaring that the modern Party believed “a well-functioning market system is the most effective and efficient way of organising an economy”. Yes, he was willing to “recognise market failure”, but only to the extent of ensuring “an adequate level of regulation”. …

Let’s begin with his glib dismissal of the “socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange” as “nineteenth century history”.
It was, in fact, only at the Party conference of June 1951 that the socialisation clause was deleted from Labour’s aims and objectives.
The dropping of the socialisation clause did not, however, mean that the Party constitution was purged of any and all references to its socialist beliefs and objectives. Even today, the Party’s constitution declares, as one of its foundation principles: “Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.”
And among its objectives one can still read of ’s determination: “To ensure the just distribution of the production and services of for the benefit of all the people.”, and “To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and co-operation.”

It looks like Trotter knows the Labour Party constitution better than Goff.

Trotter argues:

A capitalist economy, unmodified by the ameliorating reforms of a politically organised working class, will always fail to deliver for the overwhelming majority of the population. That’s because capitalism is intended to advantage the few at the expense of the many, and can only lead to the political domination of society by “elites at the top”.

To guarantee that the economy works more effectively for the majority, it is necessary to challenge the idea that private ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange leads to a fair and equitable society. It has been Labour’s historical mission to lead that challenge, and to play a decisive role in the struggle against capitalist ideology.
Then we get to the startling bit:
The history of the past century has made me extremely wary of mounting that challenge primarily by the application of political violence and repression. My preference is for the principled and peaceful promotion of -democratic ideas throughout the population – for making socialists of conviction rather than socialists by compulsion.
Wow. Wait a second Chris. You are only wary of using political violence and repression? You’re not toally against it, just wary of it?
And promotion of socialism by choice rather than compulsion and violence is only Chris’ preference. But violence and repression are the acceptable backup options?
Trotter concludes:
Certainly, that means the journey will be slow, and there will be occasional reverses, but it most emphatically does not mean that we can ever afford to give up the challenge; put an end to the journey.


If it
is your view, Phil, that the quest for democratic socialism should be dismissed as something belonging to “nineteenth century history”, then I say: “The hell with you!”

And, to the members of the NZ Labour Party I say: “Find yourselves a new leader.”
As I said, Trotter actively campaigned for Labour in 2008, and maybe even at the recent by-election? Looks like he won’t be again, or not while Goff is Leader.

Comments (41)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment

%d bloggers like this: