Tamihere on Labour

John Tamihere writes:

A document was released by a Labour Party member asking how Labour could make itself more relevant and meaningful to the New Zealand population.

The problem the present Labour Party has is it no longer understands who it represents, what it represents, and why it exists.

Over the past 30 years our society has changed dramatically.

The old debates about Labour left and capitalist right are no longer apparent.

The large number of so-called working class people have now migrated to the middle class. As a consequence, describing your politics in a class way is no longer sustainable.

Further, the great socialist and communist experiments – whether in Tanzania, Romania or Russia – have fallen over, most symbolically with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

By default, Labour’s politics are now determined by its well-organised factions – the women’s and gay divisions of the party.

It has drafted in a number of MPs who have studied poverty and the working class but have never come from those areas of difficulty.

It would be interesting to compare how many MPs have working class backgrounds today, as opposed to 20 years ago.

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