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Monday, February 07, 2011

Open letter to Hone Harawira - the time is now

Faith in Harawira lost - caucus
Rogue MP Hone Harawira has been suspended from the Maori Party for what its leadership describes as a five year legacy of ill discipline. A joint statement issued today by Maori Party leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples said the party caucus no longer has any faith in Mr Harawira.

Hone I am reposting this open letter to you because in light of the Maori Party's extraordinary decision to suspend you for telling the truth that they had gotten too cosy with an anti-worker, anti-benneficary, anti-environment National Party, the moment is now for you to consider your political future and the welfare of those New Zealanders you have spent a lifetime fighting for.

In the shadow of Waitangi Day, you could by starting a New Left Party fulfill the unfinished promise of unity that Document hoped to establish. If you are prepared to expand your leadership role, to step up and represent not just Maori, but all those New Zealanders who are also being let down by this anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-benneficary Government, you could go beyond race and appeal to all those who are impacted by the same forces that have made Maori second class citizens in their own country.

Ironically you could do more for the Maori Party and Maori outside the Maori Party than inside it, you can break their stockholm syndrome by new MMP math that would make a left coalition more compatible.

As an Independent you would be one vote against this anti-worker, anti-bennefiacry, anti-environment Government. As a new Party with the mere 3.6% Matt attained in Mana, you could be 5 votes.

The time is now.

Hone, we live in extraordinary times. The current global economic crises is unlike anything since the 1929 stock market collapse which spawned the great depression. We face a crises 'of' capitalism as the unregulated neoliberal greed of corporations has been allowed to replace managed Keynesian economic theory. In the 1970's the real economy and the financial economy were evenly valued but 40 years of deregulation, low tax, free market dogma has seen the real economy valued annually at $8 trillion while the financial economy is valued at $330 trillion, that disconnect between reality and the inflated bubble world of finance has gone pop, we must reconsider the rules of the game because the unsustainable consumer culture of SUV's, plasma TVs and cosmetic surgery all on the credit card game is over.

The decade long credit splurge debt chasm was caused by suppressed wages due to neo-liberal policies in the 80s and 90s creating the illusion of wealth from over inflated house prices.

The stimulus to date has merely prevented an all out collapse and the current policy of slashing public spending is the exact last thing this Government should do because all that will achieve is hurt the poor, make economic recovery even slower and see unemployment rise.

Where do we raise the funds to continue funding those services? There are plenty of ideas, tax evasion controls, a Tobin Tax and a land value tax could all provide the money needed to continue funding public services. Our problem is widening the tax base, not simply rearranging it.

Attempting to use deregulation, low tax, free market Milton Friedman dogma domestically to solve a global crises caused by the same deregulation, low tax, free market Milton Friedman dogma is about as counter productive as a Paul Henry Supporter Book Club.

NZers don't need to have a university qualification in economics to understand what is happening to them, they feel the reality every single week. After the gst tax rise, half say they are worse off now and that imbalance of inequality in society has only a negative impact which bears a terrible harvest in our communities.

We know from our last recession that the suicide rate tripled to the depressing world highs they are today, we know economic stress causes social stress and that the most vulnerable in society bear the brute violence of that damage.

I find it the most disgusting of ethical molestations that the weakest and most vulnerable in society are being asked to do with less because the global economy was crashed by the greedy and corrupt, yet that is exactly what the ideologically stacked Welfare Razor Gang are proposing with their despicable bennie bashing attack on the welfare state.

It's time to say enough.

You have a unique opportunity to change the course of this election Hone.

If National get re-elected, John Key will not be able to hold back the hard right privatization agenda forces within his Party.

You know Bill English is being honest when he says he intends to make up the $2 Billion deficit from beneficiaries after his GST rise to pay for a tax cut for the rich didn't 'turbo charge' the economy.

You know John Key in his multi-millionaire optimistic bubble world really does believe it when he said, “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”

You know the weakest and most vulnerable will be abused by National if they win 2011. Hone, you have lived a life representing those with little leverage in society, and it is time for you to step up beyond the borders of your electorate and expand that representation to all New Zealanders because the issues of social poverty facing your Maori electorate are now being faced by every minimum wage worker and beneficiary in New Zealand.

National have no answers, that much is certain and New Zealanders deserve a better future, and you can give them that better future.

Who is Labour going to enter into coalition with to beat National? Winston Peters and Michael Laws? Do any of us honestly think that combination will deliver New Zealand from this crises? You talk about a Green Party, Maori Party and Labour Party coalition, but we both know that will not be enough and if Labour have the option of managing rednecks rather than challenge them, they will take the NZ First option.

What if there was another option? A New Left Party that could go into coalition with the Greens, the Maori Party and Labour?

What if you, Sue Bradford and Matt McCarten launched this New Left Party?

There are 338 000 beneficiaries in NZ and they represent 14% of the 2008 electoral turn out.

The ideologically stacked Welfare Razor Gang are using voodoo math to claim that if every beneficiary never got a job for the rest of their life (something which simply would NEVER happen) Welfare would end up costing us $50 billion. This spin lie is being used to justify slashing benefits for a crises they had no hand in causing.

The aspiration for an equitable society sort by beneficiaries are the exact same aspirations as those hundreds of thousands who are on the minimum wage. The promise of democracy is that it allows each citizen to look into the face of their child and know their child will get a better deal than they personally have.

That promise of democracy is stillborn under National

These concerns for an equitable society demand political expression. Why shouldn't beneficiaries and those on minimum wage have political expression in the rooms where the decisions that effect them most are decided? This economic crises is unique and the poor will not be represented when the elites decide what must be done and those parties who do lean left need to have a political partner at the table who forces them not to forget the concerns of an equitable society once they are elected.

A New Left-Green-Maori coalition could keep Labour left, and you could do more for the Maori Party outside the Maori Party than inside it.

You accept that there are deep divisions over the Maori Party siding with the party of the bankers and farmers...

Crunch time for Maori grumbles | Hone Harawira
A FEW MONTHS ago my daughter said to me, “Dad, you know I’ll always vote for you, but I just can’t bring myself to vote for the Maori Party any longer. I don’t like what I see your mates doing, so I’m gonna vote for the Greens.”

...the Maori Party have been used by National as a camouflage to appear much more moderate then they actually are, imagine what could be really achieved if a New Left Party alongside the Greens and the Maori Party joined with Labour?

A New Left Party with your electorate seat would only need to aim for 3-4% and still gain representation giving the numbers to tip this down to the wire election in favour of the Greens-Maori-Labour coalition.

As New Zealanders wake up to the privatization agenda National will propose, a New Left Party with the welfare of beneficiaries and those on Minimum wage foremost on their agenda would be better placed than at any other time in our political history to force real concessions from major political parties to ensure the concerns of those on the bottom are foremost in decision making.

A New Left Party with social equity at its philosophical heart focused on making sure any changes benefit those on the bottom most would need to tap into every beneficiary support group and every minimum wage organisation to push myopically for the party vote. Sue Bradford's alternative welfare program would be the basis of a New Left welfare policy and to those who would scoff at beneficiaries standing and making their voice heard due to apathy i say this - stand in a welfare line for hours on end to jump through endless hoops purposely imposed to stop any welfare money and tell me beneficiaries are apathetic.

The anger at how those on the bottom are being asked to do with less while the elite of NZ arrange their finances to minimize their tax obligations is ripe for expression from those who must bear the brunt of public service cut backs. Forcing solo mothers, the sick, the mentally unwell and disabled back to work in a 6.4% unemployment environment while those on the minimum wage are disempowered with every passing week should anger every New Zealander who has a passion for social justice.

If not now? When?

If not us? Who?

The time to make a stand is now Hone.


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