“Unregulated free market capitalism has failed the world” - winds of history at Cunliffe's back in TV3 interview
There's a moment at the end of Season 2 of the West Wing where President Bartlett's announcement of whether he is running or not is decided by a wind gust which causes his door to blow open because the White House creates a wind tunnel which ends in the Oval office.
The once in a century storm that caused the doors to blow open was a metaphor for the winds of history, those winds were whipping around Cunliffe's interview on TV3's The Nation in the weekend.
Here is the transcript...
Labour MP David Cunliffe believes the party can get ahead in the polls. Speaking this weekend on TV3’s “The Nation” Mr Cunliffe said he rejects the argument that they can’t.
“We’re going to work together as a team, “he said.
Asked specifically if he would have a crack at the leadership if it came up he said: “I have made clear on a number of occasions that I am loyal to my leader, I am loyal to the leader of the Labour Party, and I can't see that changing.”
Asked what would happen if the leader wanted to go, he said: I can't see that changing, and if the presumption is that we're not going to succeed in the polls, I reject the presumption.”
Mr Cunliffe has returned from a trip to Scandinavia researching policy ideas for his economic development portfolio.
The trip follows on a speech earlier this year which was widely perceived as a call for the Labour party to return to its traditional left wing roots.
“I guess what that speech was really about was looking back at recent history, and particularly focusing on the global financial crisis, and saying, you know a lot of the old rules have been proven to be wrong,” he said.
“Unregulated free market capitalism has failed the world.”
Now Mr Cunliffe said that what impressed him about Scandinavia was the focus on innovation.
“I think that they are fantastic about innovation,” he said.
“They're fantastic about government and business and community partnerships.
“They take a long view, they have measurable targets, and unlike the current government they have policies that they know will get them there, they don’t just print glossy brochures and hope it's all going to go away.”
Asked how much support he had for this approach from within the Labour caucus he said the party was still going through the policy development phase.
“I'm proud of the fact that we have a democratic tradition in our party and that means that passionate people will engage in policy debate, and sometimes they will do it in public,” he said.
“I’m not going to be pigeon holed, I do care about traditional Labour values, but I also know that we live in a modern world and we're going to have to find new ways of applying that, and above all I'm a team player, and I'm part of the caucus that is determined to make New Zealand better, and I support our leadership team that is doing that.”
...Cunliffe is articulating a new post-crash view that needs articulation. For 30 years in NZ, the neo-liberal agenda has held unchallenged hegemonic supremacy, but with the collapse in 2007-2008, the free market mantra of unregulated markets self correcting has been proven to be a deep fallacy.
Economist Brian Easton says the left needs to come up with unique NZ solutions and economic alternatives to the deregulated low tax free market dogma and Cunliffe is starting that discussion.
As inequality soars, the left needs to find the confidence in calling the right on their economic selfishness.