Labour will not be 'transformative' in the Post Truth Era

Letter to The Listener about the 'fiscal straitjacket' in the first Labour-led budget of the Post Truth Era.

The Editor, The Listener, Auckland

22 May, 2018

Dear Editor:

The Labour government’s insistence on following a National type ‘fiscal straitjacket’, as it has been rightly called, belies its claim that it will be a transformative government.

PM Ardern has said that neoliberalism has been a ‘failed experiment’, but she may tire of hearing just how neoliberal her self-imposed straitjacket is. It must be remembered that it was a Labour government, led by Roger Douglas, in 1984 which brought the global neoliberal attack to New Zealand. The profound transformative nature of that move has fundamentally, and not surprisingly, sunk the neoliberal into the soul of the Labour Party.

This should leave the impression that the government’s insistence that this budget is just the beginning of a long term transformative move away from the neoliberal toward a sustainable future is unconvincing. That we must have a fundamental transformation is clear, but it is not likely to happen until the Labour Party, with its neoliberal soul, has disappeared from the New Zealand political scene.

Richard Keller

published 2 June, 2018

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