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Future Lefts - So it begins

Future Lefts - So it begins
Vol. 3 No. 1 5 March 2002

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed" - Dwight D Eisenhower

:: Contents ::

- Editorial - So it begins
- English feeling 'Good'
- Media release - 'Young Labour welcomes Hughes selection'
- Get on the roll
- A round up of news
- Websites to Watch


:: Editorial - So it begins. ::

Welcome back to a new year, and another volume of Future Lefts. For those of you who have forgotten us, we first appeared sometime in the last three years, and have been intermittently in existence on and off. Such issues are now in the past. You can expect your regular dose of Future Lefts every fortnight for the time being, on a Tuesday morning (New Zealand time). With minds beginning to turn to the election, it was time for us to get back into action.

And what a year it looks to be. The yawnathon of the last twenty years, if you believe the commentators. People have been asserting a Labour victory for so long that there is a danger party activists and others concerned to maintain a progressive government might begin to believe the hype, and slack off.

This poses all the obvious risks. Yes, Labour is riding high in the polls. Yes, National is demoralised, poorly led, lacking policy, lacking any viable coalition partners, and heading for a likely defeat. Yes, Bill English is feeling GOOD (see item later on). Yes, Helen Clark is wiping the floor with him. None of this should however lead us to be complacent.

Labour's support is broad and strong, but the battle of ideas is yet to be truly won. In 1999, Labour promised a modest reversal of some of the excesses of nine long years of Tory Government, and promised too to bury the legacy of Rogernomics in the Party. Both of these things occurred, but it is probably true to say there was a good deal of the old trusim acting in that election - 'Oppositions don't win elections, Governments lose them.' Labour had a great campaign, better leadership, and a tired Government to fight against, all of which helped, but the message of the campaign was security, and putting things right.

Since then, and it is over two years ago, the Government has put things right. Several issues have been resolved: labour law is more worker friendly, ACC is back in the state sector, state housing rents have been cut, tertiary education is cheaper, the health system is better funded and performing more operations, unemployment is way, way down. All these are part of a Government committed to keepings its promises, and are a big factor in why Labour is now so popular. For the first time in two decades, we have a government that does what it said it would do, and people like that.

Government has however also begun to talk about a new vision for New Zealand. Whether you look at the Tertiary Education Commission reforms, or the Growth and Innovation Strategy, or a whole host of other work, there is the beginning of a clearer defition of what this Government stands for in the long term. A faster growing, more vibrant, more diverse country, with a clean environment, excellent living standards, a lively arts and cultural scene, secure in its identity and its future.

If 1999 was a mandate to change direction and right the wrongs of the past, 2002 is about confirming that change. But it's about more, too. This year's election is effectively a choice between a strong, confident vision of the future, or a return to the slash and burn of the 80's. One side of the political spectrum stands for growth, employment, the environment, opportunity and security. The other side stands for the past, for privilege, for greed and for tax-cutting madness.

If Labour is re-elected at the head of the Government this year, it will not only be confirming that the old direction was wrong and that the change we've delivered was good, but it will give a positive mandate for the future that is slowly being sketched out. That is the more exciting story behind the election.

So to those who say Labour is sleepwalking to victory, I say you're wrong. Labour is promoting a positive vision of the future, and we're working hard to convince voters we're right. So far, only 54% agree, but it's a nice start. Another mandate is another three years of keeping our word. Sleepwalking has no part in it.

Till next time,

Jordan Carter President

:: English feeling 'Good' ::

Early last month, at the end of the National Party Caucus meeting in Auckland which promised a new slate of policies for that particular party, there was a 3 News story relating how Bill English's rise to the top of his party had been matched by a sinking in the political party polls.

We're sure Future Lefts readers will appreciate this extract from the interview, which is a soundbite from Mr English after the meeting, and followed a reporter and a commentator from the NBR slagging off his attempts to revive National's fortunes:

"I'm feeling good. My caucus is feeling good. We've got a framework for the year. I'm feeling good about it. My caucus is feeling good. We've got a framework and we are going to be running hard. The caucus is happy, I'm feeling good about the year and we are going to have a real scrap."

FL thinks those words speak for themselves. Having led his party to its lowest polling in years, and creating the widest gap between National and Labour since the 1980's, we are left wondering whether Mr English is in fact a member of the Labour Party, or perhaps the Alliance.

Maybe St Molesworth should investigate...

:: Young Labour welcomes Hughes selection::

Media release - Feb 2002

"An excellent result for Otaki and for Young Labour," is the response of Jordan Carter, Young Labour President, to Sunday's selection of Darren Hughes as the Labour Party candidate for Otaki.

"Darren is a fine example of the kind of renewal beginning to occur in the Labour Caucus. Besides being an outstanding local candidate, he will, if elected, be the youngest MP to enter Parliament since Simon Upton in 1981.

"Darren's selection shows the Labour Party takes the concerns of young people seriously, and is prepared to ensure a young voice is represented in Parliament.

"I look forward to Darren being joined by other young list and constituency candidates as selections proceed," Jordan Carter said.

:: Get on the roll ::

Did you know you can enrol for this year's general election on the Internet? For some time now, Elections (www.elections.govt.nz) has provided a service where you can enrol for the first time, or update your address details, online.

With an important general election less than nine months away, everyone should make sure they are on the roll and ready to vote. Please ask friends and family whether they're enrolled, and if not - point them to the web, or their nearest post shop, and get them enrolled.

:: News Round up ::

At the end of last month National released its responce to the Kyoto Protocol entitled 'Putting New Zealand's Interests First'. It essentially says that National doesn't want New Zealand to ratify Kyoto too early in case it effects the economy adversly. Notwithstanding the fact that "ratifying" and "implementing" are two different words, Future Lefts feels that not doing anything about global warming will more adversly effect the economy (have you tried running a company under water?) and wonders is National really putting New Zealand's Interests First when short sighted policies like this will irreversably damage our environment.

Recently Bill English managed to offend around half the population at the same time when he suggested that Christchurch residents were a bunch of Aucklanders who had got lost. Several offended locals that Future Lefts spoke to said that they wished Mr English would be the one to get lost.

The Christian Herratige Party has announced that Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, current CEO of Women's Refuge, has been selected as their Deputy Leader and as Candidate for the Wairarapa Electorate. Future Lefts feels that Tait, who enjoys the odd strip club, will fit in well with the CHP.

:: Websites to watch ::

Being the first edition of FL of the year here are some Labour sites to watch especially during an election year.

Labour - www.labour.org.nz Young Labour - www.younglabour.org.nz Rainbow Labour - www.rainbowlabour.org.nz

--

Future Lefts - The Voice of Young Labour

Editor: Jordan Carter president@younglabour.org.nz
Content: Simon Randall srandall@ihug.co.nz

Any submissions, feedback etc, should be directed to the Editor or the Content Coordinator.

While this newsletter is a mouthpiece of Young Labour, any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Labour, or the New Zealand Labour Party.

http://www.younglabour.org.nz
(c) NZYL 2002


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