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Greens leave Left political space to the Alliance

Alliance Party media release 7 June 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Greens leave Left political space to the Alliance

Nandor Tanczos may have lost the Green leadership race to Russel Norman, but he re-ignited the "neither left nor right" debate within the Green Party.

The real problem for the Greens is their refusal to acknowledge that we live in a "class divided" society, says Alliance co-leader Len Richards.

"The so-called ‘left-right’ political continuum is one with a fracture right through it. ‘Which side are you on?’ is the question the Greens have to answer," Richards says.

Both the co-leaders elected at the Green’s Queen’s Birthday weekend conference questioned their party’s support for a Labour-led government.

Russel Norman, the new male co-leader, attacked the Cullen roading budget and maintained that on some important issues there was "barely a whisker between National and Labour" and he rejected being a "clip- on to Labour".

Jeanette Fitzsimons went even further. She said the Greens might support a tax-cutting National budget over a Labour one that spends money on roads. She also said that the Greens reject a "big, all- powerful state" which she acknowledged was a similar position to that of some on the right-wing of politics.

Richards says the Green Party’s scramble to keep a position of "independence" leaves a big hole on the left of the political spectrum for a party that openly takes sides with the working and oppressed people of society.

"The Alliance comes down firmly on the side of the working classes and openly opposes the domination of big capitalists.

"The Green concerns with ecological degradation, concerns that the Alliance shares, cannot be solved by the same market mechanisms that create the environmental problems we all face.

"It is not a choice between big-state domination versus big- capitalist domination, rather one of a peoples’ democratically controlled and run society versus a market-driven one."

The Alliance says a party to the left of Labour needs to carve out a support base among the working class people that traditionally vote Labour.

"The Labour Party has adapted all too well to the status quo society over the 70 years of its existence, and only partially, at best, represents the interests of low-income New Zealanders who vote for it," Richards says.

Richards points to the more than 70 per cent of voters in the deprived electorate of Mangere who supported Labour in the last election.

"They are still suffering from a huge social and economic deficit yet this vote is given faithfully in the absence of a more credible left alternative."

He says those on the left should work for the defeat of National and other forces of the political right, while building a credible alternative to Labour.

"If the Greens stand in the middle of the road, they risk being road- kill."


ENDS

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