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Future Lefts: Issue One - Sunday 10 October 1999

Future Lefts
Issue One – Sunday 10 October, 1999

CONTENTS:

Editorial: Introduction to the newsletter
Future contents
From the Leader
What’s been happening
Young Labour website
Website of the week.

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Editorial.

Welcome to Future Lefts, the regular ezine of the Young Labour executive. The idea for a regular newsletter came from the Labour one called Wise Up – a tertiary education newsletter. The Labour Party also does FrontLines which we will repeat some of in this newsletter. So if you read them all, don’t be entirely surprised to see some duplication. The title too is significant – the left is the future of politics in New Zealand and around the world. Everywhere it seems, conservatism is on the retreat. By discussing progressive ideas we can work to build a more coherent and popular left. Thus the title.

One of the things Young Labour wants to achieve with this is to keep people informed of what we’re doing. But not only that. Politics on the Internet is about getting views and sifting out what you want to take from what you hear or read. It’s my hope that Future Lefts can be to some extent a forum for debate. If you don’t like something, then reply and if it’s well written, I’ll post it in the next issue. The last thing we want is a simple rant each week from me, so the more you feed back, the more of yourselves you’ll see.

This is a public mailing list; internal matters won’t be discussed here. If you’re a member of Young Labour and want to add something to this, then mail me back. Even if you’re a member of the public and you have a view, share it with us. I haven’t decided on a regular publication day as yet, but I’m aiming for Sundays at the moment.

So, please read this and forward it around. If you have a copy of this from a source other than us, email younglabour-subscribe@listbot.com and subscribe if you like. See you next week.

Jordan Carter Young Labour Vice President Editor

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Future Contents.

This newsletter will contain a weekly edtorial, a weekly column from the President of Young Labour, a column from Helen Clark, Labour Party leader (copied from Frontlines), a brief discussion of the campaign and then Government action during the previous week, and then a website for you to visit. I’ll also include feedback if we get any – even if you don’t want to send anything else, send in good political websites you want people to visit.

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From the Leader

If the National Party is to be judged by the company it keeps, then the tertiary policy of its preferred coalition partner, Act, can only sink the public's regard for the government to even lower levels.

Act's policy envisages privatisation of student loans and the introduction of vouchers, condemning students to even more poverty than National's half-baked tertiary policy.

What is criminal about Act and National's policy is that it is driving huge numbers of young, well educated New Zealanders out of this country because they cannot afford to repay their loans here. How does that advance the government's vision of a so-called knowledge economy, when our best and brightest have disappeared?

Tertiary policy has now become a timebomb for the government, not to mention the flagging career of minister Max Bradford, and no amount of cynical, last-minute tinkering with its student loans policy can save National.

Meanwhile Mrs Shipley appears to have given up even trying. She contents herself with photo opportunities and insisting that New Zealanders are "proud" of National's record over the last nine years. It's a message which doesn't resonate with the public. With National's failures so obvious, New Zealanders know that only a Labour government can deliver a real change in direction for social and economic policy.

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What’s been happening.

There are seven weeks till polling day. Last week was taken up again with the right wing parties attacking Labour’s tertiary education policy. It is nice to see Labour leading the debate on policy so far – if we can keep it up for the next eight weeks a win is pretty much inevitable. The tertiary policy of no interest on loans while studying is an incredibly important part of Labour’s commitment to furthering opportunities for everyone in education, not just the rich.

Also last week was the final week for the Forty-Fifth Parliament of New Zealand. Helen Clark gave an incredibly strong speech, hilighting National’s failed record in office and explaining how Labour will do better in Government. Other things of interest was ACT attacking the retiring Sir Douglas Graham for his successful steering of the treaty settlement process over the past nine years, and National’s Chris Fletcher basically endorsing Labour’s David Jacobs for Epsom, her current seat.

Coming weeks will see continuing policy releases and accelerating campaign activity. If you are keen to help out in your local campaign, get in touch with Jordan and he’ll make sure your details get to a campaign manager near you.

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Young Labour Web site:

This was launched on 01 October, at http://www.younglabour.org.nz and many thanks to Michael Wallmannsberger for the work he’s put in on it over the past few months. Most of you have probably found this list on the web site – keep visiting to watch it evolve.

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Web site of the week:

My pet favourite web site at the moment is that of the New Statesman magazine in the UK – http://www.newstatesman.co.uk. It’s important for me as a political activist in a small country to keep in touch with wider changes in social democratic thought, and the New Statesman is a key publication in Britain for left wing discussion and debate. The entire magazine is available for free on the web at the site above, so have a look if you have a spare moment or two.

Until next week,

Jordan

Jordan Carter Editor.

--

All submissions should be to the Editor at carters@ihug.co.nz

While this newsletter is published in the name of Young Labour, the contents is entirely the responsibility of the Editor and the views expressed herein do not necessarily constitute the official position of Young Labour, the NZ Labour Party or any other person/organisation.


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