November 17, 2010 -- Socialist Aotearoa -- As the battle of Mana [the November 20, 2010, Mana by-election campaign] draws to an end, a real victory has already been won. For the last month, the serious left
in Aotearoa has united in struggle and put in the mahi, fighting on
issues that concern working people and that embarass the party
apparatchiks from Labour and National.
What the final tally will
be for Matt McCarten's insurgent campaign, only Saturday, November 20 can tell. But
the new left has fought hard for every vote it gets, whether high in the
hills of Tawa or in the heart of Cannon's Creek. Even those undecided
about voting for Matt have supported his radical program for full
employment, higher incomes and tax justice. As he said himself, "If the
people of Mana voted for what they wanted- we'd win by a landslide."
real victory that has been won is one for democracy itself. Rather
than explain why their party does not support radical change, the Labour
Party has been pushing the line that a vote for Matt splits the left. And
they are noticably nervous about this; they are drafting in hundreds of
volunteers, activists and union organisers for the last few days, and
their more uncouth supporters are beginning to lose their tempers. And there's a real reason why.
the staunch working class, there's a realisation that Labour Party leaders Phil Goff ain't
gonna win the national election in 2011. Labour is too soft, and is
bereft of any tangible policies that make a difference to the working
class. Labour Party Mana candidate Kris Faafoi was imposed on the local
organisation from Goff's office, and has barely been in the party for a
year. Many workers see through the cynical tokenism from Labour HQ.
days of the left being a one-party state are over, whether in the
unions or in the political field. We're going to need a real resistance
movement when the National Party wins in 2011.
As Labour stays firmly in the political centre, it needs to learn one lesson.
We're not splitting the left vote -- we are the left vote
speak to a Matt McCarten candidate supporter Rima Taraia who was
attempting to yell down Prime Minister John Key as he visited the North
City shopping mall, Porirua. Photo / NZPA
Prime Minister John Key was mobbed in Porirua today as he campaigned for National in the Mana by-election.
A group of about 10 supporters of independent unionist candidate Matt
McCarten crowded around Mr Key when he arrived at North City Plaza, and
they were joined by Labour Party activists backing Kris Faafoi.
Mr Key couldn't hear the people he was trying to talk to over screams
and chants, and one determined woman activist repeatedly got in his face
as he tried to meet voters.
Rima Taraia persisted in demanding that Mr Key speak to her and demanded
his attention. Security officers several times pushed her away from Mr
Key but she wasn't removed from the scene.
The crowd around Mr Key chanted "John Key what's the score, one law for the rich and one for the poor".
Another woman, Caroline Harvey, said she was a qualified social worker
but had no job and was living in a caravan in Cannons Creek.