Friday, June 17, 2016

Good luck with that

Today we learned that National's 90-day trial periods for workers weren't working, having produced no discernible change to employment. So you'd expect the Labour Party to be even more strongly for repealing them. But no - as Stuff's Hamish Rutherford points out, Labour plans to do no such thing:

An early morning trip to Upper Hutt in July 2015 revealed Labour's uncomfortable realisation: the 90-day trials are immensely popular among businesses.

The party's union backing may be fiercely opposed to the trials, but Labour leader Andrew Little conceded to a business audience that, with immaterial changes, the trials would be maintained.


Little pledged to maintain the trials, albeit with a requirement for employers to give feedback, an about-face on his promise during the election (before he was leader) to abolish them.

The reason for this? So Labour can toady to business of course. Sellouts and chickenshits, the lot of them.

But apart from the insanity of seeking the good opinion of groups which inherently hate you, this simply isn't a sustainable policy. To point out the obvious, Labour won't be alone in Parliament, and another party (e.g. the Greens) could put up an abolition bill of their own. What will Labour do then? Whip their reluctant backbench into voting it down, in the face of intense pressure from their own supporters? Or try and get prospective support partners to agree pre-emptively not to put such a bill in the ballot?

The answer to both scenarios is "good luck with that". And they show the inherent problems of being a party which stands for nothing and which puts power and a desire for donations ahead of principle.