Monday, February 17, 2020

A political vacuum?

Writing on The Spinoff, Danyl Mclauchlan argues that we have a vacuum in our political system, in that there is no longer an anti-establishment party anymore:

I think there’s a vacuum in our political system. There are obvious problems with the status quo but no real critics offering reform. It’s a situation that Simon Bridges is temporarily taking advantage of, but to which offers no actual, meaningful change. He’ll follow the current laws but since the current laws are designed to be crooked, that doesn’t mean very much.

Lenin used to say that he found power lying on the streets, and simply picked it up. I suspect there’s power lying on the streets in New Zealand politics, waiting for someone to say that our parties shouldn’t be secretly funded by the richest people in the country; that lobbyists shouldn’t be in powerful Beehive jobs, that the country should be governed in our interest, not theirs. And that power is just waiting for someone to pick it up.

It used to be the job of the Greens to say those things (and more besides). But now they're in Cabinet, they are the establishment. Collective responsibility and the desire to get along with their government partners has effectively gagged them and prevents them from offering any effective critique. Yes, they make some ineffective noises every so often, but you can't fight the power when you are the power (as we've seen on War On Terror bullshit).

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that someone picks up that power before the racists to National's right do.