Monday, August 03, 2020

Labour offers nothing

There's an election next month, so you'd be expecting political parties to be telling us what they stand for and what they'd do if they'd win. But while the Greens have given us a detailed policy platform, and National has talked about roads and austerity, Labour, currently leading the polls and on track to be a single party government, has said it has no plans to tell us what it will do if re-elected:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is warning voters not to expect any large-scale Labour policies this election, as her party's priority is the Covid-19 recovery.

Ardern, who is the Labour leader, was also critical of her opponents' plans for government debt, saying what National has proposed means tough austerity measures for the next generation.

Speaking to RNZ this morning, Ardern said voters should not expect a "large-scale range of policies" from Labour this election.

Obviously, their big policy is "not getting everyone killed". But they still need to provide more detail than that. Because, pretty obviously, our other problems haven't gone away just because there's a pandemic on. We still have a housing crisis and intolerable levels of inequality. We still have an environmental crisis, with farmers sucking us dry and filling our rivers with cowshit. And we still have a climate crisis, where we are literally making the planet uninhabitable for humanity. And any party with pretensions of being elected to power owes it to voters to explain what it is going to do about those crises. A party which doesn't is treating voters with contempt.

Labour's "no policies" strategy may make for a small political target and avoid pissing people off, but it also suggests they're not actually going to do anything. Instead of the change we need, we're going to get the same unjust, unequal, unsustainable status quo. And if that's all that's on offer, they do not deserve to be elected.