One of the few films that I have carried with me since I saw it when I was young. I really enjoyed sharing it with a 7th form class as part of my teacher training. An amazing film. Thanks Joe Wiley. I never knew it was you. : )
"But would the former Alliance's core non-Green voterbase of betrayed former Labour voters have the same problem?"
- This one still does.
"And having the conversation started by a major party rather than a minor one makes it harder to dismiss."
Yup, that's exactly my point. It's not to disregard the part played by other parties and groups, but Labour's adoption for the time being of some of these ideas opens the debate up usefully.
Amongst other people I know who vote Green in Wellington. There seems to be growing discontent with the MPs and the feeling that the party is moving away from its original feel. Rather than tracing it back to backing Metiria over Sue Bradford, a lot of it is being put down to Russell Norman's influence - which I think is seen as too media-focused and increasingly moving away from their core values.
Personally I would welcome another major left-wing party. One point I'd make in response to Giovanni is that Labour's 'leftward shift' - is opening some actual ground for discussion in the political landscape that has been exceedingly hard to dig over of late.
"I'm with you in principle, but people really don't do that anymore."
As a group of people they get together in organisations like the Employers and Manufacturers Association and lobbied National for the sort of changes we are seeing now.
The sole purpose of these changes are to increase their power in the workplace. The way they wish to do this is to diminish if not kill off unions, and deny people basic workplace rights. If you are an employee and you don't regard the EMA and such as an enemy - you are not paying attention.
Many people don't belong to unions and will see some areas of these changes as not affecting them, but many industry standards for payment and conditions spring from union collectives. They want to drive wages down everywhere, and this is a key way to do it. And by the way - is anyone out there feeling overpaid at the moment.
"That wasn't my intention."
Ok. Thanks in general for raising the issue on your blog. I'm glad this is getting more airtime and discussion.
"I was simply saying that I don't find it useful to see people who create businesses and employ other people as the enemy."
It's fine to state your view, but to try and back it up by completely obfuscating the hard work of the employees who create the turnover that pays for their wages I believe is wrong.
"It's a nuance that seems to get lost sometimes, though, doesn't it?"
"I don't regard employers as the enemy. That would be ridiculous. The enterprise and willingness to embrace risk of employers literally pays the rent of millions of people."
I can't say I'm fussed on the first sentence, but the second sentence is patently ridiculous. It's the hard work of thousands of employees that pays their rents, not the largess of employers. If the employers couldn't extract surplus value from workers' time and effort they wouldn't bother employing them.
"The harnessing of grievance for its own sake is not exclusive to the political Right (if, indeed, that's how this march can be characterised): it was the keynote to the (much bigger and getter organised) anti-capitalist marches in the late 90s – which saw third-world activists and North American unionists march shoulder-to-shoulder with their profoundly incompatible demands on trade policy."
I really don't understand how the demands of largely industrial workers from the Global North working with largely agricultural-based farmers organisations are profoundly incompatible. The key concern was the neo-liberal agenda whether that was IMF heavying your local economy to cut social programmes or the large-scale outsourcing of jobs in the North. A lot of the union solidarity was also built on raising awareness around the nature of working conditions in the global south i.e. sweatshops and maquiladoras. They had far more in common than they had differences.
The real keynote in terms of the Seattle protests among others was that it was one of the first times people in the Global North picked up the concerns of the South along with their own.
The neo-liberal agenda in most peoples understanding caused pain and struggle around the world, in the 1990s. Even neo-liberals generally agreed that this was so, while stating that such market 'corrections' were necessary. I think it's really unfair to mismatch a complex yet far more coherent movement that I think many would agree was driven by a genuine sense of solidarity, and desire to change the current system with a mish-mash of campaigns that are largely against giving other people rights i.e. the introduction of civil unions and repealing Section 59.
What took the wind out of the sails of the anti-globalisation movement was largely 9/11. On the one hand it made organising increasingly difficult and various countries began using anti-terror legislation to bully, individuals groups and gatherings, and on the other as Bush Jnr and his cabal pissed away the mandate given by the public of the US, far greater focus went on anti-war organising.
From my own experience - the single-issue campaigners, biblical-types, conspiracy theorists, and mentally unwell (by no means a comprehensive list, but a good indication) will start turning up after you have your first medium-sized or greater 'success' in the public arena. What was happening on Saturday was to some degree this . In terms of post-October 15th, the above hit Aotearoa Indymedia with a vengeance – although I'm not sure I'd call it a success either.
"The anti-GE movement (which in 2003 managed marches thrice bigger than Saturday's) was undermined by the active presence of the likes of Jonathan Eisen, whose paranoid style is essentially incompatible with civil progress."
While he may have been undermining, but the key undermining factor was that the moderate Green organisations came to terms with the introduction with GE into their countries, and the radical wing moved on. In New Zealand, the Green Party decided not to do anything particular about the moratorium ending other than continue to increase their standing via the ballot box - and a pragmatist would argue there was really sod all else they could do. To my mind, in this country at least the GE movement ground to halt largely because of this key compromise, rather than some individual personalities.
"The grand promise of the global anti-capitalist craze wound up in some of the weird, scary stuff you can find on Indymedia these days."
I agree that the comments on Indymedia can suck almost as bad as comments on Youtube. I would point out that Aotearoa Indymedia now has policies against racism and other forms of discrimination.
However when you look at what is reported there the movement that inspired Indymedia is still going on. Reporting on human-rights in Honduras or climate-change activism in Europe is a bit more than whatever 'weird' and 'scary' comments you might find here and there.
Overall the parallels you tried to draw seemed to be so cartoon-like and inaccurate that they were worse than useless.