Would the Real Left Wing Parties Please Stand Up?

The Alliance Party is amused and, quite frankly, confused, to hear John Key repeatedly refer to a possible Labour/Greens coalition as a “far left” government in the media these days.

Key bases his assessment on their new power policy which would see a government provider buying all the power from generators. However Key should ponder the fact that the state owned all aspects of power generation and the distribution of electricity right up until 1999. And no one ever described the Holyoake and Muldoon led National governments of this era as “far left” because electricity was state owned.

Not that being a “left wing” party is a bad thing. For the majority of New Zealanders, having a genuine “left wing” coalition government would be very good indeed.

Parties of the left, such as the Alliance, know how to reduce inequality and poverty in New Zealand rather than just talk about it. Or dismiss it as Finance Minister Bill English did recently with his comment, “We don’t believe that there is a solution to poverty in general.”

Parties of the left know that poverty is man made and there is a very simple solution. They would reduce poverty by means of a progressive taxation system where each pays according to their means for the common good. Alongside this is state ownership of key services such as electricity, road and rail, health, and education, and a comprehensive social welfare system for people who are unable to earn a living because of their age, health, or inability to find suitable work.  This ensures that everyone in New Zealand has access to the same high quality services.

Parties of the left maintain that everyone should have a decent job and a liveable income. We believe everyone who wants to work should be able to find a job. Zero unemployment is a left wing goal.

Parties of the left believe education should be totally free, including tertiary education. So should healthcare. And houses should be affordable for everyone.

Parties of the left have no time for the monstrous salaries paid out to some chief executives, and massive handouts when they resign from their jobs. Nor do we believe companies should be paying the minimum wage to employees while sending massive profits to offshore investors. Our progressive taxation takes care of this with much higher tax rates for people and companies living above the greed line.

John Key thinks he is being derogatory by describing Labour and the Greens as “far left” but there are many in New Zealand wishing it was true.