Mike's Minute: Who does Labour really represent?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 12:04PM

Mike's Minute: Who does Labour really represent?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 12:04PM

Surely even Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern can see that emergency meetings with unions who are ropeable with you, isn't really how you should be spending your day?

The unions are Labour and Labour are the unions.

Andrew Little got to be Leader ahead of Robertson because he got the union vote, the biggest donors to the party are the unions.

And yet, for reasons they still haven't been able to explain that make any sense, it's all turned to crap.

It's a pay freeze, then it's not a pay freeze. Our economy is doing better than expected, except for the bit about money. We don’t have any, so you can't have a pay rise.

Does anyone in the government step back periodically and see just how nonsensical half the stuff they say is?

Chris Hipkins gave the game away a little, I think, yesterday on the show when he conceded what it's really all about is boosting lower wages up.

But even that makes no sense because once you’ve boosted the lower wages up, the people who were earning better money, presumably through skill, talent, or experience realise that they're getting screwed and want a pay rise.

This, of course, is the great weakness of unionism. Most pay rises are not productivity based; they are threat based. Pay us or we are out.

Here is the big picture problem for Labour; who is it they represent?

He Puapua must have freaked at least some of their support base out. There is nothing remotely mainstream about separate health authorities, enforced colonisation learning in schools, Maori studies in law school, or cancelling referenda on Maori wards.

And there is nothing remotely traditional about a Labour government stiffing the union movement. There is nothing remotely centrist about upping the top tax rate or crapping all over mum and dad investors with brightline test and deductibility changes.

So just who is it they're appealing to? Do you have the same trouble British Labour now has? There isn't a working-class Kiwi who would touch them. It's the party of socialist ideologues who hang out at universities, NGOs, and pressure groups.

This smacks of whack-a-mole government. No vision, no big picture, no strategy, just a trail of bewildered, disowned, and disenfranchised supporters who no longer know who they're dealing with.