The extent of the “left” or “rightness” in the commentary about various political parties is all very well and good.
However, what never seems to be analysed from most commentariat is that modern politics has had another dimension since 1984. It has been fancily named “neo-liberalism” and is a movement towards privatisation, asset sales, free market capitalism (capitalism without a conscience), deregulation, globalism, “trickle-down-economics” and corporate privilege. Both the “left” and the “right” have engaged in it for over 30 years now.
The net result is unprecedented inequality and all its flow-on effects which ultimately manifest as some of the biggest election issues we’ve ever seen – including not owning the country we live in.
The TPP epitomised this neoliberalism: being secretly written by the corporates themselves with a multitude of corporate-benefiting clauses, how much more obvious does it need to get? Perhaps before people vote in 2017 they should look at one of the most overt signals as to what a party actually stands for: their stance on the TPP.
We must stop focussing on whether parties are defined as “lefties” or “righties” and address how neoliberal they are. This unspoken narrative is insidiously consuming our nation. We ignore it at our peril and confine ourselves to too narrow a spectrum of political thought.
NZ First have one foot on the left and one foot on the right, but have opposed this neoliberal nonsense for 23 years without wavering. This is the type of stance we need, and the political conversation we must have to get closer to regaining the egalitarian nation we once had.