Beginning as conscientious-objector, anti-conscription, trade-union federalists in 1916, only to become conscripting and strike-breaking war leaders a generation later, the New Zealand Labour Party (NZLP) emerged masters of political somersault as government from 1935. Their Federation of Labour of 1937, under waterfront heavy Fintan Patrick Walsh, became gangster enforcers of the Left through war effort, and, confronting Stalinist groups, crushed diversity out of New Zealand alternative politics for decades to come. Labour hegemony, over the politics of opposing capital, maintains the same hard and devious tactics to this day, betraying and subordinating worker interests to capital. The NZLP functional role is to actively dissolve any real opposition to capital. This applies right down to community level, wherever obliged. This post is a study of the underhand methods by which Labour-aligned bureaucrats keep themselves in power, through dirty stranglehold on communities, to constitute a corrupting influence upon Christchurch City Council (CCC) local government.
The socialist reforms that swept social-democrats to power in the 1930s have long since degraded with descent into social-fascism, such that ‘reforms’ are now typically, in the economic sense, mostly negative for working people and favour the corporate elite (that includes Labour). Examples are state asset privatisation, real wage erosion and housing turned into an inflated market commodity, all under NZLP rule. (Labour has capitalised through multiple home ownerships bought via parliamentary careers; steady money has corrupted them collectively, thus creating a classic gang).
Which brings them to today’s water politics. The NZLP response to the rural downturn and lost subsidies of the 1970s and 80s was Helen Clark, from a Waikato dairy farm background, and mass dairy farm conversion with creation of Fonterra milk corporate co-op. With Clark as Prime Minister, new export industry required new sources of supply and in Canterbury – the country’s largest region with the bulk of its available freshwater resource – transformation began. Water demand expanded until it exhausted all usable supply from rivers, streams and wells. Then new irrigation, for pasture on difficult dry land, would require water storage and new publicly-funded supply schemes. Enter the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, when environmental impacts and strong public protest against them had all begun to hit home too. But a change to National government in 2008 allowed it to claim the landscape conversion was not fast enough, nor the mitigation effort. So National replaced the Labour-balanced regional council with appointed business commissioners, lacking much originality. What could the NZLP then do?
Labour, also lacking originality, has picked up National’s refrain: that city-dwellers should be concerned first and foremost with urban river water quality and not rural – ‘they are to blame’ after all. So Labour wants all the credit and publicity for this diversionary work, turning it into a new propaganda industry to keep itself in the news and somehow relevant. Of course Labour agrees with National – that the public is to have no real choice.
In our local neighbourhood, Labour have begun the Opawaho-Heathcote River Network, with themselves in exclusive charge. They will decide which community groups can participate, so the one I am part of – the Cashmere Residents’ Association – has been shut out; because it is independent of Labour, and, mostly, of the Labour-run city council. Residents will be stopped from voluntarily coordinating their own river-bank clean-up work, to subordinate it to Labour’s, and council staff will be drawn in to muzzle them and force them to advertise a ‘river network’ that they have been actively excluded from. What?! The consistency of this dictation machine is very anti-democratic and scary: it compromises staff ethics of impartiality, atrociously.
Labour’s social-fascist method is to hijack community initiative, to gain publicity and credit for other people’s work. They will hijack community newsletters to get their message out, to increase their influence at community expense. Council staff will help make this happen. What?!
Social-fascists (Labour) are not interested in community; they are interested in controlling communities. The social-fascist interest is directed over communities, through attaining positions of power. They maintain highly effective electoral machines, to elevate their members into positions of authority over the communities that they exploit parasitically. Social-fascists act to disorganise communities, to neutralise them as potential competitors to the Labour Party apparatus, and to substitute their social-fascist voice, opinions and decisions, for the community itself. They do this through targeting and monopolising local positions of council power, especially.
The Opawaho-Heathcote River Network is linked to the Avon Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, recipient of significant council funds. But residents’ groups have the option of subscribing to the long-standing Christchurch Estuary Association, as an alternative; they are not obliged to simply follow the council-sponsored Trust. They can embark on water issue campaigns voluntarily, even their own, autonomously… in theory. In reality, the Labour-run council removes choice (like National does at regional level).
When the (ex-Labour) Christchurch Mayor asked recently for community views on proposed further research into the possible flood-control value of a tidal barrier for the Estuary, to supplement potential stop-bank work, she claimed ‘both the Estuary trusts rejected it’ as one reason for turning it down. This was a lie. Just the council-sponsored Trust opposed further study, whereas the public volunteer-run Estuary Association supported it. The Mayor’s office had asked for the association’s opinion but she herself did not read it or report it correctly.
Public choice, and effective democracy, demands quite a clean-up of the Christchurch City Council. Bullies, out!
 Social-fascism, from the social democracy era, is what defeated overt fascism for the imperialist West in the 1940s – a ‘softer, kinder’ variety of fascism that chose a different and ultimately victorious side in the Middle East oil politics, for rebuilding depression- and war-ravaged capitalism (e.g. the Roosevelt US, that had its own internment camps – for Japanese). Born of militarised societies, social-fascism remains a bulwark of capitalist imperialism, elected to government periodically on the democratic cycle. Out of the fascist era, only variants could compete and survive the state struggle for existence, then to now. This explains the violent growth of Stalinism, that matched attacks upon Russia and China on their own terms, producing stable national entities for the post-fascist era. ‘Social-fascism’ also describes these dictator states, as non-democratic but from degenerated communism. tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/162780/roosevelt-japanese-internment
Social-fascists, from a century of party machine development and many decades experience of governmental power, have a fanatical sense of entitlement. As the established second choice to wealthy nationalists, they know that top office has for generations been within ready reach, with patience and careful plotting. They simply must be the alternative to the nationalists and need not be substantively different (but meet the political pull of the media-created ‘centre’). This has warped social-democrats into mini-nationalists who are unprincipled, unethical and untrustworthy in all their political actions. Social-fascists have corrupt psychopathology that renders them incapable of recognising the betrayal and damage they do to communities, while propelling themselves on to assumed power. There is no way forward for struggling communities but to demolish and rebuild social-democrat (social-fascist) impetus, from the ground up. Waimarie.
That the Opawaho-Heathcote River Clean-up is primarily for propaganda purposes is underscored by the fact that one week later it was being repeated, in part, by a different group: