For some bizarre reason the political left (which for clarity’s sake definitely includes me, and many of the Green Party’s policies but not necessarily the Green Party as a whole*) has spent the better part of a decade lumped with Chris Trotter as its media spokesperson. When comment is needed from a left wing perspective he is inevitably rolled out by the media to give some pompous talk about the 1950s wharfie strike and its relationship to British social democratic theory in the later part of the 18th century.
Left wing thought has long since moved on incorporating democratic, feminist, anti racist and environmental strands to it’s philosophy, and leaving Trotter to his historical reminiscences. (I should be clear that I don’t think that Trotter is racist, sexist or anti-democratic – just dated). While Trotter was speaking to the NZ First conference in 2001 assuring Peters and his cohorts that they were the victims of pretentious snobbery by a Wellington political elite, the rest of us recognised that no matter how economically left-leaning Peters’ rhetoric was, his campaigns were a nasty influence on New Zealand politics. And things haven’t changed. Not changed, that is, except that Peters got caught.
Today Trotter is attacking the Maori Party and the Greens because we did not blindly defend Peters from his accusers, the same way Labour did:
The level of discomfort in the Greens and the Maori Party can only be imagined.
To find yourself patted on the head by the right-wing news media for playing the role assigned to you so well.
To hear yourself praised by National and Act for your sturdy ”independence” and staunch “neutrality” (while they laugh in their sleeves at your naivete, and noisily celebrate the triumph of their own utterly ruthless partisanship).
So, with all that in mind, please can we have a new media spokesperson.
*Blah, blah, neither left nor right, but out in front, blah, blah…