We’re not dancing with Mr D

Well, it’s been a day now since the Greens announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Party.

Some have suggested that the Greens have sold out. But that just doesn’t stack up. The Greens are not dancing with the devil, despite what some on the right and the left have commented.

But before the political commentary (for the benefit of those who are too young or were too stoned to remember the 70s), let’s have the video:

The Greens are not dancing with Mr D – they’re just trying to make the best of a bad situation for the planet and its people.

The agreement provides that the Greens can condemn the Nats’ proposals for private prisons, the RMA gutting, NZAID being screwed, ACC being privatised, Auckland being screwed, the ETS on hold until the “science is settled” (that’s actually the Luddite ACT Party’s deal with the Nats), the lack of respect for democratic procedure and select commitees shown by the government, the inaction over the recession, the readying for sale of state assets such as TVNZ, the acceptance of pay inequality between the sexes in the public service as a necessary evil of the recession, and so on…

And we will continue to do so, both inside and outside Parliament.

8 thoughts on “We’re not dancing with Mr D

  1. Come on guys, I know what you mean about both sides getting a little bit of what they want. But the politics on issues like party agreements are about perception. The perception is that the Green Party is cuddling up to the ‘devil’. The argument has gone back and forth about how you never ruled out a deal with the National Party, but the question that should worry you is how many of your voters understood that at the time, yes you can trot out the quotes that were quite vague, but what did the voters believe? You guys have always run a democratically strong party and had my support, but on this issue I think that there will be some sense of unease amongst members.

  2. Yeah, loco, but don’t we have to break away from that. Labour and National make their decisionson the basis of “perception” and compromise their principles and policy according.

    The Greens make their decisions according to policy decided democratically by Green members, and then decide how to best spin them to create the most positive public perception.

    The Greens are in a completely different space from the National and Labour “sell out anything if it might be unpopular” position in that regard.

    It is a totally different and much more principled way of doing politics the Greens are attempting, but I agree the Greens have yet to sell that concept well to the public.

  3. I feel somewhat better about things now, though I still think that the Greens need to make sure it’s very clear they’re not being gagged by National and haven’t sold out. The perception of this is important, as someone with just a passing interest in politics may be convinced by the media that the Greens have jumped in bed with National.

    As I have said, my head knows this is a good step for the Greens. But it does hurt my heart a bit.

  4. I still don’t know that its a good step. The gains were somewhat insignificant in light of what perceptive this is going to create. But hey I guess we in the Greens are being softened up by a minority with a very different agenda, i.e. a Green Party focused on the environment and therefore able to work with any government. We definitely have to watch the people within the party who want to increase the voter base but at the cost of our hearts and souls.

  5. I’ve been arguing for some years that National and Labour are the two dominant factions of the NZ Rich List Party, which is the finacial elite lurking behind them. To think that they are separate parties is to mispercieve reality. Regardles of who dominates Parliament, we ultimately have to deal with that financial elite with National or Labour acting as gatekeepers/middlemen. Since both are controlled, one way or the other, by the financial elite, it’s irrelevent who we negotiate with. So far ar the Greens are concerned, the only difference that they make is what sort of deals we can cut with the elite. With National we may get fewer but bigger gains, with Labour we may get more but smaller gains. At least with National we can use enlightened greed as a lever.

  6. I’m sure lots of people will think the Greens have been gagged until they hear them speak out on some issue that they would not be able to speak out on if they had been gagged (like the many examples Toad listed). I’m sure we will hear the Greens speaking out on some of those issues before too long.

  7. A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP)


    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil.
    We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit” to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive. However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America.

    Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three” American Automobile manufacturers, the NPSCTAPP has always felt compelled to highlight the “moral Bottom line” when it comes to corrections and privatization. Although, we remain confounded by the reality that our government has allowed our justice system to be operated by private interests. The NPSCTAPP philosophy has always been “justice” should not be for sale at any price. It is our belief that the inherent and most fundamental responsibility of the criminal justice system should not be shirked, or “jobbed-out.” This is not the same as privatizing the post office or some trash pick up service in the community. There has to be a loss of meaning and purpose when an inmate looks at a guard’s uniform and instead of seeing an emblem that reads State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, he sees one that says: “Atlas Prison Corporation.”

    Let’s assume that the real danger of privatization is not some innate inhumanity on the part of its practitioners but rather the added financial incentives that reward inhumanity. The same logic that motivates companies to operate prisons more efficiently also encourages them to cut corners at the expense of workers, prisoners and the public. Every penny they do not spend on food, medical care or training for guards is a dime they can pocket. What happens when the pennies pocketed are not enough for the shareholders? Who will bailout the private prison industry when they hold the government and the American people hostage with the threat of financial failure…“bankruptcy?” What was unimaginable a month ago merits serious consideration today. State and Federal prison programs originate from government design, and therefore, need to be maintained by the government. It’s time to restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system.

    John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is while the sun is shinning”. Well the sun may not be shinning but, it’s not a bad time to begin repair on a dangerous roof that is certain to fall…. because, “Incarcerating people for profit is, in a word WRONG”

    There is an urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of cynicism, indifference, apathy and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
    It is our hope that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition. We intend to assemble a collection of one million signatures, which will subsequently be attached to a proposition for consideration. This proposition will be presented to both, the Speaker Of The House Of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi) and the United States Congress.

    Please Help Us. We Need Your Support. Help Us Spread The Word About This Monumental And Courageous Challenge To Create Positive Change. Place The Link To The Petition On Your Website! Pass It On!

    The SINGLE VOICE PETITION and the effort to abolish private “for profit” prisons is the sole intent of NPSCTAPP. Our project does not contain any additional agendas. We have no solutions or suggestions regarding prison reform. However, we are unyielding in our belief that the answers to the many problems which currently plague this nation’s criminal justice system and its penal system in particular, cannot and will not be found within or assisted by the private “for profit” prison business. The private “for profit” prison business has a stranglehold on our criminal justice system. Its vice-like grip continues to choke the possibility of justice, fairness, and responsibility from both state and federal systems.
    These new slave plantations are not the answer!

    For more information please visit: http://www.npsctapp.blogsppot.com or email: williamthomas@exconciliation.com
    To sign the petition please visit: http://www.petitiononline.com/gufree2/petition.html


    William Thomas
    National Community Outreach Facilitator
    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons
    P.O. Box 156423
    San Francisco, California 94115

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