Some words of caution for Andrew Little and Labour, but will they listen?

Tony Alexander, in his latest newsletter, has some words of caution for Andrew Little and the Labour party about the path they have embarked on.

Last week I noted that there are some trends which people (businesses I suppose, truth be told) should keep an eye on. These included growing wealth inequality and employers exploiting staff. Perhaps this latter thread is one of the motivating factors behind the new Leader of the Opposition’s announcement that he will set up a two year “Future of Work Commission”. The intention is that this project will examine changes in the way people work via numerous workshops and extensive contact with various groups. The risk is that it ends
up being a grumpy free for all for all and sundry so the first task of the work which Grant Robertson will lead is to tightly define what they wish specifically to focus on and go from there.

Good luck to them because one outcome of the GFC is an altered relationship between employers and employees. But more than that whole new industries and jobs have appeared, there is more casualisation and contracting, and a generation of people have come through the education system and entered the workforce with minimal awareness of what unions can offer them. And that union movement suffers greatly from being associated with exactly that – a politically motivated always Labour-supporting “movement” rather than true representation of employee concerns.

These are early days for the re-elected National government and early days for the latest Labour Party leader, so the thrust of changes in the employee-employer relationship for the next three years is still likely to be in the direction of further empowering the former. But employers should keep an eye on the building undercurrent of discontent among the working poor in particular, what the Aussies call the “battlers”, and where possible seek input into the new Commission.

I see this is the problem for Labour in their branding…it is still steeped in a long past era of union strong men, strikes, shouting, protest and slogans.

It is long on rhetoric and short on solutions.

I watched useless old media all fall for the same ld Labour tricks…a new leader promising to talk to people in the provinces, in the cossie clubs, the RSAs…touring the country getting the vibe of the nation.

Phil Goff did it, David Shearer took his guitar and did it, David Cunliffe said he did it but didn’t really, and now Andrew Little is saying he is going to do it.

The bottom line is they trot around the the country mouthing platitudes then return to Wellington and carry on regardless thinking they have hoodwinked the people into believing their tosh. Their brand is stuffed, their ranting and raving (and Little shows he is set to continue that) is ignored and they sink further into irrelevancy.

The new Labour party is the same as the old Labour party. The more things change the more they stay the same.

The world has moved on and unions are just not relevant anymore, neither are short, bespectacled angry men for that matter.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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