When Helen Kelly croaked you’d have thought she was nominated for beatification such was the wailing and veneration by media and politicians alike.
But wait, it appears that some socialists aren’t convinced of her credentials as a union boss.
The October 14 death of Helen Kelly, who led the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) from 2007 to 2015, has been followed by glowing tributes from the entire political establishment, the corporate media, and business organisations such as the Employers and Manufacturers Association.
Prime Minister John Key told TV3 on October 31 that Kelly “would have been one of the most worthy candidates” for the New Zealander of the Year award, had she survived. Several members of the opposition Labour Party noted that she was seen as a future party leader.
Kelly’s death at the age of 52 was a personal tragedy, but this fact must not be allowed to obscure an objective appraisal of her record. For more than a year, her protracted struggle with lung cancer was exploited in the media, with countless interviews and articles portraying Kelly as a champion for workers’ rights and as a national icon. In fact, Kelly is being glorified because she was a highly-valued servant of the ruling elite. She led the CTU as it collaborated with major attacks on the jobs and living standards of the working class. Read more »