Wednesday, 4 July 2012

New Political possiblities are growing.

LEN GALE A man of the people. 

A few thoughts from LEN GALE, aged 85, veteran of the 1951 Waterfront Lockout who turned up down at the Ports of Auckland picket line to help out earlier this year

On the Line
"You have to admire the men and women on the picket-line. Rain, hail, scorching sun and wind, they brave it all. A picket line is not just people standing on the curb waving flags and placards.
It is a mobile school room where past struggles are recalled and analyzed, strategy and tactics. Where friendships form across the trades and occupations. Where "outsiders" come to offer support and are welcomed with warm handshakes along the line.
Where overseas delegates come with money and pledges.
No scab loaded vessels at our ports! They offer up their union flags and Tee-shirts, symbols of international solidarity.
All day news comes from radios hooked into car batteries and from delegates returning from meetings and from the courts. One moment of relaxing the unions basic idea of justice and what we know in our culture as fair play and hard won conditions will evaporate.
Justice lies in the heart and soul of people everywhere and that is the port workers strength and trump card. What else motivates workers to hold out for so long?
The constant honking of horns and the occasional thrown kiss helps, it puts motorists on side and it sends a signal to the watchers on the port building balcony with their binoculars.
That we are here, on the line, and in good heart.".[Quote ends]
Today we are fighting the same battles, slowly but surely the government is removing the tools by which we can achieve common goals. Goals like Public Television, public ownership of vital services, a fair tax system, An ACC that does what we agreed when we gave away our right to sue. We know that collective action works, the Ports of Auckland is a example, the Talley's union bashing, and larger class sizes is yet another. The going will be tough the present government will pander to its donors, give soft loans {43 million dollars] to its friends along with huge tax reductions to its wealthy mates. More and more we are becoming like the USA where money can buy you anything, like pokie machines to rip money from the poor. Right at this moment the government is using the old fashioned but effective tool of finding scape goats to blame. People like solo mums and dads, the unemployed, the disabled have become their targets. New Zealanders want better, and they are proving by pouring out of the country at over a thousand a week.
New and progressive  political forces are assembling to refresh and revive the political landscape, The Mana Party is one of those who is giving representation to those who have lost their voice. The Labour party is slowly but surely repositioning itself closer to those it once stood tall with, its slow but it is happening.

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