Drinking Liberally – Andrew Little

Another Thursday, another Drinking Liberally at the Southern Cross. Tonight’s guest was Andrew Little who manages to be President of both the EPMU and the Labour Party at the same time.

He talked generally about the situation the world is in and suggested that it means the end of the finance-centric ideologies of the last 20-30 years. Instead we now had a chance to start talking about social justice, about providing useful and productive work, and generally recasting our politics and economy in a way that serves the people and not the corporations. There weren’t a lot of details about what that might mean.

Then it came to time to questions – and what interested me was that about half of them (including mine) were some version of “That left wing agenda sounds fine but it doesn’t sound like the Labour Party we’ve had for the last nine (or 25) years, how are you going to get it accepted by them, let alone the general populace?”

Unfortunately I thought he did a very poor job of answering it. First he said that he thought they were already there, secondly that the Labour Party was internally democratic, and finally that they had to follow and be led by general opinion (as different from lead and inspire!). In other words, he didn’t see the same gap between his rhetoric and the current Labour Party that a number of people in the room saw. And bear in mind that the Drinking Liberally crowd is generally pretty pro-Labour!

Speaking as someone who thinks we need Labour to reinvent and repackage itself it was kind of disheartening – and pushes me further towards the Greens.

P.S. I think we’re done on section 92a as a topic. Thanks.