It is interesting to follow the evolution of the New Zealand Labour Party, from its originally fractured beginnings in the early 1900s, through a long period as one of New Zealand’s two main political parties, and now its descent toward being one of the participants in our fractured left wing of politics.
From the days when women ran the home and men were the breadwinners, the Labour Party was a man’s party, a worker’s party, born out of revolution and brutal suppression.
Workers began to organise, demand better working conditions, and rebel to have their demands recognised. Massey’s Cossacks (tough young farmers) were recruited as special constables to both protect and work the Wellington wharves which became the centre of a nationwide uprising; their brutal maintenance of law and order left a generation of bitterness, but also a much stronger, united political left.
The West Coast town of Blackball is often credited with being the birth place of the party, but in reality Labour was born out of a decade of frustration and upheaval around the time of the Great War.
It was an amalgamation of the fractured left in 1916 that finally established a nascent and credible left wing; that’s not to say New Zealand hadn’t been socially designed – it had – but this was a time when men demanded that they be recognised for their contribution to our developing country.
Skip forward almost a century to present day politics and we’ve come full circle, with a factional disorganised left, leaving men once again socially vulnerable.
Recently, in the post, I’m too sexy to be a man, we discussed David Cunliffe’s apology for being a man, and we watched the following day as he spoke with a feminist arrogance suggesting that men were a stain on the landscape of his political vision.
We watched as he spoke with the brutality of a dictator who would wipe those that offended his eye from existing in his envisaged wonderland, and as he promised to turn the Prime Minister’s office into a cross-portfolio headquarters to achieve just that.
This is not the Labour party that we have known – a Labour Party that can lay claim to many of the outstanding historical social developments achieved during its tenure. This is not the Labour Party that has defended the wellbeing of our workers – a Labour Party whose strength came off the backs of determined men who fought for and won the right to a decent income and reasonable working conditions.
If the Labour Party has had one great failing, it’s the propensity for the party to be high-jacked, and it has been once again. This time by ideological feminists, who have scant regard for the wellbeing of men – excepting those who are compliant conformists and willing enforcers.
I do sleep at night, but only because I hold fast to the belief that Cunliffe would never be Prime Minister, and that the left could never win this election. That Labour’s recent decent in our political polls represents the informed voter punishing Labour for its new direction.
However, if the regrettable happens, then I would certainly fear for the wellbeing of those men, that fall into the hands of Cunliffe’s Cossacks.