Labour’s War of the Worlds

The Martians Are Coming

Spare a thought for the NZ Labour party.  If you do, you will be rewarded with a good laugh–which, as they say, is the best medicine.  Picture a headless chicken erratically racing around, with no sense of direction, flailing without purpose, until expiration mercifully transpires.  Then, there is the Labour Party.

Several commentators have observed that the party is deeply divided ideologically and personally.  And it seems we must grant their observations to be just.  Take the matter of immigration.  Labour has always cast itself as the party of compassion, with an eye to human suffering and deprivation.  Its historical belief in class warfare and the deprivations of capitalist exploitation require such a position.  But not now it seems.  Over recent weeks, Labour has decided that populist sentiment (as discerned through the headlines of our daily newspapers) is running against immigrants.  The dirty devils are coming into our country and buying up all our houses, so our own poor and disadvantaged are suffering.  Our poor are being refused the inalienable right of every New Zealander, not only to own his own home, but take out a prodigious mortgage in the process that won’t be paid off in three generations, unless housing prices continue to rise perpetually [which is fine, since everybody knows that is a natural law, a direct inverse to the Law of Gravity]. 

Every Kiwi has a right to perpetual debt servitude, and Labour is going to ensure that they get to exercise that right.  Standing for the common man, with appropriate Coplian fanfare, Labour announced a distinctly anti-immigrant policy.  It would restrict the number of immigrants coming into New Zealand, so ordinary Kiwis could get mortgaged to their eyeballs.

We must not quibble about the details of who, what, when, and how when it comes to restricting migrants.  These things will be worked out in due time–which is to say, they will be made up as one goes along.  Let’s not get sarcastic about the different  versions of the new policy and the changing details–good things take time, so button the lip.  And, yes, anyone who dares to point out that actually the data does not support the sensationalist claims of immigrants pushing up housing prices in New Zealand, will be marked down as a target for perpetual “Snowdenising” by the secretive GCSB, which hitherto Labour has steadfastly opposed–at least whenever they have been in opposition.

The point is that once Labour’s ideology cast it as pro-immigrant (“bring us your poor and hungry” etc. etc.) and a defender of the lower income earners and the legions of welfare beneficiaries camping our in our Socialist Paradise.  Now, the headless chicken has headed off in another direction entirely, away from supporting immigration to defending the rights of aspiring yuppies in Auckland, a city which a former Labour Finance Minister once condemned as a suppurating boil on the backside of the nation. 

But it gets worse.  Once Labour flirted with the idea that New Zealand should become a refugees’ paradise and our doors should be open to unlimited refugee intakes.  The flirtation occurred at a time when Australia was besieged by economic migrants out of Asia coming in leaky boats to alight upon its shores.  Australia’s hard line at the time was sniffed at by the Labour Party of New Zealand.  We, in this country, would not engage in such inhumane activities.  Our socialism was internationalist–the purest form of all socialisms.

When the current government took a different position and strengthened the law to enable the authorities to cope decisively with just such an invasion by economic migrants, the current leader of the Labour Party, David Cunliffe, sniffed sarcastically:

“. . . there is exactly the same probability of an alien invasion from Mars as there is of boat people from Indonesia or ‘Wogistan.” [Stuff]

Only a few days ago, credible reports have been received of actual voyages being planned by economic migrants out of Indonesia to New Zealand. 

Fairfax followed a bid by about 50 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to reach New Zealand after they holed up in a villa south of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta for weeks waiting to board a boat. . . . No asylum boat has ever made it to New Zealand but the current operation is the third attempt in recent months. In March, four men were arrested in Jayapura, West Papua on their way to link with a boat, and last month asylum seekers gathered in West Sumatra for a proposed voyage down Australia’s west coast that was cancelled.

Once Labour would have welcomed them with open arms.  Now, maybe not so much, unless of course they promised not to buy houses for a decade or more, and certainly not in Auckland.   But what is far more concerning is the pronouncement by David Cunliffe that the exact same probability exists of an invasion from Mars as of a boatload of economic migrants sailing to New Zealand.  So, now we expect the headless chook will change direction yet again and call for armed readiness to face the imminent invaders from Mars. 

But every sober analyst will be moved to ask, What has Labour got against Martians?  After all, they may be poor too.  Why has Labour become the Discrimination Party all of a sudden? 
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