Byron Clark’s speech at St Albans Community Center

Good evening everyone and thank you for the opportunity to speak to you all tonight.
My name is Byron Clark and I am the Workers Party candidate for Christchurch Central. This is my second time standing in this electorate. Three years ago I stood up and gave speeches as a young, long haired radical. Today, I’m obviously older and my hair is a little shorter, but I stand here as radical as ever.

I want to define that word as it is often misused. The word radical comes from the Latin word radix, meaning “root” and a political radical, like myself, is someone who advocates getting at the root of societies problems, and the root of the problem is capitalism, a system where those who must sell their labour to live are exploited for the benefit of a few elites. While its hardly common to hear people even talk about capitalism during elections in New Zealand, the recent turmoil in the finance sector of the world economy has meant there is a little more space for radical ideas. Indeed even The Times of London recently carried the rhetorical headline; “Karl Marx, did he get it all right?”

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Workers Party Not Hand Shakers

Workers Party media release

Workers Party Christchurch Central candidate Byron Clark is surprised at some of the reactions he’s got since refusing to shake hands with Labour candidate Brendon Burns at a recent candidates forum.

“There is an idea among some candidates it seems, that the election campaign is just a job interview style process with the electorate where we all wish each other well and hope we get picked, but I’m fundamentally opposed to the system Labour and National support, and I think principles are more important than what some see as ‘good manners’”

Clark noted the recent OECD report which shows inequality has increased drastically in the past twenty years.

“For most of that 20 years Labour has been in power, they have presided over the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in this country’s history. I have no respect for a party that can do that.”

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