(Workers Party address to Labour Day left of Labour election forum in Wellington)
It’s a nice change to be at a meeting where the right is excluded instead of the left. This year many Wellington election meetings only invited candidates holding parliamentary seats. The New Zealand Council of Trade unions hosted such a meeting. When I complained about being excluded, while National and ACT were given a platform, the CTU organiser emailed back “You’ll have to ask Helen Kelly.” CTU president Helen Kelly didn’t have the courtesy to reply. Instead, the next email in my box was an urgent notice from the CTU organiser, asking me to support a union picket downtown. I wonder if he sent the same appeal to his National and ACT guests.
That small incident is a reminder that political action takes place outside parliament as well as inside. The Workers Party think struggle outside parliament is more important, but we see elections as a chance to fight for our ideas.
OK, I want to tell you what we stand for and how we’re trying to go about it.