Secret donations: the real concern

Winston Peters, leader of the xenophobic New Zealand First party – and, ironically, the Foreign Minister as well – has been caught accepting secret donations from various rich businessmen, in particular Owen Glenn, a New Zealand millionaire based in the tax haven microstate, Monaco.

Peters has been slithering around the issue, first denying it, then saying he “only just found out about it”, then claiming there is a “big difference” between NZ First getting secret donations and other parties getting secret donations.

In typical capitalist parliamentarian fashion, both Helen Clark and John Key have pulled their punches when it comes to denouncing Winston Peters, in the hope they’ll get his support in the next coalition government.

It is interesting to note that at the same time as they were backing the anti-democratic Electoral Finance Act, which stipulates that all donations and campaigning costs must be accounted for, they were accepting secret donations themselves!

The real concern should not be Winston Peters accepting secret donations without informing Parliament. The real concern is that not only New Zealand First but all parliamentarian political parties get most of their donations from big business and businessmen. These parties are not going to serve working class interests when most of their money comes from wealthy millionaires.

Workers are not only the majority class in New Zealand (and the world), but all of the money donated from big business is originally generated through workers’ labour power.

However, politics in a capitalist system can’t serve the majority of humanity’s interests, as political parties have no chance to get into a position of power without enough money to pay for all the costs associated with campaigning, advertising and general PR.

The only way they can get that money is by making sure their policies are friendly enough to capitalism and corporations, so that they can obtain money from them. Why would bosses give politicians money if they weren’t going to benefit from it?

Small-time donations are quite minimal in comparison to the massive amount gathered from business donations. This is why the notion of the capitalist parliamentary system being a democracy for all is a giant farce, as only the richest have any sort of say in how the country is run. The workers may vote the politicians in, but the actual decisions made are not the workers’ at all.

The Workers Party believes we need a new type of political system, based on workers’ control of the production and distribution of society’s wealth.

The Workers’ Party does not get donations from big business, because it is the only party that consistently stands for and represents working-class interests. So millionaires such as Owen Glenn have no interest in donating money to us!

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