WP-Labour Party debate, Friday June 3, Trades Hall, Hamilton

The office of Labour MP Sue Moroney has confirmed that she will be joining a debate on the moot ‘Should working people support Labour this election year?’ Jared Phillips of the Workers Party will be arguing ‘against’ from a far-left perspective and Sue will be arguing in favour.

The structure of the debate will be that each speaker will have 10 minutes to present, followed by 5 minutes each to respond to one another, followed by questions and contributions from the audience.

Sue Moroney is the 10th-ranked candidate on Labour’s party list for the upcoming election.

The Workers Party requested the debate which will be the opening item of its annual national conference from June 3-5 in Hamilton. The full schedule is viewable at https://workerspartynz.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/full-shedule-leaflet-image1.png

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Comments

  1. Don Franks says:

    Even after various damage inflicted on working people by the present government National and their leader continue to tower over Labour and their leader in the opinion polls.

    If voting choice in the general election is to be focussed on, why not get a National mp along and argue with him/ her that working people should not support that party in the coming election?

    • Jared Phillips says:

      Lol, what’s to say that if we debated National you guys wouldn’t use yr contortionist method to pretend we were playing a lesser-evilest role towards the LP.

      I am happy to reply in full to these comments after conference, which is one of my priorities at the moment.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Don Franks says:

    I’m neither contorting nor pretending Jared.
    I just posted a genuine and civil question.
    Perhaps someone else may answer it if you are too busy.

  3. Don Franks says:

    Seeing as you raise the expression Jared, yes, I do think it is “lesser evilest” to invite a capitalist mp to sit beside you and debate politics at your conference. It is an action in harmony with the old failed union office line that Labour may not be perfect but, unlike National, they can be appealed to and reasoned with.

    The politician you have invited along describes the New Zealand state as “a shining beacon of light in a World dimmed with hatred, suspicion and fear”.

    I doubt if even John Key would be quite so smugly effusive.

    • Jared Phillips says:

      It’s a debate ‘against’ them Don, not an endorsement or positive signal in regard to LP of any kind whatsoever. Nor is it about reasoning with LP, it is opposition to LP in the cormat of a debate. Only a contortionist method could be employed to pretend We are trying to reason with Labour.

      In my last comment I was implying that if we debated national, AA you earlier comment posed, you would no doubt come at us for being lesser-evilest in the sense of trying to put criticism on National but not Labour.

      Anyway, I havn’t touched on why our branch, as conference hosts/organizers made a strategic decision to approach LP for a debate. It’s not something I would’ve recommended for a conference in wellington/Auckland\christchurch. And I’m not prepared to fully answer your comments till after conference due to prioritising.

      But if you wish to continue yr comments knowing you are uninformed of reasons for this strategic decision that’s up to you.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Jared Phillips says:

      ‘the labour politician we invited’ and her description of NZ – this is immaterial, we invited 4-5, including Andrew Little

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. Don Franks says:

    Irrespective of any yet to be revealed strategic decision you still havn’t answered my original simple question.

    Why debate with the back stabbers when the front stabbers command far more public support?

    Why invite paid capitalist agents to a revolutionary hui?

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to differ on the merits of this new WP policy.

    • Jared Phillips says:

      Here is the quick version: i believe there are no rank and file worker militants in Hamilton for us to identify with who have illusions or are shedding illusions in the national party. Not so with Labour. We are trying to strategize around advanced workers not Joe blow voter.

      In fact while wanting to put something more skilled, that will be my final comment on why not debate national or why debate an mp of a capitalist party. Strategy is determined by what we think needs to be done to help build a combat propaganda organization, and that may have local variations.

      Ofcourse you yourself are automatically excused from any tactical/strategic questions whatsoever because you are not trying to build that type of organisation. And that’s fine, but please don’t try and pretend we are ‘appealing’ to people we are debating against and so on and so forth.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Don, Daphna debated with Peter Conway at a previous conference. Here we are debating reform or revolution with a senior member of the Labour Party. By hosting him we didn’t by extension legitimize his views or perspectives. Should we by using your logic have invited Phil O’Reilly, as he is much more important and influential than Peter Conway.
      The questions amongst the advanced that we are in contact with in Hamilton is “reform or revolution”.
      Your argument seems to be that we just talk amongst ourselves. One of the best ways in which people learn is from seeing polarized views on a political question or a range of political questions. There is nothing different here.

      //Why debate with the back stabbers when the front stabbers command far more public support?

      Why invite paid capitalist agents to a revolutionary hui?//

      Because the capitalist agents put their arguments forward much more authentically than just having Jared get up and sermonise on the evils of the Labour Party.
      The Nats don’t cast any illusions about their relation to the working class in any progressive sense. Labour does. That is the reason we have the ‘Truth About Labour’ pamphlet, there’s no need for a ‘Truth About National’ pamphlet because that is already apparent.
      If you are arguing that there is in fact no difference at all between the two parties then you are not going to get far in engaging with workers. Because on the surface there are differences. That’s where the Marxist analysis comes in so importantly in getting below the surface similarities. Yes Labour and the Nats are capitalist parties. But they engage and operate in different ways and have different styles in which they present themselves.

  5. “I guess we’ll just have to agree to differ on the merits of this new WP policy.”

    New policy? Debating a party the organisation has always disagreed with? We have hosted capitalist politicians before in this vein, for example in the 2008 election campaign. It’s a tactic, not a policy.

    • Philip Ferguson says:

      Ian wrote:
      “It’s a tactic, not a policy.”

      The problem with this Ian is that tactics are subordinate to principles.

      One of the big thngs wrong with the NZ far left is that, even where particular groups have a theoretical view which is right, they set that aside when they come to do stuff. A good example is having the theoretical understanding that NZ is imperialist and then getting involved in nationalist economic stuff, SW being the classic case.

      The new WP is slipping – well, more like rollercoasting – into the same methodology. That’s why Grant Brookes finds the Spark list a breath of fresh air.

      You are now part of the same swamp left as SW and the arguments made here by you, Jared and Joel make this thoroughly obvious. Jared can pretenbd all he likes that you folks are building a revolutionary activist and propaganda group, but this is a fantasy. You’re building a small sect-cult that is increasingly less and less different from the rest of the swamp left.

      In fact, it now seems rather pointless for you folks to maintain separate groups. To be consistent, WP and SA and SW should all be working towards a merger. I genuinely wish you well with that.

      Phil

      • Jared Phillips says:

        I agree it would be fantastic to describe Wp in it’s current state as combat propaganda group. However increasingly we see that formation as our objective and endorsed that in January.

        However, if i was in a fantasy land ut would be no less fantastic than yr previous assertions when you were a leading member that we were better and more-developed than this or that group when we clearly weren’t.

        I reject your cult assertions, and believe they are designed coz that’s what can produce the most chill factor.

        Speaking of cpgb the other day, I would hope you don’t feel you have to define yourself against us constantly in the manner of cpgb to swp.

        Well anyway, this cultist is looking forward to a good weekend of exchange, debate and learning from a good variety of sources and experiences.

        Sent from my iPhone

  6. Don Franks says:

    Joel I will take up some of your other points after I’ve finished work, but for now make one correction.
    Peter Conway is a leading trade union official. He’s a member of the Labour party, not a “senior member” in the manner of a careerist like Little or an operator like Tolich.
    I have numerous profound political disagreements with Peter Conway but I respect him as a consistently hardworking and principled union functionary. There is a significant difference between his role and that of a full time paid apologist for the Labour party.

    • Jared Phillips says:

      This year the CTU has announced that it has been neutral in recent general elections (which is obvIuoslu not true) but that this tear they will be all-out for LP.

      All the more reason to hold this debate.

      Sent from my iPhone

  7. Don Franks says:

    Don: Why invite paid capitalist agents to a revolutionary hui?//

    Joel: Because the capitalist agents put their arguments forward much more authentically than just having Jared get up and sermonise on the evils of the Labour Party.

    Don: Quite likely. ( Interesting to read your alternative to inviting Labour) .
    But why provide the bastards a platform for their arguments?
    Why deliberately set the socialist political agenda for workers self liberation inside the narrow confines of parliamentary politics?

    Joel:The Nats don’t cast any illusions about their relation to the working class in any progressive sense. Labour does.

    Really? Think about it. When did Labour last make any clear or definite statement about or on behalf of the working class?
    Who sent NZ troops to Afghanistan? Who invented GST? Who presided over the terror raids of October 15th?
    Labour don’t raise any progressive vision for the working class, they manouver and manipulate to lower workers expectations. From a working class point of view Labour are cynical overfed jumped up shitbags not worth the time of day let along precious time and space at a serious political conference.

  8. Don Franks says:

    ” We have hosted capitalist politicians before in this vein, for example in the 2008 election campaign. It’s a tactic, not a policy.”

    Yes Ian, we did host capitalist politicians in that election, in Wellington at a meeting in Joel’s flat. I objected strenuously to that idea and was out voted.
    From that meeting we got no recruits or contacts or any advance for our side.

    We can and should learn from such events. Like not to be mezermarizzed by capitalist elections and buy into them as a polite compliant junior partner.

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