DPF is very concerned that I might be giving David Shearer bad advice about Labour’s messaging. It’s important that Labour’s new leader only listens to serious people with Shearer’s best interests at heart – like DPF.
Anyway, I doubt Shearer pays attention to anything I say, but let me re-state my case for the record. I’m not against economic growth, per se – just the current configuration of our political economy in which the benefits of almost all that growth accrue to the already wealthy. As Idiot/Savant points out, that wasn’t the case during the last Labour government – but most of that rise in median living standards was due to re-distributive policies: increases in the minimum wage, higher taxes for high-income earners, Working for Families. Dividing the pie more evenly, in other words.
So why would a party that nominally represents ‘the workers’ – and especially lower income earners – want to move away from that legacy towards a focus on economic growth? We already have two parties that emphasise growth: National and ACT. And the benefits of that growth actually go towards the people who those parties represent. I simply don’t understand the purpose of a left-wing political party that also emphasises economic growth, when the benefits of that growth won’t go to the people that party claims to represent.