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all Matt's columns
Mon 14 Apr 08
Sunday April 13, 2008
By Matt McCarten
You can feel the political ground moving towards the Government. The Labour Party is having its election year party congress this weekend. Despite the party having a truly terrible start to the year, I think it has found its footing. It started in recent weeks when Helen Clark and Michael Cullen went on the offensive against John Key and landed real blows. Key and National wilted under Labour's attacks.
Mon 7 Apr 08
Winston Peters' blatant appeal to our inner racism has always set him apart from other politicians. Despite this, many have had a soft spot for him. On a personal level, he's extremely good company. He's so likeable even his enemies refer to him by his first name. For years he's said the most outrageous things but gets away with them because he flashes a dazzling smile.
Once, he was the popular choice to lead the National Party and become our first Maori Prime Minister. But his party colleagues dumped him, forcing him to set up NZ First.
Mon 31 Mar 08
A couple of weeks ago one of my colleagues received a call from a member of our union in a distressed state. She had started work at 4.30 that morning but was not given a break until nearly midday. She was exhausted.
With hundreds of others she works at Auckland Airport serving food and drinks. These workers are on their feet all day and are expected to be our country's ambassadors to visitors.
They are required to smile at all times and deliver constant, attentive service. They also have to take the flak for the exorbitant prices charged so that the beneficiaries of the airport monopoly can continue raking in the healthy profits, that they frequently skite about. But it seems business is so brisk there is no time for the workers to have any breaks.
Wed 26 Mar 08
Labour and National should stop squirming over Tibet and be straight with us. It's embarrassing having them wringing their hands telling us how "concerned" they are about the suppression and killing of Tibetan independence protesters by their Chinese occupiers.
Apparently, our leaders need to get more facts about what was happening before denouncing human rights atrocities. I presume they will get the information from the Chinese authorities, who also just happen to be the occupying force in Tibet.
They also have imprisoned the Tibet opposition, put armed soldiers on the streets, outlawed political activity and banned foreigners and international media from Tibet.
Mon 12 Nov 07
by Matt McCarten
Unite General Secretary
Our Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and our nation’s senior police officers breathlessly informed us this week that a terrorist cell and their secret training camp hidden in the Ureweras had been smashed.
Hundreds of police synchronised the storming of homes of Maori sovereignists, anarchist revolutionaries and environmental activists, arresting 18 so-called terrorists. Apparently, the police have been hiding out in the bushes, secretly photographing these individuals, some of whom were dressed up in military gear, shooting guns and even burning napalm.
Sat 2 Jun 07
by Matt McCarten
Unite General Secretary
The labour Party has got a big wake-up call from the electorate, with its poll support plummeting in recent weeks.
Despite the fact that Helen Clark and her Government have been good for the middle-class and the rich they have now deserted her for the resurgent National Party under John Key’s leadership. Over the past eight years, Labour has been at pains to show itself to be a credible manager of the economy under essentially free-market and pro-business policy.
The death of Folole Muliaga after a Mercury Energy contractor switched her power off has, in some ways, turned a potential disaster for the Government into an opportunity to reconnect to its support base.