Join the Revolution

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Must watch movie- Spirit of '45 by Ken Loach

This insightful 2013 documentary about the birth of Britain’s welfare state, by left-wing moviemaker Ken Loach, is both uplifting and depressing at the same time. Inspirational in that Britain’s post-war Labour reforms were nothing short of revolutionary: visionary social democracy at its finest. Depressing because of how far our own Labour party has strayed from these ‘for the many, not the few’ principles.
In 1945 Britain’s returning troops were hailed as wartime heroes… yet they marched back from the horrors of battle to the horrors of working-class life. Lice-infested tenements, overcrowding, hunger, mass unemployment, disease, a bleak existence all round. Against this background, Labour leader Clement Attlee swept to a landslide victory in the 1945 elections on the promise of, among other welfare reforms, a free health service for all (the NHS); public ownership of the railways, mines and banks; and a massive social housing programme. Miners actually wept when they heard of Labour’s victory. To know that no longer was profit to come before health and safety (at the time a miner had an average life expectancy of 42) was like a beautiful miracle. As one ex-miner told The Guardian: “We owed trillions to the Americans at the end of the war, we had nothing, but we said ‘knickers to the debt’. We are going to put this country back on its feet.”
Think of it. Here was a country that was financially and physically devastated. Slum housing was rife, and many cities suffered severe bomb damage. And yet the government undertook a massive house building programme. The political will was there to do so. Tens of thousands of homes were thrown up speedily, to house the poor. Sure, many were prefabs and intended as temporary housing (even though some remain to this day) – but the point is that it was accepted that housing was a priority, no matter the financial difficulties. As was free access to health and education, regardless of a person’s income or social background. It was a given that ordinary people had to come first.
As we head towards another election, we need to bear this historic precedent in mind. Our own Labour Party’s response to people living in garages and cars and most working class people barely able to afford their rent, never mind their own home? Cut down on migration. Scapegoating migrants is pathetic – not to mention anti-working class - at best, dangerous at worst.
We’re told that solving the housing problem is complicated. So much energy goes into explaining why we can’t meet the need. Yes, it isn’t straightforward. We need to launch widespread apprenticeship schemes so we have the tradespeople, and to relax some of the red tape around building among other things. But it is possible. There are many models in Europe and Scandinavia of affordable, safe, medium density developments built of sustainable materials and that foster community interaction. But first and foremost we need the political will. What we need is a return to solid socialist principles, where the wealth of a nation is measured on how well we treat ordinary people, on how well the most vulnerable are cared for.

The Spirit of 45 is about precisely that. Download it. Watch it. Then put it on a USB and send it to Andrew Little.
Review by Maria SA.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This home is Occupied.

In Glen Innes, elderly Niki has been threatened with eviction from the home she has lived in for decades. Her state home has been sold to a redevelopment company that is trying to make megabucks by gentrifying her neighbourhood.

Niki is refusing to leave her home. And why should she leave? Why should she give into the government's plans to profit by tearing up her community, accepting a precarious new existence that could see her shifted out south?

The developers are going to obtain a possession order this Tuesday, the 24th of January. We need to stop them from evicting her, and this means protecting her house through a mass peaceful sit-in.

This is about saving Niki's home, but it's also about something much bigger. While our rents climb and climb and climb, state housing is being eaten away at. If we don't stand up to this, we will be dragged further towards this new reality where housing is not a right but an expensive, temporary privilege. This affects all of us.

If we stop her eviction, we will ignite hope across Glen Innes and the country that state housing tenants have a right to their homes, and that we can defend them together.

If you are reading this, I am asking you to come to 14 Taniwha Street at 9am on Tuesday. If you can't, come later on the day, or Monday, or whenever you can. We need you.

By Sam Vincent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is a community not a Monopoly board- Defend Niki from eviction.

The Nats may still be in power … but yesterday in Glen Innes it was the people who owned the streets. Hundreds of protestors waving banners with ‘Stop the Evictions’ and chanting ‘Stop the War on the Poor!!” marched through the suburb to protest the eviction notice served on Niki Rauti, who is being forced to leave her state home of over 30 years. Two marches, one coming from Tamaki Road and the other leaving from outside the library on Line Road, converged outside Niki’s Taniwha Street home to lend their support and express their anger at the dismantling of state housing under National. Unions, local residents and housing groups were among those united in opposition to the relocation plan.

Shouts of ‘shame!!!’ went upas Niki apologised for not being on the protest for fear they would ‘change the locks’ on her house in her absence.
Speakers emphasised this was just the beginning; some protestors remained to occupy the property, and a telephone contact list was established to summon support at short notice should any attempt be made to physically remove Niki from her home.

In October the Tamaki Regeneration Company (TRC) handed Niki a 90-day eviction notice to leave her two-bedroom home. The TRC, a housing development company jointly owned by the Government and Auckland Council, has targeted 2800 state houses to be replaced with new homes over the next 15 years. The government says the move will help ease the housing crisis, but the Tamaki Housing Group  argues that the land is being given to developers who are land banking on empty homes while homelessness increases. It says many of the new homes are being sold for over $800,000 and that house prices in the area have increased from $400,000 to $960,000 since the redevelopment began.

The whole scheme smacks of the social cleansing that is happening throughout Auckland, as rising house prices and spiralling rents edge working class families out of their communities to make way for the wealthy. It’s also symptomatic of an ever increasing social divide, in everything from wages to education. Just two days ago, Oxfam released research showing the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, with 90 per cent of the population owning less than half of the country's wealth. Meanwhile ordinary Kiwis – from the elderly and vulnerable like Niki to nurses, teachers and retail workers – are struggling to survive on benefits and low wages that are eaten up by rocketing rents.

The march may have been focused on No 14 Taniwha Street, but its importance goes far beyond the situation in Tamaki. It’s about working people, ordinary Kiwi families drawing a line in the sand and saying ‘enough’. The housing crisis won’t be solved by shifting people like Niki from ‘prime real estate’ and sowing insecurity and instability among established communities. What is needed is a massive state house building programme combined with a minimum wage that is a living wage. Unions Auckland Housing Committee Chair Joe Carolan commented after the march: "We need rent controls and decent, healthy affordable accommodation for workers. The main way we can control rents is to flood the market with 100,000 new state houses. We also need an empty house tax of $3,000 a week, to force the owners of Auckland's 33,000 ghost houses to immediately help shelter our people living in cars, garages or the streets."

A sign outside Niki’s home reading ‘This is a community not a Monopoly board’ really summed up what 2017 is shaping up to be about:. People before profit.
Bring it on.

Maria Hoyle, Socialist Aotearoa 

"Her eviction will be theirs"- Defend Niki from the National Government

The social movement of 2017 hit the streets of Glen Innes in strength yesterday to defend Ioela Niki Rauti from eviction at the hands of the State. Activists from many campaign groups united pledging material and physical solidarity to stop the ethnic and social cleansing of working class Glen Innes, built on Maori land to provide "homes for heroes" after the suffering of two world wars and the Depression.

"Sometimes we need to put our bodies on the gears of the machine to stop injustice. There will be resistance to this eviction and solidarity with Ioela Niki Rauti. Her speech was the highlight of the Unite Union Conference before Christmas, and I was glad to see many of our activists and members supporting her yesterday. Other Unions like First Union and the Nurses joined the fight in numbers - it is time the CTU lent it's organisational support to end the Housing crisis this year." said Unions Auckland Housing Committee chair Joe Carolan.

"We need rent controls and decent, healthy affordable accommodation for workers. The main way we can control rents is to flood the market with 100,000 new state houses. We also need an empty house tax of $3,000 a week, to force the owners of Auckland's 33,000 ghost houses to immediately help shelter our people living in cars, garages or the streets."
"This government, and any other, can be beaten by the People Power we saw on Taniwha Street yesterday. We beat them on the TPPA, on Zero Hours contracts- this year is the year the Housing Crisis explodes for Bill English. The downfall of the National government has begun with our solidarity with Niki - her eviction will be theirs".

Joe Carolan is standing as a Socialist candidate for the Mt Albert by election, standing on a platform of rent controls, an empty house tax, and the building of 100,000 new healthy state homes. People Before Profit - #SocialistNZ

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Its Official. The "Mad Butchers'" gone Mad!

From working class roots in Wellington. He left school at 15 in 1959.His first job was a newspaper "boy" and then he scored an apprenticeship to become a "Butcher" in Seatoun.

He opened his first Butcher shop in the working class suburb of Mangere. He got his name from a guy in the local pub who called him “the fucking Mad butcher” and the legend was born.

How the fuck can someone with working-class roots turn into such a c%$t! (Pardoned me).
Well, I suppose it has taken him 72 years to get to this point and a few million dollars has probably helped?

This incident involving a young wahine out with her whanau on Waiheke island over the new year’s period seems to have captured attention on Social Media and LSM, with the exception of Mihi Forbes who broke this story on RNZ hours before LSM did last night.

Within a few short hours of the young woman’s Facebook post of a short video release. The Herald & TVNZ rushed to the “White Ole Rich Pricks” defense and gave him National coverage to tell his version of what happened! Oh! He says, “it was a misunderstanding. “She misinterpreted what I really meant?" Obviously? “It was just a bit of Banter?” Oh and the drinking shit too thrown in for good measure! WTF!
His PR spin doctors must have been a bit pissed too!

What part of "Waiheke is a white man's Island and she should not be there” is to be misunderstood or misinterpreted as anything other than institutionalised, indoctrinated white man’s racism?
To make things much worse and is concerning is the speed of LSM coming out in support of him and delivering his Lame-Arse excuse in National Media.

As a descendant of Paoa-Hura from Waiheke I’d like to correct the ole prick. It’s not a “white man’s island.” Much of Waiheke has been bought up by “Rich White Men” that part is true. For holiday homes and/or to make mega-bucks by speculating in the housing bubble.

I wonder if he would have said that to Serena Williams the other day when she had visited Waiheke island. You know, if they had bumped into each other? Probably not? He probably would have drooled all over her like a creepy uncle and welcomed her with an impromptu “White Man’s Haka!”

No excuses, no PR spin. He should be sanctioned severely by the Human Rights Commission, the public & national media. But, I won’t be holding my breath. His spin doctors will continue with the lame arse excuses. He’ll probably now, offer sponsorship of some kind to projects or a “Women’s” sports team or individual. Then the nation will put him back up on the mantelpiece of NZ hero’s?

He should lose his title of “Sir”? If not. From this point forward be known as “Sir Dickhead - of White Man’s Island” from the colony in the South Pacific, New Zealand, the Land of the Old White Prick!

Denny Thompson SA