Matt McCarten’s commentaries have often had me tearing my hair out. I’ve known Matt longer than most, and I know he and I share the same views on many things, especially when it comes to low-income workers and the poor. Where we differ is how change can be achieved politically and that comes across in his criticism of Labour. I’m sure he’s aware that the right-wing repeat his every word when he criticises Labour, but I bet they don’t reproduce his NZ Herald column today.
Matt, like the other union delegates at the packed CTU Conference on Friday sat up and took notice when Phil Goff spoke.
Phil nailed it. He nailed the feelings of worker representatives who have seen the cost of living increase, tax cuts for the rich and nothing for them and their families. He spoke to their concerns about their workmates and families operating under National’s changes to employment law. He spelled out our agenda for real change, of which there is more to come. He sent a message to the mining families on the West Coast saying Labour’s not going to muck around with mine safety. We’re going to do what’s needed.
He showed there is fire in the belly in the Labour leadership and the Labour Party. He showed passion, empathy and warmth.
It was a good reminder not to get distracted by silly made-up stories about Labour’s leadership, and pollsters that can’t get to working people. One delegate said his union had just finished stopwork meetings of 4,000 workers around the country and of these, only 4 had been polled in the last year.
The polls that matter can be found in the stories and conversations on the doorsteps and workplaces of South and West Auckland, in Otara, Manurewa, Manukau East, Mangere and Ranui.
The polls that matter are the 350,000 workers and their families represented at the CTU conference on Friday.