There are no jobs for you here

Recently, I’ve been looking closely at Grant Robertson’s ‘Labour in the community’ proposal. Grant says that as leader he would “employ regional organisers” to represent Labour in the community.

I contacted Grant through email, twitter and facebook, to ask for more details about the proposal. Maybe there is more detail available somewhere, but I can’t find it. Grant replied (though not directly to me) by writing on facebook:

Screenshot 2014-11-03 19.17.51

That’s some pretty tepid wording. Grant’s ‘Commitments to workers‘ uses similarly half-hearted and conditional language.

Grant says the programme will require fundraising. In other words, it is not guaranteed funding.

Grant says he is “confident” people will donate money. For arguments sake, let’s say donors are willing to fund it this year. What happens if they don’t donate enough to fund it next year? If that happens there will be a shortfall, and the party will have to choose to either divert funds to pay the organisers, or cut their pay/not pay them. Neither is very appealing.

Rough back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest this could easily cost over $100,000 per year if people are paid a living wage. Details are crucial for assessing this proposal. To be fair, Grant can’t really give hard details, because the leader can’t institute such policies alone. But then why campaign on it? It’s pretty cynical stuff really.

This looks less like ‘lack of details’ and more like ‘blatant weasel words and deliberately bad design’. This looks like Labour’s gender quota, which was meant to increase female representation to 40% in 2014, but lacked mechanisms for enforcement. Well, it’s 2014, and Labour’s caucus is not 40% women. This is not an accident. It was designed to appease the base and not force men to stand aside for women. At this stage, ‘Labour in the community’ looks similar. It’s not worth the tiny pledge cards it’s printed on.

Pending further information, I think the jury is in on ‘Labour in the community’: it aint happening. Sorry Labour members, it looks like they only want your vote. There are no jobs for you here.

Screenshot 2014-11-03 19.06.09


2 thoughts on “There are no jobs for you here

  1. […] the course of writing a couple of blogs about Grant Robertson (here and here), I’ve come across the image below on his […]

  2. […] right. In my opinion, the person that best meets this criterion is Grant Robertson, despite his dishonest pledges and his campaign’s glaring lack of […]

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