– You say we should have organic dairying, and grow and process hemp, and tax the tourist and invite refugees and have horticulture and our own food supply and our own energy supply; but you have to have people wanting to farm organically, or grow hemp. You have to have people wanting to produce local food and people wanting to buy it. At the moment, the neo-liberal option is simpler, gives the easiest bang for the buck, has a vast propaganda machine behind it.

-So, you just go along with the crisis, the boom/bust of extraction. If the price of coal goes up, dependent of course on China, the Indians take over Bathurst and have control of our coal. They dig it up 24/7, there’s some well-paid short term jobs for a while, then the bust. That’s it?

-You have to work with the community. What do they want? Achieve some local things. Give them pride.

-Win a Trustpower Award?

-What else do you do?

-There’s no alternative?

-Doesn’t seem like it.

Pause

-This is why we need the party, so that left activity is not just resistant protest but is preparing a new economy, a solidarity economy, is prefigurative, revealing what we are heading toward, making it clearer.

-A General Union of —- whatever you want to call it?

-So there is clarity. Otherwise we are in for it. A third of the world’s farmland is stuffed. Proper farming sequesters carbon, is part of the solution to climate change. We need equality, fair trade, co-operatives to change the relations of the workplace, Universal Basic Income, Financial Transaction Tax, stopping the tax dodging multinationals, on it goes. Plus the specific regional issues. But an agreed ideology and tactics, the party as one thinker among others, taking that thought into the unions, into the community organisation, into local politics, voicing that which has to be done.

-And the problems of parties: power relations, squabbles, factions, secrecy…

-Have to be faced. Otherwise we are left with charity and Trustpower Awards.

-Unions?

-Embedded in contractual relations with capital.

-Embedded?

Pause

-The white bait are threatened with extinction.

-Another canary in the mine.

-Lots of them.

-A flock of canaries.

-There needs to be a ban on white baiting plus riparian planting of waterways. Urgently. Next week.

-Organisation… likely?

-Cuba would sort it tomorrow.

A long pause. One of the people having the conversation’s phone goes. He looks at it. Ignores it. Silence continues.

-Like Waiting for Godot?

They stare into the distance.

The lights fade.

Applause?

warmup-in-westport

Warming up before the show

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