We must realize that the labor movement has a widespread problem. With policy, mission and our representatives.
“Freedom for the Left” is the Norwegian title of the book by legendary German Chancellor, Social Democrat, and friend of Norway, Willy Brandt. I, like many social democrats, need to be inspired by the message of this title. The most important mission of social democracy is that our societal solutions create freedom for people.
The first thing we should do after this election is to say that there is a crisis for the Labor Party. For the first time in nearly 100 years, we are no longer the largest party in the country. Municipalities and provinces that were considered impenetrable red strongholds would soon be ruled by various bourgeois coalitions.
It’s serious now.
Welfare will be commercialized as the rich will get richer on our tax dollars, common school privatization will be attempted and differences will increase because of this election. Society will change towards a vision that is in direct conflict with the values of social democracy. It’s a crisis.
It’s serious now. Most people in Norway will live under a right-wing municipal council and county council. If we do not turn the tables, the holy trinity of municipalities, provinces and state will be simultaneously ruled by the bourgeoisie. It will make way for a policy capable of destroying the Nordic model with minor differences, a strong trade union movement and a high level of trust between us.
Freedom from poverty, freedom from uncertainty, and freedom from the negative consequences of market forces are essential to our voters and our party members.
Where are the new wise solutions to the housing crisis that people can believe in?
It is crucial that we make the assessment in an organized manner, because none of us alone can now easily point to the single reason why things are going so badly for the eagle in Norwegian politics. This assessment cannot be used as an opportunity to ride the fads of various people in the movement who will point out individual issues that concern them.
However, I would like to highlight some things that I believe we should be able to understand, so that we can then make a change.
1. When we are no longer the biggest party in the country, young voters look to the FRP and the Tories, and many of our core voters are dying of old age, we must recognize that the labor movement has a widespread problem. With policy, mission and our representatives. We know there are big problems, but that’s not what they are. This must be taken into account in our evaluation. Before we find solutions.
2. Labor must become better at the role of political workshop that charts the way forward. Labor has been exceptionally good at this for decade after decade. Let’s take an example here in Oslo. There is a housing shortage here and it is becoming an increasingly big problem. Prices are rising, apartments are getting smaller, rents are rising, and the influx of people into the city is increasing.
We need to create a better organized movement
The right-wing party’s solution for me to have the opportunity to own my own home is to build smaller houses in more places in Oslo. The solution proposed by the Labor Party is also to build more housing, but this is what we always intended. Where are the new wise solutions to the housing crisis that people can believe in?
Housing associations, whose social mission was to build off-market homes, today behave like any company that builds for those with better means. At a time when housing construction is at a disadvantage due to interest rate policy, we need society to take responsibility. When the market fails to build our homes, they must be built in other ways.
Where is our housing guarantee for all? The rental market is getting tougher, and you don’t have to look far to find renters living in apartments straight out of a Dickens novel. Why don’t we conduct an inspection to find these rogue actors and fine them for the way they take advantage of us tenants?
People can’t expect to get worse advice when the social democrats take power.
3. We must create a better organized movement. The left in politics has all the basic requirements for success in Norway. We have a major ruling party in the Labor Party, one of the strongest trade unions in the world and the co-operative socialist parties of both SV and Rödt. We even have our own thinking tanks. However, we are unable to create interaction between our organizations that play well with us so that our bloc is empowered to create a community that is aligned with our vision.
4. People should not become worse before our eyes. The left won 100 of the 169 seats in Parliament in 2021. The Labor Party formed the government again. People gave us this mandate because they wanted change in society. More redistribution, more security, a new future.
People can’t expect to get worse advice when the social democrats take power. But now the food lines are longer, fewer people are able to repay their loans, and the interest is already starting to take a toll on people’s finances. Our mission is to solve these challenges. None of us should be standing in food lines, struggling to pay bills, or having to enter the rental market at the same time as we become more billionaires. If society continues to develop in a bourgeois direction, why does one not vote for bourgeois parties?
Only then can we create freedom on the left again.
After these elections, I remain optimistic about the future. The generations of skilled young people in the party are on the rise, there is historically close cooperation between young people in the LO and youth parties on the left, and we have had many new elected representatives after the election who can promote Labour’s policies. .
Names like Stian Davies, future deputy county mayor in Vestland, Hoda Emad, county mayoral candidate in Akershus, Linn Ingo in Bergen city council, Line Homme in Mør and Romsdal district council, and Marta Hofsøy, deputy mayoral candidate in Tromsø for Labor and Kari. Nessa Nordton of the Labor Party in Stavanger, are just a few names from this election that give confidence in the future.
“Comrades, we are not sad. We are organizing,” Swedish Prime Minister and unionist Stefan Löfven said after the Social Democrats ran a historically bad election in 2019.
We can achieve this in Norway too, but then we need the Labor Party to realize that there is a crisis and we must act accordingly. Only then can we create freedom on the left again.
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