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Nachspiel or new labor party?

Has the Labor Party played its role and is ripe for the scrap heap of history? Or will the national meeting on 19 – 22 April show that the Labor Party is adapting to a new time?


[new thinking] The establishment of the welfare state was the great success of the labor movement in the last century. Is the project thus completed? Ap is looking for a new project, in addition to reforming the public sector. A good start would be to ask: What is the role of the labor movement in a globalized world?

The workers who sew our clothes are no longer at Sunnmøre, but at Sumatra. Does it then become less important to fight for workers' rights along the production chains up to Norwegian shop windows? AP's National Meeting should take the washcloth test: All the delegates collectively fold up the blouse or blazer to check where the clothes are manufactured. Should consumers in front of the store shelves be responsible for workers' rights, or will CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, do the trick? The world economy has undergone a revolution in recent decades. The Stoltenberg government stands well planted with both boots in the marsh. Here are three specific challenges:

Global taxes should be embraced with fierce enthusiasm by a working party in a rich country in a globalized world. But no. Despite the fact that Norway has just led the archaeological group for global taxes, the government has done nothing but redefine an old tax on national flights. Why on earth does the government not accelerate the work on global taxes?

Stoltenberg has a lot to answer for as a global capitalist. On April 13, the first Stortings report on the oil fund was published. The money will now be invested in far more companies than before. So far, only one of approx. 3400 companies excluded due to employee abuse, namely Wal-Mart. Do 3399 out of 3400 large companies really have steel control over the terms up through the unclear global production chains? It is impossible to say anything about this, because this is not checked in advance of the investments, nor do the companies have to report on what they do to control their subsidiaries and subcontractors.

Among the 400 proposals for the National Assembly we find this: "Helping future WTO negotiations benefit the developing countries". This is a wonderfully unconstrained and non-binding wording, but it will be exciting to see how it is implemented. We have a little to go on: Commitment to developmet Index 2006 ranks Norway and Japan as the two worst countries on trade in promoting development in the South. Read more about this on page 40.

The AP will benefit from increasing the focus on global issues. This winter, the climate change came in the climate debate. Now comes spring and ethical clothing. A climate change is also underway in the debate on global justice.

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