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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Fisking Russel Norman

After confirming that he was once a member of an Australian Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Party, I sent Green Party official, Russel Norman some further questions. Below are the questions, Russel Norman's replies and my comments.

Trev. “Can you please confirm if you held any official positions in the
SWP/DSP, or any of its auxiliary organisations ie Resistance,
Environmental Youth Alliance, CISLAC etc?”

I held a few voluntary positions. Never made the chief kahuna I’m afraid.

New Zeal. Too vague Russel. Were you involved in the EYA? Did you hold any chairmanships or other senior position in the SWP/Resistance/DSP etc at local, state or national level?

Trev “Did you ever travel to any socialist bloc countries, including Cuba or
Nicaragua during your time with the SWP/DSP?”

No, never have. Is it ok with you if I travel to Nicaragua now that the Sandinistas lost the democratic elections that they organised?

New Zeal Thanks for that.

Trev: “Did you ever belong to any other political party ie Australian Greens, Labor Party, Nuclear Disarmament Party, while you were affiliated to the SWP/DSP?”

Nope.

New Zeal Your problem here is Russel, that you belonged to a party that was well known for its infiltration of other political parties. You were too young to be involved in the SWP's en masse infiltration of the Nuclear Disarmament Party, but were any of your comrades involved in the ALP while you were in the SWP/DSP? Unfortunately for you, anyone who belongs to a Marxist-Leninist party, that practices infiltration (entryism) then moves into another leftist party, while still writing for the Marxist-Leninist press, must expect to live under a cloud of suspicion.

Trev - “In which year did you formally resign your membership of the DSP?”

Slightly vague on that one I’m afraid - very early nineties - maybe ‘91?

New Zeal Not crediblble Russel. I would have thought that joining a Marxist-Leninist party is a big deal for a young socialist. I suspect leaving it would also be a significant event. To me, this is like saying that Jonah Lomu doesn't remember which year he last played for the Allblacks. I bet he remembers the day, the hour and the weather at the ground. Care to be more specific Russel?

Trev - “Were you, before 2005, aware of Keith Locke’s and Jeanette Fitzsimon’s involvement with the DSP?”

I’m still not aware of it. Speaking to a conference of the Green left magazine (which is what i think Jeanette is being accused of) is hardly invovlement. Sorry I don’t read your blog otherwise I may be more aware of the ins and outs of it. I guess you mean Keith’s connections witht he left in the 1970s…

New Zeal This your weakest reply so far. You were writing for Green Left Weekly from at the latest 1994, till 1999. Keith Locke's ongoing links to the DSP were well covered during that period. Janette Fitzsimons attended a conference,in 1994, where the vast majority of the 800 attendees were Marxist-Leninists. She spoke on the same platform with open M-Ls. She endorsed GreenLeft Weekly as a valuable to tool for promoting socialism. You were not aware of any of this Russel? Care to do a take two on that one?

Trev- “If you had sincerely renounced Marxism-Leninism, why were you still contributing to a Marxist-Leninist newspaper (GreenLeft Weekly) as late
as 1999?”

GreenLeft has a range of writers. John Pilger is no Marxist Leninist. And nor am I. I would happily contribute an article to the Nat Business Review but that doesn’t mean I subscribe to their politics does it?

New Zeal Again highly unsatisfactory. John Pilger is, in my opinion, what they used to call, a "fellow traveller". His writing for Green Left and your opinion of him, heightens my concerns, rather than alleviates them. Not a Marxist-Leninist Russel? How far left are you? Are the reports of your friendship with Barry Gribben and Laila Harre true?

Trev - “In what year and in what circumstances, did you last have any formal or informal contact with the DSP, its auxiliary organisations or senior personnel? ”

You know you really should get out more. There is no global communist conspiracy. I haven’t had contact with them since I left - except I guess when I emailed the articles to GreenLeft in 1996 and 1999. Nothing personal. There were some really nice people there but I’ve been doing other things.

New Zeal I have to take your word for this. However, the fact that you considered it OK to write for a Marxist-Leninist paper, while active in the NZ Green Party, tells me something about your philosophical outlook and your judgement.

I look forward to you clarifying the outstanding points.

14 Comments:

Blogger Asher said...

Still waiting for you to answer Russel's questions to you about your links to the fascist ZAP'ers Trev!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Trevor,

Russel seems to have addressed your questions (leading you to ask a few follow-ups), but since you opened this Pandora's box, I think it's only fair to try to answer his.

Cheers,
Matt

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he's done enough Trev. Why don't you answer the questions about your links to the fascists and the nutso New Zeal mag?

Where are the answers Trev?

Have you ever been a member of, or associated with, ZAP - Zenith Applied Philosophy? What was your involvement?

Were you aware of the association between ZAP and the fascist Nationalist Workers Party?

When did you last have contact with the people associated with ZAP?

Do you think that fascism had something postive to offer the world?

Do you believe that the holocaust happened?

Is your blog “New Zeal” named after the magazine of the same name published in the late 1980s by the Campaign for a Soviet Free New Zealand? What was your invovlement in the New Zeal magazine?

Did you agree with the New Zeal editorial of April 1989 connecting Ron Trotter, the Todds and the Business Roundtable with pro-Soviet and pro-Stalinist activities such as leading business delegations to the USSR, and having other business connections such as selling “Stalinist oil”? Do you still think that the Business Roundtable is a communist front group?

Did you agree with the July 1989 edition of New Zeal when it accused the Young Nats of being “Marxianised” because they were addressed by a member of NZ Planning Council?

Do you still believe that being a member of the NZ Planning Council makes one a Marxist, and if so does that mean that Don Brash is a closet marxist because he was a member of the Planning Council?

If Ron Trotter, Don Brash, the Todds and the Business Roundtable are all part of the communist conspiracy, then what the hell planet are you on?

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

It would be interesting to hear your responses to those questions Trev, since you seem to go into the pasts of lots of people but you don't talk much about your past.

I'd be interested to know more.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Zenith Applied Philosophy?

2:10 PM  
Blogger Asher said...

Zenith Applied Philosophy, or ZAP, is a wacky fascist cult that existed in Christchurch in the 80's and 90's (May or may not still exist today, I'm not sure).

For a time, they were involved with a fascist political party called the Nationalist Workers Party, that was led by prominent Nazi Kerry Bolton (See the following 3 URL's for more on Bolton: http://www.fightdemback.org/2004/12/02/kerry-bolton/
http://www.fightdemback.org/2005/05/07/nf-no-nazis/
http://www.fightdemback.org/2005/05/24/bolton-ib-fielding/
).

Eventually, Bolton expelled ZAP from the NWP for being too nutty, even for him!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Rafe said...

How can you fucking dare to call someone an immoral, socially bankrupt person just because they worship a different ideal than you? Just because they don't tend to agree with "trevor-loudon's-so-bloody-great-and-all-the-goddam-commies-should-be-shot-so-that-my-public-profile-increases-and-i-get-payed-more-ism" doesn't mean that they are morally, philosophically and mentally inferior to you. However your speed at which to jump to this assumption does incidentally pass comment on your moral soundness. Try to understand that you aren't the only person who can understand the word 'politics' and that your interpretation of a perfect society is not the right one and that just because you realise that your brain can do some thinking at times doesn't mean you're special in any way. Frankly, you're moral trash. Grow up and leave the school playground.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow man, this is wicked investigative journalism! Its like your putting all the pieces together and we can all just SENSE the excitement as we get closer to outing the conspiracy. This blog's sort of got the "I'm getting closer and closer to the truth" feel of that film "The Pelican Brief". Or that other one JFK (except that we are on the goodies side this time, bloody commies should all have been shot I say).

Can't you just feel that guy Norman Russell (what a pinko name, Norman) trying to squeeze out of the questions, just WITHERING under the HEAT, the heat coming from your neck that is... Jeez he will wish he never tried hard to learn new ideas at university, he should have just stuck to what his parents told him (you know, the Maaries are bloody lazy, the Asians are stealing our jobs, and so on).

1:45 PM  
Blogger Rafe said...

and you're PROUD of that??

how can any of you call yourselves libertarians when you want to effectively eradicate and silence a political philosophy?

10:54 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Rafe, i think most good libertarians would like to eliminate socialism, just as most good doctors would like to eliminate cancer.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zenith Applied Philosophy were pretty noticeable in Christchurch in the 70s and 80s. I used to bus past the "centre of the universe" in Clyde road. The less government less taxes campaign met there. At one point there was an unfortunate death where a group of members were wearing wetsuits and spending many hour in a suana (possibly fasting as well). I don't know what it was about - except they needed to do this to get to the next level of some particularly weird ZAP course. Anyway one of them collapsed and and no one else was willing to assist for fear of failing the course, and the person died. That is how I recall it. This was written about at the time by one of the news papers of the day. Possible The Press, or Sunday Times.

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4:02 PM  

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