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Saturday, August 04, 2007

How Socialist Extremists Took Over the New Zealand Labour Party Part 3

The Communist Party

Formed in 1921, the New Zealand Communist Party was formally affiliated to the Labour Party until its members were expelled in 1925.

The Communists then set about infiltrating Labour for the next 30 years. During the '30s,'40s and early '50s, it was a matter of course for rural Communist Party members to join the local Labour branch. During WW2, the Party infiltrated several key Labour branches in the main centres, sometimes even holding a majority on the committee.

Many Labour members were also active in Communist Party fronts, such as the Friends of the Soviet Union, until Labour finally banned the practice during the Cold War.

Several senior Labour Party figures began their careers in the Communist Party orbit.

Some of the better known include Onehunga MP Frank Rogers, Minister outside of Cabinet Eddie Isbey, Cabinet Minister Warren Freer, Attorney General Martyn Finlay, Minister of Maori Affairs Matt Rata and Ministers of Defence Frank O'Flynn and Bob Tizard.

To be fair though, National's Minister of Labour in the '60s, Tom Shand, was also allegedly a communist in his youth.

In the early '60s the Communist Party split into Soviet and Chinese factions.

The pro Soviet faction formed the Socialist Unity Party and concentrated it's strength in the trade union movement.

A much weakened but more fanatical Communist Party of New Zealand followed the Chinese line and gained strength in the student movement and the more violent factions of the anti Vietnam war campaign. The Communist Party of New Zealand also dominated in it's early stages the Progressive Youth Movement which actively recruited in the universities and was very visible in the Anti War and Anti-Apartheid movements.

In the early '70s the Communist Party of New Zealand lost some of it's senior cadres in Wellington and Auckland to a series of Maoist factions, one of which was led by Rona Bailey. The Communist Party of New Zealand virtually disintegrated after this and by 1980 had aligned with Stalinist Albania.

In 1994/5 the remnants of the Communist Party adopted Trotskyism and morhed into the organisation now known as Socialist Worker.

Part 2 Here Part 4 Here


Blogger mah29001 said...

I believe these "splits" between Communist parties, no matter where they are based are mostly a farce to confuse outsiders. Take for an example, the likes of the radical Students for a Democratic Party, for an example, the Revolutionary Communist Party USA and the Communist Party USA.

All had various "splits" between each of the parties, but whenever there are episodes of "U.S. imperialism" afoot such as the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, et al, the "factions" that "split" with the main party come together in a variety of front groups.

I think New Zealand speaks in a similar manner.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

I agree MAH.

While many are no doubt genuine on a grass roots level, they tend to follow patterns world wide.

Its also amazing how quickly long term splits heal when the time is right.

A lot of "former" pro-Soviet parties are now snuggling up to the Chinese for example.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting how the Labour party as targeted for infiltration.

Trev,were other political parties (National for instance) targeted in a similar fashion?


8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting how the Labour party as targeted for infiltration.

Trev,were other political parties (National for instance) targeted in a similar fashion?


8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting how the Labour party as targeted for infiltration.

Trev,were other political parties (National for instance) targeted in a similar fashion?


8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops, sorry for the multiple post, please delete the last two Trev!


8:15 AM  
Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Martyn Findlay attended the odd ACT Head office function - I know this because I was introduced to him by Priscilla Tate at one such function around early 1998. Does this mean the ACT party was infiltrated by communists?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Exocet-Labour was the main target because of its socialist leanings and ties to the communist strongholds in the unions and the "peace" movement.

However I do have my suspicions about a couple of former Nat cabinet ministers.

The Soviets have often targeted "conservatives", but tended to focus their efforts on their leftist brethren.

2:43 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Sssh. This also reminds me of the how the British and Israeli Labour Parties are collaborating in Communist front groups. The Israeli Labour Party in particular, even is supported by the Communist Party of Israel, whereas, the British Labour Party participates with the Communist Party of Britain through front groups along with having more openly left-leaning members also collaborate with the CPB.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Aaron-interesting about Finlay.

ACT has no shortage of ex-lefties in its ranks, including the odd ex-communist, such as the late Frank Knipe.

They're attracted by ACT's "social justice" ethos, idealism and our practical approach to helping the under-priviliged.

People change-even Soviet spy, Anthony Blunt ended his days as an avid Maggie Thatcher fan.

No doubt Finlay, was in 1998 a very different man than he was in 1942.

At that time he mingled with a very dodgy crowd, Sutch, Lewin, Milner and various CPers.

I'm glad he redeemed himself later in life.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Steve Nice Guy Northland said...

I'm sure that privately the late Martyn Finlay's wit and erudition would have had a feast over you guys. So he went to an ACT piss-up. Well, my recollections are that he always was something of a bon vivant.

Pretty crude Trev, suggesting that the man ended up in the ranks of the 2 per centers on the basis of that.

Still, I suppose it's a welcome change from your usual "profile" effort - George Rosenberg for example, the international property lawyer but still a commie sleeper apparently.

Ha ha ha !

10:04 PM  

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