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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Peter Hall-Jones Profiled

Raised in Invercargill, Peter Hall-Jones comes from a prominent leftish Southland family.

Young Peter was involved in radical politics at Otago University in the early '80s.

He was also a bit of a muso, playing for atime with well known punk/conceptual band, "The Axemen".

In the mid '80s Hall-Jones moved to Christchurch where he joined NZ's leading Marxist-Leninist organisation, the pro-Soviet, Socialist Unity Party.

By 1987 he was in Wellington, active in the Wellington Unemployed Workers Union and national treasurer of Sue Bradford's "Te Roopu Rawakore".

Hall-Jones was also serving on the SUP's Wellington regional executive and on the party's Unemployment Commission.

In early 1987 Hall-Jones visited Moscow to help organise the 1989 World Festivals of Youth and Students.

In 1987/88 Hall-Jones spent five months studying in Moscow with Wellington activist Roy Wilkie. The pair shared a room in Moscow, the rent of $5 per week being paid by Soviet government who also generously provided an allowance to pay for basic food stuffs.

In 1988 Hall-Jones moved back to Dunedin for awhile and was active with the local unemployed workers union.

In June that year he attended a World Federation of Democratic Youth meeting in Sydney along with on member of the SUP front NZ Council for World Peace and a member of NZ Labour (Socialist) Youth.

Most of late '88 was spent organising the nationwide unemployed march on Parliament. A joint SUP/Communist Party/Workers Communist league enterprise, the March brought people from Northland to Bluff to the grounds of Parliament in protest at high unemployment rates.

Hall-Jones was a member of the march organising committee. I remember standing in the crowd in the grounds of Parliament, talking to a fanatic from the Permanent Revolution Group, while Peter and Willie Wilson from the Communist Party did their best to whip the 5,000 strong crowd into a frenzy.

By 1989, Hall-Jones was back in Christchurch, studying political science (Japanese Capitalist Imperialism) at Canterbury, under probable Workers Communist League member, the late Rob Steven.

Much of his spare time was spent recruiting delegates for that year's communist youth festival in Pyongyang.

In february 1990, Hall-Jones moved back to Wellington, to work under Jackson Smith at the SUP controlled Wellington Drivers Union.

Later Hall-Jones began work as a communications officer for the Public Service Association.

Hall-Jones was involved with the young computer geeks of the Party's Wellington based "Gordon Watson" branch (named after a prominent NZ communist killed in Italy in WW2). He also became active inthe "progressive" computer network PlaNet, working in its national office for a time.

Sometime in the '90s the Gordon Watson Branch left the SUP and joined Bill Andersen's more militant Socialist Party of Aotearoa.

Hall-Jones seems to have remained in the SUP camp however.

I phoned Hall-Jones at the PSA in 2003 and asked him if he was sill in the SUP.

He replied that he had "been out of party 20, no 10 years" and didn't even know how to contact the SUP-despite working in the same office as several other "ex" party members.

To be fair, the SUP seems to have dissolved around 1999/2000. I believe however that former Party members are still networking in the Labour Party and in the PSA.
Certainly, the PSA's Partnership for Quality scam, seems to be a direct descendant of the SUP's "trade union "Compact" of the late '80s and its "Workplace reform" programme of the early '90s.

In 1998, Hall-Jones wrote a cryptic message on a thread on the BBC's Online Network Talking Point under the heading "is Socialism Dead? "

"Ideology is for idiots! Socialists, many of whom would not call themselves such, have stepped away from low level sloganeering and posturing and have started to negotiate real change at industry level."

This indicates to me that Peter may have been more "plugged in" to the SUP network than he was letting on.

In the last few years, Hall-Jones has worked as a communications officer for Public Service International in London. Coincidentally, PSI's assistant General secretary is another former SUP member and PSA official, Mike Waghorne.

Hall-Jones is a driving force in the New Unionism Network, launched in January this year.

The Network, claims that recent data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows that more unions are growing than shrinking.

"Manufacturing has moved en masse to less developed countries, and these are the very nations with the worst infrastructure for collecting statistics. So we are losing members on one hand, and not counting new ones on the other. What evidence we have found points to very strong union growth in these developing
countries, but almost all of it is off the radar
," said Peter Hall-Jones, a spokesman for the network.

It'll be interesting to see just where Peter Hall-Jones pops up next.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hall-Joneses aren't a traditionally Leftish family. More like liberal (in the non-ACT, American sense).

Peter is an aberration rather than a typical chip off the block.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Fair call anon.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what do you know of this mysterious "raz" character that used to be an associate of Hall Jones, Trev? Tell all.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Paul (Raz) Wratten.

Late '80s SUP member and unemployed activist.

89 spent 3 months in Soviet Union. Took in a communist youth festival in Finland on the way back.

91 coalition Against Benefit Cuts, Chch.

Latterly working in Dunedin.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once had a history teacher who told me that when politicians adopt a label they're usually the exact opposite of what they proclaim themselves to be. So when I see Mr Trevor "Bloody Communist Lada" Loudon calling himself a "libertarian" on the same page as he uses the Internet to ineptly play the part of a bumbling amateur spy, I can only tip my hat to my late teacher's perspicacity.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where you get your information from, but I've been following the curious footsteps of "Raz" for many years, and can tell you that his real name is Roger McAvity. He is currently living in Detroit, and has been for about eight years. He's involved with a neo-survivalist sect called the MC5 there. He left in 1998 after his cover in NZ was blown when his links to the Gemstone File were exposed. The Oamaru-based anarchist group "Ground Zero Peace" has written all about this in "Lager Than Life". Don't be fooled - this fellow was one of the most influential of the senior figures in the HFK. His unassuming manner is a mask for a rat-like cunning which was seldom seen among those early '70s PYK-nik folk.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's "the Gemstone File"???

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raz Tuffery came from Jamaica, along with I-Roy Wilkie, in the early 60s. For a while they were familiar figures in Kohukohu's reggae circles, where they recorded under the name "Little Maps of Africa". Unfortunately they became involved on the wrong side of the argument over Kotahitanga. "Paul" later described his drunken early morning flight to Rawene in a crate of arum lillies. Although still a regular correspondent for the Spark and Clarion, I-Roy Wilkie has not been seen since. There are hints in a recent local recording that he is searching to find a way back to Africa. These two colourful characters were perhaps the closest the communists ever came to a serious presence within Ngati Riri. Any updated information on Wilkie would be appreciated.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tickle me arse with a feather. I mean particularly nasty weather. I mean stick a feather up your bum.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gemstone File is a classic work of conspiracy faction (ie fact/fiction). It was authored by Stepahnie Caruana, then a reporter for Playgirl magazine, based on letters by mysterious and possibly fictitios figure known as Bruce Roberts. See

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be mistaken about Tuffery and Wilkie. They may have come across as likely lads, but there are plenty of people who'd testify that the reality was closer to the Kray twins.

12:51 AM  
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7:24 PM  

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