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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Councillors Queried on Chinese/Port Deal

Below is a copy of an email I have sent to every Cristchurch City councillor and Mayor, Garry Moore.

Dear Councillor ..........

Regarding the proposal to sell the Lyttelton Port Company to a subsidiary of Hutchison-Whampoa.

On page two of this morning's Press, Mayor, Garry Moore, dismissed accusations that Hutchison-Whampoa had ties to the Chinese government and the People's Liberation Army as "the work of conspiracy theorists".

He went on to state that the claims seemed to derive from the statements of one US Congresswoman, Dana Rohrabacher, made in 1999.

This is a very important issue for Christchuch and indeed, New Zealand. The Council needs to know all the facts before making a decision.

A quick Google search will show that Hutchison-Whampoa has longstanding and well documented ties to the Chinese Government and Army.

Here are a few links for your information. There a literally hundreds more available (pro and anti), a few mouse clicks away.

I also publish a blog, New Zeal, which is fairly widely read at 12-1500 hits per week. I have published several short articles on the subject, including this and this and will continue to do so as more information comes to hand.

I hope you will take the time to read the information and do some research yourself. I believe this issue has huge moral and strategic implications. I hope you share my concerns, but if you do not I would appreciate it if you would communicate to me your points of disagreement.

Regardless of your views I would like to know them

Yours Faithfully

Trevor Loudon

I will post any interesting replies.

Benson-Pope, Has He Hope?

Incredibly, the Labour PC crowd are still attempting to defend their terminally damaged colleague, David Benson-Pope.

David Farrar at KiwiBlog has a very good run down on today's events in Parliament regarding the latest allegations around the beleaguered Minister.

Meanwhile the very brilliant GenerationXY has been promoting a new movie on the subject.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Questions Asked on Hutchison-Whampoa Deal

Christchurch mayor, Garry Moore, was on Newstalk ZB today. When questioned by Mike Yardley, on the proposed sale of the Lyttelton Port Company, to a subsidiary of Hutchison-Whampoa, a company with ties to the Chinese Army, Moore was less than forthcoming. He referred questions on Hutchison-Whampoa's links to the PLA to the CEO of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, Bob Lineham.

A letter, by Sue Hunt appeared in the Christchurch Press today questioning the sale and Hutchison-Whampoa's ties to the Chinese government.

This deal may not be as straightforward as Garry Moore thinks.

Helen Clark's Other (Soon to be Gotten Rid Of) VERY BIG Problem

A male teacher physically and inventively punishing badly behaving teenage boys, is not a huge deal to many people.

A male teacher walking in on 14 year old girls in the shower room is.

Helen Clark will sack David Benson-Pope from Cabinet, unless he resigns first.

Was Rodney Hide right to raise questions about Benson-Pope's behavior? I think few would doubt it, following the latest revelations.

Helen Clark's VERY BIG Problem

From Richard Prebble's "The Letter"

There is now a website quoting Labour's own website "Labour is issuing a pledge card again this election…" If the Police read that, it blows away the claim that it was not an election expense. Clark's next problem, a select committee decides to hold a hearing and summons her to explain. Clark's sudden memory loss won't work in front of MPs.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Morales in China

After Cuba, Bolivia's new Socialist President, Evo Morales, made a visit to China in early January as part of a "grand tour" drumming up support for his new regime.

According to Prensa Latina, Morales met Chinese President, Hu Jintao in Beijing on January the 9th.

President-elect of Bolivia Evo Morales expressed Monday satisfaction in China, after holding talks with President Hu Jintao at the Great People´s Palace, with which he put an end to his China visit.

His visit to Beijing shortly after his election shows his friendship for China and his willingness to strengthen bilateral relations, said Hu for his part.

Morales thanked the Chinese head of state for the invitation and called China a political and ideological ally for his country.

According to diplomatic sources, the Bolivian president-elect´s visit opens new prospects of development and cooperation between the two countries in the political, economic and trade fields.
Morales also met with current State counselor Tang Jiaxuan and chief of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee´s International Department, Wang Jiarui.

Morales´ aide Carlos Villegas told journalists of the need to broaden and strengthen links between the two nations in investments, trade and bilateral cooperation.

According to CBS News

Bolivia's president elect invited energy-hungry China on Sunday to help develop his country's vast gas reserves after his government carries out plans to nationalize them.

Evo Morales' visit to China comes amid a campaign by Beijing to develop ties with nations throughout Latin America as new sources of fuel, raw materials and new markets for its export dynamo.

Morales... said he hoped to build ties between Bolivia's socialist movement and China's ruling Communist Party.

China, as part of its push for links to Latin America, has signed deals to develop Venezuelan oil fields, and its investments in the region include a Brazilian steel mill and copper mines in Chile and Peru.

For their part, Brazil, Argentina and other nations look to China as a source of investment and markets for their own exports. Beijing has become a regular stop for Latin American leaders traveling with large business delegations.

New Blog on the Roll

Rick Giles is watching over us from Melbourne with his new Blog NZB3 Rick is hardcore. No nambypamby trendy pinko stuff here.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Please Cry for Me, Venezuela

While Morales and Chavez swan about the globe visiting communist and Islamic "dignitaries" things ain't so hot for the poor people back home.

The Christian Science Monitor carried this piece on what life is like for the poor in Venezuela after nearly eight years of Chavez style socialism.

Hat Tip Clint Heine

Bolivia's Morales-First Stop Cuba

Bolivia's new Socialist President, Evo Morales has lost no time in visiting sympathetic foreign leaders. His first stop naturally was Cuba. From the US Communist Publication "Workers World".

"The New Year began with a development of the greatest importance for Latin America and for the class struggle: a visit by Evo Morales to revolutionary Cuba. It was the first trip abroad by the newly elected president of Bolivia. He went on New Year’s Eve, just as Cubans were preparing to celebrate the anniversary of their socialist revolution.

Morales is also expected to visit South Africa, China and Brazil. He is not planning to visit the United States.

Evo, as he is affectionately called by his supporters, will be inaugurated on Jan. 22.

Cuban President Fidel Castro said the election of Morales had “shaken the world.”

The Cuban government placed a lot of importance on Morales’s trip. A high-level delegation of Cubans took part in the meetings with the Bolivian president-elect. They included the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon; Carlos Lage, vice president of the Council of State; and Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque.

On the Bolivian side were 60 representatives, the largest delegation to accompany Morales abroad.

Presidents Castro and Morales immediately signed bilateral cooperation and solidarity agreements during the visit. The agreements, signed on Dec. 30, mainly cover health care, education and sports.

As a result of these agreements, Bolivians will now be receiving free eye care, with Cuba contributing equipment and specialists. Cuba is also offering 5,000 scholarships for Bolivians to become future doctors and specialists.

Cuba will assist in a national literacy campaign in Bolivia as well.

Evo Morales’s orientation to Cuba shows that the popular movements in Latin America are gaining strength and are veering away from Washington. They are anti-imperialist and for self-determination.

Like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Cuba now has a good friend in Evo Morales of Bolivia—a friend whose priority is the people’s needs, not imperialist greed.

This trip showed the unbreakable links between the peoples of Latin America and Cuba. Bolivia is the land where revolutionary leader Che Guevara, who was born in Argentina but fought in the Cuban Revolution, was killed by the CIA.

Morales stated in Cuba that his visit signified “one of two generations of struggle for dignity, a meeting of two revolutions. The struggle of the Cuban people and above all of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was not in vain. They left the seeds and now there are fruits, not just in Bolivia but throughout Latin America.”

Just Like the Good Old Days?

According to Jane's Intelligence Digest of 10.2.06, "Russia's FSB (the re-named KGB) "is preparing to launch a targeted crackdown against key critics of the Russian authorities in the aftermath of the recent British 'spying' scandal."

Jane's correspondent warns that there may be show trials ahead.

The FSB has also been pro-active in the wake of the British spying allegations.

It has posted, on its official website, an offer to any Russians currently working for foreign intelligence services. The FSB wants the "agents" to confess their crimes, but continue to work for the foreign service as "double agents"

They will be given immunity from prosecution, continue working for the FSB and be allowed to keep any money earned from the foreign service.

Who says the Russians don't understand incentives?

Republican Road to Ruin?

From Maxim Institute's "Real Issues"

"The significant rise in public spending by the United States government seems to suggest that the party supposedly in favour of limited government, the Republican Party, now believes that big government is good government; as long as they are the ones governing. Federal spending is up eight percent since 2005, and 33 percent since 2001. The government spends more today per household than it has since the end of World War Two."

Would a Democratic President get away with such fiscal irresponsibility?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Towards a New Communist International?

Excerpts from an article in the Communist Party of Australia's The Guardian 14 December, 2005

Communists move towards closer international co-operation

Rob Gowland

There is an increasing trend within the international Communist movement towards co- operation and cohesion. That was my conclusion following my attendance at this year's International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in Athens in November.

When I attended an earlier Athens Conference (as it is now customarily called) a few years ago, the CP of Canada made a modest proposal for some voluntary co-operation among parties that wished to be involved in formulating campaigns and relevant campaign materials.

Many parties shied away from the proposal amidst cries that it was an attempt to "create a new Communist International"! This year, there were open calls for exactly that.

The Conference is organised by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), and from the beginning the KKE's organising has been excellent. In earlier years the Conference was held at a university but is now held in the admirably equipped KKE headquarters building.

Seventy-three parties attended this year's Conference. Several others sent written contributions that will be included in the Conference documents.

Notable was the complete absence of the "doom and gloom" of the early '90s. There were still instances of right opportunism to be seen (as well as a relatively small amount of leftism) but one was most conscious of a prevalent confidence and optimism, a confidence in the correctness and viability of socialism.

In her opening address, Aleka Paparhiga, the General Secretary of the KKE, said: "To describe the current problems, to paint them in the blackest colours is not nearly enough to achieve the mass mobilisation of all the peoples on Earth...

Without abandoning the policy of revealing all the crimes that are being committed today, we must expand our discussion and common action to include the issue of the Communist alternative and the prospect of socialism...This does not mean in the least that we are abandoning action on urgent problems, especially when the people's standard of living keeps dropping, when war and state repression, poverty and hunger are growing...

Today's major problems cannot be eased; and even less can they be solved without a movement that disputes the capitalist system as a whole."

On the other hand, the threat to the environment was mentioned in the contributions of many parties, expressed in several cases as "the threat to life on Earth". The comment of the CP of the Peoples of Spain that "there can be no relationship between capitalism and the environment" was a popular sentiment.

Most delegates expressed themselves in favour of co-operation among Communist parties including joint actions. A number of them called for more co-ordination and exchange, but here there was some hesitancy. Some at least are clearly wary of possibly giving away control over their own activities.

Nevertheless, as the renamed Hungarian Workers' Party (now the Hungarian Communist Workers' Party) said: "Co-operation is essential if we are to combat capitalism."

To the visible distress of the delegate from the Tudeh Party of Iran, only about a third of delegates would sign the resolution on Iraq. The resolution, besides calling for the complete removal of all foreign troops from Iraq, expressed support for what the CPUSA described as the "courageous struggle of the Iraqi CP in a complex and dangerous situation".

However, the resolution also condemned terrorism and, despite support from the CPs of Syria, Jordan, Israel, Sudan, Egypt, Bahrain and the Working People's Party of Cyprus (AKEL), a lot of parties would not sign it on the grounds that "terrorism" was used by the bourgeoisie to include armed struggle (or even class struggle)".

Melbourne Expat Comments on Chinese Port Deal

Just got this from Rick Giles in Melbourne

"Christchurch City Council want to get down with this puppet of Chinese Totalitarianism (what business in China isn't a puppet?) to take over the Lyttelton Port Company. No objections on grounds of free trade but Hutchison Whampoa is more than just a trader so it raises the issue of strategic defense.

It's enough of an affront to libertarians that Garry Moore and the Christchurch City Council are using the taxation robbery game to fund business ventures, but that's not the only issue.

I think we should do the deal with the tiger but remain vigilant, only when someone does cross the line and endanger national security should we respond. Meantime- watch and have that response ready to roll.

But I'm not kidding about the vigilance stuff. Often the best and only time to kick somebody out is before they've ever gotten their foot in your door.

ps The tiger is an old tracing I did of a David Lowe cartoon. All artists are beggars and especially."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Socialist Attitudes Strangling Rugby League

I'm gutted!

My beloved NZ Warriors Rugby League team, faces being docked up to six competition points before the new NRL season begins after the NRL's latest salary cap scandal was uncovered on Tuesday.

This is an ongoing problem for the NRL. The Bulldogs were stripped of the minor premiership and fined over $NZ500,000 in 2002, for salary cap breaches.

This has got me thinking about the salary cap issue. The idea was introduced by the NRL supposedly to "spread the talent around" so that no one club can buy the best players and dominate the game.

This socialist thinking has had, as all socialist ideas do, some nasty unintended consequences.

The worst has been the fostering of dishonesty and corruption as clubs have come up with all sorts of dodgy schemes and shady deals to attract and retain key players.

Sport mirrors life and we all know that human beings have an innate drive to betterment that will subvert any artificial barrier placed in their way.

In a free society, the way to improving one's circumstances is through honest achievement. In a regulated society, or an overtaxed society, the route to betterment always involves at least minor dishonesty or corruption.

By putting an artificial barrier on player salaries, the NRL has guaranteed that a culture of corruption will arise and scandals will be inevitable. This will further tarnish the image of what is easily one of the best spectator sports in the world.

The NRL would be better to remove all salary caps and let the market work.

Some teams might dominate for a while, but half the fun of watching sport is seeing underdogs beat the big boys.

Has the status of Manchester United ever harmed soccer? Has the dominance of the world's best provincial Rugby team, the Canterbury Crusaders, damaged the Super 14 competition?

If Rugby League is ever to secure its future as a growing sport, it needs to dump the socialist, "give everyone a chance at winning" attitude.

Abolish the salary cap, let the market work and allow huge talent the opportunity to earn huge money.

Go the Warriors!

National Security Comes Before Free Trade

The state has one legitimate role and no other. That is the protection of its citizens from force or fraud by internal or external criminal elements.

If the state fulfils this role efficiently, the citizenry will be secure and able to trade their way to prosperity.

The state has no right to interfere with this trade, unless such trade conflicts with the state's ability to protect its citizen's from their enemies.

There is no doubt that free trade with China is economically beneficial to the people of both countries. There is no doubt that investment by Hutchison Whampoa in local port infrastructure would also be economically beneficial.

Why do I then, a free trader to the core, strongly oppose trade with China and particularly, Chinese ownership of our port infrastructure?

The answer is simple. Because economic benefit means nothing in the long term, if it comes at the cost of national security.

I'll be blunt. I regard China as an enemy nation. It has a large and growing military, huge economic wealth and is ruled by ideologues with a well known contempt for liberty and Western values.

I do not fear invasion by China (though I might if I lived in Taiwan). I fear that NZ is well on the way to "Finlandisation". This term refers to the fact that the old Soviet Union could not conquer Finland militarily, but turned that country into a compliant lap dog, through a combination of diplomatic and economic pressure and a process of organised internal subversion.

Hutchison Whampoa linked companies have been used for arms smuggling, money laundering and the channeling of funds to the US Democratic Party. The company is part owned by one of the most destructive and murderous regime ever to exist on this planet. It is directly linked to one of the most powerful armies in the world.

Are we naive enough to think we can outsmart this company, the Chinese government, their military and their very active intelligence services?

Lil ol NZ can just milk these suckers and send them packing when we see fit?

If this was 1937, would we allow a Nazi controlled company to take over some our most strategic infrastructure?

If we allow Hutchison Whampoa to gain a foothold in this country, we are opening a door that will be almost impossible to close.

My freedom is worth more than any amount of money. I hope others think the same way.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Li Ka-shing and the Chinese President

From the Chinese Communist Party's "People's Daily Online" 19/05/1999

President Jiang Zemin Meets Li Ka-shing

President Jiang Zemin met in Beijing on May 18 with Li Ka-shing, chairman of the Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd in Hong Kong.

President Jiang spoke highly of Li Ka-shing's support of economic construction, education, and charity in inland areas.

Jiang also praised his contribution to the economic and social development of Hong Kong, and said he hopes Li will continue to contribute to Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.

Liao Hui, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office under the State Council, was present during the meeting.

Security Implications of Port Sale Questioned

From Parliament yesterday

Overseas Investment Commission—Strategic Infrastructure

11. PETER BROWN (Deputy Leader—NZ First) to the Minister of Finance: Is he satisfied that the Overseas Investment Commission considers and protects New Zealand’s national interest when deciding on the fate of sales of strategic infrastructure, such as the port of Lyttelton?

Hon TREVOR MALLARD (Minister for Economic Development), on behalf of the Minister of Finance: Yes, under new overseas investment legislation that came into effect last year, criteria to assess a benefit to New Zealand was made more comprehensive to ensure that the value of sensitive New Zealand assets are recognised and enhanced by an overseas owner.

Peter Brown: Is the Minister aware that all our ports have had their security beefed up, principally at the behest of the Americans, and is he also aware that in the USA, I think six ports are up for sale, and the Americans are endeavouring to ban them, principally for security reasons, and if he is aware of that does he not think he should take a closer look at the sale of the port of Lyttelton?

Hon TREVOR MALLARD: There are no specific criteria in the Act relating to national security. However, the general law, for example biosecurity and customs legislation, applies to the port regardless of the nationality of the owner. If the member has specific concerns about this issue he could take it up with the Minister of Finance. If he has matters that go to international affairs he might like to talk to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What is Hutchison Whampoa?

According to Hutchison-Whampoa's web site: "The World of Hutchison Port Holdings covers a broad spectrum of port operations and related service companies spanning the entire globe. With operations and services ranging from container ports, mid-stream operations and river trade to cruise terminals, warehousing, haulage and e-commerce companies, HPH has become a key provider of comprehensive logistics services for the global supply chain.”

According to journalist, Phil Brennan, writing in June 2001

A huge, multibillion-dollar company closely tied to the Chinese army has set up operations in ports all around the world. From Panama to the Philippines, an arm of Hutchison-Whampoa, Hutchison Port Holding (HPH), has become the world’s largest seaport operator, embedding itself in strategic seaports all across the globe.

Hutchison holds the exclusive contract to operate the Panama Canal.

An animated map on the Hutchison-Whampoa Web site shows the extent of the encircling movement with seaport operations in Africa (Tanzania International Terminal Services Ltd.) in the Western Hemisphere with seaport services in Beunos Aires, Argentina; Freeport, the Bahamas; Veracruz, Mexico; and at both ends of the Panama Canal.

HPH’s latest acquisition, announced last month, involved eight Philippine ports. New ports in Mexico, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Tanzania and Thailand make Hutchision-Whampoa the world’s largest private port operator with 23 cargo berths, bringing its worldwide total of ports to a staggering 136.

Other ports include Jakarta, Indonesia; Karachi, Pakistan; India (where the company runs the cellular phone services); Burma; China; and Malaysia. There are port operations in Britain at Harwich, Felixstowe (Britain’s largest port), and Thamesport, and in the Netherlands at Rotterdam. The last acquisition has caused alarm at the European Commission."

That all just sounds like hugely successful capitalist enterprise, but what are these alleged ties to the People's Liberation Army?

According to a 1999 investigative report by the American Foreign Policy Council, "Hutchison Whampoa, through its Hutchison International Terminals [HIT] subsidiary or Panama Ports Company, has substantial links to the Chinese communist government and the People's Liberation Army."

"The Panama Ports Company is 10 percent owned by China Resources Enterprise [CRE], which is the commercial arm of China's Ministry of Trade and Economic Co-operation. In its investigation into China's attempts to influence the 1996 U.S. presidential campaign, the U.S. Senate Government Affairs Committee identified CRE as a conduit for ‘espionage - economic, political and military - for China.’

Committee Chairman Senator Fred Thompson said that CRE has ‘geopolitical purposes. Kind of like a smiling tiger; it might look friendly, but it's very dangerous.’”

The company is headed by a Li Ka-Shing, the chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. Intelligence sources say he has deep connections with the Chinese Communist government.

"Li has invested more than a billion dollars in China and owns most of the dock space in Hong Kong. In an exclusive deal with the People's Republic of China's communist government, Li has the right of first refusal over all PRC ports south of the Yangtze river, which involves a close working relationship with the Chinese military and businesses controlled by the People's Liberation Army,” the AFP report stated.

"Li has served as a middle man for PLA business dealings with the West. For example, Li financed several satellite deals between the U.S. Hughes Corporation and China Hong Kong Satellite [CHINASAT], a company owned by the People's Liberation Army. In 1997 Li Ka-Shing and the Chinese Navy nearly obtained four huge roll-on/roll-off container ships, which can be used for transporting military cargo, in a deal that would have been financed by U.S. taxpayers.”

According to the Thompson Committee, Hutchison Whampoa's subsidiary, HIT, has "business ventures with the China Ocean Shipping Company(COSCO) which is owned by the People's Liberation Army.”

COSCO, which failed in a President Clinton-backed attempt to lease the former U.S. Naval base in Long Beach, California, has been criticized for shipping Chinese missiles, missile components, jet fighters and other weapons technologies to nations such as Libya, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, the AFP report revealed.

"In 1996, the U.S. Customs Service seized a shipment of 2,000 automatic weapons aboard a COSCO ship at the port of Oakland, California. The man identified as the arms dealer, Wang Jun, is the head of China's Polytechnologies Company, the international outlet for Chinese weapons sales. Jun also sits on the Board of CITIC, China International Trust and Investment Corporation, the chief investment arm of the Chinese central government. It is also the bank of the People's Liberation Army, providing financing for Chinese Army weapons sales and for the purchase of Western technology.”

Li is also a board member of CITIC. U.S. intelligence sources have described the company as a front for China's governmental State Council.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., has stated that CITIC has been used as a front company by China's military to acquire technology for weapons development.

A report by’s Christopher Ruddy and Stephan Archer noted that a declassified report by the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Intelligence Center, prepared in October 1999 and obtained by the government watchdog Judicial Watch, said that "Hutchison Whampoa's owner, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing, has extensive business ties in Beijing and has compelling financial reasons to maintain a good relationship with China's leadership."

The military intelligence report also warns that "Hutchison containerized shipping facilities in the Panama Canal, as well as the Bahamas, could provide a conduit for illegal shipments of technology or prohibited items from the West to the PRC, or facilitate the movement of arms and other prohibited items into the Americas."

A June 1997 Rand report, "Chinese Military Commerce and U.S. National Security," stated, "Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, is also negotiating for PLA wireless system contracts, which would build upon his equity interest in Poly-owned Yangpu Land Development Company, which is building infrastructure on China's Hainan Island."

In 1998, Li Ka-shing attempted to issue $2 billion in bonds, through his Hutchison company, in the United States. According to the Dow Jones Newswire, Hutchison revealed that 50 percent of the bonds would be used through a subsidiary known as Chung Kiu Communications Ltd., which had signed agreements to provide cellular services and equipment to joint ventures between the People's Liberation Army and the Chinese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Frank Gaffney, of the Center for Security Policy, has written that Whampoa "is currently hard at work acquiring a presence for China at other strategic 'choke points' around the world, including notably the Caribbean's Bahamas, the Mediterranean's Malta, and the Persian Gulf's Straits of Hormuz. At a moment inconvenient to the United States, such access could translate into physical or other obstacles to our use of such waterways."

I wonder if the Christchurch City Council is aware of the potential strategic and political implications of giving Hutchison-Whampoa and indirectly, the People's Liberation Army, a foothold in this country?

Is this a tiger we really want to ride?

Christchurch City Council and Hutchison Whampoa

The Christchurch City Council is attempting to take over the Lyttelton Port Company so that it can then enter into a joint venture with Hong Kong based, Hutchison Port Holdings.

According to the Christchurch Press 13.2.06 "the Christchurch City Council has launched a takeover bid for Lyttelton Port as the first step in a complex arrangement that would see the city partner with a Hong Kong giant to run the operation.

The council's investment arm, Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL), already holds a 69 per cent shareholding in LPC, and if the takeover bid is successful, intends to delist the company from the New Zealand Stock Exchange...

CCHL has also announced a proposed operational joint venture for the Port, involving the international port managers, Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd (HPH).

The formation of the joint venture depends on the success of the takeover bid, and would be subject to regulatory consents.

The proposal would see CCHL retaining control of the Port of Lyttelton, and all employment agreements at the Port would be unaffected by the joint venture.

HPH is the world's leading port manager, developer and investor, with involvement in 242 berths in 41 ports and 20 countries, with a 2004 turnover of $US3.5 billion.

The Hong Hong-based company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

With the takeover completed and the joint venture in place, CCHL would receive net proceeds of about $41 million, it said.

CCHL would continue to control Lyttelton Port Company and its assets by holding the majority of the shares (50.1 per cent), and by appointing four of the seven directors.

But for what it says are "operational and governance reasons," CCHL would hold 49.9 per cent of a newly formed operating company - Lyttelton Port of Christchurch - with HPH holding the other 50.1 per cent and appointing a majority of the directors.

Both companies would effectively be run as a combined joint venture with existing management overseeing both entities.

The new port company's dividends would be shared equally between the two partners."

This sounds great until you find out a bit more about Hutchison Whampoa

The Catholics are Doing it Right!

Catholic groups are up in arms about C4's plans to air an episode of the cartoon show "Southpark", which will depict a menstruating statue of the Virgin Mary.

Family Life International has gone so far as to set up a website to co-ordinate efforts to boycott advertisers on C4 and TV3.

You know what? I applaud them for it.

I watched almost the entire first series of Southpark and loved it. I believe in complete freedom of speech, with NO restrictions, beyond defamation and incitement to criminal activity. I'm not a Catholic and have no particular interest in the divinity or otherwise of Virgin Mary.

I applaud the Catholic groups involved, partly because they are standing up for their beliefs, but mostly for the way they are going about it.

The Virgin Mary is central to the Catholic faith. If I were a Catholic, I'd be livid that some cartoon was going to treat that which I hold divine, in such a disrespectful way.

But here's the difference. The Catholics are not attacking the US embassy. They're not burning cars or rioting. They're not threatening to behead C4 staff or the shows producers.

What they're doing is withdrawing their support from those who they believe are offending them.

This is the civilised way to deal with perceived offence. You back off. You do not threaten anybodies life or property. You take away what is yours.

Catholics have money-they are legitimately threatening to stop spending it with C4 and TV3's advertisers. Catholics have "goodwill"-they are legitimately threatening to withdraw that goodwill from those who offend them.

That is the way a civilised society should work. Everyone should have the right to express whatever views one's conscience (or lack of) dictates. Everyone else should have the right to ignore, boycott, criticise, debate or not debate, the person or persons stating those views.

I personally hope C4 sticks to their guns and airs the episode. I want them to resist all pressure, put principle before possible commercial damage and air what they see fit on their channel.

I also hope that Catholic groups continue to stand up for their beliefs in the legitimate and ethical manner they have employed thus far.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stop Press-Loudon Agrees With Keith Locke!

Marxist Green MP and his socialist sister, Maire Leadbetter (centre) at today's anti Guantanamo Bay protest in Auckland.

This is one of the very few issues that yours truly would agree with Keith Locke on. The US incarceration of suspected Al Qaida supporters at the US Naval base at Guantanamo is a complete disgrace.

The prisoners should be charged or released. Now!

Prebble on Clark's Election Over-spending Problems

Richard Prebble in today's "The Letter" sums up the seriousness and implications of Labour's electoral over-spending scandal.

Labour's electoral over spending is now being investigated by the Police. The penalty is just a fine. Last week the issue got much more serious. The Speaker advised the Parliamentary Commission that she had referred complaints made during the election by ACT's Stephen Franks and National's Simon Power to the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General has agreed not just to investigate but to make another report on the use of taxpayer funded publicity.

Clark Worried

Party President Mike Williams' admission that Helen Clark had used her Leader's fund money in the last three elections to fund Labour's election pledge cards has made the position much worse. The Member's Handbook not only bans using taxpayer's Leader's funds from financing "electioneering material", the Handbook says that all publicity must carry the Parliamentary Crest to show it is taxpayer funded. None of the pledge cards have the Parliamentary Crest on them. Leaving off the Parliamentary Crest is prima facie evidence that Clark knew this was not legitimate spending and she was attempting to hide the misappropriation.

Clark is very worried

Clark escaped having to repay the $90,000 for the bus stop billboards because the Speaker upheld the spending. This time Speaker Wilson has not upheld the spending. It would be extra ordinary if the Auditor-General disagreed with the Electoral Commission that the pledge cards are "electioneering material".

The Donna precedents

When the Auditor-General said he believed that Donna Awatere-Huata had misused her taxpayer accommodation expenses, he recommended the matter be referred to the Serious Fraud Office. The Serious Fraud Office did not charge her because she was entitled to claim the expenses and she herself had not benefited. The Pipi fund fraud was another matter, Donna benefited and the Serious Fraud Office prosecuted. The precedent is set. Clark has benefited from her illegal spending. The Auditor-General must recommend that Clark's spending be referred to the Serious Fraud Office for prosecution

No Defence

In parliament Labour has not tried to defend its actions but to claim that others are also guilty. There is a problem. The Electoral Commission has already dismissed Labour's claim that Don Brash authorised the Brethren spending.

What about Peters and Dunne

Winston Peters said after the Tauranga Electoral petition he had no regrets bringing the case and "that the intent of our electoral law was that there were stipulated spending limits." While he attacked National last week, Peters has made no comment on Clark's use of the Leaders fund. Both he and Peter Dunne are shocked at the revelations. They are waiting to see if the Police prosecute and what the Auditor-General says. This scandal has the potential to dissolve the coalition, bring down the government, end Clark's hopes of a UN job and even see Clark in the cell next to Donna's.

Mike Ward, the Perfect Green Party Co-Leader?

Russel Norman has some competition for the Green party co-leadership. Former Green MP and number 8 on the party's 2005 list, Mike Ward, has announced that he will contest both the Green co-leadership and the Nelson mayoralty at the next local body election.

Richard Prebble's "The Letter" of 15.8.05 had this to say about Mike Ward.

An obscure Green MP, Mike Ward may in five weeks be Minister of Transport. Ward, is proud he has never driven a car, and for that matter has often not had a job. He told the Local Authority Traffic Institute last week he had discovered the answer to traffic, on his trips from Wellington Airport to parliament. "Remove all traffic lights so motorists have to negotiate each intersection and the answer to the road toll is to plant trees in the middle of the road." At this point his audience's incredulity became uncontrolled laughter. "The trees should be in huge pots and moved around so motorists would not know from one day to the next where the trees will be."

Will Ward be a giant Kauri in the path of Russel Norman's leadership aspirations? Will he become the mayor of NZ's sunniest city? Or will he go back on the Dr Who Lookalike contest circuit?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Maia on Russel and I

Maia over at Capitalism Bad-Tree Pretty has gone a bit dark on me. However she's completely spewing about Green Party poster boy, Russel Norman.

She doesn't like what I do, but reads me anyway, then she criticises Russel for "engaging" with me. That doesn't mean Russel and I have hopes of a "civil union", it means that Maia thinks Russel shouldn't stoop to entering into dialogue with the likes of me.

Maia on me

Who is Tervor Loundon? He runs the most amusing New Zealand blog, possibly the most amusing political blog ever, called New Zeal. Basically he's a cross between McCarthy and a stalker.

Maia on Russel

I'm also disgusted with the Greens Russell Norman for engaging with him. He red-baited Russell Norman, and Russell Norman said "yes I have been a communist, but I left them because Marxism is bad." This showed a remarkable lack of solidarity, and a strong degree of stupidity. Of course Trevor Loundon isn't satisfied, and is still going on about it.

At least she's even handed. What you doing this Friday night, Russel?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Embarrassed to be a Cantabrian?

If anything could make me embarrassed to be a Cantabrian, it would be this.

Lindsay Mitchell reports that "Canterbury Health Board wants staff to boycott Christchurch's city-to-surf run, because of the events sponsor - Powerade.

The health board is 'putting its foot down.' The idea that sugary drinks are appropriate is not the message we want out there, said a spokeswoman.

At last years City to Surf 12km run around 600 health workers participated. Hundreds of CHB staff have been told to stay away from the event

This perfectly illustrates the idiocy of socialised "health" provision. The Canterbury District Health Board are bumping people off waiting lists and condemning people to unnecessary misery and even death.

They are not doing the job they are charged with, yet have the cheek to criticise a private company for sponsoring a health promoting event.

Why are the two most screwed up sectors in NZ (health and Education) the ones under the most heavy handed state control?

The CDHB would better serve its hapless "clientele" by lobbying government for its own dissolution, rather than worrying about private companies who have a proven ability to do their jobs.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Anti-Capitalist Alliance is Dead, Long Live the Workers Party!

In a momentous decision, the Anti-Capitalist Alliance has re-named itself as the "Workers Party".

The Anti-Capitalist Alliance was formed in 2002 and has functioned as a wider support group for the Revolutionary Workers League. The RWL is headed by Auckland union health centre Nurse and long time Maoist, Daphna Whitmore and Christchurch academic and long time Trotskyite, Philip Ferguson. The RWL is very active inside Matt McCarten's "Unite" union.

How do you join the new Workers Party? Well you pay $5 and you agree to these five points.

1. Opposition to all New Zealand and Western intervention in the Third World and all Western military alliances.

2. Jobs for all with a living wage and a shorter working week.

3. For the unrestricted right of workers to organise and take industrial action and no limits on workers' freedom of speech and activity.

4. For working class unity and solidarity - equality for woman, Maori and other ethnic minorities and gay men and women; open borders and full rights for migrant workers.

5. For a working people's republic1/ Opposition to all NZ and Western intervention in the third world and all Western military alliances.

Do I hear you reaching for your wallet?

Maxim on Repeal of "Section 59"

The Maxim Institute are leading the charge against Green MP, Sue Bradford's, "anti-smacking" legislation. This is from there latest "real Issues" email newsletter.

Many readers will be aware that the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill passed its first reading last year and will soon be considered by Select Committee. Submissions on the Bill must be received by the Select Committee by 28 February 2006.

This Bill will affect how parents can physically discipline their children by repealing section 59 of the Crimes Act. The Bill has generated a lot of public attention and has been the subject of heated debate. Debate, however, has not generated a coherent understanding of the current legal situation or the practical implications of such a law change. Supporters of repeal say that their intention is not to criminalise parents for what they call "trivial" smacking. Their intentions however are, to put it bluntly, irrelevant. What matters is what the law will say.

Currently, section 59 gives parents, or those in the place of parents, a defence to charges that could result from a parent's use of physical force to discipline their child. The defence is a limited one; any force used must be "reasonable in the circumstances" and used "by way of correction". If section 59 is repealed, the law will say that ordinary smacking constitutes an assault to which parents will have no defence. The Police have confirmed that this will be the case. This is because the law defines "assault" very widely. Assault is a criminal offence for which parents could be charged if they do not have the protection of section 59. Other occasions in which parents touch their children for disciplinary reasons, such as putting an unwilling child into a chair for a five minute "time-out", will also constitute assault.

Many of those supporting repeal also say that the defence needs to be removed to prevent child abuse. However, child abuse is already illegal and is not protected by section 59. An analysis of cases involving section 59 shows that in the vast majority of cases, the limits of the defence are applied sensibly.

If you would like to know more about section 59 in general, or would like information about how to make a submission, please visit Maxim's website:

Yet Another Student Association Scam?

From yesterday's NZ Herald

Otago police are investigating the accounting practices of the University of Otago's Maori students association.

The matter was brought to police attention by members of the Otago University Students Association (OUSA).

"We are looking at the issue of discrepancies in regard to the accounting practices of the Te Roopu Maori group," Senior Sergeant Gavin Briggs of North Dunedin police told the Otago Daily Times.

OUSA president Paul Chong said the Maori students association was experiencing some "serious internal issues".

He said in the meantime OUSA was employing a Maori liaison officer so Maori students did not miss out during orientation week.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chavez and Ahmadinejad, a Very Unholy Alliance

According to Green Left Weekly, February 8th, 2006, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in a series of fiery speeches on the closing day of the World Social Forum in Caracas, warned the US government that a US attack on Iran would be “10 times worse than Iraq”.

While I am certainly no advocate of an attack on Iran, it is interesting to note Chavez's increasing support for Iran and its new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In 2004, while still mayor of Tehran, Ahmadinejad welcomed to Venezuelan President Chávez on his visit to that city. Chávez was welcomed with a new statue of Simon Bolivar, Venezuela's national hero, in the Goft-o-gou park in Tehran.

In September 2005, new Iranian President, Ahmadinejad hailed Venezuela's "brave and judicious" vote against the EU-proposed resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors.

Talking to Hugo Chavez on the phone, President Ahmadinejad thanked Venezuala for its support for Iran's right to gain access to nuclear technology for "peaceful" purposes.

President Ahmadinejad said that the vote, showed the depth of the two country's "brotherly and friendly ties".

Hugo Chavez has made four visits to Iran in his six years as president and the two countries have signed nearly 50 documents for co-operation since 2004.

During their third Joint Economic Commission session, Caracas and Tehran signed 21 documents for co-operation in various fields, including gas and petrochemicals. President Chavez has stated that when it came to sharing technology Iran is his most important partner.

On February 12th, 2006 President Ahmadjinead welcomed Chavez's proposal for energy cooperation with Venezuela and the new socialist government in Bolivia, headed by Chavez's friend, Evo Morales. President Ahmadinejad. also welcomed a proposal from President Chavez to develop tripartite cooperation between Tehran, Caracas and La Paz on energy.

Ahmadinejad also hoped that the upcoming visit to Caracas of Iranian ministers would prepare the ground for enhancing the level of economic cooperation.

President Chavez called for cooperation in the field of oil and gas and said that Iran is expected to supply Bolivia with technical assistance to help the Bolivian government nationalize its oil and gas industry.

President Chavez also renewed his invitation to President Ahmadinejad to visit Caracas and hoped that he would visit Tehran in the first half of 2006.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Castro Invites Ahmadinejad Over for a Chat

A factor, much under-reported in the Western media, is the deep and growing link between radical Islam and revolutionary socialism. Apart from "blips" like Afghanistan and Chechniya, the socialists have infiltrated, financed, trained and collaborated with Arab and Muslim extremists from early Soviet times.

In NZ, our own Wellington Palestine Group, was, in the '80s, a vehicle for members of the Socialist Unity Party, such as Jan Farr and several Workers Communist League supporters, including now Wellington deputy mayor, Alick Shaw.

"Christian Peacemaker" (and hopefully still alive) Iraqi hostage, Harmeet Singh Sooden, was a member of Auckland University's "Students for Justice in Palestine", a group well known for its socialist ties.

It's no surprise then, to see that Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has accepted an invitation to visit Cuba. According to official Cuban newspaper, "Granma", Ahmadinejad, will be visiting President Fidel Castro, in gratitude for Cuba's support of Iran's nuclear programme.

Ahmadinejad accepted the invitation in Tehran from Cuban Ambassador Felipe Perez Roque. During his visit, the Iranian leader will attend the September 11-16 Non-Aligned Summit in Havana.

Iranian Parliament President, Ghulam Ali Haddad Adel has also accepted an invitation to visit Cuba from Cuba's National Assembly.

Hat Tip Rob Good Puntiki

El Salvadoran Communist Leader Dies

Green Left Weekly, of February 8, 2006, carried an interesting obituary on Schafik Handal. This look at one of Latin America's most influential revolutionary leaders, further illustrates the ties between revolutionary leaders on the USA's doorstep. It also shows that revolutionary socialism is far more of a living movement than most of us the West would appreciate. I reprint the article with very minor editing.

Comandante Schafik Handal 1930-2006

Lara Pullin

Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) leader Schafik Jorge Handal "Comandante Simon", died suddenly of a heart attack on January 24. He collapsed at the airport on his return to El Salvador from Evo Morales' presidential inauguration in Bolivia. Leftists from across the continent immediately began to arrive at the airport to pay tribute to this life-long activist and great leader of the Latin American left, who fought until his very last breath for the creation of a better world.

Recognising that Handal was a national hero and one of the most influential political activists and ideological thinkers to form modern El Salvador, the country’s right-wing president not only declared three days of national mourning, but guaranteed access to the occasion for Handal's friends. This included the delegation sent by Cuban President Fidel Castro, with whom El Salvador does not have diplomatic relations,— comprising the leader of the Cuban Ppeople's Ccongress, Ricardo Alarcon and a team to work with the FMLN on the funeral arrangements.

VenezuelaÂ's socialist president Hugo Chavez Frias sent a delegation including the Venezuelan ambassador to Cuba and the president's brother, Adan Chavez, leader of the National Assembly Nicolas Maduro and the hugely popular Caracas mayor Freddy Bernal. Handal's friend and comrade Morales did likewise, along with presidents and former presidents, activists and political and social movement leaders from around the continent and the world.

San Salvador was a sea of red. Not since the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980, and perhaps not even then, had so many ordinary Salvadorans poured onto the streets and into public places. They held banners stating "Long Live Comandante Schafik" and "Schafik, we continue the struggle for you". Tens of thousands of militants poured into the centre and 100,000 youth attended a political rally in Handal's honour, broadcast live on the internet by FMLN youth radio. Participants from all around the world paid homage; messages were heard from Chavez, Castro and Morales, and the best revolutionary performers played music.

Handal, Chavez and Castro at Karl Marx Theatre, Havana, May 2005.

Delegations added flags and mementos to Handal's coffin, not just of El Salvador and the FMLN, but from struggles around the world, a red Palestinian scarf, the former Soviet Union's flag, and other symbols of struggle from those who knew and solidarised with Handal and to whom he gave solidarity. On the red cloth curtain of the stage where he lay in the university hall, a simple white poster said: "Bush, Imperialist, Murderer", a fitting statement for this man who gave his entire life to struggle to overcome imperialism and repression.

Schafik Jorge Handal was born in Usulutan on October 13, 1930, to a Palestinian migrant family. Handal's father Abdullah Handal Nasser took the name "Jorge" when he migrated to El Salvador in 1920, the time of the post-WWI colonial partitioning and the "Arab riots" in Palestine. Schafik Handal was only two years old when La Matanza, the famous insurgency led by the legendary Farabundo Marti, was brutally repressed by the Salvadoran military, resulting in the massacre of more than 30,000 campesinos and indigenous peasants.

In 1944, as a 14-year old, Schafik was already on the streets organising for a national strike against the dictatorship that ruled El Salvador with an iron fist. By 18 he was a leader of both the Democratic Students Association and the Revolutionary Students Committee at the University of El Salvador. His public revolutionary activity, at a time when most preferred clandestine activity, led to many periods of exile and detention. Following the success of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and fearing that Handal would achieve a similar victory, the dictator Jose Maria Lemus had Handal captured and held for three months in Guatemala. Handal's children and comrades recall many occasions when they were certain he had been killed. Yet somehow he always returned, ever stronger and bolder for the experiences.

From 1959 to 1994, Handal was on the leadership bodies of the Communist Party of El Salvador, including as general secretary from 1973-94. Handal was the public face and spokesperson of many left formations during this period. Perhaps a key achievement was his negotiation of an alliance between the Communist Party, the National Democratic Union and the Christian Democrats to form the United National Opposition for elections in 1972 and 1977.

Handal was key in founding the FMLN and in working out the strategy and operations of the guerrilla war from 1980-91, when he was also commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Liberation (FAL), one of the five armed groups within the FMLN. Handal served on the general command for the entire period of conflict, and was also a key negotiator of the peace accord. Handal was a founder of COPAZ (the National Commission for Consolidating Peace) and was subsequently elected general secretary of the FMLN. Handal was never isolated from the brutal realities of life in El Salvador, and one of his own brothers, Antonio, was disappeared on November 11, 1980. Another brother, Farid, was a guerrilla until his death in 1989, and Handal's own son Jorge was also involved in combat with the FAL. Handal's family lived in exile.

The FMLN was also an internationalist liberation army, and Handal fostered fraternal relations with other forces opposing oppression and imperialism, and organised personnel exchanges as a part of that internationalism.

Handal remained a passionate advocate of revolutionary socialism throughout the transition of the FMLN from an armed united front, to a multi-tendency socialist party. Through intense debates on the nature of the new, more democratic climate and how to relate and adapt, particularly in the electoral field, Handal renounced moves towards social democracy.

Since 1997 Handal was an FMLN deputy to the National Assembly. He was also elected leader of the FMLN legislative fraction and the party's president. Handal stood as the FMLN's candidate for mayor of San Salvador immediately after signing the Peace Accords, but he lost due to a scare campaign about electing a guerrilla as mayor so soon after the conflict. He also contested the presidential election in 2004, and gained an impressive 39% in a four-way contest. He lost to the right-wing media mogul and sports commentator Tony Saca.

Amidst all his political activism, Handal also married twice, once from 1949-80 to Blanca, with whom he had three children. His second marriage was while living in Russia during El Salvador's war, to Tania Bichkova, with whom he had a daughter Xenia in 1982. Bichkova has thanked the Salvadoran people and the FMLN for their outpouring of love and respect for her beloved Schafik, urging them on to realise his dream of a socialist El Salvador.

The last word at Handal's funeral went to another historic figure in the FMLN, Comandante Nidia Diaz, who said to the tens of thousands gathered: "We are not just burying the body of comrade Schafik, remember that we are planting a seed to germinate in each and every one of us."

The FMLN continues to advocate the defeat of capitalism and imperialism and the building of a socialist society, in order to truly realise the sacrifices of the more than 80,000 who died in the war, and those who continue to die due to the vicious impact of neoliberal policies and imperialist expansion. That was Handal's life-long struggle. As the FMLN has proclaimed: Onwards to victory, Schafik lives on in the struggle!

The First 50 Things the "Watermelons" Want to Ban

Peter Cresswell of Not PC has a list of 50 things the Green Party wants to ban. Green on the outside, red in the middle, the "watermelons", like all socialists. don't trust people to run their own lives. Imagine how much the list would grow, if these loons (Gaia forbid) ever get any real power?

Message to Helengrad

Well done Andrew Falloon

Monday, February 13, 2006

Who Was Jim Mixing With in Melbourne?

When Jim Anderton attended the Socialist Scholars Conference, held at Melbourne University High on July 18-21, 1991, he mixed with some highly influential activists.
Themed on "Ecology, Socialism and Human Survival" the conference attracted around 800 activists and academics from Australia and abroad.

According to Green Left Weekly No 21, 1991 "More than 100 people presented papers, films and workshops on a broad range of issues and ideas in left theory and politics: from Marxist economic theory to green politics to struggles in the Third World to attacks on civil liberties and the public sector in Australia.

People came from 17 tertiary institutions, community media, trade unions, the environment movement, the Aboriginal community, Third World solidarity groups, progressive political parties and alliances and almost every social movement

A range of international activists presented papers, but the organisers were very disappointed that the now late Ernest Mandel, head of the Trotskyie "Fourth International" could not make it because of ill health.

On a positive note "both Roem Topatimasang, international relations officer for the Front for the Defence of Human Rights and Ismail Momoniet, from the South African Communist Party, spoke optimistically of the rapidly developing movements for freedom and justice in their countries, stressing the importance of Australian solidarity in these struggles."

Reporting on developments in the government, military, business community and the left in the Philippines today, the convener of the Union for Socialist Ideas and Action, Francisco Nemenzo, said politics in his country had been affected by both the crisis of capitalism and the crisis of Stalinism.

Peter Camejo, former US Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate and recent US Greens candidate for the governorship of California was there. A self described "watermelon politician", green on the outside, red in the middle, Camejo spoke on using Green issues to effect socialist change.

"Board member of the Environmental Federation of America Peter Camejo spoke of the need for a new approach to the ecological crisis among socialists...Camejo stressed the importance of socialists identifying strategic issues which offer long-term solutions to the social and ecological crises while having immediate possibilities for political action."

Camejo also shared a stage with NZ greens leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons at the 1994 Green Left Conference in Sydney.

Our man Jim said his piece"Jim Anderton, MP and leader of the New Labour Party in New Zealand, outlined the consequences of the introduction in the mid-1980s of a monetarist economic strategy bringing a massive rolling back of welfare provisions, extensive privatisation, an increasingly unjust taxation system and growing levels of unemployment and poverty."

Political alliance forming was a major theme of the conference.

The conference closed with a plenary session addressed by a panel of speakers on the subject “Left politics: Where to now?”. Including Joe Camilleri from the Rainbow Alliance, Louise Connor from the New Left Party, Ken Peak from the Australian Democrats, Reihana Mohideen from the Democratic Socialist Party and Ted Murphy from the Socialist Left faction of the ALP, this panel provided a forum to develop the presently limited dialogue between the main sections of the organised left in Australia.

The panel was interesting and timely, with most speakers pointing to the unprecedented challenges and opportunities confronting socialists as the crises of international capitalism and the global environment worsen. The general mood of the discussion was encapsulated in a call by Mohideen to continue the dialogue within and between the socialist and environment movements regardless of political differences, to organise and unify wherever and whenever possible around specific campaigns and issues, and to build a genuine alternative which is based on the power of the people and grassroots democracy.

I wonder if the NZ Greens, (Jeanette Fitzsimons, Keith Locke and Russell Norman), who have all had links with the conference organisors, the Democratic Socialist Party, would endorse such ideas?

Jim Anderton and the Aussie Marxist-Leninists

Green Party leaders and radical unionists are not the only NZers with a past pattern of links to Ausralian Marxist-Leninists.

Progessive Party leader, Bio Security and Associate Health Minister, Jim Anderton was also involved with the Democratic Socialist Party and other Marxist-Leninists in the early '90s.

According to "Direct Action" (newspaper of the DSP, before it changed its name to Green Left Weekly) of 11.9.1990, Anderton had toured Australia in July. In Brisbane he met with "progressives" including the New Left Party, Socialist Party of Australia and the Democratic Socialist Party.

The New Left Party was the new name for the Communist Party of Australia. The Socialist Party of Australia, was a pro Soviet breakaway from the Communist Party, which confusingly, adopted the Communist Party name in 1996, after the demise of the New Left Party. The DSP (or Socialist Workers Party as it was then known) had attempted mergers with both parties in the late '80s.

In July 1991 Anderton was a keynote speaker at a "Socialist Scholars Conference" in Melbourne . The conference was organised by the DSP and featured Marxist speakers from all over the world.

Anderton shared the closing plenary with Filipino Trotskyite academic, Francisco Nemenzo and Frank Stilwell, president of the Australian, New Left Party.

According to the Christchurc Press of 23.11.1992, Anderton was preparing to go to Australia for five days to meet financiers. "Basically we have to get in front of the business community". In Melbourne, the Press reported that Anderton would also address a dinner given by the Rainbow Alliance-a coalition of minor parties including Greens and the Democratic Socialist Party.

The same month, Anderton wrote a letter to Green Left Weekly Number 80, offering condolences on death from cancer of DSP leader, Jim Percy. Writing on behalf of the National Council and members of the New Labour Party, Anderton had this to say.
"The NLP mourns the loss of Jim Percy. We have had the privilege of sharing political ideas with Jim and the DSP since our foundation. We have appreciated the support and the solidarity extended to us. Jim was committed to a world cleansed of war and oppression. we share his vision."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Choudhary Wants "Hate Speech" Enforcer

Today's Herald on Sunday quotes Labour MP Ashraf Choudhary calling for “an agency capable of punishing the media for attacks on minorities”.

Mr Choudhary also said "when freedom of speech becomes a tool to attack others and their beliefs and people feel discouraged, under attack, demeaned—then something has to be done. It’s no licence to go and verbally kill other people."

Mr Choudhary should realise that NZ already has such a body-its called the Human Rights Commission. Its already one of this country's biggest threats to free speech. Does Mr Choudhary want to give it even more powers?

Coming on top of Helen Clark's attack on the Press and Dominion Post for publishing the "Muhammad" cartoons, Mr Choudhary's conceived outburst shows just how much Labour cares about protecting our freedoms.

The "cartoons" saga will increase the calls for "Hate Speech" legislation in this country.

While in no way under-emphasising the the dangers of Islamic radicalism, I actually think the Clark government actually poses a more immediate threat to our freedom.

Hat Tip Rodney Hide

15,000 Hits

Just ticked over 15,000 hits. My "Pinkometer" tells me that 7,041 were from socialists.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Heather Roy on 'Those' Cartoons

ACT MP Heather Roy has an interesting piece in her latest "Heather Roy's Diary" on how the Muhammed cartoon furore was sparked and some local reactions.

In September last year Denmark’s biggest-selling daily newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, printed twelve cartoons of the prophet Muhammed in various poses. The newspaper’s stated issue was self censorship; a Danish author had written a children’s book on the life of Muhammed but was unable to find an illustrator.

Most Muslims believe it is offensive to depict the Prophet and the artists feared retribution from Muslim zealots. The fact that the artists were imposing censorship on themselves because of fear, worried the Jyllands-Posten who asked 40 Danish arists to submit a likeness. Only twelve responded and those were the cartoons that were published. They were of variable quality and some were offensive.

Given that most Westerners have never heard of Jyllands-Posten and very few speak Danish the matter would have been quickly forgotten had it not been for an hystrical reaction in Muslim countries. The Danish embassy was burned down in Lebanon and in Afghanistan a British Army contingent had to go to the aid of a beseiged Nordic Unit. As usual there have been anti-American riots although the USA is not involved.

Closer to home, Heather Roy finds our great leaders reaction disturbing.

As a result the cartoons have been big news and many papers including The Dominion Post and The Press have reproduced them.

Helen Cark’s response has been to say that she believes in “free speech but……” Readers may recall Helen Clark’s vitriolic attacks on the Exclusive Bretheren at election time when she declared them a “weird cult”. Labour Minister David Parker likened them to the Taliban. Quite why it is OK to make very disparaging comments about a small group of law abiding, tax paying citizens who may have different religious beliefs to most New Zealanders but not about a huge religion when there might be trade implications is not clear.

While the Prime Minister preaches tolerance she practices selective tolerance. The controversy surrounding the cartoons is an issue of “Freedom of Speech” but to have real freedom of speech there must be no conditions beyond the bounds of the law – equality before the law. Information should be readily available so that each of us can form our own opinions.

But to have real freedom of speech there must be no conditions beyond the bounds of the law.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Russel Reminder 2, Jeanette Fitzsimons

Russel Norman, probable future Green party co-leader was once a member of Australian Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Party. When I pointed out that other senior Greens had past links with the DSP, Norman claimed not to be aware of it.

His own Party leader Jeanette Fizsimons attended a DSP organised "Green Left" conference in Sydney at Easter 1994. To Russel, this was unimportant "Speaking to a conference of the Green left magazine (which is what i think Jeanette is being accused of) is hardly invovlement."

Malik Miah, an American Trotskyite who's political career spans the US Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Action, Committees of Correspondence, Solidarity and the US Green Party, filed a report on the International Green Left Conference.

The International Green Left Conference, held in Sydney, Australia, March 31-April 4, brought together a wide range of activists and concerned individuals to discuss and debate the ecological and social problems currently facing the world. The highly successful conference grew out of an initiative of the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, the main left formation in that country. Carl Bloice, national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence, Mike Wyman, editor of CrossRoads' recent El Salvador ­Presente! issue, Peter Camejo, a member of Committees of Correspondence national executive and the board of the Environmental Federation of America, and I were among over 800 participants from all over Australia and around the world.

International guests spoke of political developments in their countries and how they are organizing in new parties and formations. Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party member and deputy co-leader of the New Zealand Alliance, described the Alliance's improved electoral chances under the new, more democratic, proportional representation system in that country.

Ideas for dealing with the international environmental crisis were put forward by a diverse range of speakers. A lively discussion occurred on the different paths towards sustainable development and environmental justice. The panel, "How can we build a sustainable society," was one of the best attended and included Peter Camejo, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Graham Mathews from the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, and Dr. Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy director of Vietnam's National Environment Agency. The broad and open views discussed highlighted the importance of linking green and socialist perspectives in reaching common strategies and goals.

Fitzsimons also spoke at a forum on Women in Politics. Three other women shared her panel, Dulce Maria Pereira (Brazilian Workers Party) Christabelle Chamarette, (Greens Senator, Western Australia) and Lucianna Castellina (Euro MP and directorate member, Party of Communist Refoundation, Italy.

Fitzsimons was under no illusions as to the nature of the conference, or the politics of her hosts. She told the DSP's Green Left Weekly No 147 of June 1994,"if socialism is to survive as a relevant political movement in the 21st century, it must develop a response to the ecological crisis and a socialist strategy to build a sustainable future. Green Left Weekly provides the tools of information and analysis to make that possible."

Clearly Fitzsimons was friendly to the idea of "the importance of linking green and socialist perspectives in reaching common strategies and goals."

Clearly Fitzsimons was aware that the conference was organised by Marxist-Leninists and that virtually all of her fellow attendees were of similar outlook.

So the leader of NZ's Green Party speaks very differently among her comrades than she does when dealing with NZ voters.

Yet to Russel Norman this is little cause for concern. Why is that Russel? Do you think voters have the right to know how their political leaders behave when out of the public eye?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Russel Reminder 1, Keith Locke and the DSP

Several Green Party figures have dealings, with the Austalian, Marxist-Leninist group, the Democratic Socialist Party (or "Perspective" as it is now known).

The Green Party's probable future co-leader, Russel Norman, was a member of the DSP, in Brisbane, at least until 1991. He contributed several articles to the DSP's newspaper, Green Left Weekly, from 1994 up till at least 1999, but claims not to be aware of his Green colleague's involvement with the DSP. To jog Russel's memory I'll revisit Keith Locke's and Jeanette Fitzsimon's DSP connection's.

The first documented connection between Green MP, Keith Locke and the DSP is this articles">article which appeared in Green Left Weekly in 1991.

However there is evidence that Locke's links with leaders of the DSP, or as it was formerly known, Socialist Workers Party go back to the '70s. When DSP leader Jim Percy, died of cancer in 1992, Locke, Matt Robson, Petronella Townsend, Paul Piesse and Lew Stribling, sent this message of condolence to Green Left Weekly No 80 (November 1992).

"We have known Jim since 1970. Since that time we have shared the same socialist vision and supported the same struggles against oppression. Through two decades we kept in contact with Jim and benefited from sharing political ideas and experiences...Jim was with us in our early political development as members of the Socialist Action League in NZ. He was also alongside us when we formed the New Labour Party. He contributed his political ideas and experience to the NLP in a comradely and supportive way. He saw the NLP as a progressive development which could revitalise socialism in NZ and have a positive effect in Australia...We cannot be with you at the funeral of our comrade. However it is a maori tradition to sing at a funeral. We therefore request that when the Internationale is sung that it be recognised that the voices of Jim's comrades in NZ have also been raised as a final tribute to a respected fighter of the people"

Interestingly, the SWP/DSP had links with two groups in NZ. Firstly they had fraternal links with their Trotskyite sister party in NZ, the Socialist Action League. Both parties were also fellow members of the Brussels based "Fourth International". After the mid '80s, the SWP left the Fourth International and the above comrades left the Socialist Action League.

In the late '80s, the SWP formed close ties to a formerly Maoist group in NZ called the Workers Communist League. Keith Locke was very close to the WCL and fronted their organisation, the Philippines Solidarity Network. In 1990, when Keith Locke stood for parliament for the NLP, WCL members (under their new name "Left Currents") campaigned for him. It was Keith Locke's ex SAL friends and the WCL that formed the leadership of the NLP when it was formed in 1989.

The entire WCL joined the NLP, but some later left to join the Greens. The most notable example being current Green MP, Sue Bradford.

I believe the NLP and its 1991 "merger" with the Greens, Democrats and Mana Motuhake to form the Alliance Party, was modeled on the Brazilian "Workers Party" (now in power) which was formed in 1980. The Workers Party was a coalition of Greens, socialists, black activists and leftist Christians built around a Trotskyite/Communist core. The DSP had until recent years, very close ties to the Workers Party, though things have cooled lately. They still adore Venezuela's Chavez government however, which has extremely close ties to "Lula's" Workers Party.

In the early '90s, Keith Locke was listed as a NZ correspondent for Green Left Weekly. In 1993 he was a guest speaker a DSP forum "Unity in Action" in Australia. He spoke on his experiences with the newly formed Alliance Party.

At Easter 1994 the DSP hosted a huge "Green Left" conference in Sydney to launch their new international journal "Links". Delegates attended from the Brazilian Workers Party, the Italian Party of Communist Refoundation, the US Committees of Correspondence (a breakaway from the Communist Party USA), several Filipino Marxist organisations, the Sri Lankan Trotskyite Nava Sama Samaj Party, the Indonesian Peoples Committee, the Fourth International and the British Marxist group Militant. Dr Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy director of Vietnams National Environment Agency was present as was NZ Alliance Foreign Affairs spokesman Keith Locke.

Locke contributed an article to the second edition of "Links", again, on the development of the Alliance Party. The last sentence read "the growth of the Alliance might seem odd to socialists used to seeing parties formed by unions, or as ideological projects, but it is working".

The last documented Locke/DSP link I can find, was an article he wrote in Green Left Weekly in 1999, well after he had defected to the Green Party.

I find it extremely hard to believe that Russel Norman, would have no idea that Keith Locke, a close colleague, was writing for the same Marxist-Leninist paper the he was.

I also find it hard to believe, that Russel Norman would not be aware that Keith Locke, was a long time associate of the leader of a Marxist-Leninist party that Norman had himself once belonged to,

Does anyone else find this less than credible?

Perhaps Russel Norman could re-visit the issue for us?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm Still Waiting, My Amphibian Friends

Still waiting for that retraction FrogBlog.

Still waiting for answers to my questions, Russell.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Matt McCarten and the Marxist-Leninists

As promised, I will begin a series of posts on links between two key Green Party MPs, Keith Locke and Jeanette Fitzsimons and the Australian Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Party. Probable future Green Party co leader, Russel Norman was once in the DSP and wrote several articles for its paper, Green Left Weekly from at least 1994 to at least 1999.

As a backgrounder I will first look at Locke and Fitzsimon's former colleague in the Alliance Party, Matt McCarten and his dealings with the DSP. I will then post on
Locke and Fitzsimons separately and possibly add some further backgrounders.

Matt McCarten has long had the dream of building a party of the "working class", to the left of Labour, to shake up the power structures of this country. To this end, he has collaborated, for at least 15 years with the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, who have long worked towards for a similar organisation in Australia.

McCarten's first known link to the DSP, or the Socialist Workers Party as it was then known, was in 1990 when he attended, with Jim Anderton, a SWP organised "Socialist Scholars" conference in Sydney. (Direct Action 11.9.90)

In July 1992, he was guest speaker, with Otago university activist, Joss Debreceny, at the conference of the DSP's youth wing, Resistance, in Melbourne. (GLW No 63)

The DSP was led by two brothers, Jim and John Percy. Jim Percy died of cancer in late 1992. Green Left Weekly, No 80 of November 1992 carried messages of condolence from communist and socialist activists from all over the world. Several letters came from NZ, including from Jim Anderton, Keith Locke and Matt Robson.

Matt McCarten, writing as President of the NLP and Chairman of the Auckland Alliance Party had this to say. "I valued my friendship and political collaboration with Jim. He gave me the theoretical base for my political work. I owe so much to him. The impact Jim had on me over the last few years was enormous. Jim was one of the few left leaders who was able to bring Marxism-Leninism alive into todays world. He made socialism relevant to those of us who seek a new society based on social justice. His socialism was inclusive, warm and exciting. He was the major political influence in my life."

In January 1993, (GLW No 84) McCarten was guest speaker, on the Alliance Party, at a DSP organised Socialist Activists Education Conference in Sydney. Malik Miah, a San Fransisco based member of the US Committees of Correspondence was also a guest speaker. The CoC was formed in 1992 and comprised of a large breakaway group from the Communist Party USA (including the notorious Angela Davis) and a mixture of Trotskyite, Socialist and Maoist Groups. The CoC was attempting to build a "Third Force",in US politics, similar to the Alliance party in NZ.

That same year, McCarten gave a speech in San Francisco on the Alliance Party, which was reprinted in GLW No 107.

In Easter 1994, the DSP organised a major "Green Left" international conference in Sydney, attended by around 800 people. Attendees were virtually all Marxist-Leninists or Greens and included Keith Locke, Jeanette Fitzsimons and I believe, Matt McCarten. The conference's main purpose was to launch a new international magazine called "Links".

The gathering, according to Malik Miah "brought together a wide
range of activists and concerned individuals to discuss and debate the ecological and social problems currently facing the world. During the meeting, a new international discussion journal, "Links", a quarterly magazine for socialist renewal, was launched."

Explained "Links" editor Peter Boyle "The range of groups involved in "Links" is proof of a new climate of collaboration in the international left, This is a project involving the left from the Communist Party, the Trotskyist, Maoist, ex-Social Democratic, independent left and liberation theology traditions. We all have in common a desire for socialist renewal based on support for democracy, feminism, ecological sustainability and internationalism."

The "Links" editorial board included; Jeremy Cronin, a leader of the South African Communist Party and editor of The African Communist; Langa Zita from the SACP and the South African Metalworkers union; Baddegama Samitha from the New Socialist Party of Sri Lanka; and leading members from the New Zealand Alliance, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, the Farabundo Marti¡ National Liberation Front and the Fourth International.

Matt McCarten was on the Editorial Board and Keith Locke wrote an article on the Alliance Party for the first issue.

In 1998, according to GLW No 302, McCarten again "crossed the ditch" to attend a DSP organised conference "150 Years of the Communist Manifesto".

In 1999, McCarten was Still on the Editorial Board of "Links" with Andre Brie of German Party of Democratic Socialism (the former East German Communist Party), Max Lane, Doug Lorimer and John Percy of the DSP, Jeremy Cronin and Langa Zita of the South African Communist Party and Carl Bloice, Malik Miah and Joanna Misnik of the CoC.

In 2000, McCarten attended the DSP's "Marxism 2000" conference. He spoke on "New Zealand: the Recent Experience and Perspectives of the Alliance."

The same year, the March 1st issue of "The Guardian" (journal of the Communist Party of Australia) published this editorial. "Left Unity, Progressive Unity It's Time!"
"The Progressive Labour Party under the title of "Towards a Progressive Alliance" convened a one-day conference of progressive parties and community groups in Sydney last weekend. It brought together representatives of a number of political parties and community organisations, including some trade unions. Matt McCarten, Director, NZ Alliance Party attended and spoke of the New Zealand experience and while warning against simply attempting to copy the NZ "model" advanced some excellent principle on which to build relationships between different organisations."

After the collapse of the Alliance Party after the 2002 elections, McCarten turned to other groups to further his dream. For a while he worked with the Maori Party, but soon quit. He then began building aovement called the Workers Charter Movement, as the basis for a new mass based political movement. The WCM was based around the Socialist Workers Organisation (and its front, the "residents Action Movement") elements of the Greens and Maori Party, the "Unite" trade union, the late Bill Andersen's, Socialist Party of Aotearoa and John Minto and Mike Treen's, "Global Peace and Justice, Aotearoa".

Meanwhile in Australia in 2001, the DSP had set up a nationwide wide "Socialist Alliance". The SA was made up of several parties, including Workers Power, the Freedom Road Socialist Party and the Communist Party of Iraq (in Australia). The DSP was by far the biggest group, followed by the International Socialists, sister party to NZ's, Socialist Workers Organisation.

Links between the Socialist Alliance and Workers Charter activists have been extensive and ongoing.

I quote this report from GLW of an Easter 2005 DSP organised conference held at Sydney Boy's High School. "Among the most exciting developments discussed at the Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference held in Sydney at Easter was the rapidly changing map of New Zealand politics, in particular, the development of the Maori Party, the UNITE union and the Resident Action Movement. Several left-wing leaders from New Zealand attended the conference, including Matt McCarten, who was until recently the campaign manager for the Maori Party, Global Peace and Justice Auckland leader Mike Treen, and Dave Colyer and Grant Morgan from NZ Socialist Worker, who all addressed a feature session on March 28.".

McCarten was a guest speaker as was Srilata Swaminathan, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Ahmed Shawki,of the US International Socialist Organisation, Ali Kazak, head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia, (former PLO rep in Australia), Leonel Vivas, ambassador for Venezuela and Malik Miah, trade union and Green Party activist, USA.

Matt McCarten at the DSP's Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference, Sydney Easter 2005

Monday, February 06, 2006

Trevor Loudon Replies to Russel Norman

While Russel Norman has yet to satisfactorily reply to my questions to him, there has been interest expressed on this and other Blogs, in my answers to questions posed by Russel to me.

To remove any impediment to Russel clarifying the answers to my questions, I will now answer his questions to me.

I hope you can all follow that.

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

Trevor; My involvement as a student of Christchurch based self improvement organisation, Zenith Applied Philosophy has always been public knowledge and has been published in an interview I did in 1986, with the old Star Sports. I have studied at Z.A.P. from 1976 to 1982, 1986/7 and 1999 to current. I am enjoying my studies immensely at the moment and plan to continue indefinitely.

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

Trevor; No Russel and neither are you. There never have been any such links. I am willing to bet my membership and position in ACT against your membership and position in the Green Party, that you have no credible proof of such allegations. I suggest that if you have no proof, you withdraw your question on this subject from your Frogblog post now and post a statement confirming that you were merely "flying a kite" or were misinformed.

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

Trevor: About 20 minutes ago. Contact is regular, ongoing and enjoyable and involves a wide range of activity.

Russel; Do you think that fascism had something positive to offer the world?

Trevor No Russel I do not. My political path began as an 18 year old in January 1976, when I purchased, for $1.40, a copy of Ayn Rand's "For the New Intellectual" from Summer's second hand book shop in Tuam Street, Christchurch. I have never wavered from my belief in small government and free people since. In earlier times I was more conservative (I long believed the state should suppress the drug trade for instance), but now I count myself as a libertarian.

Fascism is the system whereby the state allows nominal ownership of private property, but can dictate how that property may be used. The Resource Mangement Act is a good example of fascist legislation. Fascism is often also characterised by a strong relationship between the state and big business,(Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, present day China) which is maybe why some people confuse fascism with capitalism, when it is actually a form of socialism. I am a laissez faire capitalist. I am an advocate of the separation of business and state and always have been.

Russel: Do you believe that the holocaust happened?


Russel; 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?

Trevor; Yes it is. I wrote it.

Russel; 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?

Trevor; I re read this issue with some embarrassment. On one side, I viewed anyone who encouraged NZ/Soviet trade as morally reprehensible and at best irresponsible from a strategic point of view. I hold similar views about those who advocate trade with China today and believe we should cut trade ties to that country until it becomes a civilised nation. I believed then and I believe now, that certain members of the BRT deserved strong condemnation for participating in NZ/Soviet trade.

On the BRT article. That was a clearly stated as a reprint from an American newsletter. However I did endorse it and am ashamed of doing so. Roger Kerr wrote a very balanced reply to the article and I wrote a snarky rejoinder. I have met Roger at two ACT conferences since then and have always cringed in fear that he might make the connection. Now that you've "outed" me, I'll apologise next time I see him. Thanks, you've done me a favour there.

Russel; 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 the NZ Planning Council?

Trevor; Sorry,I can't find that particular issue. The NZ Planning Council was infiltrated to some degree by socialists, including at one point by a covert member of the pro Soviet, Socialist Unity Party. What I may have been getting at, is that the very idea of a Planning Council is socialist, or "Marxist" in itself. The whole idea of state economic planning is an anathema to me, as it would have been to the original founders of the National Party. So I guess i was annoyed that the Young Nats would have anything to do with such a nonsensical organisation.

Russel; 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?

Trevor; To extrapolate my disdain for the organisation and my awareness that there were Marxists on the staff, to the allegation that I believed "that being a member of the NZ Planning Council makes one a Marxist" is faulty logic.

Russel; 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?

Trevor; If reading the material I have to hand, leads you to believe I held such views, I suggest you would have been better to have studied logic at university rather than politics.

I hope you find my answers satisfactory Russel. I await your clarification of my earlier questions. I'm particularly interested in your awareness of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Keith Locke's connections to your former Marxist-Leninist colleagues in the Democratic Socialist Party.

To refresh your memory, I will devote the next few posts to examining those links. Some will be a rehash of previous material, but I will try to present some new details. I will also have some questions for your colleagues which I hope you will be good enough to pass on.

Thanking you in anticipation

Trevor Loudon