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Friday, March 31, 2006

Maoists on the March in India

Excerpts from a Reuters article By Simon Denyer 30.3.06

Rattled by a wave of Maoist attacks that have left hundreds dead, officials from 13 Indian states will meet on Friday to try to stem a rebellion that is menacing huge swathes of the country's centre, east and south.

The Maoist insurgency dates back 40 years but is finally beginning to register on the national consciousness as a significant threat to India's rural hinterland.

The rebels have gradually expanded their influence to around 165 of the country's 602 administrative districts in recent years forming a "red corridor" stretching from the southern tip of India all along its eastern half and up to Nepal, experts say.

Links with Nepal's powerful Maoist rebels have rung alarm bells, as has a dramatic upsurge in violence this year, mainly in the forests of the poor central state of Chhattisgarh.

"The government is beginning to panic now, they are beginning to realise that this problem is much larger than they had pretended," said Ajai Sahni of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.

On Friday India's home secretary and the chief secretaries and police chiefs from 13 affected states will try to change that. One item on the agenda will be a draft plan to use the army to clear landmines which have been planted under many of the forest roads of southern Chhattisgarh, officials say.

The home ministry says nearly 1,000 people died in Maoist- violence last year, while a senior police officer told Reuters there were more than 20,000 armed rebels backed by hundreds of thousands of supporters.

Ajit Doval, a former director of India's Intelligence Bureau, said left-wing extremism was now a bigger threat to the country than Islamic militancy in Kashmir or separatist militancy in the northeast.

"Unless some master strategic response is formulated and executed, the nation may find most of its rural hinterland overrun by an avalanche," he wrote in the Hindustan Times this week.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How I Discovered Liberty

I attended Rangiora High School from 1971 to 1975. In 1972 I was over the moon when the Kirk Labour government came to power. By my 5th form year,1973 I was a committed leftie, communist even. That was the year of the oil shock. I remember arguing with Chris Rowe that V8 cars should be banned because they used too much petrol.

My leftism was strengthened in my 6th form year when Mrs Stevenson, my very attractive Geography teacher, brought some socialist priest to talk to us about the horrors of Pinochet's Chile, from which he had recently returned.

I was horrified and resolved to leave school at the end of the 6th form, work my passage to Chile and fight with the anti Pinochet resistance. That resolve lasted almost two weeks.

I became aware of Rodney Hide around that time. He was a year ahead and I don't remember ever talking to him. I do have a vivid picture in my mind however of Rodney, green blazer, full head of combed forward near black hair animatedly talking to a taller pupil as they walked towards the library.

We did have some mutual friends and one mutual enemy who is now according to Rodney, a very fine man.

In my 7th form year I took Fine Arts prelim and economics. The economics was chosen so I could learn more about the world in order to more effectively change it.

My teacher was "Jason" McCord a hard swearing reprobate and certainly no socialist.

He taught us free market economics and I quickly grasped its beautiful logic. Supply and Demand, law of diminishing returns; it was clean, clear and logical. I was sold.

However "Jason" would always say "the free market is the most efficient system, but its not the moral system"

I couldn't figure this out. How could something be efficient and logical, but not moral? It was a real dilemma for me. I reconciled it by advocating using the market to produce wealth for socialist redistribution.

During the holidays after leaving the 7th form, a friend of my Dad's, "Brud" Edgar, left a copy of the Sunday News on our kitchen table.

I read it and inside was a two page centre piece article entitled something vaguely like " "Capitalism the only moral system for the life of a rational being".

The article was about Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism. I read it and re-read it. The author was the late Bill Weddell (brother of National Radio's, Jessica Weddell). Bill later went on to convert another socialist to capitalism, that icon of Kiwi libertarianism, Lindsay Perigo.

The article's impact faded a little. Then I was off work for a few days after initiating force against my brother and cutting my hand when breaking his glasses with a punch.(I was a convert enough by then, not to go on ACC).

I took the Midland bus into Christchurch and wandered into Summer's second hand bookshop in Tuam Street.

There it was on a rack full of paperbacks. Ayn Rand's "For the New Intellectual"-price $1.40. It was a dilemma. If I bought the book, I wouldn't have enough for lunch. My stomach won. I walked down the stairs and 50 yards down the road.

My conscience fought back. I walked back to the shop and bought the book.

It was like being hit in the forehead with a cricket bat. The book contained all Rand's key speeches from "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" including 34 pages of "John Galt's Speech".

This was a huge struggle for an 18 year old recovering communist to absorb and digest. I did it though and it changed my life.

Around that time, our local MP, Derek Quigley, got offside with that appalling bloody socialist, Prime Minister, Rob Muldoon.

I wrote a letter to Quigley, whom I admired for his stand, outlining 20 or so points that National had to adopt to bring the country back to sanity. Low taxes, welfare reform etc. I knew exactly what had to be done. I had moved out of home but used my parents address on the letter.

My shocked mum, answered the door one day to find Derek Quigley standing on the doorstep wanting to talk to the young revolutionary. Unfortunately we have never have met to this day, though I know some of his family.

With this kind of early life, is it any wonder I'm now a proud member of ACT?

Venezuela and Vietnam Strengthen Ties

From Green Left Weekly
Socialist Vietnam and Venezuela, led by socialist President Hugo Chavez, have agreed to build a “strategic relationship” and to bring their economic relationships on a par with their already strong political links.

The countries’ two-way trade in 2004 was only US$4.5 million. Vietnam National Assembly chairman Nguyen Van An led a delegation from March 12 to Caracas, declaring plans to collaborate with Venezuela in areas of oil and gas, wet rice planning, health care and herbal medicine production, before opening Vietnam’s embassy in Caracas.

Venezuelan National Assembly chief Nicolas Maduro said there is a need to accelerate the two countries’ collaboration to make up for lost time, adding that the Venezuelan National Assembly has set up a Venezuela-Vietnam friendly parliament members’ group to help boost this process.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Expat ACT Goddess, Cathy Odgers has done an interesting guest post on Clint Heine's Blog.

Like most of us she wants Sir Roger Douglas and Rodney Hide to work more constructively together

My formal disclosure is that I absolutely love both Roger
and Rodney. For entirely different reasons. I have never
met two completely different, yet so similar beasts in my

Check it out here. It paints a very interesting picture of both men. By a woman who loves them both in her own special way.

Peter Harris on Robert Mugabe

After returning from working in an economic commission in Zimbabwe, Peter Harris was interviewed by the Public Service Association Journal of September 1980.

He had this to say about Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.

"So far I think it has been managed very well and I think Mugabe is an enormously impressive person. He's done very well to avoid the factionalism that could easily have broken out after so many years during which the whites played off groups of the people against each other"

How "Left" is Peter Harris? Does it Matter?

Peter Harris, the "left wing" half of the Harris/Hooten team canned from Radio NZ is an interesting character.

The Listener of 14.4.01 described him as one of the inner circle of power in the Labour government. He served as an economic advisor to Minister of Finance, Michael
Cullen from 1999 to 2003.

In September 2003, Harris was appointed by Energy Minister Pete Hodgson to the newly formed Electricity Commission. Said Richard Prebble in The Letter of 20.2.06 "Labour in a confused way is moving to regulate utilities. Electricity is now a total mess. The new Electricity Commission is second-guessing Transpower..."

In 2004, Harris headed a new group set up by Michael Cullen to work out proposals to make employers handle their employees Superannuation contributions.

Harris is clearly a very influential man. What is his background?

Peter Harris was born in South Africa and was educated in Rhodesia. He came to NZ in 1973 after being active in student politics in Rhodesia and South Africa.

He became an economics lecturer at Massey University, then joined the Public Service Association as a research Officer in the mid '70s. He also became active in the anti Apartheid movement.

In April 10th,1978 the pro Soviet, Socialist Unity Party published the first of many of Harris's articles in its newspaper, "Tribune" entitled "Do Wage Rises Cause Unemployment?"

In March 1980, Harris returned to what was now Zimbabwe to join an eight member research commission as research officer. The appointment was expected to be for five months. According to the PSA Journal, September 1980, the commission was charged with looking at ways to improve living standards, reduce inequalities, improve conditions of work and repair some of the damage done by years of civil war .

In 1981 Harris wrote an article for the SUP's theoretical journal "Socialist Politics" entitled "Towards the 21st Century".

In 1984-85, Harris was one of several SUP linked figures on the Labour Party's Policy Council. According to the late Bruce Jesson, writing in "Metro" of November 1988, Harris was the "main architect of the alternative economic policy put forward to counter the "Rogernomics" policy of Roger Douglas. Organised by party members Fran Wilde, Helen Clark and Rob Campbell. Presented and supported in the policy council by Ann Hercus, Margaret Wilson, Jim Anderton and Bill Rowling. Its themes were a union-government-employer accord."

Harris was still on Labour's Policy Council in the late '80s. In 1988 he penned another article for "Socialist Politics" "Improving the Skills Stock-Who Pays"

In 1989 Harris was quoted in 15th May "Tribune" on the Douglas-Prebble asset selling budget. "An appalling hotch-potch of poor logic, bad economics, commercial naivety, a lack of history and a worse vision for the future". He was at the time an economist for the Council of Trade Unions.

In April 1990 Harris wrote an article in Tribune "The Risks of Privatising a Natural Monopoly" on the privatisation of Telecom.

In February 1991, Harris penned another "Tribune" article on the impending disaster of that season's wool prices.

Another "Tribune" article followed in March on "Ka Awatea".

So close to the SUP was Harris that the rival Communist Party of NZ described him in their "People's Voice" of September 23rd 1991 as an "SUP "fellow traveler".

In the early '90s Harris was heavily involved in the "Workplace Reform" project. This was a reincarnation of the SUP's Accord/Trade Union Compact project of the late 1980s.

In June 1993 Harris spoke at the Peace, Power and Politics conference in Wellington "Economic Sovereignty and the New Right."

In the late '90s Harris was on the CPI Revision Advisory Committee, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Review Panel, NZ Universities Academic Audit Unit Board and the Trade Union History Project.

In 1999, before leaving the CTU to take up the job with Michael Cullen, Harris sent a clear message when he spoke to the CTU conference. He said "There is potential to engage in implementing the new agenda....These conditions for active and constructive unionism have not been as positive since the election of the first Labour government sixty years ago. In a funny way, that is no coincidence. It was out of the crisis of the depression that a new way forward was found then. It is out of the crisis of ideology and debt that the new way forward will be found now."

Radio NZ or Radio Labour?

David Farrar's Kiwiblog reported yesterday that Radio NZ has canned its only anti Government voice.

This was the nine to noon politics segment with Matthew Hooton and Peter Harris. Harris, a former (and I think also does some current work for Labour) staffer for Cullen, and Hooton, who worked for National in the 90s, would debate politics for 15 minutes with Linda Clark. Both men were partisan, but it meant one actually got to hear the arguments from each side. It was informative and entertaining.

I understand from well placed media sources in Wellington that both Heather Simpson and Tony Timms have complained to Radio NZ about the show in the past - especially Hooton's attacks on the Government. And today the show has been canned.

Go here for the rest of the article

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My Best Ever Threat

As Pete Lusk will tell you, "on the edge" political activism often invites anonymous threats. I've had a few over the years, but by far the best happened in 1986.

I'd been campaigning for a while against the Soviet use of prison labour to produce goods for export. NZ law forbade the import of prison produced products and I was trying to get the law enforced.

I was was doing some casual/on call work at the time for a friend who owned a factory. He phoned me at about 8pm one night asking if I could come in the next morning. There was no-one else in my house, so only my friend and I knew I would be coming in.

At about 11am, I was called to the office to take a phone message. I answered and was greeted by someone with a Russian accent who said "Good morning Mr Loudon, this is Major Gorkowski(I'm guessing the spelling) of the KGB here".

I thought it was friend having me on and said "Fuck off T...." The voice didn't miss a beat. "We understand you have been making some rather anti-Soviet statements lately. You would be advised to stop this unless something rather unfortunate should happen to you. We are watching you as we have been watching you for sometime. Dosvidanya Mr Loudon" Click.

I was a bit blown away by this. The Russian accent was very polished and cultured. I asked my friend if he knew anything about this and he denied all knowledge. I believed him.

Therefore, it was likely that whoever called me had either been tapping my phone or had me under surveillance.

My theories, in order of least likely, to most likely are;

A It was Major Gorkowski of the KGB.

B It was the Security Intelligence Service, trying to scare me off from bumbling around in their territory.

C It was local Communists, most lkely from the Socialist Unity Party, trying to shut me down for their Soviet masters.

Just for interest sake, if any ex KGB, SIS or SUP people out there could enlighten me, I'd much appreciate it.

Anyway, I kept right on at it and I'm stil here to tell the tale.

Red Green Turns Yellow

According to the Dom Post of March 25th, West Coast Greenie, Peter Lusk is chucking in his spokesmanship of two groups because of threats and intimidation.

Lusk has been the high profile spokesman of the Buller Conservation Group and the West Coast branch of Forest and Bird. He has also been active in the occupation of Happy Valley, designed to stop Solid Energy, coal mining in the area.

According to Lusk the last straw was a letter to the editor of the Wesport News, suggesting he was a terrorist. "Its legal to shoot terrorists" said Lusk.

Lusk has alwas been a bit "on the edge". in the late '60s he was active in the Save Manapouri Campaign and in the early '70s was a founder of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of NZ (now Aotearoa).

In 1975 Lusk was a candidate for the Values Party but by the mid '80s, was a Communist Party member, living in Westport.

In the late '80s Lusk was living in Auckland and had become editor of the Communist Party's "People's Voice".

In 1992 Lusk wrote two articles in the Green Party's official journal, Greenweb, one called "The View from the Left", and other "The New Structure".

In the mid '90s, Lusk left the Communist Party and after a brief flirtatation with Trotskyism, stood as a candidate for the Alliance Party in 1995 in Mangere.

He returned to the Coast in 1997 where he became active in the radical Native Forest Action group and was later appointed to the West Coast Conservation Board.

I don't condone threats in any way. I can however understand how Lusk might get the odd one.

After all he will be seen by many Coasters as threatening their prosperity, property rights, livelihoods, children's futures, independence, self reliance and liberty.

Do that to Coasters and some of the sensitive wee souls might get a a little angry.

So harden up Pete! Would Lenin have chickened out like that?

Humble Apology Time

Pip posted this on David Farrar's Blog yesterday

I am interested that the VP of ACT doesn't think expropriating someone else's property is any kind of an issue.

Pip was referring to my cut and paste of some biographical notes on Radical Youth member, John Darroch. I lifted the segment, with slight editing, from Tearaway magazine, but attributed no credit.

Pip's got me cold. I hold a responsible position in a party that champions private property, so I should have been more principled.

It was basic laziness as I have no problem attributing sources as any regular reader of my blog will know.

I apologise to Tearaway and all readers of this blog.

While on the subject of apologies. I stated some time ago that next time I saw Roger Kerr of the Business Round Table, I would apologise to him for a silly anti BRT article I published some 17 years ago.

Well, I collared him after his speech at the ACT conference on Saturday and did the right thing.

Confession is good for the soul!

Monday, March 27, 2006

ACT Backs Flat Tax

Excellent!!!!! From a Dom Post report on Rodney Hide's speech to the weekend's ACT conference.

ACT would press for a flat 15 per cent tax rate and a Bill of Taxpayers’ Rights, which would hold per capita spending at present levels unless a referendum approved an increase

Dump This Dodgy Deal Mayor Moore.

So far, Cristcthurch City Council's plan to sell a part share in the Lyttelton Port Company to a subsidiary Hutchison-Whampoa has not gone smoothly.

So far, several letters to the editor and blog posts have revealed Hutchison's links to the Chinese Government and Peoples Liberation Army.

Otago Port Company has swooped on Lyttelton Port Company shares, taking a 10% stake and at least temporarily blocking the sale.

Investigate magazine has published an extensive article on H-W's links to China and the PLA, emphasising the negative securiy implications.

Keep Our Ports Private has been founded. This is a coalition of leftist groups and port unions opposing the sale on sovereignty and SECURITY grounds.

In this morning's Press, National deputy leader, Gerry Brownlee questioned the proposed deal over concerns about the secrecy surrounding it.

From what I gather, support for the deal is far from unanimous inside council.

Give it up Gary, You're on hiding to nothing.

Opposition to Lyttelton Port Deal Growing

From Alliance Party member, Joe Hendren's Blog

The Keep Our Port Public coalition (KOPP) is holding a public meeting in Christchurch opposing the sale of Lyttelton Port Company to Hutchison, a Hong Kong based multinational corporation. The sale represents the restart of the agenda to privatise publicly owned assets, and there are good indications the sale of the port could be followed by the privatisation of the bus company and Citycare. We already have an impressive list of speakers for the meeting, including

Sir Kerry Burke (the current chair of Environment Canterbury but I don't think he is speaking in this capacity)

Green MP Metiria Turei

Maritime Union of New Zealand

Wayne Butson, Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Murray Horton, CAFCA

So at 7.30 pm on Monday 10 April come along to the Limes Room of the Christchurch Town Hall and stop the privatisation of our port!An opinion piece by Murray Horton of KOPP, 'Moore's mighty sellout' was published in the Press on Friday, and Murray has already received a lot of positive feedback about the article. Murray says the proposed port sale sets a dangerous precedent for the future of other publicly owned assets in Christchurch".

"Kiddie Commie" Skites to Aussie Comrades

Excerpts from today's issue of Aussie Marxist-Leninist paper Green Left Weekly. Article by Omar Hamed of Aotearoa Radical Youth.

On March 20 in the heart of Auckland’s central business district, 1000 high school students who had walked out of school that morning rallied to demand an end to youth rates. The students were demonstrating the power of collective direct action, using their feet to vote for the Green Party-initiated Minimum Wage Amendment Bill, which would scrap youth rates for 16- and 17-year-olds.

The action was called by Aotearoa Radical Youth, a network of anti-capitalist Auckland students and young people that was established last year by myself and two other high school students to provide a means of challenging the injustice in our world.

A representative from each school spoke briefly about their experiences with youth rates and how they feel sick and tired of being exploited and discriminated against because of their age. After the rally, the thousand students marched down Queen Street, making small forays into multinational fast-food outlets to bring the fury of the streets back in the faces of the managers and politicians.

The day was a good step for the campaign against youth wage discrimination and a good day was had by all, except those who suffered brutal police behaviour directed at marchers. A brief scuffle with police got me arrested after I attempted to slow a speeding ambulance that I felt was endangering the safety of young people who had seated themselves in the middle of an intersection.

Some schools tried to stop students from walking out. At Takapuna Grammar — my old school, and the only school that had some idea of who Radical Youth are, because I threatened to take the school to the Human Rights Commission last year for censoring anarchist websites — 500 students were about to go on strike when the principal promised in an impromptu assembly, “If you do not walk out today, I will take three of you to Wellington with me next Monday and we will approach parliament to take up the issue”.

The students did not end up going on strike, so it is expected that three students including the Radical Youth member at Takapuna, will be flying to Wellington to talk to parliament about the issue. This was a result of the action these students were about to take. We know that this trip will add clarity to the unified voices of all the students who walked out.

Nista Singh, a Radical Youth spokesperson during the walkouts and former Pizza Hut worker who went on strike last December with Unite against the World Trade Organisation and exploitation of migrant labour, is receiving a commendation from her principal at Mount Roskill Grammar for her work on the campaign.

The walkout looks to be paying off, with the Unite union announcing today that McDonald’s is looking at phasing out youth rates, something the union says the company was not going to do before the walkout. As youth win over public support for an end to discrimination, more young people are standing up and fighting back against injustice. We are young, we are angry and we are poor. And as the recent insurgency in France shows us, “We are everywhere”.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rodney's Rebels

Part of the new ACT Board at yesterday's ACT annual conference in Wellington.

Standing Warren Jones, Helen Simpson, David Seymour, Garry Mallett (President), Mike Collins, Muriel Newman, Andrew Falloon, Yours Truly, Barbara Astill (Party Secretary)

Seated Great leader, Rodney Hide, Helmswoman, Heather Roy

Saturday, March 25, 2006

ACT's New Board

Members of ACT New Zealand have elected Garry Mallett as their new President and Trevor Loudon as Vice-President "ACT members have once again elected quality people with talent and passion", said outgoing ACT President Catherine Judd.

Regional Board Members

Auckland North: Brendon Cullen
Auckland South: David Seymour
Wellington: Michael Collins

Deputy Board Members

Auckland South: Warren Jones
Waikato/BOP: Ron Scott
Upper South: Andrew Falloon

I'm stoked with the new board. It's truly liberal and the average age is comparativelyly low. David Seymour and Mike Collins are both recent leaders of ACT on Campus and Warren Jones and Andrew Falloon are current AOCers.

AOC President Helen Simpson (who gave a great speech at today's ACT conference) will also have observer status on the board.

Allan Wilden has been co-opted onto the board for Scenic South. Central is hanging in limbo after a tied vote between Andrew Fulford and Anne Atkinson.

Garry Mallett gave an excellent speech to conference that also confirmed his liberal leanings.

Thanks to everybody who voted in the election. I think the new board will do you proud.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Congratulations Mr VP

Congratulations to my husband, Trevor, on his sucessful bid for Vice Presidency of ACT today.

The party couldn't have a more diligent, loyal and philosphically aligned VP.

Love Tracey

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Russia and China Co-operating on Energy

From Outsidethecube

Worlds largest energy cooperation agreement.

A number of important cooperation agreements have been signed between Russia and China during the visit to China of President Putin.

The most important are in the energy cooperation and a number of joint ventures.It is readily identified that the growth of the Chinese economy has been fueling the demand of commodities and energy products.

Full post here

W.A.Y.N.C.R.? Number 5, Joss Debreceny

My Fifth, Where Are You Now, Campus Radical? profile is of TVNZ's newly appointed publicity manager, Joss Debreceny. From a "Public Relations" family (his father worked for the Labour Party in the '70s), Joss Debreceny is well on his way up the corporate ladder.

Immediately before joining TVNZ, Debreceny worked for a well known PR firm who described him thus "Joss has nearly 10 years’ experience in communications and public relations. He has worked at a strategic and tactical level with a number of major clients and has strong brand, internal communications and issues management experience. Existing and previous clients include Borland, InFocus, Vodafone, Polycom, ANZ Bank, Frucor and Goodman Fielder...Joss has worked for the Ministry for the Environment, the ANZ Bank and national non-government organisations. Joss holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Communications, and a Bachelor and Masters of Arts. He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand."

The NGOs bit is telling. Joss Debreceny's background is a teensy bit socialist and has intersected the path of Sue Bradford an co. more than once.

A Selwyn College old boy, Debreceny was educated at the University of Otago, from 1988 to 1995.

In September 1991, Debreceny was listed in the Communist Party's, "Peoples Voice" as a contact for the Dunedin Day of Action Committee, part of nationwide anti-National Government campaign.

The same year he was involved in a protest with John Moore and Felix Geiringer, against National Party Cabinet Minister, Bill Birch's visit to the Otago Campus. "Human Hedgehog" Geiringer, threw himself under Birch's car and was lucky to escape serious injury. All three students had links to Otago University's radical, "Progressive Left" Club.

Incidentally, Geiringer is the son of the late arch radical, doctor Erich Geiringer and Dr Carol Shand. That makes him the grandson of the late Tom Shand, a former National Cabinet Minister, who allegedly joined the Communist Party in his youth.

In July 1992, Debreceny travelled to Melbourne with Matt McCarten. The pair represented Jim Anderton's New Labour Party at the conference of the Marxist youth group, "Resistance". Debreceny spoke about the student left in NZ.

Greetings were sent to the conference from the African National Congress, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Indonesian Youth Front. Resistance was and is, the youth wing of the Democratic Socialist Party/Perspective, which has long standing ties to NZ Alliance Party and Green Party leaders.

In Easter 1993, radicals, many with links to the old Workers Communist League, held a "Peace, Power and Politics" conference in Wellington.

Arising from the conference was the "Aotearoa Youth Network". Consisting mainly of students, the main component of AYN were neo Maoist members of the Auckland University Radical Society. Debreceny became Dunedin contact for the network and was the first editor of their national newsletter.

Debreceny was Dunedin contact in AYN newsletter number 4 for a nationwide anti National government publicity campaign.

The same year, Debreceny joined the National Organising Group for the "Peoples Assembly/Building Our own Futures" project. Other "NOG" members included former Workers Communist League members, Sue Bradford and Quentin Jukes as well as AYN and Auckland Uni Radical Society leader, Alistair Shaw.

The BOOF project was part of a pan Asian movement of leftist NGOs, the People's Plan for the 21st Century(PP21).

In March 1994, Debreceny was arrested, with eleven others (including Sue Bradford and Quentin Jukes) for trespass, during a protest at the Reserve Bank in Wellington.

In late '95 Debreceny quit as editor of the AYN Mag, to take up a position as campaigns co-ordinator for the NZ University Students Association in Wellington.

In 1996 Debreceny took part in the Great Student Bus Trip to Wellington, a nationwide campaign against student fees.

In 1997, he addressed the "Activism in Aoteoroa Workshops" on....."activism".

In 1998 Debreceny was co-ordinator of the Wellington Peoples Resource Centre. Founded in 1992, the centre was a hotbed of radicalism. Its first co-ordinator was former long time Workers Communist League member, Dale Little.

In the early '00s, Debreceny, was a contact for the Aotearoa Non Governmental Organisations Association, an umbrella group of mainly leftist NGOs. Even Michael Cullen described one of their reports as "Alliance Party propaganda".

Building Our Own Futures and former Workers Communist League activist, Robert Reid, chaired ANGOA in 1995 and Sue Bradford has been a long time member of its national co-ordinating committee.

By 2002 Debreceny was Communications advisor for the Ministry of the Environment. He was on the way up.

Now firmly in position in TVNZ, one wonders if he still spares a thought for his old comrades?

W.A.Y.N.C.R.? Number 4, Quentin Jukes

My latest Where Are You Now, Campus Radical? profile is of Quentin Jukes, a long time colleague of Green MP, Sue Bradford.

Quentin Jukes was active in student politics at Waikato Uni in the early '80s. Jukes studied Social Sciences and was on the Waikato Students Union executive in 1982/83.

In 1985 he was Vice President of the NZ University Students Association, one of several Workers Communist League members active in that body.

By 1987, Jukes was running the Massey Uni Progressives Club and was a spokesman for AC/DC (Action Committee Against Dole Cuts)

After Palmerston North, Jukes moved to Wellington where he worked with the Wellington Unemployed Workers Union. By 1990, Jukes was president of WUWU, a joint WCL/Socialist Unity Party operation.

Jukes was heavily into demos. On May 7th he protested outside Parliament over benefit cuts and on July 10th was WUWU leader at a sit-in at the Business Roundtable HQ in Wellington.

Through the early '90s, Jukes worked for the Wellington Poeople's Resource. Like Sue Bradford's Auckland Peoples Centre, the WPRC was dominated by former members of the Workers Communist League..

In 1993, he was a member, with Sue Bradford of the National Organising Group for the Peoples Assembly/ Building Our Own Futures Project. This organisation was run by an alliance of former WCL members and Marxist Catholics.

In March 1994, Jukes was arrested for trespass at the Reserve Bank, Wellington with Sue Bradford and 10 others. They were protesting that the Reserve Bank should be helping solve the unemployment problem. Jukes was a spokesman for the Aotearoa Network of Unemployed and Beneficiaries.

In 1995 Jukes was on the organising committee for the Activism in Aoteoroa Workshops to be held at Moores Valley, Wellington, in January 1996. These were run largely by ex WCL types and were basically a training camps for young radicals. Training covered everything from banner making to publishing propaganda, public speaking and revolutionary music.

By 1997, Jukes was Community Development Adviser-Youth, with the Wellington City Council.

By 1998, Jukes was a field worker for COMMACT in Auckland. This was the NZ branch of a Commonwealth wide NGO which "works for local action and economic development-communities empowered to help themselves"-in other words, socialism. Bill Bradford, husband of Sue, worked closely with Jukes in COMMACT

Jukes was employed to co-ordinate a nationwide "social audit". Funding came from the Tindall Foundation, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Department of Labour's Community Employment Group-later famous for funding "Hip Hop" tours.

In 2003, Jukes was traveling under the auspices of the Wellsford based, Kotare Trust (of which Sue Bradford was vice-chairman)advising people on how to claim more benefits from the taxpayer.

According to the Gisborne Herald "More than 1000 Gisborne residents could be missing out on special benefits worth $5 to $50 a week, a workshop was told on Monday.
Advocate for special benefits, Quentin Jukes conducted the workshop to educate Tairawhiti community workers about the Winz payments.

Using October 2002 figures supplied by the Ministry of Social Development, Mr Jukes said the Gisborne and Kaiti Winz offices had 5174 residents registered and of those 1212 had apparent eligibility for special benefits. However, only 19 were receiving the extra payments.

"There are circumstances where people facing hardship are entitled to extra payments and Winz officers should advise people how to apply for the special benefits," said Mr Jukes, who was brought to Tairawhiti by Kotare Trust and Oho Ake"

Currently, Quentin Jukes runs Homebuilders Family Services in Warkworth, north of Auckland. He continues to work closely with Sue and Bill Bradford on fostering "social change".

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Another Good Reason to Ban Human Cloning

If human cloning ever becomes a reality, this picture might be a taste of the horrors to come.

From Rodney's Blog

British Labour MP Austin Mitchell’s snap of me the day before the election last year has won 100 pounds for the CLIC Sargent charity that provides care and financial support for children and families living with cancer and leukaemia. That was in the Jessops Parliamentary Photography Competition.

The picture is on show at the Palace of Westminster.

Well done Rodney and the 2005 Epsom Victory Team.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sue Bradford, Nice Lady, Shame About the Politics, Part 3

After her brief fling with the Green Party, Sue Bradford settled back into her old patterns, organising demos, getting arrested and running the Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre.

In January 1991 she led a sit in at the US Consulate in Auckland after the first Iraq war broke out.

In February she was prominent at an Auckland march against benefit cuts at which the Communist Party displayed their "Build a United Front of Labour - Communist Party" banner.

In May she helped organise an AUWRC demo outside the Auckland National Party offices. The same month, Bradford was involved in an AUWRC gatecrash of an economics seminar at the Hyatt ballroom where Rob Storey was delivering a speech on behalf of Ruth Richardson. She also set up an AUWRC soup kitchen outside the Aotea Centre as patrons arrived for the opening night of Les Miserables.

In November, Bradford was involved in an AUWRC trespass onto the lawn of Sir Michael Fay's Mission Bay mansion where a plastic and bamboo shanty was erected.

Later that month, she and husband Bill spent a weekend in jail after being arrested during an AUWRC march in central Auckland

The pattern continued in 1992 with demos outside an economics conference at the Pan Pacific Hotel, outside the 1ZB studios where Jim Bolger was on talkback radio and outside the National Party Annual Conference at the Downtown Convention Centre.

While the Workers Communist League was no more and its successor "Left Currents" had also faded into the background, Bradford still worked closely with many of her old Maoist comrades.

In August 1992 she addressed a meeting of Auckland Uni's neo-Maoist Radical Society (led by ex WCL supporter Bruce Cronin), on ousting the National Government.

She also contributed articles to "Labour Notes", a journal run by ex WCLers.

As head of the Auckland Peoples Centre Bradford worked with several ex WCLers on the staff and with People's Centres in other towns, all run by ex WCL types.

In November 1992, Bradford spoke at conference at the WEA Centre in Christchurch "Building for Real Political Change", run by the Campaign for People's Sovereignty. This group was made of various Christchurch organisations, including Murray Horton's Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa.

In 1993, Bradford stood for parliament on an AUWRC ticket. She told Metro of May 1993 "a parliamentary seat has long been a personal ambition." One of her fellow AUWRC candidates was Stan (Steve) Hieatt, a former member of the Communist Party and the Workers Communist League.

In 1993, the Campaign for People's Sovereignty, former WCL members, neo Maoist students and radical Catholics began working towards a new movement. This was inspired by partly by a document written in 1991 by the Justice, Peace and Service Unit of the Conference of Churches of Aotearoa/NZ entitled "Let's Build Our Own Future".

In November 1993, Bradford attended the Wellington Peoples Assembly where she spoke about the new Peoples Charter Movement. This was part of the Building Our Own Futures Project (BOOF), a network of radical groups inspired by CPS, CAFCA, the People's Select Committee, the 1993 Peace, Power and Politics Conference and the People's Plan for the 21st Century (PP21).

PP21, was and is an Asian wide network of radical groups, mainly Maoist orientated or infiltrated. Some of the dozens of affiliated organisations have included the Asian Students Association, the Asian Cultural Forum on Development, Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links, Asian Alliance of YMCAs, Asian Centre for the Progress of Peoples, Child Workers in Asia, Third World Network, Asia-South Pacific Bureau for Adult Education.

Robert Reid, one time Workers Communist League's international officer, was on the regional Co-rdinating Team for PP21. According to the BOOF introductory booklet "PP21 was the international inspiration for the Peoples Assembly and the ongoing activity and more than a dozen people from Aoteoroa have been involved in International PP21 activities".

Reid was member of the BOOF/People's Assembly National Organising Group as was Sue Bradford. Other WCL linked activists on the National Organising Group were Maxine Gay and Quentin Jukes. Alistair Shaw from Radical Society and the Aotearoa Youth Network, was also a member as were Joss Debreceny and Lisa Beech from AYN. Several Catholic activists including radical priest Jeff Drane and Dunedin nun, Josie Dolan were also members.

The BOOF/People's Assembly movement worked with several offshoots and allied organisations, including the Aotearoa Youth Network, the Activism in Aotearoa conferences and the Aotearoa Network of Unemployed and Beneficiaries (ANUB).

In March 1994, Sue Bradford was arrested with eleven others, for trespass at an ANUB organised demo at the Reserve Bank in Wellington.

Privacy for Paedophiles? Piss Off!

From today's Herald

A convicted paedophile has been awarded $25,000 damages for invasion of his privacy after police alerted people in his neighbourhood to his presence.

Barry Brown - who has convictions for sexual offences dating back to 1982 - sued police in Wellington District Court for $80,000.

He was identified in 2001 after he was released from a five-year sentence for kidnapping and indecently assaulting a 5-year-old boy.

Police circulated leaflets including his photograph, physical description and information about his criminal past to residents of Strathmore, Wellington.

Mr Brown's lawyer, Dale La Hood, yesterday issued a statement on behalf of his client, who, he said, was pleased with the decision in which his right to privacy was upheld.

This is utter madness. We pay the police and courts to catch and convict offenders. All information gathered in that process should be fully accessible to the public. After all we paid for its collection.

No-one, let alone criminals, have any right to privacy when they are acting in the public domain.

The police were perfectly correct to notify residents of Brown's presence in their area and his predilections.

Brown should be a marked man, until such times as he proves he has conquered his evil side. Why should children be at unnecessary risk, merely to protect the feelings of Brown and his ilk.

In a sane society, Brown's history would be a matter of easily accessible public record and police would be required to notify locals of his presence.

Who is Radical Youth?

A comment from David Farrar's KiwiBlog yesterday by "Ted Kennedy"

Some enterprising journo should do some digging and ask specifically what links Radical Youth has with Unite, the Greens, and the role played in RY by the likes of John Minto and Matt McCarten.

While Ted is dreaming if he thinks any mainstream journo is going to investigate the radical left, here is my contribution

Radical Youth, who in conjunction with Matt McCarten's UNITE union, led 500 high pupils on an anti youth rates march in Queen St yesterday, are basically the youth wing of Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

GPJA is led by John Minto and long time Marxist-Leninist Mike Treen. It groups several radical strands and has close ties to the Greens, Alliance, Socialist Worker and the Socialist Worker front "Workers Charter Movement". It has people in several high schools in Auckland, including in the newly formed students union at the revolutionary hotbed of Epsom Girl's Grammar.

Radical Youth's leadership includes

Joseph Minto
Unsurprisingly, the son of GPJA leader and Workers Charter editor, John Minto

Omar Hamed
A Palestinian, Omar was at Takapuna Grammar last year. He is active in the radical, Auckland Uni based, Students for Justice in Palestine. He was a friend of Harmeet Singh Sooden, currently (still alive, I hope) being held hostage in Iraq. He was listed Socialist Worker's "Unity" of September 05 as endorsing the "Workers Charter".

John Darroch
Currently studying sustainable horticulture at Unitec, first became involved in activism when he attended a GE-free march with his brother. The 17 year-old then started taking part in actions focused around issues, such as the invasion of Iraq, genetic engineering and climate change. He also joined Greenpeace and the Green Party. He was Nandor Tanczos' rep in the last youth parliament.

Nista Singh
A Nepali, 17 year old high school student and UNITE union delegate. Here she is in a December 15th 2005 Press release “These multinationals’ endless drive to increase profits leads them to hire vulnerable migrant workers to help maintain low labour costs. This has an overall effect of lowering the value of all workers and increasing gap between rich and poor, locally and globally,”

Monday, March 20, 2006

"Investigate" Looks Into China/Lyttelton Port Deal

The latest issue of "Investigate" also probes the proposed deal between the Christchurch City Council and Hong Kong based Hutchison-Whampoa.

Investigate's front cover proclaims

"NZ Port Security Threat-China's Richest Man Wants to Buy NZ Ports-but he's linked to the Chinese military"

Good to see Investigate giving this issue the coverage it deserves. Shame on our "mainstream" media for ignoring the security implications of the proposed deal.

So far the Lyttelton Port Unions, several Christchurch private citizens and according to Issue Number 2 of the Workers Charter paper, the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (apologies Murray and co, I never thought you'd do it) have come out against the deal.

Well done Investigate, for taking up the cudgels.

Investigate on David Parker

According to the Investigate magazine Blog

Attorney-General David Parker could face up to $1.8 million in fines or a five year jail term after filing false statements with the Companies Office during his time as a Labour MP, according to a story in the latest Investigate magazine.

The magazine says it has six documents bearing David Parker’s name, that make a false declaration to the New Zealand Companies Office about the Labour MP’s business affairs. Four of the documents have been submitted since Parker became a Labour MP, the most recent document is dated 2005.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

20,000 Hits

Thanks Y'all!

Matt McCarten's Wet Dream

Writing in today's Herald on Sunday, Matt McCarten, tells where Labour gets its money from. What matt really wants though is for unions to fund his comrades in the Green Party, so we could have more "pro-worker policy." Hat Tip Rodney Hide

Yet the trade union movement still puts all its eggs in one basket. Its dedication in providing funding and resources for Labour's election victory last year was impressive. I know two unions alone put six-figure sums into Labour's campaign. That's not counting the thousands of union campaign helpers provided on the ground.

While the union movement has cordial relationships with the Labour Party, it misses the reality that they no longer have a party that can govern alone. The two-party system has been replaced by MMP's multi-party system. They have to learn to count.

If the unions had given an equal amount of resources to the Greens last year, the Greens would have won at least one more seat. This would have ensured Labour would have accepted them into Cabinet. The Greens have constantly supported pro-worker policy; their inclusion in Government would have strengthened policies that help workers.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Prima Facie Case; Police Are Labour's Lackeys

The NZ Police top brass are gutless wonders.

If you're doing 5Kms over the limit on your way to work to make some money to pay your taxes to pay their wages, its ZERO tolerance.

If you're a farmer in a remote area and you shoot some hood trying to steal your property, the police will prosecute, cost you a 100K, knowing they won't get a conviction, because its in the "public interest".

If you are the ruling party and you commit a blatant breach of the law, its "no worries mate".

Here are a few comments on the police decision not to prosecute Labour for their 400K overspend in the 2005 election.

Rodney Hide

"What does a Labour Minister need to do to get prosecuted?

The police also found a prima facie case against Helen Clark in 2002, after she signed a painting that she didn't paint. Then in 2004 the Prime Ministerial motorcade was caught speeding, but Ms Clark let police officers take the rap.

More recently, police found a prima facie case against David Benson-Pope, but decided not to prosecute.

There are two laws in New Zealand – and Labour Ministers carry with them a 'get out of jail free' card. Here's a government that passes laws at the drop of a hat, but thinks they only apply to other people.

It's wrong that Helen Clark and the Labour party are constantly put above the law that everyone else in New Zealand has to obey".

Clint Heine

Unbelievable. The Police in NZ have shown that they are indeed the playthings of the Labour administration and will allow them to get away with everything, while punishing other ministers outside of Labour for small infringements.

I am shocked they went as far as they did this time with the Labour election overspending. This I believe is going to start the beginning of the end for whoever is pulling the strings in Police HQ. Once National wins the next election their heads are going to roll SO FAST they won't even hear their bodies hit the floor.

David Farrar

I am disgusted. The Police have said they will issue a warning [oh how scary] to Labour if they infringe again, but despite *another* prima facie finding of the law being broken, there will be no prosecutions at all. Fucking Incredible.

I actually agreed with Police decisions not to prosecute for paintergate, for Hodgson's technical assault and for Benson Pope's assaults. While I was critical of the Ministers making excuses for what they did, I have said that the offending wasn't so serious as to need prosecution. I have been relatively balanced on the Police using their discretion.

However this case is very different. The over-spending was massive and letting them off just makes a mockery of having spending limits. A $400,000 over-spend is huge.

The Police rationale is also bizarre. You see they have found a prima facie case in relation to the pledge card not being authorised but have said they do not have enough evidence on the charge of over-spending.

Now if you conclude that the pledge card needed to be authorised, then you have concluded it is an election activity because otherwise it would not need authorisation. And if you have done that then that must count towards their spending limit. I can't see how it can be one but not the other.

My respect for the NZ Police have just shrunk to near zero. Both the Chief Electoral Officer and the Electoral Commission independently concluded that the pledge card was election spending and Labour over-spent. For the Police to conclude otherwise against the two specialist agencies is astonishing.

Well this has really fired me up and my motto is don't get mad, get even. If one needed motivation for 2008 you now have it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Reply to Aaron; Confronting Evil

Former ACT Deputy Board member Aaron Bhatnagar has this to say, regarding my defence of Rodney Hide's exposing of David Benson-Pope.

In the end, politics is not about being negative and "hurting the other party" but about advancing society through the application of your philosophy and policy. By way of example, look at Wayne Mapp's bill to bring in probationary periods in employment. That will actually help business and job growth, which is something we should care about.

Aaron is partly right. Politics should be about advancing a positive agenda, much of the time.

However, a truly great politician, must be able to do more than that. He or she must be able to confront evil.

Evil is not a popular concept in today's world and hardly exists at all outside religious circles. The concept that is-the reality is always with us.

Confronting and naming evil makes us uncomfortable. It reminds us that we all have a dark side and all have committed some evil in our lives.

Politicians are charged primarily with protecting their citizen's lives and liberty.
A good politician will identify threats to the citizen's life or liberty and do everything possible to vanquish those threats.

That may be extortion gangs, foreign armies, serial rapists, fraudsters, spies, union thugs, agents of influence in our media or socialist politicians hell-bent on destroying our constitutional safeguards.

How many of our MPs conciously and consistently put their "nuts on the line" to protect us? How many will name an enemy and do what ever it takes to destroy it?

Rodney Hide takes our freedoms and constitutional safeguards seriously. I beleive he recognises that this Labour Government has already done this country huge damage and will do more if given half a chance.

Rodney Hide has slowed the bastards down like no-one else. He has nailed them at every opportunity. He sees the bigger picture. He knows what this country could be and he understands the damage that this government is doing.

Look at three of the greatest politicians of last century; Churchill, Thatcher and Reagan. All had huge positive agendas, but all had no hesitation in confronting evil.

Churchill railed against the Nazis long before it was fashionable and lead Britain against all odds through WW2.

Thatcher took on the truly appalling British unions and defeated them. She protected British sovereignty in the Falklands against the evil of the Argentine invasion.

Reagan fought the Hollywood Communists in '50s and humbled their Soviet masters in the '80s. He bombed terrorist Quadaffi into meek submission and he overthrew the Communist regimes of Grenada and Nicaragua.

Like Rodney Hide, none of these people were perfect, but they all had a vision of what was possible and were prepared to fight an "invincible" enemy to achieve it.

This is all very dramatic and old fashioned. It is not how most people see the world today. The moral lines have become so blurred that many can no longer discern them.

A Minister of the Crown has almost certainly lied to Parliament. His Prime Minister doesn't sack him, she backs him.

That action degrades the morality of this country. It will excuse thousands of future lies and petty crimes for years to come. It was an evil action, with major ramifications. Yet much of the country accepts it as a "so what".

Helen Clark's government has set a shocking moral example to this country. That is why I despise this government, for more than any other reason.

Rodney Hide has a huge amount of vision for this country, but he is not blind to the obstacles. When Rodney Hide dishes it out to the likes of Benson-Pope, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable (including me sometimes), but I'm still glad he's doing it.

I believe we will see more of the visionary side of Rodney Hide in the years to come. But if he has to deal to some evil on the way, then so be it.

IRD on Wheels?

I stole this from Andrew Falloon. He stole it from the Ashburton Guardian. It's about the police stealing from motorists.

If Ashburton's police officers are focused on their jobs, they should be able to issue one traffic ticket per working hour, says Ashburton’s police chief Arnold Kelly.

In the past year, Ashburton officers issued 13,000 hours worth of tickets, but that falls well short of the one ticket per hour target the Police Department requires, Mr Kelly said.

Ticket quotas are a recipe for police dishonesty and corruption. Even if corruption doesn't occur, many people will perceive it does as they're hit with fines for petty offences. Imagine how many people would get stitched up if police had to catch four burglars and one rapist every week or risk a stalled career.

The police image is probably the lowest it has ever been. Turning the police into bounty hunters or the IRD on Wheels will do nothing to help that image.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rodney's Real Responsibilities

From The Whig part of a comment by former ACT board member, turned Nat, Aaron Bhatnagar.

Rodney has allowed a sort of McCarthyist politics dictate his actions in Parliament. It's a "get Benson-Pope at any costs" mentality, which will never win ACT votes. It may in fact put people off from voting for ACT even if they find the ACT policy message agreeable, because they find the characters associated with the party as distasteful.

The point that often eludes Rodney's critics is that Rodney's primary responsibility is not to ACT. Rodney is the MP for Epsom and he is the employee of the NZ taxpayer.

Rodney has a clear responsibility to put the longterm interests of Epsom and NZ, before any consideration of ACT's popularity.

Ideally he could do both, but we don't live in an ideal world.

Rodney had the opportunity to severely damage the most corrupt government in recent times. He also had the chance to hold to account a Minister of the Crown, almost certainly lying to Parliament.

In my view Rodney would have been irresponsible not to do what he did.

Some might find it distasteful, some might find it tedious, some may find it a big turn off. It is unlikely to gain ACT votes and indeed will probably lose some.

But that is all secondary. Rodney nailed Benson-Pope because it was morally right and he was one of the few MPs in the House with the courage and fortitude to do the job.

When facing a hardened bunch of socialists like Helen Clark's Labour, you have to be even harder than they are.

Thank God we've got someone like Rodney Hide, who doesn't leave his balls behind when he steps into the debating chamber.

A Small Step in the Wrong Direction

New Zealand First MPH Barbara Stewart's members bill cutting the number of MPs from 120 to 100 was passed 61 to 60 at its first reading last night.

The bill will founder and so it should.

The number of MPs in our parliament is not the problem. In fact I would be comfortable with more. The problem is their lack of accountability and the lack of constitutional checks on their ability to exceed what should be limited powers

Originally, MPs were chosen to represent a region. That is, you were elected by the citizens of Upper Kaiapoi or West Temuka to protect their interests.

Legitimate interests might be that the area was being effectively policed, had a functioning justice system and had sufficient militia or soldiers to protect against marauders.

If that was an MPs sole responsibility, the workload would be light, the job part time and the remuneration modest. We could then afford more MPs who would be harder to control by party executives. The ratio of MPH to constituents would also be lower.

Under the diabolical system of MMP, society is divided into competing groups-Maori, Greens, Torys, "workers" etc, each with representatives out to gain their group as much as possible by ripping off the other groups.

The concept is essentially Marxist and the outcome (bigger government, more transfer payments) is predictable.

A focus on the number of MPs is a red herring. The focus should be on their powers, or more accurately, the limitation of them.

A Small Step in the Right Direction

From today's Herald

A National Party bill to allow a 90-day probation period for new workers passed its first hurdle last night and will proceed to a select committee.

The probation period employment bill - which will give employers a 90-day trial period in which they can get rid of people who don't work out without a personal grievance claim taken against them - passed 63-58, with National, New Zealand First, Act and United Future all voting for it.

Three members of the Maori Party, which held the balance on the bill, voted in favour of it, and one member voted against it.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said the majority of the party was supporting the bill to select committee because it wanted debate about Maori access to employment.

"We want to widen the options available, so that our people have the chance to get their foot in the door, to achieve the fullest possible range of employment opportunities. In case this House hasn't noticed, the door is still slammed shut for far too many Maori."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Crown Law Considers Charging Labour Party

The Crown Law Office will advise police by the end of next week whether or not to prosecute the Labour Party for alleged over spending in the 2005 election.

How the hell will Crown Law wriggle out of the fact that Labour spent $446,000 from Helen Clark's leader's fund, on pledge cards for purely electoral purposes?

Labour is trying to divert the police onto other areas and the police are now investigating the Exclusive Brethren pamphlets distributed widely before the election.

How does a political party incorrectly spending taxpayer's money to win an election, compare in any way to a private organisation spending its own money to discredit parties and policies they disapprove of?

Crown Law's decision will be crucial to the future of this government.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"If PSNA Are Terrorist Sympathisers, Then So Is Helen Clark"

This piece, comes, with the above heading from the Philippines Solidarity Network Aotearoa's Kapitiran No 22 of January 2003. The author is PSNA Secretary, Murray Horton

"One major concern had been that New Zealanders supporting liberation movements overseas (which more often than not have to resort to armed struggle - East Timor is the most recent example) would be swept up in the scope of this anti-terrorist law. The law as passed allows Kiwis to make donations to such foreign groups if they intend them to be used for humanitarian aid.

As detailed in Aziz Choudry's article, Joma Sison and the New People's Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines (NPA/CPP) have been added to the global list of "foreign terrorist organisations" (along with the likes of the Abu Sayyaf Group).

The NPA has been fighting the Armed Forces of the Philippines and all the other guntoting forces of the Philippine government since the 1960s. Both the CPP and NPA play a leading role in the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political wing of the Communist-led revolutionary movement, which is based in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

PSNA exchanges publications with the NDF (as we do with all sorts of other groups) and we routinely receive e-mailed NDF press releases, etc. Back in the 1980s PSNA hosted Joma Sison (fresh out of his nine years of imprisonment and torture, without charge or trial, during the Marcos dictatorship) and fellow CPP/NDF leader Luis Jalandoni when they made New Zealand speaking tours.

We don't believe that this makes us any sort of "terrorists", simply a group devoted to maintaining ties with the broadbased Filipino progressive movement. If we're terrorists, then we're in good company - none other than Helen Clark attended one of Sison's New Zealand public meetings in 1986.

Attendance at speeches by "terrorists" years earlier was deemed sufficient grounds for Australian cops and Intelligence agents, wielding guns and sledgehammers, to smash their way into the homes of hapless Indonesians resident in Australia, in the wake of the October 2002 Bali bombings - we look forward to an NZ encore performance at any one of Helen Clark's residences.

"...As a member of the then Labour government you attended one of his public meetings, and I understand that you may have also met him. This was in the context of your active interest in the political situation in the Philippines in the 1980s. You went to hear what Joma Sison had to say and recognised him as representing a significant section of Philippine political opinion.

"Does the Government endorse or oppose the designation of him as a "foreign terrorist"? It is not very long ago that governments with whom New Zealand was aligned designated Nelson Mandela and Xanana Gusmao as terrorists. Are we fated to learn nothing from the lessons of the very recent past? By designating Sison and the two organisations as "terrorists" simply lessens the chance of a just and peaceful settlement of Asia's longest running civil war..." (extract from a letter that I, as PSNA Secretary, wrote to Helen Clark, 19/11/02. She declined to reply, forwarding it to Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs)."

Who is Crispin Beltran?

The Philippines Solidarity Network Aotearoa is very concerned at the arrest of the leftist Anakpawis Party's Congressman, Crispin Beltran in the Philippines. PSNA have asked Helen Clark to intercede with Philippines President Arroyo on Beltran's behalf.

The PSNA toured Beltran here in 1999, as long time head of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, the Communist Party of the Philippines' aligned trade union grouping.

Beltran became president of the "Yellow Taxi Drivers’ Union and the Amalgamated Taxi Drivers Federation from 1955-1963. From 1963-1972, he was Vice-administrator of the Confederation of Labor Unions of the Philippines, and then vice-president of the Philippine Alliance of Nationalist Organizations which became the Alliance of Nationalist Genuine Labor Organizations, affiliated under the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) whose establishment on May 1, 1980, signaled the labor movement’s all-out war against the Marcos dictatorship."

He and several other union leaders were arrested by the military in 1982, but Beltran escaped and spent two years underground with the Communist Party's "New People's Army" in Central Luzon. Beltran adopted the "nom de guerre" of "Ka Anto" during this time.

In 1990, "Ka Bel" as he is popularly known, was charged in February 1990, by the Toledo City prosecutor, with "illegal association with the Communist Party of the Philippines".

Crackdown on Philippines "Insurrectionists"

From the Star-Sun Network Online February 26 2006

Party-list Legislators, Communist Leaders Sued for Rebellion

MANILA -- In line with the crackdown on people allegedly out to destabilize the government, police on Monday filed rebellion charges against 15 individuals identified with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army.

In his complaint before the Department of Justice , police directorate for investigation and detective management acting head Rodolfo Mendoza Jr. submitted the names of at least 51 individuals or their aliases and several still unidentified persons for the crimes of rebellion and insurrection.

Among those charged were communist group founder and chairman Jose Maria Sison, National Democratic Front chairman Luis Jalandoni, NPA leaders Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal, Sotero Llamas and Fidel Agcaoili, party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna), Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), Crispin Beltran, Teodoro Casiño (Bayan Muna), Liza Maza (Gabriela), and Joel Virador (Bayan Muna), and militant leader Nathaniel Santiago (Bayan).

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. said some of the personalities named in the complaint would be called to the justice department for preliminary investigation.

He reiterated his earlier statement that some junior officers involved in a failed military rebellion in July 2003 have established links with the communists to topple the Arroyo administration, based on evidence gathered by police.

"There is obviously an alliance. There are documents that will establish links, from the diskettes itself. This has been a long-standing case but we only decided to file now because it was only now that police were able to consolidate all the evidence," he said.

The complaint, contained in a thick blue folder was but one of three volumes submitted by police as evidence against the respondents, which include classified documents and a diskette found in the possession of recaptured mutineers 1st Lieutenants Lawrence San Juan and Patricio Bumidang Jr.

Mendoza said the individuals allegedly conspired to bring down government by drawing up a three-year plan for 2003 to 2005, which will be enforced in three stages to include the setting up of armed city partisans and broadening their legal fronts.

"In time, they claimed they would have grown to 128 guerilla fronts that cover 8,000 barrios and significant portions of some 700 to 800 municipalities and cities in more than 90 percent of the provinces nationwide, 50 percent in Luzon, 20 percent in Visayas, and 30 percent in Mindanao," Mendoza said.

The plan involved the raising of the "level of people's war and make all-round advances in the revolution."

According to the police, the objectives of the three-year program was divided into two fronts: legal fronts composed of militant groups Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Gabriela, Pamalakaya, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Kadamay, League of Filipino Students, Kaguma, Courage, Armas and others.

The illegal groups were the guerilla units and urban terrorist groups scattered all over the country, police said.

From 2003 up to the present, the police and military have attributed several atrocities to the communist group and its military arm, the NPA. Among these were:

* numerous raids and ambuscades nationwide
* selective assassinations of so-called "rejectionists", to include Aguinaldo, Kintanar, Kabara and Lagman
* employment of child combatants
* mass killings
* use of landmines

"This three-year program for expanding and consolidating the NPA has been extended by its political bureau for another year, to 2006, in order to provide ample time to the NPA and other revolutionary forces to fulfill the targets of their program," Mendoza said in the complaint.

Clark Urged to Tackle Philippines President on Human Rights

From the NZ Herald 13.03.06 By Paul Smith

Prime Minister Helen Clark is being urged to raise human rights abuses with the Philippines government during a meeting there this week.

President Gloria Arroyo declared an effective state of emergency last month, saying it was necessary to prevent a coup.

There are reports that one of the leading opposition figures, Crispin Beltran, has been arrested as part of the latest crackdown.

Professor Jane Kelsey, of Auckland University's law faculty, has written to Helen Clark asking her to "convey, publicly, to President Arroyo's representative the New Zealand government's condemnation of the state of emergency and the Philippine government's breach of its international human rights obligations".

Representatives of the Catholic Church in New Zealand have backed the call and have highlighted a wide range of alleged abuses in the country.

David Tutty, justice and peace worker for the church in Auckland, last week encouraged people to write to Helen Clark's office asking her to take up these issues with the Phillipines Government.

Mr Tutty hosted a meeting in Ponsonby on Friday night at which Audrey Beltran, a member of the Cordillera People's Alliance, showed documentaries on the plight of indigenous people in the Philippines.

Green Party MP Keith Locke also wrote to Helen Clark last week. In his letter he stated: "I would like you to bring to the attention of the President and her government that New Zealand sees the repression as a setback for human rights and democracy in the Philippines, and in our region."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said he was not aware of Professor Kelsey's letter or the wider calls for Helen Clark to raise the issues with President Arroyo.

However, he added: "As a general rule, the Prime Minister is concerned about human rights in a country and she raises those when she meets heads of state." He said she had done so, for example, with the Chinese leadership.

Helen Clark today arrives in the Philipines, where she will meet President Arroyo and attend the Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue.


David Tutty is a member of the Philippines Solidarity Network of Aoteoroa, an organisation sympathetic to and supportive of the Communist Party of the Philippines and their "New Peoples Army" armed wing. He has been to the Philippines at least twice, including in November 2003.

Keith Locke is a former national co-ordinator of the Philippines Solidarity Network and in October 2002, wrote to the Dutch government in defence of Communist Party of the Philippines leader, Jose Maria Sison.

Jane Kelsey is a member of the ARENA group, an organisation sponsored by the Philippines Solidarity Network of Aoteoroa.

Audrey Beltran's Cordillera People's Alliance is a well known front for the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Chinese President Directs Military Propagandists

Excerpts from China Daily 13th March 2006

Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing Tuesday visited the Liberation Army Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, to congratulate it on its 50th founding anniversary.

President Hu Jintao visits and greets the staffs of the Liberation Army Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese People's Liberation Army in Beijing Jan. 3, 2006.

Hu, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the newspaper should advance with the times and better play its role in educating, encouraging, and mobilizing. It should also further contribute to national defense and the building of the military, thus helping the whole nation build up a moderately prosperous society.

Hu's entourage included Guo Boxiong, Cao Gangchuan, Xu Caihou, Liang Guanglie, Li Jinai, Liao Xilong, Chen Bingde, Qiao Qingchen and Jing Zhiyuan, all members of the Central Military Commission.

On Tuesday morning, Hu and his entourage first listened to a brief report by the leaders of the newspaper, then visited the website station of the newspaper, the typing and printing workshop, and the office of the editors-in-chief.

At the website station, Hu watched the demonstration of the national defense forum on the website, the website in the English version, and also the databank. He also surfed online for the introduction of the 36 Chinese strategists.

When meeting with the whole working staff, Hu stressed that the newspaper is the mouthpiece of the party in the military, and an important platform for military publicity. Over the past 50 years, the newspaper has expanded its publicity fields, strengthened its quality and made important contributions to national defense and the building of the military.

Hu stressed that national defense and the building of the military are stepping into a new era for development with the whole nation entering a crucial time for building a moderately prosperous society.

The military is expected to fulfill its historical task of national defense, holding high the banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of the Three Represents and implementing the scientific concept of development.

The current situation has raised higher demands for the publicity work of the military, Hu said. In line with the principles of the Party, the newspaper should stick to the right political direction. Serving the national core interest of economic development, the newspaper should also focus more on the guidelines and policies of the Party and sum up the experience of the military. The newspaper should also provide better services for officers and soldiers, Hu said.

China Renews Commitment to Marxist Future

The popular view is that China is abandoning Marxist-Leninism and will slowly evolve into a capitalist and democratic state. Much of our relationship with China is based on this "Pollyanna" like view.

below are excerpts from a 6th of February 2006 article in the Korean online journal Ohmy News "China Revives Marx"

Conference on Marxism Studies, the Establishment Project, and the Compilation Team of Philosophy Textbooks held at Hunan University, Hunan Province, China, on May 20, 2005

Hu Jintao, president of China, celebrated the Chinese lunar New Year on Jan. 30 in Yan'an in Shanxi Province

According to the Xinhua News Agency, President Hu visited farmers in villages and expressed his New Year's greetings to them. He also visited historical sites of the Chinese revolution in Yan'an, including the former residence of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi, and Lin Biao.

Yan'an is a holy site of the Chinese socialist revolution led by Mao Zedong. Being blockaded by Nationalist forces, the Red Army began its retreat - the "Long March" of 9,600km (6,000 miles), in 1934. After confronting all kinds of hardship, the army finally settled in Yan'an, where it could maintain its revolutionary authority, enabling it to declare the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Despite constitutional provisions the chief executive has the last say in political decision making in China, and therefore Mr. Hu's visit to Yan'an has important implications. For instance, the pioneer of China's reform and open-door policy, Deng Xiaoping, spent his New Year holidays in Shanghai - the symbolic city of reform and opening - for seven consecutive years after 1988.

Today's China is a capitalist society in almost all respects except for the political governance of the Communist Party. It is commonly understood that China, ranked last year as the world's 5th largest economy, is really more capitalistic than any capitalist country, while outwardly claiming to be a socialist nation.

Therefore, Marxism-Leninism, the dominant political philosophy in China for the thirty years since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, has practically been abolished.

As can be gathered from his visit to Yan'an, the symbolic site of the Chinese socialist revolution, on New Year's Day, President Hu is at work on something that appears outdated at first glance: the Project on the Foundation and Establishment of Marxism.

The Communist Party of China decided to launch the "Marx Project" in January 2004. After convening preliminary conferences, the CPC officially established the Research Institute of Marxism under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on December 26, 2005, the birthday of Mao Zedong, thus expediting implementation of the Marx Project.

The headquarters of the CPC exercises direct supervision of the Marx Project, and so the scope of the Project is tremendous. The Propaganda Department of the headquarters of the CPC is in charge of day-to-day affairs, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the CPC University, and the Defense University participate in the Project.

According to the Nov. 2005 issue of the weekly Ryowang Dongfang, a magazine specializing in current political affairs in China, approximately 300 researchers are currently engaged in the Project, and about 20 conferences have already been convened.

Just last year 20 million Yuan (U.S.$2.5 million) was invested in the Project. According to the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, the Government of China plans to assign 3,000 man-days and invest between 100 and 200 million Yuan (U.S.$12.4 - 24.8 million). The Marx Project is designed to be a 10-year plan, and the Project results will be summarized and publicized every three years.

The Director of the Research Institute for Marxism, Leninism, and Mao Zedong Thought at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Li Chungfu, said that such a huge research project on Marxism is unprecedented in the history of the Communist Party of China.

Five Main Goals

The first goal is to enhance research on Sino-Marxist theory, including Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Thought and on the "Three Represents" Theory.

The "Three Represents" Theory was introduced in 2001 by Jiang Zemin, then president of China. According to this theory, the Communist Party of China must stand for the requirements of the development of China's advanced productive forces; the orientation of the development of China's advanced culture; and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China.

The second goal is to accomplish a new translation of the works of Marx and Lenin. Based on the internationally recognized Marx-Engels Collected Works, the Project is aiming at publishing the ten volumes of the Marx-Engels Collection and the five volumes of the Lenin Selection by 2007.

The third goal is to update Marxism for academia.

The fourth goal is to publish 13 volumes of textbooks for high school students; four volumes of general textbooks; three volumes of introductory theory; and six volumes of core texts. These textbooks will be first reviewed by an advisory committee and finally inspected by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC, which consists of elite groups in China. This process clearly shows the great interest of government leaders in the Marx Project.

After publishing the first thirteen texts, publication will be expanded to 140-150 volumes.

The fifth goal is to promote the ability to understand and the curricula for Marxist studies, targeting young theorists, scholars, reporters, and editors.

The Vice Secretary-General of the Translation and Editing Bureau of China, Yang Jinhai, explained that the prime goals of this Project are research into basic Marxist theory, the compilation of high school textbooks, and the practice of Marxism in the real world.

The Director of the Research Institute, Li Chungfu, said that traditional Marxism-Leninism is not opposed to either Deng Xiaoping Thought or the "Three Represents" Theory. He stressed, "People should recognize that traditional Marxism-Leninism is a basis of Deng Xiaoping Thought."

Chung Infu, a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, challenged the assertion that Marxism is outdated and said that he was confident in using Marxism in responding to all current problems.

The Marx Project, however, reveals the expectations of the Western world as an illusory view of Chinese political developments.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sue Bradford, Nice Lady, Shame About the Politics Part 2

After her six months in China, courtesy of a Foreign Affairs scholarship, Sue Bradford returned to NZ in 1981 and became heavily involved in the anti Springbok Tour movement.

By then married to Bill Bradford, she was six months pregnant, but that didn't stop her. Sue Bradford and her small "direct action" group in association with the co-ordinators of the Mobilisation Against the Springbok Tour organisation, developed strategies to divert police by causing disruption across Auckland. According to Metro, May 1993 "they then raided the Waiatarua TV transmitter and pushed enough keys to interrupt 20 minutes transmission of the first test. On the day of the second test the group burst onto Auckland Airport and occupied a commercial airport for 45 minutes. On the last day of the tour she was one of a group of 30 who went over an Auckland Airport security fence and lay on the tarmac."

That year, Sue Bradford also joined the Workers Communist League. At the time the WCL was a newly formed, Maoist organisation, uniting student radicals with older ex Communist Party members, into a highly secretive and disciplined organisation.

Very strong in the anti Apartheid movement, student politics and some trade unions, the WCL was hated and feared, even by many fellow socialists. They were often called the "Weasels", a play on their initials and a judgement on their alleged fondness for employing dirty tactics.

The WCL set up Unemployed Workers Unions in several centres in the early '80s, as did the Socialist Unity party and later the Communist Party.

In February 1982, Sue Bradford was one of a group who set up the Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre. This was the main focus of her activism for several years.

There were diversions, such as the protests against a proposed 1985 Allblack Tour to South Africa, but Sue Bradford became a leading voice for the unemployed as far as the media were concerned.

Incidentally another "champion of the unemployed" in the early '80s was Jane Stephens, of the Wellington Unemployed Workers Union. She delivered a passionate speech at the 1984 Economic Summit, which gained huge media coverage. Stephens was the partner of WCL member, Dave MacPherson, later a leader of the New Labour and Alliance parties, now a Hamilton City Councillor and anti gambling activist.

By the late '80s, Sue Bradford was national co-ordinator and spokesman for the Unemployment Beneficiaries Movement of NZ (Te Roopu Rawakore o Aotearoa). According to the Nelson Evening mail of June 12, 1989 "Her main goals have been to unify the many unemployed centres around the country, to give the unemployed a national voice and to develop links with other organisations, such as unions"

The job was funded by a grant from the Roy McKenzie Foundation. She used the money to support her unemployed husband, Bill and four children.

In October 1988, the various communist controlled unemployed unions united in an uneasy truce to organise a nationwide March Against Unemployment. Sue Bradford was very active in the March and sat on the policy committee.

I was at the final rally in the grounds of Parliament and watched the Socialist Unity Party's, Peter Hall-Jones and the Communist Party's, Willie Wilson harangue the several thousand strong crowd.

During the late '80s, the Pro Soviet, Socialist Unity Party formed a non public alliance with the Labour party. The SUP gave Labour, unflinching union support through the "Rogernomics" years in exchange for certain concessions.

This alienated the non SUP left and several small proto groups were formed as a potential alternative to Labour. The WCL was involved in several of these as were some former members of the Socialist Action League. The WCL had by now, moved away from an overt pro China line (though Bradford remained active in the NZ-China Friendship Society) and were linking with new groups, such as the Australian Socialist Workers Party. Several ex SALers were also close to the Australian SWP, including Keith Locke and Matt Robson.

The stage was set for a new party to the left of Labour.

In 1989, disgusted by the sale of the BNZ and after losing a contest for Labour’s presidency to Ruth Dyson, Jim Anderton finally quit Labour. Within days he announced the formation of the New Labour Party. The entire WCL joined the NLP as did the ex SAL members involved with the Australian SWP.

The NLPs first National Council contained no less than four ex SAL members (Matt Robson, Petronella Townsend, Keith Locke and Paul Piesse), a former SAL supporter, Francesca Holloway (wife of commentator, chris Trotter), one former covert SUP supporter, several probable WCL members and one definite member, Sue Bradford.

In June 1989, she was elected Vice-President of the NLP. Bradford said in her closing speech to the NLP conference that she "felt she was politically more left-wing than the body of the party, but was determined not to compromise on issues that were important to her. These were feminist issues, such as equal-gender representation, pay equity and abortion, as well as the concerns of the unemployed such as jobs for all at award rates." Nelson Evening Mail, 12 June 1989.

Things soon turned to custard however when Anderton expelled two tiny Trotskyite sects from the NLP, David Bedggood's, Communist Left and Bill Logan's, Permanent Revolution Group. the Trots had embarrassed the NLP with their mad sloganeering at conferences, but Sue Bradford was appalledd. She resigned from the NLP in April 1990 as she saw a "definite move to the right".

Around this time the WCL dissolved into a new organisation called "Left Currents", which Bradford joined. The move was partially prompted by the Australian SWP's name change to the Democratic Socialist Party. The DSP began publishing Green Left Weekly and began courting the Green movement. In NZ, many left Currents members joined the Green Party, including Sue Bradford. Left Currents kept involved with the NLP however and supported Keith Locke in his 1990 parliamentary campaign.

Sue Bradford only stuck with the Greens for four months however. After missing out on selection as Greens candidate for Auckland Central, she left the party and stood unsuccessfully as an independent.

Bradford kept her hand in on the protest front however. In April 1990 she was prominent in organising an AUWRC barricade of the Auckland Treasury offices. In July she spoke at a Wellington unemployed rally of a thousand people and helped organise an occupation of the Business Roundtable's offices.