Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog has moved to

redirecting you there now

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why Chris Trotter Just Doesn't Get It

I like Chris Trotter. I know he's a commie, but he's a smart cookie, very perceptive and clearly makes an effort to understand his opposition.

I also remember an emotional piece he wrote on the birth of his daughter. It's hard to dislike a guy who can wear his heart on his sleeve like that.

However, Chris Trotter, like all socialists suffers from a serious flaw.

Check out Chris Trotter's latest article on David Farrar's Kiwi Blog, its entitled


Here are some of the stranger bits.

I FEEL unclean, as if I've just passed through a town in the grip of the plague.

I feel compromised, as if I've inadvertently opened a madman's diary. I feel angry and aggrieved -- and frightened.

I've been in the realm of the right-wing bloggers......

And here I have to say that, inspiring and infusing a great deal of what ends up in the right-wing blogosphere, are deep-seated and profoundly disturbing feelings of hatred towards women, gays, lesbians, Maori and immigrants.

It has required only a single generation for the dragon's teeth sown in the 1970s and 80s by the reckless identity politicians of the Left to produce a truly terrifying harvest.

One passage gets to the core of Trotter's most basic misunderstanding of politics, particularly the politics of freedom.

I hardly know where to begin to describe -- let alone explain -- the viciousness of the (mostly) young New Zealand males who inhabit this fetid environment. Their hostility towards the Left extends far beyond honest disagreements between fair-minded citizens over how best to organise human society.

In their eyes, the Labour Government is not merely mistaken, it is evil.

Chris Trotter just cannot comprehend that his political opponents actually do find his political ideals evil.

Why is this?

In my view it is because socialists have a very narrow view of the world. Chris Trotter has a socialist vision of the world, which he judges all other political viewpoints by. He acknowledges that freedom lovers and libertarians have a point of view and he prides himself on being able to express that view. He sees himself as an objective judge.

What Chris trotter does not understand however is that the libertarian vision will actually work. That freedom could transform the world into a far richer, more tolerant and enlightened place.

He does not understand, that the people who truly understand the bounteous benefits of liberty are heartbroken at the casual waste of wealth, creativity and sheer human happiness perpetrated everyday by socialists like Clark and Cullen.

Chris Trotter sees human potential in very narrow terms. He sees socialism as the ideal and capitalism as a retrogressive system that must be opposed. All he sees is a finite cake that should be carved up more in favour of the poor than the rich.

There is little potential for human greatness in Trotter's world. The stakes are low. It is hard to get really passionate about re-divvying up a tiny pie. What's a few crumbs here and there?

Libertarians however see the world as a huge wonderland of opportunity. They see a bounteous universe that could provide prosperity, health, longevity and forfillment for the multitude, if only the dead hand of the state would loosen its grip.

The stakes are huge for libertarians. This planet is operating at a tiny fraction its potential. People are dying unnecessarily, living in poverty, misery and ill health, mentally and spiritually impoverished, all because myopic socialists will not give up their power and ego trips.

Even worse, these cretins have absolutely no idea of the damage they are doing, the misery they are causing or the the human potential they are cruelly aborting.

Socialists like Chris Trotter have no vision of what is possible, so they cannot understand the frustration of those who do.

While Trotter's socialist idols merrily go about their destructive ways, we see what might have been and feel like crying.

I do not hate socialists-I hate no-one. But I can understand those who feel contempt for the ignorant socialist savages who blindly stumble through this world. They have no thought but their own shortsighted satisfaction and absolutely no conception of what they have destroyed on the way.

That is why Chris Trotter just doesn't get it. Because he has no vision of what could be, he cannot understand the anguish of those who have to watch while ignorant savages wreck what might have been.


While we're on the subject of fundamentalist Christian sects;

Question What goes Clip Clop Clip Clop Clip Clop Bang Bang Clip Clop Clip Clop?

Answer An Amish driveby shooting.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bob the Builder Bats for Brethren

Tauranga National MP, Bob "the Builder" Clarkson says what he thinks of the Exclusive Brethren.

"Mr Clarkson, who took the Tauranga seat from Winston Peters, said he didn't ask people their religion and didn't care what it was.

He did know that he had done business with sect members over the past 10 years, and didn't have any problems.

"I've found them to be fair-minded, law-abiding and hard working," he said.

"I'd trust a Brethren before I trusted a Labour Party member."

New Zeal Well said, Bob.

T.O.S.A.S. 7 Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

My seventh "Top Operatives of South African Socialism" profile looks at South African Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

Fraser-Moleketi was born in 1960 and grew up in Capetown, in a family of union activists. She started teacher training, but in her second year, 1980, she left for Zimbabwe to join the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe.

Fraser-Moleketi underwent three months military training in Angola. She then received officer training at the Military Institute of the USSR and further specialized training in Cuba.

Fraser-Moleketi then returned to lead the South African Communist Party in Zimbabwe before returning to South Africa in 1990.

For the next two years Fraser-Moleketi served as personal assistant to South Africa's two leading communists, the late Joe Slovo and the late Chris Hani.

She was elected to SACP Central Committee in 1991 and has served on that body ever since, including a stint as SACP Deputy Chair from 1998 to 2002. She also served for a time on the committees of the Lutheran World Federation and the Convention for a Democratic South Africa.

Fraser-Moleketi was elected to Parliament in 1994 on an ANC ticket. She served as deputy Minister Welfare and Population Development ('95/96) and as full Minister from 1996 until assuming her current portfolio.

Fraser-Moleketi chaired the UN "Decade of Women" conference in Beijing in 1995 and was chairman of the fourth Pan African conference of public service ministers, developing a charter for public servants in Africa.

In 1994 Fraser-Moleketi was awarded a Harvard fellowship for studies in policy analysis and national constitutions. She has also served on the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration and the Board of Commonwealth Associations of Public Administration and Management.

Gerald Fraser-Moleketi has played a major role in the establishment of "gender machinery" in South Africa and has played a key role in developing welfare policy.

She is married to Jabu Moleketi, South African Deputy Minister of finance also a senior member of the South African Communist Party.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chavez Sets the World Right

I haven't commented on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' recent speech to the United Nations yet. I think this article from the Communist Party of Australia's Guardian 27.9.06 sums it up nicely.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has addressed the United Nations in a speech which must warm the heart of every anti-imperialist in the world and has clearly driven the Bush administration into fury. What else can we do except cheer a leader who claims he can still "smell the sulphur" after US President Bush’ speech to the UN.

"The devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulphur still today," Chavez said.

"Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the President of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly, as the owner of the world…

"As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.

"An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: The Devil’s Recipe...

"They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that’s their democratic model. It’s the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that’s imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.

"What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognise it or others who are at the root of democracy.

"What type of democracy do you impose with marines and bombs?

"The President of the United States, yesterday, said to us, right here, in this room, and I’m quoting, ‘Anywhere you look, you hear extremists telling you can escape from poverty and recover your dignity through violence, terror and martyrdom.’

"Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother — he looks at your colour, and he says, oh, there’s an extremist. Evo Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist to him.

"The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It’s not that we are extremists. It’s that the world is waking up. It’s waking up all over. And people are standing up.

"I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.

President Chavez went on to criticise the failings of the United Nations and the efforts to prevent Venezuela becoming a member of the UN Security Council.

"Venezuela a few years ago decided to wage this battle within the United Nations by recognising the United Nations, as members of it that we are, and lending it our voice, our thinking.

"Our voice is an independent voice to represent the dignity and the search for peace and the reformulation of the international system; to denounce persecution and aggression of hegemonic forces on the planet.

"This is how Venezuela has presented itself. Bolivar’s home has sought a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.

"Let’s see. Well, there’s been an open attack by the U.S. government, an immoral attack, to try and prevent Venezuela from being freely elected to a post in the Security Council.

"I thank you all warmly on behalf of Venezuela, on behalf of our people, and on behalf of the truth, because Venezuela, with a seat on the Security Council, will be expressing not only Venezuela’s thoughts, but it will also be the voice of all the peoples of the world, and we will defend dignity and truth."

President Chavez spoke about Cuba and US responses to Cuba and then went on to express his optimism.

"It was shown that the end of history was a totally false assumption, and the same was shown about Pax Americana and the establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal world. It has been shown, this system, to generate mere poverty. Who believes in it now?

"What we now have to do is define the future of the world. Dawn is breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and Europe and Latin America and Oceania. I want to emphasize that optimistic vision."

Australian Communists Hail NDU "Victory"

This is how the Communist Party of Australia views the recentProgressive Enterprises "lockout". Further evidence that Progressive were facing communist controlled unions on both sides of the Tasman.

The Guardian 27 September, 2006

NZ workers victorious

The 600 New Zealand distribution workers locked out the gates for the last month returned to work after the company agreed to negotiate a collective agreement with the union yesterday, according to a MUA news release.

National Distribution Union (NDU) and NZ Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch have ratified terms of settlement with Progressive Enterprises — a subsidiary of Woolworths — conceding in the three-year settlement the workers’ key aim of equal pay across Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch Distribution Centres. A single national pay rate will deliver a 19.7% to the lowest paid distribution centre in Christchurch within two years.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin welcomed the outcome, saying it demonstrated the strong links and solidarity between Australian and New Zealand workers.

The MUA sent a delegation of three Melbourne members led by Victoria Assistant Branch Secretary Dave Cushion. The delegation was a joint Australian ITF affiliate solidarity mission which included representatives of the Rail Tram and Bus Union and the Transport Workers’ Union.

The NDU is also an affiliate of the ITF and had the full backing of the Maritime Union of New Zealand.

Australian unions also raised $15,000 towards supporting their locked-out Kiwi comrades.

"We got a great reception when we arrived," said Dave. "It gave them a big lift to have Australian workers and Australian unions on the picket with them."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Comrades Write Back

I've had a couple of private emails since my recent posts on NZ's "mainstream" communist party, the Socialist Party of Aotearoa.

The first came from SPA leader Brendan Tuohy

Hi Trevor, I've always enjoyed your nutty anti-communist screeds; they're appealing for their paranoid overestimation of communist influence, as well as the inadvertant praise. Do you still have copies of the New Zeal's you did on paper in the 90s (and I guess even earlier)?

I replied;

I'll see what I can do Brendan. I have got a few lying around. Where would you like them sent to.

In return, how about sending me some old copies of SPA News? A few old membership lists would also be helpful.

Brendan replied;

Thanks very much Trevor. Send them to me care of ReddFish intergalactic... Any of the ones from the old SUP days would be good, especially the one covering Harry Nowell's outstanding work organising for the youth festival, if you can find it.

In return I'd be happy to send you any published SPA material; internal documents are too confidential to send to you of course... besides, they'd only limit your fervid imagination which would be a shame. :-)



I also recieved this from National Distribution Union official, Sue Murray

Dear Trevor Loudon

Just though I would let you know that Syd Keepa is not a member of SPA - never was and never will be. I should know I am his partner.

Perhaps you should get your facts right on your blog before you publish.



I replied;

Thanks for that Susy. Please note though, I never said Syd was a member, I said a member or "sympathiser". As Syd often writes for SPA's Red Flag and has addressed a SPA/MUSAA function at Willowhaven Lodge in Rotorua, I think saying he has is SPA "sympathiser" is a fair call.

I'll take your word on this one Susy, but I have to add that as secret membership is a common feature of Marxist-Leninist parties, Syd is inviting suspicion with his cosy relationship with the comrades.

Over the years I have had several Labour Party figures pointed out to me as covert members or sympathisers of SPA's forerunner, the SUP. These ranged from senior NDU figures, MPs, local body politicians, Party Presidents to executive and Policy Council members.

SPA has had many people operating inside the New Labour Party and the Alliance Party over the years. I recently posted about onetime senior SPA member Paul Blair and his apparent involvement with the Green Party.

As racial politics has been a touchy issue in NZ, the SUP was always careful to keep the membership of many of its Maori members secret.

Former head of the SUP's Commission on the National Question, Jackson Smith of the Wellington Drivers Union, was a covert party member from about 1973 to 1978. When he blabbed his SUP membership on Palmerston North radio, he was hauled over the coals for his indiscretion.

If Syd is going to hang around with people, who practice underhand politics as a matter of course, he has to expect that his allegiances might be questioned.

I just love the Internet.

Rail Sucks, Road Rules

Owen McShane has an excellent guest post on Whale Oil, which tackles the myth that rail is somehow "greener" than road transport. He quotes this extract from a 2004 report by the UK Institute of Economic Affairs.

The economic functions of railways could be carried out by express coaches and lorries at one-quarter the cost of the train, using 20 - 25% less fuel, requiring one-quarter to one-third of the land, and imposing a casualty cost on passengers half that suffered by rail passengers.

Do the Greens ever get anything right?

Prebble's New Book

Former ACT leader, Richard Prebble's new book is out

Out of the Red is a sequel to "I've Been Thinking". Below are some extracts from the book:

"That spring morning I walked into the prime minister's office still fairly green. I walked out the biggest businessman in New Zealand's history - as chief executive of twenty billion dollars of business"

"There it was. The nation's silver. A terrible liability. Every one of those businesses losing money hand over fist. Millions of dollars a day - tens of millions on a bad day. I needed to know what makes an organisation succeed. I needed to know fast."

"David often left cabinet, caucus and other meetings. He had a low boredom threshold, and found conflict distressing. He also used to slip out for a fag. So when he slipped out we were not at first concerned. It was Michael Bassett who noticed the Prime Minister wasn't there. We tried to workout his last contribution and calculated he had been gone for more than forty minutes. We realised David Lange was not coming back."

I Rest My Case

ACT staffer, Sarah Russell sent me this story today. I think it illustrates the points I made in my last post about tolerance and property rights very well.

This is a true story, it happened in Utah!

A city councillor, Mark Easton, lives in this neighbourhood. He had a beautiful view of the east mountains, until a new neighbour purchased the lot below his house and built. Apparently, the new home was 18 inches higher than the ordinances would allow, so Mark Easton, mad about his lost view, went to the city to make sure they enforced the lower roof line ordinance. Mark and his new neighbor had some great arguments about this as you can imagine - not great feelings.

The new neighbour had to drop the roof line - no doubt at great expense.

Recently, Mark Easton called the city and informed them that his new neighbor had installed some vents on the side of his home. Mark didn't like the look of these vents and asked the city to investigate. When they went to Mark's home to see the vent view, this is what they found...

I rest My Case.

Curly Capitalist Questions 16, Who Owns Scenery?

Berend de Boer said...

Auckland has many volcanoes which give the city a lot of charm. And there are no buildings on it so you can actually see them.

What alternatives are there to government controls?

We have of course the common law, but would that be sufficient?

Related to that are high rise buildings. I like to be able to see far and wide, and Auckland offers a lot of that. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind a few more high rise buildings in Manukau City center, there are already some and it doesn't seem to spoil the view.

I wonder how and if these things would survive if there were no government controls on these things whatsoever.

I refer back to the last post about property developer Dave Henderson being denied permission to build on a ridgeline near Queenstown.

In the far off past, people used to buy a chunk of land, then do something with it. They would farm it, put a golf course on it, build a house, build a hotel or a themepark. They would then enjoy, undisturbed, what they had created.

Nobody could tell them what colour to paint their barn, or what signage they could put up and certainly no-one could stop them building on their own land.

Property rights were sacrosanct.

Those days are long gone and zoning and the Resource Management Act have reduced property owners to the status of near rightless ratepayers.

My view is simple-there should be no restrictions on building any type, colour, size or purpose of building on your own property, unless what you do physically negatively effects a neighbour or neighbours.

If your skyscraper physically shades your pre-existing neighbour, they may have a case. If your underground carpark cuts off your neighbour's aquifer, they may have a case. If your stock car racing circuit causes unacceptable noise that effects pre-existing neighbours, they may have a case. If your pet food factory stinks out a pre-existing neighbourhood, they have every right to stop you.

If however, your bright purple garage offends your pluty neighbour three doors down-tough.

If your dream home on a Central Otago ridge "spoils" the skyline of somebody living in the valley six kilometers away-tough.

If you own a long established speedway that is surrounded by new neighbours and they object to the noise-tough.

The point is-you own your property, but nobody owns the skyline, the aesthetic environment or the "character" of an area.

Civilised life is about a little give and take and some tolerance of other's lifestyle choices. In saner times, people never thought of using the state to harm other's property rights. Now many people take such bogus "rights" for granted.

Zoning and especially the RMA have created an adversarial environment, which has destroyed much of the goodwill that once governed relationships between property owners.

In a really free society, much urban and semi urban land would be run by body corporates, who would indeed have the power to enforce certain conditions on those they sold or leased property to. That would be far more flexible and efficient than the current bureaucratic system of land management. However, in the absence of such a system, people should simply exercise tolerance and "live and let live".

So there is a price I must pay if I want to enjoy the undisturbed use of my own property. It is that I must tolerate my neighbour's apalling sense of colour or even endure the horror of a highrise building spoiling "my" skyline.

For that great freedom, I am willing to let others enjoy theirs.

Dave Henderson's Latest Bureaucratic Hurdle

According to yesterday's Press, Dave Henderson, developer of the two billion dollar Five Mile village project near Queenstown has been refused permission for another development at nearby Gibbston.

The proposed development which includes a hundred million dollar boutique hotel and Anthem Village, has been declined by independent planning commissioner Trevor Shiels.

Shiels contends that the project's "high visibility" and its placement on a ridgeline "probably created an insuperable difficulty".

Not for Dave Henderson I'm thinking.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Grubby Little Socialists"

I thought this anonymous comment on my post on NZ communism was so damn good I'd post it in its entirety, so no reader would miss it. I think it sums up the inner workings of hard core socialists very well.

The Eric Hoffer quoted was a US writer, a self-educated longshoreman who came to fame in the 1950's with the publication of his first book, The True Believer. A caustic analysis of the nature of mass movements and those who are driven to join them, The True Believer did what no other book of the mid-twentieth century could: it helped expose the hidden causes of the tumultuous events that nearly destroyed our world at that time.

"Political philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote a landmark book entitled: "The True Believer: Thoughts On the Nature of Mass Movements."

Among Hoffer's insights was that mass movements are an outlet for people whose individual significance is miniscule in the eyes of the world and -- more important -- in their own eyes. He pointed out that the both the Nazi and Communist movements were peopled by men and women whose artistic and intellectual aspirations were wholly frustrated.

Hoffer said: "The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause."

People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are rarely attracted to mass movements: "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding," Hoffer said. "When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

Hoffer was describing the political busybody, the zealot for a cause -- the "true believer," who filled the ranks of ideological movements that created the totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th century.

Contrary to the prevailing assumptions of his time, Eric Hoffer did not believe that revolutionary movements were based on the sufferings of the downtrodden. "Where people toil from sunrise to sunset for a bare living, they nurse no grievances and dream no dreams," he said. Hoffer had spent years living among such people and being one of them.

Hoffer's insights also help explain something that many of us have found very puzzling -- the offspring of wealthy families spending their lives and inherited money backing radical movements. He said: "Unlimited opportunities can be as potent a cause of frustration as a paucity or lack of opportunities."

What can people with inherited fortunes do that matches their unlimited opportunities, much less what their parents or grandparents did to create the fortune in the first place, starting from far fewer opportunities?

Like the frustrated artists and failed intellectuals who turn to mass movements for fulfillment, rich heirs cannot win the game of comparison of individual achievements. So they must change the game. As zealots for radical movements, they often attack the very things that made their own good fortune possible, as well as undermining the freedom and well-being of other people.

Why does free market capitalism and its underlying Classical Liberal world view so exercise its ideological opponents? One answer might be to look at the kinds of countries these people defend and idolise.

For many years, the Soviet Union was such a country. After too many bitter facts about the Soviet Union came to light over the years to permit its rosy image to continue, many of these low-watt bulbs simply shifted their allegiance or sympathies to other collectivist states, such as China, Cuba, Vietnam or Albania.

As Hoffer said, "Intellectuals are unable to function at room temperature."

It made not a dent on these leftist moonbats that people were fleeing the countries they praised, often at the risk of their lives, to try to reach the countries they were condemning -- especially the USA.

What's wrong with free market capitalism in the eyes of leftist intellectuals? The same things that are right with free market capitalism in the eyes of others.

If one word rings out and echoes around the world when capitalism is mentioned, that word is Freedom. But what does freedom mean?

It means that hundreds of millions of ordinary human beings live their lives as they see fit -- regardless of what their betters think. That's fine, unless you see yourself as one of their betters, which is what leftist intellectuals tend to do.

The more the Classical Liberal vision of individual freedom prevails, the more the vision of the anointed fails. The more ordinary people spend the money their own money as they see fit, the less is available to the state as taxes to spend on "the common good" as determined by the anointed.

The more people raising their children according to their own values, the less room for the collectivist notion that "it takes a village to raise a child" as Hillary Clinton once said. What about those who don't want their children raised by a village?

When capitalism frees ordinary people from the domination of their betters and prevents them for being used as guinea pigs for the vision of the anointed, the more it insults the presumptions that enable the anointed to think of themselves as special, as one-up on the rest of us.

Countries that impose a collectivist vision from the top down will get a free pass on anything, while any country that lets individuals go their own way will not even be forgiven its successes, much less its shortcomings.

We should celebrate every day the freedom that we enjoy. Every day we should also remember that this independence is galling to those who want us to be dependent on them. Make sure we rub their noses in it at every opportunity.

At the end of the day, they're all grubby little socialists."

Jennifer Francis, An Influential Marxist-Leninist

One little known, but very influential Marxist-Leninist, is National Distribution Union long time Administration and Membership officer, Jennifer Francis.

A member of the Socialist Unity Party in the '80s, Francis is a senior member of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa and was the partner of late Party leader, Bill Andersen.

Francis has long been involved in an education role in SPA, as secretary of the Party's school, the Workers Institute for Scientific Socialist Education, or WISE as it is usually known. WISE runs seminars in Auckland and Hamilton, drawing on materials from the Soviet's International Lenin School in Moscow.

In July 2005, Francis was the sole SPA representative on the inaugural steering committee of a new socialist umbrella organisation, the Workers Charter Movement.

The WCM is the brainchild of Matt McCarten and Socialist Worker's Grant Morgan. The Movement unites Socialist Worker, SPA, Radical Youth, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, Resident's Action Movement, the NDU and UNITE with elements of the Greens, Maori Party and Labour.

The full membership of the WCM steering committee in 2005 was;

Rachel Asher Ex Victoria University Bolshevik Club, Resident's Action Movement

Paul Carrucan Tramways Union activist

Cathy Casey Auckland City Councillor, partner of Matt McCarten

Luke Coxon Ex Auckland Uni Radical Society, NDU organisor

Stuart Fancy

Cecil Fowler Lifelong Marxist, ex NZ/Cuba Society, leading member of NZ/China Society

Roger Fowler Ex Communist Party, Socialist Worker connections, RAM, director Mangere People's Centre

Jennifer Francis Socialist Party of Aotearoa, NDU, WISE

Chrissy Holland UNITE union

Robyn Hughes RAM Auckland Regional Councillor, partner of Socialist Worker leader, Grant Morgan

Maria Humphries Human Rights Foundation, Waikato Uni academic

Daphne Lawless Editor of Socialist Workers "Unite" magazine, active in the Association of University Staff

Matt McCarten UNITE union leader, long time Marxist-Leninist

John Minto Global Peace and Justice Auckland

Grant Morgan RAM, leader Socialist Worker

Pat O'Dea Ex Communist Party, Socialist Worker member

Sam Quayle Factory Worker

Melody Shinnock Community activist

Mike Treen Global Peace and Justice Auckland, UNITE, ex Alliance Party, ex Communist League, ex Socialist Action League

Elaine West RAM

WCM is the nucleus of Matt McCarten's long dreamed of political organisation, the tentatively named Aotearoa Party. This party will attempt to emulate Britain's RESPECT coalition, Portugal's Left Bloc and similar successful Marxist led, electoral coalitions.

These organisations are usually Trotskyite led, so it is interesting to see a senior orthodox communist like Jennifer Francis playing a leading role.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Communist Party, Party, Party, Party.....

I've been asked few times to explain the difference between different strands of Marxism. Below are some very simplified explanations of the three main strands, orthodox communism, Maoism and Trotskyism, together with their relevance to the local scene, today.

Orthodox Communism, began in NZ in 1921 with the foundation of the Communist Party of NZ. For many years this was NZ's only Marxist-Leninist party and it slavishly followed Moscow's policy line, whatever it happened to be.

In the '20s and thirties a major split developed in the international communist movement. When Stalin came to power in the Soviet Union, he concentrated on building "socialism in one country". Trotsky on the other hand wanted to aggressively promote world wide "permanent revolution".

Stalinism was inward focused, emphasising building up socialism in Russia, rather than exporting revolution. Stalin still believed in world revolution, but wanted to build Soviet power and military might in order to force the revolution on his neighbours and eventually the entire globe.

Trotsky, by then living in exile, preached that the revolution was best served by educating and agitating amongst the masses to bring about spontaneous revolutions all over the globe.

Stalinisn was inward looking, paranoid and xenophobic. Trotskyism was outward looking, enthusiastic, naive and wildly unrealistic.

During the '30s and '40s small Trotskyite sects began to appear, mainly in Western countries. Their cadres were ruthlessly hounded and often murdered by the Stalinists, especially in Civil War Spain. Trotsky himself was eventually murdered by a Stalinist agent in 1941, in Mexico.

In China, Mao followed Stalin and developed his theories further by postulating that rural peasants would lead the revolution in backward countries. In the absence of an industrialised proletariat, the peasantry would win communism by conquering the countryside and eventually storming the cities.

This strategy was applied in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, In the Philippines by the New People's Army, in Peru by Shining Path and currently in Nepal and parts of rural India, by their respective Maoist parties.

After Stalin died, orthodox communism took a slightly more moderate line and emphasised conquering the west by semi-peaceful means while simultaneously arming third world revolutionary movements.

In the early '60s, China and the Soviet Union staged a "split". The orthodox communist parties stayed loyal to Moscow, while hundreds of Maoist splinter parties allied themselves to Peking.

Trotskyism also boomed in the '60s, encouraged in part by Castro, who though an orthodox communist appealed more to Trotskyite romanticism than did Kruschev, Honecker and co.

In New Zealand our Communist Party was unique in the West by adopting Maoism and aligning with China. The local orthodox pro Soviet elements founded the Socialist Unity Party in 1966 and promptly set about infiltrating the unions and the Labour Party.

In 1969, some youthful Trotskyite students and some older ex Stalinists formed NZ's first Trotskyite group, the Socialist Action League. The SALers, mostly university graduates followed the dictates of their bosses in the US, Socialist Workers Party and took up menial jobs in factories and meat works. The aim was to get amongst the workers to build their communist consciousness. Some of these old "70s student radicals are still trying to stir up revolution in the local biscuit factory.

During the '70s all three strands worked together on the anti Vietnam War movement. The SUP concentrated on the unions, the SAL worked on building mass rallies and the Maoists worked on youth and students. The Progressive Youth Movement was one of NZ's earliest Maoist fronts.

The Communist Party went on to desert Maoism and re-adopt Stalinism, in the late '70s then in the '90s took up Trotskyism, for God's sake, and morphed into the Socialist Workers Organisation.

Some of the Communist Party's Maoists and some radical students formed the Workers Communist League in 1980. They controlled HART and maintained several fronts including Women Against Pornograhy, the Philippines Solidarity Group and the Campaign Against Nuclear Warships.

Later the WCL dumped Maoism and eventually dissolved into Jim Anderton's New Labour Party and the Greens. Several other Maoist sectlets broke away from the Communist Party in the '80s and '90s including the pro-Chinese, Organisation for Marxist Unity, the pro-Shining Path, Red Flag Group, the Workers Party and the Communist Party of Aotearoa,

The neo-Maoist Radical Society flourished at Auckland Uni in the early '90s and at Victoria later in the decade.

All still exist, except the Red Flag Group and possibly Radical Society. Maoist organisations focus on opposing foreign control (building socialism in one country)so its no surprise that the well known Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa has Maoist roots.

North Korea follows the "Juche Idea" of self reliance, which is essentially, Maoism/Stalinism carried to its extreme. We have a few "Juchites" in NZ, mainly in the NZ/Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Friendship Society, plus a few at Victoria University.

All communist strands are prone to splits, but the Trots are masters of the art. Every Trotskyite sect is affiliated to some international grouping, the Fourth International, the Committee for a Workers International etc.

Trot groups in NZ in recent times have included the Spartacist League, The Communist Left (now known as the Communist Workers Group), the Permanent Revolution Group, International Socialists, Socialist Alternative, Revolution, and the largest, Socialist Worker. The old Socialist Action League, which spawned the likes of Keith Locke and Matt Robson, has morphed into the Communist League, a tiny Castroite sect. You might see these comrades in Auckland or Christchurch with their little stalls outside supermarkets selling the "Militant".

The orthodox communists of the SUP kept on working on the unions and the Labour Party. They had a huge impact on NZ's anti nuclear policies in the '80s, through their front, the NZ Council for World Peace. Bill Andersen left the SUP in 1990, to form his Socialist Party of Aotearoa, over the SUP's slavish support for Labour.

The SPA is allied with the Russian communists and the traditional communist parties of Australia, USA, South Africa, Canada, Cuba etc. The SUP has dissolved, with some members going into the Labour Party.

Many of these parties are working together these days, Trots with Maoists, Maoists with orthodox communists etc. The Workers Charter Movement for instance unites, the Trots of Socialist Worker, with ex Radical Society Maoists and orthodox communists from SPA. The new Workers Party unites the hard core Maoists of the old Workers Party with the militant Trots of Canterbury Uni based, Revolution. Much of the communist movement is re-uniting, world wide as the old socialist bloc slowly re-forms and the third world Marxist states grow in strength. Many of NZ's communist groups are following this trend.

I hope this helps my readers better understand the character of contemporary Kiwi communism.

Any comments or criticisms from the comrades?

New South African Arms Company Launched

In believe, South Africa under its South African Communist Party dominated government ois intent on playing a larger military role in Southern Africa. I also think its armaments industry will play a major role in supplying anti Western regimes, in Latin America and the Islamic countries in years to come.

From IOL 20.9.06

A new majority black-owned and controlled South African defence company, Ngwane Defence Group, was launched on Wednesday by Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

Launching the company at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition, being held at the Ysterplaat Air Force Base in Cape Town, Radebe said Ngwane would bring together long-standing expertise drawn from former commanders of Umkhonto we Sizwe and the SANDF, including industry experience.

"This rich experience, drawn from individuals who saw active service in the conflict of the 1980s and played leadership roles in the reconstruction of defence after 1991, provides Ngwane Defence Group with unique depth because, as we know, the design and development of military systems must draw on practical operational experience," Radebe said.

The group's main focus areas are in the fields of mine- and ballistic protected vehicles, small- and medium calibre infantry weapons, soft-skinned all-terrain vehicles and innovative supply chain solutions for defence, security and humanitarian aid clients.

Can't Escape Those Ruins

Rodney and Heather had a free day in the UK yesterday, so they took Alan Gibbs' amphibian car, the "Aquada" out for a spin to Stonehenge.

Rodney reckons he's seen enough of old ruins sitting opposite the Labour caucus in Parliament.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Peter Cresswell For (Associate) Minister of Finance

Perter Cresswell tackles the myth that "current account deficits" are a REALLY BAD THING.

According to conventional wisdom, the country's current account deficit gets "worse" as it gets higher. But does it really? After all, this isn't the balance sheet of some trading entity called New Zealand Inc (which entity exists only in the imagination of economic nationalists), this figure represents private transactions, ie., the sum of all private transactions freely entered into that cross the New Zealand borders over the last year, with the level of the figure representing nothing more than the money that's heading offshore in return for the goods and services bought with it. These are transactions that have been voluntarily entered into by individuals in the full expectation of either making a profit from them, or being able to afford them.

Check it out here.

T.O.S.A.S 6 Jeff Rabede

My latest post in my "Top Operatives of South African Socialism" series profiles Minister of Transport, Jeff Rabede.

Rabede was born in 1953 in Cato Manor.

Studying law at Zululand University in the '70s, Rabede was active for a time in the Maoist leaning, Black Conciousness Movement of Azania.

He claims to have been inspired during that period by Malcolm X, Angela Davis (US Communist Party member), Martin Luther King, Fidel Castro and Albert Luthuli (ANC founder).

During the student uprisings of the mid '70s, Rabede joined the ANC underground until 1977 when he was ordered to travel to Mozambique.

He spent two years as a journalist with Radio Freedom in Tanzania, broadcasting into South Africa, then moved to East Germany to study law at Karl Marx University in Leipzig.

Rabede gained his LLM in International Law in 1981. Subsequently worked in Zambia for the ANC's international department, and in Lesotho, where he worked on organising underground ANC and South African Communist Party structures inside South Africa. Rabede also underwent military training with the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe.

Rabede spent 1985 at the Lenin International School in Moscow. Radebe claims that his studies in the then Soviet Union "shaped a new outlook in him, which emphasised the global dimensions of economic and political change".

In April 1986, Radebe travelled illegally to Johannesburg from Lesotho. He was careless and was soon arrested and convicted under the Terrorism Act. He was sentenced to six years On Robben Island. He remained politically active in jail and when released in 1990, was head of the ANC's political department.

On leaving prison, Rabede worked for the National Association of Democratic Lawyers until his election as chairperson of Southern Natal ANC in November 1991.

Elected to Parliament on an ANC ticket in 1994, Rabede was appointed minister of Public Enterprises by the new President Thabo Mbeki in June 1999.

Rabede lost his position on the SACP's Central Committee in 2002, but remains a senior member of the Communist Party.

The Child Abuse Industry

In her latest Newman Weekly, Muriel Newman takes to task those supporting the daft notion of licensing parents.

Muriel quotes academic Stephen Baskerville from his "Human Events" article;

How the Government Creates Child Abuse

the real scandal is the armies of officials who have been allowed to acquire - using taxpayers' dollars - a vested interest in abused children. Devising child abuse programs makes us all feel good, but there is no evidence they make the slightest difference. In fact, they probably make the problem worse.

Child abuse is largely a product of the feminist-dominated family law and social work industries. It is a textbook example of the government creating a problem for itself to solve. Child abuse is entirely preventable. A few decades ago, there was no child abuse epidemic; it grew up with the welfare system and the divorce revolution. It continues because of entrenched interests who are employed pretending to combat it”

Saturday, September 23, 2006

On Punishing Cruelty to Animals

Chris has a question

ACT is for tougher sentences for violent crime, as am I. But, do you support this idea: For any conviction of cruelty to animals, an automatic life-time ban on owning or managing animals? I mean, if you are going to get tough on people who hurt and abuse other people, surely it makes sense to get tougher on the scum that are cruel to animals? Some of the present sentences handed down recently for quite horrific instances of animal cruelty are absolutely pathetic. What do you think?

I'm certainly with you on tougher penalties for animal cruelty. Whether its torturing kittens or deliberately leaving cattle in a paddock with no water or shade for three days, I consider animal cruelty right up there on the crime scale.

Generally I think penalties are too soft for most crime, but cruelty to animals (and children) should both be dealt with much more seriously.

That said, I don't support lifetime penalties for any crime except the most heinous murders.

I do believe in redemption and I think almost everybody should be left with at least a little hope in their lives.

The guy who neglected his farm stock in his '20s, when he was way out of his depth and struggling to hold his marriage together, may not be the same guy who in his '60s wants a cat for company.

So I do believe animal cruelty should be taken seriously, but think we have to be bit more flexible than issuing blanket lifetime bans.

Fisking Anon on the "P" Word

Anon put a lot of effort into this comment a few days ago. I thought the least I could do would be to attempt a good fisking.

Anon Privatisation is the sale of a state owned asset to the private sector. In New Zealand, privatisation was done by the Labour government in the 80s and the National government in the 90s. The reasons politicians gave for privatisation were to improve efficiency and pay off government debt with the sales revenue. These reasons were very weak.

New Zeal Privatisation can also be returning shares in public corporations to those who own them ie the taxpayer. This is the line that ACT is now taking re any future privatisations. In the '80s, corporations were sold for quick cash at least partly to ease the government's financial problems. This was understandable at the time, but has left a sour taste for many. The perception, right or wrong as it may be, that the "family silver" was flogged off at rock bottom prices has done huge harm to the concept of privatisation. I think the best way the "P" word can now be sold, is by giving shares directly to the public to do with as they will.

Anon Privatisation didn't make the assets more efficient; corporatisation did. Corporatisation is when a state entity is converted into a state owned enterprise (SOE) which has a business structure, profit maximisation mandate and a CEO on performance based pay just like a private company would. Corporatisation is a prerequisite for privatisation.

New Zeal Probably true, but corporatisation is only necessary to correct a problem that should't exist in the first place-state ownership of productive assets. I am OK with corporatisation if it is a stepping stone to privatisation, but not as an end in itself. Permanent SOEs are in my opinion, the worst of all options. They combine the power of the state, the "greed" of the profit motive and the lack of accountability endemic in the public sector.

The electricity industry is a classic example of this. The ideal for me would be to put all electricity generation in private hands. Failing that, I would like to see any remaining state electricity generation run along "public service" lines. This current halfway house gives private enterprise a bad name, rips off the consumer and can't even provide certainty of supply. A bloody disaster all round.

Anon After being corporatised, most of the SOEs generated high rates of return. In an attempt to lower public debt, the government sold many SOEs for well below their true value, mostly to foreign investors. The overall rates of return for the SOEs were much higher than the interest rates on the government debt. It would have been more economical for the government to have held on to the assets and pay the debt off more slowly, rather than privatise them.

New Zeal From the point of view of medium term government finances you're probably quite right. However, on the broader plane I think the reforms of the '80s have done this country tremendous economic good. Their effects have rippled through every sector of the economy and made NZ business much leaner and more efficient. Had we had the luxury of turning the SOEs over to the people, I think we'd be even better off and privatisation would have gone much further and been better accepted.

Anon For an investor to want to buy a privatised asset, the asset's expected rate of return would have to be significantly higher than the interest rate on savings. For a rational government to want to privatise an asset, the asset's expected rate of return should be less than the interest rate charged on government debt. There is a very narrow margin for privatisation to be economically viable.

New Zeal In the short term you are right. If you look long term and are a revolutionary like me, the picture changes. SOEs can make big money for governments and it often seems silly to let them go. However, would those assets be even more productive in the long term, in private hands? I think yes. For a start private owners would make economic decisions, not political ones. In the long run, private, diversified and competitive ownership is always a better bet than politically controlled monopolies.

Anon A short to mid term side effect of corporatisation was high unemployment. In order to maximise profit, SOEs needed to lay off unnecessary workers. This freed up labour for more important functions in the economy but it took many years for the unemployment rate to drop back to low levels.

New Zeal That is true. Perhaps any future privatisations should be done more piecemeal and over a slightly longer term. Given today's far more sound and buoyant economy though, I think any negative employment effects would be negligible and temporary.

Anon The biggest problem with the privatisations by NZ governments is the effect it has had on the current account deficit. The current account balance is essentially the difference between the amounts of money flowing into and out of the country. As a result of the privatisations, New Zealand's current account remains a deficit even today, mostly because of the huge amount of profit flowing out of the country. A lack of asset ownership by New Zealanders is the main reason why NZ slipped so far down the OECD rankings in terms of per capita income. An increase in productivity usually means profits will rise but it hardly ever means workers' wages will. An adequate level of asset ownership by locals is necessary for the local economy to grow at a significant rate.

New Zeal To be honest, I don't understand your reasoning here. Even if this were a problem, it would be solved by giving shares directly to taxpayers. The wealth would remain largely in the country and would help finance building and business investment, education and asset acquirement. Some would go on holidays, flash cars, women, alcohol and gambling. Some might even be wasted. Surely however, giving people spending choices is the main point of productive activity.

Anon There are good reasons for governments to create SOEs. If a nation has a small population, there might not be anyone living there that has the courage, capital and initiative to start large scale ventures such as airlines and power plants. Governments can borrow large amounts of money at interest rates lower than what households and firms can borrow for. By investing in SOEs, the government spreads the risk very thinly across the whole population rather than having the risk concentrated within a small group of wealthy shareholders which is likely to happen in the private sector.

New Zeal I agree that this is the perception, but I don't believe it is the reality. NZ governments, from Vogel's time to now, have invested in huge infrastructure projects that have done this country great good. Stalin and Mao did much the same in their respective countries. However private interests built the US railway system and countless other huge projects. I believe that private interests would have built everything we have now and probably much more besides had the government (A)not stood in their way or (B) not beating them to it.

What's wrong with letting wealthy shareholders take the risks? Surely most of them are wealthy because they are smart. People are usually more prudent and farsighted spending their own hard earned dosh than they are spending anonymous taxpayers money.

Anon It has been said that if SOEs get into financial strife, the government would bail them out. Air NZ was an SOE that got privatised. While privately owned, it got bailed out by the government by renationalising around 80% of it. Whether or not a private company or SOE gets bailed out by the government has more to do with its importance to the economy. SOEs tend to play important roles in the economy. Air NZ is relied upon by the tourism industry and some exporters.

New Zeal Of course governments will bail out SOEs if they have to. That is a very powerful arguement against having SOEs. No business should ever be bailed out by the taxpayer. It might seem to makeeconomic sense in the short term, but it weakens the over all economy by creating the perception that the state plays favourites and will bail you out if you can lobby effectively enough.

What is better, having 20 or 30 private airlines in NZ, or one dominant state owned carrier? Which puts our tourist trade more at risk? Economic diversification and de-centralisation is far less risky to the economy as a whole that putting most of your eggs in one state owned basket.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Young Nats Apologise To Mother of Nation

Hat Tip David Farrar

Looking From London-Rodney Hide's Vision For NZ

Speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, Friday 22 September 2006.

It's a huge buzz, as a Kiwi, stepping off the plane in London - the land of Big Ben, Shakespeare and 'mind the gap'.

This is a journey that thousands of New Zealanders make - even though Heather Roy and I aren't joining the expatriate community for long.

Isn't it strange that, wherever Kiwis go, we quickly find other Kiwis to live, work and play with?

We love being able to travel halfway around the world, and still find little slices of New Zealand.

To be able to go to the Redback, the New Zealand Shop, the Walkabout or Flat White.

And no matter how far away we are, part of us always feels at home.

Popular opinion suggests that there are three main reasons people make this journey - to travel into Europe, to escape their student loan, or to seek out better job opportunities.

As politicians, we have come to learn. To learn about what's working here, in Ireland and in Germany.

We will take back those new ideas to make our own country more free and prosperous.

I lead a party of free-market liberals, and represent the people of the Epsom electorate.

We are a small but independent part of New Zealand's political landscape.

We remain strong and independent because we remind ourselves constantly what we stand for.

Freedom and prosperity.

Individual responsibility.

A better vision for New Zealand.

We remind ourselves of what New Zealanders are, and what we can achieve.

Today, Heather Roy and I are the only MPs in our Parliament advocating freedom, choice and personal responsibility, but in the 1980s, New Zealand led the world.

Sir Roger Douglas, the Labour Party's Finance Minister, who went on to be one of ACT's founders, introduced the free market to New Zealand's economy.

That Labour government gave us more freedom and choice.

Now ACT stands in opposition to a Labour government which is taking choices away.

As economists, we know what works to deliver more prosperity.

Small government.

Politicians having less control, and citizens having more.

That's what ACT is in Parliament to deliver.

Less government results in a prosperous economy, a strong society and a quality of life that is the envy of the world.

We will get there by trading globally, by taking care of our environment, and by trusting the people.

As David Cameron has said, the more we trust people, the stronger they become.

ACT trusts people to make their own choices - about the health and education of their family, and about their role in the economy.

Freedom and choice are enduring ideas.

We would implement them through enduring policies.

Enduring policies we've already seen include the Fiscal Responsibility Act, where Government has to tell Treasury every six months about all the decisions they've made that involve spending money. Treasury then have to prepare a four-year forecast.

That makes government more transparent and accountable. Politicians can no longer commit taxpayer funds in secret.

The effect was immediate. Every New Zealand government had run a deficit every year of my life.

That's how they would win votes - by spending the money now, and piling up the bills for future generations to deal with.

No government has run a deficit in any year since the passing of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

We've also got the Reserve Bank Act that tamed inflation.

The Reserve Bank Governor has one objective - price stability. His inflation target is set by the Minister of Finance, publicly and in writing.

New Zealand now has price stability. Our politicians don't just let the printing presses rip, running up a debt tomorrow to buy an election today.

These laws have survived elections. Our tax and spend parties have been in government, and not repealed them.

Because if they did, New Zealanders would know what they were up to.

So what did those Acts have in common?

They made political decision-making more transparent and politicians more accountable to the voters.

So the solutions we should be advocating are precisely those.

The more politicians are accountable, the better decisions we will get.

It's when they can hide things that they get away with it.

We recently had a test run, when I introduced a Bill to constrain the size of local government.

If local councils wanted to increase their rates revenue by more than two percent above the level of inflation, they needed to ask ratepayers through a referendum.

That Bill nearly had the numbers to go for public submissions.

In the event, the Government has had to announce an inquiry into the cost of local councils.

The next step would be to cap central government expenditure - but only in line with population growth and inflation.

Politicians would have to spend within their budget - just as families do.

If they want to spend more money, in real terms, taxpayers would have to give their explicit consent.

Those are rules built to last because we'd say, as a people, that if you want to take more of our money, you need to get our permission.

The next Bill I will take before Parliament in November is a Regulatory Responsibility Bill.

It says that, before making a law, Parliament has to publicly answer a few key questions.

Like 'what is this law for?'

'What will it cost?'

And 'what will it achieve?'

After a time period, the rules would have to be reviewed, to see if they work.

Politicians would be made accountable to the people for the regulations they passed.

And that would cut the cost of useless law and pointless red tape.

If the political parties stick to their pre-election promises, my Bill will get the support it needs to go through to public submissions.

We believe, in ACT, that less government and better government walk hand in hand.

That greater opportunity comes from having fewer barriers to trading between nations.

And that just as we separate church from state, we should separate the state from business.

Politicians and businessmen have very different incentives.

The incentive for business is to make money by satisfying customers.

Businesses need to provide what people want.

Unlike businesses, politicians don't go bust.

They don't need to provide anything.

But politicians feel we need to.

It makes us look important. Powerful. Competent.

Which is why, in New Zealand, the State owns power companies, a bank, an airline, the post office, radio and television networks.

None of our Cabinet Ministers owned a radio station, a power company or a bank before coming to Parliament.

We're told that these are assets held in trust for the people - but politicians without experience or proper incentives make bad trustees.

The people didn't choose to own them - they can't opt out.

Politicians appoint the managers, and taxpayers take all the risk.

Citizens who could put their share of these investments to better use, like having a hip operation, are denied that opportunity.

If State assets are the people's assets, they should be owned and managed by the people.

I would return shares in State owned assets to the citizens of New Zealand.

That would give every Kiwi a real stake in our economy.

New Zealand families would have real choice, real power and real opportunities.

Families would prosper through selling the shares they don't want to keep, and collecting the dividends on those they do.

Margaret Thatcher began to separate the state from business, right here in the UK, about 25 years ago. Governments around the world followed.

Here, as at home, there is still unfinished business.

Few countries opt for fast, large-scale economic reforms.

But many crave more freedom and greater choice.

By making the actions of politicians and Government transparent, and giving the people a stake in our country's economy, we can deliver that freedom and choice.

We can have strong citizens and prosperous economies.

If we trust the people.

Of Piss, Politics, Porn and Cold Moscow Nights

In some of my profiles of South African politician Essop Pahad you may have noticed that he some spent time training in Moscow at the Institute of Social Sciences.

Also known as Lenin's International School, or Lenin's Institute of Higher Learning, this huge school in Leningradski Prospekt, trained thousands of foreign communists in Soviet techniques, strategy and ideology.

NZ's Socialist Unity Party sent many comrades to the school, usually on three month courses.

One former SUP member, who studied at the school in the mid '80s recounted to me this anecdote. I think it says a bit about communism, communists and human nature.

This man, who I will call Jake, was out on the piss one night with leading SUP man, the late Bill Andersen.

SUP President, the late George Jackson, second from left, Bill Andrsen, second from right

It is no state secret that Bill was a major drinker and he was certainly going hard out that freezing cold winters night. Somehow, Bill lost his shoes, no joke in sub zero temperatures. Jake had to figure out how to get his legless comrade back to the Institute before his stockinged feet succumbed to frostbite.

Jake dragged Bill to the underground Metro station and pulled his near comatose comrade onto a carriage.

Unfortunately it was against the law to ride on the Metro pissed. A four foot nine female conductor raced up to them blowing her whistle and waving at them to get off.

Jake pulled out his wallet and waved his SUP card in front of the frothing midget's nose.

"Jake ....... Kommunist, Nova Zelandie!"

The midget nearly swallowed her whistle. She immediately began fawning over the pair. She called a superior, who then ordered EVERY SINGLE passenger off the train, out into the freezing cold. Jake and Bill travelled back to the Institute, sole passengers on a very silent train.

Word of the incident got around the Institute and a few days later, Jake was summoned to meet the Director himself. Jake was very apprehensive.

He needn't have worried. The Director was most impressed by the story and wanted to meet the rule bending Kiwi comrade.

Several meetings took place in the Directors very well appointed apartment. Long conversations went on into the night.

According to Jake, the Director was very keen to learn how well the SUP's two main union leaders, Bill Andersen and Ken Douglas were accepted by the NZ public.

NZ affairs were very high up on the Soviet's agenda and the Director was very interested to know how well the Kremlin's two most senior Kiwi comrades were doing their jobs.

The two men discussed many issues, not at all limited to politics. While Jake believed the Director to be a communist to the core of his being, he did have other interests.

Jake had relatives in a Western European country. When agreeing to go to the Soviet Union to study, Jake had gained permission to leave Moscow for a few days to visit his family members.

Jake's family lived in a country well known for the quality of its pornography. The Director was very keen to get his hands on a little hard core porn, so he asked Jake if he would smuggle some back for him.

Jake agreed and duly delivered Gennady Yanayev several videos to keep the Director and presumably Mrs Yannayev warm on cold Moscow nights.

Is that name, Gennady Yanayev familiar to anyone?

If you look it up on Wikipedia you will find ..

Yanayev had worked with Komsomol since 1963. In 1968-1970, he held the post of Chairman of the Committee of the Soviet Youth Organizations. Between 1986 and 1990, Yanayev was a secretary, deputy chairman and chairman of the All-Union Central Soviet of Trade Unions

From July, 1990 - January, 1991, he was a member of the Politburo and secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU. From December, 1990 - August 1991, Yanayev held the post of Vice President of the Soviet Union.

Note there is a big unaccounted for gap between 1970 and 1986. Well we now know what Comrade Yanayev was doing for at least part of that time. He was running the Soviet Union's premier school for promoting international communism and occasionally viewing the odd decadent Western porn vid.

Wikipedia goes on to say...

During the August Coup of 1991, Yanayev was a member of the State Emergency Committee and became acting President of the Soviet Union. He was later prosecuted and sentenced for his role in the August Coup attempt. However, Yanayev was eventually freed by the amnesty of the Russian State Duma in 1994.

That's where you've heard the name. Gennady Yanayev was President of the Soviet Union for a few short hours during the "hardliners" coup coup of 1991.

So because Bill Andersen couldn't hold his piss, one of our own Kiwi comrades got to supply hard core porn to the President of the mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Ain't life weird sometimes?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The SPA Connection

With a pseudonym like "SecretTrevFan", you know you're dealing with a smart cookie.

However STF lets him/herself down by doubting my contention that NZ's "mainstream" communist party, the Socialist Party of Aotearoa, controls the National Distribution Union.

As STF statesYour minor paranoia that an all powerful neo Stalinist SPA / SUP secret faction controls all this diversity of opinion has no bearing on reality.

Sorry STF, but I beg to differ. In my opinion, not only does SPA dominate the NDU, but have used their connections, national and international to play a major role in the long and bitter Progressive Enterprises "lockout".

Back in the '70s and '80s, SPA's predecessor the Socialist Unity Party was notorious for instigating strikes. The SUP "owned" the NDU but lost control when Bill Andersen split to form SPA in 1990.

This latest industrial action has been a great opportunity for the SPA comrades to relive the glory days of yesteryear and re-flex their industrial muscles.

Until his death in 2005, SPA leader Bill Andersen was also president of the NDU. Andersen's offsider and former SUP comrade Mike Jackson was NDU secretary until his recent electoral defeat by Laila Harre.

However, virtually all senior positions in the NDU, especially in the North Island, remain held by SPA members or sympathisers.

These include;

Karl Andersen Bill Andersen's son, NDU Transport, energy, Stores Sector Secretary. Andersen was a member of a 1986 NZ union delegation which attended the 11th Congress of Soviet front, World Federation of Trade Unions in East Berlin. Karl and his comrades had lunch with East German leader, Erich Honecker, before travelling on to the Soviet Union.

Bob Anderson Hamilton organiser, NDU.

Sheryl Cadman Wellington regional secretary, NDU.

Neil Chapman Rotorua organiser, NDU

Jennifer Francis Former partner of Bill Andersen, NDU. Administration officer. Former SUP member.

Jim Jones NDU Wood Sector secretary. Forme SUP member.

Syd Keepa NDU Maori officer.

Trevor Noel Whangarei organiser, NDU.

Wayne Ruscoe, of the Engineers Union was a key organiser of the anti "lockout" protests in Christchurch. He is a former SUP member with strong SPA connections.

Other unions are supporting the NDU, notably the Maritime Union, which has threatened to block Progressive's goods from entering NZ ports.

Several leading Maritime Union officials have SPA links. Some also have contacts with the Australian, Maritime Unionists Socialist Activities Association.

MUSAA was formed in 1983 from a split in the Communist Party of Australia. About half of the officials of the Maritime Union of Australia are MUSAA members, including most of its leadership.

Mike Williams, now secretary of the Wellington Seafarers branch of Maritime Union has both SPA and MUSAA connections. He attended a MUSAA conference in Perth in 1999, one of two international guests, the other being Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams.

Mike Williams also endorsed the Workers Charter Movement in 2005. The WCM is a coalition of several Marxist groups including UNITE, Radical Youth and Socialist Worker. SPA's Jennifer Francis is a member of the WCM executive.

Williams also wrote an obituary for Bill Bodenham, former Australian Communist Party member and national president of MUSAA, in the March 2006 MUA journal, "The Maritimes".

The many of us in New Zealand who got to know him well thought of Bill as a bright beacon which was always there beaming across the Tasman Sea....When he participated in our seminars, organised by the Socialist Party of Aotearoa, and MUSAA, we were always recharged by the abundance of his wisdom... An outstanding Marxist, he could articulate rank and file militancy...

SPA also has very close official ties to MUSAA. SPA leaders Warren Brewer and Brendan Tuohy are on the Editorial Board of "The Spark", journal of Trans Tasman Socialist Secretariat, an organisation comprised solely of SPA and MUSAA members.

SPA also has close ties to the Communist Party of Australia which in turn close links and some cross membership with MUSAA.

It is interesting that the Maritime Union of Australia's secretary, Paddy Crumlin has shown a keen interest in the NZ "lockout". Crumlin has threatened to use his industrial muscle to stop Progressive's goods leaving Australian ports.

On a visit to NZ last week, Crumlin said that "We will not stand by and see an Australian-based multinational bully workers. This just the beginning."

Paddy Crumlin, unsurprisingly, is also national secretary of MUSAA and is on very close terms with the Communist Party of Australia, often speaking at their conferences.

Paddy Crumlin speaking to the South Coast Branch of the Communist Party of Australia

Of course all of this may be pure coincidence. SPA may not really have any influence in the NDU and may not have brought any influence to bear on their Australian comrades. Yes and Lenin was really a closet royalist.

I am always keen to learn more about SPA. It is a highly secretive and influential organisation that deserves a lot more public scrutiny.

So if you have any info, please don't hesitate to email me.

Rodney on Parliamentary Mud Slinging

Rodney Hide's take on why Parliament seems to be pre-occupied by personality politics at present.

The basic problem is that we have a government that has run out of puff and doesn't have the parliamentary support to do much. We have the major opposition party not wanting to debate policy. So what's left?

"Redbaiter" on What National Needs to Do

"Redbaiter" wrote this comment on David Farrar's Kiwi Blog last nigt, What do you think National's strategy should be?

"While winning elections is never simple, the path National has to follow is pretty easy to define. 1) Decide what it stands for. 2) Formulate policies that align with what it stands for. 3) Articulate those policies loudly and clearly. Make sure the electorate understands why those policies are better than Labour's.

Which brings me to point 4) Know your enemy. Acknowledge that most of the mainstream media are of the same political mindset as the Labour party and do not fall into the trap of treating them as objective commentators. The greater majority of NZ's mainstream media are as much against the right as the Labour party, and with their ability to disseminate propaganda, extremely powerful. National has to defeat therefore two parties of great strength and cunning, and it is essential that they develop a strategy that deals with this situation. This means being ready to deal with the expected questions from the largely left wing media, and being able to win the argument with those left wing media personalities who will be asking the questions. Simple really, especially given most of the mainstream media are so predictably left wing in their thinking.

In the end tho, as Rod(ney Hide) suggests, its down to awakening the electors to the value of rightest policies. The Nats have two years to complete this task. Any MPs who cannot fully believe in or sell the selected policies should be replaced by people who are more attuned to right wing thinking and more articulate. Starting right now. Its true that scandal might win the day for the Nats, but there's no glory in such a victory. Policies are the honourable way to do it."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Labour's Disregard for Free Speech

David Farrar at Kiwi Blog is rightly concerned at Labour's apparent disregard for the principles of free speech.

".....on Radio NZ this morning Pete Hodgson supported a total ban on third parties being able to criticise political parties.

This should be of great concern to people. In their hatred of the Brethren, Labour may end up banning all criticism during a campaign. Look at this transcript from Radio NZ;

HODGSON: Well, I haven’t seen the draft of any law, I haven’t seen any cabinet papers, but the law would work in such a way that that advertising, one assumes would become forbidden or if it happened, would need to be included in the cap of the party who had benefited. Now, the more likely of those is that you would simply forbid it, that you would simply say you’re not allowed to have a campaign.

PRESENTER: You see, that appears at first glance to be an astonishing attack on the democratic rights of any organisation or individual wishing to express their views at this time?

This could stop Federated Farmers protesting against the fart tax if it was close to an election, Greenpeace unable to campaing against parties that allow GM food etc.

A very very bad sign from a Government that already is known for being intolerant of sustained criticism."

New Zeal One more good reason to get rid of this apalling regime.

Indian Maoists Armed By Radical Islam

This is a year old, but is further proof of ties between Marxism-Leninism and redical Islam.

From India Daily April 2005

Naxalites and Maoists in India are receiving very sophisticated arms from Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries. These arms are sophisticated and these extremists have direct relationships with Al-Queda and similar terrorists organization. Government of India is taking action but it may be too little and too late before a massive massacre takes place in India.

According to media reports, Intensifying patrolling in Nallamalla forest area to check activities of Naxals, Andhra Pradesh police have unearthed 18 arms dumps in three districts and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition recently. The Director General of Police (DGP) Swaranjit Sen told reporters here on Monday that the Maoist ultras, taking advantage of respite in police patrol during peace talks, has recruited new cadre and procured a large number of arms and ammunitions. During raids on Maoist hideouts in Kurnool, Prakasam and Anantapur districts, police have seized the arms, he added. The seized arms include 200 kgs of gelatin, 585 rounds of 12 bore pistol, 398 rounds of .303 rifle, 190 rounds of 8mm pistol, 450 rounds of DBBL, 50 rounds of ak-47, six live claymore mines six, 45 empty claymore mines, 231 Claymor mine shells, 15 live grenades and 20 kgs of gun powder.

Daphna Whitmore, Burger Bar Bolshevik

The communist UNITE union has welcomed a new organiser to its ranks. Daphna Whitmore has given up her job as a nurse in a union health centre to fight for the revolution in the burger bars and boutique hotels of Auckland.

Daphna Whitmore is the Maoist's Maoist. The niece of veteran communist, the late Ray Nunes, young Daphna absorbed her Marxism at a tender age.

In 1986 she travelled to Nicaragua with Laila Harre and others to pick coffee for the Sandinistas.

At Auckland University,in the late '80s, where she earned an Anthropology degree, Whitmore wrote articles for "Craccum" condemning the sell-out Labour Party and praising the Maoist guerillas then causing havoc in Peru.

Uncle Ray, a diehard Maoist loved Peru's "Shining Path" communist guerillas who he saw as Mao's true heirs. Young Daphna loved the Maoists too and in 1990 was a spokesman for Uncle Ray's "Peruvian Liberation Support Group".

When Uncle Ray founded a little Maoist group called the "Workers Party of NZ", Daphna was there with him, boots and all.

Whitmore took over leadership of the Party when Uncle Ray died and also edited their journal, "The Spark"

after "Shining Path" collapsed in the early '90s Whitmore turned her adulation to other Maoist revolutions-the insurgencies in the Philippines, Nepal and India.

In 2001 Whitmorec was elected to the co-ordinating committee of the International League of People's Struggles a wordwide alliance of more than 200 Maoist organisations, headed by Communist Party of the Philippines founder, Jose Maria Sison.

Note the International League of Peoples Struggle banners

In early 2004, Whitmore and ACA members Mark Muller and Will Shannon travelled to India to the Maoist organised Mumbai-Resistance gathering. The delegation also visited Andra Pradesh, a major centre of Maoist "Naxalite" insurgency. Shaanon later wrote an article for Canterbury Uni's "Canta" detailing the Indian states attempts to suppress the "Naxalite" insurgents.

Locally, in 2004, Whitmore's "Workers Party" linked up with a Christchuch based Trotsyite group "Revolution", to form the "Anti-Capitalist Alliance". The inner core of the ACA became the "Revolutionary Workers League", of which Whitmore became a leading member. This year, the ACA morphed again and at the suggestion of Dunedin member, Tim Bowron, re-adopted the "Workers Party" label.

Now Daphna Whitmore is a UNITE organiser in the hotel sector. She has also been involved in unionising fast food stores at Wendy's and Red Rooster.

Will the burger bar bolsheviks of Auckland throw off their aprons and lead the masses against the capitalist fat cats in their plush Queen Street offices?

Stay tuned, comrades.

ACT Finding Facts

From xtramsn

ACT MPs Rodney Hide and Heather Roy are travelling to Europe on a privately funded fact-finding mission next week.

The duo plan to visit think-tanks in London, including the Institute of Economic Affairs and meet blogger Iain Dale, a centre-right commentator and author of The Little Red Book of New Labour Sleaze.

They will visit leaders and political operatives of third parties like the Progressive Democrats in Dublin and the Free Democrats in Germany.

Mr Hide said the trip would contribute to policy and "the ongoing political reinvention of ACT''.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Boy the Fun Policeman

My little skirmish with my kid's creche workers continues.

I went to to pick the kids up today and chatted to one of the attendants while waiting for the heirs to get their gear.

She said "J has been a very good boy today"

That sounded good and I pricked up my ears.

"Yes" she said, "he's been very helpful with the younger ones...keeping them SAFE"

"He's been stopping them when they climb too high or run too fast so they don't hurt themselves"

I smiled, but inside I was not happy. I thought "bloody great, my three year boy is being turned into a fun policeman. God what do they want him to turn into, a bloody traffic warden or IRD inspector or something". I shuddered.

We drove straight home. I wanted to take "J" out into the yard to fire off a few rounds from the BB gun, but I'd left it at work. We had a play fight instead.

Must phone that creche area manager tomorrow.

Proof You Don't Have To Be Smart To Be a Judge (Or an "Expert")

From today's Herald Hat Tip Lindsay Mitchell

Parents should sit licence test, say experts

A high-powered expert group has proposed a kind of "parents' licence test" which all parents would have to sit to keep care of their children and to receive child-related welfare benefits.

The proposed assessment, similar to a driver's licence, would be administered when a baby was born and repeated when the child turned 1, 3, 5, 8, 11 and 14.

Parents found to have "risk factors" for child abuse, such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol problems or mental illness, would be offered help.

Judge Graeme MacCormick, a former Family Court judge who initiated the proposal, told a seminar in Auckland yesterday that parents who refused to accept help, or to be assessed, should have their child-related benefits suspended and possibly lose their children.

"There need to be sanctions for failure to provide the assessments or for failure to engage adequately with the support organisation," he said.

"I would suggest suspension of any child-related benefit and immediate referral to Child, Youth and Family Services with a view to possible alternative placement"

New Zeal This piece of cretinism should send shivers up the spine of every decent parent in the land.

Because a tiny minority of mainly welfare beneficiaries and criminals, abuse their kids, Judge MacCormick, thinks the answer is to give the state the right to dictate how decent people bring up their kids.

Raising children is so damn important that the dead hand of the state should be allowed no role whatsoever. Immunisation, discipline, education, sex education, religious or philosophical instruction are all areas where opinion diverges tremendously.

That diversity is healthy. Progress and general improvement come about through allowing people the freedom to be creative, to try new ways of doing things. The state in its wisdom, will try to make all families fit the "right" model. A recipe for real child abuse if ever their was one.

Some parents do a great job, some do less well, but as long as they are acting in good faith and are not physically harming or neglecting their kids, the state should butt right out.

People are scared to lightly smack an errant child in public now, lest CYF turn up on their doorstep to confiscate their kids.

Imagine the state of fear parents would live in if they had to answer to the government and conform to the state's views at every stage of their child's development?

Clearly Judge MacCormick is a socialist/fascist or senile. I will be charitable and assume the latter.

What's the other "experts" excuse?

Clark and Goff Kowtow to Chinese Communist Leader

Great to see our political leaders kowtowing to one of China's leading political/military figures

From Stuff

The Government has rolled out the red carpet for one of China's top military leaders.

The vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, General Xu Caihou, was one of the highest-ranking officials to visit New Zealand, Defence Minister Phil Goff said.

Xu flew into Wellington yesterday for meetings with Goff and Prime Minister Helen Clark after spending the weekend in Christchurch.

Xu has recently led efforts to improve military ties with Algeria, Turkey, Belarus and Sudan, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

China's military has a patchy human rights record, but experts say efforts are being made to improve that and to rid the ranks of corruption.

Xu said he hoped to improve ties between China's People's Liberation Army and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Xu Caihou is not just one of China's leading military figures, he is also one of the country's top political leaders.

Xu is a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, vice Chirman of the Central Military Commission, executive deputy director of the General Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and concurrently secretary of the Discipline Inspection Committee of the Central Military Commission and deputy Party secretary of the PLA General Political Department. In the '90s he was also director of the Liberation Army Daily (the PLA newspaper).

Xu is one of China's top communist ideologues, charged with ensuring the ideological commitment of the Peoples Liberation Army.

Xu's current position involves much travel, cementing military ties with countries all over the globe.

Xu Caihou visited Cuba in April 2004 and in 2005 hosted a visit to Beijing by head od Cuba's military, Raul Castro.

From an April 18th 2005 briefing from the International Department of the Communist Party of China

Xu Caihou, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, met here Monday with Raul Castro Ruz, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba.

Xu said China and Cuba had maintained frequent high-level military exchanges for a long period and had conducted effective cooperation in personnel training.

Raul Castro's visit would certainly inject "new vigor" to the relationship between the two armed forces, added Xu.

Praising China for its stable society and booming economy, Raul Castro, also second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, said Cuba hoped to boost cooperation with China in all spheres, and described Cuba's relationship with China as "friendship between comrades".

Xu, also a member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said China and Cuba, both socialist countries led by the communist parties, had followed socialist paths with characteristics of their own.

The two sides, both faced with challenges of developing economy and improving people's living standards, had supported each other in building their countries and armed forces, and would continue to do so in the future, Xu said.

Xu Caihou is also pretty keen on North Korea which he visited in August 2003

From the PLA Online

Xu Caihou, on his part, said China will make unremitting efforts to consolidate the traditional DPRK-China relationship based on the common understanding reached by leaders of the two countries.

I'm sure our leaders were honoured to meet such an esteemed comrade. I hope they weren't so rude as to bring up the three terrible T's, Tianmen Square, Thibet and Taiwan.

Not really appropriate in the presence of such a Great Leader of the People.

I wonder if they reminisced about the good old days when they all admired the great Chairman Mao?