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Monday, October 30, 2006

"National Question" Part 10 Race Relations Council

After the success of Tom Poata's Maori Organisation on Human Rights, NZ Maoists and their friends in the Citizen's Association for Racial Equality joined forces to establish a "mixed" racial agitation group.

Over Waitangi weekend 1970, Hamilton CARE hosted a meeting at Waikato University to form the New Zealand Race Relations Council (NZRRC). Delegates included representatives from CARE, HART, the Radical Students Association, the New Zealand University Students Association, the Student Christian Movement, the Canterbury Fabian Society, the Socialist Unity Party controlled Northern Drivers Union and a variety of ethnic and socialist controlled trade union and church organisations.

Former Communist Party member Tom Poata was present and made his usual inflammatory speech

"I believe that in a revolution some people get knocked over and some are left standing. It depends on your interpretation of violence. The South African coloured people have been very passive because they've had no arms to meet violence with violence. As a trade unionist, I'm prepared to put words into action and will die doing this if necessary."

While Sir Edmund Hilary was sucked into being the NZRRC's patron, the people with the real power were mainly CARE activists and/or Maoists.

Many Maoists had recently been expelled from the Communist Party (including almost the entire Wellington branch). They, together with some younger university based Maoists, formed the backbone of the new group.

The CARE contingent included;

Jim Gale The NZRRC's first president and CARE vice-President. Gale's father and brother were life-long Marxist-Leninists and Jim Gale had been in the Communist Party's "Socialist Club" at Auckland Uni.

Tom Newnham NZRRC's secretary and CARE leader. A long time supporter of the People's Republic of China.

Erihapeti Murchie An activist with Dunedin CARE, later a President of the Maori Womens Welfare League, a future Human Rights Commissioner and Ngai Tahu Trust Board official.

Professor Keith Sorrenson CARE and NZRRC founder member. In 1973, Sorrenson led the CARE delegation to the Congress of World Forces for Peace in Moscow and in 1988 became a fulltime member of the Waitangi Tribunal.

Maoists in the NZRRC included;

Paul Potiki The Council's second president from 1971. . A former Wellington Communist Party member and CABTA activist, Potiki worked for the Department of Maori Affairs and was a vice-president of the PSA. He was also a close associate of fellow NZRRC activist, Tom Poata.

Jim Delahunty A former Wellington Communist Party member and the NZRRC's treasurer from 1971 and president from 1973.

Mike Law A member of the Council's executive from 1971. Law was a HART founder member and close associate of HART leaders Trevor Richards and Helen Clark. A vice- president of the NZUSA, Law was, with Jim Delahunty a supporter of a Wellington based Maoist grouping led by ex Communist Party member, Rona Bailey. This group published a journal called "The Paper" which "incorporated HART News" and later evolved into the Workers Communist League (WCL)

Other prominent executive members, in the '71 to '73 period included;

Auckland District Maori Council leaders Pat Hohepa and Ranginui Walker.

Victoria Uni radicals Mika Kelekolio and Pierre Maru.

General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, the Rev David Taylor.

Senior Department of Maori Affairs officer, Eddie McLeod

Marxist Otago trade unionist, Bill Richards.

Marxist Anglican/Methodist minister, Rev Don Borrie

Anti Vietnam War activist, Tim Dyce

Oliver Sutherland, also active in Tom Poata's Maori Organisation on Human Rights, the Nelson Maori Committee, the Nelson Race Relations Group and later the Auckland Committee on Racial Discrimination.

At the NZRRC's 1971 conference, speakers called on government to ensure Maori language be taught as a core subject at teachers' colleges and offered at all universities. A petition, requesting the government to make the language available in all schools was drawn up.

Conference urged that each municipality in New Zealand to make available from its reserves "or by appropriation" land of suitable size for urban maraes.

Nga Tamatoa activist, Syd Jackson led a session which resulted in the adoption of a remit calling on the government and people of NZ to recognise that the development of this country had been conducted with a disregard to the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Another remit was adopted calling for Waitangi Day to be made a National Holiday.

Much of this sounded radical in the early 1970s. However like the Communist Party's 1936 Maori programme, most of it has now a now a "fait accompli".

The NZRRC served as a transmission belt for Marxist-Leninist Maori policy to the public. It raised ideas originally developed by socialists and gave them a veneer of respectability. The long forgotten NZRRC played a significant role in accelerating the cultural shift we have experienced in the last twenty five years.

The organistion lost direction in the mid '70s and after being handed over to a group of militant Maoris and eventually collapsed.

Funding MPs-Rodney Hide's Solution

Also from The Letter

Even the National MPs are beginning to realise that there are real problems with the Auditor-General's report. Kevin Brady has ruled the expenditure on the Pledge Card unlawful not because it was electioneering but because it was not for a parliamentary purpose. This has significant ramifications.

MPs have free parliamentary travel for any purpose. They can and do fly to attend weddings, funerals, to go on holiday and to politic. MPs have free, unlimited telephone, fax and email. They have research units that can research any topic. The Auditor-General has ruled that any expenditure by an MP that does not have a "parliamentary" purpose is illegal and has recommended all expenditure be pre-approved.

No-one in parliamentary service wants to pre-approve every MPs expenditure. It would take an army of civil servants. What is a parliamentary purpose? Dr Mark Prebble the State Service Commissioner has been called in to find a solution.

Rodney Hide has the answer. Bulk fund MPs and then make them publish their expenditure. Why shouldn't the taxpayer know how MPs spend their money? There are persistent parliamentary rumours of MPs who have used their free flights to visit mistresses. If all expenditure was forced to be published it might cause divorces but we would have known that Labour was using the taxpayer to fund the pledge card.

Is Don Gone?

Richars Prebble's latest The Letter, contains a sad, but probably true, assessment of the political future of National leader, Don Brash.

National MPs have decided that they can't fight another election with Don Brash. Don is in trouble not because of the recent publicity about his private life but rather his judgment or his lack of it. Putting out a press statement saying he was returning to Auckland because his wife was sick and then withdrawing it and admitting he was going to save his marriage, showed a leader panicking under pressure. (McCully's many enemies say he drafted the statement.)

The professional way to handle the Independent front page story would have been to ignore it. To have stayed in parliament and fronted up instead of legitimising the story by issuing a press statement and then bringing all the media to your home by going there.

Don's problems are even greater than we have been told. Before the Independant story appeared Don had told senior MPs that he wished to resign for personal reasons. He had told his family of his decision, hence the need to return home to explain he had been pursuaded to stay on.

Back bench MPs are asking if this is how he handles his own crisis, how will he handle a crisis that affects them? Even if they win with Don, how would they survive as a government? The new MPs, who the media say are all grateful to Don, are the most shocked with his performance. Jonathan Coleman, MP for Birkenhead, is said to be gathering the votes for John Key.

11% in the preferred leader's poll is huge. National voters have decided. The only question is whether to do the coup before or after Christmas.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Second Wave of Socialism?

Far from seeing themselves as a dead movement, the world's communist parties are gearing up for a "second wave" of socialism that will be bigger and better than the first. Latin America, particularly Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia is the new beacon of Bolshevism.

From Australian Marxist Review

Miguel Figueroa,
Leader, Communist Party of Canada to the International Ideological Seminar hosted by the Communist Party of Venezuela Caracas, July 2006

Dear comrades,

Let me begin by expressing our party's appreciation to our host, the Communist Party of Venezuela for convening this seminar. We sincerely believe that the results of this forum, and of the 12th Congress itself will make a meaningful contribution to the work of all communist and revolutionary parties and movements around the world. The theme "Socialism in the 21st Century" is especially appropriate given that it is precisely here in Venezuela where the working class and popular forces are setting out to build a new socialist society, the first such socialist project of the new century. I'm sure that I speak for all the fraternal delegates and parties in saying that "we are with you 100%, and confident that the Bolivarian Revolution and socialism will triumph!"

Without doubt, the "second wave" of socialism — the socialism of the 21st Century — will distinguish itself from the "first wave" of socialist construction during the last century insofar as the revolutionary forces today have the benefit of analysing and learning from those previous experiences — both their achievements and their failures and distortions — and in this sense we can confidently predict that the "new socialism" will be better, stronger, and more enduring than the previous wave of socialist construction.

Will India Join Growing Russo-Chinese Power Bloc?

The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation is a Russo-Chinese led power bloc which was founded in 2001.

The SCO emcompasses most of the old Soviet Republics and China. As its website states

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation proclaimed in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 by six countries - People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Tajikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.

The main purposes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are: strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborly relations among member states; promoting their effective cooperation in political affairs, economy and trade, scientific-technical, cultural, and educational spheres as well as in energy, transportation, tourism, and environment protection fields; joint safeguarding and presenting regional peace, security and stability; striving towards creation of democratic, just, reasonable new international political and economic order.

The total area occupied by the SCO member states is about 30 million 189 thousand square kilometres, or about three fifth the territory of Eurasia, with a population of 1.455 billion people, or about a quarter of total population of the world.

While virtually ignored by the MSM, the Communist press regards the SCO as a hugely important organisation. It is seen as a means of re-aligning power away from the USA and the West in favour of the East and the Communist/Muslim world.

Here is an article on the SCO from the latest edition of the Communist Party of Auistralia's Guardian, with some commentary by myself.

Significance of India, Russia, China cooperation

"The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries are going to be the new powerhouse of the world. It is in India’s enlighten­ed interest that we understand its importance as we are a country which desperately needs energy", CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat says in a statement this month. "Trilateral co-operation between India, China and Russia has symbolic significance as it can dispel the notion that the 21st century is an American century."

New Zeal As the head of the Communist Party of India(Marxist), Prakash Karat is a hugely influential figure. The CPI(M) controls several state governments and has a strong bloc in the Indian Parliament as does the "rival" Communist Party of India.

The recent meeting between India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese Premier Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-8 summit held tremendous potential in the changing world situation. Karat was delivering a talk on the "Role of friendship societies in Indo-Russian relations".

Karat said the 21st century was not going to be an American century. "This will be an Asian century. Two countries, India and China, are to power Asia through their economic growth and political clout. Though a unipolar world appeared to emerge after the fall of the Soviet Union, current trends hint at a transition towards a multi-polar world which would be more balanced and equitable and with less scope for hegemony", Karat said.

Besides Asia, new power centres were developing in Europe, Latin America and Africa much to the "dismay" of United States.

Emerging co-operation among India, Brazil and South Africa, which are important countries in the developing world, would [also] promote multi-polarity in the world.

New Zeal South Africa's Communist Party dominated government has been very active in promoting ties with Marxist led Brazil and heavily Marxist influenced India. South African deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Azziz Pahad, brother of leading SACP member and advisor to President Thabo Mbeki, Essop Pahad has been particularly active in promoting ties to India.

Stating that energy was going to be a major issue in the 21st century, he said Russia’s energy diplomacy had signalled that it would be assertive in the new situation.

The six-member SCO comprising Russia, China and central Asian republics, would have an increasing role in world affairs.

Karat urged the Indian Govern­ment to understand the importance of the SCO in which India, along with Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, were observers.

"If the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline became a reality, the country would get gas at one-quarter of its price in the international market. Russia was now co-operating with Iran, and India should use its ties with Russia to play an increasing role in central Asia", Karat said.

He said the present world situation underlined the need to maintain, nurture and strengthen India’s ties with Russia. In the earlier period of the Soviet Union, India had been greatly influenced by the first socialist experiment.

"Promotion of people-to-people relations was also important while developing strategic relations with countries like China and Russia and developing nations", Karat said.

New Zeal How would the West deal with a power bloc spanning Asia from Vladivostok to Kiev and from the Arctic circle to Southern India? Combine that with an alliance between nuclear capable, or near capable India, South Afica and Brazil, allied in turn to oil rich Venezuela and Iran and you start to see a potential problem.

Thank God NZ lives in a "benign strategic environment".

Capitalism, Racism and Rugby League

I went to Jade Stadium in Christchurch last night, with a couple of mates, to watch the Kiwi Rugby League Team play the Poms.

I'd been pondering racism a bit after my last post and I had one or two realisations during the game.

The left, particularly the Marxists, often accuse capitalists of being racists. In fact they claim capitalism per se is an implicitly racist system.

Here was I, one of 17,000 League fans, 80% of whom were white, cheering on my country's finest players against the best of Britain.

Of the 17 Kiwi players to take the field, only two (Simon Mannering and Nathan Fien)would have been able to ride in the front of a bus in 1970's Johannesburg.

As the Kiwi players took the field, they were all cheered. The "Little General", Stacey Jones (Maori) received by far the greatest applause, followed by Ruben Wiki (Samoan/Maori) and Aussie born Brent Webb (Torres Strait Islander).

The Lions were white as snow except for one black player. Yet there was no question whose side the local crowd was on.

Even our group of three (two of us capitalist ACT members) cheered on the brown boys as they eventually dominated the Poms to win 18 points to 14.

Why didn't we racist capitalists support the white boys against the Maori, Samoan and Tongan NZers who made up the bulk of the Kiwi side?

Simple really, because every Kiwi out there was chosen on merit. Every Kiwi supporter knew that coach "Blue" McClennan and his selectors had picked the very best players possible to achieve victory.

Capitalists care about results. They care about production, success, self motivation, discipline and victory. Only committed individuals can deliver such things. Even in team sports like League, it is individual attributes that make the difference.

Sport is the most capitalist, free enterprise, "dog eat dog", neo-liberal, "New Right", laissez faire sector of NZ society. It is also the least racist. Everything comes down to what you can do on the day. Can you score the Try? Make the match saving tackle?

No one gives a stuff about the Treaty, or where your whanau comes from, or whether your team "truly reflects the diversity of NZ society" when you're making a 50 yard dash to the tryline like "brown bullet" Brent Webb did last night.

South African Rugby, under the ANC government has gone down a different path.

They don't have "quotas" as such. They simply tell the Springbok selectors that if they have to choose one of two players of near equal ability, they must go for the more ethnically correct (black, or coloured) candidate.

South African Rugby is hugely divided over this issue and I believe it has contributed to their poor showing in Super 12/14 over the last few years.

So if we want to improve race relations, the answer is clear. Liberate our society from all types of race based laws, ethnic quotas, race based funding and the like.

Let the sporting ethic be the guide to all our social and business relationships. Let people be what they want to be and let their abilities and drive, alone take them where they want to go.

A free society values people for what they can contribute. The more freedom we have, the more contribution we will get.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Potaua Biasiny-Tule, a Good Man Gone Astray

New Zealand's universities today, are full of idealist young Maori, many, the first in their family to enjoy a Tertiary Education. Unfortunately a culture of Marxism and Maori Nationalism leads many down the wrong road. All our universities are riddled with Marxist academics who see it as their revolutionary duty to "educate" young Maori in seperatist and socialist beliefs. While much of the pakeha world is leaving socialism behind, many educated young Maori are embracing it.

Potaua Biasiny-Tule is a classic example of a family loving, all round nice guy led down a socialist blind alley, by the prevalent culture in the NZ Tertiary Education system.

Rio Tule, as he was known then, was active at Waikato University in the mid '90s. He was involved in Students of Waikato Environment Teamt (SWET), a radical green group linked to the Maoist leaning Aotearoa Youth Network.

In 1995, Tule was active in support of the Maori occupation of Motua Gardens in Wanganui.

By 1997 he was at Canterbury University serving as publicity officer, for the local Maori students group, Te Akatoki.

Pule met his wife at Canterbury, a Puerto Rican of Dutch descent and was henceforth known as Biasiny-Tule.

Starting in 1997 and carrying on until 2002, Biasiny-Tule became involved with the semi-annual "Activism in Aotearoa" gatherings. Organised by the Aotearoa Youth Network, Peace Movement Aotearoa and other radical groups, these meetings were designed to school young activists in everything from building "bugging" equipment to banner making, "de-colonisation", sexual activism, peace activism and women's activism.

Katie Bradford, daughter of Green MP, Sue Bradford describes, in "Common Ground", May 1997 a "Great Debate", facilitated by peace activist, Edwina Hughes, who "had the joyous task of controlling Marxists, Anarchists, Trots...and the odd feminist."

At the 1997 AIA, Biasiny-Tule ran a session on "de-colonisation" with Norman Uy Carnay of the Asian Students Association. Uy Carnay came to the ASA from the League of Filipino Students, a well known front for the Maoist, Communist Party of the Philippines.

Biasiny-Tule spoke at the 1998 AIA on the MAI Agreement-which later collapsed "I was happy when those capitalists couldn't agree on their own greed..."

In 2002 Biasiny-Tule started Rangkainga Indigenous Media Network
because "although there was much online discussion on topical issues relevant to Mäori communities there was little in the way of a Mäori relevant newsletter that was delivered to people at regular intervals."

In May this year, he used it to explain his political development.

Now, part of me has always been opposed to the capitalist system – maybe it was because I loved to sit and listen to my koroua and uncles talk about Marxist Economic Theory, Maori communal marketing and how the West was corrupt, and so too their economic framework. Or perhaps it was that we were a poor, working class family with barely enough to make ends meet. When the left imploded in the mid-80's, no one felt that hit more than our whanau. It was like our entire world was being crushed...

When I attended university some years later, I felt a natural affinity with the politics of the left, the movements of the working people. I would sit in smoked filled rooms discussing radical economic theories throughout history, listening to the words of freedom fighters like Malcolm X, Thomas Sankara, Tupua Tamasese and Angela Davis, talking about the economic theories of Engels, Marx, and muttering over Noam Chomsky's latest musings.

All of this reinforced my belief that capitalism was inherently bad, that purveyors of capitalism sold out every day to make a sale, and that profit favours big business, not the people. Studying in the Faculty of Humanities may have added to my swing against capitalism, and the introduction of student fees and the subsequent burden of student debt may have hardened my resolve.

Biasiny-Tule also has stated that his "inspirational role models were people like Steve Biko, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Sankara, Che Guevara and locally, Whaea Eva Rickard, Angeline Greensill, cousin Annette Sykes, Tame Iti, Ken Mair, Pita Sharples, Tariana Turia, and Hone Harawira."

In 2004 Biasiny-Tule was vice president of the Waikato Students Union. That year he also began active involvement in the Maori party. In 2005 he was the Party's candidate for Hamilton East and also served as Maori Party education spokesman. More recently he has been executive assistant to Maori Party MP, Hone Harawira.

Earlier this year Biasiny-Tule was a Senior Tutor in Te Aka Tikanga, at Waikato University. He was assisting with the Treaty of Waitangi papers and tutoring in the School of Management in a first year paper called "Communication in Aotearoa".

Biasiny-Tule is currently a claims co-ordinator for the Waitangi Tribunal, one of several socialist leaning individuals working for that august body.

Imagine how much better off this country would be if Biasiny-Tule and hundreds like him were educated, not by socialist sloganeers, but by committed, libertarian lecturers.

It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Party

David Farrar on Kiwi Blog sums up Labour's woes going into their annual conference, in Rotorua, this weekend.

It's not the ideal backdrop to Labour's Conference.

First you have to pay back $800,000 or so of taxpayers funds.

Secondly a poll shows you 13% behind.

Thirdly you lose a local body by-election in the safest Labour territory in the country.

Fourthly on the day the conference starts, Police raid one of your MPs offices, in a historic first for NZ.

And finally fifthly in Auckland the centre-right win four out of five seats on the Auckland Electricity Consumers Trust, despite there being a split on the centre-right!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Two Southerners Tour Rakaia Heartland

ACT's two South Island born MPs, Rodney Hide and Heather Roy toured the Rakaia electorate to a great reception.

Coffee and media interviews in Darfield, a well attended members and supporters lunch at the Blue Pub in Methven, media interviews and meetings with local politicians in Ashburton and lots of meet and greet on the way.

Check out this editorial from the Ashburton Guardian

Last year, Act candidate Brian Davidson campaigned only for the party vote in Rakaia.
But should the party decide to give it a full go in a plum electorate, it would be interesting to test the robustness of the Act leader’s claim that “with a good candidate, we could win this seat”.

Hat Tip Local ACT deputy Board member Andrew Falloon

Davila on Plans for a Red Latin America

With the bulk of Latin America under socialist control and Ecuador and Nicaragua looking likely to fall in elections in the next few days, things don't look good for freedom on the continent.

But aren't these simply democratic changes to empower the poor and enfranchise the downtrodden?

Surely Latin American Socialism is a softer kinder kind than that practised in Russia or China?

Nelson Davila is Venezuela's ambassador to Australia. He is a revolutionary socialist and Hugo Chavez's main propagandist in the South Pacific.

While in NZ as a guest of Socialist Worker he gave an interview to Daphne Lawless, editor of SW's September "Unity" magazine.

Here are some extracts.

D Lawless Is the old state bureaucracy a roadblock to the revolutionary process...

N Davila Yes, in Venezuela today, there are still two states-the revolutionary state we are creating and the old reformist bureaucracy which is in its death throes. The best way to ensure the fading away of the old state is to strengthen the revolutionary state, including the new structures.

D Lawless Must there be a final showdown with the Venezuelan oligarchy?

N Davila Definitely. The Venezuelan revolution will bury capitalism. We believe socialism is the only way to bring happiness to our people. Our republic is a transitional state towards constructing the Bolivarian Socialist Republic of Venezuela.

D Lawless How much of the Bolivarian revolution is a pan-Latin American movement?

N Davila The dream of Simon Bolivar was uniting the continent to form a real power in the world. From this idea, which is still relevant today, come efforts by president Chavez to deepen Latin American integration.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Commissar Camejo's Firm Grip on California Greens

The very first of the Ten Key Values of the US Green Party is


Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them.

Therefore you'd think the Greens would be sensitive to powerful cliques forming inside their party, particularly if those factions were linked to organisations well known for authoritarian ideologies and tactics.

Ironically it appears that the California Green Party which has roughly 50% of the party's national membership, has come under the control of such a faction.

Peter Camejo is undisputed power broker in the California Green Party. His allies (the Marxist International Socialist Organisation) and supporters (many of them old Trotskyists, or employees or directors of his company, Progressive Asset Management) dominate the Party at its highest levels.

Here's some of the proof.

The above book, "California Under Corporate Rule", serves as a promotional tool for Camejo's campaign for the California governorship and is a guide to the Party's programme.

Besides Camejo, the authors are Todd Chretien, Sarah Knopp, Rachel Odes, Don Bechler, Mehul Thakker, Forrest Hill and Donna Warren

Todd Chretien, Sarah Knopp and Rachel Odes are all members of the International Socialist Organisation.

Don Bechler, a San Francisco based health activist, was a member of Camejo's former Socialist Workers Party from at latest the early 70s to at least 1996.

Peter Camejo heads a Green Party MVP slate into the California elections scheduled for November 7th. MVP stands for "Million Votes for Peace," a campaign in which these candidates aim to garner one million votes from California voters that are against the war in Iraq.

Some of Camejo's key MVP team members are;

Mike Wyman Green candidate for California Attorney General

My involvement in the Green Party began in 1993, when I returned to the Bay Area from Washington, D.C. I served as the Treasurer of the Green Party of California from 2000 thru 2005. I have been involved in the.... Ralph Nader Presidential campaigns in 2000, the Peter Camejo campaigns for Governor in 2002 and 2003, and the Nader/Camejo Presidential campaign in 2004.

Before I joined the Green Party I was active in the Central American solidarity movement for thirteen years, first as a member of CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and then as the editor of the newsweekly, El Salvador On Line, which was published in Washington, D.C. by the Center for Central American Studies.

In the sixties and seventies I was, as you might guess, involved in the anti-war movements, the movement against apartheid and Portuguese colonialism in Africa, and other issues too numerous to mention.

Wyman was also active in the early '90s, with Camejo, in the Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist-Leninist group formed as an offshoot of the Communist Party USA. He travelled in March 1993, with CoC leaders Camejo, Carl Bloice and Malik Miah to the International Green Left Conference in Sydney, hosted by Australian Marxist-Leninists, the Democratic Socialist Party.

Incidentally, future NZ Green Party leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons also attended that conference.

Wyman is am a member of the board of directors of Peter Camejo's company, Progressive Asset Management

Mehul Thakker Green candidate for California State Treasurer

Mehul Thakker is an Investment Advisor in Oakland, CA with a focus on Socially Responsible Investment and Community Development. He is passionate about securing Economic Justice for low income and minority groups in the U.S., and strives to educate on how to use the power of investment to create positive social change locally and globally.

Mehul has served as Treasurer of NetIP-SFBA (Network of Indian Professionals) and is active in the movement for shareholder rights and corporate social responsibility. He is also a member of the CA League of Conservation Voters, The Sierra Club, and The Gujarati Cultural Association of the SF Bay Area.

Thakker is an investment advisor for Peter Camejo's company, Progressive Asset Management.

Forrest Hill Green candidate for California Secretary of State

For the past 30 years, Dr Hill has been involved in grassroots politics. He has served as an officer in the Michigan chapter of Ralph Nader’s Public Interest Research Group, coordinated several local and national political campaigns, and traveled to Nicaragua in support of coffee growers during the Reagan-sponsored Contra war.

Dr Hill...served as an elected official on the Green Party of California coordinating committee, chaired the committee on Green campaigns and is currently a national delegate to the Green Party of the United States.

Interestingly Forrest worked as a trackman for Conrail in the 1970's and was a member of the United Transportation Union.

This manual labouring stint is suspicious as in the late '70s, Camejo's Socialist Workers Party ordered all its college educated cadres in labouring jobs in order to connect with the working class. Combined with his trip to Nicaragua, it indicates the possibility that Hill was also a supporter of the Socialist Workers Party.

I quote from an article that Forrest Hill co-authored with Todd Chretien, The Importance of a Green Left from Synthesis/Regeneration 39(Winter 2006)

Green politics will not work without a left critique of capitalism, both in terms of its dependence on the perpetual destruction of the natural resource base and its exploitation of workers. Moving to a sustainable economy necessarily requires a radical shift away from a growth economy, and all that entails, to a steady state economy where the aggregate throughput of natural recourses is within the limits of the ecosystem.

Hill is a financial advisor for Peter Camejo's Progressive Asset Management.

Todd Chretien Green candidate for US Senate

After graduating from Gray-New Gloucester High School, he entered Middlebury College in 1988, but after a year, left to spend eight months teaching English in El Salvador and Nicaragua. He returned to school in 1991, entering Columbia University. He left Columbia before graduating, after having been suspended for a semester for involvement in the protest occupation of a campus building. In 1994 he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he graduated from San Francisco State University in 2003 with a B.A. in history.

In 1988, Chretien was elected as a delegate for Jesse Jackson to the Maine Democratic Party convention. Soon after entering Columbia, he became active in the movement to stop the first Gulf War, and joined the International Socialist Organization.

Since 1994, Chretien has worked as a writer and a full-time activist and organizer for the International Socialist Organization. He has been active in movements defending affirmative action, promoting global justice, and opposing war in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. He organized a 2005 tour of the U.S. by antiwar British MP, George Galloway.

Chretien is a member of the National Writers Union, and writes regularly for Socialist Worker, the International Socialist Review, Counterpunch and other publications.

Since 2000, he has worked with local Green Party activists and campaigns, including organizing large student meetings for Peter Camejo's campaign for Governor of California in 2003 and volunteering for Matt Gonzalez's 2003 campaign for Mayor of San Francisco.

He then served as the statewide field coordinator for the Nader/Camejo 2004 presidential campaign.

Chretien does NOT work for Camejo's Progressive Asset Management.

So Peter Camejo's key people are almost all current Trotskyists, former Trotskyists, or dependent on Camejo's company for their income.

A very healthy example of Green Party "democracy" at work.

Peter Camejo's Socialist Allies

Peter Camejo was in the US Socialist Workers Party, from about 1955 to his expulsion in 1980. During most of that time the SWP was aligned to the United Secretariat of the Forth International, or USec, a worldwide network of Trotskyist parties.

The US SWP split from USec, but Camejo maintains a pattern of collaborating with groups with USec ties.

In the early '90s Camejo was on the national executive the Committees of Correspondence, a group formed from a split in the Communist Party USA plus several Maoist and Trotskyist groups, some of which also had affiliations to the USec.

In recent years, the Usec has maintained ties to two main US Trotskyist groups, Solidarity and the larger, International Socialist Organisation.

From Wikipedia

In participating in the first World Social Forum in 2001, the ISO came in contact with the International Workers' League; the two groups collaborated on events in the 2002 World Social Forum and exchanged articles in their respective publications. Subsequently the ISO has developed an ongoing collaboration with the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, the Socialism and Freedom Party of Brazil, the Party of Socialist Revolution of Venezuela, and the Movement for Socialism of Switzerland. These groups have sent speakers to each others' events, published each others' materials, and collaborated on more specific efforts.

Peter Camejo has maintained close ties to both groups and both organisations have played a big role in supporting Camejo's progamme inside the US Green Party.

As Camejo wrote on the US leftist website Counterpunch in April 2005

Instead of seeing the danger of co-option by Democrats John Rensenbrink recently warned of the danger of the infiltration of socialists into the Green Party. This red baiting approach is another way to say the left in the Green Party is the problem and we need to get them out. To Rensenbrink, calling for a vote for Kerry is not the problem, the problem is those "socialists" that won't vote Kerry. Of course he never mentions that both the Communist Party and many of the Democratic Socialist of America members were solid backers of Kerry. For those socialists to be in the Green Party, I guess, might be okay with Rensenbrink. His problems are with other "socialists" like the ISO that refuse to vote pro-war, and are helping to build the Green Party.

Since the Nader/LaDuke campaign of 2000, the ISO has worked alongside the Green Party in electoral campaigns (endorsing our candidates, walking precincts, organizing campaign meetings, etc.) and many members of the ISO are registered Greens. The ISO also works in various places with Green Party members in non-electoral coalitions against the war, for immigrant rights, against the death penalty, etc. Other socialist groups, like Solidarity, have had members helping to build the Green Party since its founding. In New York we ran a leader of the Socialist Party for Senate.

The facts are exactly the opposite of what Rensenbrink states. It is a hopeful sign for the Green Party that many of the ISO members and Solidarity are helping the Green Party. The ISO has developed a large following, especially among young people. The Green Party is not socialist or capitalist, it welcomes all who are willing to stand by the ten key values and respect internal democracy. The danger to the Green Party is from the Democratic Party, from pro corporate forces, not from people supportive of our party.

In an interview on Socialist Project, Ernest Tate, a Canadian Trotskyist who has known Camejo since the late '50s asked....

What is the attitude of the various left groups to the Nader-Camejo campaign?

Camejo: The small groups that call themselves leftists or socialists are still much divided. The International Socialist Organization now is the strongest in America, has the most young people in it and is the most active. They’re working very hard to support the Nader-Camejo campaign and are very effective in their support. They have a lot of influence on the campuses and they’re been very helpful. They also have people in the labour movement.

There’s another group, Solidarity, which is doing a lot of work in the labour movement. They are very supportive and have been in the Green Party for a long time, and have been very helpful. Regarding the remnants of the Stalinist currents, the Communist Party and Maoist group, they’re all pro-Democratic Party. They’ve always been for the pro-corporate party

Camejo is a regular guest speaker at ISO events where he shares views that are not for the mainstream

This report Camejo's old comrade Louis Proyect commenting on an ISO meeting in New York October 23rd, 2004, makes that plain.

Last night I attended the 8pm plenary of a northeast regional conference organized by the International Socialist Conference up at CCNY. Ralph Nader's running mate Peter Camejo spoke first, followed by ISO leader Ahmed Shawki.

For those who think that the Green Party will be the vehicle for the ultimate social and economic emancipation of the USA, Camejo made it clear that it will be another party more deeply rooted in the working class. However, it would be a big mistake not to get involved with the Greens today, despite its conflicting tendencies

Camejo was also a keynote speaker at the ISO's Socialism 2006 conference held at Columbia University, New York last June.

Red, Black, Blue Green: Electoral Challenges to the Democrats --

with Green Party leaders Peter Camejo, Todd Chretien, Aaron Dixon, and Howie Hawkins, currently running against Arnold Schwartzenegger, Dianne Feinstein, Maria Cantwell, and Hillary Clinton respectively

Could Peter Camejo and his Marxist allies be using the US Greens to further their own socialist agenda?

Perish the thought.

Proyect on Camejo

Louis Proyect is a well known new York based Marxist writer. His work has appeared in Sozialismus (Germany), Science and Society, New Politics, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Organization and Environment, Cultural Logic, Dark Night Field Notes, Revolutionary History (Great Britain), New Interventions (Great Britain), Canadian Dimension, Revolution Magazine (New Zealand) and Green Left Weekly (Australia).

From 1967 to 1978 Proyect was active in the Trotskyist, US Socialist Workers Party where he got to know Peter Camejo, while both were active in the Party's Boston branch.

In Proyect's opinion, Peter Camejo remains a hard core Marxist who is using the US Green Party as a means to an end.

Below are excerpts from Proyect's Marxism Mailing list. Proyect's answer to Gabosch's question is extremely revealing as to Camejo's possible tactics within the US Green party. It also useful in analysing the approach of modern Latin American revolutionary movements such as the Sandinistas, the Brazillian Workers Party and the supporters of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.

Not to forget the NZ Green Party of course.

Steve Gabosch
The other question I had was where does Camejo stand, based on things he has recently written, on how to make a revolution?

Louis Proyect
My guess is that Peter Camejo basically sees things the same way that he saw them in 1980 when I first got in touch with him after he was expelled from the SWP....

Here's the gist of what I absorbed from him. I should mention that Peter was the strongest influence on my political evolution and a sort of forefather to this mailing list...

Peter had been profoundly influenced by the Nicaraguan revolution. He told me that the spirit of a living revolution was completely at odds with the growing sectarianism and dogmatism of the Trotskyist movement, no matter how much lip-service the party was devoting to the FSLN...

So he went to Venezuela to study Lenin with fresh eyes. Rather than reading something like "What is to be Done" through the prism of the SWP or any other sectarian group, he would read Lenin in context. I have tried to do the same thing myself. Basically he came to the conclusion that the Bolshevik Party was far more like the FSLN or the Cuban Communist Party in terms of its strategic and tactical flexibility. He decided that it was necessary in the USA was to create a true vanguard, not a little chapel dedicated to Trotsky with a thousand or so true believers.

When he came back to the USA to argue his point of view in the party, he was told that he was no longer welcome--this after 25 years as a member. It was pretty obvious that the SWP was afraid to allow a popular oppostionist to be heard.

Peter accepts all the classical Marxist teachings on the state, etc. His emphasis is not so much on this but how to create a broad-based mass movement in the USA, which can ultimately lead to a revolutionary working class party. As such, his approach is diametrically opposed to the sectarian model that attempts to recruit people to a fully elaborated program by ones or twos or threes. He sees formations such as the Green Party as a means to an end. You are possibly confused because the Green Party statements, the Avocado Declaration, the Nader-Camejo campaign literature do not put forward socialist tasks.

New Zeal
In other words Camejo rejects the tiny Marxist-Leninist party as the best way to achieve revolution. He advocates building large coalitions, in order to challenge the status quo through force of numbers. The Marxist Revolutionary stuff comes later.

As a rule of thumb, small sectarian groups are virtually unsurpassed in their ability to proclaim the need for revolution, but history teaches us that whenever genuinely massive revolutionary struggles take place, such groups are bypassed completely. If Fidel Castro had clasped the organizational principles of the SWP to his bosom in the 1950s, he would have remained a marginal figure at best.

The July 26th Movement, the FSLN, the FMLN, etc. did not organize people around the need to abolish capitalism. Mostly they projected democratic reforms. For example, if you read "History Will Absolve Me," Castro's statement to the courtroom in the 1953 trial following the abortive attack on the Moncada barracks, the words socialism and capitalism do not appear *once*.

Castro does not call for the overthrow of capitalism, but puts forward rather modest demands such as granting "workers and employees the right to share 30% of the profits of all the large industrial, mercantile and mining enterprises, including the sugar mills."

After Batista was overthrown, many Latin American experts tried to explain why Castro overthrew capitalism despite the complete absence of socialist verbiage in his speeches and in the written statements of his movement. Some, including in the SWP, thought that he was a kind of accidental Marxist who fell into communism only because the USA gave him no alternative....

In reality, the leaders of the urban and rural movement in Cuba were steeped in Marxism, but not the Trotskyist subgenre. They were much more influenced by Mariategui and other lesser-known thinkers. If they had followed the Trotskyist model, it is certain that they would have never succeeded. In fact, it is almost a guarantee of failure to adopt the party-building model of the self-declared Leninist sects.

I would leave it like this. Peter's main concern is over how to build the movement. He really does not get involved in trying to make any big theoretical breakthoughs over the character of workers states, etc. He is preoccupied with what James P. Cannon described as the "art of politics", namely knowing what to do next.

New Zeal
So Proyect clearly believes that Camejo has learned the lessons of Castro and other successful Latin American revolutionaries. Don't talk about capitalism and a mass movement based on fairly moderate demands. Build alliances where you can, until you have sufficient power to overturn the existing order.

Then and only then do you start talking socialist revolution.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Who is Peter Camejo?

One of the Western world's most influential Marxists lives in the affluent Southern California enclave of Walnut Creek and heads an investment company with a multi billion dollar portfolio. His reach spans the globe, but events in Australia and New Zealand have been of particular interest to him. He is the Green Party candidate for the upcoming race for the governorship of California, Peter Camejo.

Born in New York in 1939 to a wealthy Venezuelan couple, Peter Miguel Camejo grew up in Venezuela and the US. While at university, Camejo represented Venezuela in yachting in the 1960 Summer Olympics.

A brilliant maths scholar, Camejo attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but dropped out to help the Civil Rights Struggle. He marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama and campaigned for the rights of immigrant farm workers.

Camejo had joined the Trotskyist movement in Boston, where he worked as a branch organisor for the Socialist Workers Party trying to orient the Party to the growing student movement.

He later studied at the University of California's Berkley campus but was expelled, just shy of completing his history degree, for his militant anti Vietnam war activities.

Then-governor, Ronald Reagan included Camejo on his 1968 list of the ten most dangerous Californians. "He had me expelled from Berkeley," Camejo said years later. "[Reagan] put one sentence down for each of the ten. For me he said, 'Present at all anti-war demonstrations.'"

In 1976, Camejo was the Socialist Workers Party candidate for President of the United States in 1976.

According to the "Progressive" magazine, "Peter Camejo traveled 150,000 miles, crisscrossing the country twenty times, in his quest for the Presidency."

Camejo' campaign spent $151,000 for a total of 90,310 votes. Not a lot, but the best ever score by an SWP candidate.

In 1980, Camejo was expelled from the SWP after arguing over tactics with the Party's leadership.

He worked for a while for the US Postal Service, then became a stockbroker for Merril Lynch where he founded their Eco-logical Trust.

Later Camejo served on the Board of Directors of EarthShare, a coalition of major environmental groups and also founded the Council for Responsible Public Investment. He also helped form the Environmental Justice Fund, to finance and unify "environmentalists of colour". In the early 1990s, Camejo was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii to be an advisor to the Hawaii Capital Stewardship Forum.

In 1991 Camejo helped to found the California Green Party.

Camejo was Green Party candidate for governor in 2002 and again in 2003 during the recall election. He received 5% of the vote in 2002 and 3.1% in 2003.

In January 2004, Camejo issued a statement known as the "Avocado Declaration". In it, Camejo accused the Democrats and Republicans of hindering social progress by working together to largely benefit a small, wealthy constituency.

Camejo advocated an independent Green Party that could attract nonvoters and disillusioned mainstream party supporters.

In June 2004, Camejo accepted the vice-presidential spot in the independent campaign of former two time Green Party presidential candidate, Ralph Nader.

After some serious infighting, the Greens had actually nominated Texan David Cobb as their presidential candidate.

Nader then campaigned as an independent with Camejo as his Green running mate. Their campaign focused heavily on opposition to the Iraq war. The Nader/Camejo ticket placed third in the election with .4% of the vote, four times the official Green Cobb/laMarche team's tally.

In 2004, Camejo established the group "Greens for Democracy and Independence" (GDI), as a declaration of independence from the Democratic Party. Many GDI members however are linked to the US's largest Trotskyist group, the International Socialist Organisation

His newest book is "California: Under Corporate Rule," written with Green Party members Todd Chretien, Sarah Knopp, Rachel Odes, Don Bechler, Mehul Thakker, Forrest Hill, and Donna Warren, several of whom are ISO members.

Camejo is currently Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Asset Management, a financial investment firm that helped pioneer the "socially responsible" investment movement.

PAM allows "investors to screen for: corporate governance, environmental performance, employee relations, product liabilities, militarism and weapons, nuclear power, genetic engineering, repressive regimes and alcohol/gambling/tobacco" and also "empowers investors teaching them how to influence the direction of the corporations they partially own through their shares".

While Camejo has repeatedly stated that the Greens are not and never will be a socialist party, he leaves no doubt about his own views, often describing himself as a watermelon..."Green on the outside, red on the inside."

Jim Tully, NZ's Most Influential Journalist?

Jim Tully, head of the Canterbury University Graduate School of Journalism, has had a huge impact on the profession in this country and abroad. Hundreds of NZ's most senior journalists have been trained under Mr Tully.

He has also helped guide the profession through his positions as a member of the Journalists' Training Board, chair of the AIT Journalism Advisory Committee, and as a former president of the Northern Journalists' Union.

According to the University of Canterbury

Jim Tully is editor of the New Zealand Journalism monograph series, past president of the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand, vice-president of the Commonwealth Association for Education in Journalism and Communication, and a member of the Australian Journalism Education Association.

While Pacific Affairs Writer for the Auckland Star he was the inaugural winner of the New Zealand Journalist of the Year Award for his coverage of the Cook Islands election scandal. He was Assistant Editor of the Auckland Star before coming to Canterbury.

Jim was a UNESCO consultant on journalism in Western Samoa and the Cook Islands and the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee representative on the National Advisory Committee on Media Studies.

Jim Tully started his career at Canterbury University in the late '60s covering sport for the student newspaper, Canta.

In 1968 Tully was Sports officer on the Canterbury University Students Association executive and in 1969 joined the inaugural year of the post graduate journalism course.

Jim Tully was a bit of a socialist then. He attended at least one of the Curious Cove gatherings in the Marlborough Sounds, organised annually by the Victoria University Socialist Club.

He was co-founder of Canterbury University's main socialist group, the Fabian Society, with Tony Simpson, a future writer, historian and socialist activist

In October 1988, Tully gave an interview to Canta. He talked about his youthful radicalism and his contention that many of NZ's leaders are ex-student activists.

Reflecting on his student years in the '60s, he said..."I don't think you can overestimate how much we were influenced by what students were doing in the US and Europe. We felt we were pushing at the edge of a new frontier, there was a real sense of change."

The change Tully refers to wasn't towards free markets and individual liberty. Many of Tully's students unfortunately seem to share the socialist vision of their teacher's youth.

Why Don't the MSM Tackle The Socialists?

Commenting on my recent post on the late Maori Marxist, Tom Poata, anon asked...

Why aren't the mainstream newspapers and TV giving us this background?

In my opinion there are several reasons.

Firstly there is a terror of "McCarthyism" among journalists. They see any hint of that unpardonable sin as a sure career killer. To be fair also, most people have little idea of the covert influence the left exerts, so journalists can cite little public interest in their activities as a reason for not investigating them.

Secondly a lot of younger journalists are pretty ignorant of history and politics.

Thirdly, many journalists are socialists, who see their role to help shape society in the correct direction. Most journalists are now university or Polytech graduates, who have absorbed the socialist culture prevalent in those institutions. They are understandably very loathe to expose their mates.

I am a big supporter of the the traditional apprenticeship system and would love to see the old system of journalist cadetships revived.

Journalists who start at the bottom covering A&P Shows, charity events, the local courts, school prizegivings and the like tend to be a bit more realistic and objective than some of the self important little "change agents" popped out by the polytechs and journalism schools.

Big "L" Liberal Upsets Aussie Socialists

An Australian Senator has upset some Aussie socialists.

From the latest Green Left Weekly

“Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has attempted to reignite a 50-year-old political fear of reds under the bed”, reported the Canberra Times on Thursday October 12. The article was referring to an October 10 speech in the Australian Senate, during which Humphries launched an attack on socialist Cuba and Australian supporters of the Cuban Revolution.

Humphries said: “It appears that Castro's cheer squad in Australia is not limited to the Democratic Socialist Party, or DSP, and its youth wing, Resistance. An article on 26 July this year in the DSP's newspaper Green Left Weekly reported that a Cuban parliamentarian, Ms Gilda Chacon, was touring Australia with the 'support of a number of unions, in particular the Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)’.”

Humphries also raised the alarm that the NSW branch of the CFMEU was selling in its offices a book on some of the gains of the Cuban Revolution, and that the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) held its 2005 congress at the NSW CFMEU offices. Humphries concluded: “Indeed, it is not going too far to suggest that the CFMEU is promoting the Cuban dictatorship as preferable to Australia's liberal democracy ...”

New Zeal Good on you Gary. Just wish you knew how bad your local socialists really are.

The Future Belongs to the Liberals

ACT and the Greens strongly oppose any move to raise the liquor puchasing age from 18 back to 20.

Other parties are mainly for the move or are divided on the issue.

Why are pro free market ACT and the socialist Greens united on this issue?

Former ACT on Campus president, David Seymour has posted an excellent piece on the AOC website that explains much.

Entitled "Left, Right, or Liberal", the article's central thesis is that the two main parties, National and Labour and their appendages are essentially conservative (ie wedded to the status quo, whatever that may be) while ACT and the Greens are both liberal parties with a strong desire to improve the existing social order.

I don't think anybody will be surprised to hear that the National party are a conservative party. With the exceptions of Ruth Richardson (who openly supports another party now, ACT) and possibly Don Brash, it is difficult to think of a Nat who has had any appetite for changing the status quo. There are two possible conclusions to this: Either National have each term governed a perfect country left behind by their Labour predecessors; or they use their political power to protect those with vested interests in the status quo. Aside from their history- voting against the civil union bill and therefore other people's right to choose- is a classic example of conserving vested interests, in this case of the church and its followers, at the expense of others' freedom.

It might come as a bigger surprise to learn that the Labour party is a conservative party, but I think it's fair to say that the Labour party have sold out. They have sold out to the unions and state employees who support them in return for favourable policies. When it comes to being re-elected the Labour party would be lost without the armies of union volunteers, the Brethren-style campaigns against opposition education policy by the PPTA, and the massive funding coming indirectly through union dues. A quick glance of where Labour's new MPs came from after the last election shows just how important union representatives are to the party. With the party proper preoccupied by serving supporters' vested interests, I feel sorry for Labour's young, idealistic supporters.

ACT wants major societal change and so do the Greens. On many social issues our ideas coincide. Unfortunately the Greens lose the plot bigtime on economic issues, but libertarians/liberals should support good ideas where they find them, even from Green socialists.

Social progress comes from good ideas. The best new ideas come from society's liberal fringe.

Conservative ideas have their place, but they'll never set the world on fire.

The future belongs to the liberals.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"National Question" Part 9, Mao and the Maori

While the "respectable" Citizen's Association for Racial Equality made racism an issue in 1960s NZ, the hardcore communists went back to basic racial agitation.

In the Mid '60s the Soviet Union and China parted ways and the Communist Party of NZ split into opposing factions. One wing of the Party remained loyal to China, while most of it's trade union union element broke away to form the pro-Soviet Socialist Unity Party (SUP). Both factions supported Maori nationalism, but the Peking aligned elements were more openly radical.

Key figures in the Maoist/Maori alliance were Doug and Ruth Lake. The Lakes had been part of a clique of Marxists working in the New Zealand Legation in Moscow during World War Two. A few years later, Doug Lake was sacked from the Foreign Affairs Department as a "security risk" and became a Parliamentary journalist. The pair became openly close to the Communist Party, with Ruth becoming particularly friendly with pro-Chinese Party member Rona Bailey.

In 1961, Ruth Lake translated, for Marxist journal Monthly Review, a long article on the Maori by a Mr N A Butinov of Leningrad "who specialised in the study of Maoris". It began, "The National Question takes on great importance in the conditions of the joint struggle of Maori and Pakeha workers for a better life".

The pair spent from 1963 to 1968 in Peking, polishing propaganda for Mao's regime while their three teenage daughters joined the ultra militant Red Guards

Doug Lake was also clearly aware of National Question ideas. In a pamphlet on Tibet published by the NZ/China Friendship Society in 1969, Lake wrote "as the Chinese see it, the "National Question" is in essence a class question. China's National policy therefore can be described as a class policy by which minority nationalities are assisted to liberate themselves in order to take the path to socialist development".

One of the Lake girls married Wellington Communist Party member Tamati (Tom) Poata, and the Lakes helped him found and run NZ's first "Maori Radical" group, the Maori Organisation on Human Rights (MOORH).

Poata agitated for Maori Land Rights and liaised with Maoris around the country, even setting up a Maori Tent Embassy outside Parliament. He was joined at the embassy by a young Tame Iti.

Poata tried to link the Maori struggle with revolutionary struggles overseas and was a master of the inflammatory statement. At the Communist Party organised, 1967 Peace, Power and Politics Conference Poata told the assembled socialists "The struggle of the Vietnam people to obtain self-determination is similar to the Maori struggle in New Zealand. The fundamental difference between them is that real bullets are being used in Vietnam."

In 1969 a young Maoist from Auckland University, named Trevor Richards, invited activists from all over the country to a meeting to set up a new, militant Anti Apartheid organisation. MOOHR sent a delegation and Poata suggested a name for the new group, Halt All Racist Tours (HART).

Are The Sandinistas Coming Back?

Nicaragua may well be next domino to fall to socialism in Latin America. The FSLN or "Sandinistas" are favourites to win the upcoming election.

From the Communist Party USA's latest People's weekly World.

As Nicaragua prepares for elections Nov. 5, and with Daniel Ortega of the Nicaragua Triumphs/Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) leading in the polls, a delegation of academics and activists is visiting the country to investigate charges of U.S. interference in the electoral process.

A delegation in June condemned U.S. interference in Nicaragua’s affairs. It noted that Paul Trivelli, the U.S. ambassador, called former President Ortega a “tiger who hasn’t changed his stripes,” and said the U.S. would “re-evaluate” its relationship with Nicaragua should the Sandinistas regain power.

Washington’s current maneuvers aim at building right-center unity to block Ortega’s election. The goal is to unite those in the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) and the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) in a coalition behind the candidacy of Eduardo Montealegre of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN).

Ortega is making his fifth run for office. He is mobilizing peasant farmers, women, former guerillas, students, environmentalists and intellectuals, along with some former Contra and Miskito Indian adversaries, into the Nicaragua Triumphs coalition. The coalition is calling for agrarian reform, fair trade before free trade, nationalization of key industries, health care, expanded educational and cultural opportunities, environmental stewardship, indigenous rights, gender equality and increased trade with Cuba and Venezuela.

The red and black FSLN flag may once again flutter over this resource-rich nation, whose people remain among the poorest of Central America. The Sandinistas continue to reflect the class interests of an increasingly mobilized working poor and those who are anti-CAFTA, anti-International Monetary Fund, pro-environment and pro-democracy. Nicaragua may well be on the road to rejecting neoliberalism and embracing the continent-wide movement for self-determination and socialism, with Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba in the vanguard.

Rosario Murillo, FSLN campaign chief and spouse of Daniel Ortega, writes: “We will win, there can be no doubt. Let us raise our hearts, our ideals and our wills. … We will triumph ... the Nicaraguan people will triumph on Nov. 5! ... Viva the Sandinista National Liberation Front!”

Health Nazi's Mad Socialist Proposal-Free Markets the Real Solution

From today's NZ Herald

A controversial scheme for complete state control of New Zealand's tobacco industry is being given a fair hearing at the Ministry of Health.

Wellington public health researchers, planning for the "end-game" of tobacco control, have floated the idea of a non-profit tobacco authority to take over the distribution and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco, forcing out the three multinationals that now control the industry.

Under the scheme of Dr Nick Wilson and his Wellington School of Medicine colleagues, attractive or established names like Holiday, Marlboro and Rothmans would be wiped, with their distinctive packaging.

A single type of cigarette would be sold in plain packets featuring only health warnings and quit-smoking information.

The authority would regularly increase the price to deter smoking, using its income to help prevent children taking up the habit, expand quitting assistance and develop ways to reduce the harm caused by tobacco....."

New Zeal Just shows you don't have to be smart to be a doctor. Apart from the damage such a move would do to NZ's business reputation, it would simply lead to a black market in tobacco.

If doctors really want to cut smoking (I hate tobacco and ban it in my home and business), they should advocate free market solutions.

In modern times, smoking is most common amongst the ignorant and the poor.

Free up education, so we have fewer ignorant people.

Reduce taxes and regulation and state welfare so we have fewer poor and more self responsible individuals.

Get the state out of health. If all health was run by private business, charitable trusts, iwi, religious orders etc, more people would have an incentive to look after their own wellbeing.

Currently, if you smoke, the taxpayer pays to treat your cancer or emphysema, or your employer covers your absenteeism.

In a free society, you could smoke all you like as long as you pay the hospital bills or fork out for the much costlier health insurance premiums.

The state would not be involved. Each individual would weigh up the very marginal benefits against the very real costs.

Vices like smoking flourish under socialism, because the downside is spread around all members of society.

In a free society, I think smoking, drinking, drug taking etc would reduce very quickly as people were forced to confront the real consequences of their stupid actions.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ryan Gets it Right....and Very Very Wrong

From yesterday's NZ Herald

Queen's Counsel Kevin Ryan has shocked lawyers on the day of his retirement by saying he thinks the right to silence is outdated and should be abolished.

Referring specifically to the killing of the Kahui twins, the 75-year-old courtroom veteran said: "In my view, we are assisting evil by just sitting there and not answering questions."

And he said juries should be allowed to know a defendant's criminal history.

He made his comments on Radio NZ's Nine to Noon show when asked if there were any areas of the law that needed reforming.

"I did not subscribe to the divine right of silence. Those rules were promulgated years ago in Great Britain when the public were uneducated, most of them illiterate."

He said the right to silence - under which a suspect can refuse to talk to police - was introduced to protect such people, but times had changed and the law needed to change with it.

Mr Ryan said the Serious Fraud Office had the right to make people answer questions, but the police couldn't do the same thing in serious cases involving human life.

He said that jury members' knowing about an accused person's criminal history would give them a clearer picture of the case.

It was wrong that the defence was allowed to challenge a witness' credibility and imply police had made mistakes, but the Crown was not allowed to reveal an accused person's convictions.

New Zeal Ryan is spot on in advocating that juries have a right to know of a defendants criminal history.

Patterns based evidence has long been barred (in most circumstances) from NZ courts and justice has suffered as a result.

A jury should have a right to know all relevant information. It is obvious that if an individual has burgled homes to steal cook books on seven previous occasions, he is more likely to commit a similar offence than other citizens.

Patterns of previous behaviour are the strongest indicator of likely future behaviour.

Ryan, however, is completely wrong to advocate the elimination of the right to silence.

No person must be compelled to co-operate with those who seek to injure him or deprive him of his liberty. That must include the most potentially dangerous entity of all-the state.

We give the state huge powers to apprehend and prosecute criminals because we see it as in our long term interest to do so.

However those powers must be clearly defined and constantly reviewed to see they are not impinging on the liberties of innocent people.

If the police have the power to "make you talk" how will they enforce it?

If you don't want to open your mouth, how do they make you?

In the old days they'd torture it out of you. Nowadays, I think we'd simply see more beatings, threats and blackmail.

While the Kahui case and others like it are immensely frustrating, giving the police the power to force co-operation will diminish all our freedoms.

The Kahui case may have been solved had the police not held back for three days to enable the family to "grieve".

A police stuff up with their existing powers is certainly no reason to grant them even greater powers.

A forced confession is no confession. If the police can't prosecute on the evidence available, they should either gather more evidence or abandon the case.

Giving police an "easy" way out will simply make them more lazy and potentially more thuggish.

If the SFO currently has the power to require that suspects give evidence, that power should be immediately abolished.

What Happens if the Republicans Lose?

While I regard the neo-cons running the US Republican Party as a disaster for America and the real conservative movement (check out this horrifying graph of Republican spending on Kiwi Blog), that doesn't make me a fan of the Democrats.

Like Labour in NZ, the Dems are dominated by Marxist influenced special interest groups. The Dems "Progressive Caucus" serves as almost a wing of the Communist Party USA, while the Black and Latino caucuses are heavily oriented towards socialism, Castro, Chavez and third world radicalism.

If the Dems win heavily in the upcoming mid term elections (as I suspect they will), the US government will tilt heavily to the left.

That is why the Communist Party, Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Party, organised labour etc are targetting marginal seats to ensure a republican defeat.

The CPUSA's latest edition Political Affairs predicts what will happen if their efforts are successful.

With a Democratic majority, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would become the first woman speaker of the House. Harry Reid would be Senate leader. In the first week they pledge to raise the minimum wage, make prescription drugs affordable, cut interest rates for student loans in half and repeal billions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich and oil-energy corporations. While limited, the group of reforms signal a qualitative change from the current reactionary policies.

With a Democratic majority, 11 of the 20 House committees would be chaired by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus or Congressional Black Caucus. In addition, 45 of 92 House subcommittee chairs would be members of the Progressive, Black, Hispanic or Asian Pacific Caucus. In the event that corporate interests move to block such a powerful leadership from taking the reins, the labor and people’s movements have to be on the ready to insure that the seniority of progressive members of Congress is honored

Damned if we do and damned if we don't. If I was an American I'd be voting Libertarian.

Perigo on Radio Live

Lindsay Perigo is on air now at Radio Live, from midday to 3pm. Ring in now with your petition stories. 0800 RADIO LIVE. 0800 723 465. Listen in on your radio or on the net:

His question for today: Is it time for the GG to throw the buggers out?

Hat Tip Not PC

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New PPTA President "Outed"

The Post Primary Teacher's Association (PPTA) is unlikely to shed its image as NZ's most PC union with the election of new president Robin Duff.

A popular, senior English teacher at Christchurch's Burnside High School, Duff is an "icon" of the gay left and one of NZ's most active "change agents".

Robin Duff, left, at the "Out at Work" gay unionists conference in Sydney, 2002

Robin Duff was active in the Canterbury Mobilisation Committee against the Vietnam War in the early '70s. In 1971, he was also chairman of Canterbury University's campus socialist group, the Fabian Society.

In 1973, Duff served as president of the University of Canterbury Students Association.

In the mid '70s Duff was prominent in the eco-socialist Values Party and was the Party's first openly gay candidate in the 1978 election. Duff was also active in the late Rod Donald's Ecology Action network.

Gay Rights and socialism were Duff's main passions, however and he combined both as a leading member of the Gay Liberation Front. In August 1973 Duff addressed a Socialist Action League run forum at Canterbury Uni on the subject, "The Oppression of Gays".Duff also formed a Gay University Students Society (GUSS) with SAL Trotskyite, Lindsay Taylor.

During the late '70s Duff was a leader of the very radical National Gay Rights Coalition.

In the early '90s Duff brought gay activism into the High Schools with his "Gays and Lesbians Everywhere in Education" network. GLEE campaigned against "homophobia" and attempted to make secondary education a more "gay friendly" process.

In recent years Duff has been a leader of the Safe Schools Taskforce, which...

has been working for several years to provide resources and assistance for Boards of Trustees and teachers to make their schools a safer and more accepting place for staff and students of every sexuality. In undertaking this work, the Taskforce acknowledges that sexuality – especially among younger people – cannot always be positioned neatly within one category. There is a continuum which may see people identifying themselves at different stages, depending on where they are at and who they may be with at the time. Homophobia can be demonstrated towards anybody, even those who identify as exclusively heterosexual. It is a problem for everybody, and one which schools must address.

In 2005, Duff was also active in the "Safety in Schools for Queers" campaign, representing the PPTA.

Don't expect much positive change to come out of the PCPTA...PPTA in the next couple of years.

Leading US Racial Revolutionary Profiled

In my series of posts on the "National Question" I contend that NZ's racial problems have been consistently aggravated by Marxist-Leninist groups in order to bring about social change and eventually, a socialist NZ.

This process is not confined to this country, but is standard operating procedure for Marxist-Leninist parties, world wide.

The article below is taken from the Communist Party USA's theoretical journal, Political Affairs. It originally appeared in the British communist newspaper, Morning Star.

It is a profile of leading Communist Party USA member, Jarvis Tyner, who recently toured the UK as the guest of British communists to help highlight "Black History Month". Tyner spoke on RACE, CLASS AND SOCIALIST REVOLUTION.

I think the article illustrates how much "social change" can be achieved by a small number of disciplined Marxist-Leninists, acting to a well planned programme.

"One of the most prominent and influential leaders of the American left will begin a speaking tour of Britain next week, during what is appropriately Black History Month. Jarvis Tyner has been a tireless fighter for civil rights since the campaigns of his youth in his native Philadelphia.

Today he is one of the most prominent black figures in the US peace, labour and anti-racist movements. His experience shows how the dimensions of race, class and anti-imperialism can be combined in revolutionary action.

Fresh out of high school in 1959, Jarvis Tyner joined the struggle against discrimination in employment, housing and local services. When the black students sat in to protest against Woolworth's segregated meal counters in Greensboro, North Carolina, he helped organise a boycott of the company's 'five and dime' stores in Pennsylvania.

Then he joined the picket line called by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People outside the whites-only Girard College in the middle of northern Philadelphia's largest black ghetto.

Tyner put his organising skills to work when his own American Lithographers Union struck for several weeks in 1962, after which white workmates elected him as their shop steward. Subsequently laid off, he later found work in a furniture factory where he led a successful battle to bring in the Teamsters Union.

He participated in one of the great moments of 20th century history, bringing busloads of Philly youth to hear Martin Luther King deliver his 'I Have a Dream' speech in Washington DC in August 1963. By this time, too, Jarvis was rising through the ranks of the Negro American Labor Council and the Du Bois Clubs of America movement, named after NAACP founder William Du Bois.

In 1961, both the then 20-year old Jarvis Tyner and the 93-year old Du Bois had joined the US Communist Party.

Tyner's activites in the black power and anti-Vietnam War movements brought him increasingly into direct confrontation with the state. On May Day 1964, he was arrested at a rally against extreme right-wing Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, although a mass campaign led to charges being dropped.

Elected national chairman of the Du Bois Clubs of America four years later, Jarvis moved to New York where he played a key role in uniting black and Latino workers with the anti-war movement. As leader of the Young Workers Liberation League, he helped organise a 16,000-strong rally at Madison Square Gardens to welcome Angela Davis following her acquittal in 1970 on charges including homicide in aid of the Black Panthers.

Naturally, he played a major part in the campaign against South African apartheid and for the release of Nelson Mandela, as well as taking US contingents to the World Youth Festivals in Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic. The international involvement continues to the present day, including participation in the recent World Social Forum in Mumbai.

Jarvis Tyner also maintains his work in the Black Radical Congress which he helped to found, and in the US Communist Party as its executive vice-chair.

But his writings and lectures influence even broader sections of the left and progressive movements in the US and beyond.

In a memorable phrase, he once described globalisation as 'imperialism on speed'. His pamphlet on 'The Republican Campaign to Suppress the Black Vote' laid bare the racism of US institutions and the Bush administration before a wide audience.

Now trade unionists, socialists, black activists and peace campaigners in Britain have the opportunity to hear and discuss his views at first hand."

Heather Roy on Labour's Appropriations Bill

This speech from ACT deputy leader, Heather Roy is so good, I re-produce it in its entirety.

Third Reading speech to Parliament on the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill, 18 October 2006.

Few things have generated as much media coverage since the election as this issue. We shouldn't lose track of the principle that lies behind it - and we should be aware of the perversion of democracy that is taking place here today.

A good government is one which can win a battle of ideas. A bad government forces through its dictates at all cost. Kiwis should have no doubt what kind of government is facing us today.

Societies become less democratic when their governments become less transparent, less accountable to the public they are supposed to serve, and makes laws for their own preservation.

Today we are passing, without any public consultation, retrospective law to validate Parliament's own spending. There will be no sending this Bill to Select Committee and no chance for the public to submit their opinions.

As we opened our newspapers or turned on our TVs this morning, we saw the crisis of confidence which is developing for parliament and government in this country.

This Bill might pass a Confidence and Supply vote in this House, but Kiwi communities have no confidence in the politicians who pass it.

No individual citizen, no company, can change the law to suit themselves. The Labour party can - and is.

Smaller parties find themselves excluded from decisions, and often, from parliamentary debates. Some MPs have hardly said a word in the House since their maiden speech.

Government departments pay off whistleblowers to keep them quiet. Public servants are fired or suspended for asking questions or speaking out.

Since last year's election we have seen heavy-handed Select Committee chairmen tear up letters from Committee members who raise serious concerns.

And for the first time in 103 years, a crown-owned company has been fined for contempt of parliament.

In 2003, the government suspended an electoral law so that a Labour MP who swore allegiance to another country didn't lose his seat or salary. Again, this was done under urgency, so that the public were denied the chance to comment, and again the legislation was retrospective - Parliament moving back in time to cover the butt of a government MP.

Now, this Bill excuses parties from misspending public money.

How can we expect other New Zealanders to follow the rules made in this House, when our Government refuses to live by the rules, then changes the law to suit themselves?

How can we expect our Parliament and our democracy to be respected, when we push through self-serving Bills under urgency to protect ourselves?

I admit that ACT did not escape scrutiny in the Auditor-General's report. Rodney Hide and I have paid our personal cheques, to right the wrong that the Auditor-General found.

We thought we'd done everything correctly; we did what we thought we had to, to work within the rules.

And it hurts that, despite our best efforts, we were found to have spent money wrongly.

We have repaid Parliamentary Service - from our own pockets, not those of our Members.

It is true that without this Bill, politicians would have to be much more careful about how we spend public money.

That would be much better than using our special privilege to stand here today and ram through a Bill which the public haven't had a chance to read, haven't been able to comment on and do not want.

The Auditor-General's report has demonstrated why we need limits on the power of politicians - because otherwise they will use their power to political advantage, at the expense of taxpayers.

People are saying that the Government's response to the report - this Bill - takes New Zealand closer to a banana republic, and it raises serious questions of credibility for the parties supporting it here today.

How can any party come to this House and talk about "strengthening core institutions" when they vote for a Bill that undermines the rule of law?

How can they discuss the behaviour of politicians when they're willing to push through a Bill that validates the wrongful acts of their own MPs?

How can they talk about the breakdown of law when they are terrified at the very idea of a transparent democracy?

ACT stands against big, powerful, privileged government. We are opposed to politicians who change the law to suit themselves.

We want a government that people can trust - and that trusts the people.

We have never fought to defend privilege or to take what belongs to others - and we will not be turning on that record today.

Democracy requires more than the relentless pursuit of power. A genuinely democratic government consults its people and governs in an open and accountable way.

This Bill defies the rule of law, it has not been subject to public submissions and it is out of place in any liberal democracy. That is why ACT will oppose it.