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Friday, January 05, 2007

Mike Gourley and the Disabled Revolution

In their never-ending quest for grievance and victimhood, socialist activists are now working inside the "disability rights" movement. "Wheelchair Revolutionaries" I call them.

Perhaps the best example in this country is Mike Gourley.

Since 2003, Gourley has served as president of the national federation of disabled organisations, the Disabled Persons Assembly.

He has hosted Radio NZ's disability rights programme "Future Indicative" for several years and has been working on contract to National Radio since 1995.

Gourley has also worked for the Wellington College of Education as a lecturer in Disability Studies

In 2002, Disabilities Minister, Ruth Dyson appointed Gourley to an "Advisory Group to Work with New Zealand Government on Disability Strategy". He is now president of that group.

The appointment of a reference group to the New Zealand Disability Strategy will ensure people with disabilities and other stakeholders are actively involved in developing the strategy, Minister for Disability Issues Ruth Dyson said on May 24. Ms Dyson is delighted with the high level of interest in the strategy, which will be a blueprint for future disability policy and services.

The New Zealand Disability Strategy is a top priority for the Government and the reference group will play an important role working alongside the project team, Ms Dyson says. It will provide advice on the consultation process, comment on draft proposals and feed information and sector views to the project team.

Clearly Gourley is in a good position to advance any agenda he might have. What could that agenda be?

Mike Gourley grew up in Christchurch and in 1974, as a teen-ager, joined the Labour Party. He served as publicity officer for Labour's youth advisory council and edited Labour Youth's "Slant" magazine.

In 1975, at Canterbury University, Gourley was involved in Christian/socialist politics with Stuart Vogel and the Third World Action group.,

In 1976 Gourley attended study groups run by the pro-Soviet, Socialist Unity Party and in December that year attended the conference of the Trotskyist, Socialist Action League.

Gourley formally joined the SAL in 1977, but was still secretary of the St Albans and Canterbury University Labour Party branches and was employed full time by the Labour Party Supporter's Fund.

While most SAL members were required to find manual jobs in factories and Freezing Works, Gourley's physical handicap would have precluded this and by 1978 he was working as a social worker for the disabled.

Gourley kept active in the SAL well into the late '80s, while working in Christchurch and Wellington.

In 1983, aged 26, he was the youngest section chairman in the Public Service Association, while working as a data processor, in the soil bureau of the DSIR.

At the time he was also involved in setting up network of physically handicapped people.

By 1988 Gourley was Wellington Disabilities Equal Opportunities Co-Ordinator in the Department of Social Welfare.

Gourley was still active in SAL (by then re-named the Communist League)as late as 1989, but by 1990, he had joined several ex-SAL members in Bill Logan's ultra-radical "Permanent Revolution Group".

In February that year Gourley wrote an article "1990 - Nothing to Celebrate" for Bolshevik Newsletter No 4, published by the PRG aligned, Victoria University Bolshevik Club.

"1990 signifies 150 years of grinding exploitation of working people, 150 years of oppression of Maori by a petty-imperialist pakeha state, 150 years of subordination of women and repression of gays and lesbians. . . That revolution cannot succeed without the mass mobilisation of Maori workers around a communist programme that addresses their specific cultural and material needs."

In April 1990 Gourley was spokesman for a new activist group, "Common Ground" which aimed to unite people "discriminated against" and to get legislative protection for them.

In the Christchurch Press of April 28th 1990 Gourley was described as a spokesman for "Common Ground", a coalition of groups wanting to be included under the human rights legislation . It was described as representing "humans who do not have rights under the law." Gourley bemoaned the fact that "the law made it quite safe for an employer to deny someone a job because of a visual impairment, for example, or to ask during a job interview if people were gay or lesbian because of personal predjudice."

Gourley was still involved with the Permanent Revolution Group as late as March 2002.

Disabled People need to respected and supported. They should be treated as individuals, not as an aggrieved class deserving of special "rights". That path will only lead to seperatism, resentment and backlash.

Marxists like Mike Gourley, will only lead disabled people back to the margins of society.

The disabled, like all NZers, deserve better than to be led by socialists.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Trev,

How extremely rich of you to mutter about actively sought victimhood !|

It's you guys who plaintively position yourselves, and presumptuously the rest of the world also, as "victims" of everything. Everything which doesn't meet your twisted, so right-wing as to verge on fascist, template. Which of course includes democracy when its outcome delivers other than your thrill.

Nga Tamatoa commies ? Please ! What do you say about world heroes like Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela ? Dirty commies I guess.

Did you have a sad childhood man ? Well get over it, get a life mate and grow up !

What does Rodney think ? Bet he's not pleased. He's into stroking Epsom grey/mauve/pink/blue rinse and even those old girls find your stuff a bit taxing.

Your rave does put people off quite simply. And please don't con yourself you're the only one in the army not out of step - oh, correction - you and fibertarian extraordinaire Lindsay Perigo.

No one's champing at the bit to live on the moral/social/political fringe yet that's exactly where we'd be if we bought your cold war warrior nonsense. You're sooo outrageous Trev !

Ka Kite !

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a look at this blog today because I couldn't believe it when someone told me it took the CPUSA seriously.
I now see that that political naivity is the least of your time wasting inanity.
I know Mike Gourley well enough to know that he's a decent bloke, that he describes himself (and behaves) as a left social democrat these days and that he's quietly gone about doing a ton of worthwhile stuff for other people. He therefore becomes a prime target for ACT leaders. No wonder you creeps are forever wallowing in the margin of error.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Cactus Kate said...

Imagine the indignation suffered then by the real Mike Gourley

Frequent ACT volunteer and good mate of one Richard Prebble.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...


Don-Spoken like a true Trot, or is it Maoist, or is it Stalinist?

Even I have trouble keeping up with your ideological schizophrenia.

Kate-Yes a bit unfortunate that the productive Mike Gourley has such a lefty namesake.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Trevor I'm not answerable to you or your blog, but I believe I've demonstrated resonable political consistency since 1972.
Now, getting on to the issue at hand, which you side stepped. You have no beef at all with Mike Gourley other than he was a trot for a few years. So what.
If you really have nothing better to do with your time than try to trash the guy as a bad advocate for the disabled, go away and rustle up a few hard facts.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...


I have major issues with the whole "disabled rights" movement, which is socialist in itself.

It is "identity politics", similar in principle to the indigenous rights, childrens rights, gay rights etc etc etc, all of which are counterproductive to those they profess to help.

I think Gourley is a "good" advocate, just that his politics lead him in entirely the wrong direction.

BTW, you were a Stalinist-Maoist, then a Maoist, then a triple oppression type, then a Trot, now you're in a pParty that blends Trotskyism and Maoism.

Some consistency.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK what have we got here - three different issues. And three bone dry theoretical assertions.

Trevor chooses to equate the struggle for and right to necessary requirements for disabled people with the dead end of idendity politics, with nothing more than his own assertion to see him home.

Next, we've established that the only reson for Mike Gourley to be plunked in Trevor's little village green stocks for retribution is the guy's past politics; in other words the proof is another arid ACT asserstion.

Last, and least, we have a series of superficial political labels purporting to be some sort of track record tracing my political behaviour. Ever since I realised who was screwing who I've operated politicaly on the side of low paid workers. What's the inconsistency?

9:22 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

You're a cheeky sod Don.

You've supported totalitarian dictarships most of your adult life and then act like you're some kind of friend of the worker.

Tell that to the Chinese and Russian peasants who suffered under Mao and Stalin who you worshipped for many years.

Mike Gourley, who I have met, has also supported some form of Marxism for most of his life (as least as late as 5 years ago) and most likely still does.

Ghettoising disabled people by making them even more state dependent than they are now, is a shameful thing to do.

It hasn't worked for any other marginalised people and it sure as hell won't help the disabled.

What the disabled need, as everyone else needs, is not to be treated as a "class", but as individuals.

We are all, better off in a free society, where we can all gain maximum independence and live by our own ideals.

The collectivist, "identity politics" approach of Mike Gourley and his comrades is a complete dead end.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Step up for the prize lad.

Untill you can prove that Mike Gourley is actually ghetoising disabled people in any way and

Untill you offer disabled people a real alternative apart from empty windy ACT rhetoric.

If Mike Gourley ever said that disabled people constitute a class then he's wrong, but I doubt that he ever did. More likey just another ACT invention,

What practical policy does your party have on this issue?


I have never "worshiped" anything except Jesus Christ when I was a small boy you know nothing real about me despite your little lists.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trevor - there is no need for a coma in the first phrase of the penultimate sentece of your last post on this thread.

Neither is there any need for your blog in this universe, or any other.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Don- ACT has many policies that will benefit disabled people-lower taxes, school choice, welfare devolution, lower rates bills, better industrial legislation, reduction of red tape etc.

We don't target the disabled per se, we treat people as NZers, some of whom may happen to have disabilities.

I am proud to say that ACT's 2 MPs were the only one's to vote against sign language being made NZ's third official language.

Rodney fronted up to the deaf Assocation who queried the vote.

He made it very clear, that special legislation for special groups does nothing to advance their cause.

Re your good self.

You supported Mao and Stalin well after their crimes were well known. Now your Workers Party is supporting the anti-gay, Nepalese Maoists.

I have seen no public apology for the earlier mistake.

I await your repudiation of the Nepalese Maoists.

As a principled man, I'm sure you won't keep me waiting long.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll let the disabled make up their minds about the glittering array of ACT policies awaiting them if your party ever emerges from below the margin of error.

Yes, along with a number of other people I have sometimes been mistaken about various historical figures. I've made public comments about that; if you havn't seen them that's too bad. I'm not answerable a blogger who suddenly squeaks about gay repression in between his "poofter" jokes. You can read our take on the Nepalese revolution in forthcoming issues of our press.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if your party ever emerges from below the margin of error"

You clearly have no understanding of how polling works.
Which would provide a pretty good explanation of your own party's current fortunes.

1:23 AM  

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