Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog has moved to

redirecting you there now

Friday, August 31, 2007

"National Question" 28 Maori Marxism Moves "Mainstream"

While the SUP's planned disruption of the 1990 Waitangi celebrations, failed to materialise, the Maori radical revolution rolled on.

By the early '1990s socialist concepts under the guise of Maori culture, bi -culturalism, self determination and "Tino Rangitiratanga", permeated virtually every area of New Zealand life.

While in the '70s and '80s a few New Zealanders saw the links between our local Marxist-Leninists and Maori radicalism, by the early '90s this key connection was virtually lost.

The more apparent than real "Collapse of Communism" in the Soviet Union, destroyed nearly all perception of a "communist threat" in New Zealand. Thanks to a gutless government, hamstrung security services and an incompetent media, New Zealanders had virtually no appreciation of Marxist-Leninist power and influence.

While still one of the most potent socio/political forces in the country, most people, after 1990, thought "communism" was nothing but a bad memory.

The public, though acutely aware of Maori radicalism, had little appreciation of it's socialist underpinning.

So while people rejoiced at the "fall" of the Soviet Empire, it's illegitimate offspring, the Maori self-determination movement made steady gains.

The Marxist-Leninist influenced and infiltrated Labour Government of 1984/90 had armed the "radicals" with huge sums of taxpayers money. Now instead of banners and megaphones Maori Marxists had huge slush funds from Maori Access and Labour Department schemes, legal aid to press land claims, subsidised Kohanga Reo "brainwashing" schools, and a whole network of taxpayer funded newspapers and radio stations.

In addition, probably as part of it's deal with the SUP for union support in the 1984 election, Labour allowed many Marxist-Leninists, socialists and Maori radicals to assume policy making positions in government departments, QUANGOS and the like. These people enthusiastically pushed Labour's "bi-cultural" policies so that by the early '90s virtually every arm of the state was implementing "National Question" policies.

When the National Party came to power in 1990 it inherited a socialist bureaucracy, committed to Marxist-Leninist Maori policies and a Maori population greedy for millions in handouts via the Waitangi Tribunal.

Rather than take the hard road and abandon these suicidal programmes, National took the soft option and continued and even extended them. Just as it it did with that other SUP inspired fraud, the "anti-Nuclear Stand", National made a virtue of what it mistakenly saw as necessity and adopted virtually all of the socialist agenda.

By a process of artificial osmosis, a long campaign of infiltration, indoctrination, propaganda, secret deals, bluff and threats, Maori socialism was now "mainstream." Communist Party "National Question" policy from the '30s had become National Party policy of the '90s.

Philippines Communist Leader Charged With Murder

For the last few years leftist political activists in the Philippines have been targetted for assassination. Several hundred have died.

The Communists have blamed the Arroyo government. The government has blamed the Communists.

Now Dutch police have arrested exiled Communist Party of the Philippines leader Jose Maria Sison and charged him with murder.

From the Inquirer

Sison, who has been living in The Netherlands for the past 20 years, was arrested by Dutch police Tuesday for allegedly issuing orders from that country to murder former rebel leaders Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in the Philippines.

The CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army, has owned up to killing the two, who were among rebel leaders who led a faction break away from the CPP in the early 1990s.

The murders were allegedly carried out on Sison's orders in 2003.

The Communist Party of the Philippines is not happy.

From Philippines Revolutionary Web Central

Communist Party of the Philippines
August 29, 2007

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the entire revolutionary movement condemn in the strongest terms possible the illegal arrest and detention of Comrade Jose Maria Sison, Senior Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) by Dutch police forces.

The CPP likewise condemns the Gestapo-style raid, the brusque ransacking of the Sison residence, the NDFP International Information Office in Utrecht, The Netherlands as well as the homes of other NDFP officials and staff in Utrecht and Abcoude, and the illegal seizure of computers, peace process documents and personal effects.

The CPP and the revolutionary forces in the Philippines hold the US-Arroyo regime and the Dutch government responsible for this fascist attack against Comrade Sison and other NDFP officials and workers in The Netherlands. The CPP and the revolutionary forces in the Philippines will make these governments fully accountable for any harm and dirty act that may befall Comrade Sison while under Dutch custody, including possible extraordinary rendition to the United States or any other country.

The Arroyo regime wishes that the revolutionary forces to lay down their arms to allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines to carry out more attacks and various acts of violence and suppression against the revolutionary and progressive forces and the entire people.

The charges being levelled against Comrade Sison are preposterous and will not stand in any fair court of justice. Comrade Sison is falsely and maliciously being made to appear responsible for the acts carried out by the New People's Army (NPA) under the authority and expressed direction of the Philippine-based leadership of the CPP, people's army and people's revolutionary government.

The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all freedom-loving and patriotic Filipinos, the Filipino community and friends in The Netherlands and other countries, the international progressive, anti-imperialist and civil rights movement and other anti-imperialist and democratic forces and people around the world to act now and help safeguard the rights and life of Comrade Jose Maria Sison.

We express complete support and solidarity to the protest actions in the Philippines, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, the US, Australia, Belgium and other countries. We anticipate protest actions to intensify in the coming days in order to denounce the arrest, demand the Dutch government to immediately release Comrade Sison and stop the US, Philippine and Dutch governments from subjecting him to further fascist attacts and harassment.

At the same time, all units of the New People's Army (NPA) are tasked to continue carrying out tactical offensives nationwide in order to intensify the people's war to a new and higher level and contribute to the concerted effort of the Filipino people to put an end to the puppet, rotten and ruthless Arroyo regime.

Well done, the Dutch!

"Maoists" Still after Mike Moore

The spat between former Labour Prime Minister and the Labour Party continues.

From Stuff

Former prime minister Mike Moore is laughing off a Labour letter-writing campaign against him – and rubbishing speculation that he is part of a plot against Helen Clark.

Labour members have been urged in an email to write letters to newspapers and call talkback radio shows responding to Moore's "nasty, malicious" column labelling Clark "Muldoonist".

The email was written by a former Labour MP and office holder.

Moore's column accused Clark of "using the politics of personal destruction" – leading Progressive leader Jim Anderton, a former Labour MP, to accuse him of past muck-raking against Clark, and a smear campaign against MPs, including former National Party leader Jim McLay and former Labour prime minister Bill Rowling.

There is some bitter history beteen Moore, Clark and Anderton.

Mike Moore was very close to the union movement in the late'80s. however I've been told he sealed his fate when he refused to commit to repealing National's Employment Contracts Act.

The union movement, then turned on Moore in favour of the more sympathetic Helen Clark.

In an interview with Robert Mannion of the Sunday Times of October 24th 1993, unionist and leader of the Marxist-Leninist, Socialist Party of Aotearoa, Bill Andersen, outlined his party's priorities and plans. According to Mannion, Andersen supported Jim Anderton's Alliance Party and "would like to have seen Alliance/Labour accommodations in crucial electorates".

Interestingly Andersen added "They had a good meeting with Helen Clark and Alliance parliamentary candidate Laila Harre at the Trade Union Centre recently."

Harre, then Anderton's "right hand girl" went to become a Cabinet Minister in the 1996/99 Labour/Alliance Coalition government and in 2005 succeeded Bill Andersen as leader of the National Distribution Union.

Clark, later deposed Moore as leader of the Labour Party, in a coup later described by Mike Moore as "almost Maoist".

Seems like the "Maoists" are still at it.

Workers Party Contests Dunedin Mayoralty

The Trotskyist/Maoist fusion Workers Party of New Zealand is contesting the mayoralties of Wellington, Christchurch, Waitakere and Dunedin.

The Party hopes to use local body elections as a springboard to gaining the 500 members necessary to contest the 2008 General Elections as a registered party.

Supermarket supervisor and part-time student Tim Bowron (27) will contest the Dunedin mayoralty this year. Mr Bowron, representing the Workers Party and the International Socialist Organisation, is originally from Christchurch and moved to Dunedin to study about 10 years ago.

His campaign would concentrate on issues such as free and frequent public transport, the need for insulation in homes, and fixing the sewerage before building a stadium. He will campaign hard in the student area, where high rents and shabby flats were a longstanding grievance, and in South Dunedin, where working families were struggling , he said. ‘‘We need a council that is run in the interests of the workers, pen sioners and students who make up the majority of this city — not business and the wealthy elite.’’

Bowron was member of the International Socialists, but left around 2002 to join the even tinier Trotskyist outfit, Socialist Alternative.

He has been active in the Dunedin Coalition Against War;

"...a new war with Iraq, if it comes, will represent not just the work of one crazed individual - George W. Bush - but rather the logical outcome of a system that puts the needs of the wealthy few before the lives of millions of ordinary people...

As long as this system remains in place we will never be rid of war, poverty and oppression...we must begin to build a socialist alternative.

By 2004, Bowron was linked to Dunedin's miniscule Workers Party branch.

He played an active role last year, agitating amongst supermarket workers during the protracted Progressive Enterprises lockout/strike.

Local Body Elections Website

ACT Party staff member Andrew Falloon has set up a website listing all candidates standing in the upcoming local body elections.

The site also includes links to many candidate and "ticket" websites.

Check it out here

China No Longer Potential Enemy for Russians

Further evidence of the growing Russia/China anti-US alliance.

From Russia's Kommersant

The Russians view China the most friendly country, while the United States is the key potential enemy for them, signaled the poll of All-Russia’s Center of Public Opinion.

China is absolutely favored by 21 percent of respondents, which makes it the leader of preference list of the Russians. It is followed by Germany and Belarus, each of which with the vote of 12 percent. Of interest is that exactly Belarus was thought most friendly in 2006, while China was deemed the second potential enemy after the United States (16 percent past year vs. 3 percent this year).

As to China, the favorable rating could be attributed to the active economic and political cooperation, especially in Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the analysts speculate, pointing out that Belarus fell on gas clashes with Russia.

Hat Tip Once Upon a Time in the West

Thursday, August 30, 2007

US Waking Up to China's Influence in SW Pacific

The US Government has recently issued a 30 page report about growing Chinese influence in this region.

The South West Pacific-US Interests and China's Growing Influence

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become a growing force in the Southwest Pacific as a result, some argue, of a political vacuum created by U.S.neglect.

In order to garner political and economic influence in relation to Taiwan, the United States, and U.S. allies as well as to access raw materials, China has expanded its diplomatic and commercial presence in the region.

By some accounts, the PRC has become the third-largest source of foreign aid to the South Pacific, which itlargely provides without the kinds of conditions or performance criteria — some say heavy-handedness — that have engendered resentment among some Pacific Islandcountries toward their major benefactor, Australia.

Although China’s influence is largely limited to diplomatic and economic “soft power,” some analysts worry about the PRC’s long-term intentions.

So they should. At least it appears the US is slowly waking up to Chinese inroads in this region.

Castro Touts Clinton/Obama Ticket for '08

I have to agree with Fidel Castro on this one.

Castro writing in Granma

Today, talk is about the seemingly invincible ticket that might be created with Hillary for President and Obama for Vice President.

Hillary Clinton, with Edwards, Richarson or some other as as VP candidate might not make it.

Obama has inexperience and (to be blunt) his colour against him. He would do well, but would be unlikely to beat a strong Republican candidate.

Hillary Clinton, backed by Barack Obama would have to be the best chance the Democrats have in 2008.

I wonder if the CPUSA will take Castro's ideas on board?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Martin Hirst's "Comrade's" Ties to Muslim Militants

Auckland University of Technology journalism lecturer Martin Hirst, hasn't apologised for calling me a "neo-nazi", but he has altered the offending text. It now reads;

Well, I've been outed! Some right-wing dribblejaws* has me lined up in his beady little eyes...

Unfortunately he then goes on to say this;

Mr Loudon has attempted to slander me by claiming friends of my friends have links with the Islamic Brotherhood. So he cannot claim to be the only injured party here.

His attacks on me are offensive and defamatory and designed to intimidate

Dr Hirst's journalistic skills have let him down again.

The organisation I referred to was the Egyptian based, crypto Marxist, Muslim Brotherhood.

According to website Intelligence Resource Program

Although officially banned by the Egyptian government since 1954, the Muslim Brothers captured 17 seats in the Egyptian Parliament running as independents; they also hold important offices in professional organizations in Egypt.

Today, a very complex financial network connects the operations of over seventy branches of the Muslim Brothers worldwide.

During the Muslim Brothers' seventy-plus years of existence, there have been cycles of growth, followed by divisions into factions, including clandestine financial networks, and violent jihad groups, such as al-Jihad and al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya in Egypt, HAMAS in Palestine and mujahideen groups in Afghanistan.

Dr Hirst openly acknowledges that he is a supporter of the radical Marxist grouping, the International Socialist Tendency.

The IST's links with the Muslim Brotherhood are well known and documented.

I quote from British Trotskyist Blog Lenin's Tomb, reporting on a 2006 conference in Cairo attended by John Rees, George Galloway, assorted Muslim militants and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

These conferences are annual events and have been attended for several years by leaders of Dr Hirst's IST.

Note that John Rees is head of the British Socialist Workers Party, which leads the IST. George Galloway is a RESPECT MP in the British Parliament. RESPECT is led by the SWP and several radical British Muslims.

Galloway was brought to NZ recently by Dr Hirst's friends in the local IST affiliate, Socialist Worker to warn us against the dangers of Islamophobia.

The Cairo Conference: a wonderful vibrant and hectic event... Four years ago both John Rees and George Galloway were invited to speak in conferences in Cairo at the same time. They managed to pull the two together (from London!) and the birth of the Cairo Conference - a meeting of activists from the secular and Muslim worlds - took place.

The speakers list was A List, leaders of Islamic movements, trade unions, and political groups, MPs from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt - oh and Britain. And international antiwar activists from UK, Denmark, Korea and Canada.

After an all-too-large helping of Islamic radicalism, the interesting speakers for this blog were, unsurprisingly John Rees and George Galloway.

John Rees issued a call for unity. "We are here because we are all here. The Muslims, the Nasserites, the socialists and the communists and other nationalists and those who fit into none of those categories. This unity allows this conference to happen." He went down a storm.

Galloway was in excellent form. Not pandering to some opf the more 2 deminsional rhetoric of the local speakers. He welcomed he election of Hamas but pointed out
"You can't have a free Palestine without Hamas, but you can't have a free Palestine with only Hamas".

He noted that there are non-corrupt people in the PLO and Fateh, and called for uniting with those and getting a broad and radical front against Israel.

Hamas' Information Minister was uncompromising in his attitude to Israel, stating repeatedly they will not recognise the occupying forces of the state of Israel.

The Iraqi delegation was notable by its absence, unable to obtain documentation from the Egyptian authorities to enter the country. We were handed a letter from the Wahaj El Iraq (Patriotic Forces Rejecting the Occupation) Command: "We received with great pleasure & gratitude your invitation to attend your respectable conference, but we were surprised by a lot of security complications and requirements in order to get the visa... Which represent a kind of disapproval (in a diplomatic way)."

The Cairo conference is now being run in conjunction with the Cairo Social Forum... We've discussed everything from peasant politics and problems to 'Arab Communities Abroad'. 'Art, Power and Resistance', 'The Myths of Zionism' and 'Different Governments, Same Torture' were all on the agenda.

The Myths of Zionism meeting introduced by John Rose was fantastic, with Muslim Brotherhood members discussing with Jewish people the meaning and intent of Zionism

The movement here is growing in strength, number and confidence. Socialists are now selling papers in public after being underground for many years (the second edition of Socialist Worker's sister paper had amazing sales), many present had been imprisoned and some tortured for doing what happens in the UK as a matter of course.

The election of the Muslim Brotherhood MPs last year has opened up space for organising and activity. The Cairo Conference is a place where dissenting voices from Egypt and around the world gather to organise and debate. We are seeing a new era in the resistance in Egypt.

5th Cairo conference March 2007

IST and SWP's John Rees at 2007 conference

SWP's Alex Callanicos at 2007 conference

But surely Dr Hirst, holding the responsible position he does would be at pains to distance himself from such radical views?

In January 2006 Australia's B'nai Brith Anti Defamation Commission published a report by Monash University academic Dr Philip Mendes

"Special Report 31 discusses the phenomenon of an anti-Zionism beyond rational debate. While this is a universal trend, our Report’s author Dr Philip Mendes examines exponents of this viewpoint from the Australian Left."

According to Dr Mendes;

In late 2004, two Queensland journalists, Martin Hirst and Robert Schutze, penned an attack on the conservative foreign editor of the Australian newspaper, Greg Sheridan.

The purpose of the attack was to discredit Sheridan’s views on the Iraq war, and the associated war on terror. In the middle of this hyperbolic critique, the authors offered the following:

- Israel was guilty of “war crimes by assassinating Palestinian religious and political leaders”
- “Sheridan parrots the absurdity that Israel is the only democracy in the region”
- “Where is the democracy in Israel? On the one hand, Iraq was a dictatorship with limited electoral participation under Saddam Hussein. Compare this with Israel which has a limited parliamentary system under the effective dictatorship of Ariel Sharon. People are regularly beaten, tortured and killed to maintain the Zionist regime.

In reading the article quoted, I picked out this gem from Hirst and Schutze;

Despite Sheridan’s protestations that the ‘war on terror’ is not a war against Islam or a clash of civilizations , his columns in recent years have repeatedly cast the world withina frame of good and evil.

On one level, this reflects the pervasiveness of a post-Cold War terrorism news frame in contemporary mainstream media reporting.

In its moral simplicity, this interpretive prism is reminiscent of the old Cold War news frame, which dramatized superpower rivalries and pitted East against West, or capitalism againstcommunism.

With the ‘reds’ somehow purged from under the bed, bomb-wielding Islamic fundamentalists have emerged as the new scourge of the modern world

Further clues to Dr hirst's views come from Australian writer Darlene Taylor's review of Andrew Bolt's "Still Not Sorry" at Online Opinion Australia's eJournal of Social and Political Debate

At a forum at the Woodford Folk Festival last December, Dr Martin Hirst revealed himself to be a strident critic of the Iraq War.

Not content to simply oppose the conflict, Hirst declared himself to be on the side of the insurgents. I was reminded of the gruff revolutionary, who managed to upset a few of the pacifists present, when perusing Andrew Bolt’s still not sorry. After all, the book contains many references to Hirst’s ideological comrades such as John Pilger.

Still Not Sorry is a collection of some of Bolt’s Herald Sun articles from the past seven years or so. The volume is arranged thematically, with topics including the environment, Islam, the “stolen generation”, the grants industry and the unweaned arts community possessing sections of their own.

The premise that this nation is usually united, bar the divide “elites” have constructed between themselves and ordinary people, dominates the book, as does the notion that these “elites” (actors and activists and so on) haven’t learned a thing from “failures” like the Republican referendum and the electoral successes of John Howard.

A radical like Hirst epitomises this reality with his declaration that it’d be sad if our service personnel died in Iraq but … well, it wasn’t hard to deduce the rest. How does anyone think they’re going to win over the general public voicing such opinions?

On the comments section on my recent profile of Dr Hirst, he stated;

I'm also disappointed that Mr Louden failed to uncover my alleged anti-semitism. And no, I'm not an anti-semite, but I am an anti-imperialist and therefore against the state of Israel - I am an anti-Zionist. Zionism is the political expression of Israeli expansionism and military power in the middle east.

Oh and before you go off chasing more rabbits down burrows, I do not support terrorism, particularly state terrorism.

Clearly Dr Hirst's views are similar to those of the IST.

In my opinion those views are extreme to say the least.

Dr Hirst has openly stated that he believes in the overthrow of the state "by force if necessary."

He has openly called into question the virtue of journalistic objectivity.

Dr Hirst's comrades in the IST are openly aligned with some of the most militant and violent extremists on the planet.

Is Dr Hirst the right man to guide, train and presumably pass or fail New Zealand's future journalists?

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How Socialist Extremists Took Over the New Zealand Labour Party Part 9

In late 1988, senior secret Philippines Communist Party member, Joy Balazo visited New Zealand.

Balazo represented "Delta" the Communist Party of Philippines's International Department.

Ostensibly she was here to drum up support for the Philippines anti-US bases movement, but much of her time was spent laising with local communist organisations.

Parties she talked with included the Workers Communist League, Communist Party of New Zealand, Socialist Unity Party, Prepatory Committee for the Formation of a Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), the Revolutionary Communist League and the Labour Party.

Later Balazo's report to her Party seniors was captured in an Armed Forces Philippines raid on a Communist Party safehouse.

Below is a copy of the section of her report dealing with her meetings with officials of the NZ Labour Party.

Balazo was travelling under the cover of a church organisation, the Ecumenical Partnership for International Concern (EPIC), so the officials she met may have unaware of her Communist Party membership.

The report does highlight however just how close Balazo's sponsors, the Workers Communist League, were to senior Labour figures at the time.

I have added comments for clarification.

Delta Meetings.

1. Labour Party

a. Meeting with President
(RD) (Ruth Dyson, New Zeal), Gen Sec [Tony Timms, New Zeal) and one organiser from Wgtn.

1. Questions about delta program, specifically about the DCG, foreign relations, Delta's agenda in NZ.

2. Expressed gratitude for the meeting.
- No inside information about Delta.
- Heard Delta viewpoint.
- Common issues, anti- nuke.

3. Agreements:
- exchange of publications/addresses
- regular update c/0 SS (Workers Communist League)
(SS was probably Workers Communist League member Sandy Smith, New Zeal) and PSN (Philippines Solidarity Network, New Zeal) every two months (in the absence of Delta rep in NZ).
- Possible funding for women's center. Increasing number of MOBS (Mail Order brides, New zeal) in NZ, they expressed concern over the problems being faced by the MOBs.
- Solicited our suggestions re possible resolutions about the Phils in the next LP Congress.

b. Meeting with electorate secretary of the Foreign Minister.
- Delta situation/program
- Delta's agenda in NZ
- Close associate of some Workers Communist League members
- Promised to discuss with the Foreign Minister re our meeting.

c. Meeting with FW (Associate Foreign Minister)
(Fran Wilde, New Zeal) did not push thru because no other CP member was available to attend the meeting. She was not prepared to meet me as a govt minister. She was a former CORSO worker and an associate of some Workers Communist League members.

Note: Workers Communist League has good relations with some Cabinet Ministers and LP leaders/members.

Unfortunately Balazo did not say which Labour Cabinet Ministers enjoyed "good relations" with the Workers Communist League, though it is not hard to guess who some of them were.

Several Cabinet Ministers at the time and since are known to have had extensive Maoist links in their student days and beyond. Several of them, including some regarded as moderates are still in Cabinet today.

Part 8 Here

Part 10 Here

Monday, August 27, 2007

Communist Cut-Out Conyers, Backs Obama

I have contended for some time that the Communist Party USA has a favoured candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

While the CPUSA has yet to openly favour any of the top four contenders-Clinton, Obama, Edwards and Richards, all their hints to the Party faithful point in Barack Obama's direction.

Openly far left Democratic contender Dennis Kucinich, will be backed by the CPUSA, as a lightning rod for the left. He will then stands aside, then CPUSA support will shift to one of the top four.

I think that unless Clinton moves too far ahead, that CPUSA controlled unions and pressure groups will shift support to Obama, at Kucinich's urging.

Congressional patriarch, John Conyers is (with Kucinich), the CPUSA's best friend in Congress. He is also the champion of the CPUSA backed universal healthcare bill,H.R. 676.

Read the two following reports and note the pattern. This is how the CPUSA gets what it wants in Congress, without ever having to earn a single vote from the public.

The process is simple. Get your friends in Congress to propose bills the CPUSA wants passed. Also get those friends to support and endorse those candidates you view as sympathetic to your cause.

Conyers and Kucinich, Lee, Rangel and others dominate the Congressional Progressive Caucus and he Congressional Black Caucus (which means well over a third of Congress) and important party lobby groups such as Progressive Democrats of America.

They can therefore weild huge influence on which Bills are supported in Congress and which sympathetic candidates get the support that counts.

Obama's announcement was a pivotal moment in our time, with many blacks saying they never thought they'd live to see a serious candidate of color run for president of the United States.

"I don't believe anyone can doubt his intellectual ability to become president," Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) told Saturday. "I think he can attract people across the color line, and I think he can attract African-Americans, even though polls suggest that he doesn't have the pull in his own ranks as Hillary Clinton does."

Conyers said Obama approached him last month about his interest in the White House, and the veteran congressman from Detroit encouraged him to run.

"He's worked closely with Rainbow PUSH and within our community," Conyers said. "He's worked with low-income people and particularly with young men and women. He has a great depth of experience in these areas."

From The Hill

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), who has formally backed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), is lobbying the 2008 presidential hopeful to back his universal healthcare bill.

In a recent interview, the House Judiciary Committee chairman told The Hill that Obama “is taking a serious look” at H.R. 676, which has 60 cosponsors, including presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

That's how it works readers. That's how a Marxist-Leninist Party of a few thousand members can influence the direction of the most powerful "capitalist" nation on earth.

Email to Dr Hirst

Text of email, just sent to Dr Martin Hirst.

Dear Dr Hirst

I note that in a recent post on your blog Ethical Martini you referred to me as a “neo-nazi goon”. I find the entire phrase insulting and offensive. The “neo-nazi” tag is highly offensive and completely untrue.

If some pimply youth had written this I would probably ignore it.

However you are an experienced journalist and university lecturer and a well known media commentator.

Therefore your word has more credibility so an untruth written by you is potentially far more damaging.

Consequently I demand that you remove the offending phrase from your blog and replace it with a retraction and apology immediately.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Yours Faithfully

Trevor Loudon

Dr Hirst's Slur Against Loudon Challenged

When AUT media studies lecturer Martin Hirst labelled me a "neo-nazi goon" I was aghast that a man in his position could be so irresponsible.

Over the weekend I've mulled it over and reached a conclusion.

If I do not challenge this untruth, it will circulate around the blogosphere and may be used against me at some time in the future.

Worse, it could be used to slander other libertarians, anti-communists or ACT Party members.

Therefore I have a responsibility to take Dr Hirst to task over his untrue accusation against me.

Though I have considerable political differences with Dr Hirst, I will treat him as the gentleman he no doubt is.

My profile of Dr Hirst probably came as a bit of a shock, causing him to write in haste, something he may now regret.

As a first step I have therefore decided to email Dr Hirst asking for a retraction of the offending "neo-nazi" phrase, its deletion from his blog and an apology to me posted in its place.

I will then post that apology on my blog, so that the untruth of Dr Hirst's accusation will be apparent to all.

I will keep readers updated as to progress.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

China Seeks "Cooperation" With Asian "Media Managers"

From the Communist Party of China website

Senior Chinese leader Li Changchun on Thursday called for more cooperation among Asian media to better deliver the "voice of Asia" throughout the world.

"China hopes to improve the cooperation with Asian media groups and increase the voice of Asia in the international community," said Li, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, in a meeting with media representatives from ten ASEAN members, and Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK).

China would adhere to its policy of peaceful development, Li said, noting that China appreciates the 10+3 media groups to expand exchanges and cooperation with China to contribute to the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious East Asia, Li said.

The 10+3 group comprises the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and the ROK.

The 10+3 media managers were here to attend the first 10+3 Media Cooperation Forum held from Aug. 21 to 23.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hutt Trotskyist Stands for Council

The Hutt Valley's Valley Action Network is standing three candidates in the upcoming local body elections.

Lead candidate is Moera resident Grant Brookes, who is standing in the Harbour Ward.

According to his campaign blurb;

"VAN is a positive alternative to tired, old, business-as-usual policies. We stand for social justice, the environment and grassroots democracy.

We aren't politicians, just ordinary people who want change. I'm a nurse. My workmates at Wellington Hospital have elected me as their union delegate. As a socialist, I support all grassroots people who stand up for their rights. I've also been appointed to a District Health Board committee planning the future of mental health services, because of my proven ability to work cooperatively with others while representing workers' interests.

As a parent, I know first hand the pressures on working families today.

Brookes is also a central committee member of NZ's leading Trotskyist organisation, Socialist Worker.

In the early '90s, Brookes was a member of Brian Roper's International Socialists and a comrade of now prominent legal academic Andrew Geddis at Otago University.

ISO briefly merged with former Communist party members in 1994/95 to form the Socialist Workers Organisation.

When the two groups divorced after a brief marriage, Brookes was one of the few ISO members to stay with Socialist Worker.

In the late '90s Brookes was a leading SW activist at Auckland University.

By 2001 he was in London and active in the Trotskyist led, Socialist Alliance.

By the next year, Brookes was living in Wellington, working in the health sector.

By 2003, Brookes was one of several SW members working alongside Valerie Morse in Peace Action Wellington.

"Every 4th of July, the USA celebrates the anniversary of its independence from British colonial rule while denying freedom to people around the world.
This year, Peace Action Wellington (PAW) is calling on people to join us in protesting at the US ambassador's Independence Day function.

"US military forces are occupying Afghanistan and Iraq while its corporations exploit those countries for private profit", said PAW spokesperson Grant Brookes."

That year Brookes was also editor of Socialist Worker Monthly Review.

In recent years he has been very active in health sector unionism.

Brookes is being supported by husband and wife candidates Paul Kennett and Michelle Ducat.

Martin Hirst On Trotsky, Orwell, Neo-Nazis, Far-Right Goons and Yours Truly

AUT journalism academic, Martin Hirst has been posting about my posts on him at his blog Ethical Martini;

Check this one out here

A few posts ago I mentioned the Journalism Matters conference recently held in Wellington and the response from the Dominion Post/Press [Christchurch] columnist Karl Du Fresne. My response was published today in The Press. It is this that led Trevor Louden to me and the blog he loaded up earlier today too (linked in an earlier post here).

If Louden's ignorant slather is supposed to shut me up, or intimidate me (which is how these thugs work), he needs to know that I am not afraid. In fact, it's interesting that what I wrote has caused him to froth at the mouth. Du Fresne had a similar reaction during our initial meeting in Wellington.

Why are these conservative types so scared of Marxists like me? Is it because I have a reputation for sneaking into homes and eating children? I don't think so. Rather, it's because they can't address or refute the logic of materialism, and so they have to get down and dirty -- attack rants are easier to digest than formal, considered arguments.

This one here

Well, I've been outed! Some neo-nazi goon has me lined up in his beady little eyes (see picture)

this is him in his own words:

Trevor Loudon
About Me
I'm a libertarian and ACT Party member from Christchurch. I believe in freedom with responsibility, not freedom from responsibility. My ideal society is one in which government is slashed to the bone and people are free to reach their potential. To achieve more freedom I believe in working with all those who are moving in broadly the same direction. The views expressed in this Blog are strictly my own

Why do these people insist on using the word "libertarian" to describe their politics. They don't actually believe in liberty at all. The idea that you can "slash government to the bone" and leave people free to "reach their potential" in a global capitalist economy is just fairytale rubbish.

Libertarians are to politics what the flat-earth crowd are to science.

This one here

This is an interesting rant from some far-right goons in GodZone, I feel like I've arrived on fucking Mars! Not really, as my mate Helen pointed out. It's not a bad place at all. Just got the same quota of loony-tunes as any where else really.

If you bother to read the thread I've linked to you'll see that the rampant revisionism of the right regarding Orwell is in full swing. In fact Orwell was basically a Trot. If you read Goldstein's "The Principles of Oligarchical Collectivism" in the centre pages of Nineteen Eighty-four, you'll clearly see that he was elucidating a theory of state capitalism.

Good to see our journalistic standards are in safe hands.

Keep digging Dr Hirst. Remember Paul Buchanan.

Doctor Hirst-Come Pyongyang. Weal Soon-Kimmy

I just had to post this comment from the Martin Hirst thread.

Dear Doctor Hirst:

I inwite you as president of Democwatic People's Wepublic of Korea come Pyongyang for talk about journalist training.

You wight man. We open country up slowly. We want many new newspaper where reporters and clerks jump weal high when Kim Jong say jump. We no want reporters who wite what happen. We want they wite what we all want to be like and twy to change to that.

But you forget Trotsky bull first. Juche only way. You adopt easy. Big socialist. We weal socialist. Trotsky picky. In head picky. Ha ha.

Wing me in Pyongyang. Cowwect call.


Kim Jong II. (You call me Kimmy).

Ask for Pyongyang exchange. Talk English okay.

Fisking Drs Hirst and Harrison

My profile of "Trotskyist" AUT Journalism lecturer Martin Hirst has provoked responses from the good doctor himself and his former colleague and co-author, Dr John Harrison of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland.

Both raised some interesting points that I would like to comment on.

Dr Hirst

I for one don't think North Korea's socialist, but you guys would have just glazed over that part of my piece in today's Press because it means I don't fit your stupid stereotype of what a communist should be.

As for Orwell, you should read John Newsinger's great book "Orwell's Socialism" and also what he himself wrote about politics until his death.

He was a socialist till the day he died.

The fact that the Stalinists in Spain wanted him dead and that he supported the Marxist POUM organisation while he was there and that he writes in 1984, "if there's any hope at all it lies with the proles" should give even the thickest of you a brief insight.

Stop trying to claim Orwell as an anti-communist and as one of your own, people like you made Orwell sick, in fact he would have despised the lot of you, you can't win that one.

New Zeal Its hard to take you seriously Dr Hirst, when your sentences are peppered with abusive terms.

George Orwell was indeed a socialist, but there is no doubt that in his latter years he was a staunch anti-communist. He has been condemned by many on the left for supplying the British government with the names of those he considered would be security risks in the event of an outbreak of war with the Soviet Union.

Dr Harrison

As a person who knows Martin Hirst well, and who has worked with him in higher education, over a number of years, I find your portrayal of him as a wicked Trot set to bring NZ to its knees, quite incredible. That is, lacking in credibity.

New Zeal When did I say any such thing?

That a Member of Parliament would use their position to make an ad hominem attack on an academic who is held in high esteem, is nothing short of a disgrace.

New Zeal I'm not, nor have been, or claimed to have been an MP. An easily checkable fact I would have thought.

Talk about a gratuitous insult!

Dr Hirst is well known in this country (Australia) for his thoughtful and forthright contributions to the debate about journalism, its ethics, its standards, and its future, and is published by leading publishers such as Oxford University Press. He is also a caring, compassionate and considerate human being, who makes higher education a transformative experience for his students.

New Zeal That's wonderful. It is Dr Hirst's warped political ideas and journalistic philosophy that are at issue, not his teaching ability or personal qualities. Please stay on topic.

I look forward to some genuine debate on the issues, not personal vitriol poured the petrol can of anonymity. Indeed, I would challenge the owner of this blog to only post replies from those with the courage to identify themselves.

And for the record, I'm not a Marxist, Trot, Maoist, or fellow traveller, but a hard nosed Presbyterian Calvinist from rural Queensland.

New Zeal You have also written a history of the extreme left wing Uniting Church of Australia. Care to elaborate on that fact?

A basic inability to check facts and groundless accusations of "ad hominenism" hardly inspire confidence in your abilities as a journalism lecturer, or as a character witness for Dr Hirst, Dr Harrison.

Dr Hirst

Comrades, this has gone on long enough. Most of you are not prepared to identify yourselves - I'm assuming that Mr Louden is in fact the only one infesting this thread and that he's reposting his own comments anonymously to keep the thread alive and improve his "hit" count.

New Zeal Not true, Dr Hirst-a little "ad hominen" don't you think? Would you approve of your students making untrue accusations about those they disagree with?

I am not technically a "Trotksyist", though I'm sure the finer points of socialist theory are lost on most of you blinkered nubbins. I do, however, subscribe to a number of trotskyite positions. For example the concept of permanent revolution (which you should look up in a reputable source before frothing at the mouth).

New Zeal A little disingenuous Dr Harrison. While the tendency you support is no longer completely Trotskyist, it did spring from that tradition. You allegedly claim to have been the only Trotskyist working in the Australian Parliamentary press gallery.

When did you stop being a "technical" Trotskyist and became whatever variety of Marxist you are now?

Permanent Revolution is the idea that revolutionaries should not hesitate to fan insurrection on a global scale. Maoists and Stalinists believe in consolidating socialism in one country before moving onto the next.

Trotskyist want to spread revolution accross the globe as quickly as possible.

Glad to hear you're so moderate Dr Hirst.

I am a supporter of the international socialist tendency (though not a member of any grouping - again this is for the record so you gumnuts don't get in a lather about it).

New Zeal This confirms my thesis that you are aligned with, though not necessarily a member of, the Australian International Socialists, the British Socialist Workers Party and NZ's own Socialist Worker.

Thanks for that.

What does this mean? It means I dont now and never have supported the state capitalist regimes in the former USSR, Hungary, Albania, North Korea, China, Cuba etc. So you can stop right now insulting my intelligence and historical fact by making out that I'm some kind of Stalinist monster.

New Zeal I never said you were Dr Hirst. However, sections of the the IST, particularly NZ Socialist Worker are highly supportive of Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution, which in turn is very close to the tyrannies of Cuba, Iran, Belorussia and even Zimbabwe.

Your friends friends are not very savoury Dr Hirst.

I also note that in recent years the British SWP has moved closer to the traditional communist movement-sending delegates to the French Communist Party's L'Humanite festival for example.

I also note that the SWP and other IST comrades have close ties to the Islamo-Marxist Muslim Brotherhood. Again nice friends your friends have, Dr Hirst.

I subscribe to the theory of "socialism from below". That is I do not believe in the imposition of political orthodoxy on anyone - not even foolish drubbers who don't know any better. It also means that, unlike those who claim to be "libertarian" and in favour of "liberty", I actually believe in the ultimate freedom of individuals to pursue a life of happiness, health and liberty.

New Zeal No doubt you do Dr Hirst. Like most socialists you're probably very well meaning.

That, unfortunately doesn't stop your ideas from being highly destructive and dangerous to your fellow human beings, however.

I'm sure other socialists lke Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Castro and Pol Pot were nice blokes before they gained power, too.

the power of the working class, not a small bunch of hardcore "revolutionaries" will ultimately determine the fate of the world. That is if we can stop your heroes, such as George Bush, from destroying it first with their oil wars and nukiller devices.

New Zeal Bit of an assumption about my correspondents love of George Bush there. Would you approve or students making such lazy assumptions?

I believe in freedom of association and freedom of religion, though, yes, I am an aetheist and think that belief in any form of "god" is plainly stupid.

I'm also disappointed that Mr Louden failed to uncover my alleged anti-semitism. And no, I'm not an anti-semite, but I am an anti-imperialist and therefore against the state of Israel - I am an anti-Zionist. Zionism is the political expression of Israeli expansionism and military power in the middle east.

Oh and before you go off chasing more rabbits down burrows, I do not support terrorism, particularly state terrorism.

New Zeal Thanks for that, Dr Hirst

I believe in the overthrow of capitalism through the conscious political organisation of the working class. With armed force if necessary.

This does not mean that I rush off to the Waikato to do small arms training each weekend. Though regular readers of this particular blog may well be "survivalist" anti-government types I want to make it clear WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON.
I'll leave you to your dribblings now. I have better things to do.

New Zeal Finally the truth-"with armed force if necessary". With that admission, you would be denied entry to the USA, Dr Hirst.

I wonder how many readers think that that admission should bar you from entry to this country?

To be blunt-I do.

Nothing personal, Dr Hirst, you're probably a nice bloke and a competent teacher-perhaps too competent.

The trouble is that I don't want to pay you to teach New Zealand journalists how to to their job.

I don't want a Marxist who believes in violent revolution and using journalism to effect social change-and who does not believe in the concept of journalistic objectivity-teaching in a New Zealand (or any other) university.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

You believe that it permissible, even desirable to forcibly overthrow the state that pays your salary. I seriously question the ethics of that position.

Drs Hirst and Harrison, If you think I have misrepresented your positions in any way, or would like to clarify or dispute any points you may have the right of reply.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Val Morse-Arrogant, Agressive, Anti-American, Auckland/American, Anarchist Author and Anti Automobile Activist

No peace/anti-war, animal rights/anti GE, anti automobile demo in Wellington would be complete without Valerie Morse.

With her trademark blonde hair and booming American accent, Val Morse seems never to miss a rally or a riot.

She has protested nude in the grounds of Parliament, against the Iraq War, the NZ military, GE, the WTO, the Destiny Church and automobiles.

Many are fooled by her accent into believing her an American. Apparently Valerie Morse was born in Auckland, but did spend many years in the US.

By the early '00s she was back in New Zealand, working at Archives NZ in Wellington.

By 2003, Morse was working with the Green Party and becoming highly visible in the anti-Iraq War movement.

In March that year she spoke at a Victoria University IGM against Iraq war, saying that US, British and Australian interests should be targeted.

The same year she was awarded a government grant of $7,500 towards a Masters thesis on “Nuclear Insecurity:The Future of NZ/USA Relations And The Promotion Of Nuclear-free Policies."

In recent years most of Morse's protest activity has been through Peace Action Wellington, a motley alliance of Socialist Workers, anarchists, Greens and independent leftist activists.

In 2006 participated in a leftist dominated "human rights festival" in Wellington and was described on its website as;

"a Wellington based peace activist, American dissident andanarchist. She is a member of Peace Action Wellington and works to mobilise resistance to the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on wider issues relating to New Zealand's militarisation and weapons production".

Apparently Morse is not very consistent in her anti-violence message.

In November, 2006, after leftist inspired rioters burned central Nuku'alofa to the ground, Peace Action Wellington opposed the deployment of NZ soldiers and police to Tonga to help restore order.

At a 20th November protest outside the New Zealand Defence Headquarters in Stout Street, Wellington, Morse told the assembled crowd;

"These troops are serving the interests of the feudal class in Tonga, while crushing people's desire for change. We stand in solidarity with the people's resistance in Tonga and support them in their struggle for self determination."

On 26 April this year, More addressed an ANZAC Day protest in Wellington.

According to a Peace Action Wellington press release;

ANZAC Day Protest - Lest we forget: already forgotten
Members of Peace Action Wellington (PAW) demonstrated at the Wellington ANZAC Day dawn service this morning, displaying banners that said "Lest We Forget: Already Forgotten – Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste" and "Conscientious Objectors: the real war heroes."

"ANZAC Day has ceased to be a day where we commit to 'never again', and has instead become nothing less than a celebration of the New Zealand military and the glorification of war," said Valerie Morse, Peace Action Wellington member.

"Lest we forget that the New Zealand military is currently engaged in combat in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. Lest we forget that the New Zealand military is currently deployed in 18 different missions around the world."
"Lest we forget that the military has, and always will, exist for the sole purpose of waging war,"
said Valerie Morse.

This morning's demonstration also marks the launch of Peace Action Wellington's 'NZ Troops Out Now' campaign. For further information about the campaign, go to

"Peace Action Wellington demands the immediate withdrawal of all New Zealand troops and the cessation of all military training and joint exercises with other armies," concluded Valerie Morse.

That day Morse was also arrested for trying to burn the NZ flag.

More recently, Valerie Morse ha become a published author.

Published by Rebel Press, Morse's "Against Freedom"-(no not her political autobiography) is an expose of US trickery and deception over the Iraq War.

From a press release from the anarchist outfit, Katipo Books;

In 2001, the United States launched the 'war on terrorism' in purported response to the September 11th attacks. With hasty process, the New Zealand government quickly signed up. But what is this war really about? The agenda of the 'war on terrorism' is very different to the propaganda we are being sold by politicians and the mass media. It is an agenda of domination and control over our lives and the extension of state and corporate power.

Against Freedom, written by Valerie Morse, details the agenda against freedom, from the legislative changes since 9/11 to the suppression of dissent and the media manipulation of public understanding, in order to provide an alternative view of what is happening and what can be done to stop the war.

Well Val, I have to say that I admire your energy and if you ever overcome your arrogance and discover what real freedom is, you might become a great asset to the cause.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

S.A.P. 17 Dr Martin Hirst

My latest Socialist Academic Profile looks at Auckland University of Technology School of Communication Studies curriculum leader, Dr Martin Hirst.

According to the AUT website;

Dr Hirst joined the School of Communication Studies at AUT University in January 2007, after a 12 year teaching and research career in Australian journalism education. He has an extensive background in academic research in journalism and communication/media studies and is the co-author of three books: Look both ways: Fairfield, Cabramatta and the media (2001, with Antonio Castillo), Journalism Ethics: Arguments and Cases (2005, with Roger Patching) and Communications and New Media: Broadcast to narrowcast (2007, with John Harrison).

Sounds impressive. A very experienced man for a very influential position. Dr Hirst will be influencing the course content for hundreds of NZ's student journalists. He will be in a position to influence the way they think and most importantly, how they write.

One experienced journalist, the Dominion Post's Karl Du Fresne is not quite so impressed with the good doctor.

Writing in the Dominion Post du fresne discusses a recent journalism seminar he attended;

Cleverly titled Journalism Matters, the seminar in Parliament's Grand Hall had the declared aim of promoting "quality journalism". It mixed a recitation of age-old union gripes - such as claims of understaffing and low pay - with debate over broader philosophical questions about where journalism is heading.

While the roster of speakers reflected an unmistakably left-wing agenda, the seminar attracted a handful of executives from the two big newspaper groups, Fairfax Media and APN, and covered some issues that transcended industrial politics, such as the threat to traditional mainstream news media from competitive pressures unforeseen a few years ago...

The political theme continued throughout the seminar, perhaps reaching its low point when the curriculum leader in journalism at the Auckland University of Technology, self-proclaimed socialist Martin Hirst, declared that journalism was not about reporting the world, but about changing the world.

This highly politicised interpretation of journalism, which sees journalists not as reporters trying impartially to cover matters of public interest but as agents of political change, is now so entrenched in some journalism schools that it barely raised an eyebrow.

That criticism has led to a media spat between Du Fresne and Hirst and some rather incredible statements by the latter.

I quote from today's Christchurch Press;

First Hirst praises leftist journalist John Pilger

John Pilger’s crusading work over many years is another example of what I describe as the journalism of engagement.

Then he attacks the virtue of journalistic objectivity;

Objectivity as a principle of journalism is no longer the holy grail. The fact that some jornalism editors are prepared to say so and put such ideas in front of their students is just a recognition of this idea. In the respected Columbia Journalism Review, Brent Cunningham has written a thoughtful piece called “Rethinking Objectivity”. He makes the point that often it is an excuse for lazy journalism and that it forces reporters to rely on official sources. He also argues that it allows the news agenda to be captured by the “spin doctors”...

Then he discusses his socialist views;

My politics are in the tradition of international socialism...I don't believe for a minute that the charade of democracy practised in the free market west is the be all and end all of human political development.

Well just how "socialist is Dr Hirst.

I can report that Dr Hirst joined a small Trotskyist sect while at university in Sydney in 1975.

I can also report that he remains a Trotskyist to this day.

Dr Hirst is listed as a contributor to the Australian Trotskyist website Marxist Interventions, where he is described thus;

Martin Hirst has been active in socialist politics since 1975 and claims to have been the only Trotskyist to ever work in the federal press gallery as a journalist

The bulk of the sites other contributors are members of the Australian International Socialist Organisation or its recent splinter group, Socialist Alternative.

ISO is part of the International Socialist Tendency, which is led by the British Socialist Workers Party.

ISO is therefore, technically the sister party of NZ's Socialist Worker.

You'd therefore expect that Dr Hirst might have made contact with Socialist Worker since arriving in NZ.

I quote from the comments section of Australian blog Intercontinental Cry;

just a quick line to let you know there was a very militant occupation of the Australian Consulate in Auckland this evening against the invasion of Aboriginal lands and in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters facing John Howard’s racist attacks...

Kia kaha
Joe Carolan
Socialist Worker, Aotearoa

very good speeches from all the groups in support-
Julia and Joe from Socialist Worker, Martin Hirst, Lecturer in Media studies at AUT, Jared from Workers Party, Jim Gladwin from Citizens against Privatisation, and statement read out from Kulin Nations and Aboriginal declaration of sovereignty’ by UNITY editor Daph Lawless in Consulate occupation that broke through police lines.

So there you have it.

Your taxes are paying a lifelong Trotskyist, who does not believe in objective journalism, to design curricula, to teach future Kiwi journalists how to work for "social change".

Am I being fair to Dr Hirst here? Or am I being too "objective"?

You judge, dear reader. Its your world this man wants to change.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rodney's Christchurch Book Launch-Be There

All ACT supporters are invited to attend the Christchurch launch of Rodney Hide's

My Year of Living Dangerously


Unit 10 , SOL Square

179 Tuam Street-entrance off Lichfield, on right just before Manchester St corner.

Monday 27 August, 6.00 - 9:00 pm

rsvp to Priscilla Tate:

Come and hear NZ's most entertaining speaker talk about his self improvement odyssey and his future plans for ACT and New Zealand.

Oh the Irony-Bassett's Books Bankroll Bolshevism!

Auckland historian and commentator, Michael Bassett, is one of the "good guys" to come out of the left of the Labour Party.

Like several of his Labour Cabinet colleagues, Bassett became a supporter of Finance Minister Roger Douglas's economic policies and went on to become a firm advocate of freedom.

Now in an ironic twist, the Trotskyist comrades from Socialist Worker are selling some Marxist literature once owned by Bassett (complete with youthful scribblings) to raise money for their front newspaper, Workers Charter-edited BTW by John Minto.

Here's the story


From the personal library of the Hon Michael Bassett, Labour cabinet member and historian, lefty in the swinging sixties when he wrote his PhD thesis on the American Socialist Party and was active in the Auckland University Princess St Branch of the Labour Party, eventually a cabinet minister in the notorious 1984-1990 Lange-Douglas government, and then all the way on his right-wing trajectory into the ACT Party—

the classic three volume Isaac Deutscher Life of Trotsky

(Oxford University Press 1963, hard cover, first edition)

signed and annotated by the young rebel Bassett!

In immaculate condition!


A historical gem and a fund-raiser for Workers’ Charter!

Help Michael Bassett and Leon Trotsky fund the workers’ paper!

(One for your Uncle Trev, prehaps?!! ; ) )

Contact Workers Charter for details:

How did SW get these books? Does Michael Bassett know? Would Trotsky approve?

Who the hell is "Uncle Trev"?

Marxist Minto

In the past I've accused Auckland activist and communis....columnist, John Minto of being slightly pink.

Well here's the proof (if any was needed), in his own words, that comrade Minto is actually a rampant, raving red!

From the Socialist Worker Blog

Earlier this year the Ministry of Defence in Britain produced a report looking ahead at future threats to Britain. They talk about the growing divide between rich and poor exacerbated by climate change and the possibility of the resurgence of Marxism. They conclude that one of the main threats that Britain needs to be protected from is in fact majority of the world’s population, the poor – including the majority in Britain itself! (Ponder what that says about democracy)

We are all good at sniping at capitalism – I do so myself frequently – but sniping will change nothing. It helps keep alternative ideas alive but what is needed for change is organisation with an unrestricted view forward.

Part of this is to push marxism and socialism back into the mainstream of public discussion in New Zealand. Marx had a very clear understanding and analysis of the structure of society under capitalism. We have to open up discussion with our fellow New Zealanders about the alternatives to the destructive, unethical and immoral system of capitalism.

Thanks for that, comrade John!

Apprenticeship Issues

Spome commenters on my previous post raised some important questions re NZ's dying apprenticeship system.

Anonymous said...
As we live in a free market system if there was really a massive problem getting skilled employees the employer would just have to raise wages. A private training system could also easily open up or a private apprentice scheme could be started without too much hassle.

That is if the free market is the answer to all our problems.

New Zeal Sadly we do not live in a free market system. We endure a mixed economy with some socialist and some free market elements.

It's true that the price of labour responds to market forces just like the price of tomatoes or houses.

However training skilled labour takes time so there can be a big gap between high labour prices and increased labour supply in a given field.

However, the real problem in NZ is this. We had a very good apprenticeship system for over 100 years. In the early '90s this was almost destroyed in favour of a highly bureaucratic, complicated and expensive "seamless education" system that was based on "unit standards"-just like the trouble ridden NCEA system in high schools.

This virtually destroyed what little was left of the system as tradesmen could no longer be bothered training apprentices.

This led to a 20 year skills gap-there are now very few highly skilled tradesmen under 40. Many older tradesmen have gone into management or left the trade entirely.
Therefore there are too few highly skilled tradesmen left to train even the few apprentices coming through the system.

Good tradesmen are now getting bloody good wages-as they should, but the productive sector is severely retarded because we simply don't have enough of them.

"Unit Standards" must be abolished and the market must be allowed to function before the meagre skills stock we have left is completely lost.

Sam Buchanan said...
While I agree that government bureaucrats seldom do anything right, business also has to take some of the blame.

I started out studyinmg engineering as an NZCE student, whereby I studied at polytech part-time while working in the industry - the certificate required three years of related work in addition to the study. Not long after I finished, the course became full-time only. The rationale being that employers didn't want to give people time off to study, and preferred to hire somebody who had gone off and done the training at their own expense.

Businesses are often quite happy to have the government and individuals - or other businesses - carry the costs of training their staff, believing that they can simply buy the skills as required. Of course, if everyone is doing this, the skills simply won't be there to be bought.

New Zeal Quite right Sam, they won't. This illustrates the dangers of allowing government to become involved in training in the first place. I know that in my own industry, my colleagues were sucked into accepting the "unit standards" system because it was the only way the government would fund training at all. They should have told the government to take a hike and got on with it themselves.

Businessmen can be as shortsighted as anyone else. Let the government take over you responsibilities and they will mess it up. Nothing surer.

I personally think most training should take place on the job, with possibly a small theoretical component contracted out to private training establishments. This should run by the relevant industries-not by the state.

If you are foolishly going to allow the state into industry training, its role should be kept to the absolute minimum.

Anonymous said...
49% of Uni students at Vic uni don't finish their degree in the initial 3-year period.
Gonna whinge about that?

New Zeal Yes I will actually. We now have an apprenticeship system, so bureaucratic that half of trainess never finish their "time".

Meanwhile we have a tertiary education sector, sucking in any semi-literate they can find, to fill seats and guarantee government funding and lecturers jobs.

Who loses? Young people, that's who.

Instead of gaining a meaningful trade that will set them up for life, thousands of young people are wasting their time and accumulating debt, doing near useless university or polytech courses or being scammed by dodgy private "training providers".

In most of Europe, nearly all non university bound youngsters, undertake apprenticeships or similar training.

To be blunt, I would like to see university student numbers halved and apprenticeships and cadetships quintupled.

I would like to see 80% of school leavers in trade training or studying nursing, primary teaching, journalism, accountancy, IT etc etc etc ON THE JOB.

I would rather see 5,000 university lecturers flipping burgers at McDonalds, than hundreds of thousands of youngsters denied the opportunity to acquire something of real value-a trade.

Maybe I'm a bit soft, but it makes me sick to my guts, to see the huge waste of young lives in this country, in order to benefit bludging bureacrats, up themselves academics and mercenary "training providers."

Fuck 'em I say. Put the kids first.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Apprenticeship System Buggered by Bureaucrats

This week I've been working alongside two apprentices. One is the the 5th year of his 3 year apprenticeship, the other is in her 7th.

Our tiny apprenticeship system is in very bad shape. Over-bureaucratised and burdened with the loathsome, inefficient and useless "unit standards" system, employers are simply opting out.

No matter how much money the government pumps into apprenticeships, it will fail, because our once simple and effective system has been buggered by the bureaucrats.

Peter Cresswell at Not PC nails it;

Tradesmen are the workers of the world. Successful tradesmen are the lifeblood of an industrial economy; their intelligent labours make possible the production and infrastructure without which there is no industrial economy.

New Zealand has too few tradesmen, too few apprentices and the number is getting fewer. Traditional apprenticeships were killed off by the so called "seamless education" promoted by Lockwood Smith's NCEA, and Labour's so called "Modern Apprenticeships" have signally failed to fulfil the headline promises of posturing politicians.

Last year it was revealed for example that only 11 percent of the students who passed their National Certificate in Politically Correct Plumbing managed to subsequently pass a genuinely testing examination that was set by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

And this morning's Press reveals [hat tip Whale Oil] that even those students who start these "Modern Apprenticeships" are mostly failing to finish.
Figures made public suggest [only] 46 per cent of those enrolled in 2001 and 2002 completed their training in the expected four years.

A calculation that's beyond most NCEA graduates reveals that 54 percent of those starting these apprenticeships failed to finish. That's pathetic. "More than $100 million has been committed to [Labour's "Modern Apprencticeship" scheme] since its launch in 2000," yet "as at December 31, [only] 9466 active modern apprentices were in training," and barely 3000 had completed their training.

That really is pathetic. Unemployment among sixteen- to seventeen-year-olds is at fourteen percent; loads of youngsters are heading off to uni to get degrees in "visual communications design," "contemporary cultural studies," and "critical education theory." Meanwhile, the country's employers are crying out for skilled tradesmen. Has anyone idea where they're going to come from, or how it's possible to interest youngsters in learning about good tradecraft instead of bullshit?

Perhaps it might encourage them if they learned that New Zealand's richest man started out in life as an apprentice panel beater?

See also:

Apprenticeship, the overlooked institution - Trevor Loudon

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

How Socialist Extremists Took Over the New Zealand Labour Party Part 8

The Workers Communist League/ Maoists

Maoist infiltration of the Labour Party began in earnest in the early '70s. Student radicals, associated with the "Progressive Clubs" and "Socialist Societies" active on most campuses, worked with and eventually took over many university Labour Clubs.

In 1972 Peter Franks, a Maoist student leader, later active in the Wellington Marxist-Lennist Organisation and the Workers Communist League presented the Labour Party Youth Conference report, taking the opportunity to mock both Labour Party "conservatives" and his rivals in infiltration, the Socialist Action League; "Most of us at this conference would probably admit to being socialists. We all know, of course, that the Labour Party is as much a socialist party as the Socialist Action League is a revolutionary party; but we still feel that we, at least, are still socialists. And sometimes we sing the Red Flag to prove it."

Maoist fronts like HART and the Committee on Vietnam also attracted many future prominent Labour politicians.

Even the young Maoist radical, Sue Bradford joined Labour for a time in the late '70s.

Wellington student Maoists worked closely with activists such as Pat and Cath Kelly who joined Labour after being expelled from the Communist Party of New Zealand in 1970. Pat Kelly in particular continued to meet secretly with the Wellington Maoists, long after joining Labour.

Influence was also exerted through increasing Maoist influence in Wellington and Auckland trade unions. The Public Service Association , New Zealand's government employees union was a particular target. After the formation of the Workers Communist League in 1980, Maoist influence in and on Labour became more organised.

By the late '80s however Workers Communist League aligned Labourites were becoming increasingly frustrated at Labour's increasingly cosy relationship with their rivals, the Socialist Unity Party and the seemingly unstoppable liberal economic policies of Finance Minister Roger Douglas.

Consequently, the Workers Communist League began attempts to build a left wing electoral alliance independent of the Labour Party.Many informal meetings were held, including in 1986 a series of "Winter Forums". One, held in August in Palmerston North looked at "Alternative Strategies-Political and Economic".

Those attending included members of the Workers Communist League, Socialist Action League, Values Party, Labour Party and some independent left wing activists.

Auckland activist Bruce Jesson (later a key figure in the Alliance and New Labour parties) called for an ecumenical left, reaching into the Labour Party.

Massey University academic and socialist, Steve Maharey (now a senior Labour cabinet minister)allegedly outlined his reasons for working towards socialism inside the Labour Party and told the audience of what he saw as a looming power struggle in the party.

Maharey was probably referring to the struggle against "Rogernomics" and its supporters inside labour which was just getting underway at the time.

According to columnist Chris Trotter, (a former Labour party official, himself close to the WCL in the 1980s in Dunedin) Maharey was. in the late '80s "charged with reconstructing Labours policy base".

Another attempt was made to influence Labour in more desirable direction through a "Broad Left" grouping.

This evolved, in 1987 into the "Economic Policy Network" grouped around former Labour President Jim Anderton and chaired
by Peter Cullen, a Wellington union official and Labour activist long on the fringes of the Maoist left.

In 1989 things finally boiled over and Jim Anderton announced his resignation from the Labour Party and the formation of the "New Labour Party". The Workers Communist League joined the New Labour Party en masse and most sympathetic Labour activists followed suit.

A few highly placed Workers Communist League sympathisers or former Maoists remained in Labour however and their ranks grew as some comrades later joined, or re-joined the party.

Part 7 here

Part 9 here

Kill the Bill

Some photoshop mischief from the inimitable Whaleoil

Workers Party Enters Christchurch Mayoral Race

My old mate Byron is standing for the Christchurch mayoralty.

From Indymedia

The Workers Party is standing retail worker and history student Byron Clark for mayor. "Christchurch is a working class city but the council and mayor don’t represent working class interests. When was the last time one of them was seen on a picket line supporting workers? asks Mr Clark who has been active in helping unionise low-paid workers, in support work for the locked-out distribution workers last year and in campaigning against youth rates.

I also support low-paid council workers who have had pay rises in recent years that are actually below the rate of inflation and are subjected to restructuring policies which always work against them.” He also wants to address issues of local democracy, citing the closing of Edgeware pool and the recent council decision to build a road through Cashel Mall despite overwhelming opposition.

The Workers Party is currently campaigning to sign up 500 members to contest the party vote in the next general election, and is calling on those who vote for them in this year's local election to become members

At least you know that the Workers Party candidates are communists-unlike those RAM scammers.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why I'm an ACT Party "League" Fan

Steve Nice Guy from Northland has taken me to task for being a Rugby League fan AND an ACT Party member.


Since you're a league fan I'm sorry I'm gonna have to ruin your night with the following:

League was the invention of "industrial union of workers" working class men of Northern England. These men didn't particularly like rugby union. It discriminated against them. It was the pursuit of the poncey, elitist, inbred, toff bastards going right back to Harrow School. "Rugger me Bugger me !"

Who in fairness could blame them for their common sense ?

Canberra Raiders; ever looked at their jerseys ? CFMEU - Construction Forestry Mining & Energy "Union".

Sonny Bill - his granddad an active unionist.

Stacey Jones - Granddad Emery. A wharfie no less. Same.

Bill Andersen, yes, the evil one, president of City-Newton League.

My very own first cuzzie. Amco Cup, Auckland - staunch union family - our granddad a freezing worker and two uncles wharfies in '51. Commie Beasts !

Real men. Not poncey, elitist pricks.

In contrast, NZRU - right up until the 70s - chairman was always a captain of industry - Sullivan (BP Oil), Ces Blazey, that feisty little ("I love South Africa") lace importer, Ron Don. These guys most decidedly weren't commies.

By your definition all these other jokers were - they were serious unionists and therefore they were commies. Where's your profiles on them Trev ?

In conscience I reckon you gotta change codes. If you're gonna stay "true" that is.....

Well Steve my Saturday night WAS ruined. The highly favoured New ZealandWarriors were beaten 24 to 26 by the Aussie union sponsored Canberra Raiders. Now the Warriors will struggle to host a home semi-final.

However Steve, I have to haul you up on a key assumption-that if I support ACT I must be a "Tory" and should support the "establishment" Rugby Union code.

I support League, not because of some socialist idea of class struggle, but because its a faster, harder, more dynamic, more violent and less rule-ridden game than than Union.

I watched my home team Canterbury beat Wellington in NPC Rugby Union last night (while typing away on the computer). It was good, but hardly thrilling.

Then I watched the Warriors go full tit, head to head with the Raiders (and lose) and was on the edge of my seat.

Rugby League, all in all, is a better spectator sport than Rugby Union.

It's "simply the best".

But Steve if you want to mix politics with sport, I've got a good analogy for you.

If Rugby Union is the "establishment" sport-the game of the public schools, the "toffs" and the rich (forgetting the working class origins of most All Blacks for a minute), then League is the game of the "hard working class".

I remeber talking to an Auckland sales rep once, with "Grammar" or "St Kents" written all over him.

He said he was off to play "footie" in the morning-I assumed he meant Union.

No chance. this guy was League player. When I asked him why he said "because League's a rebel game".

That sums it up.

League was born in a Northern working class rebellion against the conservative Southern English Rugby union establishment.

League has struggled against the Union establishment ever since. Sometimes the rivalry has been extremely hostile, sometimes semi-friendly.

League has kept Union on its toes and even forced it to turn professional for fear of losing its senior position to the rebel code.

Steve, doesn't that sound to you like the relationship between the NZ National Party and ACT?

National is the big "establishment" party. Conservative, slow to change, intolerant of fresh ideas-coasting on its momentum.

ACT is the rebel party. ACT doesn't give a stuff for conservatism. ACT is out there making things happen, trying new ideas.

ACT is a rebel, revolutionary party. ACT is smaller than National but it is, member for member, far more energetic, visionary and enthusiastic.

Like League,ACT came from the "working class", especially the "hard working class". ACT was founded by people who despised conservatism, privilege and the "born to rule" mentality. It is still that way.

ACT people are not Tory's, they are Whigs. The are revolutionary liberals who want a fair go for everyone who will get off their arse to make their life better-whether they come from Parnell or Porirua, Avonhead or Aranui.

I'm bloody comfortable being and ACT supporter and League fan Steve.

Perhaps its you who should either change your ideas or your football code?