Condoleezza says thank you

– Daphna Whitmore

Condoleezza Rice just called in to say thank you.

Thanks for the “long history of partnership”. Thanks for New Zealand’s military participation in wars in Korea, the Pacific and more recently in Afghanistan.

Hang on a minute, isn’t Helen Clark supposed to be a  peacenik camouflaged in a power suit?

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Immigration and citizenship: Labour versus workers

The article below originally appeared in revolution magazine, #21, August-October 2003:

Samoan protests for the return of their NZ citizenship point up the need for a campaign for open borders and workers’ solidarity as against Labour’s denial of Samoan (and other migrants’) rights, argues Philip Ferguson.

In late March, thousands of Samoans protested in Wellington, Christchurch and in Samoa itself, calling for the repeal of the NZ Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act of 1982.  This legislation, introduced by Muldoon’s National Party government, had stripped 100,000 Samoans of NZ citizenship rights.  The abolition of these citizenship rights was part of a miserable 70-year record of NZ dealings with the Samoan people.

NZ had invaded Samoa in 1914 and was the colonial power there for the next five decades.  Just after WW1, the NZ administration bore responsibility for an influenza epidemic that wiped out a quarter of the population.  The NZ government then viciously suppressed the mass movement for Samoan independence, including gunning down unarmed independence protesters in 1929.

After independence, NZ continued to act as lord and master of Samoa and other former NZ-ruled countries in the Pacific.  For instance, in the 1970s NZ governments masqueraded as generous aid donors to the Pacific.  Yet, at that very same time, for every dollar of aid the Pacific countries of the Commonwealth received from New Zealand, they lost $3.74 in trade with this country.  Most of the NZ aid was actually spent on NZ commodities, services and personnel.  Moreover, it had little impact on expanding Pacific island exports to NZ.  The 1970s also saw mass raids on Pacific Island ‘overstayers’ in NZ and large-scale deportations.

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Workers Party supports peace activists, calls for Waihopai Spy Base to be scrapped

Press Release

“Claims by Prime Minister Helen Clark that yesterday’s action by peace activists at the Waihopai Spy Base near Blenheim was nothing more than ‘a senseless act of vandalism’ show how totally out of touch the Labour government is with reality,” according to Workers Party national organiser Daphna Whitmore.

“Instead of complaining about the damage caused by the peace activists, Helen Clark and the Labour Party should be more concerned about the suffering being inflicted on the people of Afghanistan and other parts of the world as a result of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. Spy bases such as the one maintained at Waihopai play an integral part of that war.”

“Currently millions of dollars are spent each year on maintaining an intelligence network one of whose central aims is to aid in the repression of political activists and movements which threatened the interests of Western imperialism,” Ms Whitmore said.

“The Workers Party, which intends to contest the party vote for the first time in the upcoming 2008 general election, calls for the immediate withdrawal of New Zealand from all Western military alliances and the dismantling of repressive agencies such as the GCSB and SIS. As such we fully support the actions carried out yesterday by the three members of Anzac Ploughshares at Waihopai and call on all workers and progressive people to do likewise,” she added.

Anzac Day: what are we celebrating?

Australian soldiers in East Timor: the Anzac myth plays a major role in legitimising this sort of imperialist military intervention

Every year we are told that the young men whose lives were snuffed out at Gallipoli died gloriously for our freedom. We are told that the “liberties” we supposedly enjoy in New Zealand today exist only because of the sacrifice of these soldiers. The message is that the soldiers’ deaths were worth it, and that the cause they died for was just.

There is no nice way to say this: it’s all lies.

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NZ Police propping up Tongan monarchy

– Alastair Reith

The Kingdom of Tonga has announced that it will be appointing a New Zealand policeman to be its new Police Commander. The news was made public on April 2, with the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Fire Services stating that none of the seven Tongan candidates were “suitable”.

Tonga is a repressive feudal monarchy, where almost all wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a small layer of nobles and the capitalists linked to them.

Only 9 of the 34 members of its House of Representatives are democratically elected, with 16 being appointed directly by the King and another 9 representing “the noble families of the realm”. The Tongan political system has very few differences from that of mediaeval Europe!

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