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Letter from Elsewhere: Joe McCarthy Lives

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:57 pm Tue 17th May 2005

Joe McCarthy Lives — Right Here in New Zealand

Last week Ian Wishart, Tamihere’s interviewer, and Sandra Paterson, who gets published in the New Zealand Herald, both wrote articles about how a woman called Kay Goodger and a pamphlet published in 1974, was, they claimed, linked to women in the Labour government. “In short,” wrote Wishart, “an agenda written by an offshoot of the Communist Party in 1973 has been met in full by the women it infiltrated the Labour Party and public service with all those years ago.”

How did they come up with this story? It’s quite easy if you know how.

I don’t know who the little old lady was. But in 1998, one Barbara Faithful gave an interview on Access Radio (online at By a remarkable coincidence, she told an approving John Potter of Menz all about the 1974 publication of what she called a “landmark submission” by the “Trotskyist (Cuba-aligned) Socialist Action League (SAL, now Communist League)”, using some of the same quotes as last week’s articles.

For anyone who knows anything about the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 1950s or the current witch-hunts under Bush, this is where it gets truly frightening.

Joe Stalin and Joe McCarthy both used very similar tactics. But I didn’t expect to see them being used in New Zealand in 2005.


  1. I wonder how long it will be before someone decides to pass “hate speech” laws designed to close websites like this down?

    Comment by JohnP — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 10:12 pm

  2. let us pray that never happens. i greatly value the ability to engage with groups with whom i disagree.

    Comment by damian — Tue 17th May 2005 @ 10:41 pm

  3. Don’t hold your breath: the Labour party have exactly that law in the planned legislation for 2005.

    Comment by Ethos — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 6:22 pm

  4. golly, elaborate? i’ll get some of my pro-freedom-of-speech activist networks on to it.

    Comment by damian — Wed 18th May 2005 @ 11:40 pm

  5. Re the comments by JohnP and Ethos -the hate speech ‘laws’ are in fact non-existent. The facts of the matter were that several of the parties, particularly National, wanted more information about effects etc, so it went to the select committee. That is were it will stay, Labour have never had any intention of passing such a law and never will. This is merely an election year issue that is being exploited for political gain. It will not happen and is a dead issue. I am not a Labour hack, but (a)I do not like see people wasting their time discussing an event that is not even real, (b) when this is used to score political ‘points’ it merely cheapens the democratic process

    Comment by acute — Thu 7th July 2005 @ 6:25 pm

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