My latest Socialist Academic Profile is of Mike Law of Waikato University. Law has a BA from Auckland, a Diploma of Education Studies from Waikato and a masters of Education from Rutgers. He is chairman of the Department of Sociology and Social Policy and is Seniorr Lecturer (Labour and Trade Union Studies).
Law has a very long history of socialist activism, which began at Auckland University in the ’60s.
In 1969, he was International vice president of AUSA and helped his friend and Maoist comrade, Trevor Richards, found Halt All Racist Tours.
In 1970, Law was involved in demonstrations against visiting US President, Lyndon Johnson. In 1971 he joined the executive of a Maoist front organisation, the NZ Race Relations Council. The same year he was vice President of NZUSA and chairman of the Wellington Committee on Vietnam.
Also in 1971, Law joined the first of several NZUSA organised tours to China. The month long tour was led by future Labour deputy Prime Minister, David Caygill and included new National MP Tim Groser and one time leader of the Workers Communist League, Graeme Clarke.
In 1972, Law was honorary Vice President of NZUSA. He also attended a 100 strong demo in Wellington, its theme “Victory to the NLF”-that is National Liberation Front, otherwise known as the Vietcong.
In Socialist Action of 16th February 1973, Keith Locke complained that Law had assaulted him in central Wellington on 8th December “following months of intense political debate within the antiwar and antitour movements” If true, this was probably part of the Maoists vs Trots rivalry that was then at its peak.
All through the ’70s, Law edited HART News and in 1974 was business manger for the allied Maoist publication “The Paper”. Other helpers or contributors to “The Paper” included, Rona Bailey, Alick Shaw, Peter Franks, Terry Auld, Robert Reid, Lisa Sacksen (all future members of the Workers Communist League) future Air NZ board member Rob Campbell, future Race Relations Conciliator Joris De Bres, unionist Pat Kelly, Principal Family Court judge Peter Boshier, journalist Gyles Beckford, writer Tony Simpson and HART leader Trevor Richards.
All through the’70s Law was Deputy chairman of HART, under his friend and comrade, Trevor Richards. He worked for much of this time as a union organiser for the Public Service Association.
In 1981, Law was in the thick of anti tour activity. On June 23rd, a pro tour mob, enraged by the protestor forced abandonment of the All Black’s/Springbok game, invaded HART’s Hamilton HQ in Gwynne Street and beat up Law, Dick Cuthbert and John Minto.
In the mid ’80s, Law was working at Centre for Continuing Education, at the University of Waikato. Shortly after Labour’s 1984 election victory, he was appointed chairman of of a four person Task Force on Trade Union Education. His three colleagues were;
Jackson Smith; A senior Socialist Unity Party member and Wellington drivers Union official
Dick Lowe; A former Labour party executive member and official in the SUP dominated, Labourers Union
Maryan Street; A PPTA official, Labour party activists, known to be on friendly terms with the SUP. Now a Labour list MP.
This Taskforce led to the establishment of the Trade Union Education Authority. Until it was abolished by the Bolger Government, TUEA srved as a taxpayer funded propaganda vehicle for the SUP. Known Party supporters who were paid or subsidised by TUEA include; Graeme Whimp, Hazel Armstrong, Ros Goldsbrough, Brendan Tuohy, Joe Te Pania, Gary Reading, Sam Murray and Marilyn Kohlhase.
Workers Communist League supporters on the payroll or in receipt of TUEA subsidies include; Graeme Clarke, David Streele and Therese O’Connell.
In 1993 Law lectured at a seminar run by the SUP breakaway, Socialist Party of Aotearoa’s “Workers Institute of Scientific Education”. His fellow lecturers included his Waikato Trade Union Education colleague, David Neilson.
In my view, this school is a taxpayer funded school for socialists. As usual, our taxes are paying for the revolution