One reason that Victoria University Student’s Association is helping to organise a talk in Wellington this Saturday, by three Marxist activists, may be its President, Nick Kelly.
By all accounts, a very likable chap, Nick is unfortunately also a bit of a Marxist-Leninist.
Nick joined the Labour Party as a 14 year old, in 1997 and was an active volunteer for MP, Paul Swain.
After the 1999 election, Kelly became the Rimutaka LEC Chairman at the grand old age of 17.
In 2001 however, Nick got well offside with Labour over its “globalisation” policies.
I officially fell out with the Party hierarchy in early September 2001 at a Labour party forum on globalisation. I hoped a decent debate would occur and that party members would become aware of how outrageous it is for a party that claims to stand for “Democratic Socialism” to support globalisation. However, my 15-minute speech was the only real opposition to globalisation presented. I told them about how free trade deals put jobs in Aotearoa at risk and cause labour exploitation in the ‘Third World’. Having education in the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) meant the government was required to fund private education providers, regardless of quality. Globalisation was a threat to the Treaty of Waitangi as it allowed foreign corporates to take control of Aotearoa. Sadly, nobody was prepared to listen. I decided something had to be done – so I released my speech to the press
Nick Kelly says he became a revolutionary socialist in 2002, but during 2001 he did have some ties to Radical Society, the campus Maoist group. He penned an article for the July 2001 “Radsoc Digest” on a contentious Labour Party meeting in the Hutt Valley.
In December 2003, Kelly wrote an article for the Workers Party’s “Spark” magazine on his protest at the Labour Party conference. He bemoaned his expulsion from Labour and wrote of his membership of the radical UNITE union.
In 2004, Nick kelly became VUWSA campaigns officer, charged with organising demonstrations against student fees and the like.
By April 2004, Nick kelly was a confirmed member of the Anti Capitalist Alliance and the Maoist leaning Workers Party. He even stood for the Hutt mayoralty on the ACA ticket.
In October 2005, Kelly spoke at “Marxism 2005” in Auckland on “Fighting Maori Oppression“.
Now Kelly is VUWSA President and apparently, still a bit of a socialist. Its therefore no surprise that VUWSA would be supporting a seminar including two of Kelly’s Workers Party comrades.
Incidentally, VUWSA Activities Officer, Joel Cosgrove has also written for the Workers Party journal, “The Spark”.