One little known, but very influential Marxist-Leninist, is National Distribution Union long time Administration and Membership officer, Jennifer Francis.
Francis has long been involved in an education role in SPA, as secretary of the Party’s school, the Workers Institute for Scientific Socialist Education, or WISE as it is usually known. WISE runs seminars in Auckland and Hamilton, drawing on materials from the Soviet’s International Lenin School in Moscow.
In July 2005, Francis was the sole SPA representative on the inaugural steering committee of a new socialist umbrella organisation, the Workers Charter Movement.
The WCM is the brainchild of Matt McCarten and Socialist Worker’s Grant Morgan. The Movement unites Socialist Worker, SPA, Radical Youth, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, Resident’s Action Movement, the NDU and UNITE with elements of the Greens, Maori Party and Labour.
The full membership of the WCM steering committee in 2005 was;
Rachel Asher Ex Victoria University Bolshevik Club, Resident’s Action Movement
Paul Carrucan Tramways Union activist
Cathy Casey Auckland City Councillor, partner of Matt McCarten
Luke Coxon Ex Auckland Uni Radical Society, NDU organisor
Cecil Fowler Lifelong Marxist, ex NZ/Cuba Society, leading member of NZ/China Society
Roger Fowler Ex Communist Party, Socialist Worker connections, RAM, director Mangere People’s Centre
Jennifer Francis Socialist Party of Aotearoa, NDU, WISE
Chrissy Holland UNITE union
Robyn Hughes RAM Auckland Regional Councillor, partner of Socialist Worker leader, Grant Morgan
Maria Humphries Human Rights Foundation, Waikato Uni academic
Daphne Lawless Editor of Socialist Workers “Unite” magazine, active in the Association of University Staff
Matt McCarten UNITE union leader, long time Marxist-Leninist
John Minto Global Peace and Justice Auckland
Grant Morgan RAM, leader Socialist Worker
Pat O’Dea Ex Communist Party, Socialist Worker member
Sam Quayle Factory Worker
Melody Shinnock Community activist
Mike Treen Global Peace and Justice Auckland, UNITE, ex Alliance Party, ex Communist League, ex Socialist Action League
Elaine West RAM
WCM is the nucleus of Matt McCarten’s long dreamed of political organisation, the tentatively named Aotearoa Party. This party will attempt to emulate Britain’s RESPECT coalition, Portugal’s Left Bloc and similar successful Marxist led, electoral coalitions.
These organisations are usually Trotskyite led, so it is interesting to see a senior orthodox communist like Jennifer Francis playing a leading role.