Martin Hirst and Geraldene Peters are not the only socialists training our future journalists at the Auckland University of Technology.
My latest Socialist Academic profile looks at Senior Lecturer, School of Communication Studies AUT, Janet Bedggood.
Mrs Bedggood of course is the wife of Auckland University Sociology lecturer David Bedggood, the subject of an earlier Socialist Academic Profile.
Like her husband, Janet Bedggood has been a Trotskyist for decades.
In 1985 Janet Bedggood represented the marxist run “aid agency” CORSO on a three week tour of Nicaragua as guests of the Sandinista Trade Union Confederation.
Several members of the 11 person delegation were members of the Socialist Action League, or the Workers Communist League (including current Hamilton city councillor Dave Macpherson).
In April 1986 Bedggood was part of a delegation which lobbied Parliament in an attempt to get Labour government support for the Nicaragua Must Survive Campaign.
The Bedggoods were founders and leaders of Communist Left, the Auckland University based New Zealand section of an international grouping of Trotskyist sects, the League for the 5th International.
The international Trotskyist movement as embodied by the 5th Internationalists suffered a huge blow in the mid ’90s when the Bedggoods quit Communist Left to form a new sect-the Communist Workers Group.
The CWG is based at Auckland University and has managed to attract a handful of converts including Scott Hamilton of the blog Reading the Maps and Dave Brown (who may or may not be the Dave Brown who also lectures at AUT’s School of Communication Studies).
In recent years Bedggood has been active in the socialist dominated Association of Staff in Tertiary Education and has been the AUT branch secretary.
At a 1999 Sociology conference she gve a paper entititled “Rank and file teachers against their union bureaucrats: towards a proletarianisation of teachers“.
Bedggood was a confirmed member of the Communist Workers Group as late as March 2004 and is beleived to still be a member.