Green Party file 2 here
If anybody epitomises the Green Party’s deceptive public persona it is long time party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.
Outwardly gentle, moderate and oh so green, Jeanette Fitzsimons is, for many people, the reassuring face of the Green Party. No Sue Bradford fanaticism, or Keith Locke loony leftism with Jeanette-what you see is what you get. Or is it?
Like all decievers, even Jeanette Fitzsimons lets her guard down occasionally.
At Easter 1994 a large Green Left conference was held in Sydney, organised by the Australian Democratic Socialist Party (DSP). As deceptive as their New Zealand Green Party friends, the DSP, despite their name, is an hard core communist party.
Said DSP leader Susan Price in the party’s Green Left Weekly magazine of 26th April 1995 “The DSP is a Marxist-Leninist party, and we don’t think that is a bad thing.”
The Green Left conference attracted left wing activists from Australasia, Asia, Africa and North and South America. Attendees were virtually all Marxist-Leninists or Greens and included several New Zealanders including Keith Locke and Jeanette Fitzsimons representing the New Zealand Alliance Party and the Greens respectively.
From Green Left Weekly 13th April 1994 The International Green Left Conference, held over the Easter long weekend at the University of New South Wales, brought together a wide range of activists and concerned individuals to discuss and debate the ecological and social problems currently facing the world.
The highly successful conference grew out of an initiative of the Democratic Socialist Party. It involved some 900 participants in conference sessions and/or public meetings. They came from all over Australia and around the world.
The conference discussed how to further build and strengthen the movements for social change through panels, workshops and plenary sessions which explored new approaches to increasingly complex challenges. Major themes included socialism, feminism, environmental politics, labour struggles and international solidarity.
International guests spoke of political developments in their countries and how they are organising in new parties and formations. Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party member and deputy co-leader of the New Zealand Alliance, described the Alliance’s improved electoral chances under the new, more democratic, proportional representation system in that country…
The panel… “How can we build a sustainable society”, was one of the best attended and included Jeanette Fitzsimons, Graham Mathews from the Democratic Socialist Party, and Dr Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy director of Vietnam’s National Environment Agency. The broad and open views discussed highlighted the importance of linking green and left perspectives in reaching common strategies and goals.
Other references claim that Peter Camejo from the US also spoke at this forum. Camejo, was once described by Ronald Reagan as one the 10 most dangerous men in California. He was in 1976, a presidential candidate for the Trotskyiste, Socialist Workers Party, in the early ’90s a leader of the Communist Party USA off-shoot Committees of Correspondence and in 2002, stood for the Green Party against Arnold Schwarzeneggerer for the governorship of California. Camejo openly describes himself as a “watermelon“, “green on the outside, red on the inside“.
Perhaps Peter Camejo is more honest than our own Green Party leader.
Another highlight of the event was the launching at the conference dinner of Links magazine, a “new international journal of socialist renewal and discussion“.
This project involves a range of activists from left parties and organisations including the Democratic Socialist Party, the US Committees of Correspondence, Brazilian Workers Party, South African Communist Party, the New Zealand Alliance and the Leninist opposition in the Communist Party of the Philippines. “It is aimed at promoting discussion and greater understanding between the forces for socialism that are actively involved in building parties and organisations.”
According to another participant, US Trotskyist, Committees of Correspondence and Green Party member Malik Miah Links aimed at “promoting discussion and greater understanding between the forces for socialism that are actively involved in building parties and organizations. An exclusive interview with Sandinista leader and former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is the lead article in the first issue….two articles on socialist renewal in the Communist Party of the Philippines; a report on left unity in South Africa; an article on left regroupment in the U.S…
The editorial board includes Jeremy Cronin, a leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP)and editor of The African Communist; Langa Zita from the SACP and the South African metalworkers union; Dr. Francisco Nemenzo from the Philippines; Baddegama Samitha from the New Socialist Party of Sri Lanka; and leading members from the New Zealand Alliance, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the Farabundo Mart¡ National Liberation Front(FMLN) and the Fourth International.”
According to Links editor Peter Boyle “This is a project involving the left from the Communist Party, the Trotskyist, Maoist, ex-Social Democratic, independent left and liberation theology traditions. We all have in common a desire for socialist renewal based on support for democracy, feminism, ecological sustainability and internationalism.”
Unfortunately I don’t know whether or not Jeanette Fitzsimons took out a subscription. However her colleague Keith Locke did have an article in the second edition and Alliance colleague Matt McCarten did score a spot on the editorial board.
Jeanette Fitzsimons also spoke at another conference forum on women in politics
According to Green Left Weekly 29th June 1994.Four women from different countries and different political backgrounds discussed their experiences at the International Green Left Conference held in Sydney over Easter. The panel involved Greens (WA) Senator Christabel Chamarette; Luciana Castellina, a member of the Directorate of the Party of Communist Refoundation in Italy and of the European Parliament; Dulce Maria Pereira, a Workers Party (PT) alternate senator in the Sao Paulo State Assembly in Brazil, and Jeanette Fitzsimons, spokesperson for the New Zealand Green Party and co-deputy leader and of the New Zealand Alliance.
The Party of Communist Refoundation is a left split from the old Italian Communist Party which was regarded as too moderate. The Brazillian Workers Party is an alliance of communists, Trotskyists, liberation theologians, black activists and greens-a model in fact for the New Zealand Alliance Party of the ’90s.
While Jeanette Fitzsimons never mentions the “S” word when speaking to the media in this country, she was less guarded when among friends. Fitzsimons told the DSP’s Green Left Weekly number 147, June 1994 “If socialism is to survive as a relevant political movement in the 21st century, it must develop a response to the ecological crisis and a socialist strategy to build a sustainable future. Green Left Weekly provides the tools of information and analysis to make that possible.”
Would New Zealand voters support Jeanette Fitzsimons if they saw her rubbing shoulders with 900 of the most hard core communists on the planet and spouting off about socialism?
What do you think?
Green Party file 4 here