Sunday, July 4, 2010

So, there were Reds under the Labor Party's bed!

Have to say I'm unsurprised that former Labor senator Arthur Gietzelt was a secret member of the Communist Party of Australia and was trying to wrest control of the ALP for the communists, but John Wheeldon too? (Though he moved to right later on and that's how I remember him, and hence my surprise.) Tom Uren as well?

NO leader of the Communist Party of Australia ever had more influence than my father, Laurie Aarons, at senior levels of Labor. The party had always influenced significant sections of the ALP Left through its mass work, especially in the unions.

After 1968, the CPA's condemnation of the invasion of Czechoslovakia and rethinking of socialism and democracy gave it continuing standing with important sections of the ALP Left.

Laurie Aarons's main contact was Arthur Gietzelt, who had taken over the CPA's work among ex-service personnel in the mid-1940s when Laurie Aarons, who later became the CPA general secretary, moved to the waterfront.

After playing a key role in reviving the NSW ALP Left in the 1950s, Gietzelt, who became a Hawke government minister, was a major force in the 1960s and 1970s, as ALP national vice-president and then as a senator.

Hmm, maybe all those fears about communist subversion weren't that unreasonable after all eh?

Certainly remember this the next time some spotty undergraduate, who knows little about anything, uses "reds under the bed" as a method to poke fun at the supposed simple-minded paranoia of those who speak about what was a very real threat to free societies.

Former Labor premier of New South Wales, Mr Bob Carr, writes about Aarons' new book in this morning's The Australian:
PAUL Keating, as president of Young Labor in 1968, always referred to the Left of the ALP as "the comms".

I was a bit taken aback by this brutal political shorthand. Fresh from university studies in history and politics, I thought snootily that his language a bit crude.
I was wrong.

How wrong is confirmed by the just-published book The Family File by Mark Aarons. It's an account of what ASIO files - the largest collection in Australian history - say about four generations of a communist family, Mark's father Laurie being the long-term general secretary of the Communist Party of Australia.

But the bombshell revelation is the system of dual membership of the ALP and the CPA, something long suspected but now spelt out by the ASIO documents and Mark Aarons's family familiarity with Australian communism.

The implications are huge.

As a teenage Whitlam-ite I sat in the gallery of Sydney Town Hall and watched factional debates at the annual state ALP conference. I now know, courtesy of this book, the Left leaders carried Communist Party tickets. Their real loyalty was to the CPA, a party still loyal to Moscow.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous


James Wheeldon said...

John Wheeldon was my father.

I categorically deny Aarons' preposterous accusations, and if Aarons had chosen to air his lies during my father's lifetime, he would have been sued and he would have lost.

Anonymous said...

Good on you, James. Well done! There's a lot of rubbish going around about this matter. I think Arthur Gietzelt should consider suing too. Writers of articles such as this should also be included in the net, propagating lies and innuendo and presenting them as facts, not even as allegations. So Garth is unsurprised Gietzelt was a communist - that says more about him than it does about Gietzelt. Taking unsubstantiated allegations and presenting them as facts shows the level of Garth's integrity: non-existent.

Anonymous said...

Dead right, Barbara. Insinuation presented as fact. If any of these fools have (so-called) proof, why aren't they presenting it in the public domain? These left-wing men spent their lives trying to make Australia a better place.
Because Mark Aarons "interprets" ASIO files in a certain way does not make it fact. And to see so-called Labor men such as Carr putting the knife in only shows their true colours. What a pity he left NSW in such a parlous state when he quit. And guess what, another active member of the NSW Right.
A true Labor supporter

James said...

For what it is worth, I knew John Wheeldon somewhat (mainly through The Australian and Quadrant) during the last quarter-century of his life. If he was a communist then I must be Britney Spears.

Aarons, on the other hand, belonged to a dynasty for which not only Communist Party card-carrying, but the defamation of opponents, was second-nature (as everyone knows who remembers the Soviet-sponsored campaign in late-1980s, early-1990s Australia against so-called "Nazi war criminals"). It might suit Aarons in 2010 to don the attire of a scholarly historian, but I'll bet he's never forgotten Lenin's justification for mendacity: "Telling the truth is a bourgeois prejudice."

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