Daily Blog Branded Upper-Middle-Class, Pseudo-Left, Imperialists! Who Knew?


THERE’S A LOT TO LIKE about the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS). Anyone anxious to refresh their understanding of the tone and style of unreconstructed Trotskyism is only ever a mouse-click away from the revolutionary rhetoric of the Fourth International.

That sounds catty, I know, so let me hasten to add that Trotskyism stands at the terminus of the great red river that has its beginnings in the highlands of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, flows down through the productive fields of Luxemburg and Lenin, and ends with the brilliant strategic and tactical reconsiderations of that best of Bolsheviks, Leon Trotsky.

What Trotsky would have made of the post-war world, and the Soviet Union’s emergence as a global superpower, we shall never know. A Stalinist ice-pick split open his skull in Mexico City in 1940. Undaunted, Trotsky’s disciples continue to preach the one true socialist faith. Not for them the heretical meanderings of the Frankfurt School and its incomprehensible French disciples. There’s absolutely nothing “woke” about the WSWS. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Before you get too excited, however, I feel it’s only fair to warn you that the members of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) – which runs the WSWS – are afflicted to a truly remarkable degree by the besetting sin of the Marxist Left – sectarianism. No more than the wokest of the Woke, is the SEP and its stable of WSWS writers happy to join their efforts with those of other leftists in a spirit of solidarity and comradeship. Nor are they content to let their Trotskyist interpretation of the socialist project speak for itself – winning followers by the sheer strength of its arguments and insights. Nope. Just like the Woke, they insist that their way is the only way. Dissenters aren’t just wrong, they’re bad. Exactly how bad? How much time have you got?

Based in the United States, but with correspondents all over the world, the WSWS’s ability to sniff out heresy is impressive. Their man in Wellington, Tom Peters, has certainly never shied away from putting the boot into myself, The Daily Blog, and its editor, Martyn Bradbury – we’re heretics from way back!

Returning to the question of tone and style, I have to say, Peters is a true pro. Reading his stately invective I was transported – positively transported – all the way back to the Soviet Show Trials of 1937!

“Despite the militarist record of all parties in parliament, and Ardern’s statement welcoming AUKUS, Labour’s pseudo-left supporters are promoting the illusion that the government will stay out of the escalating preparations for war. Writing on the trade union-backed Daily Blog, columnist Chris Trotter said the government ‘will happily stay as far away from this lunacy [AUKUS] as possible.’”

Pseudo-left? Pseudo-left! Honestly, Tom, I really don’t think the boys and girls down at Labour Party HQ in Wellington would accept the term “left” in relation to myself – not even with the “pseudo” prefix. They’d dismiss me as a treacherous, patriarchal, heteronormative, white supremacist, who knows nothing of what it means to be a leftist in the twenty-first century.

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Oh, and unless I’m very much mistaken, Tom, The Daily Blog’s trade union “backers” pulled their dollars out a very long time ago. The site was just too spicy for their unadventurous political palettes! So, you know, consider yourself fact-checked.

But wait – there’s more. Pseudo-left was nothing. Tom was just getting warmed-up. Try this judgement from the Revolutionary Tribunal on for size:

“Notwithstanding its anti-American demagogy, the Daily Blog has repeatedly echoed US propaganda against China—including the lie that the coronavirus pandemic originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The blog also depicts China as a threat to both New Zealand and the Pacific region.

“No one should be fooled by Bradbury’s claim that he wants a purely “defensive” military “independent” of the US alliance. The blog represents a layer of the upper middle class that has embraced New Zealand imperialism in the Pacific; and maintaining these neo-colonial interests depends on support from the United States and Australia.”

Damn! I had no idea TDB was a front for United States propaganda! That sneaky Bradbury has obviously been squirreling away the CIA’s Bitcoin down the back of his computer! I guess that’s why Tom includes TDB’s Editor in the upper-middle-class. All Martyn’s talk about being a member of the propertyless generation – nothing but a cover-story! In reality, he owns a five-bedroom, two-bathroom villa in Remuera and a tidy little holiday home in Taupo. (That’s where he keeps his deep-laid plans for the expansion of New Zealand imperialism. En garde Samoa! En garde Tonga!)

You get the picture. It’s always the same with WSWS stories. Excellent analysis right up until the last few paragraphs, where the writers are presumably instructed by their editors to go and spoil it all by spewing needless (if unintentionally hilarious) invective all over their ideological foes.

To be fair, at least the WSWS writers keep their critiques political – I’m thinking of getting a T-shirt that says: “Genuine Pseudo-Leftist”. It’s definitely a step-up from the relentless Woke vituperation found on Twitter. Even so, I always come away from the WSWS wishing that the defenders of Leon Trotsky’s legacy would finally dispense with the self-destructive self-indulgence of sectarianism.

Just imagine how far the revolution could be advanced if the Marxist Left confined itself to spreading the word that there are still chains to be lost – still a world to win.



  1. You will have excited all 17 readers of their blog Chris.

    I’ve always found how wrong Tom is about me, you and TDB robs anything else he has to say of any legitimacy, I mean if I’m a rich capitalist running plays for big capitalism then every Green Party voter is secretly working for the oil companies.

    It’s real People’s Front of Judea over there.

    • I was voting for the Greens whilst working in the coal industry. Is that wrong? Technically if my own interests were the primary determining factor in who I voted for, I’d probably vote for ACT, but that’s not something I could bring myself to do with a clear conscience.

  2. ”every Green Party voter is secretly working for the oil companies.”
    FOR FS SHUT UP! Nobody is supposed to know that!

  3. The irony is that all these sites that worship China would be banned in China. The latest ‘influencer’ arrested is some poor country girl, that actually seems to be promoting Chinese interests of peace. I guess some official enjoyed their power play and shake down of her small business. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/chinese-youtuber-li-ziqi-what-happened-to-the-famous-star/QY45Z4TST7OZCMTMGGARUORMGI/

    World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) – better hope that China doesn’t succeed in their brand of socialism, because they would probably find themselves arrested and detained for 20 years hard labour, for having an opinion!

  4. There is a spoof webpage where you can enter your name and get a complete one page judgement by a North Korea Military Tribunal against you for your crimes against the regime.

    It is always a mood lifter to read the unhinged proclamation against yourself for Rightist thoughts! REminds that things aren’t that bad.

  5. WSWS are the conspiracy theorists of fake Trotskyists.
    Everyone is against them, including Trotsky.
    Because if you consider what Trotsky would make of the WSWS he would not be amused.
    For one thing, Trotsky followed Marx and Lenin closely to keep himself in on course. Take the issue of China.
    China today meets the criteria of all three that it is not socialist, let alone Communist, but capitalist and imperialist.
    Just as Soviet Russia never succeeded in building socialism, nor did China. And for Marx, who everyone should know saw socialism as the first stage of Communism, you can’t skip that stage.
    My posts on TDB point this out, and, that one must criticise China in the same way we criticise the US as IMPERIALIST.
    Those who still adhere to the living Marxism of Lenin and Trotsky today try to use dialectics, not dogma, to assess the actual objective state of the world.
    Failing that, no program which expresses the revolutionary consciousness of the working class, can hope to change that objective situation and end capitalism and build socialism.
    Another example of disorienting dogmatism from the WSWS, and shared by other ostensible leftists, is that Aoteoroa/NZ is IMPERIALIST!
    Avoiding a boring breakdown, NZs banks are owned by Aussie banks, which are also owned by US banks! Even our cross cousin Aussie is not IMPERIALIST.
    Such an irony when China is regarded as still socialist while the tiny neo-colony of A/NZ and its big brother Aussie are both imperialists!?!
    Such fundamental mistakes arising from sectarian dogmatism strip the working class of any revolutionary independence gained from bourgeois ideology by living Marxism.
    It traps them in a fatalistic impotence in the face of the fascist tsunamis generated by the shocks of End Stage Capitalism and climate collapse.

  6. Well, the way the NZ Police and State Security forces pursued Martyn Bradbury in that Court case–yes for once “Kafkaesque” was fitting terminology–should put to rest any doubts about him being an imperialist “asset”.

    Further, while easy to lampoon and call to account a Trotskyite mad dog blog, sectarianism is no joke, though Chris does say there is some worthy analysis on WSWS, ultimately blighted by attacks on others.

    In NZ in the 70s and early 80s there was a strong Marxist contingent made up of small parties, groups, and individuals. Communists in New Zealand played a prominent role in so many campaigns and social movements and union actions over many years. From the formation of the New Zealand Communist Party in the 30s, through to the advent of the Cold War and Sino Soviet split, and scores of other splits locally, sectarianism and a skewed emphasis on local/international was the commos usual downfall. That and the obvious penetration of the marxist left by various snitches and state informants.

    I maintain the several hundred skilled in marxist theory, and the several thousands of casual supporters could have made a big difference in NZ Labour history if the NZCP, SAL, WCL, SUIP, MLO and all the rest had spent less time slicing into each other, supporting Albania, China, USSR, and more time fighting Rogernomics, retaining the FOL, and other local battles.

    The fear of the marxists by the establishment and deep state was there nonetheless of their goal of revolutionary change via a change in class power. Prime Minister Rob Muldoon’s “gang of 32” expose of SUP (NZ Socialist Unity Party) members and associates operating in Trade Unions (including one Rob Campbell recently appointed by Andrew Little as Chair of the new Health New Zealand) was a good illustration of the paranoia.

    In the digital era things are different, from the 90s the rot set in, the WCL morphed in Red Currents which just stopped meeting, the SUP was wound up and remaining funds donated via Ken Douglas to NZ Labour! and the traditional “Papers, phamplets, pickets and meetings” small marxist sects have all but vanished now except as intermittent online entities–though strangely the sectarianism is still there!

  7. There is money in that T-shirt idea. I can smell it. Go for it someone. Limited edition Tshirts spouting TDB propaganda such as the delightful – Genuine Pseudo-Leftist. A limited run and they would sell at $50 each. Cheap. After all with lockdown what else to spend one’s discretionary money on.

    Also – a bit naughty – Tshirts with a 2021 photo of Chris Trotter on it and caption ‘ Who is this Man?’ Again limited edition.

  8. Is “pseudo-leftist” a synonym for “chardonnay socialist”? If so, Tom might have a valid point. Unfortunately he goes on to misrepresent millions of dollars of foreign aid to Pacific island nations as “imperialism” when it is nothing of the kind as their sovereignty is still in place.

    • It would be, except that havin cha herd? Chardonnay is so yestaday and we’ve progressed to a new palette where the brands are furiously competing for honours in sufustikayshun and pop ya Larry Tee.
      Across the motu, modellers, media analysts and politicians alike are waiting while pollsters are analysing the data to determine which of the alternatives to Chardonnay might become the new force, although they’re arguing over which metrics to use as legitimate measurement.
      Meanwhile ….. on planet Erf

  9. It is nice having people critiquing each other though. It’s good to have someone else on the left call out Martyn’s position on China. Martyn’s strength is New Zealand politics. He just doesn’t seem that well informed on Chinese or American politics. I go to other sources for that. But I definitely put Martyn first when it comes to New Zealand politics.

    Same goes for American leftwing and ocassionally right wing youtubers. They criticise each other but I like to watch all of their videos. That way I see the weaknesses in some of the positions everyone inevitably has.

    • Taito was before his time. These days he would be building his $5 million+ liquor mansion in Christchurch and be fined $2500.

      Sad that what used to be a crime, is now part of politicians unofficial policy.

  10. Personally I don’t find Left and Right labels particularly helpful though I am guilty of using them myself (when I think my audience will understand). These terms are so used and abused. It’s more constructive to get down to brass tacks. Talk about what is wrong and how to fix it based on principles of equality. Of course that necessitates that equality is a goal most of us aspire to. I don’t believe it is (most present company excepted) which is why we have a problem.

    • Pragman
      Even the meaning of equality has to be established in discussion before meaningful probing talk about problems and solutions can be had. I think this of Chris Trotter’s was on TDB as well – https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/09/equality-equity-great-race-of-life.html

      I have been reading Cynthia Voigt’s Young Adult books. She has a series on the Tillerman family , finding their way through life. The oldest ponders ;
      It was all so risky because there were no guarantees….Even if you studied, and planned, and worked, even if you did the best you could you could still lose out…Then [it was] understood – it wasn’t guarantees needed… but chances, chances to take… And the eye to recognise it…The hand, to reach out and hold onto it – that, too. And the heart, or the stomach, or wherever courage comes from…

      I think that is so well put. And equality should provide a platform for everyone to get their chance, even more than one. and gather together their skills and talents to do their best and make something good. Some equity will be needed, a helping hand, a few tutorials, a group session where someone who has succeeded passes on experience and tips; goal-setting with achievable steps, hope for a viable future too.

  11. Late to the party was Tom Peters and the SEP over the Pike River recovery effort. The sealing of the mine is just about completed. There articles occassionally pop up on the Backball facebook page

  12. Late to the party was Tom Peters and the SEP over the Pike River recovery effort. The sealing of the mine is just about completed. There articles occassionally pop up on the Backball facebook page

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