by Geoffrey Churchman

This is a illustration from a book I was the publisher of covering the 50 years of Volkswagen in NZ (1954-2004), a PR photo showing then Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons.

I only met her once in the late 1970s, but I knew her ex-husband Bevan Fitzsimmons quite well in the 1980s, a Remuera accountant who was keen on demonstrating that co-operative enterprise would be a more successful and fairer business form than the traditional joint stock company. Neither of us were fans of traditional socialism where everything is owned and controlled by the Government, and believed in private enterprise and a free market. But we learned the hard way that most workers like having no economic commitment to the places they work in other than signing on at 9 and signing off at 5. It’s an idea that can work, but it ain’t easy.

Both Jeanette Fitzsimmons and Rod Donald were nice people who sought to persuade with graciousness and reason; totally unlike the wackos / aggressive piranha fish that Green MPs are now, people who have a radical social agenda based on the same ideas that now motivate Labour Party people, but more extreme. “Labour for vegans” as I describe them.