A long awaited biography of one of New Zealand's most powerful and charismatic politicians. Fintan Patrick Walsh (1894-1963), known as the Black Prince, was the most powerful trade unionist New Zealand has known and has even been compared with Jimmy Hoffa, the gangster-style leader of the Teamsters Union in the US. Many have tried over the years, but this by high-profile writer Graeme Hunt is the first-ever biography of this major New Zealand political figure. To his many detractors, Walsh was a bully with blood on his hands, impossibly corrupted by his dealings with politicians and big business. Stories abound to this day of beatings and intimidation, even murder. To his admirers, including many in politics, he was a fixer and a great union leader who could always deliver on his commitments. Politicians relied on him. In 1951 he took the National Government's side and helped smash the radical Watersiders Union. All agree that he was a brilliant speaker, leader and manipulator and a formidable opponent. This is a well-written history of a major New Zealand trade union leader who once held power so great that prime ministers included him in their decision making.
It is also a story of fear, corruption and manipulation in New Zealand politics. There are many fascinating stories to tell.