Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Christopher Pearson comments on the policies of the high-profile leader of the Australian Green party -- Bob Brown

"When the political history of the Greens comes to be written, Brown is unlikely to find it comfortable reading. He is, more than anyone else, to blame for the party's ideological baggage. A more prudent observer of the international Green movement would have steered clear of fundamentalist positions in favour of a broad church when it came to formulating social policy. A less reactive politician would have cared more about coherence and plausibility.

For example, they would have avoided arguing in the same breath for an open-door approach to asylum-seekers and reducing the population by 2 million. Brown got himself into this particular mess by trying to corner the markets in both compassion and radical commitment to "a sustainable Australia".

However, he is untroubled by contradictory stances. It's plain that getting media attention is all that matters and almost his entire stock-in-trade consists in striking postures to appeal to one or other of his various constituencies. Brown's defenders argue that his leadership is best judged by concentrating on Green as a political brand with growing support, bearing in mind that he had to differentiate himself from the wishy-washy Australian Democrats....

Instead, as the press gallery discovered last week, Brown's policy manifesto for the election panders to every feral obsession. Globalisation, free trade, corporations and the military-industrial complex were all cast as bogeymen, in the best traditions of Pauline Hanson.

What even she would have too much sense to propose were state-sanctioned distribution of ecstasy, heroin and marijuana, automatic entitlement to unemployment benefits, an end to the US alliance through banning nuclear-powered ships and a directly elected world parliament to supervise the UN. These are the building blocks of the Greens' nirvana.

When the gallery began to scrutinise his party's website last week, Brown was not prepared for searching questions. He could only put it down to a Murdoch cabal. Faced, almost as though for the first time, by a hard-nosed tabloid journalist armed with chapter and verse on Greens drugs policy, proposals for swaths of new taxes, including capital gains tax on some family homes and vague plans for state appropriation of farmlands to be returned to bush, he was reduced to indignant spluttering.

John Howard, fresh from offering Meg Lees a third-party endorsement of her "sensible and constructive role in the Senate", seized the opportunity. "The Greens are not just about the environment," he said. "They have a whole lot of other very, very kooky policies in relation to things like drugs and new taxes and whatever, which people never talk about because they try [to] portray themselves as a one-issue party of just being warm and fuzzy about the environment."

More here

And Greg Sheridan has more details

"This election will probably see the emergence of the Greens as Australia's most important third party. This will be a sad and a bad day for our political culture, for the Greens represent the triumph of extremism over moderation, of the paranoid style over commonsense, and the flight from that civic responsibility which characterises a mature polity.

The Greens are essentially left-wing Hansonites, simultaneously reactionaries and revolutionaries, who combine a hatred of modern society as it actually exists with a conspiracy-laden, fantastical view of how the world works. They offer nothing positive beyond dreamlike cliches and slogans, but their negative power is quite great. They can build nothing, they can damage much. But they may hold the balance of power in the Senate. It is conceivable, though not likely, they will hold the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Bob Brown, the canny, ruthless, manipulative politician who leads the Greens, says 1million Australians may vote for them.

It is hard to believe 1million Australians really support the anti-growth, anti-modern prejudices of the Greens. Many will just be lodging a protest vote, but it's sad that the vehicle of protest should be so disreputable... the ideology of the Greens rejects the very legitimacy of the modern economy and in many ways the modern Australian state. The rise of the Greens mirrors the rise of extremist third parties of Left and Right throughout western Europe. To some extent a similar process is under way in the US, with Brown and Hanson imperfect but rough analogues of Ralph Nader on the green Left and Patrick Buchanan on the xenophobic and isolationist Right.

The Greens' policies on the party's website are a mishmash of contradictory and incoherent generalised statements. Brown is smart enough to know that the Greens can only suffer from having intelligible or specific policies on the record. They seek to embody a sentiment of rage and frustration rather than to advance real policies....

There are several pages of policy on Israel and Palestine without one mention of the word terrorism, although suicide bombings are condemned along with Israeli government actions. All the concessions demanded of course are from Israel, and the Greens support imposing international sanctions on Israel to enforce these concessions.

The international economic stuff is quite seriously loopy, calling for the abolition of the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, unless impossible reforms are enacted, because these organisations "are major, all-powerful engines of globalisation that peddle a specific brand of market-obsessed globalisation which is destroying many economies, particularly those of poor countries".....

The Greens want to establish a "directly elected people's assembly" to act as a house of review at the UN. Of course, holding elections in North Korea, Syria or even China might be tricky.

The Greens would end the US alliance by banning the passage of nuclear-powered ships through our waters. On domestic economic policy they would impose death duties, raise every form of tax they mention, but simultaneously ensure full employment while cutting working hours but not pay. All this self-contradictory nonsense is literally an insult to our intelligence and, worse, a degradation of our politics."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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