Trying to turn the Green Party Watermelon blue

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The Greens are like Watermelons – Green on the outside – Red in the middle.

And it’s on. With the frustrated resignation of Russel Norman, the Green Party, the Party that convinces itself there is no class, only the practicalities of climate change and protection of the environment, will face its first idealogical fight since its birth.

Party types will tsk tsk me and say that the Greens are not Left or Right, but ‘Front’. Pffft.

Right and Left denotes class in its modern sense, the Right sides with the top 10% and the Left represents the remaining 90%. Ignoring class when you discuss environmentalism is as pointless as Tobacco Lobbyists arguing free choice without acknowledging addiction. Climate change hits the poor hardest, polluted environments impact the poor hardest, one simply cannot divorce the logical conclusions on the need to protect the environment from the need to protect people.

You can’t argue for gravity and then demand the apples stop falling elsewhere.

The political pundits from the corporate right wing media have been in full voice over why the Greens need to move to the centre, their opinion pieces should have all been titled, ‘Don’t throw me in the briar patch Brer Rabbit’.

Never has such a standing ovation been so self serving.

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With Labour galloping to the political centre at speed, why would the Greens change ideological leanings now? There will be plenty of progressive voters to attract when all Labour will talk about for the next 3 years is Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. After the repeal of Section 59, Labour have been terrified to produce a strong voice on welfare. Metiria Turei has all the power, charm and leadership skills to vocalise a kinder NZ that Labour will be too politically afraid to use.

The election of a Thatcher quoting Wellington Central insider as leader of the Greens however would be a signal of a far deeper schism and the hunt for the mythical Blue-Green voter will become an obsession.

If the Green membership believe they could seriously risk working with National, then they aren’t the Party many voters have supported up until this date. The Greens selecting Shaw could create the tension and political space on the Left for a Radical Left Party to form out of if MANA don’t take that space.

Mirroring Labour’s strategy to move to the centre would look like the Greens have strategically zigged when they should have zagged. Again.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The Greens will never work with National beyond situations like the Home Insulation Scheme. They won’t be selling out either. However, becoming more “voter friendly”, image wise, will hopefully happen.

    • Exactly,

      I think Bradbury is grasping at straws trying flog this dead horse. If he’d bothered to read the Four Pillars of the Green Party (Germany’s Die Grünen) of which worldwide green parties base their platform on, he’d seed that one of those four pillars is social justice. Green parties recognise capitalism a cause of both environmental degradation and economic inequality, and in turn economic inequality is detrimental to the environment. As for the memorandum of understanding: that’s how MMP works. You can vote for opposition party legislation if it meets with your platform. It doesn’t meet the Green Party is suddenly rushing to the right. Many Green Party voters are middle class and professional people that do actually have some sense of social justice with regards to the people below them on the ladder. How about we get behind those left leading parties currently in parliament rather than this internecine finger pointing on the left about who’s more left or right? Face it, this isn’t Greece. We don’t have the economic conditions or political culture for a radical left wing party as much as I’d like one. Get behind the parties that are going to change to government—because, like the rest of us, I’m sick of them.

  2. Howdy Bomber

    Following the debacle result o 2014 Election all I can say is “What on Earth happened? It was like a nightmare waking up on that Sunday knowing we, as Kiwis were about to begin another 3 year sentence of National’s ‘hard labor’. I think I can speak for; 55 Maui Dolphins in danger of extinction; Tenants of Housing New Zealand reviews July 2015. Batten Down the Hatches for another 3 years more of National and its hard labor….”I;m fearful”

    Congratulations to the Greens for at least maintaining their ‘share’ of the public vote, but I feel they should have not been so rigid on their political platform for just the Party vote. Their List vote was never under threat, but I feel had they let the likes of Marama Davidson and Jack McDonald been given clearance ‘to have a go’ at their respective Maori Seats, NZ Green would have entrenched themselves at a ground level of NZ Political landscape again In the upcoming ‘Storm’ Aotearoa / Waitangi will need Social Justice Environment and Maori issues to be kept on the Parliamentary floor

    However Mana was the biggest casualty of the last NZ Election.. The Media has been full of reasons, many debates will be aired but I hope to see Hone Harawira Annette Sykes and the others in Parliament soon. Take nothing from the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand they held on their share and took up Mana’s Feed the Kids…..good on them I voted for both as 2011 and onto 2017….hope we all learn next election.

    Keep smiling.
    Doug Hay
    DLANZ

  3. I was a voter for the Alliance party led by Jim Anderton. I vote for the Green Party because they’re the most leftist available bar Mana. If they sell out and move right even into coalition with National I’ll be a homeless left wing voter: then my vote will be for Mana who should bounce back I hope.

    ” The election of a Thatcher quoting Wellington Central insider as leader of the Greens however would be a signal of a far deeper schism and the hunt for the mythical Blue-Green voter will become an obsession.” I’m quite horrified that anyone connected to the Greens would quote that idiot woman Thatcher who was a mere pawn of the 1%. It’d be the end of the Greens for me. Thatcher’s legacy is a U$K heading rapidly back to Dickensian times and the horrors of privation of the 30s, during the great depression with its deliberate austerity. Britain’s finance minister George Osborne is stripping back the public expenditure budget to the levels of the 30s, he’s not there yet. Already hunger, foodbanks and homelessness are increasing to levels seen before the War: They are heartless monsters like our own right wing nut job class. I’m currently reading ” Harry’s last Stand” the story of a man who survived the great depression and war time service and has written this passionate book against the neoliberal monstrosity of modern Britain.

      • Hi Gosman
        Strategic: List vote to the Greens. Mana should have got in with Hone’s seat. Hopefully there could have been a left coalition of Labour, Greens and Mana. National got in because of their fifth column: the million apathetics who couldn’t be bothered to vote and the ones who feel politics is beneath them.

        • I though like you Jay, that the left would work together and we could at last have a Government that would roll back this neoliberalism. So I voted Party Vote: Mana, (and proud that I did), electoral vote: Labour. But Boy! was I wrong! The Left fought each other stabbing Mana in the back! But the real wake up call to me was the pathetic kowtowing attitude of our MSM!
          Frank McK is certainly right with his comment that the left in this country spend their time fighting each other!

  4. Martyn I sometimes think you conflate centrist moves that are done in good and bad faith by parties of the left. One bad faith version is agreeing to be neo-liberalism’s designated left, distinguishable from the right only by branding. It is a bad faith version because it is a sort of false flag operation, mopping up the votes of neo-liberalism’s victims and increasing your own career opportunities by doing so. A good faith version involves such things as trying to rebuild the real economy, upon which everyone ultimately depends, and attempting to free our institutions from corruption and cronyism. These moves are centrist in the sense that they have broad application, but they do not add up to selling out. You cannot go far in supporting and defending social justice without making such moves.

  5. This Campbell post is interesting:

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2015/02/02/gordon-campbell-on-the-russel-norman-resignation/

    Particularly, the suggestion that Hague may get the co-leadership but retain his Health focus with Shaw taking over as finance spokesperson from Norman.

    My preference would be for Hughes as coleader, but haven’t seen anyone seriously suggest that as a possibility despite his greater parliamentary experience than Shaw – hope he at least takes over the climate change spokesperson role. Clendon was Norman’s challenger for the leadership role back in the day, but has never impressed me. Graham would be a fine coleader, but is likely close to retiring himself. Browning – just no.

    But then, this is a matter for GP members and unlikely to be hijacked by any Wellington cabal as Bradbury seems to be suggesting. However, while the coleader and list positions are scrupulously democratic, the spokesperson assignations are more opaque.

  6. Again please learn from Alexis Tsipras on how to do politics of hope and inclusion, rather than politics of fear and identity as practiced by Labour and National.

  7. Whew ! I think I’ve finally realised that NZ politics is a load of wank and we all feed off that wankery one way or another .

    Russell Norman made the fatal mistake of thinking . In a land where thinking has become an impediment to functioning . And by functioning I mean slaving for off-shore Masters in deals brokered by our own , state educated , state protected and state housed who have such a tight grip of their cocks that they’ve come to be comfortable with the notion that they’re better than everyone else so they become politicians . Politicians who constantly tell us that we are inferior to them so shut up , move along , nothing to see here and like the lap dogs we’ve become, along we indeed move .

    Fascist, neo liberalism is a virus and there can be no argument that the virus is spreading . When good people like Russell Norman leave for what ever reason , the gap he left will be filled with the virus .

    I started out writing comments on Tumeke, then I swung to The Daily Blog, dutifully following my herd and for less than savoury reasons . I was on a crusade of vengeance for the losses my family and I/me had experienced at the murderous rampages of neo liberals , liars , swindlers , cheats and dirty politicians and now ? When I look at my herd, they’ve become that which they hated the most .
    For the last seven or eight years , I’ve been spending many hours writing here , doing research , collating links, putting down seeds , trying to point out the dangers and perils we face as a small group of humans on a scant few islands when faced with the ravenous intentions of our enemies, the corporates .
    And now Green’s going Blue ?

    I have to ask myself ? Do I continue , break my silence and become a Light Side Blogger ? Or do I slip back into the dark , deep , warm waters ?

    Seen ” Under the Skin ” ? Something like that . But without the sucking of my insides out to leave nought but skin . Just floating , my willy hanging down . Resigned and spent ? Fooled into being content with the void . That space between one reality and another . An opiate of a place . Like a damp Sunday and the only thing to read is ‘ The Sunday Star Times ‘ . In there, in the void, the neighbours clean their ( Zoom ! Zoom ! Zoom ! Brought to you by … ) Mazda as Aunty John Campbell rallies around some poor bastard caught in a Swirly Pool inside the Void and has appealed to the Masses , a deal brokered by John Mazda Campbell . Impartial ? – Yeah right . Ads are shown , money’s made , tears are shed , the Void is numb , the virus spreads .

  8. “Thatcher quoting”

    C’mon Bomber, you’re being disingenuous and a bit mischievous – by omission you’re implying that James Shaw has leanings towards Thatcherite economics and policies. I’d like to see some evidence of that because it’s not there in his maiden speech.

    Here’s what he actually said (from the transcript):

    In their speeches, friends of mine in the seats opposite sometimes quote conservative heroes like Margaret Thatcher.

    Well, Margaret Thatcher was one of the first world leaders to warn about the problem of climate change. Thatcher trained as a chemist. She understood you can’t change the chemical composition of the atmosphere without consequences.

    In a speech to the United Nations in 1989 she said, “What we are now doing to the world by adding greenhouse gases to the air at an unprecedented rate is new in the experience of the earth. It is mankind and his activities that are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways.”

    Thatcher was right. In 2013 New Zealand was hit by our worst storm in sixty years. It left 30,000 Wellington homes without power, some for up to a week. It set the city back $4 million in direct clean-up costs. Around the country, it resulted in over $31 million worth of insurance claims.

    That summer of the same year we had our worst drought in seventy years. It cost New Zealand $498 million in lost exports. Treasury estimates that this drought cost our economy over $1.5 billion.

    The worst drought in seventy years. The worst storm in sixty. The warmest winter on record. Billions of dollars in costs and damages. All in the same six months.

    It was a smart move to show the deniers that “one of their own” recognised climate change as a serious problem.

    To quote from Gordon Campbell:

    In other words, in James Shaw we’re dealing with someone smart enough to fight fire with fire. He plans to use the centre-right’s strategies and arguments against itself, if only because in the current climate, it is essential to do so: “Because over on the right, they don’t give any credibility to left wing arguments. You can’t use left wing arguments to reason with them. You’ve got to go into their territory, to engage with them.”

    Let’s not confuse intelligence with ideology.

      • I’ll need to see some evidence before I consider discriminating between sub-species of water fowl.
        Give me some solid evidence of Shaw’s Thatcherite waddlings, quackings and lookings or should I be satisfied with persuasion by sloganeering? I’m quite prepared to change my mind, I just need a little more.

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