And it begins…
Former senior figures have accused the Greens of jettisoning core principles as party discontent surfaces over its co-operation agreement in government.
Ex-MPs Sue Bradford and Catherine Delahunty say the agreement makes no sense and that the party’s position in government amounts to a failure of leadership.
Delahunty criticised her former colleagues for not pointing to an “unholy alliance between banks and the government” that accounted for record bank profits, inflated house prices and growing inequality.
Former co-leader and current head of Greenpeace New Zealand Russel Norman has also called Green minister James Shaw’s climate position “simply not credible”.
RNZ can reveal a number of activists have recently stepped away from the party, including former executive and policy branch members.
They accuse co-leader Shaw of having an autocratic style and complain that the party executive is not holding the caucus and leadership to account over policy decisions in government.
The Greens’ co-leaders have rejected the criticisms, maintaining the party is democratic and making progressive changes in government.
The party signed the agreement on 31 October 2020.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media the deal was about building consensus and stability, but emphasised her party had a right to govern alone in Parliament. Labour took more than 50 per cent of the vote.
Shaw remained Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity), while fellow co-leader Marama Davidson became Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness).
The deal’s provisions bound the pair to ministerial collective responsibility but allowed the Greens to disagree and criticise the government on issues outside those ministries.
Shaw and Davidson were excluded from Cabinet and matters of fiscal policy.
Former policy branch and executive member Megan Brady-Clark – a delegate who voted to block the deal – said the specially-convened meeting over the agreement had been carefully managed.
Delegates gathered on Zoom in a virtual conference on 31 October, 2020 at 4pm, and were encouraged to come to ‘consensus’ around the document. They were given access to copies of the proposed agreement at 4.30pm, the same time it was being released publicly.
Brady-Clark said it had left little or no time for wider dissemination and debate within their branches.
A scheduled government media conference had also been planned the same evening to announce the agreement, exerting further pressure on delegates to agree to it.
…It’s been 14 months since the Greens capitulated their mana for the vacant baubles of Office in a Government they have no power in and what have they to show for that strategic blunder?
I warned the Greens in 2020 that unless they went in hard and demanded transformative change and threatened a civil war with Labour, they would get sweet FA, and they’ve managed to get even less than that!
Greta is right, the real power is protesting outside the conference, not selling out inside the conference!
The Green strategy team are chequers players trying to play chess.
Marama’s and James negotiating tactic was to get on their knees and beg!
You don’t get nuthin by begging, and they got nuthin…
…No policy gains, just a couple of vacant baubles of office.
The Greens repeatedly get screwed over by Labour in a never ending cycle of abuse that started with Helen Clark and you kind of feel like someone should step in and intervene now.
Labour gain the inoculation and political camouflage they want and the Greens get nuthin.
Jacinda’s tepid incrementalism will not be challenged by the Greens, it will be supported by them.
As the climate crisis events explode over the next 2 years, as welfare reform goes no where, as housing stagnates, as poverty spreads, the Greens will sit alongside Labour like a parasitic twin unable to think for itself let alone change things.
It is rapidly becoming apparent that Labour and the Greens are not the political vehicle for transformative change. With Labour too focused on preventing Covid from exploding in NZ and the Greens now gagged, no forward thinking vision on how to transform things will be articulated.
It’s a Labour + Green supported Government, that gives them 75 seats in a 120 seat Parliament and yet they STILL CAN’T be transformative?
All the Greens have gained for their hollow Ministerships is collusion with mediocrity plus some identity politics wins.
The Greens don’t know if they are Arthur or Martha and if they did they would need a 7month hui to discuss pronoun use.
Watching Climate Strike For Students Auckland cancel itself last year because of heteronormative cis male privilege sums up the Greens perfectly. A middle class asthetic for social justice virtue signals tied into woke dogma that believes all white people are racist, all men are rapists and anyone supporting free speech is a Nazi.
The Greens are as alienating as a Spin-off dinner party where everyone is arguing over who hates white men the most.
The Greens are perfect for free the nipple rallies with cycling militant Trans ally mommy bloggers, not so good on the economic neoliberal hegemony.
They’ve spent a year harvesting the low hanging fruit of identity politics while doing nothing meaningful on poverty, homelessness or climate change.
Despite my contempt for what the Greens have mutated into I will still probably vote for them in 2023 but will jump the second there is a real alternative.
Their only hope is Chloe.
Chloe is a unique talent. She speaks with the energy of the new voting generation in a language that empowers and challenges. She is an incredible communicator and if she had the Leadership, she could dominate political debate.
What could be more radical than the youngest Political Leader in NZ History?
Chloe as Leader is a 15% Party. Imagine Jacinda as Prime Minister with Chloe as Deputy.
To be politically relevant, the Greens need to be needed by Labour. To do that they need to take Labour voters.
Chloe can do that. Marama and James can’t.
Meanwhile the planet burns.
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