News From Nowhere If the Greens are to have a future they must listen to their past

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THE TRAGEDY OF THE GREENS’ corruption by neoliberalism is that they simply cannot grasp how completely they’ve been seduced. At its heart, the problem is one of generational experience and perspective. The younger generation of Greens, the ones currently in control of the organisation, simply have no experiential connection to the zeitgeist out of which their movement was born. Their entire adult lives have been lived in the shadow of the neoliberal revolutions of the 1980s and 90s. What came before the revolution has been dismissed by its architects and disciples as existing outside the realm of common sense. Those who preach the values and aspirations of those pre-revolutionary times offer news from nowhere – and no one is listening.

They could, of course, learn the origin stories of radical environmentalism by entering imaginatively into the historical circumstances out of which it was born. Historians do this all the time. Watch Mary Beard’s television series on Ancient Rome and it will soon become clear how thoroughly an intelligent and inquisitive human-being is able to not only comprehend, but also inhabit, the past. Beard talks of being captured by the history of the Roman world from the moment she read Tacitus’ chilling judgement of his own people: “They make a desert and they call it peace.”

The problem with the generations that have grown up in the 40 years since Thatcher and Reagan destroyed the post-war social-democratic settlement, is that they have been convinced the past has nothing useful to teach them.

Like the early cartographers who wrote “Here Be Monsters” in the blank spaces of their maps, the neoliberal ideologues tell frightening tales about the times before their “Year Zero”. Anxious to dissuade those contemplating their own voyages of historical discovery, they warn that only bad and mad things lie beyond the well-charted shorelines of the present. Sadly, they have been remarkably successful. The past remains one of the very few foreign countries that millennial “influencers” have no interest in visiting – not least because “they do things differently there”.

One of the principal reasons for the neoliberals’ success is that their own ideologically-inspired break with the post-war world was strengthened immeasurably by the natural inclination of young people to dismiss the world in which their elders were raised as hopelessly passé. Ordinarily, such youthful disdain is reserved for the fashions, art and music of the recent past – so lacking in the manifestly superior tastes of the present. What the Neoliberals merged so successfully, however, was this essentially harmless generational scorn with their own deep ideological hostility towards the ideas and institutions of the entire modern era.

When Baby Boomers like Catherine Delahunty and Sue Bradford condemn the younger generations of Greens for abandoning the foundational beliefs and principles of the Green Movement, all these younger Greens hear is an ideological version of “Taylor Swift can’t hold a candle to Joni Mitchell.” Or, “Where is your generation’s “Godfather”? Where’s your “Catcher in the Rye”? Your “Sergeant Pepper”? Social-democracy, the Club of Rome, Rachel Carson, Earth Day 1971: Catherine and Sue might just as well be touting the virtues of a dusty vinyl version of “Greatest Hits of the 1960s and 70s”. Okay Boomer.

Lacking a firm grasp of recent history, the generations at the end of the alphabet do not understand that while their parents and grandparents might have laughed at the “RSA Generation’s” stuffy conformism, and marched against nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War and Apartheid sport, they had nothing but admiration for the extraordinary structures of social care which these earlier generations had built. Moreover, they were full of gratitude for the fact that their own lives would be fuller and more prosperous as a result. The Boomers grew up in the shadow of fascism and genocide. They knew what the generation preceding their own had beaten back – and they loved them for it.

Discouraged from accessing the past, the younger Greens will struggle to understand the extraordinary exhilaration of encountering their own movement for the first time. New Zealand was the first nation to encounter a “green” political party. Inspired by the Club of Rome’s “Limits To Growth”, the Values Party spoke, for the first time, of constructing a future guided by humility and restraint. To hear Tony Brunt and his successors talk about limiting economic growth, and expanding the time in which people could simply be themselves, was to envisage a world “beyond tomorrow”. This was news from a somewhere humankind had yet to reach.

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The worst crime against History which the Neoliberals have committed, however, is to convince young people that the past was a stinking cesspit of privilege, prejudice and oppression. That their ancestors were monsters – wiping out indigenous peoples even as their axes and machines laid waste to the forests, lakes, rivers and streams which had sustained them for millennia. By painting the past as a hellscape of irredeemable horror, the tiny fraction of one percent who lord it over the rest of humanity, Paul Simon’s “loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires” are robbing us of the means to rescue the future.

Is there horror in the past? Is it full of murder and rapine? Of course it is – but no more than the horror that daily disfigures the present. Nor are evil deeds all that the past has to show us. Amidst the horror there is heroism. Amidst the murder and rapine there is also empathy and courage, creativity and love.

Human-beings do not suffer injustice meekly, they rise against it again and again and again. Down through the centuries reformers and revolutionaries have dreamed dreams and seen visions. Slavery was abolished. Women were enfranchised. Children were removed from coalmines and cotton mills.

When the armed constabulary invaded Parihaka in 1881, not all Pakeha cheered – nowhere near all. In the end, Apartheid fell. Eventually, gay sex was decriminalised. The past is not simply a catalogue of horrors. It is also an endless source of inspiration and hope.

The Neoliberals would shut the younger generations off from that hope and inspiration. The neoliberals would have us believe that this is as good as it gets. They have – almost – convinced James Shaw and Marama Davidson that the future can only be reached with tiny steps. On a warming planet that is rapidly running out of time, that is deadly advice.

Catherine and Sue, and all those who stand with them, are right: this is no time for tiny steps. Humankind has made giant leaps before – all the way to the moon. But the booster rockets that push us towards the future are fuelled by the knowledge of what human-beings have achieved in the past.

Clio, the Muse of History, is traditionally depicted perusing the book of humanity’s past glories. At need, however, she will put down her book and take up a sword.

Never has that need been greater.

Only when we remember who we are, where we have come from, and what we have achieved, will we find the strength to drive Clio’s liberating sword through neoliberalism’s black and befouling heart.

 

110 COMMENTS

  1. Thats right Chris, very few people under the age of fifty understand and none have experienced how a healthy dose of Socialism assisted capitalism to deliver a society that delivered for most. Unfettered capitalism is a destroyer !!!

    • We do not have unfettered capitalism. In fact the policies we have in place today are similar to the ones we had in the past with the exception of trade restrictions restricting commerce with other nations. If you want to try and roll those changes back good luck trying. I suspect people might not appreciate not being able to get access to affordable Smart phones and other consumer goods.

      • Gosmma We are having a repeat of laissez faire with jingle bells. The idea of government keeping transparent accounts and being under surveillance is played with so that we have on the one hand an inflation-sensitive economy affecting the ordinary person, and on the other unfettered free market prices on the item that would be the prize asset of ordinary people, but prices put out of their reach and even rentals almost unaffordable. This wasn’t what we had in the past – it is unfettered capitalism and the ability to change laws to protect the wealthy against the poor ensures that they are always on the back foot. People may be bought off for a while with fancy new toys, but they are not of lasting value – likely to become redundant and unusable in a few years. It’s a treadmill, and the mental health of NZs reflects the depressing truth – the people are being rorted and distracted by brouhaha set up by those getting celebrity status and those purporting to be wise and responsible – it’s really ‘brou’ and no ‘haha’ bro/

  2. “The Boomers grew up in the shadow of fascism and genocide” and communism.

    We know what Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Castro did. Through sheer ignorance these kids are supporting a system that promotes psychopaths into positions of authority.

    • I’m tired of this shitty way of constructing an argument. Because quite frankly the right have as many deaths on their hands probably more . Franco, Pinochet, the death squads in central America which through the 60’s till now killing at least 20 to 80 people a day, Burma ( no one knows how many dead), Indonesia and the on going killing of West Papua, the genocides in East Timor, Rwanda, the Congo. All right wing governments who are acceptable to the west.

      Or what about the million odd dead civilians in Iraq, or God knows how many dead in Afghanistan. Or the on going issues in those places with depleted Uranium rounds, which will kill millions more for generations to come.

      Yeah the past has bad people on all sides and we should a recognize that, but it is not a cricket game were smug pricks get to score points because their more ideological pure – that type of argument is bloody pointless and quite frankly, morally repulsive.

      • Guys, the point I was making was that it doesn’t matter what colour flag they’re waving. Tyranny is tyranny.

        More and more I see Millennials sleepwalking into the same problem our grandparents faced in the 1920’s and 30’s – a choice of flavour but tyranny just the same.

        I recommend against giving away freedoms, regardless of the pretext (this week it’s a pandemic, next week what? climate change?).

        Let’s remind our bureaucrats that they’re civil *servants* not our overlords and our politicians are expendable at our whim.

    • which is sooooo unlike trump, boris and vlad….they haven’t got round to camps yet but give ’em time give ’em time…..it’s amusing how rightwingers go to is stalin(the ussr was neither socialist or communist) never the successful social democrat models of scandinavia etc….but of course a working example won’t fit the agenda.

  3. MOst of the Greens are also people who are solidly middle calls with very very little real live experience of anything. And pretty much all of them could do with a bit more respect for others. And that includes pretty much the whole party.
    BTW, Chloe is a the poster child for this wishy washy, super university educated thing that maybe spend a year ‘working’ somewhere during uni, but has no experience in living on a wage without the support of very generous family, paying rent and eating food that is.. And while that in itself is not an issue, its nice to have family who can hold one up and support one, it also makes for a blind and deaf Polititian. And her Weed bill/referendum just showed how far removed from actual lived reality this little beige future leader of the green party is.
    Last the trouble in NZ is that the ultimate career goal is to get elected MP. its money for nothing actually, and perks for live. Why work?

    • Great description there Sabine of the utterly useless non achievers we have elected to our parliament.
      I gauge all Green MP’s by their ability to strife and to grow their own food build their own homes from demo materials graze their own meat supply and plant/protect a forest /river/ lake or three whilst living simply. As an old time greenie that’s how I have achieved a guilt free life. Recycle, repair, reuse, reduce. A simple effective mantra to live by . You save a lot of money .

      • Remember Shona, Sabine.
        This was an era in edukashon wear spelling and litracy is not as important as participashin.

        Everyone gets a medal for participation.

        And then tertiary ed is pay to play. Pay the fees and you won’t fail to pass.

          • yup all the people who said ‘I’m not gonna bring my kids up the way I was’ fucked up big time…protecting the little darlings from any ikky feelings is as worse than rote learning and uniforms…as a kid I detested school but being a grammar school I at least got an education out of it, unlike subsequent generations.
            But the big villains were the boomers kids who went completely doolally when they got to run things in the 70s/80s and up to the present…the 50/60s generations were all about EQUALITY OF OPPERTUNITY in later generations that morphed into the ridiculous concept of EQUALITY OF OUTCOMES…a very different kettle of fish.

            • Getting a chance to have a basic outcome to a certain standard would not be bad gagarin. Equality is a moveable feast – hasn’t it been replaced by ‘equity’ of outcomes?

      • What about the so-called Green concerns like – howls of protest over selling off land to chinese waste companies for landfill dumps? water bottling companies? pollution of rivers and waterways from overly intensive farming practices? Importation of palm kernel feed and all that it means. The list goes on and there’s not one Green saying and doing anything about it because they are too firmly entrenched on the gravy train.

      • You Shona have my respect. I may a RWNJ but I also bike to work (25km a day), am a vegan and raise a vege garden as much as possible on my section.

        I’m not perfect and I could do better, I own a car because I want to visit my elderly parents and I surf, but at least I try.

    • I don’t a huge amount about Chloe but she has run her own businesses so in that respect she stands head and shoulders above most of her government colleagues.

          • Nah. Nothing feeble or inadequate reply.

            Just that the next generation has copped a lot of shit. Not only do they have to pay the highest prices in human history. Y’know they work, get told they’re lazy and this and that by bitter old Karen’s and Karen’s brothers in the meat universe it’s no wonder they check out into the virtual universe.

    • It would seem to me this tag covers all those in the Green Party and most of Labours that being an MP is the best paying job they have had. Most of National take a drop in wages .

    • Great comment Sabine!

      Since I was at uni in the 70’s and probably before that, the leaders of radical movements have often been the well-heeled beneficiaries of family trusts trying to make a name for themselves whilst pretending to be poor. You’d be surprised at how many of the leading lights of the far left and green factions here in NZ have, say, attended Epsom Girls and who were the progeny of wealthy landowners, maybe the niece of a government minister or married to the son of one. 😉

      This is just the old ruling class in camouflage

    • If the greens had respect for people and a way of life that respects all, though controlling criminals, and thus preventing much of the destruction wreaked by such people on each other, the environment, animals, plants etc they would have shown it by now. but it’s AWOL. Also by supporting Metiria instead of some stepping down, and ultimately also herself. She was the epitome of the woman trying her best to get skills so she could look after herself and child, with a possible partner in the future. A feminist model. She had lept over the barriers put up by our conservative, backward governments; basically classist and sexist. When Greens got power the women complained about female-hating language, which shows they are not really interested in helping struggling ‘sisters’. My heroine is Celia Lashlie RIP. The greens are insipid beside her.

      James is getting some change but it has to be chiselled off the rock-hard captains of something; industry or financial derivative cooks, or real estate smirkers. Eventually a form will emerge from the rock – something like the Presidents of the USA monoliths, but probably more like Easter Island heads remotely staring towards some undefinable horizon.

  4. Spot on Chris.
    Neoliberalism has a stranglehold on our society now and what you have said demonstrates the peril of the situation we find ourselves in. The “wokism” of the young Greens is driving the Boomer base support away and leaving us no one to vote for.

  5. So in summary Green MP’s aren’t in parliament for the same reasons their forebears were.

    Sue Bradford didn’t seem Green, but totally focused on social justice change as did some of her cohorts of her era. More of liberal left than conservative left.

    The impression I get of the Greens is that of Labour, mostly middle class university educated twits who have had life very comfortable and are happily curled up like an old cat napping on the cabinet table. Happy to put up with Jacinda’s infuriating timidness and her vacuum of progressive ideas, in exchange for a rip roaring good salary and perks rather than giving her a plan to work from.

    Here’s the sad part, Jacinda and most of her cabinet, Maori MP’s aside, have no life experience outside of academia and politics but I believe they’re are blank canvas to good ideas. As the Maori MP’s have proven, the tip of the tail can wag that dog, all day long. Pity the Green Party don’t realise that!

  6. Great work @ CT.
    This might interest you.
    The Guardian
    “Ascension review – China’s bizarre descent into capitalist excess”
    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/10/ascension-review-chinas-bizarre-descent-into-capitalist-excess
    The Green Party are, in my opinion, the wrong dog barking up the wrong tree in the wrong forest for the wrong reasons. Unless that’s what one wants them to do. The moment farmers become good at standing on one financial leg the banksters come along and give them a shove while our all bought and paid for politicians stand back and take the money. Aye Boys?
    We’re a neoliberal-capitalist agrarian economy and unless farmers are pouring glyphosate on their soils, dipping and drenching animals with chemicals while variously digging up or plowing under then they’re not doing their jobs right mate. Well mate’s ,I can tell you. You’re fucking up the water and soil and your polluting the food chain and pretty soon your adoration of the Natzo Party and your characteristic ignorance will be no defence.
    The Green Party should be wooing our farmers. And an FYI re farmers for you lovely city people. Farmers grow your food and earn the money that finds its way into your pockets as primary industry agrarian exports earned revenue.
    Every sketchy trick in the very tricky book will be being used to make absolutely sure that The Green Party stays as far away from that primary industry income stream as possible.
    Seen this?
    Kiss The Ground.
    https://kissthegroundmovie.com/
    Warning! Risk of guffawing.
    I think the Green Party should hire a famous actor, or two, to come to AO/NZ and tour with Chloe Swarbrick with messages of dire warnings and hope. Why not? Nothing else’s working and we’re no better off that we were 35 years ago.
    Green Party? Ask Tika Waititi if he knows someone? He’s living in LA now so surely he knows people?

  7. “Catherine and Sue, and all those who stand with them, are right: this is no time for tiny steps. Humankind has made giant leaps before – all the way to the moon.”

    The problem is that this is the very mentality that is driving wokeness and identity politics.

  8. Don’t wanna gush… but I eagerly await Chris Trotters posts on TDB.
    He speaks for/to us proud/humble Pakeha wanting the best for NZ and therefore our children and mokos.

  9. Again, do not vote for the Greens in the next election, and watch what happens to the Greens MPs once they are not part of the 1%.
    My guess is they will not be doing much… because, they, the Greens MPs, simply do not have much to fall back on

  10. “Lacking a firm grasp of recent history, the generations at the end of the alphabet do not understand that while their parents and grandparents might have laughed at the “RSA Generation’s” stuffy conformism, and marched against nuclear weapons, the Vietnam War and Apartheid sport, they had nothing but admiration for the extraordinary structures of social care which these earlier generations had built. Moreover, they were full of gratitude for the fact that their own lives would be fuller and more prosperous as a result. The Boomers grew up in the shadow of fascism and genocide. They knew what the generation preceding their own had beaten back – and they loved them for it”.

    There may well be ring of truth to this Chris. But it leaves me wondering about the genesis of neoliberalism and the generation (or strictly speaking, generations) that gave it the breath of life. Plenty has been written about it’s beginnings: grounded in the theories of Mont Pelerin Society economists such as Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and others it is associated with economic liberalization, market reform and laissez-faire capitalism and specifically, policies aimed at privatization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society.

    Who were the ideologues who embraced this new order, and from what generations? Ronald Regan, Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet were not boomers, born much earlier, Regan as early as 1911. Roger Douglas was born in 1937. Ruth Richardson was a boomer. Arguably the selection is rather selective, if not influential figures. It doesn’t take into consideration the bureaucratic apparatus behind governments, nor acknowledge those powerful players who walk the corridors of big business and banking. Like Richardson many of these players were probably boomers. But like Douglas and Regan many were of earlier generations. I am not sure it can be said these ideologues or their followers, boomer or earlier, had much admiration or indeed respect for the structures of social care which earlier generations had built. Quite the opposite. As our own Bruce Jesson observed, only their purpose was mad.

    I guess what I am saying is not all boomers were grateful, or for that matter innocent. Blinded as they were by their ideological convictions, and I dare say in many cases, sensing a great opportunity, they simply jumped on the great bandwagon of greed. But we can’t lay all the blame with the boomers. Regan, Thatcher and Pinochet were old enough to be their parents.

    The current Greens? Yes, they should know better.

  11. The Greens seem very driven by identity politics and seem to engage in cancelling people who don’t agree with them, eg Elizabeth Kerekere, who at the submissions on gender self ID seemed to be in her element when she declared some submitters as being transphobic and duly wrote them off.

    The Greens achievement in this term are three bills which will see gender ideology impose upon NZ citizens, with no debate, by stealth.

    The Greens are driven by unhealthy ideology and their policies will not help the working class at all.

    • Anker. I hope Kerekere wasn’t as bad as all that. She should have been impartial, everyone is entitled to make submissions, and she should not have been judging them. The Green’s obsessiveness with gender issues won’t impact only on the “working class”, but has the potential to wreck the lives of all sorts of ordinary people going about their business. Kerekere’s antagonism towards “ colonials “( sigh ) who allegedly curtailed the widespread diversity of Maori genders, should have precluded her from chairing such a session – if that’s what she was meant to be doing – and there is no excuse for bad manners onwards members of the public. MP’s can question submitters, and do so, but flinging accusations around is way out of line. Those sort of antics could inhibit future submitters fearful of being bullied. Shame on her.

  12. Great comments Chris and thanks for your efforts. Somewhere along the way the people have been dumbed down to accept the presidential style identity politics that we are forced to work with. It’s the people who liked the idea and look of a new fresh young Jacinda Ardern whose silky tongue blinded many to her Blairite background and instead went for the glossy cover. We get what we deserve. I dislike the woke bullshit we are served up with on a daily basis but can’t see the greens have many options. In my opinion they are trying to implement their environmental policies in a realistic way. We are not going to change the world one iota with radical policies that may help us change quicker but kill us economically while they are being implemented. We are getting there with water care and land management at a good pace although for the true environmentalists it will never be fast enough. The US China India and the like might be able to turn down the rising heat but in reality we can’t. The greens will show us the way to improve our country in a way we can survive economically. Don’t kill the golden cow, improve the golden cow. It will be social neglect that will bring change and it won’t be greens that feel the peoples discontent. It will be the two major parties.

  13. it’s not that the greens have been corrupted, all along they were a fast track from student politics to a career on state funded handouts, they are a canny career move for the aspiring neo-lib/hipster that can’t face hours of boring branch meetings and years of party committee work but wanna cut straight to the lucrative chase.
    …the time when they were a bunch of vaguely admirable tree hugging hippys are long gone
    ….though the force of the healing crystals is still strong in them.

  14. Chris
    To me this is so clear: the Greens are supposed a ‘specialist party’ that specialises in special policy areas – the environment. That’s it. Nothing else. Bit like being a good plumber or a good sparkie as opposed to trying be being a jack of all trades. When you stay true to your special interest you will do anything to get your ideas and policies realised. That’s where the Green are going/gone totally wrong. They have became another wannabe ‘Labour’…trying to be leftie broadchurch. They are not supposed to be left or right. The environment is an apolitical entity. And so they fucked up the one good thing they had going. They could have squeezed Natiional way back then, in order to force green policies to be financed with big budgets, but NO!…they just haaaaad to be with Labour. What a fucking dumb strategy move. By now we could all be sitting with compulsory solar panels, more EVs etc etc etc. We don’t need another mini Labour or mini National or whatever. We need a specialist ‘green’ party with people that specialise in green shit, not ongoing immigration crap and constant refugee stuff. Hey folks, how’s this, National should start up their own ‘green’ division, get a few well-regarded enviromental people (specialists) on board, promise to finance a few essential ‘green’ policies (and that could include safe nuclear energy) – and that’s would be the end of these Greens for good. And it would get NZ out of the environmental middle age. The only current green voters left after that would be the few radical communists and woke kids that are ruining a once great (and essential) party. They could start their own InstaTwit Party and keep on screaming like sun-deprived toddlers they are – nobody listening!

    • Nah bro. The Greens require an the full suit of policy to take on climate change and fucken win. Including a realistic Defence Policy.

    • They are not and have never been just an environmental party, read their kaupapa it all says good things, social justice a high priority. It’s just the current lot are bloody useless and like the dosh but not the mahi.

    • safe nuclear energy – no such animal

      …but we do have hydro resources coming out of our ears…why nothing from the greens on that….oh shit pardon me it may inconvenience 20 tree toads…ok that’s it lads NZ doesn’t matter when tree toads are at stake.

    • EV’s? What an excellent example of the theatre that is the Green Party.

      EV’s are such a joke “Green” answer to our salvation.

      Here’s the spin, championed by greenies including the leader of the Green Party. Replace internal combustion engine vehicles with EV’s and we are on the road to the promised land. What. Ever! That and short lived e bikes.

      And the other myth, “they” are creating a better battery that won’t require precious materials that will last almost forever. Who? Santa’s elves?

      Subsidise the profit margins for suppliers of E vehicles to make them more attractive to those who don’t need the money, money better spent sorting other things.

      The subsidies distorted the market making Jap import hybrids, at least, ironically less affordable.

      There is NOT going to be the affordable raw materials to provide the replacement cheap mass transit means that is oil. And their production emissions are worse than an internal combustion engined vehicle and mega ironically, crude oil and coal still figure in their manufacture. Add to that their economic life is far shorter than petrol diesel because we go back to square one, the affordable raw materials to make the battery.

      In Auckland especially EV owners plug into the main grid to recharge their holier than thou E vehicles using electricity produced by burning Indonesian coal shipped here on crude oil burning ships travelling thousands of kilometres and from port to power station by diesel powered trains.

      And for a social liberal bunch of MP’s, the fact none of their target constituents can afford this pipe dream is lost on them.

      Yet this assurance from the greenest party in parliament is what we are being told to embrace. FFS! Green? Nope. Stupid? Yep.

      • The “holier than thou” EVs that you sneer at will, at least, be part of our future; whereas oil and coal, I rather think, will soon be given their marching orders, given their effect on global warming. And, yes, this may leave use poorer economically, but it has long been recognized that excessive consumption, in Western nations in particular is a major driver of AGW.

        • if we set up millions and I do mean millions of charging points BEFORE we hit big numbers of EVs without charging those EVs are like ww2 german tanks great engineering but without power just scrap metal….we need to get away from the kiwi habit of not planning…hell it could be termed ‘un-planning’
          And they need lekky so it’s back to my obsession hydro but again we need to pour concrete before supply becomes an issue not after, we can’t rely on todays faux electricity market a deliberate shortfall in generation maxs profits…so why would they…we need to get past the merely commercial and foreground the national interest.

          • The reality is that older even classic cars now sell for a ridiculous premium (just like the housing market really) because the new EVs and self drivers are CRAP. A 1972 Ford Fairlaine for like $200,000.00 . You said it Xray.

    • Dead right, lest we be reminded that probably the Greens greatest policy win was the Health Homes Grant, achieved while in opposition, by the ruling National Party.

  15. I think the Greens problem is easily fixed, the just need to change their name. I’m actually serious.

    Very few Green MPs care about the environment, or should I say, the environment is not at the top of their list of priorities. When have you heard Golriz, Marama, Ricardo, Teanau or even Chloe even raise concerns about the environment? They’re far more interested in woke perceived social justice, hating Israel and men, Marxism and keeping themselves in the 1% of earners in the country.

    Every 3 years they remind themselves that they’re ‘actuslly’ the Green Party so break out the clean rivers tag line, but once thats over they’re back to their cancel culturists best. I feel actually a bit sorry for them, it must be hard trying to be something they’re not. I totally respect Sue Bradford for stepping away, as she could see it and rather sell her soul for a nice six figure salary, she walked away. Note too, she was never a Greenie in an environmental sense.

    They need to bite the bullet and rename themselves the NZ Socialist Party, then they can truely be who they really are. We know they won’t because the marketing of being the Green Party name holds just too much electoral value to give up.

    So they will remain, frustrated, sort of like those TV evangelists who after many years of deriding homosexuality, get found out that they’ve been frequenting gay bars for the last 30 years.

    • Bg, you make the same mistake many people make in thinking the “green” stands for the environment – the environment is many colours. green Parties were the first political parties to include how humans live within the environment – they they also included social justice, non-violence and grass roots democracy:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_politics
      “Green politics, or ecopolitics, is a political ideology that aims to foster an ecologically sustainable society often, but not always, rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy.”

      This is the basis of the principles of green parties internationally.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_party

      “A Green party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of green politics, such as social justice, environmentalism and nonviolence.

      Greens believe that these issues are inherently related to one another as a foundation for world peace. Green party platforms typically embrace social-democratic economic policies and form coalitions with other left-wing parties. “

        • No. I’m saying the Green Platform is wider than just a focus on the environment. It’s not about pushing through anything in an underhand way. You clearly don’t understand Green politics. Their platform is all there in the NZGP Charter and values:

          https://www.greens.org.nz/charter

          The term often used is ‘ecological wisdom’, not so much environmentalism. It’s about how human societies live within their living space – and that includes sustainable uses of resources.

          Greens are not “socialist”. Social justice is a compromise between capitalism and socialism, as seen in some northern European countries. As Sue Bradford said, the current NZGP doesn’t understand or effectively use realpolitik, because politics is about power. Catherine Delahunty said the current NZGP is not tackling structural economic oppression.

          It’s actually more than that. The NZGP principles do not focus on structural oppression and the power blocks that sustain it – a key element of socialism. Green politics focus instead on the weaker “marginalisation” of groups. And that focus is not socialist. It’s wishy-washy liberalism.

          The NZGP does mention “oppression” in their Values:

          https://www.greens.org.nz/our_values

          But in the rest of their Values and Charter, they show no understanding of the structural underpinnings of “oppression”, or how it differs from “marginalisation”. Instead of focusing on challenging the ruling power blocks that perpetuate oppression of subject classes, they focus on the neoliberal ideal of “diversity”.

          • But they have have no Green credentials. Do you believe that Shaws magical mystery tour to Glasgow with a dozen or so people in tow, to speak to an empty auditorium is fixing the environment?

            I have far more Green authority than any of these Green MPs because I walk (or bike) the walk. They use the Green message every 3 years, yet don’t even believe it themselves. Their manifesto can say all it wants, but their actions betray their message.

            • Mate. You keep using the word ‘green’ to mean environmentalist. Good on you for cycling, etc. And I’m no longer a Green Party voter – they are just more soft neoliberals, tinkering at the edges rather than working for the deep change. Such change is needed to counter rampant climate change and ever increasing wealth and income inequalities – they go hand-in-hand.

              Individuals choosing to cycle and be kind to the environment will not counter human-aggravated climate change, which has accelerated since the rise of industrial capitalism.

              For anti-climate change measures to work, it requires moving away from the capitalist, materialist, individualistic ethos.

              As Catherine Delahunty said, the current NZGP does not address structural problems. Structural problems require collective actions to challenge the ruling power block focused on endless BAU, and more profits for the wealthy corporates.

              Of course, right wingers, wedded to materialistic, individualist ideologies won’t like it.

    • the greens have nothing to do with marxism–crypto, neo, classical, frankfurt school or any other….I know ‘marxist’ is a cheap slur for the right but it won’t stick as far as the greens go..they subscibe to marxism to the same degree as the LINOs do.

  16. Wow lets put the despots down,every country taken over were run by scum,Cuba is a great example…i can say blah blah blah but the population pushed the corrupt pigs out. Taiwan is a good example where rich scum were chased to after supporting the Japanese in the war of liberation…the Chinese chased the traitors to an island,garbage becomes the wests heros

  17. I would add that an even bigger problem for the Greens and Labour is a complete lack of economic courage and imagination. Fundamentally reducing environmental damage will be about constraining economic growth and the Greens, in particular, should be all over this and developing the communication skills to explain “de-growth” and “steady state” economic policies to voters.
    But I get the strong impression that there is a vacuum of confidence across the government when it comes to challenging status quo economic settings or even beginning to understand what’s involved.

  18. (Sadly) @ Chris, you’ve nailed it !!!!!!!!!!
    Count yourself lucky you don’t have to live next door to a number of first year students that CLAIM Green credentials and sometimes Green Party membership.
    They’re the ones who study POLS and Meerkating or POLS and COMMS and ‘judging’ by the parents that help them move in, often come from privileged backgrounds as SUVs and expensive vehicles are unloaded. Just as well once the parents depart, they have NFI what their little darlings get up to. It’s both amusing and pathetic to watch.
    Of course in their second year, they’ve become so bloody sophusticated they’re beneath saying “Hello” to the plebs around them.
    Green though? My arse! I guess it’s something that was trending in their social media bubble as life’s perspectives diminish and they begin to worship the cult of neoliberalism.
    It’s been going on though for at least a couple of decades as education and enlightenment has been reduced to just another commodity.

    BUT, that’s not to say there aren’t some decent folk in academia, the media and public and state service. (There is a difference between public and state service btw). Unfortunately they’re becoming the exception rather than the rule, but like unfettered capitalism, they’ll probably disappear up their own arses

    • Actually, I’m hoping that IF the Green Party doesn’t get its shit together PDQ, the likes of Cloe and Ricardo will walk. But then I’m not sure if they subscribe to the view that it’s better being inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in. But history tells us what is the better option.
      Either way, no skin off my nose. I intend voting the way that MMP was intended without all the bullshit and spin the Clever Harry’s have invented in order to keep themselves what they think is relevant.
      Fuk ’em and all who sail in them

  19. “they have been convinced the past has nothing useful to teach them.”

    Chris I do hope you’re not talking about Martyn’s darling Chloe!

    “The worst crime against History which the Neoliberals have committed, however, is to convince young people that the past was a stinking cesspit of privilege, prejudice and oppression.”

    God that is so true. And so wokeism ends up serving as the handmaiden of neoliberalism.

    • Ah yes Chloe, the most self involved supercilious little twit in parliament with the exception of Golly.
      Had the cheek to go on Stuff and “complain” that her level of income was “gross” but she made up for it by helping out friends and family and spending locally.

      I’ve got news for little miss moron, we pretty much ALL help our friends and family and spend locally and so if she is only compelled to by the fact that he salary grossly outstrips her worth, then she is pretty damned selfish.
      As for talking about her Neo-pet (or what ever the hell it was) in her first speech in parliament? What an absolute waste of space.

  20. Poor old Kommissar Trotsky!

    In the immortal words of Kermit the Frog:

    “It’s not easy bein’ Green”.

    Alas, no-one in world wants to go back to 1970. Not even the Greens. They are too busy grifting for all they’re worth in the 21st Century. How sad, never mind. What to do?

    There is a politician that would love to hold hands with you, like it was 1972! And he’s a socialist! Hooray!

    Kommissar Trotsky, on this episode of love connection, you have been matched to Winston First!

    This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

  21. Of course, there is an elephant in the room, which has not been acknowledged here. I’m not surprised.

    There are lists by country of who are the worst polluters in the world.

    The worst environmental hellholes in the world are countries from the former communist bloc, and other socialist countries. The alignment of socialism to disastrous environmental outcomes is virtually 100%.

    Even the USA is a paragon of virtue, compared to the socialist countries.

    The moral of the story is that if you want to have the most catastrophic environmental policies in the world, you need to become a socialist state.

    A “Green” government would no doubt see both the economy and the environment vandalised, as is always the case with socialist governments.

    As you were…

    • the wall feel 30 yrs ago and the freemarket zealots who took over have fixed nothing…..indeed some areas are worse due to being the wests toxic dustbins.
      … explain that away psm
      or for that matter why some 3rd world countries are knee deep in our toxic waste????

      once more rightard glibness fails.

  22. very thoughtful Chris but be weary of using the same blunt instrument and casting all millennials as one, there are some of us who seek to peer through the veil.

  23. Yes I have noticed how todays “young people” have a scorched earth policy when it comes to how they relate to the past: nothing was good, nothing is worth saving, all must be destroyed.

    They find an issue with basically everything and causally disregard the process of historical change itself as if past generations were simply not up to the righteous task at hand which todays young folk think they are tackling head on, one social media post at a time.

    Even the hero’s of past generations, like Churchill for example, have been not only been thoroughly rejected, but are now to be viewed as monstrous, abhorrent criminals

    It gets worse.

    Where as in other cultures elders are cherished and their wisdom/experience revered and sought out, here in the west they are mocked, ridiculed and told they no longer have anything good to offer the young generations and they should just roll over and die.

    Whenever an old timer writes a column pointing out some societal issues he/she find troubling, they are mobbed online by the youngsters and told they are dinosaurs, that they have nothing to offer young people and that times have changed now.

    So the youngsters cry out for change, march for change but wha is their actual pragmatic plan for change, you know the one thing that is needed to make things really happen?

    What I have witnessed seemed weird, shallow and reactionary: like watching people attending a BLM protest while wearing fancy sneakers made in some SE Asian sweat shop, all the time taking selfies with their expensive I phone made with the help of child slave labour in Africa.

    • same as it ever was, the young rebel against the establishment…remember the 60s maaannnn?? and all those whacky 60s brit films taking the piss out of the ‘establishment’

      in the words of the late great Joe Strummer

      Now every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the world
      And ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl
      “Love and hate” tattooed across the knuckles of his hands
      Hands that slap his kids around ’cause they don’t understand how
      Death or glory
      Becomes just another story
      Death or glory
      Becomes just another story
      And every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock and roll
      Grabs the mic to tell us he’ll die before he’s sold
      But I believe in this and it’s been tested by research
      He who fucks nuns will later join the church
      Death or glory…etc etc etc

      but I will say the current crops certainty is fueled by their ignorance.

    • Wait til someone points out the racist anti-Semitic letters that Marx wrote to his good buddy Engels, their whole world will come crashing down.

      • unfortunately those sentiments where quite common then, good ol henry ford and walt disney were both raging anti-semites. we can all find shit in the past it’s the SJW way bg old son. don’t forget the suffragettes and plunket were set up as rabidly eugenicist organisations…and so it goes…

          • my point is that when a jewish person passes some criticism over his fellow jewish people, is he really being an antisemite and if so, how?

            Or are even jewish people not allowed to talk about their own folk unless it is in complimentary terms?

      • Marx was anti- all religions, Christianity included. He called religion “the opiate of the masses”. He wasn’t against Jewish or Christian people, but was against their religions, and the kinds of culture organised religions encouraged.

          • It’s fairly common for people to reject the religion, culture, and/or politics of their upbringing.

            Both Marx’s grandparents were rabbis. His father converted Karl and his siblings to Protestantism when Karl was about 6 years old. Ultimately he rejected both religions seeing their followers as being too involved in capitalism.

            He then rejected all religions and focused on opposing capitalism.

            He was denounced in his birth country, Germany, both for having a Jewish heritage and for being pro-communism or socialism. After Uni, I think he went to Paris looking for more freedom, then to Britain where he lived til he died.

  24. Chris, you are totally on the money here. Greens have lost their way and disappeared down the Woke/Neolib rabbit hole.

    So disappointing, I just can’t vote for them any more.

  25. No Chris

    Pragmatism isn’t neoliberalism and renaming it so is as disingenuous as anything John Key ever uttered.

    Idealism nearly destroyed the party. We got down to 5.25 % with that idealism that refused to listen to logic, science or the rest of New Zealand.

    That has nothing to do with neoliberalism, and there is no acceptance of that ideology among any Greens of any generation I have encountered. Your rant against it is reasonably accurate, but Shaw and Davidson aren’t about “tiny steps”.

    Labour can govern WITHOUT us, or did you fail to notice that by NOT voting for Greens you guarantee that they cannot take ANY steps.

    People in the media, including YOU, white-ant the Green leadership all the time. Fear of the Greens is not too strong a description of the way any possibility that Greens might have some power in government and there is a REAL reason for that. Not like what you just did… which I find hard to fathom and harder to stomach.

    ONLY the Greens have steadfastly advocated for taxes on the income of the owning class – Wealth tax/Capital Gains Tax/Land Tax/Ownership Income Tax (that one is my own personal contribution). The only other party to come close to that was TOP. If we ever get the ability to negotiate from power there will be changes that break the neoliberal influence on ONE of the two major parties.

    I’m not impressed by this essay of yours. You’re smarter than this – sometimes.

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