In a story of breathtaking hypocrisy even for them, The Ageâ€™s smear merchant Royce Millar has slagged political parties for digging up dirt on their opponents. The Age publishes the most mendacious and vilifying attacks on victims as diverse as the leadership of award-winning export innovators Securency to the Cambodian community to the now cleared Suleyman family in Melbourneâ€™s west.
Itâ€™s the normal kind of sanctimonious slop weâ€™d expect from the Age that fails to recognise that a spirited and lively democracy works well when accountability is at its highest but the article does offer a gem where our own fine publication is singled out for being mean and nasty to the Ageâ€™s favourite protected species of wombat, the Greens party. Former UK Trades Union Congress militant Royce Millar writes:
No shrinking violet in the political cut and thrust, Barber also says personal lives should be out of bounds. He cites as unacceptableâ€¦the publication of an internet story by Labor-linked blogger Andrew Landeryou depicting a teenage Barber as an unhinged paramilitary. Landeryou ‘s Vexnews is an outlet for smear although not only for Labor.
The Australian calls us a Liberal blogger. The Age calls us â€œLabor-linkedâ€. Joe Hildebrand at the Daily Telegraph describes us as the â€œnationâ€™s second most patriotic websiteâ€ (after his own of course). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Millar is right about one thing: we are source-driven, equal opportunity slaggers. If only The Age, so riddled with Greens cheerleaders, could say the same. Many old hands at The Age tell us they cringe with embarrassment at the behaviour of some at the paper who ruthlessly cull criticism of the Greens from articles, headlines and even letters to the editor. When the Premierâ€™s father was buried, even that was used as an opportunity by some faceless tasteless North Fitzroy sub-editor smart-alec who declared Malcolm Brumby to be â€œpassionately greenâ€ in the headline. The article did not support that contention. It revealed the newspaper willing to sink to any low to prosecute its pro-Greens party agenda.
UNHINGED PARAMILITARY? WE REPORT YOU DECIDE
The sweetest part of Millarâ€™s rant is Greens MP â€œBoo Hooâ€ Greg Barberâ€™s reference to an â€œinternet storyâ€¦depicting a teenage Barber as an unhinged paramilitary.â€
We had nearly forgotten this story but poor old glass-jaw Greg Barber certainly hasnâ€™t. It clearly struck a nerve. So weâ€™ve dug it up from the archives of our predecessor publication The Other Cheek for your amusement.
And it was certainly a strong no-holds-barred effort by our predecessor publicationâ€™s investigative unit drawing on a couple of concerned sources familiar with Barberâ€™s time at Glen Waverley Secondary College who had been stunned at the moody para-militaristâ€™s transformation from weapon enthusiast to Greens party activist and parliamentarian. One of them had first approached The Age, which didnâ€™t follow up so they came to us.
FOR A FREE PRESS AS LONG AS IT IS UNCRITICAL OF THE GREENS, CLIMATE DOOM AND GREG BARBER
Greg Barber believes this kind of scrutiny of public figures ought be â€œout of boundsâ€ for which we can assume he means censored.
At dinner parties, Barber and his ilk condemn plans to filter out the filth from the internet yet have their finger poised over the delete key when it comes to those publishing inconvenient truths about them.
The anti-Labor Barber is keen to turn our criticism of him into a criticism of them but our record clearly shows that we donâ€™t prosecute party political agendas, we speak truth to power, sometimes very inconveniently to those who wield it. We doubt thereâ€™s a party or faction or fraction that we havenâ€™t annoyed at some point, even those weâ€™re inclined to agree with on many issues. Thatâ€™s how it should be.
Greg Barberâ€™s party is all for freedom of the press except when itâ€™s The Australian urging a close examination of the Greens partyâ€™s extremist policies, all for transparency except for that old ie-dominated party honestly talking about its Trot dominated top-down secretive hierarchy administered by an all-powerful National Executive Committee that can and does overturn party leader Bob Brown and all for accountability except when recently elected federal MP Adam Bandt failed to explain why he gets to employ his lover Claudia Perkins in his office at taxpayer expense on the highest possible salary.
GREG THE GUN
Truth is, VEXNEWS likes Greg Barber. He is our kind of Green, an aggressive, dorky version of the alpha-male, an ambitious pelvic-thruster just learning his power-swagger, doing the numbers and cracking heads among his restless reservation of hairy hippies and slovenly socialists. The environment is just his ticket to power and heâ€™s using it for all itâ€™s worth while the fad lasts and before the bubble bursts. We donâ€™t blame him for being a chancer, at least he looks like he acknowledges the con half the time. Most of his comrades are much less pragmatic.
But he is – for all that â€“ it seems â€“ a delicate flower deep down. Sad that publications like ours are cruel enough to report undisputed truths about his personal history as a teenage militant. We of course stand by our story and strongly defend our right to report our discoveries about public figures that are relevant to the discharge of their public duty.
Please read on and make up your mind but be certain that no amount of passive-aggressive bullying from well-paid politicians like Greg Barber is going to distract us from our mission to speak truth to power. And as for The Age, like Adlai Stevenson and Gordon Gekko, if they stop telling lies about us, weâ€™ll stop telling the truth about them.
SECRET: Greenie Greg Barber Was “Scary, Ultra Right-Wing Nationalist” Say Former Classmates
De facto Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber was once an “ultra-conservative” militarist pre-occupied by battle re-enactments, war-games and para-military activities.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, students from his alma mater at Glen Waverley Secondary College have spoken out for the first time to the OC Investigations Unit with explosive revelations about the supposedly left-wing political leader who until now has lived a secret double life as an ultra right-wing war fantasist.
VERY RIGHT WING
One former Glen Waverley student and Barber classmate has spoken of their “absolute shock” when discovering their former study buddy with “ultra-nationalist, very right wing politics” was elected to the Victorian Parliament as a representative of the Greens.
Another has told tales on the one-time loner and ultra-conservative student, revealing his inclination to dress in “full military regalia” and frequently engage in battle re-enactments in a local park with a group of “scary” local right-wing para-militarists from a number of different schools.
One described Barber as “weird, scary and someone we usually avoided. We were all a little bit scared of him. He was intense and not in a good way.”
“I’d be amazed if voted any way other than Liberal when he first had a vote. No one I know at the school kept in contact with him so what happened to him after school is a mystery.”
Those few who knew Barber well say that he was clearly looking “for a cause” but “none of us could have imagined it would be the environment. It’s just weird. He was definitely disturbed back then, and I can’t imagine he’s changed.”
“He was the kind of student who these days would definitely be lengthily counselled for fear of a Columbine style problem. He always seemed angry, morose and obsessed with weapons.”
Another classmate who has expressed grave concerns about Barber said “Knowing what I know of his past, it’s with a rifle at the top of a tower that I expect to see him again not as head of the peace loving Greens. How tall is parliament house anyway?”
It’s an amazing contrast to the policies and branding of the Greens. The OC’s limited involvement with Barber certainly failed to trigger “lefty radar” of the kind normally sensitively attuned to detect Bolshevism wherever it might lurk.
These revelations which Barber will know are just the beginning certainly validate our initial judgment and his neo-Stalinist leadership style which has seen his “right-wing numbers man” approach vanquish his foes and install his brother-in-law in plum positions on the Greens ticket.
THE EXTREME GREEN
The revelations from former classmates also provide useful background to Barber’s pre-occupation with Labor’s factional politics, of which he makes frequent mention in his speeches, off and on-the-record comments to journalists and written communications to Greens members.
He’s been fanatically anti-ALP for all his life it seems, once from the far right, now from the far left. His later exploits include attending Melbourne Business School and imposing tight discipline on notionally equal colleagues, the robust Colleen Hartland and the more frivolous Sue Penniciuk.
He has only recently permitted them to make media statements and only after he has closely vetted the drafts. Like Bill Hartley before him, an extremist left-winger who started out as a Liberal and ended up in the extreme left, we see in Greg Barber confirmation that the extremes of politics are not greatly different, with plenty of people able to transition from extreme right to left with the greatest of ease.