GET SQUARE TIME: Labor has won the battle against the Greens but are they willing to wage the war?

The bursting of the Greens party balloon at this election gave many Liberal and Labor patriots more pleasure than they thought they could have with their clothes on.

It was a delicious failing at so many levels.

The collapse in their support from published polls and the federal vote was important.

But much more important was the lesson the Liberals learned at this election.

They learned that while 10% or so of the population really like the Greens party, 90% of people hate them, many, like us perhaps, passionately so.

The reaction from Liberal party branch members, volunteers and voters to Baillieu’s decision to put the Greens last was stunning.

He turned many doubters into grudging admirers. Us included.

It was his finest moment not just of his campaign but of his political life. Finally, he stood for something.

And while it was a no-brainer, looking back, now the same issue faces Labor. Particularly its idealist do-gooder Left faction.

They need to make a strategic decision about the Greens party.

Their current non-decision is a decision to fail, to be gradually stripped of support and seats in inner-city Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and even Hobart.

We see that they have two options: appeasement or total war.

Appeasement might involve a coalition arrangement. A deal where Labor agrees not to compete against the Greens actively in federal seats like Melbourne and its state equivalents in return for the Greens preferences or agreeing to stop constantly calling Labor corrupt, unethical sell-outs or an old party or whatever other filth they have devised.

Needless to say we think that’s a flawed strategy because it would provide the Greens party a platform from which to build and continue their virulently anti-Labor programme.

It’s also a flawed strategy because cost-of-living is the single biggest political opportunity and threat in Australian politics right now. Any association with the Greens party – take noted PM Gillard – is going to be toxic as people struggle to make ends meet.

The Greens party rhetoric is that they want a “price on carbon.” That means higher electricity prices. And higher prices therefore for everything else.

If Labor associates with that, or implements any of it, they are dead politically in our view. Carbon emission reduction solutions that make working people pay more for electricity and force more and more families into fuel poverty is contrary to everything Labor says it’s about.

As Tony Abbott cycles around he must feel like he’s riding to victory if Labor is intent on cosying up to the Greens in such a self-destructive way.

The other option is total war.

Total war against a party that – after all – says it wants to “replace” Labor “bastards.”

Total war isn’t just about putting the Greens last with the important symbolism that involves.

It’s about distinguishing Labor from the Greens on policy and ensuring Labor puts working people first not the passionate views of academics and those who can afford to be Green.

It’s also about confronting the obscene rort that allows “environmental groups” that enjoy the same tax status as the Salvos and Red Cross to campaign like political parties complete with How To Vote Cards, political campaigning and sometimes viciously anti-Labor rhetoric. Many of these Greens front-groups employ Greens candidates and provide shock-troops who have regular anti-Labor protests outside Labor MP’s electorate offices. Some of them urged voters to “put Labor last”. Some followed Labor candidate street-stalls around and made noisy rackets outside local campaign launches.

These “environmental” Greens party front-groups enjoy many tens of millions of dollars of donations that are deducted by rich enviro-donors from their tax returns; they are therefore funded with taxpayers’ money.

We are told Treasurer Peter Costello nearly shut this rort down but did not properly pursue it.

Labor also has to re-engage in the inner-city and treat these seats like the marginal seats they now are. Many – even in the tormented Labor Left – are already there. They know the Greens policies offer only pain to the most vulnerable in the community and to most working families. Greens big spending will create big taxes on those who can’t afford it. Greens climate taxes could make life a living hell for those who can’t afford aircon and heating. Greens candidates are invariably frauds who denounce coal as an evil “dirty” fuel while many have cashed in on the whole mining caper, as we regularly exposed during the campaign.

Both the Coalition and Labor need to have a good, long look at public funding of political parties and ask why they are perpetuating a per vote funding system that has done much to support the Italian-style fragmentation of our once stable two-party system.

Voting systems that support maniacs like Stephen Mayne being elected with 1% of the vote in an electorate also need to be reviewed. Governments should be able to govern, the idea that Mayne would have a veto power on their every decision is frightening for all of us, even the 3000 odd-bods who voted for a man whose every public pronouncement about transparency and accountability has been undermined by his private deeds on the Manningham council where we understand he has actively opposed measures consistent with good corporate governance, has recently threatened critics with defamation proceedings, engages in serial defamation of respected community groups (usually Chinese ones who endure his racist wrath)  and routinely brings the local council into disrepute (according to the CEO who regularly reprimands him) by attacking his colleagues in the local press or in one of his bizarre email rants.

Many believe Mayne – who has the morals of an alley cat on heat – will attempt to parlay his potential balance-of-power upper-house seat into a Liberal preselection somewhere. He is believed to have talked with powerful Liberal ethnic warlord Nick Kotsiras about the possibility already.

Many Liberals hate Mayne because of his ratting on the previous Liberal government but that was then and this is now. If they need his vote, and he’s half as corrupt as we believe, then doing a bit of business to have a working majority in the upper house could be good sport. We digress.

The other vital area of stitching up the Greens is establishing an Office of Parliamentary Budget which would be used to cost the policies of all the parties. How it would work is still a matter for debate and every Opposition would need to be assured of absolute secrecy in the costings process. The Greens party – very strangely – supports this despite its current policy of making outrageous, extravagant and vague commitments on revenue and spending that would – once costed – leave even the most vegan, nimby climate doomster gasping in shock at their irresponsibility and profligacy.

No doubt the Labor Left will devise extra methods of torturing them. They can be a cruel group once crossed. When they had VEXNEWS in their sights, we often had occasion to do a quick body check for little red lights from a nearby Kim Carr sniper.

Now they have an enemy sworn to destroy them rather than just rile them a bit. The Greens party lie about most things but not about that. Their intention is clear and it is advertised. They seek to “replace” Labor “bastards” because they say Labor is unethical and immoral. They say they are pure and wholly virtuous but when most of their candidates are found to have links with multi-national coal-mining concerns or mining boom property development or many other things they routinely condemn, it’s the Greens who have been left looking like absolute frauds.

Labor’s response needs to be carefully considered. And debated in full public view. Debated not just in the Prime Minister’s office and the back-rooms but in the democratic forums of their party. Those who’ve spent months campaigning against the Greens need little persuasion. They’ve been called crooks by hippies just once too often. But there’ll be many more people still attracted by the extreme-left policies and cunning marketing of the Greens, to say nothing of their preferences in marginal seats.

But Greens party boss Bob Brown – the oldest political party leader in the nation – has already indicated that the days of Labor getting Greens party preferences are numbered.

So there’s really very little left in it for Labor. They can attempt appeasement or attempt to consign the Greens party to the micro-party dustbin of history alongside One Nation, the Australian Democrats et al.

Their future is in their hands.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “GET SQUARE TIME: Labor has won the battle against the Greens but are they willing to wage the war?

  1. Anon

    Comparing Mayne to Cheryl Kernot is harsh – but at the same time true!

  2. Sotherby

    Talk to Bob and Wendy, they had a fantastic result, backwards in Brunswick but barely a percentage point increase accross the state, according to them that a win! not only are they hypocrites, it would seem just really fucking stupid.

  3. andy bult

    Only the brain dead vote for Greens so we will always have a scray 10%

  4. Alley Cats on Heat Unite!

    We want nothing to do with Mayne of Manningham!

  5. Madam Lash

    On the primary vote Labor lost 7 of the 15 booths in Melbourne…a worrying trend n’est pas?

  6. Boy from Babylon

    Are we sure that the ALP is worried about The Greens? The Bird of Paradox seems to be dragging the party in the direction of The Greens. Top of her ‘to do’ list for 2011 is a carbon tax which must be high on Bob Brown’s agenda.

  7. Age of Reason

    Yes this is all very heart-warming stuff, but the problem is that the Greens are RIGHT on the really big issue of the day – the need to radically decarbonise our economy, and sooner rather than later. Labor has squibbed this issue and we are now paying the price for doing so. There is only one way to decarbonise the economy without trebling the price of electricity and that it to go nuclear. I see the patriot Senator Hutchins has urged that the nuclear issue be put on the National Conference agenda. Perhaps it’s time we had a Labor Friends of Nuclear Power group.

  8. Wendy

    Nuclear reactors have to be situated on the electricity grid. Now which of you NIMBY Victorians will advocate for a nuclear reactor in your neighbourhood? Shall we put one in Geelong? How about Hawthorn? Carlton seems like a good place for one. C’mon Age of Reason – name the sites for the 10-12 reactors needed to provide Victoria’s electric energy needs?

  9. Westy

    Have the Greens lost Colleen Hartland from the red morgue? Any goss? The west is ready to celebrate!

  10. carbon fakes

    the greens are jet setting yuppies with 2 or 3 times the carbon footprint of battlers and pensioners…

    why don’t they adjust their lifestyles first?????

  11. go nuclear - go nuts

    ferguson is a big time loser of votes in his own seat – with Batman being the next green target seat he seems to want to hand it over to the greens with no fight by backing the non commercial option of nuclear….

    why not just club baby seals in front of his office and totally alienate the voters…

    with grumpy old farts like this in cabinet – who make safe seats marginal what hope for labor?

  12. Age of Reason

    The Greens will never win Batman. They have some strength in the southern tofu-belt part, but the north is solid ethnic working class and will never change. In any case I don’t believe Ferguson has ever publically advocated nuclear. More strength to him if he has.

  13. Wendy

    Too right we’re jet setting yuppies. I presume ‘carbon fakes’ you’ve never been further than the crack in your neighbour’s thighs? And there’s a pube in your teeth … better get the floss working. LOL loser cream salesman.

  14. They know the Greens policies offer only pain to the most vulnerable in the community and to most working families
    And if it takes a thrashing from the Libs to loosen their tongues, so be it.
    Labor won’t get the green stink out of its hair for a long long time.

  15. Victoria could get worse than the Greens – it’s called Mayne. Oh, the humanity!

  16. Anonymous

    Bundoora is now only 6.5%. Colin Brooks lost 8.5% off the margin. Another 0.5% and it would be considered marginal. Well done Colin!
    Q. How do you make a marginal Labor seat?
    A. Give Colin Brooks a safe one.

  17. Noel Jackson

    Yes Westy – Colleen is history. She can go back to the parliamentary kitchen now…

  18. Mexicanbeemer

    If the ALP stood back and did not contest the federal seat of Melbourne, the Liberals mioght actually beat them.

    When the ALP did not run in the Higgins by-election many of the ALP booths did not swing to the Greens as many people expected but instead swung too the Liberals

  19. Anonymous

    This election result feels like 1999 revisited where the ALP ended up governing by 1 seat.

    Then what happened at the next election in 2002? The Liberals were wiped out.

    In 2014, the ALP will be reduced to 20 seats with the likes of Bundoora and Colin Brooks being dumped.

    Note the date and time, you read it here first.

  20. Westy

    Cheers Noel. Thanks for the news about Colleen Hartland. Now we need to get rid of her mentor Janet Rice. I heard Janet is gonna be the Greens #1 Victorian senate candidate at the next federal election. It’s scary thinking Colleen was trying to be like Janet. Imagine THAT in the senate!

    Ever notice Colleen looks like a smaller and fatter version of a telitubby?

  21. Anonymous

    Yep, all ALP seats under 10% will be very vulnerable at the 2014 election.

  22. Sotherby

    @Wendy: I’d have thought wherever you call home would be a great place, but clearly your years of anti-nuclear campaigning have caught up with you, spent too much time out the front of Lucas Heights you mutated mole? perhaps that’s why you glow in the dark, or why your children have two heads, and not to mention the fact that you have the intellect of a semi retarded wombats turd.

  23. Wendy

    The problem with pro nuclear people is that they don’t understand a thing.

    Because you are semi educated Sotherby, let me explain it to you. Reactors have to be situated very close to the grid, they cannot be sited remotely. This means they will be in or very near major population centres. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl show that accidents happen, so which electorates will house a reactor?

    So we then have to transport nuclear waste thru cities to be dispossed of – and that is a teeny weeny problem given that we haven’t yet invented a safe way to do this. How about a nuclear dump in Western Sydney? if it’s so safe, lets dump the waste in Blacktown (might improve the place), Penrith (good for tourism) or Parramatta? Want to advocate for this Sotherby.

    And, just so you know, this week the US showed that ALL its energy needs could be obtained from solar and wind … but let’s not let progress get in the way of a caveman’s argument.

  24. Sotherby

    I’m sure that during your time as a tutor over the course of a decade or two at some dodgy outer suburban university you had the chance to brush up your skills on how to be a nuclear alarmist, but the world has change poor dear old Wendy. Now I know I’m going out on a limb to even suggest you made it to university, but I imagine you were much like the ultra ideological fools I had the opportunity of sharing university resources with.
    Nuclear, gas and coal are needed to provide cheap and efficient base load power generation, something wind and solar cannot do at this stage.
    As for a nuclear dump, well there’s lots of geologically sound locations throughout SA, NT and WA where this material can and should be dumped, but for the fact that many inner city types much like yourself oppose sound policies, this won’t happen for some time.
    There is a safe way to transport this material, your statements to the opposite indicate a clear unwillingness for you to accept reality and fact, or just display your incompetence, you pick.

    let’s not let simple facts or reality get in the way of a debate on the need for options like nuclear energy.

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