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 Baillieuâ€™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 thatâ€™s a flawed strategy because it would provide the Greens party a platform from which to build and continue their virulently anti-Labor programme.
Itâ€™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 â€“ take noted PM Gillard â€“ is going to be toxic as people struggle to make ends meet.
The Greens party rhetoric is that they want a â€œprice on carbon.â€ 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 itâ€™s about.
As Tony Abbott cycles around he must feel like heâ€™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 taxpayersâ€™ 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 â€“ even in the tormented Labor Left â€“ 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 canâ€™t afford it. Greens climate taxes could make life a living hell for those who canâ€™t afford aircon and heating. Greens candidates are invariably frauds who denounce coal as an evil â€œdirtyâ€ 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)Â 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 â€“ who has the morals of an alley cat on heat â€“ 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 heâ€™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 â€“ very strangely â€“ supports this despite its current policy of making outrageous, extravagant and vague commitments on revenue and spending that would â€“ once costed â€“ 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 â€œreplaceâ€ Labor â€œbastardsâ€ 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.
Laborâ€™s response needs to be carefully considered. And debated in full public view. Debated not just in the Prime Ministerâ€™s office and the back-rooms but in the democratic forums of their party. Those whoâ€™ve spent months campaigning against the Greens need little persuasion. Theyâ€™ve been called crooks by hippies just once too often. But thereâ€™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 â€“ the oldest political party leader in the nation â€“ has already indicated that the days of Labor getting Greens party preferences are numbered.
So thereâ€™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.