CHILL WIND: Greens party machine grows cold on old man winter Bob Brown

oldmanwinterbobbrownGreens leader Bob Brown – who’ll be 68 years old at the next election – was in a state of scarcely-controlled fury over this week’s leadership transition speculation according to well-placed sources.

The normally zen spiritual leader of the Greens sect is believed to have spewed out a profane stream of wintry words aimed at those responsible for the talk. As is so often the case when aging lefties rant, Rupert Murdoch, himself 80 years young, was invoked as being part of a vast right-wing conspiracy against Brown. Somehow we think the media proprietor has better things to do than worry about the leadership of an Australian minor party but in case there is a secret, vast, right-wing conspiracy theory going on that convenes at Nobu at Crown, we want in. Love their sushi.

All this melodrama comes at a time when tensions are still high in the Greens party after their party National Council met in Melbourne last weekend. It is the highest-ranking official decision-making structure in the authoritarian party.

Many members – outside the elite parliamentary ranks – expressed concern that the Gillard government would ultimately “sell-out” on the carbon tax and that it would ultimately just slightly re-badge Penny Wong’s failed CPRS legislation which constitutes some kind of market mechanism.

A good number of the Greens party high command are deeply suspicious of trading systems, preferring a directly imposed tax on “polluters.” Some would no doubt like a polluter prison or gas gulag or two too, possibly occupying the same facilities as the immigration detention centres they’d like to close.

At this stage Brown and his likely successor in the leadership Christine Milne were successful in fobbing them off, encouraging them to expend energy on passing motions demanding various things of government on climate, very few of which will be put on the negotiating table by Brown who has his own agenda. Like that other leader who planned to stay in charge til his 90s, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Brown knows how to “feed the chooks” or keep the little people deceived and mollified.

Party critics of Brown say they are suspicious the old bloke will blindly support the government’s carbon tax plan once he gains veto-power in the Senate because he is already thinking about his “legacy” with a retirement from party leadership and possibly the Senate too expected before 2013.

The Greens party structures don’t tend to meddle with Brown’s old man winter leadership that much, he is a commanding presence and certainly their most sneaky and popular spokesman. He has a reassuring manner that plays well in middle Australia and is certainly less jarring than the rest of them.

Other federal Greens include Christine Milne who sounds very whiny, Sarah Hanson-Young precocious, Ludlam pompous and Senator-Elect Lee Rhiannon is going too sound like a crazy old ultra-leftist extremist. Melbourne MHR Adam Bandt isn’t going to be leader because he’s way too smug and self-satisfied, insiders say, and has not done much to win over colleagues. We suspect he’ll struggle to hold on to his seat too with many locals in Melbourne furious about the poor quality of constituent service they’re getting from his dysfunctional office.

So while he’s their most media manipulating possible leader, Brown has been brought to heel by his party organisation several times, most notably on the Telstra privatisation pushed by John Howard. Brown shook on a deal with Howard to agree to the sale in return for a massive amount of federal money for Tasmanian forestry. Brown was forced to renege in the most humiliating fashion by a hastily-convened meeting of his party executive.

The ultra-lefties in the Greens party structure don’t like privatisation but they are far more hot-under-the-collar over taxing carbon. Many of them are convinced the government will be nobbled by big business “polluters” and they have already expressed concern that Brown appeared to sign on to a carbon tax and CPRS plan without any detail.

They have made it clear they will bounce Brown on any policy agreement with the government that doesn’t meet the criteria they’ve set out. Some are concerned about being to be too close with Gillard, especially as Labor’s numbers collapse and are openly discussing the political opportunity that might come from again rejecting Labor’s climate change response as “not enough” or hopelessly inadequate.

Meanwhile, Bob Brown’s wintry old presence continues to cause speculation about the future. When under pressure about it yesterday, he said he’d be looking to stay on as Greens party leader for two more decades.

He’ll be lucky to be allowed to stay on for two more years, Greens party insiders are loudly saying, with an expected tussle between Milne – the favourite – and SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young who tried to challenge Milne’s deputy leadership after the last federal election but embarrassingly couldn’t find a seconder.

One to watch is Nick McKim, currently a Tasmanian minister for Prisons who has taken on what he calls “union bosses” and tried to bust strikes over workplace safety issues. He hopes to replace Brown in the Senate and believes his unique experience as a Greens party minister of the Crown would give him a claim to lead. What will count against him is that he’s a male and that the Greens have only ever had male leadership despite many of their members and supporters being women.



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38 responses to “CHILL WIND: Greens party machine grows cold on old man winter Bob Brown

  1. Brenton

    Personally I’d be offended if he retired anytime soon. Not only should the Greens have a person of maturity ‘at the head’ at thus time, the Greens -MUST-. And I suppose I kind of have a philosophical leaning that public service is an honor and should never be offhandedly “retired” from because it’s not ‘just a job’.

    I find the idea that the Greens structure be called ‘authoritarian’ quite perplexing to be honest – I’ve mingled with both major parties and from my experience the Greens are far far far more open than either of them.

  2. Adrian Jackson

    A Fairfax online poll for the NSW Upper House candidate Pauline Hanson has voters 50% for and 50% against her.

    Does this mean Hanson is more popular than most ALP and Liberal leaders around Australia? In NSW disaffected ALP voters will vote for her in drives as they do not want to vote Liberal or Greens.

    Finally is Hanson any worse the Gestapo like Sen Bernardi or Sen Ronaldson or the ALP “B” team branch stackers in NSW?

  3. blackmambo

    Any analysis of the Greens is like coming across a 44 galon drum of bile and turds, and stiring it around slowly with a ruler to see what interesting shapes pop up. Then I vomit.

  4. the Insider

    Bob is dreading the arrival of Lee Rhiannon in July – he knows she has no interest in the environment – just a thirst for power – it has been fascinating watching Ian Cohen encourage Marie Sheehan run against Rhiannon lieutanant Parker in Balmain – Cohen also understands that Rhiannon and her acolytes have no care for the environment

  5. Dan Lewis

    I have a feeling Peter Garrett will be looking for a job pretty soon…

  6. knowing when to withdraw is a gift

    The old joke about Jo Belke not knowing when to withrdraw and Flo being releived when he did, is the essence of the dilemma for all politicians.

    Browns use by date expired years ago, and his subservience to Labor is upsetting the younger astute members who think about issues, not fads.

  7. SHY Senator

    Once I get home from the Kennedy Room with Mr Right we hatch a plot that will make me leader. Please don’t tell Bob Brown or my husband.

  8. hsu forever

    Western Health is ours!! get out Fegan!!!!

  9. Megs

    I like James Hird soooo much I’m now going to support Essendon rather than Carlton.

  10. Bill Calvin

    Brown’s biggest advantage in staying as leader is that voters know if he went the shrieking hag Milne would replace him.

  11. Blah Blah

    Bob Brown… as cold as a witch’s titty… and as appealing as Christine in a night dress.

  12. Just why are the Greens seen as a third force whan Bob BRown is viewed (and in fact is )a moderate .

    They are a fifth Column dedicated to the elimibnation of humanity in Australia.

    Andrew Jackson
    DLP President (Queensland)

  13. Rage Against the Machine

    Gunns Pulp Mill gets go ahead, Nth. QLD Wild Rivers protection lost, massive LNG plant in Kimberley likely to proceed…. all on the watch of this ALP/ Green coalition, meanwhile all Bob Brown is interested in is state euthanasia and gay marriage.

    pretty sure this isn’t what the 12% of the population voting Green in 2010 saw as priority for their Green vote.

  14. Possibly

    Your right about Brandts office being dysfunctional, Andy.

    I helped organise some booths for him at the last federal election but the little turds in his office have shut him off from us. I won’t be helping him at the next election.

  15. Andrew who?

    Andrew Jackson shows why the DLP are a dysfunctional right wing party. Yes they are right wing even though they have the word labor in their political name.

    They have for decades preferenced the conservative forces in Australia to keep the true Labor party out of office.

    Even using the the words fifth column shows how 1950’s their mentality is. If he is the Queensland President of the DLP he must be their only member!

  16. Bob Santamaria

    To Andrew Jackson,
    Dear Andrew, its the fascist running dogs of the NSW right that are the problem, when the crow rises in the east and the marxist leninist subfaction of the shop distributors union rose above their station in 1955 the problem got worse.
    Good luck to you and keep the home fires hot, etc. Oh and send a letter to my mate George Pell, tell him that there are lots of alter boys up here, nudge wink, he’ll know what I mean.
    As for the Greens, well god has a place for them and its down stairs, in the fires of hell, rest knowing that while you and you faithful trusty upstanding, Oh he forgives remember, ever Sunday, Go and visit George, he does it well I’m told.

  17. the Insider

    i wish the DLP would not stonewall

  18. Als Foad

    [deleted – poor grammar; bad odour]

  19. Colin B MLA

    I will warm him up!

  20. anon

    WOW, look out Kathy Jackson, reform group has some pretty impressive names and people loved by the members – Charlie Nader, Jan Armstrong –

  21. Storm front

    Anon there is a hsu. Reform group, c u all Thursday night

  22. Cardinal Pell

    Brother Abbott the Lord is calling on us, to run a Christian Boys Camp for boys suffering in Japan.

  23. Giuseppe De Simone

    Vexnews has some very talented and witty contributors who know how to spin a funny line. It also has some peurile and offensive commentators who hide behind a pseudonym. Cardinal Pell is one of the latter. Come out and reveal yourself, guttersnipe. Having cast the first stone, you deserve to be excoriated for your infantile prejudices. The catholic church and its members are a pervasive positive force for good. Sure, a minority of adherents have failed to live their faith. Sadly, in some cases they were protected by elements within the hierarchy when they should have been exposed and removed. However, the church has learned from its shortcomings and is now much more aware of the need for vigilance.

  24. Anon

    Storm Front – Please do not tell me that it is the scorned HSU officials that were sacked – they will not be caring about the members, just payback. These members have been stuffed around far too long and deserve to be treated properly

  25. Who really cares?

    A lot more than payback is coming Williamson’s way, he better start hiding his $250,000 a year

  26. HSU change

    Comrades please do not use this forum to exchange insults with Bolano, we will discuss the road ahead tomorrow night

  27. Anonymous

    Where is the hsu meeting tomorrow night?

  28. Anon

    HSU change – good on you but God help the members if Seymour, Hudson or Stephenson are involved. Hand it back to the members, not egomaniacs

  29. Pig shit

    I think the reform group is nothing more than a front group for fegan and her fellow pigs

  30. Get a job

    The hsu reform group is clearly the work of fegan

  31. Anonymous

    Hsu reform group meeting 7.30pm, Please be on time, many issues to report on

  32. HSU reform group

    A reminder to all attending HSU reform group meeting tonight please arrive early there is a lot on the agenda tonight, please be seated by 7.25 pm

  33. hsu forever

    Hsu reform group is a Fegan front group, stay away from them

  34. Addicted to Reform Groups

    Where are the meetings? And what are we reforming? Is it a 12 step program?

  35. Irene webber

    It’s a one step program

  36. John

    There’s NOTHING remotely ‘moderate’ about Bob Brown!

  37. Oracle

    I don’t know why you MORONS go on about people expressing an opinion on what you categorize as “on the right” and Nazi.

    The first political group to espouse the GREEN credential was the NAZI party in Germany.

  38. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    Comrades, you should stop with these blogs and keep quite about Nazi’s.
    Someone might just mention how many millions we killed in the USSR while we still had our Socialist workers paradise.
    We can’t tell the deluded “useful fools” of the world the Socialist brother hood was and is the greatest murderers of history – we have to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to it so we can keep it a secret!!!!!

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