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Friday, October 28, 2011

Greens continue to flirt with National - why the left can't vote Green

The Greens may be saying no, but their eyes are saying yes, their dance of the 7 hemp veils continued this week with glad eyed comments from the Greens as to a flirty date with John Key in the middle of the election similar to Don Brash's 2005 coffee date...

Earlier today Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said it was possible her party's leadership could meet with National at some stage during the election campaign - a version of then National leader Don Brash's café meetings with minor party leaders during the 2005 election campaign.

As someone who has voted Green most of my adult life, the idea that my party vote could go to propping up John Key makes me gag, I criticized this strategy of cuddling National when it was launched to the screams of 'unfair' by former Green comrades and even had Nandor responding with what I think was the most ridiculous piece he's ever written, let's have a wee gander at this defense for flirting with John Key shall we?

The Greens can be described as 'left', just as the colour of a puriri tree can be described as 'dark', but not adequately so. The Greens have an uncompromising commitment to fairness and equality. They also have a commitment to individual rights and to limitations on the power of the State, but I wouldn't describe them as 'rightwing' either. What I would say is that by rejecting the left / right dichotomy as inadequate to describe Green politics, the Greens become free to adopt what is valuable from either end of that spectrum and evolve it in accordance with their own philosophies. Some people on the left would say there is nothing valuable to be found on the right, and vice versa. That kind of locked-in thinking is exactly the problem. Being 'green' identified provides room for finding creative, holistic, solutions to current social and environmental challenges.

This defence is so over simplified, I'm embarrassed for him - we are not talking about taking the 'best' from the left and the 'best' from the right and knitting together an organic flax bridge here, we are talking about the most hard right privatization, borrowing for tax cuts for the rich, ramming through more erosion's of civil liberties under urgency ever seen in our political history outside war time, with real poverty rates spiralling, quarter of a million children in poverty while 150 of the richest families made $7 billion in one bloody year right wing political party! THAT is what Nandor and the Greens are talking about cuddling up to, THAT is what they want to cut a deal with - to claim it is some bullshit selection of the best from the right misses the fact that John Key represents the Death Star and there is no negotiation with the Death Star.

My call for loyalty from the Greens was not to the Labour party as Nandor claims, because let's face it, Labour have shat on Green aspirations since day one, my call to loyalty was to the political philosophy of the left, by flirting with National and actively attempting to form a relationship with a party so single minded in its transfer of wealth to the already wealthy, the Greens simply become the next Maori Party, a convenient relationship that makes the National Party seem much more moderate than they actually are.

If the Greens lust for power is so all consuming that they are prepared to be used as National's new camouflage of moderation, then they will suffer a backlash schism post 2011 that they will never be allowed to live down.


That only Catherine Delahunty was prepared to say that she would quit if a deal was cut with National, and not one other Green MP joined her speaks volumes of how real such a deal actually is.

What the Greens are saying is that if you despise John Key, then the only way to make sure your party vote won't go to propping up his unjust policies, is not to vote Green.

When you dance with the devil, the devil doesn't change, you do. Despite this, the Greens seem to have booked and paid for dodgy Ceroc lessons.



At 28/10/11 8:33 am, Blogger Mclean blogspot said...

Yeah, I'm really struggling with all of this.

On one hand, I agree with Nandor, time for a paradigm shift in politics, away from the cold war reaction of a left / right pissing contest every year while in truth the corporates rule both parties behind closed doors.

On the other hand, Bomber's is a more pragmatic stance. I have many issues with the black & white Authoritarian Left, but I'm terrified of the future my kids will inherit in this country as a byproduct of the next National term.

Are the Greens prepared to be part of this legacy?

The more I look at the whole thing, the less I want to vote!

My instincts tell me the Greens - or at least their membership rather than their leadership - will not cut a deal with NAct. But if I cast my vote in the Green direction, and they form a coalition with the NAct's, they will never have my vote again, and I've voted for them at every election they've stood in.

What we need is some real leadership, and we're seeing a lot more of that from a bunch of students and un-employed in NYC and Oakland and San Fran and London and Spain right now than we're seeing from the Greens who have now well and truly been subsumed by the Establishment.

At 28/10/11 8:34 am, Blogger AAMC said...

Hmm, that comment was from AAMC, kids with Google accounts eh, loggin in and stealing your identity!

At 28/10/11 8:57 am, Blogger Benjamin said...

As you say, there would be a serious backlash if the Green Party did form a coalition with National, but surely it's prudent for both sides to know exactly what could be on the table and what's non-negotiable before beginning to negotiate?

At 28/10/11 8:58 am, Blogger chinook said...

Totally agree - that is a really big factor for me in deciding that my party vote will be Labour, NOT Green, even though I like so much of the Green philosophy. At this point in time Labour needs maximum support from those of us with "Leftie leanings" and if we can't trust the Greens to stay away from National then we can't afford to vote for them.

At 28/10/11 11:33 am, Blogger bsprout said...

Bomber you don't appear to have fully understood what Nandor had written, you are making huge assumptions about what a relationship with National would mean. You appear to still be functioning in the FPP era when there are only two sides to any argument and and to deviate is a sign of weakness. Why can't the Greens stand, independent of all other parties, and proclaim that they will work with anyone as long as it supports their own policy. What it means is that we would be more likely to have a relationship with a party that is more aligned with us and unlikely to have a strong relationship with one that doesn't. We already have a relationship with National to progress a number of initiatives that support Green Policy but are not constrained from fighting against anything that doesn't fit our kaupapa.

Why do you have the idea that a coalition with National is on the cards when there are so many other levels of relationships that protect our integrity, allow positive change and don't need to involve silly lines in the sand?

It is the Greens who are now leading change in this country with Labour often replicating (in a paler form) our stands regarding water management, minimum wages or asset sales. We are strong enough to dictate our own terms with any party and not have to latch on to either, desperate for any crumbs of power.

Read Nandor again!

At 28/10/11 5:53 pm, Blogger Mac Stevenson said...

Have always given Party vote to Green. Go with NACT and that's it Green Party - never again.

At 28/10/11 10:18 pm, Blogger Hawkes Bay Greenie said...

Just remember it is the Green Party members who decide what (if any) post election arrangements will be.

At 30/10/11 1:34 pm, Blogger Catherine said...

I'm with bsprout. Also, the pragmatic part of me says that it is pretty likley that National will get in in some way or other and, if we can have them enter into some sort of agreement with the Greens, we at least have some moderation on National.


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