Retirement-age Greens party leader Senator Bob Brown has made it clear while heâ€™s often given credit for being the presentable and moderate old-time face of the party that the fish rots from the head.
The NSW Greens â€“ the discredited and militant Israel-hating branch of the party â€“ have created a real headache for Bob Brown and heâ€™s struggling to deal with it.
RHIANNON WILL â€œOUTLASTâ€ BROWN
Brown will be under pressure from the day of Lee Rhiannonâ€™s arrival to discipline her and ultimately to remove him from their party. But heâ€™s in no position to enforce his will on her. Trained in the cool pragmatism and cynicism that was modern communism, Lee (Brown) Rhiannon maintains an iron grip on factional power within the NSW Greens. She has reportedly told her rivals â€“ in the form of NSW Legislative Assembly member Jamie Parker â€“ that sheâ€™ll â€œoutlast Bob Brown,â€ a reference to a subject not politely discussed in Greensâ€™ company, the imminent retirement of Brown who is in his late 60s and will be under pressure to move on with each passing year.
Rhiannon â€“ and now Brown â€“ have threatened Labor MPs â€“ mostly in private, now in public â€“ with the withdrawal of their preferences, which will tend to have the effect, as Brown boasts, of electing Liberals to Parliament.
While a tough rubicon for Labor to cross, it is time they did so and get used to life without Greens party preferences. Itâ€™s been refreshing to see Australian politicsâ€™ most-principled practitioner Michael Danby stand up to these threats, refusing to sink to his knees to kneel to the likes of Stalinist Lee Rhiannon and those who associate with her. Negotiating with errorists only ever encourages more errorism.
Brown went troppo about Danby speaking truth to his power:
Greens (political party) leader Bob Brown has fiercely attacked the Labor member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, threatening the Greens could have him out of Parliament and ”growing lettuces”.
Senator Brown told The Age his advice to the Greens in Mr Danby’s seat ”would be to look at not directing preferences next time – and he’ll goâ€¦ He might find himself going out the back door faster than he thinks â€¦ He’ll find himself growing lettuces.”
We think you must have enjoyed LSD in the 1970s to understand the lettuces reference but the old grumpâ€™s meaning is clear enough: if you dare criticise our extremists, we will take extreme action against you.
Danbyâ€™s crime in angry Brown’s eyes: Pointing out Greens party extremism on Israel, death taxes and other issues and saying that he wouldnâ€™t be condoning those views by giving them preferences. Sounds fair enough to us and of course itâ€™s symbolic anyway as the Greens canâ€™t win the seat. But Brown is squealing like a stuck pig about it. Brown knows that the courageous words and free thoughts of the brave can be very contagious. Indeed, it played no small role in destroying Lee Rhiannonâ€™s beloved Soviet Union.
THE END OF THE BEGINNING IS NOW
Bob Brown, now a superannuation multi-millionaire after squeezing out decades as a politician, may not realise it but he has entered a new political era.
A new era where â€“ for the Greens party -Â the level of accountability and scrutiny will vastly exceed what it was.
Look at the faces around the table in the photograph above.
Who are these people? Let us commemorate this new era with some scrutiny for each of the upright members (from left to not so left in the pic):
Bob Brown â€“ the public face of the Greens â€“ when not under any pressure, he gives off a good vibe but when the Gallery give him any scrutiny at all, he turns scowly, even vicious. He is under an unspoken pressure to move on from the pushy Sarah Hanson-Young.
Adam Bandt PhD (Marxism) â€“ the post-Brown Greens stereotype. While constantly referring to his previous work history â€“ â€œin the same job as Julia Gillardâ€ â€“ at Labor law firm Slater & Gordon, weâ€™re yet to find anyone there who doesnâ€™t think Bandt is a complete fraud. Locals in the seat of Melbourne, used to a very high level of service and attention from Lindsay Tanner, are horrified by Bandtâ€™s play-acting that heâ€™s some kind of minister and is too busy for them. Tanner â€“ who was a real minister â€“ always made time. The contrast has done a lot to hurt Bandt already. His first act as an MP was appointing his lover to his staff. Didnâ€™t go over well with snooty NIMBY types in Parkville who wanted to vote for Che Guevara not Mal Colston.
Lee Rhiannon â€“ A woman who adopted a fictional surname in honour of a mythical Welsh witch warrior probably needs no further introduction. Her own alignment with one of the bleakest and most vicious political groups the world has ever-known, the Moscow KGB aligned Socialist Party of Australia was bad enough and many people move on from youthful political stupidities. Her continued association with the dark side of politics, in the form of advocating boycotts of Jewish commerce and the Jewish state, and her use of Stalinist methods of political enforcement and thuggery on the NSW Greens and with threats against Labor MPs reveals to all that while her labels may have changed, and she even had a new haircut and bought some more conservative garb for her arrival in Canberra, that the witchâ€™s vile cauldron still bubbles away.
Larissa Waters â€“ While our predecessor publication enthusiastically backed the blonde bomb-shell in her past bruising preselection tussles with Greens numbers-thugs, criticisms that Larissa is an egomaniacal lightweight remain largely unrebutted among the Queensland Greens small and divided membership. A â€œprima donnaâ€ who is impressively superficially but doesnâ€™t â€œplay nicely with othersâ€ was one insiderâ€™s description. Sarah Hanson-Young plans to cultivate her, is the general expectation but they could end up being catty (in the non-gender-specific sense) rivals.
Sarah Hanson-Young â€“ The former Goth challenged the unforgiving Deputy Leader Christine Milne without so much as a seconder in a secret Greens party room after the last election. It was SHYâ€™s unsubtle declaration that Milne might be the heir apparent to Brownâ€™s leadership in their mind but Hanson-Young will be thrusting herself forward at the appropriate time.
Scott Ludlam â€“ Also has leadership aspirations we hear, and is the most articulate and coherent of the Greens Senators. Enjoys unusually regard from Labor and Liberal Senators for being across â€“ and even interested in â€“ detail. However, he does show an unpleasant fondness for urging on crowds of Israel haters.
Richard Di Natale â€“ The first Victorian Greens Senator, pinching a spot that should have gone to Antony Thow, a former National Union of Workers state-secretary and one of their best and brightest. Dr Di Natale is a medical doctor and serial candidate who also happens to be the bro-in-law and buddy of all-powerful Victorian Greens Leader (initially appointed by VEXNEWS before this was formally acknowledged by the MPs recently) Greg Barber, whose enthusiasm for General Patton style leadership thrusts makes him perhaps not so bad at all. Some have darkly whispered that he is VEXNEWSâ€™ favourite Green. We can assure readers there is no such thing.Â That said, when the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit went searching for nasty and vicious things the MP might have said about Israel so we could give him a kicking before the last state election, we found only one, a reference to irrigation. Hopefully his bro-in-law Doctor can urge Lee Rhiannon to seek the medical attention she so clearly needs.
Rachel Siewert â€“ A rare Green these days in that she hails from the environment movement rather than the far-left or Labor-rejects brigade. Barely visible outside of WA though, despite describing herself as â€œdynamic,â€ â€œassertive,â€ and â€œhard-working.â€
Christine Milne â€“ Like Brown, sheâ€™s been in parliament forever, if the dawn of time started in 1989. She has played second-fiddle to Brown for such a long time that she was believed to greatly perturbed at the prospect of Hanson-Young interfering with her succession plan. She says much the same things as Bob Brown, and hails from his more moderate Tasmanian branch, but it never comes off quite as smoothly as he can. Insiders say she has not been shy about privately criticising Tasmanian State Greens Minister Nick McKim for â€œtainting the brandâ€ of the Greens party with his decisions to increase public-housing rents and failure to radically reform the stateâ€™s prisons in keeping with â€œGreensâ€™ principles.â€
Penny Wright â€“ Another Green with no substantial history in the environment movement they claim to represent. She did marry well though. Wright was an Adelaide lawyer who is married to SA Greens MP and power-broker Mark Parnell. Parnell has recently publicly speculated about entering into a formal preferences deal with the SA Liberals because â€œThe left-right stuff doesn’t really work for me anymoreâ€¦â€
We look forward to seeing how that all works out for them.