Melbourne could wake up to the horrifying sight of a Greensparty Lord Mayor if they’re not careful. Accounting scholar Alison Parkes will struggle to cost the multi-billion dollar spending binge and traffic-banning policies of her party but the numbers could add up for her if conservative candidates don’t do the right thing with their preferences.
The announcement by colourful Collins Street identity John Elliott that he’s running for Deputy Lord Mayor on millionaire pollster Gary Morgan’s ticket makes Melbourne’s municipal contest suddenly look interesting.
Elliott opened the batting by giving expression to Morgan’s reason for running: he doesn’t think anyone has been a good Lord Mayor since his old man first started acquiring big chunks of a block on Collins Street before duly passing them on to his lad. The lad, a savvy businessman, mining investor and stylish wearing of a Panama hat in spring-time, has repeatedly run for Lord Mayor without much expectation of winning and without committing the funds he could to really promote himself.
Most think he’s running to help Jacki Watts, a loud Doyle foe in the Council chamber, get returned to the gig where councillors get paid $700 a week for a couple of meetings a fortnight, invitations to every black-tie galah occasion across Melbourne (because ratepayers buy the councillors a table), unlimited room service to their office suites tempered only slightly by having to deal with pot-holes and potty residents’ groups.
COULD JOHN ELLIOTT END UP HELPING THE GREENSPARTY?
Big John’s attacks on Doyle (and even his predecessor John So, who managed to turn doing a quietly good job as LM into being a national cult figure in one of the most impressive and fun things we’ve seen in politics) show that what many had expected to be an uneventful run to the finish-line for reasonably popular incumbent Robert Doyle into a real Spring Carnival horse-race.
If Elliott persists in doing it, it could be a problem for Doyle who most thought would have a rails-run.
Incumbents in these contests can find it difficult, they are the focus of everyone’s attacks and can often be shut out on preferences.
And that’s what worries us this morning.
The Greensparty are putting a sour-faced academic – we’d initially assumed to be a librarian – to run for Lord Mayor. VEXNEWS embedded reporters encountered her at North Melbourne Primary School during their latest election disappointment where their golden-haired comrade Cathy Oke fell as a coalition of the willing yelled ‘timberrr’ supporting the strong Labor candidate Jennifer Kanis who prevailed in a by-election contest where she’d nearly been set up to fail by an unfortunately timed resignation.
The narrow-minded yet free-spenders in the Greensparty have chosen as Lord Mayoral candidate an Alison Parkes – in a gesture of irony possibly unmatched in the history of elective politics – who is, in fact, an accounting scholar at the University of Melbourne. Yes, really, an accounting scholar.
A careful examination of their policies shows that accounting scholar Ms Parkes wielding a bucket full of red ink would struggle to calculate the cost to the City of Melbourne and its ratepayers if she was elected to implement her zany and expensive policies.
WELL-PREPARED FOR A GREENS FUTURE
It’s just as well she co-authored an academic paper “Decision-making in Insolvency” – this equips her well as a Greensparty candidate for high office.
She also professes to be have a “research interest” in “Decisional guidance & it’s (sic) behavioural implications”. Her own personal behaviours include being a Labor rat who left the party, she says, because of “branch-stacking” (code for “I don’t like ethnics joining the ALP” and/or “I didn’t get the seat I wanted”). This is one pleasing aspect of the Greensparty’s recent era, with many of Labor’s most avowedly racist and patronising elements who cloak their ugliness by saying they’re opposed to branch-stacking (they’re actually usually opposed to non-Anglos being involved in or having any power in politics) have left to join the preachy band of patronisers who profess compassion and equality for asylum-seekers (those who don’t drown) but whose Greensparty decision-making structure is dominated by high-income-earning, white, tertiary-educated Anglo-folk (often men) whose Melbourne office boasts the steepest stair-case you could find, literally shutting out anyone with impairment. They really are dreadful.
What does Parkes stand for? Well, for a start, she doesn’t like freedom of speech much at all:
when everyone is a publisher, does this make media better or worse?
We have no doubt that while the likes of Alison Parkes would defend Julian Assange’s right to keep plugging away despite being told no by an initially sleeping Swedish woman that she doesn’t think much of VEXNEWS and would shut us down at the first opportunity. Their commitment to free speech is being passionate defenders of anti-American whack-jobs, those opposed to the Greensparty, not so much.
Parkes, the accounting scholar, hasn’t released many policies, but what’s there already is bad enough.
This link shows she essentially plans to turn Melbourne into an inaccessible traffic grid-locked chaotic mess with new requirements of 30 km/h speed limits, congestion taxes, new blocked streets including Little Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street, with a variety of other uncosted policies and enthusiasms including a new train line to Doncaster (the accounting scholar is silent on the cost but probably a $10 billion spend, maybe more) 24-hour trams and trains (we’d love that actually but the accounting scholar hasn’t costed it, wonder why) and so on.
A LUDDITE VISION FOR MELBOURNE
It’s often in the fine print that the game is given away. Point 5 of the Greensparty Melbourne transport policy document:
Walking is the most basic and relevant environmentally friendly transport mode, and should be supported and promoted by government accordingly.
That’s what the Greensparty wants.
That is their Luddite vision for transport in Melbourne, everyone on foot. Possibly barefoot.
That’s fine if you’re a sad little hipster like Greensparty campaign czar Rohan Leppert, whose haircut gets funkier with each passing municipal election until one day he’ll present bald as a badger, who lives within walking distance of his organic, vegan bakery, colourist and candle-stick maker.
For everyone else, in the real world, stuck with dreary commuting and listening to Jon Faine, picking up kids from school, dropping them to footy-training, heading into Costco to pick up a pellet or two of dunny-paper, dry-cleaning, supermarket-shopping and everything else, they’ll need a car. Pretending otherwise is stupid. I don’t like driving and I do it as little as possible but you don’t need to be an accounting scholar to know that if you make life more difficult for drivers to come into the city, there’ll be fewer shoppers and many City businesses left reeling.
They’re also clueless elitists too, demanding a regressive “congestion tax” that would charge drivers a toll for driving into the municipality or CBD. Billionaire Sol Lew, driving in his Maybach of a morning from his Toorak pile after his latest screaming match with freshly face-lifted Rosie Lew, won’t notice or care about the $10 charge as he heads into his office at 101 Collins Street. But a family struggling to make ends meet would certainly notice it, the Greensparty haven’t met a tax they didn’t like, and as long as they can ideologically twist it into an environmental thing, they’ll loudly champion it even if its only effect is to make life that little bit harder for working families.
In truth, when in power, the Greensparty Senators travel in the most carbon-expensive manner possible, flying in business class on even short-run flights to Canberra. We get more pics of Sarah Hanson-Young lording it over minions in Qantas Chairman’s Lounge and squeezing into a business class seat on Qantas than any other news source. Their words are one thing, when it comes to personal comfort they are like the Soviet ministers who used to get chauffeured around Moscow in Zils in their own “ministerial lane”.
That’s just one policy they’ve announced.
And that catalogue of complaint leads us to a serious point.
If there is a concerted effort – understandable tactically – to rip strips from the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, candidates from a conservative perspective, like Gary Morgan, like David Nolte and others need to keep in mind that electing the Greensparty to control the Town Hall would be an unspeakable disaster for the City of Melbourne and all those who live and work and do business within it. No responsible person can countenance it or indulge in supporting the Greensparty in any form. Anyone preferencing them should and will be held to very high standards of accountability and scrutiny here and elsewhere.
UPDATE: MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER - Herald Sun reports: